The Empire of Ashlock
The Empire of Ashlock is an ancient on. Existing for nearly 1,000 years.
It is technically a dwrfish empire but many of it’s inhabitants have never seen the a dwarf! The reason for this is that all dwarfs are warriors who are raiseded for war from there earliest day.
In despair the dwarf known as The Founder sat for a year upon birth mountain and tried to speak to the dwarf god Ashlon. He returned to citadel of Ashlock with a plan.
The army was to pull back inside the walls of Ashlock and every Adult Dwarf was to be a warrior. The farmers and blacksmiths and artisans all laid down their tools and began to train. The original dwarf stood on the wall and held off the orcs that were decimating their numbers while the new warriors trained every day. The dwarf army stood for 30 years on the battlement facing horde after horde of orc. The stones of the Ashlock Citadel are still red and black to this day with blood of dwarf and black blood of the orcs.
The new army trained in fighting as a unit and were taught the saveragery of orcs in battle and the discipline that was present in the dwarf army. They only engage in one non training activity in their thirty years of the defense of Ashlock Citadel, they tunneled out of the citadel and began to raid the orc supplies and the surrounding area for supplies.
In the 30th year of the siege of Ashlock Citadel The Founder fell in combat on the walls. The Founder himself prophesised that this was their god’s will and when he fell in battle that new army was to be released to destroy the orc forces.
The new army was marshalled but when it marched from the gates of Ashlock Citadel it found that the orc army was gone!
The orcs had 50 years previously taken the human city of Langar. The orcs had slaughtered it army after their surrender and left a small garrison behind. As the year’s past fewer and fewer inhabitants remebered the saveragery of the orc conquest and only saw the saveragery of the occupation. They rose up the day before the founder died and killed most of the orcs in their city. The orcs of Tualaz feared that if the other human villages also revolted then there would be no supplies for it’s army and it’s breeding pits. They resolved to make an example of the city Langar. They called the army besieging Ashlock and many of the garrisons of smaller town and villages to the destruction of Langar.
The teaming might of the Tualaz nation surrounded the town by night.
The new dwarf army was determined to follow the The Founder’s prophecy and destroy the orcs. They followed the trail left by the orcs and arrived through their disiplined march at the city of Langar only hours behind the orcs that they followed. The dwarfs watched the orcs encircle the city.
The dwarves steadly marched into the orc force before they started their advance on the town. The orcs believed from earlier battles that sheer weight of numbers would destroy the orcs but the tortoise formation used by the dwarves meant that there was a tireless square of warriors that killed all who reached it. Orcs attacked for the whole day and then the night. when their king realised there was no way to break this force he ordered the retreat. He was killed by his own body guard. Seeing the orcs trying to retreat the dwarves suddenly on a word of command broke the tortoise formation and with the screams of savagery they threw themselves as individuals at the fleeing foes.
At the end of the battle the armed might of the nation Tualaz lay dead on the field.
The dwarves gathered their dead and marched back to the citadel leaving the folk of Langar bemused. Thanking to thier good fortune they made their way out of their homes and began to plunder the dead orcs.
The people of Langar formed a small militia and sent it to free the surrounding towns a villages of their orcish garrisons. The weak militia succeeded but with many casuality. In thanks for their freedom and in the hope of protection the weakend towns and villages pledged allegiance to the city of langar and that city became a centre for trade between the communities as it had been before the orc occupation.
So it was that Langar began to be come a prosperous place again and the population began to grow.
Without a miltary to speak of rule was taken by those merchents and traders who grew wealthiest first. This ruling body was named The Council of Langar.
Rumours spread of the wealth that had been taken from the orcs at the battle of Langar. They reached the ears of the king of the neighbouring city of Hamil. He began to assemble a force to take the city of Langar and take it’s new wealth to himself.
Meanwhile the Dwarves of the Ashlock Citadel starved as they had no longer any farmers or merchants… The supplies they had taken from the orcs ran out then they took to demanding food from the farmers of Langar’s new dominion.
Talking deep into the night the council decided on a stratedgy that would solve the problems of the dwarf raids and the war with Hamil. They sent a negoitator to the dwarves.
When the feared knife men of hamil arrived at the city of Langar they were met outside it’s ruined walls by the dwarves of Ashlock. The easy victory that the king of [Hamil was expecting was ash in his mouth as his light knifemen were slaughtered by the heavily armoured and disiciplined dwarves. The king and his commanders died trying to break through the dwarven lines to get back to the city.
This assistance of the dwarves came at a high price for Langar. They had become a vassal of the dwarves and would feed the citadel of Ashlock and provide it with goods it needed for it’s army.
But the sly council had negoiated well. They were left in charge of the running of Langar and could do what they willed except declare war and ally themselves with other nations. The dwarves who had been skillful artisan were also to teach their secrets to the artisans of the city (so as to allow them to make the armour and weapons they needed).
With the King of Hamil dead The Council of Langar set about persuading the dwarves that the absense of leaders in Hamil was a risk to the well being of Langar. The dwarves lacking real political accumen agreed and installed a mayor in the city to rule it. The mayor was chosen and could be re-appointed by The Council of Langar!
The rement of Hamil army of long knives were ordered to turn in their weapons but that was all the penalty the city paid for it’s attack and soon that city became more prosperous too. The long knives were not handed in and many became theives praying on wealthy citzens while still bearing their old army discipline. This was the birth of The Knives the criminal organisation that exists to this day.
This pattern of attacks by greedy city states followed by their annexation to the Ashlock Empire saw the addition of several cities though none were as rebelious or troublesome as the city of Hamil seeing how well it had fared.