The Dwarves were brought to Kaordas serve the Titans, but it is said they would not abandon their god, Durith. A hardy, stout people, the Dwarves did not bear many successful births in this new world, and so their numbers dwindled unto the present day. They are sometimes mistaken for Gnomes, but in truth are taller, more barrel-chested, and are not the children of any nature spirit. Their years number no more than two centuries and a score of years.

The Dwarven City of Anren was their last great nation, but now lies beneath the waves and the Eye of Thunder, which will rage until the ending of all things, as a warning to all who would profane the other Gods. Durith himself weeps in his underground stone chamber when sees what has befallen his people. When the poor, debased settlements of Mospol and Davusk are gone, the Dwarves will have passed from this world into whatever waits their strange kind in the thereafter.

It is a terrible thing, to live to see the end of your world.

I still remember that day, decades ago though it was. My sons and I were returning from a trading voyage to the east. We viewed our home island, the place where I had come of age, where my forefathers were buried in their tombs of stone, where my wife and kin awaited news of our prosperous dealings.

Then the sun went out. It set, rose, and set again. The sky turned pitch-black, then lightened to a blood-red, leaking out from angry, full clouds.

At first, mad with fear, I thought a mountain had risen up behind our island.

It was a wave.

There was the shock of absolute destruction, and all went black.

I was awakened, lying half-submerged on several tied planks some time later. Where our island had been, there was only a howling storm, pouring down from a swirling black mass of clouds above.

Only my youngest son and I survived—not only of those who had been on our ship, but of our entire clan.

We made our way to a small fishing settlement, some miles away, where the maelstrom had not reached. There, we looked across the water, waiting for the darkened sheet of rain and wind to stop so we could return to where our homeland had been.

We wait still.

Art by Storn Cook. Used under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.


The Middle Isles zacharythefirst