Dilgol Blackpowder by Docbad
After the failed incursion upon the dwarven kingdoms by the minions of Siroth, the Mountain King issued a proclamation of war, initiating an unprecedented dwarven exodus from beneath the mountains. The war campaign heavily taxed dwarven resources, and as such, a new need arose: the need for trade. Finding themselves suddenly thrust into the world above ground, many dwarves were intimidated by the wide world and the open sky, and few were daring enough to venture forth without the might of the Mountain King’s army by their side.
Such was not the case for Dilgol Blackpowder, a wily old veteran who went to reenlist at the first stirrings of trouble. Told he was too old to return to the ranks of the Dwarven front lines, however, the grizzled old bastard refused to leave the recruitment hall until they put a weapon in his hands and pointed him toward the enemy. Finally, the captain relented and reluctantly admitted him to the rearguard, where he was made a supply sergeant.
Glad to have a purpose again, Dilgol set about his work making sure supplies made it to the front. The war effort proved to be a far greater tax on dwarven resources than anyone predicted, however, and eventually the need for trade with the surface nations arose. The trouble was creating reliable trade routes through the treacherous and nigh impassible Mountains of Despair. The supply commanders deliberated for days about how best to proceed, until finally Dilgol kicked in the door to their meeting chamber, blunderbuss in hand, and demanded a train of battle wagons, a team of hardy dwarves, and enough explosive powder to level a city. With that, he would spearhead a demolition project to carve a causeway through the mountains until they linked to the King’s Crossways, where the major trade routes of Teleria all intersected. Having no better ideas amongst them, the dwarven supply command promoted Dilgol to Master Sergeant and gave him everything he needed to cut through the mountain.
By axe and pick, drill and black powder, Dilgol’s rough and rowdy crew began boring a tunnel from the dwarven capitol straight toward the King’s Crossways. As they dug upwards toward the surface, their tunnel broke out into crags and valleys, exposed to the sky and the brutal mountain climate before they would begin boring into the mountainside again, always heading directly toward their target. On numerous occasions when exposed to the surface, the dwarven crew would come under assault by the minions of Siroth: demons and corrupted mortals, powerful and violent foes who accosted the dwarves with all their might. Each attack was met with resounding hails of blunderbuss retort, exploding barrels lobbed by mighty dwarven battle wagons, and of course, the chopping of axes and swinging of hammers, rebuking the enemy with such astounding ferocity that the crew earned a name for themselves amongst the dwarven ranks: Dilgol’s Devils.
After months of tearing through the mountains, Dilgol and his crew finally burst out of eastern extremity of the Mountains of Despair and built a makeshift road down to the King’s Crossways, busy with merchants and traders from the far-flung reaches of Teleria. Such was many a folk’s first introduction to the dwarves: a rag-tag and battle-weary crew, faces blackened by explosive powder, the carcasses of demons and others of Siroth’s minions mounted on their battle wagons as trophies.
With a reliable trade route established, supplies came flowing in as the gems and gold that was the treasure of the dwarves flowed out, and the warriors at the front had all they needed to continue the fight against Siroth. Dilgol’s Devils were all awarded commendations for valor and ruggedness for their contributions to the war effort, and to this day it is said that when the enemy sees Dilgol’s battle wagons rumbling out of the mountains, even the demons fear the Devils.