The dwarves of Dalun traveled across the Dungardt Mountains in the East and settled all along its ranges and peaks. The mightiest of the dwarf lords built their halls in the North and made alliances with the Gnomes of Rokourd. Only a few dwarf clans traveled any further South than the River Krathis. Known as the Drahnümmar in dwarven; there are two major groups of dwarves in Dalun: “mountain dwarves” and “hill dwarves,” also known as the Kra’hünmar. Mountain dwarves account for a majority of dwarf-kind in Dalun and inhabit the a number of cities along the Dungardt Mountain range. A “hill dwarf” is the name given to the dwarves who migrated out of the Dungardt Mountains after the Age of Fire to establish trade with the rest of the folk of Dalun and bring wealth back to the depleted dwarven kingdom. They bear this name because it is said that they settled among the many hills of the lower lands of Dalun.
A typical dwarf warrior
Culture & Pursuits
Mountain dwarves tend to value tradition and the veneration of ancestors. To a mountain dwarf family, clan and king are the most important things to honor and protect. Because craftsmanship and warrior prowess are so highly regarded by mountain dwarves many become miners, smiths, masons and warriors. Many mountain dwarves have a hard time putting their god before their clan and thus very few mountain dwarves become druids or paladins, though some will train as clerics. The pursuits of wizardry are not encouraged by many mountain dwarf families, however there are no particular laws barring the use or study of the arcane, moreso just general social stigma against wizardry. However, the value of a wizard’s augmentations to the already impressive dwarven craftsmanship is most welcome, so while there tend to be few wizards and even fewer sorcerers or bards, the wizards among the mountain dwarves usually wind up rising to prominence. Rogues amongst mountain dwarves are not common either because of the pride and respect that many mountain dwarves hold for earning their gold through bitter combat and masterful works of craftsmanship.
Hill dwarves differ from their mountain-dwelling kin in a number of ways. Though still important, hill dwarves have much looser ties to the crown and do not keep as rigid a record of family and clan lineage. To a hill dwarf the greatest pride they can attain is the amassing of wealth and honor for themselves or their immediate family members. While mountain dwarves have a deep reverence for their ancestors and kings, hill dwarves respect heroes and adventurers who have won renown for themselves or the dwarven people. To outsiders dwarves can appear greedy and selfish, particularly hill dwarves because many dwarf families measure ones worth less so by their achievements but by their wealth. However, to most dwarves wealth is not often horded simply to have the biggest pile of gold, but instead to show the greatness and prowess of the dwarf as a people. And it is a frequently practiced custom among dwarves to send their treasures to their families or land lieges back in the Dungardt Mountains. Or to invest this wealth in art projects or military needs.
After the war with the humans during the first age the dwarven kingdom’s treasury was drained of its wealth from hiring mercenaries and training soldiers. The hill dwarves were the ones who forsook the rewards of land granted by the lords of the dwarven aristocracy to obtain riches by adventuring throughout Dalun. Hill dwarves take to a wider variety of professions than their mountain-dwelling kin and many have become adventurers.
While the mountain dwarves reside along the slopes and amongst the tunnels of the Dungardt Mountains, hill dwarves can be found throughout much of Dalun. Many dwarves of either lineage can be found in Drithkowl and Edril simply because of their proximity to the dwarven homelands. Very few dwarves live in Lathlor because of the tension and rivalry with the elves and very small number of dwarves have settled throughout Vyankal. These dwarves are for the most part the legacy of hill dwarves seeking treasure throughout the barrows of the grey moors and some have made homes in Wyrnward and Westwater. There is a larger demographic of hill dwarves living in Tradekeep where their skills and affinity for precious stones and metals has afforded them a position of wealth within the affluent city. Dwarves can be found in smaller communities throughout the rest of Caelildran and throughout the trade towns of Burnordraath. Like many demi-humans, dwarves are not welcome and are few in number throughout Drasguard.
Rulership and Law
Because dwarves are so long lived they tend to have large families with many different generations of dwarves living and working throughout the family unit. These large, and often-times, complex families with their various interconnecting marriages are grouped into clans. A clan represents a number of dwarf families who can trace their bloodline back to common ancestor, typically one of renown or import. Mountain dwarves hold their clan in high regard whereas hill dwarves tend to have fewer clan ties and concern themselves mostly with their immediately family or their own personal goals. Regardless of type, clans hold no actual political power; they are not a governing body. However, it is not uncommon for particular clans to be more involved in politics and to maintain a tradition of governance and therefore certain clans are more actively seen in legal affairs.
The definitive ruler
To the dwarf-kind religion is more personal and inward than it is for humans. Dwarf priests of any creed are rare because they already hold deep respect and reverence for their ancestors and kings. The gods are seen more as creators and characters that exist somewhere between myth and history. To the dwarven people the gods do not appoint the king or guide the clans. To many dwarves the gods are not to be feared, but many dwarves recognize the fervor of their followers, particularly the zealots of the dark gods. Still, faith is powerful and even dwarves can come to revere the gods, so it is not entirely unheard of, especially among hill dwarves, to see priests or shaman.