The Dwarves of Ehtome-Naom
Stocky and mostly crude, Dwarves usually make good untrained fighters and are quite adept at mining and metalsmithing as well. The language they speak, ToZheeler, written with the ToCha'r system, falls harsh on the uninitiated ear. They hate Elves (Illif) with a passion and Haflings (Beard-footers) only slightly less so, but can abide Gnomes and Umen, and for the most part are agreeable to, if not amused by, Oarcs. Fond of ale, and enamored of brash music marked with tusk-horn, drum, and anvil, Dwarves have a robust and hearty enjoyment of life, as sung in their eddas and lore-odes. Seventy percent of Dwarfenkind pledges to one Clan or another, either through blood-birth or fealty; nearly all the rest are free peasants (miners, laborers, farmers), but some few are dolmaack (outcast for crime or noncomformity). Their god is Krazz the All-Father, who created Dwarves within a volcanic forge deep under Mount Gozo.
Orders Of Ehtome-Naom Dwarves from the work of NumLock the Scribe -- Unbelievably diverse in nature, the Dwarfen race has been thought to frequent Aniada for quite some time. It was not until the discovery of Ehtome-Naom that it was possible to put quill to paper in order to describe some of the most common Dwarfen castes. The following list is not an attempt to document the entire Dwarfen race, as this would be quite impossible to do. It does attempt to represent the most predominant Orders of Ehtomer Dwarves known frequenting Ehtome-Naom.
Mountain Dwarf -- Sticking mainly to the Dragon's Peak Mountain Range, where they care for creatures such as mountain goats and sheep, Mountain Dwarves are fiercely independent and have reputations as hardy fighters.
Rock (or Quarry) Dwarf -- Considered the grumpiest of the known Dwarves, Rock Dwarves find their calling in the cracks and nooks of rocken crevices, or deep within a hill or mountain. Rock Dwarves seek the precious gifts hidden beneath the stone and soil. Their toil is not for wealth, although they don't seem to mind it, but for the simple satisfaction of possessing one of the crystal stones or gems Aniada has to offer.
Dwarf of the Holy Order -- These Dwarves are the priests and monks, teaching the ancient religious beliefs and upholding the spiritual canons of Dwarven kind. They maintain the Spirit Festivals and keep watch over the "Home of Creation," the great volcanic vent under Mount Gozo.
Cropper Dwarf -- Finding the keeping of things green as their heritage, Cropper Dwarves may as often be found roaming the Lands for a rare herb or vegetable, as tending to a diseased or injured tree in the middle of a forest. Cropper and Mountain Dwarves supply all of the food for Ehtome-Naom.
Tinker Dwarf -- Many wonderful inventions have come from the Tinker Dwarf; however, few Umen have ever seen them. With various tools tied to belts and jackets, Tinkers are the thinkers of the Dwarfen communities.
ZrrKyrr -- The warrior Dwarf. Although most Dwarves can hold their own in a tough spot, the ZrrKyrr is most feared. Ferocious fighters, the ZrrKyrr are the protectors of Ehtome-Naom. One ZrrKyrr provoked will often be the last one standing in a fray.
Ice Dwarves -- Though autonomous, and not officially a branch of the Nation of Dwarfenkind, the Ice Dwarves nonetheless rely on protection and some occassional assistance from the Ehtomer Sea Force. These red-skinned, white-haired dwarves, usually no taller than three feet (and as short as two) inhabit a floating glacier than follows currents around the Ice Krowne. They claw their Spartan living from the sea, and have never been known to cause anyone any trouble.
Any Ehtomer Dwarf will calmly (or irately) explain that Ehtome-Naom is the birthplace of all Dwarves. They justify the existence of Dwarves in other lands thusly: "Dolmaacks ("outcasts"), as must've shipped off in shame, and whether they have made some new colony or what-have-yew, 'tis none of our concern!"
Outcasts from Ehtome-Naom, or indigenous to other homelands, it matters not: many Dwarves roaming the lands are not Ehtomer. They follow none of the social castes of Ehtome-Naom, and are usually known to speak the Uman-Common tongue, rather than ToZheeler. They also follow gods other than Krazz the All-Father. Many are tolerant of Elf and Hafling.
But as well as differences twixt Ehtomer and Free-Dwarf, there are also similarities: with a war-hammer in one hand and a tankard of strong blackmead in the other, a Dwarf is always known to crave the heartiest aspects of life. Magic rubs against his grain, and brings forth angry grumblings.
Most are free spirits, adventurers-for-hire, with little to hold them to any particular range of land -- but some small farming communities also exist, as do mines full of Dwarves who pull forth from the ground the most wondrous of ore-metals and gemstones.
The Dwarves of Silverdeep
The home of the Mining Dwarves of Tenara, Silverdeep, is located at the base of the Mountains of Dare. Some of the caverns extend into the mountains as well.
There are The Five Clans and The Council (There is no Dwarven King.)
The Silverdeep Clans are as follows:
The Silver Clan -- largest silver mines in the Dare Mountains
The Stones Clan -- largest producer of semi-precious stones.
Drakken Clan -- silver, iron and copper.
Tunden Clan -- silver and tin.
Gurra Clan -- silver, iron and semi-precious stones.
The largest and most powerful is the Silver Clan, dominating the silver trade on this continent. It is almost as large in terms of population and number of mines as all the other clans put together. The Silver Clan is ruled by the Head, who is the head of an ancient and powerful family. As in the other clans, the Head is virtually the clan's King. He has many sons, in charge of this or that. There are internal intrigues. The other families sometimes unite against the Head family.
The other clans, although much smaller, also contribute greatly to the overall trade in silver, iron, copper, tin, bronze (locally produced) and semi-precious stones. Politically speaking, they are usually united, to counterbalance the might of The Silver Clan.
