Thorvar was constructed long ago as the jewel of the ancient Empire of Arek, forged by a collaboration of elves, dwarves, gnomes, and men to honor the peace that had been forged between them. Originally founded by the dwarves upon their escape from slavery at the hands of the Pactlords, the dwarves welcomed all free people to join them and help build an Empire that would last through the ages. It stretched from end to end along the length of the continent that shared the same name, with all sides finding their niches to develop and help to build up into a contribution to the greater overall whole. Upon the selection of their first non-dwarven High King, Armathor Varov, the city was commissioned to honor this first step in the greatest lasting equitable rulership the world had ever seen. This peace and prosperity, however, was not to last.
It could be argued that including non-humans in the rulership of Arek was both the greatest strength and ultimate weakness of Arek. Generations of prosperity continued upon the Varov family’s ascension, but behind the scenes a greed and gluttony was spreading through the aristocracy that could not be contained. When, finally, the world’s treasures could no longer appease them, new opportunities were offerred from the tantalizing hands of the Abyss. The result of this unholy union was the terror known in whispers as the Eternal Hunger.
Boiling forth from the human city of Bael Turath, the legions of hungry dead and demons rolled over the lands, consuming all in their path. Their first target was the southern city of Relthan, founded by the arcanists guild, who ultimately unleashed the power of a horrendous magical device, detonating the entire city and causing as much devastation to their own civilians as to the forces of the enemy. This bought the citizens of Thorvar time to escape in a massive evacuation fleet, allowing the majority of the citizenry to scatter to far off lands in hopes of mounting an organized defense there. The only folk who remained were the majority of the dwarves, who determined that, since they had built Arek, they would give their lives to defend it. Only the sick or elderly were sent across the sea with the refugees, a dishonor that taints many of the surviving families to this day. Retreating into their holds and bastions, they stood firm against the Eternal Hunger for as long as they could, before ultimately being overrun, presumably being wiped out in the process.
So things remained for many generations, with the lands of Arek lost to the darkness spawned from Bael Turath. Ultimately, the turning point came with the birth of a humble shepherd’s son, Danar Corwin. At some point in the young man’s life he was tapped by the gods of light, given a vision of a free Arek and the knowledge that he would be the one to make it so. Mustering an army at the age of 16, Danar led The Grand Crusade, landing at what would later be known as Victory Point and driving the forces of darkness steadily back to their infernal home. The devastation wrought during the course of the battle was monumental, with the exception of the high city of Thorvar, which was saved via a timely betrayal by the surviving Varov family, descendants of the High King transfomred into Tieflings who threw their lot in with Danar’s army in exchange for preserving their wealth and status as well as the valuable city, protecting it from the fate of Relthan or what would eventually befall Bael Turath during the final invasion. Ultimately, ascending from the ruins of the former capital of the Empire, Danar faced the wretch that the High King had become in single combat, casting him down and freeing the lands of Arek from the Hunger.
Under Danar’s guidance, Thorvar was rebuilt and established itself as a city-state, ruling over the surrounding area while providing protection as well as economic reconstruction, ushering in a fifty year era of prosperity. Many people spread to the surrounding countryside to reestablish agriculture, eventually leading to the reestablishment of small farming villages like Winterhaven. The city rulership was passed to the hands of the three wealthiest houses, Fulgrim, Kellik, and Varov, with assistance from the Church of the Light and the Arcanist’s guild.
In the meantime, Danar’s crusade against evil continued. His experiences while driving the Eternal Hunger back into the Abyss taught him that evil could never actually be destroyed completely and, thus, he attempted to instead create a means of containing it. Therefore, after some early experiments, he crafted the Banewarrens, a secret prison beneath his castle/monastery wherein those most vile of creatures and items could be sealed away, presumably forever. Over time, however, the crusade appears to have taken a toll on the Great Crusader, eventually leading to his slow withdrawal from Thorvar society to focus on his obsession. Somewhere along the line, however, the final blow must have fallen to shatter Danar’s sanity, as the next experience anyone in the city would have with him would be instead with a sinister alter-ego.
The arrival of the anti-hero was signaled by the very earth rejecting the forces Danar had put to work within the Banewarrens, thrusting the prison into the sky atop an unnatural spire just to the north of the city. Those who attempted to travel and consult with Danar about this new development found a very different man in his stead. Going by the name Malkith, the former cleric announced his intention to wipe every living being from the face of the city he had helped rebuild. Using his now nearly demi-god level of power, Malkith unleashed a wave of terror on the city and surrounding countryside. Horrors the likes of which had not been seen for decades were unleashed upon the people, and it appeared as if a new High King had arrived to drive humanity to extinction. Desperately, the greatest heroes in the world, many of whom were former companions and friends, banded together to travel to the top of the Spire and battle Malkith face to face. The devastation wrought from the conflict left Malkith defeated but most of the heroes slain or disabed as well.
Distraught at the loss of their greatest savior, the people of Thorvar once again picked through the ashes, putting the city together and looking ahead to a future wherein they are now on their own against whatever new menace may be lurking in the shadows, waiting to return.