Upon rising to power in the chaotic aftermath of Randic Torn's death, Emperor Hira attempted to wrestle control of the empire from the people by exterminating the sword-singers. The Singers were few in number and unprepared to join together into an army that could defend their homes and lives. Hira moved swiftly against those Singers who were visibly a part of empire's society. This included Divad Hunding, whose music and fame were so widespread that Hira sent one hundred of his personal guards to arrest him. They successfully captured him at his home, but one of the guards cruelly struck his elderly mother, killing her. In that instant, the spirit of the Way awoke in Divad, and he turned his own chains into weapons, slaying four guards and escaping.
Divad became a prominent figure in the resistance against Hira, rumored to appear everywhere the emperor's plans went awry. He later approached his father, Frandar Hunding, who had retreated to Mount Hattu many years prior to writing down his years of accumulated wisdom, strategy, and the way of the Shehai. Ultimately, Divad convinced his reluctant father to him to lead the war against the emperor. When the Singers discovered that Hira was forming his army to invade High Desert, they fled from their camps to the foot of Hattu where Hunding and Divad emerged ready to lead them. The remnants formed into the Army of the Circle, and began to learn "Hunding's Way", his strategies, and tactics.
Hammer and the Anvil
Hunding devised a plan of seven battles, leading the armies of Hira further and further into the wilderness to the foot of Mount Hattu, where the final battle could be fought. Hunding called his plan the "Hammer and the Anvil." With each battle Hunding's Singers would further learn his strategies and tactics, grow strong in the use of the Shehai, and be ready to defeat their opponents in the seventh battle. Hunding's plan worked and the six first battles were waged, each neither victory or defeat, each leading to the next. Outnumbering the Singers thirty to one, Hira and his army maneuvered to the base of Mount Hattu, where the hammer blow was delivered. The battle was bloody, but the Singers were victorious. Less than twenty thousand singers survived, but Hira's army was decimated after losing over three hundred thousand. Unappreciated among the citizenry and no longer welcome, Frandar and his army left for the port city of Arch in the province of Seawind. There they boarded a flotilla of ships and began their great migration to Hammerfell.