Whitehood part 2

While other warlords and ineffective councils had been fighting for control of Whitehood, the dwarves of Oringard had been pushed out of their home by the encroaching elves and fled to the northeast.  The dwarves already had a fall back plan, as the underground lair of Chance Rock served as a fortified base, but they wanted more.  Pushing west, the dwarves attempted to reach Duinmire, a long ignored dwarven settlement.  As the third century came to a close, the dwarves fortified Duinmire and had begun to populate the region, soon taking notice of Whitehood.  Duinmire was only seven leagues from Whitehood, a full day’s march away.  The dwarves coveted Whitehood, seeing vast resources they could use to establish control in Damir.  When word reached them that Whitehood was in a terrible state, Duinmire began to mobilize.

The tyrant Krogert had demonstrated that he was a competent bully, maintaining a stranglehold over Whitehood and its dissenters.  But history would mark him as a militarily inept bungler who exposed Whitehood to a massive dwarven invasion.  As a means of furthering his rule and fattening his pockets, Krogert routinely organized large patrols to go scouring the countryside, looking for small villages and farmers to raid and intimidate.  These patrols were massive, making up the majority of Krogert’s guard, designed to send an illusion that Krogert’s military was huge.  Spies of Duinmire kept watch of these patrols and noticed they would travel several leagues away from Whitehood, leaving it vulnerable for as long as a full day.  Dwarven agents further gathered that with the patrols on the march, Whitehood would leave only a token force to guard its fortifications.

The 3rd War of Damir began when one of Krogert’s massive patrols went pillaging and the forces of Duinmire attacked suddenly.  The dwarven front was meant to cause chaos in Whitehood, disrupting communications between the garrison there and its leader, Krogert.  The plan worked, and Whitehood was breached by a surge of armored dwarves who pummeled Whitehood’s remaining guard.  In a panic, Krogert packed as much of his belongings as he could carry and fled Whitehood.  He was never seen again.  Leaving Whitehood to the mercy of the dwarven army, Krogert’s cronies bickered over how to rally the people of Whitehood against the forces of Duinmire.

Whitehood was spared from dwarven rule thanks in sole part to a common human soldier named Bandrian.  Conscripted to fight under Krogert’s banner, Bandrian was a frontline soldier fighting for the tyrant to cover his father’s debt to him.  Bandrian had been part of the massive patrol sent to bully the countryside into submission.  Returning to Whitehood early, the patrol noticed that the city was engulfed in chaos and the dwarven army was winning.  The captain of the patrol was seen dropping his sword and running in the opposite direction.  Bandrian seized control of the patrol and rallied them, then charged the rear of the dwarven army.

The poor rear defenses of the dwarven invasion force proved to be its weakness and Bandrian exploited it.  Unsure why reinforcements were unable to reach the frontlines, the dwarves penetrating the city’s defenses were pushing forward with no back line to support them.  Bandrian’s men had wiped out most of the unsuspecting reinforcements and by the time the dwarves realized this they were trapped.  Forced to fight their way out of the city they had fought so hard to penetrate, the dwarven army was almost massacred.  Fleeing Whitehood, the dwarven army gave up its attempt in taking the large human city.

Officially the war was over, but not to Bandrian.  With Krogert gone his minions began to take up where he had left off, but Whitehood rallied around their new hero.  Bandrian was quick to act and led a sizeable uprising to bring down the last of Krogert’s followers.  The public demanded justice and Krogert’s men were swiftly executed.  Whitehood embraced Bandrian as its favorite son and savior, and the title of Protector was offered to the young man, who accepted.  But Bandrian’s thirst for retribution extended beyond Krogert’s men.  He wanted Duinmire dealt with.

Whitehood part 1

Located beneath Mt. Whitehood is the large human settlement named after the white-hooded peak.  The tallest peak of the Golden Mountain range, Mt. Whitehood sits at 14,200 feet high and it is the southern most mountain of said range.  The city rests among the Rossi Heights, the foothills beneath Mt. Whitehood.  Considering Damir’s age (circa 102 ACW), the city of Whitehood came to be settled late in its history.  Proudhill, Belvadore, Duinmire and Chance Rock predate Whitehood’s establishment, most of them by over a hundred years.  Officially, Merrimont was established long before any of them (circa 106 ACW), but the initial human settlement was destroyed by flooding approximately 147 ACW and again in 223 ACW.

