I have been hearing murmurs among you. Let not fear cloud your heart, brothers. Do not forget; the iron that is struck the most is the hardest.Emeric's axiom is the theory that there is a purpose to the hardship that accompanies life within the realms of the Mímameiðr. It contends that the gods need strong and mighty heroes to assist them with some great task, and so they test mortals with trials and hardships to prepare them for what is to come.
During the Time of Darkness, when times were dark and desperate, Emeric put forth the idea that the gods needed mortals to suffer. Their suffering would help them to grow stronger, and with that strength they would some day be able to fight alongside the gods in a battle against some greater evil. Emeric was intentionally vague about what greater evil awaited any mortal who could rise to such heights, but many have theorized that Hyrrhorn will choose a mortal to rise up from the realms and help him slay Hrím once and for all.
The axiom is somewhat common knowledge among fortborn dverge, and is nearly ubiquitous among mudborn. Outside of dverge communities, the axiom is rarely known.
Variations & Mutation
There are some iceborn who know the axiom, but they often use it sarcastically, as their process for forging is far different from the techniques of the fortborn. Some will morph the axiom to "the hardest iron cracks first" when being particularly derisive.
While some find solace in the words Emeric passed on, there were those (such as) who found the heart of the axiom - that the gods were intentionally inflicting suffering on mortals - to be detestable, and so spurned the axiom and branded it heresy.