Incidentally, dwarves value precious stones as if they are the most desirable things in the world, having almost a religious status. Semi-precious stones are the next-best thing. Many dwarves collect them.
Mostly the dwarven clans cooperate by staying out of each others' way in trade deals, (the 'territories' have been long established), trading misc. things, mingling in sporting events and fairs and allowing cross-marriages.
They are also united in the institution of The Council: five wise guys, one from each clan, as nominated by that Clan's Head.
The Silverdeep Dwarves have always historically united easily and willingly to fight a common foe. Their control of the mountains around their claimed above-ground territory is complete. However, other than military hunters, herders and military patrols / 'hard points,' they stay to their underground world. The network of tunnels is extensive and ever-expanding (via cheap slave labor -- captured orcs and such) and travel is usually done by way of tunnel, rather than a road. As a matter of fact, the Dwarves of Silverdeep like to use orcish and other slaves for all the menial tasks and hard labor.
The Dwarven Clans, in an organized effort, maintain a road through the foothills that reaches the plains and a straight shot to Caradon.}
Other races of Dwarf are rumored to exist in the Underneath and elsewhere, but none have yet shown themselves.
Age: 55 Winters
Birth: Winter, Moneth of Wulf Moon, 488 A.R.
Home Hearth: Warren Standingready, Ehtome-Naom
Zhaetar is short and brawny, like most dwarves, but she possesses a lean, pantherine grace, as if ready to pounce at a moment’s notice.
Her straw-like hair is the colour of burnished copper, wild and windblown atop her head, swept back behind her ears and tied in rough braids clasped with leather. Her hair trails down from her temples in braided sideburns tucked also behind her ears and hanging down from the corners of her jaw. These too are braided and set with green glass beads. Her countenance is determined and thoughtful, her icy blue eyes piercing and glittering with savage laughter. The smell of leather and sweat and mud clings to her like perfume.
She wears tight plaid leggings of red and green, torn and ripped at the knees, and a sleeveless tunic furred at the shoulders and cut low at her breast. A thick girdle cinches up her middle, from which hang pouches and tools, a knife and a silver trinket of a hunting horn identifying her rank as Seeker, a scout and monster hunter. Her leather boots are ragged and muddy, the simple treads of a practical dwarf that have seen many miles of hardscrabble trekking beneath their thinning soles.
She carries a mastercrafted dwarven shortbow—made from a thick and sturdy plank of steelwood but tapered and set with iron at the end of each limb and at the knocking point. Not an elegant weapon, and with far less range than a brittle iliff bow, but with solid power enough to put an arrow through a steel breastplate, or scaled hide.
Zhaetar is a dutiful, fastidious, and fiercely loyal young dwarf, known for a meticulous attention to detail and assiduous focus on her goals. While she presents an austere and taciturn persona, this outward demeanor conceals keen senses, a shrewd mind, and remarkable insight.
She has little patience with what she considers the frivolous pursuits of other races and cultures, and is profoundly comfortable within the conservative and rigid characteristics of dwarven society. She is plain-spoken and blunt to a fault, often oblivious or uncaring as to how her actions might offend non-dwarves. It’s been said that Zhaetar’s demeanor can be as warm as winter on the Ice Krowne, and is usually about as charming as a bag of cave centipedes, but she can be fiercely loyal to those to whom a friendship has been forged.
-Deadeye: An expert sharpshooter with the dwarfen bow, she trained for accuracy, range, and loosing arrows with surprising alacrity and power.
-Tracker: Zhaetar is adept at following sign and spoor across even hardscrabble lands in pursuit of her quarry. She is able to discern clues, recreate what transpired on the landscape, and make predictions about the quarry’s movement and destination.
-Monster Hunter: Zhaetar was trained by Priests of Orem in the physiology, mannerisms, ferocity, and ecology of beasties big and small, to better understand and hunt down dangerous monsters that could threaten dwarven lands.
-Grudgebound: Zhaetar’s memory for treachery is much longer than her memory for kindness.
-Clannish: Zhaetar is fiercely loyal to Krazz’s children, and will do anything to aid another dwarf, even if they’re in the wrong.
-Skysickness: When outside of the vaulted cavern-cities of Ehtome-Naom, Zhaetar suffers from headaches, dizziness, and the disconcerting sensation that she could ‘fall’ up into the sky. This fades slightly with time, and at night, but never truly dissipates.
Background: Zhaetar was born the eldest child and only daughter of a renowned Zrrkyrr Captain, Zharn, and Stateswoman, Bryln. She grew up brawling and fighting with her brothers and other clanlings in the warrens of Mt. Tallstone, despite attempts by her mother to groom her for a more dignified role in political leadership. At a young age, she was enrolled as a prentice warrior, enduring grueling training, harsh discipline, and sour-tempered treatment at the hands of the Standingready militia. It was during this formative time at the military academy that she suffered a tragic setback--accidentally causing the death of her close friend, another young cadet. Expelled from the path of the warrior, she was exiled to the surface, to be disgraced as a dolmaack. However, due to the circumstances and her family’s honor, she was given a chance for redemption. Sent to join an order of wilding dolmaack scouts, the Seekers, who embrace their banishment to protect the warrens from the perils of the surface world, Zhaetar could find absolution in a century’s worth of service.
Instead of axe, hammer, and shield, Zhaetar was trained in the bow and knife, and in the art of the hunt, tracking, and the ecology of monsters. To wear her banishment as a badge of honour, and be a shield in the wilderness for the homeland of Ehtome-Naom.
A few moneths ago, Zhaetar was chosen for a dangerous assignment far from her mountain homeland, seeking something, or someone...