1000 BC; After subterranean expansion through the Brau Empire is halted, the Grandfathers began toying with the idea of overland expansion after the followers of the “unseen evil”, the Drow, began to corrupt and pervert many intelligent beasts as well as Dwarves, into sedition.
In the Hall of Grandfathers, much debate was held over the topic, over three years worth. Until it was decided to form an Alliance Military consisting of three central Dwarven clans, Oakenshield, Strongaxe and O’Druin. Shortly thereafter, Alliance Military outposts began appearing in and around the Corliss Bay. Several hundred years later their new empire stretches along most of the northern expanse of the mountains. The proud Dwarves have named their new empire Drakonis Brau after the Dragons seen throughout the range.
Present day 500 BC; It is a dark and uncertain age in the empire of Dwarves. In the southern arc of the Draconis Brau lies the foul and cursed Rotsca Swamp, and to the chagrin of the Dwarves, the curse continues into the very mountain itself. Mining expedition members began to fall ill and then go completely mad after working the damp and malodorous rock. A dozen Shamans were sent to consecrate the area and failed in doing so. The Elder Shamans declared the evil too perverse for even the rituals of honorable Dwarves. The Grandfathers declared the southern mountains forbidden and to abandon all outlying settlements.
You’ve all reached your 50th birthday and have surrendered to the call of duty. Training complete, skills acquired and ready for use in the service of the King, you’ve been given orders to report to Patrol Captain Viginti for your assignment.
You arrive at the patrol camp outside the storage mines near the Hall of Grandfathers, a holy place where only the most highly honored Dwarf is laid to rest. A place all Dwarves aspire to end up when they pass. The camp consists of six tents and a large training yard. You discover Viginti in the training yard watching two wolves play in the mud. He is a black haired dwarf of average build. He wears his beard in three long braids. When he turns to greet you you notice he is missing his right leg from the knee down, a wooden peg replaces it.
A group of soldiers is returning from their rounds as you finish saluting.
“Report.” Captain Viginti orders the harried patrol unit.
“Another break in Captain, this time they took a whole ton of iron ore!” Viginti only raises his eyebrow at this unbelievable report. The Patrol unit stares questioningly at the Captain.
“Relieved of post Red Unit!” He barks at them making all of them flinch.
In unison they all salute and back away three steps before turning around. Without turning around he address you.
“Cadets. You’ve been assigned to my command. This is Overland Patrol. You will be patrolling an area of the perimeter known among the Alliance as The Bottoms.”
This tidbit of information makes you a little uneasy. At the Alliance Academy the Bottoms are considered almost as dangerous as the Mountain Patrol. Although nobody could ever tell why it was so dangerous.
“ Your responsibility is to monitor the Supply Mines along the road to the east. There are two paths that access it. One is through a wooded area, the other is a hill path running above the mine shafts on the north side of the woods. Vanguardsmen are posted at both entry points.”
Captain Viginti motions to a large tent. “Barracks.”
He turns his gaze to a wooden building just left of the Barracks.”Armory.”
He motions toward a dark maroon tent marked ‘officers’.“Report to duty officer Akrohm to get your equipment, and bunks.”
After a week of training and patrol duty you are stationed, yet again, inside the Supply Mine Access. It is an hour till you will be relieved of duty when you think you hear voices coming from the entrance.