The Sea Peoples descended upon the Shattered Isles with a force ten times that the dwarves could muster, and the Last King and the Last Queen knew that ruin lay in store for their realm and its armies.

In the old days, the Days of the Isles, the High King had borne two blades: Defender and Avenger. The High Queen had borne two more: Protector and Ravager. One was worn in time of peace and only drawn in self-defence; one was worn in time of war and unsheathed in anger.

The Sea Peoples had, through a herald, made their meaning plain: to take the Isles and all the dwarves possessed. They offered safe conduct and a peaceful departure, but backed their words with a threat of indiscriminate slaughter.

In a council of war, the Last King laid out his swords, and the Last Queen laid hers out as well. After fruitless discussions with nobles, lasting hours, the Last Queen spoke:

“I have made up my mind, but I do not know the High King’s will. I propose thus: with backs turned, we will each take up our sword of peace or our sword of war. If we be in accord, that way go our people; if we be in strife, we shall have our thanes vote.”

The High King agreed, and both were blindfolded with royal silk. Each took up an arm and held it aloft, glittering in the lamplight.

Avenger shone in the High King’s hand, while Ravager glittered in the High Queen’s. They rode into battle, and their deaths, the next day. The swords of war, like their bodies, were never recovered

And the swords of peace, Defender and Protector? They were carried south, but soon lost in obscurity. Many dwarves claim to have them, and it was once observed that all the “true” Swords of Peace, melted down, could armor a thousand knights.

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