“There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.”
-J.R.R Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
Background200 years ago, drawn by legends of untold wealth that lay within the depths of the mountain, Dwarves came to Hydra Mountain to establish a new kingdom. Before they could establish their new mountain kingdom they needed to drive a race of serpent-men and slay their terrible god, a primaeval Elder Hydra, thought to be the progenitor of all Hydra.
In the end, the dwarves stood victorious and they claimed Hydra Mountain and surrounding lands as their own. Without wasting any time the fledgling Kingdom of Tharzad-Dul was established and soon began to flourish.
Over time the deeper into the depths of the mountain they dug, the greater the dwarves fortunes became. Then came an amazing discovery. A new mineral was discovered. The ore was a fascinating shade of lustrous purple that seemed to hold an inner fire. They named this new discovery Vrillium. Through research and experimentation it was discovered that Vrillium held magical properties and could be worked like other precious metals. Soon the forges were producing Vrillium weapons, armour and other objects. Word began to spread and the fame and fortunes of Tharzard-Dul grew even greater.
But these fortunes would not to last, and tragedy was about to strike. Within this wonderful new ore hide malevolent properties. Those who spent too much time in it's presence began suffer from sickness that twisted the minds and body. The miners were the first to be affected, followed by those who worked the forges. At first, minor arguments and fist fights began to occur throughout the Stronghold. Paranoia, greed and anger began to spread and then escalate at an alarming rate. Newborns began to be born with horrible mutations, as the cancerous sickness began to spread.
While the stronghold attempted to deal with this terrible blight, a new crisis appeared. From the deepest depth of the Earth a strange race of invaders attacked. This decadent race of albino men known as the Azgarthians had a voracious hunger for Vrillium. The dwarves would hardly have been the first race they had broken and enslaved in order to claim the precious commodity.
Even in the wake of the chaos caused by the Vrillium sickness, it's possible the dwarves might have been able to defeat the Azgarthians. Yet it seemed that Fate was not yet through with the dwarves. Orc's and goblin tribes, jealous of the Dwarven Kingdom's prosperity and seething with hatred discovered the Dwarves weakened state and attacked.
Today, the once glorious stronghold of Tharzad-Dul lies in ruins. It is now the home of Orcs and Goblins, and other more bizarre creatures. Deep in the depths below, the slaves of the Azgarthians mine their precious Vrillium, and the scaly shadow of the serpent-men returns. Yet hidden throughout the mountain hold lay the undiscovered treasures of the fallen Dwarven Kingdom. Waiting to be claimed by adventurers bold enough to brave the time worn halls...