Defenders of the Hills
The Defenders of the Hills are a tight-knit group of mountaineers, led by the dwarf Bartax Ironhelm. Members of most races are currently part of this patrolling force. The Defenders’ main stronghold is Iron Hills Keep, where his clan’s ancestors lost their hold on The Iron Hills before the Sundering. Now it is slowly being repopulated by the dwarves. Defenders scour the mountainous Iron Hills, protecting these rough borderlands from both brigands and beasts. To the east, Iron City is also protected by these staunch warriors and huntsmen.
Iron Hills keep was penetrated before the Sundering, from demons that crept up from ancient tombs and crypts buried beneath the mountains. Legends hold that the ancestors of Ironhelm discovered a vast network of underground caverns teeming with alien life and rich veins of iron, silver and gems. Over hundreds of years, these caverns were transformed into a great labyrinth of interconnected mines and crypts to house the noble dead. Some scholars and explorers have revealed that these passages actually stretch for hundreds of miles and even connect with the ruins of Old Deepwater, which now lie upon the isles centered within Deepwater Lake. When the Sundering occurred, infernal Gates spewed forth hordes of demons and their master Pathuzu opened up the crypts, unleashing a vast horde of undead to lay waste to the city of Old Deepwater in one decisive strike. Now, great gates bar the way and none are allowed to trespass these forbidden and treacherous halls.
Directly on the western edge these mountains lies the cruel realm of House Ignus and the city of Ember. Recently, Lord Ignus has taken a keen interest in obtaining Iron Hills Keep for his own expansion. Brutal clashes between Davian’s forces and the Defenders of the Hills have erupted, and numerous sieges have begun to take place at the gates of the keep. For now, the Defenders are able to hold back these minor attacks, but it won’t be long before Lord Ignus attempts to rally a true invasion force against the people on the other side of the mountains.