Rockhome, the ancestral nation of dwarves, lies in the northeastern part of the continent.It's a landlocked mountain region, beautiful with its ice-capped mountaintops, green valleys and large clear lakes. Though the human eye first notices the land's natural beauties, it is the nation's mineral resources which endear it to the dwarven inhabitants. The mountains are riddles with caves and extensive cavern networks, rich in various metal ores. The rough and rocky nature of the land there are only three major roads which enter Rockhome, all along easily defended mountain passes makes Rockhome easy to defend.
Players desiring to play races other than dwarf or gnome, should go back and choose a different place of origin.
History as the Dwarves know it
In the dim ages of the world's past, the land that was to become Rockhome lay under thick ice. The Immortal known as Kagyar saw this dim landscape as an unpainted canvas. He whipped the curtain of ice from it and began to alter it to his liking.
To begin, he created a creature which would be master of this land and celebrant of Kagyar's philosophies. From a boulder, with his magics and consummate artistry, he fashioned a powerful mortal being which he called "Rockborn" in the dwarven language, "Denwarf". Denwarf was the first of the dwarves and their first king as well.
Kagyar created many more of Denwarf's folk and infected them with a desire to craft beauty from all things which come from the land. He gave them skills and abilities that would allow them to thrive both above and below ground. Then, he withdrew from the land of these folk to see what they would do.
In the ages which followed, the dwarves increased in population and thrived. In these times, they believed that their mountains were the center of the world, and there were no other worthy intelligent races to be found only the primitive goblins, orcs, gnolls and the like. Over time, they drowve the other races from the mountains and made eternal enemies of these tribes.
Denwarf never did grow old. Decade after decade he served the dwarves as king. He was revered as a great king, and in the 400th year of his reign he discovered a massive cavern complex in the foothills east of Lake Stahl, and commanded his clans to move to this lovely subterranean land. He named the place "Dengar" which translates into Rockhome in the common tongue. Then, he set about exploring the deeper and darker passages of the caverns and was never again seen by dwarven eyes.
Eventually, the dwarves encountered other higher forms of live known to the world higher, in their eyes, because they had crafts and made things of beauty. The humans elicited both admiration and scorn: admiration because they were capable of leaps of imagination beyond even dwarves and were masters of crafting things from glass, cloth, wood and leather, materials which the dwarves had never truly mastered; scorn, because so few of them were really creators, heroes or visionaries. Halflings are regarded in much the same way as humans. Elves elicited mainly scorn and a grudging envy. These tall and lighthearted folk could craft gold and silver and jewels as well as dwarves, but they were such a shallow race, imagining they saw as much beauty in a song as an inlaid axe-head. The elves are too free, too embarassing, too flighty and too silly a race for dwarven tastes. In the gnomes, the dwarves found kinship and brotherhood.
So, Rockhome gradually began trading out its surplus craft goods and raw ores. Rockhome is now regarded as a nation, and a much sought-after trading partner. The great city of Dengar, built in the caverns and founded by Denwarf, thives and a new city called Upper Dengar functions as the center of trade in Rockhome.
Dwarven colonies and communities have sprung up throughout the continent, with the exception of Glantri where the gnomish race are hunted down and often experimented on by the wizards who are fascinated by the dwarves' resistance to magic.
The Character of the Dwarf
If there is a race of workoholics, it is the dwarven race. Laziness, as a character trait, is practically unknown among the dwarves; when it appears it is considered a disease of the mind. They do however find time to enjoy company, storytelling, feasting, swilling alcohol, playing games, etc.
Tied in with their need to work is a strong desire to create things. Every dwarf, from birth, is trained in trades of mining and engineering. Many dwarves also pursue skill in craftsmanship of metals and gems. If a dwarf sees a boulder, some inner part of his mind is turning it into something, whether it be a sculpture, a construct, a trap or a weapon. Every construction a dwarf sees is subject to his professional scrutiny.
Naming your character
Dwarven names are composed of a first 'true name' and a secondary name that is most often an epithet:
First names are most commonly 2 syllables. Some examples are Balar, Doric, Kurto, and Torlum.
Secondary names tend to most often refer to excellence in battle. Some examples of gnomish epithets would be Shieldcracker, Orcslayer and Skullplitter. Or they may refer to appearance, such as Redbeard, Blackbrow or Fire-Eye.
Also, when introducing themselves, the dwarf tends to follow a precise and unvarying pattern: "(Name), son/daughter of (Name), and well-met". For example, "Thoric Redhand, son of Dorto, and well-met". When introducing themselves to fellow dwarves or someone he respects, the dwarf will generally include his family name in the introduction; "Thoric Redhand, son of Dorto of the Buhrodars, and well-met". Dwarves are even known to intoduce themselves this way to an enemy, preferring the enemy to know the name of his slayer.
Every Rockhome dwarf belongs to a family which, in turn belongs to one of the seven major clans of Rockhome, which are listed below.
Buhrodar The Buhrodar Family is descended from a dwarven religious fighting brotherhood, the "Order of the Golden Battle" and were instrumental in pushing humanoids out of Rockhome's borders. Today, the Buhrodars are a theocratic clan and believe government should be in the hands of the clerics devoted to the Immortal Kagyar. (on good terms with the Torkrests, on bad terms with the Skarrads)
Everast Perhaps the oldest dwarven clan and is the clan of the current Dwarf-king. Many dwarves of this clan are nobles and skilled in trade, diplomacy and administration. (on good terms with the Skarrads and Syrklists, on bad terms with the Hurwarfs)
Hurwarf There is actually no Hurwarf family, but rather it is a clan of like-minded dwarves who favor the philosophy of isolationism. If the Hurwarfs were to have their way, trade with the outside world would be cut off and dwarven life would revert to simpler times. (on bad terms with the Everasts, Skarrad and Syrklists)
Skarrad The Skarrad families, in general, are experts in the advancemetn of architecture and engineering, but are more widely known for their developments in the creation of machinery and technology. Skarrads seek to gain an advantage over other races through the pursuit of technology and are notorious workhorses, even for dwarves (on bad terms with the Hurwarfs and Buhrodars, on good terms with the Everasts and the Syrklists)
Torkrest This clan's membership dominates the ranks of the Rockhome military. Renowned for their fighting ability, they also work hard to influence Rockhome politics. (on bad terms with the Wyrwarfs, on good terms with the Buhrodars)
Wyrwarf This clan is composed of lower class families, criminals, descendants of outcasts and especially farmers, who are considered the most lowly and unfortunate of dwarves. This oft-maligned clan's only claim to power is its grip over the Rockhome food supply. (on bad terms with the Torkrests)
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