History of Dunnal Krannok
From the heavens came great fiery stones. They crashed into the heart of the Aramat Kingdom (AC5185)
and in the blink of an eye it was annihilated. Winter cooled the world from the rain of ashes that followed. The lands that were the Aramat
Kingdoms became wild and uncivilized. At the site of the greatest explosion though was nothing but a great blasted desert, surrounded by
strange shell-like walls of stone for miles, and distantly within the desert could be seen strange mountains which spewed fire into the
air day and night. It is there that the sons of Hallanstaen led their clans. Within the mountains, surrounded by desert on all
sides, they built the magnificent halls of Dunnal Krannok.
This is neither the story of how each brick was lain, nor how the great phoenix mosaic was hammered into the
greathall floor. It is not the story of how the avatar of Khazadul came to the dwarven heroes Sundra and Duric to lead them to victory
against the dragon, Malfronag of Fire, who dwelt within the mountains. However, Malfronag's predecessor, Raehan the Still, does play a
part in this tale. It is the story of how Dunnal Krannok fell and became cursed.
Only in song is even the location of Dunnal Krannok revealed, for the descendants of Hallanstaen who built
Dunnal Krannok did not speak of the evil that they locked within. Written upon the walls of a secret chamber within the Lost Aken Halls
are pictures of how they thought that it happened, but this is the real story.
In the last of many centuries that the sons of Hallanstaen dwelt in Dunnal Krannok was born an incabulist of
great power. Steeped in sorcerous gifts, Dazgard,
son of Anghaarad, rose to prominence and in time displayed sufficient power to be
presented before the Eternal Lords who dwelt beyond the Omicron Gates and kept the sacred knowledge of Clannadigan. Dazgard was accepted
as a student of their order, but he pursued his studies with impatience. In his private research he learnt of the fell powers of Balbros and
after many nights of fevered study he struck a bargain with Shagdul, the diabolical lord of all insects hated by mortals. Shagdul led him to
the Bleak Vault, where the most dangerous of knowledge was kept and from there Dazgard took the Black Word.
The Eternal Lords learned of Dazgard's duplicity, how he had forsaken his training and forged pacts with a vile
fiend, and they cast him out. Dazgard departed for many years, during which he learned the secrets of the Black Word and those of Shagdul.
He returned in disguise with plans to bring all of Dunnal Krannok to its knees.
In the depths of Dunnal Krannok the dwarves discovered a magnificent vein of heavenly steel. The guardians of
the steel, angels led by the beautiful Demoriel, taught the master forge lords of the dwarves how to shape the steel. Through their tutelage
great good was done and the dwarves of Dunnal Krannok prospered.
Dazgard dwelt in the abandoned depths of the dwarven mines and quietly called numerous terrible beings to
his aid. When the time was right he set these fiends and undead upon Dunnal Krannok and as he predicted, Demoriel sent her angelic
warriors to assist in the ensuing battles. While these conflicts raged far above, Dazgard traveled to the Inner Sanctum, where the
core of celestial steel and Demoriel dwelt. He demanded from her the two keys to the Sanctum gateway, but she refused. He swore she
would regret her foolish defiance and departed. Demoriel realized that perhaps Dazgard had a hand in the strife that was suddenly taking
place within Dunnal Krannok. Fearing what such a man might do if he possessed the keys to the sanctum, she called for her champion,
Naecharael to retrieve the twin keys from Hagar, Thurbardaine of Mithrilgard, and Sundar, the Thurbardaine of Rockhome.
Dazgard arrived in the halls of Rockhome before Naecharael and before the angel could gain audience with
the Thurbardaine, Dazgard whispered words of magic into the clan king's ear. Sundar fell beneath Dazgard's spell and agreed to imprison
the angel should it ask for his key. When the angel came before Sundar to ask for the return of the key, Sundar had Naecharael imprisoned.
Ulgar, son of Sundar, was a skilled apprentice and a willing accomplice in Dazgard's evil plots. At the
request of his master, he strode into the halls of Mithrilgard, assaulted Thurbardaine Hagar, and stole the key given to them by
Demoriel. The blatant theft incensed Hagar and he rallied his armies and marched upon Rockhome to take his key back from Sundar's son.
Ulgar, son of Sundar, returned to his father with the armies of Hagar close behind. When Sundar learnt of what his son had done he
cast him out from the Rockhome clan and sequestered him in a hidden oubliette. Alas, Ulgar had hidden the key upon himself with magic
and it too was lost within the oubliette.
