In the far Northeast, among the Whitecap Mountains range, is the volcanic mountain Cridetine, meaning “Heart of Fire.” It was settled by Dwarves who sought to use the volcanic nature of the mountain as a natural forge centuries ago, who built a small but thriving city inside the mountain and on its slopes. The place chosen as the Main Forge turned out to also be a nexus between the mortal world the Elemental Plane of Fire, and Azer began living among, working with, and eventually procreating with the Dwarves. After several generations, almost all the Dwarves of the mountain had at least a portion of Azer essence in their veins.

The Dwarven city, which they named after the mountain, began trading their work early on with a small human settlement nearby to the west of the mountain. The humans then in turn traded the Dwarves’ work to travelling peddlers for goods from around the world, fetching a high price for the Dwarves’ unparalleled skill. The small settlement grew, and quickly became a major trade hub, with people coming from all over to purchase Azerblood metalwork from the humans. This was a mutually beneficial arrangement, as the Dwarves gave no thought to commerce, while the society of the human town was built on it. In this town, which came to be known as Steelcross, the women in particular were the masters of commerce, and as such were the ones who began making decisions for the good of the town. Thirty years ago, a large golden dragon, name unknown, was drawn to the massive hoard of gold that had accumulated in both the Dwarven and Human cities. It is believed that he has gone partially mad, and believes that all gold in the world should belong to the gold dragons, and especially himself. He went first for the Dwarven city, thinking to make it his home. He killed many of the Dwarven master smiths, and drove the majority out. While they ran for the shelter of Steelcross, the dragon collected all their gold into one chamber, then left to follow them. He arrived at Steelcross just as the last of the Dwarves reached the town, and their tale had been told. Fearing that their town would fall to the same fate, the women of the town had collected all the gold they owned, and piled in the town square. Seeing their offering, the dragon withheld his attack, and instead made a pact with the humans. He would keep all their gold, but would leave them all their other forms of currency. He also demanded that they continue to send him any and all gold they would acquire in future dealings. If they did this, he would spare them and their city. In order to make sure his will was carried out, he also demanded that each of the masters of the town surrender their firstborn sons to be bound to his service.

The city soon recovered, to some extent, and the Azerblood Dwarves integrated themselves into the life of the human city. Within a few years, an Azerblood Dwarf of some skill married one of the masters of the city, a woman he had had business dealings with for many years. They soon bore a son, who was named Fharighalt by his father in the Old Dwarven tongue. He spent the first 18 years of his life working for his mother in her shops, and helping his father as he put his smithing skills to work on a standard forge. On his 18th birthday, his parents brought him to the foot of the mountain Cridetine, along with some of the existing Dragonsworn. There, his parents said goodbye, and turned him over to the dragon, as promised. He spent the next 10 years training, and has recently returned from the mountain armed with weapons and armor the dragon has given him, and a mission. He went to his parents’ shop, informing them that he required a cart, as he was to be sent out by the dragon to acquire as much gold as he could, in whatever manner possible, to bring back to the dragon’s hoard. His parents gave him what they could, including supplies, a mule and cart, and a small purse with non-gold currency. He left, with the dragon’s voice whispering directions in his mind.

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