NOTE: All PC Dwarves are ‘Red Beards’ See the description below.
During the reign of King Rostov Gwalcibar II, who was called `The Just’, a band of Dwarves, Gnomes and Halflings came from the west out of the Monalaith Mountains. They told a tale of how their home, the Dwarfhold `Cheka Cheklar’ and the lands above, were overun by a vast horde of Goblins. They were the only survivors. Numbering about four thousand they wandered east searching for a sanctuary and a place to rebuild. King Gwalcibar granted them sanctuary and signed a treaty with the Dwarf Lord, Velbar Stonehammer. The Dwarves settled into an area of Ferramentum rich in iron ore and set about digging and mining and establishing their new home. `Dwarfdale’ as most people call the Dwarfhold, (the Dwarvish name of `Chedza Chana Cheklar’ is just too much), is home to almost all the Dwarves in Velitrium. It is ruled today by `Baron’ Tholdan Stonehammer and is virtually a nation unto itself. Human merchants are not allowed to enter any but the upper galleries, only the King and the Duke of Ferramentum are, by treaty, permitted free run of the complex. The Dwarves are scrupulous in their treaty obligations. They provide armor and weapons for the Royal Army and engineers for public works. They provide a levy of troops when needed and pay their taxes without complaint.
The best armor and weapons, Prince and King grade, are made by the Dwarves. They are hideously expensive but much sought after. Custom made suits of armor are much prized by the Velitar nobility and knights. To have one made requires an appointment, all the cash up front and a wait of at least six months.
As mentioned earlier the Dwarven population in Velitrium, along with the Halflings and Gnomes, arrived as refugees from the sacked Dwarfhold of `Cheka Cheklar’. This vast city had a population of some seventy five thousand Dwarves beneath the earth and perhaps eighty thousand Gnomes and Halflings on the surface.
The Goblin horde that over ran first the surface then the Hold, probably numbered at least seventy thousand warriors. It was one of the largest ever seen in recorded history.
The battle dragged on for weeks without any breaks, truces or pauses. No quarter was asked, none was given. At last the surviving dwarves, halflings and gnomes broke and scattered. The groups spread out across the countryside in all directions. Those under the leadership of Velbar Stonehammer, an old and canny war lord, headed east and north. They gathered in a few small bands of survivors as they went and soon managed to shake off any pursuit.
The refugees had been forced to abandon almost everything in their flight. They brought only weapons and food. The journey was long and hard, even for Dwarves who are renowned for their tireless energy. After months of wandering the band found themselves again under pressure from Goblin raiders. The turned south east and encountered scouts from Velitrium. Thus the demihumans (a term they hate!) found a new home.
Though the invading Goblin hordes had sacked and looted Cheka Cheklar, hauling away many tons of booty, much of what the dwarves couldn’t carry they hid. In secret levels and chambers the bulk of the wealth of Cheka Cheklar lies waiting for its rightful owners to return. The dwarves spend many, many hours discussing what was lost and how to get it back. But of all the great treasures that lie secreted in Cheka Cheklar, none burns more brightly in the hearts and minds of the Dwarves than the Sacred Anvil.
The Anvil is a holy artifact of the Clan. It is THE Holy Artifact of the Clan! It was far to heavy to take with during the flight from the Hold, so it was carefully hidden in a secret, trapped and guarded chamber. The Clan would give all that it has to get the Anvil back. They have sent parties to recover it, but none have returned.
The dwarven population of Velitrium is in fact divided internally into two seperate groups. This division occured about fifty years after arriving in Velitrium.
Velbar Stonehammer, the Clan Lord of the survivors, had made the decision to permenantly settle in Velitrium, with the goal of ultimately recovering the Sacred Anvil from Cheka Cheklar and bringing it to Chedza Chana Cheklar’. He felt that the presence of the Velitar provided a shield that would help protect the Dwarves from any future attack by Goblin Hordes.
