How Thunderholme fell, only to rise again
Thunderholme, ancestral seat of Clan Thunderhammer and home to the largest dwarven population in the region, fell in 1394DR. Its mighty defenders and their allies proved insufficient to stave off the occult power of the Sibilant Shade - a dracoliche whose legendary infamy is matched only by its cruel cunning. In a day destined to forevermore stain the memories of the dwarven people, the might and majesty of Thunderholme lied in ruin and in ashes. The dead haunt the halls, and the wounded prayed for the nightmare to end, as adventurers from nearby Arabel delved into the broken fortress in search of survivors.
And little by little, those who were not fated to die with their home, made their way in dribs and drabs to Arabel herself. From one ruin to another, they entered the metaphorical gates of Old Town, the first sign of shelter in this forsaken land. A slimy pit of criminals, doomsayers and the impoverished though it was, shelter it was too. Fights broke out. Beggers and Ladies of the Night, muggers and unassailable preachers all had their interaction with the dwarven refugees, and almost all of them ultimately resulted in bruised limbs and black eyes - at best. Before too long the lack of leadership amongst the dwarves begun to show through. The line of Thunderhammer was assumed extinguished. Though a few clamour for the title of King, it was a hollow battle. The majesty of their hold was no more, and with it, a weeping cavity reminded one and all that they have faced their doom and lost. So complete was their fall from prosperity that within days of hearing of Clan Thunderhammer's defeat, the duergar of the deep raided mercilessly the fallen hold. Slaves and artifacts, riches and lore, swallowed up by the deep darkness that lurked below all.
Anger gave way to tears. Tears gave way to ale. Shylocks' Pub increasingly saw the custom of the beleagured dwarves, and many a jeered was cut short by a dwarf already sensitive to her plight suffering no insults. Though often a dreary bunch, occasionally caught in dull songs of remembrance and prayer, the dwarves were later generally left well enough alone. But Old Town remained the stopover point. Some few made makeshift camps in its broken corridors, whether to remain a welcome home to any more refugees or a staging ground from which to avenge Thunderholme upon the dread dracoliche who still menaced somewhere in the mountain. Would-be dragonslayers walked among priests attempting to continue their ancient traditions, and nobles squabbled for authority in the grime of Old Town.Some travel onwards. To Eveningstar, to Suzail, or beyond Cormyr. To ply their trades and make their way in search of kin and hold - while others sunk into madness and corruption, unable to comprehend their loss. All the while the elders of the clan attempted to sustain their respect for one another and the other races, but there is one thing they searched for most of all... to find one fit to lead the Dwarves of Thunderholme in this hour of darkness.
After the fall of Thunderholme, what remained of the once fierce and proud clans migrated to Arabel. Not only homeless in what remained of a city torn apart by the primordial, the destitute dwarves were tearing themselves apart over opposing opinion and the lack of a true leader. Months went by with the dwarves residing in tents on the border between Old Town and the Citadel, with no hope of reclaiming their homeland in sight. The tide changed with the guidance of Joshua Aldek's Apprentice Arcavius Thunderclasp, who envisioned a new home in the ruins of what the locals now called old town. After weeks of hardship and battles with the local gangs, the dwarves were able to pull together and reclaim the ruined De'Schurrian Estate from the Chaos Brigade and claim it for themselves. While their thirst for home was not quenched by the satisfaction of victory, it did give them that glimmer of hope they needed.
Trade was booming, and many now-famous dwarves made their mark on Arabellean society through blacksmithing, mining, and adventuring. Some such as Dorna the Brave and Arcavius even went as far as to become legends, fighting along side not only Arabel's greatest heroes but Lord Hardcastle, Lord Lhal, and the King himself to save Faerun from years of rampaging dragons. But still no leader was made king, and guidance only came from a council of elders too crippled by disagreements to lead to decisive action on reclaiming their home. By mere chance alone, a party of adventurers lead by Dame Alisha Leonore of House Hardcastle, came a cross a mysterious yet powerful hammer in a lost hall in the Thrivaldi ruins. Using the knowledge of the dwarven scholar Kimli, the healer of the Blackwall, the adventurers were able to uncover that it was the legendary Thunderhammer guarded by the last Thrivaldi king, that they have stumbled upon. After recovering the hammer, the adventurers gave the hammer to a little known outsider dwarf by name Brita, whom camped alone in the Thunderpeaks. In return of the Dame's generous act of kindness, the Dwarven Embassy aided Lord Hardcastle in rebuilding the southern parts of Old Town giving Arabel a new district and a new life.
