Fall of the Warlock Kings
The chiefmost city of dwarves in Afyon. For long an independent realm, Lughan is a city of strong stone and metal, with many smaller associated towns in the mining country of the Black Mountains. But of them all Lughan was the crown and adornment, the center of dwarven pride and glory. In olden days Lughan stood against both the Chan Empire and the throne of Kydon Kail, and was never conquered. The dwarves boast of how their walls were never breached in those days, and in fact that boast can still stand, though the city is fallen to the Great King. Fifteen years ago, when the Army of the Great King stood massed on the plains before Lughan’s mighty walls, a disident party in the city opened covert negotiations with the Legate and, in the quiet of the night, opened one of the lesser gates and let in the hordes of the Great Kingdom. The city fell, and was sacked, the golden and jeweled treasures taken away to enrich Carnelian. But a few palaces were spared, and in the days after the conquest, the Jeweled Princesses appeared, dwarf women of a handful of families who together had plotted the fall of Lughan. They wore golden or silver masks covered in jewels so that no one would know exactly who they were, even if they could identify the family that had fallen so low as to allow the Great King into the city. All other women of the four traitorous families were taken away, along with the menfolk, to serve and die in distant wars, or to remain imprisoned in Carnelian. Now, each of the four great palaces is ruled by a Princess, called Diamond, Emerald, Ruby and Sapphire, for the gems that stud their masks. Allies, but hating one another in place of their self-loathing, the Jeweled Princesses rule over the city only through the assistance of the satrap assigned to them by the Great King. There is near constant unrest, suppressed with violence. Every month, a levy of unwilling dwarves is taken for the armies; every month, tribute is exactly. And still the gleaming palaces of the Masked Ladies shine in the day and burn with magical light at night, as the great ones of the Kingdom celebrate the conquest of the dwarven realm.