Forges of Karak Azgal
Spires of Iron climb above the stone walls of Karak Azul ‘Iron Peak,’ as they overlook the road and valley below. The citadel occupies the entire plateau, and from every vantage point below one is left with the impression that the hold is the very mountain top. Imposing as this may seem, the lower recesses are vastly more extensive. The mineral deposits of Karak Azul rival those of Karaz–a–Karak, with some of the richest deposits of iron, gold and gemstones found in the World’s Edge Mountains. The artisanship of Karak Azul is renowned throughout the Old World; the weapons, jewelry, etc. are highly valued by many wealthy courtesans throughout.
From the citadel’s southern towers one may observe the fiery disposition of Karag Haraz ‘Fire Mountain’ on the horizon; the lingering harbinger of the Time of Woes and the beginning of the Goblin Wars. Karak Azul is the only southern dwarfhold to have beaten back the greenskins; for a time the orcs and goblins gained a foothold in the western halls and tunnels, but with their exceptional weaponry the dwarves eventually drove them out after 10 years. The greenskins are never far though, nor is the shadow of Karag Haraz.
The aged King Kazador Thunderhorn of the Donarkhun Clan broods in his dimly lit throne room; there was a time in his youth though, when he lived life to the full. Kazador’s immense physique affirmed his incredible strength and he would entertain his subjects performing great feats: lifting a pack – mule laden with gold. He would often drink his greatest warriors under the table, or pursue his favorite sport – hunting greenskins in the mountains. The ego of his youth is little more than a shadow now, for his pride was taken and he is inconsolable.
Some years back while Kazador was on one of his many ‘hunts,’ the Orc Warlord of Black Crag, Gorfang infiltrated the stronghold. Kazador returned to find the hold ransacked, most of his kin missing – including his adored Queen Morga – and his son Prince Kazrik shaved and nailed to the throne. Kazrik was driven by shame from the hold to pursue the Slayer’s Oath; Kazador’s grief is deepened, knowing with a population depleted by centuries of war – he is unable to raise an army large enough to assault the Black Crag.
Kazador offers half his personal wealth to any dwarf that brings his kinfolk home alive (a third to non – dwarves;) a quarter of his fortune to those that would bring them home for a proper burial, and the pick of his treasures to anyone bringing the body of Gorfang to him. Numerous mercenaries and adventurers have set forth on this expedition, non have yet returned to claim the reward, and so Kazador continues pining for what may have been.