The Ilumnos Series
King of the Fire Dwarves
DO NOT READ UNLESS YOU HAVE FINISHED "CHAPTER 2 Red : Enter Lavarus " MAJOR PLOT POINTS ARE GIVEN AWAY!
As the eldest son of King Rhaskt he was his father’s pride. He excelled in training as a warrior and his studies as a cleric. Most notably however was his interest in the field of Gnomish Mechanics. He studied with a prominent Gnomish inventor, Slinderkibbledu and quickly became a master engineer. The two were working on a secret weapon which would be used to defend the Gnomes and Fire Dwarves from their enemies in the Underdark, Derro, Dueregar, Yuan-ti, Drow, and Illithids. Slinderkibbledu discovered an ancient ruined city which he believed may have once been the cradle of early gnomish civilization, and more interestingly another unknown race. He found an amazing machine and brought his student with him to check it out. Prince Ghok found something amazing in this machine as well, a powersource, which appeared to give massive amounts of energy and didn’t show signs of decay.
Neither he nor Slinderkibbledu was able to figure out how to power and control the machine weapon they were working on, there was ideas, but nothing promising. After what he referrs to as a dream which was a vision from his god he began to work on his own plans for the machine. He imagined that he could use the powersource, which he calleed a “Fire Sphere” to magnify his thoughts and will into the machine, but inanimate rock and metal wouldn’t move upon his command, so still something was missing. He brought his ideas to Slinderkibbledu who thought they were fantasy and scolded him for nonsense and went on to explain the shortcomings of his train of thought: for him to reach out with his mind and control the machine there would have to be something there already, so sort of consciousness which could be manipulated… Ghok understood these words too perfectly and killed Slinderkibbledu in an altered sacrificial ritual which he was able to change so that instead of sacrificing him to his god and releasing his soul to another plane of exstance, he was able to trap his soul in their prjoect, which they referred to now as a Machine Construct. With Slinderkibbldu’s consciousness inside the machine Ghok could use a controlling machine powered by the Fire Sphere to command Slinderkibbledu inside the machine.
When the gnomes found out that Prince Ghok had killed a revered member of their society they demanded justice, but the protective father refused and cast the gnomes out into the day world (above ground) and began to wage war on them. This war lasted for many years, during which King Rhaskt died and Ghok became King. Ghok, seeing an oppertunity, offered a peace to the desperate and waning gnomes. In exchange for peace the gnomes had to give him a number of children every few years. The gnomes, at the brink of extinction, saw the sacrifice of some as the good of the whole and agreed.
Ghok wanted the children because during the war he had discovered that using adult prisoners of war in the machines was a bad idea because they were too mentally developed and would be able to fight back against him in small ways, and if they ever left the radius of the machines control they would regain complete control over their actions (so long as they stayed outside this area). Children on the other hand were perfectly underdeveloped, and able to be manipulated with ease, and better yet, if they went out of the radius of the machines reach they would merely cease to function, unable to command the machine on their own.