History of the Guardians of Sunfist

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History of the Guardians of Sunfist is an Official GemStone IV Document, and it is protected from editing.

The story of the Guardians of Sunfist, like so many in Elanthia, began several thousands of years ago. Deep beneath the earth, it began far from the sight of elves and men, in a war fought over generations. Orc and dwarf struggled for control of the vast underground and the nearly limitless riches it possessed in a conflict that lasted nearly ten thousand years. Out of this epic war a hero emerged, the dwarf Overking Khazi Khazar, founder of the dwarven empire and builder of the legendary city of Kalaza. Greatness rarely walks alone, however, and by his side stood his closest friend and most able general, Angustan Ghesta.

The facts of Angustan Ghesta's youth have been lost, overshadowed by the many myths and hearth-tales surrounding his legend. It is known that Ghesta rose quickly within the ranks of the dwarf armies, due to skill and the violent attrition of the devastating Orc Wars. Not content with the static fighting techniques developed thousands of years earlier, Ghesta developed a new method of combat, taking advantage of the battlefield's natural terrain of mountains and tunnels. His men, trained in this new style of war, wrought devastating defeats upon the orcs and by virtue of his success, Ghesta came to the attention of the rising dwarf king Khazar, and a lifelong friendship was formed.

To Ghesta, Khazar gave the finest of his soldiers to train in the new style of warfare, and thus the storied First Legion of Khazar was born. The legion embodied the finest of dwarven warfare and was given the mission of protecting Khazar, and later, the line of dwarf Overkings. For thousands of years, the First Legion performed its duty, its members constituting the finest of the dwarven race. Under its banner the greatest threats were driven away from the tunnels and undergrounds of the dwarves. So great was the victory, that amongst the orcs and mountain giants, the Legion's emblem was identified with death. Some have gone so far to claim that the word for death in the orc tongue in this present era evolved from the name of the First Legion in the old orcish.

It was of no surprise then, that when the darkness of Despana fell across Elanthia, and the tragedy of ShadowGuard burned the elven soul, that the Overking Gerfroth Khazar selected a great number of the First Legion of Khazar to go forth in battle to answer the plea of help from the East. There was much courage at the Battle of Maelshyve, but also much sorrow, as even the finest warriors are mortal. Only a quarter of those who had left the underground realm returned, and the songs sung in memoriam for the fallen were soon forgotten in the tragedy that befell the dwarves after Maelshyve.

The Red Rot swept through the city of Kalaza and killed far more dwarves than any dark army might aspire, including Gerfroth Khazar. For thousands of years, the First Legion of Khazar had protected the line of Overkings, but with the death of Gerfroth, the line was broken, and Kalaza was sealed, a tomb to her people and to the Overkings. Without home or duty, the First Legion dissolved, its surviving members dispersing to those places thought free of Despana's Revenge.

The largest number of the surviving members belonged to the Toktrog Clan, those dwarves who, led by some innate desire to travel, had often been the natural scouts of the First Legion. As time passed and old ways were lost, only the Toktrog Clan retained the knowledge and fighting techniques of Angustan Ghesta and his First Legion of Khazar. Over the next several centuries, the Toktrogs coupled their magical curiosity and aptitude with their battle-lore and knowledge. Other clans oft held the Toktrog in awe, not realizing that their seemingly miraculous abilities as scouts came in part due to the use of dwarven knowledge other clans had allowed to be forgotten. For under the Toktrog eye, few paths were hidden, and nary an enemy camp left undiscovered. Had the Toktrog Clan been selfish or untowardly protective of their secrets, the present era would have been a different reality, one of more pain and death. However, the Toktrog were of better quality.

It was the autumn of the Sunfist Compact when the legacy of Angustan Ghesta and the First Legion once again began to be taught on a wider scale. In an unprecedented move for dwarves, born from a newfound alliance and trust, the Toktrog shared Ghesta's legacy not just with other dwarves, but with the giantmen as well. Word spread quickly amongst the soldiers of the two races, and increasingly, warriors of the giantmen and the dwarves sought out the practitioners of the First Legion's art for training. So great were their numbers that the dwarves and their giantman allies decided to once again establish the First Legion of Khazar under a new name and banner, the Guardians of Sunfist.

This new society of giantman and dwarf flourished, but on a limited scale. For as much as the techniques of the Guardians of Sunfist attracted warriors of the two races, those who taught it belonged to nomadic clans and to find them and the society required extensive traveling. As a result, the powerful lessons of the Guardians were often restricted to those who shared the nomadic life. However, the fate of the society was not to be of limited reach, for Elanthia changes as monumental events strike our world, as they did in eons past. And change came yet again in the fifty-first century with the return of a forgotten nightmare and G'bruk.

In 5103, nary a realm of Elanthia was without crisis. In the west, deadly morphing creatures plagued the human empire and struck terror in the halfling populations of the north. In the east, the elves were beset by undead terrors and a war that threatened the very balance of life and death. And in the middle of this ever-tightening vise, the dwarves suffered from the rediscovery of a nightmare long thought relegated to unspoken history, the Red Rot. As the disease spread through the dwarven populations, yet another threat beset the people of the Underground. Trolls, in the throes of a mass eastwardly migration, trekked in enormous numbers through the dwarven mountains under the blue comet and spiritual banner of G'bruk.

It was in this time of crises, the Guardians of Sunfist decided to establish a permanent base of operations, a place to train all dwarves and giantmen, regardless of clan or lifestyle. The great dwarven hub of Zul Logoth was selected as the site of the base, perfect in its location in the center of the DragonSpine and as a defensive shield against any foe.

Like many great tales, the crisis that had so consumed Elanthia, which had spurred the Guardians to place themselves in Zul Logoth, were ended not by the actions of many, but that of a few. Before the training of thousands of dwarves and giantmen was complete, the time of strife had mercifully passed. In the process, the Guardians of Sunfist had been changed. From the nomadic society formed in the dawn of Sunfist, the Guardians of Sunfist had risen as the modern protectors not just of dwarves, but of all peoples, and thus, they opened their doors, their knowledge, and their lore to all. Begun with a singular dwarf, companion to a legendary king, revitalized on an autumn hill, and re-envisioned during Elanthia's time of greatest need, the Guardians of Sunfist now carry on their training, open to all to learn, for all to protect.

Published on or before February 3, 2012.