Forges of Karak Azgal
During the dwarves’ Golden Age the dwarfhold known today as Karak Azgal ‘Hoard Peak’ was then called Karak Izril ‘City of Jewels.’ Along with Karak Eight Peaks and the other southern dwarfholds, Karak Izril withstood the earthquakes during the ‘Time of Woes,’ and the initial onslaught of orcs, goblins and skaven. Following a thousand year respite, and relative peace, the greenskins renewed their assault on the southern dwarfholds. Karak Eight Peaks fell, leaving the southern holds vulnerable. Soon the skaven erupted from the tunnels below, as the greenskins rampaged through the Halls of Karak Izril above. Knowing the fate of their hold was beyond doubt, the dwarves sealed their treasures in a hidden vault – protected with powerful runes of concealment. The infested hold was then called Karak Azgal, by the dwarves thereafter. Unable to find the plunder sought, the invaders largely abandoned Karak Azgal, and attacked Karak Drazh.
Many years later the dragon Graug the Terrible found the vault where most of the dwarven treasure was hidden, and rumors of the dragon’s hoard brought many dwarf and human treasure seekers to the ruins. Men began calling the place Dragon’s Crag, and Graug added the wealth of his many victims to his hoard.
Many of the dwarven expeditions were sponsored by the Jewelers Guild, having long laid claim to the treasures of Karak Azgal; their lack of success never diminishing their determination. In time, the young dwarf Skalf crept toward the sleeping dragon, and thrust his rune – engraved gromril blade into the beast. Graug’s death throes scattered treasure about, and its agonizing wails alerted the ruins’ lingering inhabitants of the dragon’s demise. Skalf grabbed what treasure he could carry, hid the finest pieces among the rest, and set a cave – in to reseal the vault.
With the fortune recovered, Skalf ‘Dragonslayer’ and his descendants constructed a small fortress over the main entrance to Karak Azgal’s ruins and claimed the title of king; they named the citadel Kazad Migdhal ‘Gatehouse Fortress,’ but it is more commonly called Skalf’s Hold. With a relatively small population the current King Thorgin ‘Dragonslayer’ Skalfson and his predecessors have yet to establish their authority over the realm or the ruins. With the passing of the dragon the ruins have grown more dangerous, as bands of orcs, goblins, skaven, trolls and even more vile creatures have come to call the ruins home.
The King encourages treasure hunters (petty thieves, as the dwarves call them) to search the ruins, and vainly hopes they’ll dispatch the denizens too. For the opportunity to seek their fortune, they need only pay the King’s toll to gain entry, and have their illicit gains taxed upon leaving the ruins.