Cladar's Stand Settlement in Durath | World Anvil
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Cladar's Stand

The Settling of Cladar's Stand   Long ago, nomadic tribes of gnomes lived in the foothills of The Wymrspine, surviving off the land and trading with other travellers and settlements. For years, they were harried by a roving orc band, who demanded tribute from the gnomes in exchange for sparing their lives. Despite this toll, the gnomes were content and able to sustain their way of life. A leader arose within the orcs who was malicious and greedy; Rab the Angry. Under his leadership, the orcs demanded more and more of the gnomes, and soon took prisoners alongside their tribute. Unable to meet the demands of the orcs, the gnomes moved further north, to the edge of the foothills and the peak of the Whitewater Falls. However the orcs found them and so, backed against the precipice, the gnomes were seemingly at the mercy of their foe.   It was here that Cladar, a previously unremarkable gnome, stepped forward and challenged Rab; according to orc customs, whoever stands in victory after single unarmed combat gains leadership over both tribes. Rab accepted the challenge immediately, and so the two prepared for battle. Rab was almost three times the height of Cladar; her defeat seemed inevitable and would doom her companions to a short life of slavery. The gnomes stood in fear, the orcs in eager anticipation, to watch.   The battle was brief, but epic. Cladar could not risk being caught by Rab and so remained at the edge of his reach, deftly avoiding almost every strike, but backing slowly into the rapids near the brink of the falls. Jumping from rock to rock, Cladar stayed above the rushing water, while Rab simply waded through, enraged in pursuit of his quarry. Able to cleverly manoeuvre, Cladar had turned her opponent to be nearer the summit, and nullified his height advantage, before finally making her attack. Diminutive though Cladar was, she had an inner strength that in this moment shone through. Between Rab’s wild swings, she leapt and tackled her opponent, knocking him off his feet and sweeping both of them over the falls.   The orcs roared in protestation, claiming that as both combatants were dead there was no winner. The gnomes, understanding Cladar’s desperate play, insisted that they travel to the bottom of the falls to discover if either had survived. Orc traditions run deep and so, side by side, gnomes and orcs made the descent to the bottom of the falls. Not far downstream, they discovered the combatants washed up on the river bank. Rab lay dead, but as the sun set Cladar defied her wounds and stood, and in doing so claimed victory. In the late evening light, she cast a shadow on the bank far taller than any orc. She commanded the orcs to follow the river north and for none of them ever to return to the land. The orcs bowed in reverence to their new chieftain, and departed. Cladar died of her wounds hours later, there on the bank. The gnomes held a vigil for eight days as they entombed her body in the ground by the river. With their future finally safe, they began to construct houses around the tomb.   Now, the settlement is known as Cladar’s Stand. The town square bears a monument of Cladar over the site of her grave. In the light of the setting sun, it casts a proud shadow onto a slope in the town square, along with the words: “Might is not strength. It is what you do.”

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