Hagar, Thurbardaine of Mithrilgard, brought his armies into the halls of Rockhome and a great battle took
place, during which Sundar, the Thurbardaine of Rockhome was slain. Hagar's able men delivered Sundar's key to their lord, thinking it
to be the one which had been stolen. Hagar, his armies at ready, then resolved himself to destroy the uprising of evil that was rising
from the lower halls. He returned to Mithrilgard to only place the key upon his throne and seal his clan hall, then he went to the greathall
of the ten clans to summon the other Thurbardaines for a great counsel.
Meanwhile, as Hagar and Sundar battled, Dazgard went to the prison of Naecharael and fortified great magics
to keep the favored of Demoriel there. Having done this, Dazgard then traveled to the Inner Sanctum in the company of a dwarf called
Korl, a mighty warrior and blessed by the evil god Asst. Korl was known to the sons of Hallanstaen to be the evil who slew the great
dwarven hero called Bruindar and took the mighty Horn of Thundering. In the Inner Sanctuary they battled against Demoriel and Korl was
slain, but in the time it took Demoriel to defeat Korl, Dazgard had woven a powerful magic that bound her powerless and still.
Dazgard invested the Black Word, stolen from the Eternal Lords, into Demoriel and she was driven mad by its
vile power. Then he rose above her, taking the Horn of Thundering, prepared a mounting stone for it at the nexus of the sanctum, and
breathed the Black Word through it. This act caused a terrible curse to fall upon all who heard the mighty horn's roar; they fell dead
and then rose up in undeath. Furthermore, any creature slain by those who had been touched by the Black Word would also rise in undeath.
Dazgard departed from the Inner Sanctum and hid himself nearby. The angels of Demoriel returned with haste
as they felt the mighty invocation of evil issue out from the sanctum. There they found their leader, Demoriel, crazed and bound. While
they looked upon their fallen leader, Dazgard closed the doors of the sanctum and thus imprisoned Demoriel and all the remaining angels
Joining his undead armies, Dazgard led them in battle for many days. With the Thundering Horn of Bruindar
he added many dwarven dead to his armies. More than once he was slain in battle, but Dazgard had fashioned a phylactery for his soul,
so he would return but a short time later. No dwarf could find and destroy the phylactery which kept Dazgard alive because he had hidden
it beneath the mounting stone, within the Inner Sanctum. The armies of Dunnal Krannok were slowly driven before the growing armies of
undead until they had abandoned their clan halls and lingered only near the closest parts of the greathall's gates to the outside world.
While his armies held the dwarves at bay, Dazgard departed to the deepest tunnels, deeper than even the dwarven mines reached, and called
forth the spirit of a great red dragon called Raehan the Still.
This red dragon once dwelt in the fiery mountains of Dunnal Krannok, where it lived in solitude and
study of powerful arcane arts. Centuries earlier, Malfronag of Fire chased Raehan from its lair. When Malfronag was slain by Sundra and
Duric the horde of Raehan was dispersed among the dwarven peoples. Thus, when Raehan died it became a ghost because it was it was too
poor to purchase its position within the draconic afterlife. It became driven to reclaim its horde, even in undeath, before its spirit
could find rest.
To fulfill his plans, Dazgard required that the Gates of the Afterlife be opened. As long as they remained
so, the spirits of his undead army could not be sent to the afterlife; his army would be invincible. Further, with the gates opened
he would be able to transcend conventional mortal limitations and become ever more powerful and capable of defeating Demoriel completely.
He bargained with the ghost of Raehan. In return for opening the Gates of the Afterlife and guarding them until he returned from the
Inner Sanctum, Dazgard would assist the dragon in rebuilding its horde. Furthermore, if the gates were opened, Raehan would also grow
in power and be more capable of gathering all that it had lost. Thus, Raehan agreed and did as bidden. The gates were opened and while
Raehan stood guard over them Dazgard departed to search for his apprentice and to take the remaining key from Hagar, Thurbardaine of
In absence of Dazgard's leadership, the undead armies were less effective against the dwarves and the
men of the earth were able to regain their strength. The Thurbardaine of Mithrilgard rallied his armies and plunged deep into Dunnal
Krannok to pursue Dazgard. In the upper halls of Mithrilgard they did battle once again and with the help of priests of Clannadigan and
Khazadul, Dazgard was magically entrapped within a giant crystal before he could retrieve either of the keys to the Inner Sanctum. Thus
Raehan would be doomed to keep the gates of the afterlife open for many thousands of years, according to the terms of its contract with
Though Dazgard had been imprisoned and was no longer a threat, the unkillable army of undead and the terrible
curse forever doomed Dunnal Krannok. Hagar stayed behind with his champions to do battle against the undead and provide a rear guard for
his armies to escape with the crystal that contained Dazgard. Though he too hoped to escape, Hagar was overcome by the hordes of undead
and he was slain in valiant battle.