The First War of Chorbadag was fought before the First Age. The elven forces of the Valar fought the orc forces of Chorbadag in a series of battles in Arda.
The First War of Chorbadag Occurred in the Numenor Imperium, and was supposedly led by Chorbadag, a corrupted Valar. Though he was eventually defeated, the forces of Chorbadag left the Imperium severely weakened, making it easy for outsiders who invaded not long after (led by elves) to push the Imperium back. Furthermore, in the aftermath, the orcs fled into the mountains of Arda, nearly eliminating the dwarven empire in the process. On the surface, the Guardians were created as an organization to combat the orcs.
The Second SinEdit
At the height of its power, the Numenor Imperium stretched over much of Arda, uniting the world under the rule of the tyrannical magisters. It is said that the Old Gods whom the magisters worshipped gave them the knowledge of blood magic, and the magisters used this forbidden power to cement their rule. The blood of elven slaves and humans alike ran down imperial altars to fuel magister greed.
But all that stands tall must eventually fall. Perhaps they foresaw their ruin, or perhaps their pride knew no bounds, but whatever the reason, the magisters dared to open a magical portal into the Golden City at the heart of the Valar's realm. They sought to usurp throne, long left unattended in the Golden City after Eru turned his back on his creations. They would storm heaven itself with their power and become as gods.
According to most versions of the tale, the magisters did indeed reach the Golden City and walked into the home of Eru, where no living being before them had dared, or been able, to tread. But humanity is not meant to walk in heaven. The magisters were wicked with pride and other sins, and their presence tainted the Golden City. What once was a perfect, holy citadel became a twisted home of darkness and nightmares. The magisters were expelled back through their gateway and cursed for their treachery. As the Golden City had been tainted, so were the magisters twisted and transformed into things of darkness--the very first of the orcs. The Golden City, once a shining beacon at the heart of the Fade, became the Black City, a reminder of all that man's pride has cost.
The second sin unleashed the bane of all life upon Arda. The orcs are more virulent than the worst plague, a heartless force of nature that came into the world like an ill wind. We know from accounts of later Orc Wars that the darkspawn spread disease and famine wherever they tread. The earth itself is corrupted by their presence, the sky roiling with angry black clouds. I do not exaggerate when I say that a mass gathering of orcs is an omen of dread cataclysm.
It is said that those cursed magisters who became the first orcs scratched at the very earth to find solace in the darkness of the dwarven Deep Roads, and there in the shadows they multiplied. Whether by intelligent design or by some last vestige of worship in their minds, they attempted to locate the Valar they had once served. They found what they sought: Chorbadag, first among the Valar, once known as the Dragon of Silence before Eru imprisoned him and all his brethren beneath the earth for the first sin: usurping Eru's place in mankind's heart.
The slumbering dragon awoke, freed from Eru's prison by his twisted followers, and became corrupted himself. Chorbadag was transformed into the first Dark Lord, his great and terrible power given will by a rotting, unholy mind. With the orc horde following, Chorbadag rose and took wing in the skies once again, bringing ruin to the world Eru had created. The Valar had become the eye of a dark storm that would ravage the entire world.
The Dwarves FallEdit
The ancient world during the First Orc War was very different from the one known today. Aside from the civilized rule of the Imperium, humans as a race were largely barbarous and splintered, divided into clans and tribes and squabbling among ourselves for resources. At the same time, deep beneath Arda’s great mountain ranges spanned a dwarven culture as organized and advanced as humans were primitive.
As the orcs bubbled up to the surface from their underground lairs, mankind first buckled and then fought back. The armies of Numenor attempted to face down the multitudes of twisted creatures and the horrid rotting of the land around them, but they could not be everywhere at once. Human history remembers the First Orc War as a time of terrible devastation, and those stories are accurate, but in arrogance, humans often forget the price paid by the dwarves in their isolated mountain kingdoms.
The dwarves faced far greater hordes than the humans as the orcs challenged them for control of the underground. Despite the might and technology the dwarves brought to bear, the savage orcs tore through them, first destroying the more remote Thaigs before swallowing up entire kingdoms. An entire civilization lost in the space of decades. Compared to the near-genocide that the dwarves faced, what humans call the First Orc War must have seemed a mere skirmish to them. Against the orcs, the dwarven lands have always taken on the brunt of the fighting and the majority of the sacrifices.
Four dwarven kingdoms finally managed to combine their might and fight back, and that cooperation saved them. But for the rest of their lands it was too late. The orcs had taken the Deep Roads, the majestic underground passages that linked the dwarven lands throughout Arda. The orcs could now attack anywhere on the surface through these tunnels. Humanity simply was not prepared for an onslaught such as this. It was clear that the warfare known would not avail them. They had to find a new way to fight.
Thus came their salvation: The Guardians were born.
Griffons Take FlightEdit
Founded at Weisshaupt Fortress in Numenor, the Guardians offered humanity hope in its darkest hour. Veterans of decades of battles with the orcs came together, and the best among them pledged to do whatever was necessary to stem the tide of darkness that swept across the land. These great humans, elves, and dwarves pooled their knowledge of the enemy and formed a united front to finally put a stop to Chorbadag's rampage.
And stop it they did. Ballads are still told today of the first Guardian charge into the waves of orcs at the city of Nordbotten, each Warden facing 10, 20 orcs at a time. Squadrons of Guardians mounted on their mighty griffons, soaring through the blackened skies and battling the terrible Drk Lord with spear and spell. Oh, what a sight it must have been!
Incredibly, the Guardians won that first battle. They raised their arms in victory, and suddenly there was hope. The Guardians led the lands of men and the last stalwart defenders of the dwarven halls against the hordes of the Dark Lord Chorbadag for the next 100 years, gaining and losing ground but never backing away. They recruited whoever possessed the skill and strength to raise their banner from all over Arda, making no distinction between elven slave or human nobleman. Finally, nearly two centuries after the first Dark Lord rose from the earth, the Guardians assembled the armies of men and dwarves at the Battle of Silent Fields. It was then that Chorbadag was finally defeated and the First Orc War ended.
The Imperium would face a new challenge with the coming of the elves, and thoughts of the Orc War grew distant. With their defeat, the orcs were considered no longer a threat, but with the wisdom of hindsight, we all know that conceit proved to be hopeful and foolish indeed. The task of the Guardians was far from over.