--- The Castrum Allagan Octavarium --- Chapter 0 --- Prologue ---
“To date there have been three Grand Ages of the world; the 1st Age, the 2nd Age and the 3rd age, in which we find ourselves as I pen these words. Little is known of the 2nd age as the Elves jealously safeguard their records, almost all of the Dwarven Tomes have been lost, human accounts are too unreliable, and the Gnomes scarcely bother to recall the events of yesterday, let alone yesteryear.
And going back further in truth almost nothing is known of the 1st age at all, there are none left who saw it and so it has been allowed to slip quietly from all thought and memory. It is a tragedy that such knowledge has been lost and it is a personal hope of mine that the Elves will one day open their secret libraries and enclaves or that my own people, the Dwarves, will return to our abandoned cities and reclaim the knowledge we were forced to leave behind when we fled.
What is remembered among Dwarf folk is that there were once seven ruling castes – seven families who controlled all the cities, wealth and power. The names of these have been lost however transitioning from the 1st age to the 2nd there came to be five ruling castes so it is my belief that there was some kind of internal power struggle, boarding on a small civil war between Dwarves and I suspect that five of the seven original families survived and went on to prosper.
Of course it is also entirely possible that none of the five castes from the 2nd age were present in the 1st age, and that new blood rose up and seized power. Regardless the names of the five families in the 2nd Age were; Stouthammer, Djorn, Fier’bol, Brightcinder & Gypsum – when the Upheaval occurred and the Dwarves were forced to abandon their cities en mass we spent a great many years living as refugees, scattered and broken. By the time we began to regroup and collect what few Relics and Tomes we had left – hundreds of years had passed and though many claimed to be of descent from one of the ruling castes these claims were impossible to substantiate, and so the Dwarves remained leaderless and for the most part, broken."