Unfortuneately not all the Dwarves were of the same mind. Many saw their time in Velitrium only as an opportunity to regroup before renewing their war with the Goblins and retaking Cheka Cheklar. The leader of this group, another Clan lord named Khedros Drormog, sometimes called �Red Beard� because of his fiery red hair and temper. Drormog and Stonehammer had more differences between them than their visions of the future. There was a history of bad blood that dated back to before the fall of Cheka Cheklar. It had been compounded by what Drormog saw as Stonehammer�s desertion of the City when Stonehammer lead the survivors into the mountains to escape destruction. Drormog had argued against this, wanting instead to continue the battle until the last breath if needed. He had been overruled and had never forgiven Stonehammer for advocating retreat.
At last this long festering feud erupted into violence in the otherwise placid Dwarven community. Drormog and Stonehammer came to blows with a deadly ax duel in Council that only ended when both combatants were forcibly dragged to the ground by the rest of the Council.
After much debate and a formal hearing, Drormog was exiled from Chedza Chana Cheklar. When he left, several hundred loyal followers went with him.
The problem for Drormog was, where to go? He had nowhere near enough fighters to even make the journey back to Cheka Cheklar, much less contemplate retaking it. The mountains in all directions were thik with Goblins who would gleefully die by the thousands for a chance at the heads of a few hundred Dwarves. The Desert was unappealing, so they had no real choice but to stay in Velitrium.
Attempts by Drormog to petition the then King, Lublin Andorra (First Elected King of Velitrium) for land and a title were unsuccessful. The Dark Years were just passed, the kingdom was in social and economic chaos. �Baron� Stonehammer used his considerable influence to persuade King Andorra to deny the petitions.
Lacking a permenant site to build, Drormog�s followers, known collectively as �Red Beards� eventually dispersed throughout the Valley. The bulk of them are found in Argentium, working Royal mines or as smiths and armorers for the Crown or wealthy nobles. Some have settled in human communities as businessmen, others are itinerant miners, smiths and engineers. All told there are probably little over a thousand �Red Beards.� They are forbidden entry into Chedza Chana Cheklar, though a few do business in Dwarfdale (the surface town built on the slopes of the hills that house Chedza Chana Cheklar.)
Subsequent attempts by Drormog�s decendants (he died in 478) to gain titles have also met with Royal resistence. Though Velbar Stonehammer is also gone, his son, Tholdan and the older members of the Council, still hold a grudge against the Red Beards and continue to pressure the Crown to deny the renegades any landed rights.
Though there is a hereditary Clan Lord who oversees the day to day affairs of the clan, the long term policies and planning of the Dwarven government is conducted by a council of the most senior craftsmen, engineers, and Priests. The council can be quite large though the entire body almost never meets at once. Individual committees meet to consider their particular specialty and to decide, for example, which galley should be developed as residences versus shops, and whether a particular vein of ore is valuable enough to pursue with a new shaft, or how much steel should be produced during the next year, etc etc. One of the principle jobs of Clan Lord is to coordinate these committees and see to it that they are aware of other deciscions that might affect their own plans.
Dwarven society is in it’s own way very egalitarian. All Dwarves are equal in the eyes of the law, the leadership is drawn from those who have proven their value to the community. Dwarven society is also very secretive, even towards their own. Knowledge is dispensed on a need to know basis. The average Dwarf miner/soldier knows very little of the deeper secrets and plans of the Council and Clan Lord. One reflection of this secrecy is in the restrictions placed on outsiders entering the Hold. Human traders and merchants are never allowed past the Market Level, which is usually the top most level of the Hold. Even visiting Dwarves from another Hold and Halflings and Gnomes, who are on better terms with Dwarves than any other race, are not allowed very deep into a Hold. They are restricted to the `Public Levels.’ These are two or three levels, including the Market Level, where the granaries and storerooms as well as some craft shops and a few residences are located. Often times there are levels and areas of a Hold that are off limits even to the resident Dwarves, being restricted to those with special authorization.
Moradin “The Soul Forger”
Dwarven Creator God. This is a Monotheistic faith limited entirely to Dwarves.
The Dwarves believe that Moradin created the race of Dwarves from fire, steel and Mithral (a semi mythical metal of remarkable strength). He forged them in the fires at the center of the world and it is here that Morodin dwells, watching over his people. Dwarven mystics believe that Morodin’s presence at the center of the world is what compels the Dwarves to dig ever deeper into the earth.
Morodin’s symbol is a huge glowing hammer. The Hammer is the symbol and weapon of Dwarven Clerics.
