Era of the Five Kings
After the empire of Tar Taargadth collapsed in 1551 AR, a new dwarven civilization flourished around the Sky Citadel of Highhelm in the Five Kings Mountains. Five separate dwarven nations were established, each led by a different brother. Within the space of six years, Baron-mayor of Highhelm, Gardrick I founded the Kingdom of Gardadth (1557 AR), Saggorn the Holy established the Pious Kingdom of Saggorak (1559 AR), Doggon created Doggadth, the Impenetrable Kingdom (1560 AR), Grak the Younger oversaw the founding of the Laborious Kingdom of Grakogan (1561 AR), and Taggrick I built the Everlasting Kingdom of Taggoret (1562 AR).
Five Kings Wars
A mere nine years after the founding of the last of the five kingdoms, the first of no less than nineteen civil wars broke out in 1571 AR. These Five Kings Wars lasted over 700 years, only ending when the dwarves tired of the carnage and decided to go to negotiations. With the help of a human delegation from Druma, the dwarves negotiated the Kerse Accord in 2332 AR. This treaty ended the civil wars and began a long-lasting peace. Great towering sculptures of the five kings were carved at the highest peaks of the mountains to celebrate the treaty.
The peace sadly lasted only 160 years, before the dwarves' ancient enemy, the orcs, invaded the dwarven kingdoms in 2492 AR. The orcs besieged Highhelm for five years and although they were never able to take the city, the Kingdom of Gardadth collapsed. After their failed assault on Highhelm, the orcs then moved on to Doggadth. The dwarves defended their city for 19 years, but eventually Doggadth fell. The orcs moved on, blockading Saggorak and invading Grakodan simultaneously in 2507 AR. Grakodan fell after two years, but the siege of Saggorak ended only when the last dwarf starved to death in 2519 AR. Taggoret was the last kingdom to fall in 2526 AR after 17 years of war; the Era of the Five Kings was over.
The subsequent period following the fall of the last of the Five Kingdoms, became known as the Wild Era. During the nearly 700 years of its existence, the orcs controlled the Five Kings Mountains and only Highhelm remained to defend the dwarven and human civilizations in the area.
Khadon the Mighty arrived in the Five Kings Mountains in 3197 AR, aiming to destroy the orcs and end their 700-year occupation of the region. After 82 years of war, Khadon defeated the orcs in 3279 AR at the Battle of Splitmist Pass. Khadon founded the empire of Tar Khadurrm in 3279 AR and the city of Jernashall in 3312 AR. Jernashall became the preeminent city of the new empire, although Highhelm remained its capital. Jernashall became so important that the nations of Cheliax and Isger petitioned it to help them build a surface city close to it. With the help of the dwarves, the city of Raseri Kanton was founded in 3451 AR, and became a vital trade center in the region. Khadon passed away from extreme age in the same year and his son, Sidrik, was crowned king of Tar Khadurrm. A few decades later, in 3495 AR, the bustling metropolis of Jernashall was named the capital of the empire. For 500 years, Tar Khadurrm and its cities flourished, until the Rending of Droskar's Crag in 3980 AR.
The seismic and volcanic event known as the Rending destroyed Jernashall and its sister city of Raseri Kanton. In Jernashall, a river of lava spewed forth from the great magmafall in the center of the city and killed every citizen within minutes. The fate of Raseri Kanton was just as horrifying: the whole city fell into the earth. Due to the Rending, King Sidrik III of Tar Khadurrm moved its capital from Jernashall back to Highhelm.
The Rending did what centuries of war and conflict never could: it finally broke the spirit of the dwarven people. The Rending marked the beginning of the decline of Tar Khadurrm, as the dwarves fell into apathy and indifference. For the next 500 years, the dwarves of the Five Kings Mountains carried on, but at the end they fractured and tried to wrest power for themselves and their families.
The last great king of Tar Khadurrm, King Talhrik the Industrious, tried to inject the spirit and ethics of dwarvendom back into his people but after his death in 4277 AR, the dwarves once again fractured. Garbold Talhrik was son of King Talhrik the Industrious. Upon his father's death Garbold was crowned but only after much infighting and passionate negotiation. Unfortunately became a victim of treachery. Ordrik Talhrik was King's cousin and closest advisor but also a cleric of Droskar. He was controlling his cousin with addictive substances and making him to cede more and more power to the priests of Droskar. Ordrik murdered his cousin and seized the throne of the Five Kings Mountains kingdom in 4369 AR and attempted to create a theocracy. The resulting Forge War raged for 13 years. Generals loyal to the true crown fought to keep their kingdom but they failed and in 4382 AR, Ordrik declared himself theocrat and all dwarves had to work in Droskar's name. For nearly 100 years the dwarves of the Five Kings Mountains lost all every sense of art and beauty and their craftmanship became merely adequate. Many dwarves fled to the other dwarf kingdoms, as well as settlements in Druma and the Mindspin Mountains. In the end priests could not maintain their hold on the other dwarves and Ordrik's theocracy crumbled in 4466 AR, with entire settlements abandoned.
In the 250 years since the fall of Droskar's Kingdom no dwarf has achieved to unite their people. The remaining four Sky Citadels are great metropolises, but none can claim to be more than a city-state.
- David Eitelbach, Russ Taylor, JD Wiker, Keri Wiker, and Hank Woon. (2009). Dwarves of Golarion, p. 8. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-204-3
- James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 67. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
- Mike McArtor. (2008). Guide to Darkmoon Vale, p. inside front cover. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-100-8
- David Eitelbach, Russ Taylor, JD Wiker, Keri Wiker, and Hank Woon. (2009). Dwarves of Golarion, p. 9. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-204-3
- David Eitelbach, Russ Taylor, JD Wiker, Keri Wiker, and Hank Woon. (2009). Dwarves of Golarion, p. 9-10. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-204-3
- James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 36. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
- David Eitelbach, Russ Taylor, JD Wiker, Keri Wiker, and Hank Woon. (2009). Dwarves of Golarion, p. 10. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-204-3