Unearthing the Past
The Drowning of Kroesus
Within the bosom of the earth stands Kroesus, a city that surpasses any that exists on the surface world. Its streets are laid with gold and its floors with ebony. Its gates are silver and bronze, strengthened by such magic that no force could ever break them down. The jewels of the earth have been made into lanterns for its homes, and rare and beautiful stones grace its walls, carved into cunning designs and enchanted against all manner of decay or neglect. No star
that graced the surface skies has ever been as beautiful as Kroesus, the city of the dwarves.
Kroesus was the creation of the first High King, Borin, after he received a vision from Moradin himself. Borin quested deep within the earth to find a home for his scattered people. He searched for many years but was unable to find a home that could serve his vision. Finally, he found a cavern deep within the earth, as large and tall as a mountain, with a lake in the center, an underground river below, and vents that traveled through the earth for miles to the
air above. He knew that he had found a new home, and he summoned his people there.
For fifteen generations they worked, built, and carved his vision into being, using the riches from the earth itself to glorify their deity, bending their skills as craftsmen to every detail of their city. It became the most beautiful place in the entire world. Such beauty however, always draws the weak and cruel as well as the strong and wise. Other races of the earth heard of the magnificent city, and envy grew in their hearts. Such envy came not from the gnomes or
goliaths, for they could create beauty of their own, but from the twisted souls of those who had no beauty in their own hearts: the drow.
The drow heard of the city and desired to take it from the dwarves. They sent spies to watch from the shadows and sneak past the gates, and they turned the hearts of weak dwarves to their bidding. Unable to pass the great gates, they were sly and created a new entrance into the city, disguised with dark magic.
After biding their time for months, the drow attacked from within. They ravaged the city, slaughtering old and young alike, while the dwarf army fought them bravely in the streets. The dwarves were not prepared for the numbers of the drow or the fight on their own lands, and they began to lose the battle.
King Kreadin, then High King of the dwarves, vowed to keep the drow from taking the city, regardless of the cost. The dwarves had long since tapped the underground river, and had devised a method by which the city could be flooded should disaster strike—a plan the drow had
never discovered. When it became clear that the dwarves had been defeated, Kreadin girded himself with his father’s hammer and crown, secretly made his way to the dam room, and opened
the floodgates. The entire city was flooded with the river’s fury, killing drow and dwarf alike in its inexorable torrent.
Only a small group survived, sent by the king to the surface through a secret exit. Where these few dwarves are now is uncertain, but the quest to find them and reclaim the drowned city is the dream of every dwarf hero.