The center of the Temple is a great ever burning hearth and forge. With these is the Sacred Anvil which serves as an altar table and is where the greatest artifacts are forged.
Sacrifices of gems and precious metals are made by casting them into the Forge where they are consumed.
Each Clan has a Sacred Anvil or `Great Anvil’ and it is the prized possession of the Clan. It is highly magical, radiates mana as a powerstone, and is immensely heavy (at least 1 ton). It is the anvil’s enchantment that makes it possible for the Dwarven Artisan clerics to make things that would otherwise require a powerful wizard.
There are, three types of Dwarven Clerics that serve Moradin. These are `Councilors’, `Engineers’ and `Artisans’.
All Dwarven Clerics are bound by the following Oath/Vow. Failure to live up to it will mean a loss of spell casting abilities.
Vow to Moradin: +10pts
The Cleric of Moradin vows to serve Moradin by ever serving his people. He or she vows never to use the powers granted by Morodin for selfish purpose or for the benefit of those not of Moradin’s craft. (Non Dwarves). The Cleric vows never to lay hand to a task without that task being completed as skillfuly as possiblle so as to show by example the immeasurable quality of the Creators handiwork.
Dwarven Clerics must have Literacy. 10pts
Councilors are often, (80%) female. A Councilor tends to the physical and emotional health of her people. To this end she has been granted a repetoir of Spells and is obligated to have certin skills. Literacy is required.
The skills are as follows: Theology, Physician, Diagnosis, Surgeon, Diplomacy, Saviore Faire, Law, Leadership, Teaching, Bard, and History. Minimum Skill level is IQ.
The Spells are as follows:
Councilor’s Skill level at casting these is +1
Councilors rarely travel outside of the Dwarven cities. Their purpose is to care for their people and their society by tending to their physical needs and acting as peacemaker, negotiator, moral conscience and advisor. They must know the history of their clan in detail and that of other clans in general. They are very important to the government of a Dwarven city and the peaceful coexistence between clans. The reputation of a Councilor is very important, to that end they all live with Vows of Honesty and Truthfulness. Most also have vows of total Pacifism. This vow adds +1 to their spell casting abilities.
Engineers are usually, (80%) male. Engineers aid their people in the task of Mining and building. Mining not only produces the metals and gems that enhances the clan’s wealth, it also produces the clan’s homes, fortresses. temples, storerooms, and everything else that makes up Dwarven civilization. Mining is probably the single most important activity of a Dwarven clan.
To this end an Engineer has Spells and skills to aid his efforts.
The Skills are: Geology, Engineer (Mining or Plumbing or Combat or Traps(large scale traps)), Mathmatics, Archietecture, Teaching, Metallurgy and Prospecting. Skill level must be IQ+1. (NOTE: Some Skills default to others.)
Literacy is required.
Seek Earth Earth Vision
Shape Stone Earth to Air
Create Air Stone to Earth
Walk Through Earth Light
Continual Light Light Jet
Engineer’s Skill level at casting these is +2
Artisans are of either sex. Artisans aid their people in the production of artifacts, items, tools devices etc. Especialy those of a magical nature. Their are many types of Artisans, they usualy specialize in one or two fields. Some specialties include weapons, armor, jewelry, mechanisms, musical insturments, toys, sculpture and pottery, glassworking, silver and gold smithing, etc, etc. Some of the appropriate skills are Armoury, Blacksmith, Jeweler, Engineer (Primitive Machines, Clockwork, Vehicles, Traps (small)) Mechanic ((prereq for Engineer) Wagons, Clockwork and small gadgets) Pottery, Glassblowing (MA based on HT), Artist, Sculpting, Metallurgy, Traps, etc… Generaly an Artisan has a specialty field with one or two secondaries.
Literacy is required.
Artisans also manufacture or at least aid in the manufacture of magic items. Not all Artisans participate to the same degree, some are Enchanters, some are Alchemists, and some are the craftspeople and assistants to the Enchanters. To this end many have skills in Occultism and Alchemy. (See below)
Find Weakness Reshape
Repair Arrow Shatter Proof
All Linking type Meta spells
All Enchantment spells EXCEPT Scroll.
Artisans are +2 in casting these spells.