In the tome "The Truth of Thrivaldi - "The tale of the Rose Gold King" ", the Dame Aelin Kingswood had claimed Brita was the rightful heir of the Thunderhammer and Queen of the dwarves. Struck by gold lust, gold and shield dwarves alike flocked to Arabel seeking to stake their claim as King of Thunderholme by marriage. However, neither Brita nor the elders supported this claim, leaving the dwarves still leaderless. As the dwarven suitors came and went, some remained in Arabel allowing the Dwarven Embassy to grow. Months later the words of another Thunderhammer began circle among the Arabellans, speaking of a dwarven Prince whom yet again remained unconfirmed by the elders. Upon the anniversary of the fall of Thunderholme, the Thunderhammer called, by the Will of Stone and Lightning, by the Will of Dwarves and Their Gods, and the dwarven Embassy Marched with a host of adventurers to the Thunderpeaks. An army of Duergar had flooded from the Underdark through secret tunnels into the Thunderpeaks and sought to slay the last Thunderhammer bloodline. Battle clashed, battle reigned, battle ensued as representatives of Hardcastle, the Thayan Embassy, Purple Dragons and Arabel Militia fought shoulder to shoulder with the dwarves. Through their heroism, Brita was saved from the infiltrator, Snorri, Norothor of Deep Duerra. The charge was lead by the cripples Cogger Ogretoes and Thunderguard Borin Battleborn.
Upon the defeat of the duergar army the Elders arrived and proclaimed Brita Thunderhammer QUEEN of THUNDERHOLME! And so the Embassy Knelt, one and all, and shouted to the heavens, "All Hail the Queen of Thunder!". A new dawn rose on the dwarven people, gleaming like a bright emerald during the coronation. Their newly crowned Queen declared it her divine quest to slay the The Sibilant Shade and reclaim Thunderholme once and for all. With hope rekindled to return to the Halls of Thunderholme, every dwarf felt a surge of aspiration and passion: Dwarven warriors picked up their axes once more, blacksmiths began to once again practice their ancient dwarven crafts. Labor flourished to the Dwarven Embassy, with a contract sealed between the Dwarven Embassy's High Priest Thifur Thunderhammer and Lord Hardcastle to together reclaim the Halls of Thrivaldi to rediscover the ancient lore of the mythical rosegold. Many believed it was certain that with the support of House Hardcastle and the leadership of Queen Brita, revenge against the Sibilant Shade was finally within reach.
Upon the call of Queen Brita Thunderhammer and High Priest Thifur Thunderhammer, the Dwarves of Thunderholme and their allies marched upon the chosen of Null, the Sibilant Shade. At first the battle seemed lost, the Dwarves and their allies fell in hundreds to the mighty darkness which smothered the mountains as the snow turned red by blood. Soon enough the Sibilant Shade herself rose to the challenge to slay the last of Thunderhammer once and for all. Yet, thanks to the Heart Breakers and the diligence of those whom had striven for many months to undermine the power of the Shade, the Sibilant Shade was eventually caught at disadvantage. Having already suffered wounds from the Gold Dragon's strike mere days before the battle, she was rendered unable to flee from the battle. As the Thunderhammer, Earthsplitter struck the Sibilant Shade in union with the forces of thunder and of earth, the dracolich crashed down into the valley of the Thunderpeaks her heart scattering thanks to the Heart Breakers within the Thunderpeaks.
The army descended down upon the downed dracolich in the valley of victory. Bodies of adventures and dwarves alike tossed aside by the mighty power of the Sibilant Shade, the dracolich's power was still enough to withstand the power of an entire army. Despite this, the Queen and High Priest stoically persisted, with continued attacks with Earthsplitter and the recently rediscovered Thunderhammer. the Sibilant Shade could not resist the sustained assault. With her heart scattered the dracolich knew her fate was sealed, and in a final, desperate act the Sibilant Shade clutched then Queen of Thunderholme to take the dwarven Queen with her down to the domain of Null. But it was too late, the Dracolich's body collapsed in on itself and the Sibilant Shade's roared in anger as she fell down onto the ground never to rise again. The Thunderpeaks fell silent, the snow about now blackened by the ashes of the Sibilant Shade's death. As the Queen and her army emerged from the ashes of the dracolich, they cheered in unison as the army of the Blackened Peaks. Claiming their victory over the Sibilant Shade and the reclamation of Thunderholme.