Cogard

Cogard was the second King of the Dwarves and the last King before the schism of the Dwarven Kingdom. He ruled the Dwarves before and during the Dragon War, but died soon afterwards. During his life he did his best to be a king for all the Dwarves of Cimmeria, but often struggled against the various forces set against him. He left a legacy that many Dwarven kings after him tried to live up to.

Cogard was born during the Dwarven flight from the burning city of Fangaroot. Kenderax attacked the capital and slew King Karnafaust. Cogard’s mother was Karnafaust’s sister-in-law, Histansta. She fled Fangaroot downriver on a merchant’s raft. The stress of the event triggered early labor and Cogard was born the same night that his uncle died. Karnafaust left no living heirs due to Kenderax’s attack, so the crown passed to the infant Cogard.

Obviously Cogard could not rule the Dwarven people directly. Until he reached the age of 50 the Dwarven Regency Council would lead the Dwarves in place of their king. Unfortunately, the Regency Council members used their power to enrich themselves against the interest of the public good. Due to this corruption, many of the Dwarves did not acknowledge the Regency Council’s authority. The Dwarven people split up and formed numerous unaffiliated communities across Cimmeria.

When Prince Cogard came of age he was coronated and received the Fierce Axe of Dwarvish Lords as his birthright of kingship. While he now bore the crown and Axe the Dwarven Regency Council still refused to dissolve itself and relinquish control of the kingdom to Cogard. Rather than fight a game of politics directly with the regents, King Cogard took his case to the Dwarven public. He traveled on a tour of Cimmeria, visiting all the disparate Dwarven settlements. This decade long campaign unified all the Dwarves behind Cogard, except for the Dominarie Mountain Kingdom ruled by Queen Shortrastor. When Cogard returned to Dalleer he was truly a king. The Dwarven Regency Council was dissolved as they surrendered control to their sovereign.

King Cogard set out to build a new capital for his kingdom at the site where Jord stands today. As the city’s construction neared completion the dragon monarchs descended to enslave all mortals of Cimmeria. Too proud to risk his new capital, Cogard surrendered without a fight. Jord was incorporated into the realm of the copper dragons, Thaitonzao and Blathorwa.

Cogard held a grand opening ceremony for his new capital, coupled with a surprise wedding to a prominent noble, Pristanon. Queen Shortrastor sent a delegation that wished for Cogard to be blessed with many children. The blessing came true as Pristanon soon gave birth to quadruplet boys. King Cogard sent his four sons to be raised by Dwarven lords in different regions of the kingdom. Prince Coldruin to the Terror Mountains, Prince Steffern to the Underdark, and Prince Yentbern to Dalleer. Prince Albirnon went to the Dominarie Mountains to be raised in Queen Shortrastor’s court. In exchange, Queen Shortrastor sent her daughter, Alfeita, to be raised by King Cogard.

Prince Albirnon went missing in the unsafe tunnels beneath the Dominarie Mountains. Queen Shortrastor began a kingdom wide search for the missing prince. It took years, but evidence of his survival was discovered. He had been captured by Drow and a demon now inhabited his body. The demon could pass this possession to others like a disease, turning hundreds of Dwarves into a new race of Duergar. Desperate to rescue his son, King Cogard went into the Underdark himself to rescue Prince Albirnon. He confronted the demon inside Albirnon’s head and achieved a half victory. The demon was not cast out of his son, but the contagion could no longer spread. Cogard sealed the hellish presence within Albirnon and all the other afflicted, but the demon would live on in their descendants. To prevent their evil from infecting the rest of Dwarven society, King Cogard settled the Duergar in the Western Underdark.

In time the three other sons of King Cogard completed their wardships under the Lords of the Dwarven Kingdom. They returned to Jord. The guardian of Prince Yentbern, Lord Shaelin, was relieved to be free of his responsibilities. He used his new freedom to assault Kenderax at Fangaroot. Shaelin slew Kenderax, but died himself in the process. This attack on a ruling dragon was one of the incidents that started the Dragon War.

King Cogard had wished to maintain the peace, but as it was one of his subjects who killed Kenderax, his hand was forced. Cogard threw the whole might of the Dwarven nation against the dragons. Each of his four sons served in the army. The quadruplets, also known as the Cogardes, began to bicker over the smallest challenges to each other’s authority. They fought with each other to gain supremacy in their father’s eyes in hopes of being declared heir. This antagonism continued throughout the Dragon War.

After the conclusion of the Dragon War, Cogard did his best to patch up the differences between his sons. He brought the Dragon War Heroes, Toffoun, Amalgami, and Jovy, to the royal court. Cogard hoped that the Heroes’ legendary camaraderie would rub off on his children. The plan backfired. The brothers competed for the attention of the Heroes which led to more arguments. Their quarrels escalated until they could no longer stand being in the same city. The Cogardes left Jord and returned to their own territories of the divided Dwarven Kingdom.

Soon after his children left, Cogard became suddenly ill. He died before he could see his sons again. The brothers returned to the river east of Jord to discuss the succession. The conversation swiftly turned to blows and the brothers left to prepare for civil war. As the war started by the river, the waterway came to be known as the Cogardes River, after the four sons that began their conflict there. During the war the Fierce Axe of Dwarvish Lords was lost with a rumor that it would only re-emerge when the Dwarven people were ready to be one nation again. The war continued for over a decade, but reached no resolution. The Dwarven Kingdom split into four independent realms. Albirnon in the Western Underdark as King of the Duergar Dwarves, Steffern in the Northern Underdark as King of the Deep Dwarves, Coldruin in the Terror Mountains as King of the Mountain Dwarves, and Yentbern at Jord as King of the Hill Dwarves.