A Very Short History
The Area I’m from
The eastern mountains of the Swerglaand Peninsula are rich in minerals and precious gems. A small population of dwarfs discovered a rich vein in one mountain and moved there about 4 generations ago. They may not have been large in number but they made mining a very profitable business. There is a small town just outside the main entrance to the mine which consists mostly of residential housing. There is a tavern and a small shop each run by wives but the town is solely made of the mine workers and a few of their families. Everything that comes out of the mine is taken to the base of the mountains where it is cut, polished, or processed. There at the base of mountains is a larger city where the heads of the mining company live and where all of the deals are stuck.
The valleys around the mines have extremely fertile soil and a fairly mild climate, perfect for farming. No dwarf ever wanted to take advantage of the valleys but roughly 2 generations ago a small group of humans claimed the land and started up two large farms. At first the dwarfs were not happy. Humans were (and still are) very unpleasant creatures to them. Annoying, smelly, smug, selfish, senseless, the list goes on and on. (It should be noted here that not all dwarfs are this racist. I don’t know what it is with this mining town. They’re jerks.) But after a short time they realized that ignoring the humans was pretty easy. They never crossed paths unless the humans came to the town or to the city to trade their fresh fruits and vegetables (and eventually meats). Having food grown so close was actually kind of nice for the dwarfs for several reasons so they were able to overlook their human short comings.
After a few years of peaceful coexistence some Romeo and Juliet shenanigans started happening between a few young dwarfs and humans. They kept it fairly quiet for a while but once there were pregnancies involved the news traveled very quickly through the dwarven community. The backlash was intense. I don’t think the dwarfs could conceive of anything more disgusting than a dwarf and a human conceiving a child. The treacherous dwarfs were exiled from their families and moved in with their lovers on the human farms. The dwarfs then began violently harassing the humans. It started with a boycott of the humans produce and ambushing humans traveling in small enough groups. It progressed to most of the fields in the farms being burnt and the soil left barren. At that point it was apparent that there was no life left in the mountains for anyone but the dwarfs. The humans, few dwarfs, and mul children left the mountains and moved to other various parts of the Swerglaand Peninsula.
Two of the mul children that fled the valley were my parents. They grew up in separate towns and somehow met in their early adulthood. I don’t know the details of their childhood or the story of how the met because my parents didn’t really talk about anything. Ever. I do know that they didn’t grow up in a very loving place and they shared a dream to move back to a remote part of the mountains and build their own cabin. Which is exactly what they did. It took them almost a full year but they built a fairly large two story cabin with no outside help. They lived over five years in the quiet peaceful bliss of the mountains before a vein of precious gems was found in a neighboring mountain. A town of dwarfs moved in to mine the gems and expand the small business that was started in those mountains many years ago.
My parents made their presence know very early in the establishment of that small town. The dwarfs were not happy but they were more annoyed with my parents then disgusted. A group of them did make an attempt to harass my parents into moving but their plan failed miserably. My parents were very strong willed people. They had lived on that mountain for several years and had their first child on the way. They were going nowhere. Fortunately there was no reason for the dwarfs to ever go near my parents place and the two soon forgot to care about the other living nearby.
My parents inevitably had three children. The first was Akorem, my eldest brother. The second was Hanar, my other brother. The last was me, Mila. Our childhood was very simple. My parents strongly believed in being self-sustaining so we had a small farm. It was enough to feed us and create a sufficient surplus to sell at a market once a year for things we couldn’t produce ourselves. With a farm and a handmade house there were always things that needed to be done. Fortunately we were all hard workers. We would wake up before the sun and try to cram as much work into the day as possible. That’s what our lives were about, making something. Working hard. Being productive. There was one thing my family did other than work, sparring. My parents taught us to fight early on. We learned with swords, hammers, axes, and bare hands. Axes turned out to be my favorite. I’d say we fought about every third day. Sometimes more, sometimes less. When my brothers and I got older we only fought with each other. My parents were a bit too old to keep up. Their old age snuck up on all of us fast. It seemed like they were always so strong and energetic but suddenly within a few months of each other they faded. They were tired and weaker. It was sad but my family never had very developed emotions so it didn’t really hit me while it was happening. My mother caught a sickness and somehow we all knew she’s have the strength to make it through. She did after a few weeks. My father went about a year after her. He just didn’t wake up one morning.
My brothers and I buried him beside my mom on the top of the mountain they had both found together. We continued working on the farm like nothing had happened until we realized that the place was empty. There was nothing there anymore. We were living in an abandoned house. We divided all the weapons, a few tools, most of the household items, and the few things that seemed like they should be sentimental between the three of us. We sold the house and the farm to a human couple that wanted a remote place to live. They were thrilled at the size of the house and the farm that was already up and running. We saved them a lot of work they said. I told them I was sorry. My brothers and I split the gold three ways and gave each other a long look. We had never thought about what would happen when we didn’t have our parents any more. We had never considered our relationships with each other. We had no clue what we were doing, but we did know we each needed new lives and we needed to find our own lives. So we parted ways. We gave each other a brief description of our plans and made a promise to keep what was left of the family together.
I made my way to a town and rented a room at the first Inn I came across. I stayed in that town for two weeks. I felt like I was in a different world. It didn’t occur to me until then that not all people live like my family did. Not everyone is an intense worker. Some kids play games and tell jokes all day. Some families sit at the dinner table and tell stories or talk to one another. Some people go to bars and drink with friends for hours. Weird. You don’t get anything from sitting around talking. You have nothing to show for your time. That’s probably why my family never did it. But there is something to be gained from nothing. I don’t know much about my parents’ past because they never told me. I don’t know what life lessons they had. I don’t know what made them happy. I don’t know what their favorite food was. I worried about this a lot for the first several months I was on my own. I felt like I had lived my life in the wrong way. I felt like I didn’t know my parents at all and I would never know who they really were. I worried that I would never really truly know my brothers. I felt true regret for the first time. But fortunately an understanding came over me one night and I realized I did know exactly who my parents were. They were hard workers. They were doers. They started projects and finished them. They made a family and made a farm because they wanted to. It was their dream. Their favorite food was whatever they could cultivate themselves because it came from their own hands. Even if I would have asked my parents all sorts of questions when I was younger they wouldn’t have even answered me, they would have told me to get back to work. That realization made me feel better. I did know my parents. And if my brothers were like my parents then I knew them too. If not then they were changing like me and I would know them when we meet again. The world is still a strange place but I am learning to live my life a new way. Slowly learning.