The Game of Many Things
In the year 720, the dwarves were at the height of their prosperity. Sitting in their stone kingdom atop the rough Faldur Mountains, they had tamed the cold wilderness and came back bearing rare furs, exquisite gems, and fine metals. Spurred on by the demand for their expert craftsmanship, the dwarves settled down into a life of hunting, mining, and crafting. In just fifty short years, they had become known for their unique and masterful skill with stone and metal, and dwarven handiwork was trading throughout the entirety of Taalenar.
The Underwar began in the year 847 when the Deep King Velstaedr ordered the expansion of Dor Faldur's deepest and most prolific mine. As they strove for more wealth, the dwarves lost track of just how deep they had dug and in the end, they disturbed a drow citadel. Enraged and more than a little vengeful, the drow immediately retaliated with war. Riding high on an era of prosperity, the dwarves were fierce and skilled opponents for several decades. When it became clear that the drow were just as violent and stubborn as their enemies, the dwarves withdrew from the Underdark, falling back to their subterranean strongholds to regroup. The drow took advantage of the apparent weakness and pushed foward, but met refreshed resistance and suffered many losses. And, even as they battled on one front, Migduar's neighboring countries Usith and The Amber Wastes slowly chipped away at the dwarven borders, absorbing more and more land into their own countries while the dwarves' backs were turned.
This back-and-forth continued for one hundred and seven years until finally, both sides ceded a "truce". Now, the dwarves are struggling to seal the breach left by the retreating drow. Their population is severely depleted, and there are few dwarves out adventuring now. Those that are found in the wilds are most likely to be traders and those few who travel beyond Migduar's borders are unlikely to be bartered with — their homeland is teetering on the edge of debt. The tradeoff is that, with their minds off of war for the first time in over a century, their wares are finer than ever.
Where are They Now?
After almost two entire generations devoted to a war with the drow, you might say the dwarves are finally learning to love again. They are rediscovering their skill for fine detail and a sort of racial pride in their weaponcraft. Under the careful direction of Deep King Grunnur, Dol Faldur is slowly beginning to loosen its belt and grow again. Once-empty homes are being cleaned and inhabited; the forges glow day and night and hunters prowl the wooded slopes of the mountains for prey.
Despite this tiny flame of hope, however, a faction of dwarves are pushing Grunnur to challenge Usith to regain their lost territory and the Deep King now attempts to balance the restoration of his people with restoration of their lands.