Shortrastor

Queen Shortrastor of the Dominarie Mountains rose from common birth to royal matriarch of a significant dwarvish kingdom. To defend her independence she often made decisions that were deliberately contrary to the course of Cimmeria’s history. She refused a marriage offer from King Cogard that would have unified the dwarven people under a single crowned couple. During the Dragon War she fought for Bavastatner instead of for the mortals. Her refusal to seek aid from the public will of Cimmeria proved a regretful choice in the end. Her betrayal of Bavastatner led to Dominarie’s subjugation. Ultimately the absence of strong allies in Cimmeria allowed Kruk-Ma-Kali’s army to completely destroy the Dominarie kingdom and exterminate Queen Shortrastor’s royal line. Little remains of her legacy as the bulk of the Dominarie wealth was plundered by the hobgoblins during their genocidal invasion. Queen Shortrastor’s life is now nothing but a tragic warning for those who refuse to compromise.

Shortrastor’s parents were a couple of common dwarves created by the Olympians when they settled Cimmeria. She came of age near the end of the Goblin Wars. She fought briefly in the conflict, but left after five years of service. After the death of King Karnafaust, Shortrastor’s parents took the family to live in a religious community on Zeus’s Canvas. Shortrastor disliked the restrictive environment of the theocratic settlements. After a few years she organized a population of like-minded dwarves. Shortrastor led them south to form a new colony in the Dominarie Mountains.

Shortrastor led the way for her people as they set up their new kingdom. She placed herself at the tip of the spear as the armed dwarves eliminated monsters in the prime settlement areas. She organized supplies, distributed land and spoils of war, and dispensed justice. Soon the dwarves of Dominarie recognized Shortrastor for what she was, their queen. A ceremony was held where Shortrastor placed a crown upon her own head, proclaiming herself Queen of the Dominarie Mountains.

Queen Shortrastor’s new royal status made her a desirable wife in a future marriage alliance. She was courted by young King Cogard of the main Dwarven Kingdom. The Dwarven Regency Council sent representatives to warn her of Cogard’s self-serving marriage interests. These warnings, while only half-true, colored Queen Shortrastor’s opinion of Cogard. She refused his romantic advances, claiming he was only interested in her lands. Rather than marry a king, Shortrastor chose to marry a close friend, Tionthony. Her husband was given the title of Queen’s Consort to ensure that all knew authority in the Dominarie Kingdom originated from Shortrastor and no one else.

Queen Shortrastor gave birth to Princess Alfeita a few years after her marriage. Other children were born later, but none were as important to Shortrastor as her first. Cogard attempted to ally with Shortrastor once again by proposing an exchange of wards. His son, Albirnon would be raised in Shortrastor’s court, while Cogard took responsibility for Alfeita. Shortrastor agreed and the children were exchanged.

Albirnon’s wardship ended in disaster for Shortrastor. The prince had gone wandering in the Underdark tunnels underneath the capital of Shortrastoria and gotten lost. Queen Shotrastor used the boy’s disappearance as an excuse to conquer valuable portions of the Underdark beneath her kingdom. She still could not find Albirnon. King Cogard came to Dominarie and went into the deep himself. He found Prince Albirnon possessed by a demon contagion that spread to other dwarves. Cogard sealed the demon within his son and the others that had already been infected. This possession created a new subrace of dwarves known as the Duergar.

During the Dragon War, Shortrastor allied her kingdom with the dragons. She fought under Bavastatner’s banner, seeing it as the best path to survival. When it became clear that the dragons would lose, she abandoned their cause. Her disdain for the lives of mortals was not forgotten by the rest of Cimmeria. Few city-states would trade openly with the Dominarie Kingdom after the Dragon War.

The Dominarie Kingdom’s forced isolation ended during Kruk-Sho-Kar’s hobgoblin invasion of Eastern Cimmeria. Toffoun asked Queen Shortrastor for assistance and she sent weapons, armor, and other supplies to the people of the Aral Sea. Her gifts were rewarded by a marriage alliance. Toffoun’s eldest brother, Jotuon, married Princess Alfeita, bringing the influential Firebeard family in line with Shortrastor of Dominarie. The union was fruitful and Alfeita’s first child was named Princess Tandia.

Shortrastor’s betrayal of Bavastatner eventually caught up with her. The githyanki invasion of the Material Plane freed the blue dragon primach from his imprisonment. After the Draco-Gith War, Bavastatner turned his attention to the Dominarie Mountain Queen who had stabbed him in the back. He sent his dragon children across the mountains and into the tunnels of Dominarie, looking for dwarves to kill. The dwarves retreated and called for aid, but none came. Cimmeria remembered which side Shortrastor had chosen during the Dragon War. The dwarves suffered larger and larger casualties until they begged their Queen to end it.

Queen Shortastor went personally to Bavastatner and unconditionally surrendered. The dragon primach allowed her and the Dominarie Dwarves to live. In exchange they would vacate the surface of the mountains, provide Bavastatner with a large tribute every year, and all but one of Shortrastor’s children and grandchildren would be brought to Bavastatner. Any terms were better than the destruction of her kingdom, so Queen Shortrastor agreed. She sent her relatives to Bavastatner and never saw them again. The Dominarie Dwarves remained in the Underdark and began their yearly tribute to Bavastatner’s hoard.

Shortrastor’s remaining grandchild, Princess Tandia, married Stroso, the grandson of Lord Bjorn of Dalleer. Lord Bjorn of Dalleer died of old age two years later. Bjorn’s son, Olofric, did not succeed him. Instead, Ballath, a wise, human friend of Bjorn’s, assumed the lordship. Queen Shortrastor cut off trade to Dalleer and threatened war. Ballath made promises of good conduct, but refused to relinquish the lordship. Most of Dalleer’s dwarven population abandoned the city, going to Jord or to the Dominarie Mountains.

Queen Shortrastor gave aid to the people of Eastern Cimmeria during the invasion of Kruk-Ma-Kali. Rather than only sending supplies as she had done during Kruk-Sho-Kar’s invasion, this time Shortrastor sent the kingdom’s army along with Princess Alfeita as their leader. Unfortunately, her additional support was insufficient. Nomingburg was flooded and sacked with Alfeita lost during the fighting. Kruk-Ma-Kali continued his campaign with an assault on Jipangu. After the city was taken Kruk-Ma-Kali ordered the execution of all Dwarves at Jipangu due to the casualties they had inflicted on his army.

Kruk-Ma-Kali led his people into the tunnels beneath the Dominarie Mountains on a genocidal extermination of the dwarves there. Queen Shortrastor personally led the remnants of the Dominarie army against the goblinoids. Kruk-Ma-Kali’s army ambushed and killed them to the last. The hobgoblins continued on and reached Shortrastoria. They burned the capital. Princess Tandia entered labor during the fighting, but went missing shortly thereafter. Kruk-Ma-Kali’s army left the capital to complete their west to east circuit of the Dominarie Mountains, slaying all dwarves within the rocky tunnels.

None have risen so high or fallen so far as Queen Shortrastor. She came from nothing to become a queen. Her kingdom survived for three centuries through the ups and downs of war and trade embargos. She raised at least one good daughter and granddaughter to replace her when she died. In the end it was all for nothing as Kruk-Ma-Kali’s rage destroyed Shortrastor’s royal line, her kingdom, and the people she had sworn to protect. Nothing remains of the Dominarie Kingdom now except for ghosts and ruins.