King Thadlok Falstaff

Twenty-eight years after The Swarm had brought the Dwarven civilization to the point of oblivion, the greatest hero of the war, King Dwellok Falstaff, died at the hands of his brother. Thadlok - warhungry and bloodthirsty - rose to power and unleashed an iron-fisted reign of total law upon his countrymen, introducing conscription to the army of those above the age of fifteen (children in Dwarven years) issuing every warrior with a commandment of loyalty and a duty of at least seventy-five years beneath the sword and shield of the King's Army.

After an intense and brutal seven year training plan which he personally developed and oversaw, he declared war upon the kingdoms of men and advanced his armies south into the newly created state of Faldon.

Although the Royal Houses of Faldon had done their best to prepare their defenses, the sheer size of the onslaught and the immense capability the Dwarves showed for war completely overwhelmed them. Within two weeks, the Royal Family had fled south to seek refuge among the Ashkashi Elves. Thadlok declared himself ruler of Faldon, but did not for a moment cease his relentless march of war.

Thadloks immense armies separated into three prongs. The first and smallest, headed west to conquer the country of Lár, the second headed east into Tradail and the third and largest, commanded by his son Hellka Falstaff, pushed south-west into Torani. The two western armies converged upon Siar, razing the country virtually to the ground before heading east to regroup with the second army on the Torani-Ashkashi border. In just five months, King Thadlok Falstaff had conquered the entire nothern hemisphere of Talvir.

In the eighth month of his campaign, whilst amassing his armies just north of the Ashkashi border, an halfling assassin acting on unknown orders crept into the encampment and slit King Thadlok Falstaff's throat as he slept. Before the alarm could be raised, the assassin took his own life. Hellka Falstaff ascended to the throne.

Hellka consigned, by Royal Decree, half of his waiting army to begin the long march home to Karga. Dressed in his finest silver armour, armed with nothing but his war hammer, his fathers crown tucked into his waistband, Hellka walked out of the encampment alone, crossed the border into Ashkashi territory and strode out into the barren dunes of the desert.

Dying of thirst, skin peeling with sun burn and still muscles still exhausted from the long campaign, he stumbled into the camp of an Ashkashi tribe and collapsed into the oasis at its centre. The Ashkashi, not knowing who he was, cared for him. When he awoke, he was greeted by the great High-Priest Farrael and the refugeed Royal Family of Faldon. Hellka told them who he was, showed them his fathers crown and informed them flatly that the war was over, that they could return to their countries of birth and rule over them, so long as they pledged themselves vassals of the Dwarven Kingdom.

Hellka returned to his army with a retinue of Elven warriors and the Faldon Royal family. He returned home to the comfortably cold landscape and the ale filled great halls of his ancestors in Karga. His first act as ruler was to return his fathers body to the flames from which it had come.

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