Giving up on settling in the lush fields of Merrimont, survivors decided to try their fortunes by settling up north.  The hills and foothills surrounding Mt. Whitehood were untamed and unsettled.  A few sparse villages of native Damish people were about but they were primitive and unsuitable to maintain a viable population.  Humans had multiplied their numbers since the templar Lyndon had led them on a northern trek to new lands.  Those that stayed behind wanted to take advantage of Damir’s lush landscape, fresh water, and defensible settings.

The Rossi Heights presented an ideal place to build a settlement that could be defended.  The abundance of rolling hills would slow any army, and the mountain provided a safeguard against any attack from the  north.  Whitehood became an official human province in 250 ACW, and it started out primarily as a small community of miners.  A council of elders served as the town’s governing body, but as it grew so did its government.  In time, the elders began to jockey for the most influence and power.  This spawned internal fighting among the ruling class and later several bloody feuds which led to a string of warlords taking over Whitehood.  As the political situation in Whitehood deteriorated so did its economy.

Due to its limited agricultural opportunities, Whitehood struggled to keep up with its booming population growth.  The land about Whitehood was not the best for farming, its soil rough and rocky.  Their neighbor to the west, Proudhill, was on the other hand rich in agriculture.  Eventually, a trading post was established between the two large human settlements and Whitehood’s economic situation improved somewhat.  But its political instability was holding the city back.  In a span of nearly seventy years, Whitehood had five different warlords claim jurisdiction of the town.

Even with the political chaos, Whitehood grew from a mining village to a township to a fortress.  Fear of rogue bandits and fearsome monsters drew people behind its walls for protection.  The warlord Keltan attempted to be Damir’s first “king” and establish a bloodline of rulers from Whitehood.  He helped turn Whitehood from a basic fortress to a sizeable keep.  While Keltan ruled for almost forty years (345-84 ACW), his son never ruled a day in Whitehood.  The Keltan line was cut down immediately after following Keltan’s death, his family over-run by a mob and publicly lynched and executed.  The uprising against the Keltans was a planned event, meant to strike when the warlord’s family was most vulnerable.  Led by several concerned citizens over the state of Whitehood, and the fear that warlords such as the Keltans would only lead the city down a dark path, a council was re-established.

Under the governance of a council, Whitehood flourished, establishing a trade route to Proudhill and all the way to Belvadore.  Proudhill was rich in agriculture, Belvadore in linens, and Whitehood in salt.  Because of the volcanic region around Mt. Whitehood, an active volcano, hot springs producing mineral salt were ever present.  Known as the “Salt Trade,” Whitehood’s primary resource was the salt mines that paved the way for the city to become an economic giant.  In time, Whitehood’s population grew larger and it began to incorporate outlying villages.  Settlers and villages placed around the hills fell under the protection of the city.

History eventually repeated itself, however, when the rich and influential merchant, Krogert, bought the loyalty of Whitehood’s military guard and took over the council.  Krogert, a fat, slobbery man covered in hair from head to foot, behaved like a bully, intimidating Whitehood into submission by terrorizing households and fellow merchants.  He came to power roughly 430 ACW and was a merciless tyrant who put to death anyone he suspected to be his enemies.  Because of how close Whitehood had become to the other human settlements in Damir, Krogert’s coup caused an economic ripple and backlash.  The Salt Trade was dissolved, with both Proudhill and Belvadore attempting to distance themselves from Krogert and his ilk.

People starved in the streets, and clothes and medicine were hard to come by.  Krogert and his guards frequently raided homes, taking food and valuables to help preserve himself and his rule.  Krogert’s greed and consumption of resources went to all extremities.  As a levy, if a family could not pay Krogert’s steep taxes he would require a family member to enter servitude to his house.  He primarily wanted women to please him at every turn and would seize young girls and wives from their homes without explanation.  Outrage was rampant but suppressed by Krogert’s elite henchmen.  His rule lasted roughly ten years, but in that time Whitehood had become weak and vulnerable.