Dwarven Clans, The

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The Dwarven Clans

By Arishar Hildmordh

With the passing of time, even those as hardy as the very earth from which Kertigen gave us life must change, and with change there are many things, even those ingrained so deeply within us, that bear the risk of being forgotten.

It is against this that I commit these brief passages of our clans to written form, in the hopes that in the coming days, those of whom I happily call kin will rememeber their place in the society we have all worked so hard to preserve. It is also my hope that before our father calls me home to spend my days drinking divine ale and mining riches beyond dreams, that I can put more into words of our history and ways. Let this book not be the end of what once was, but the continuing of what is, and forever will be, so long as we walk upon the lands beneath the loving eyes of our creator.

By my hand, Arishar Hildmordh - Loyal historian and kinsman.

1. Stone Clan - Staan Stok

Much more trusting of outsiders, Stone clan has thrived despite its many hardships in recent years due to aid from from the various civilized areas settled nearby. Members of Stone Clan find a penchant and skill for a multitude of abilities, from forging to combat, mining and brewing. Choosing to be nothing less than prepared at all times, they keep busy by constantly training any and all who come seeking knowledge, so that none will ever forget their place within the realms. In keeping with their ability to thrive among the races, they brew several variances of ales, from strong fruit-flavored ales, to dark, bitter brews obviously made in reverence to the Dwarven palate.

2. Rose Clan - Knarn Stok

Open only to unwed females of suitable age, members loyal to Rose clan choose to take no sutors and remain celibate members of the community and spend their life in universal service. Members of this clan claim that on occasion they receive visions of the Rose Maiden herself, and tout supposed prophetic abilities from time to time.

The history of the "Rose Maiden" for which this clan was named is largely unknown in its entirety. What is known is that the Kwarlog Dwarves discovered the body of a maiden, dead but perfectly preserved, lying on a stone slab at the bottom level of a series of caverns. Gathered in her hands, upon her breast, was a rose-- carved so extraordinarily from white stone, that it seemed bedewed. Before the Dwarves could do more than observe this in wonder, however, several Biters appear, driving them back up through their tunnels. To make matters worse, the lower portion of the tunnels collapsed, burying the Biters and the rose-bearing maiden. Centuries later, Cordhvirae Stonesekker, claiming to have dreamt of the Rose Maiden decreed that she and three other maidens will not accept suitors at the coming of age, instead remaining celibate and in universal service to the community.

Others later followed Cordhvirae, even after her own death, and it was they that became the Rose Clan.

3. Hammer Clan - Hamar Clan

Miners and treasure seekers are the people of Hammer Clan. Extensively searching out an area before settling, they seek to find lands rich in ores and minerals. Before ever willingly leaving their lands, they will delve deeply, taking as much of the riches they believe left to them by Kertigen as possible, and if forced to leave, their skill in mining makes them able to close off any possible chance of using the mines again. Their skill with brewing often returns a dark, heady, bland ale with a strong after-taste reminscent of dried herbs.

4. Axe Clan - Bardh Stok

Weaponsmiths and builders, members of this clan are often called upon for their craftsmanship and attention to detail. It's often said that it was Axe Clan that lent their fine eye to much of the original construction of Throne City, much of which has withheld the ravages of time, standing in testament to their craftsmanship. While the mysteries of brewing are held in high regard by most dwarves, Axe Clan brew often has a sharp biting flavor tinted with the sweetened touch of honey and almonds.

5. Biter Clan - Grimis Stok

Members of Biter Clan tend to exhibit a preference for not just living underground, but deeper than many would find comfortable. They prefer the wilder, less civilized areas and because of this, become fierce defenders of their brethren and their territory. Not quite nomadic in nature, members of this clan settle and form a recognized territory, seeking to live in harmony with the surroundings, moving only when life becomes stagnant or easy going. "Luxury is for the timid -- it makes the body weak, and mind as dull as forge smoke". Though often forced to vary the recipe for a good ale, their skill with brewing rivals that of the "softer" clans with what they call "Grimis Mluk". Resembling the color and consistancy of tar, the dark, thick liquid has a suprisingly smooth flavor and lingering scent of mushrooms. Its effects however are quite strong, and not for those with a light constitution.

6. Ghost Clan - Drawg Stok

Moving silently throughout the lands, ever watchful for danger to their silent way of life, members of this clan choose to remain soley among their own kind, choosing very rarely to interact with members of other clans, or of other races. This clan is much more nomadic than any other, harboring a great suspicion of outsiders, and should their home ever be discovered, often it will vanish without so much as a whisper, and never seen again. Despite leaving little representation of their existence, being Dwarves, their nature still calls for a good ale. Simply called "Drawg", the thick, pale ale is brewed from dried herbs and bark from the blackfruit tree. Aged in casks of deobar buried deep underground, it is believed that no draught of this somber drink is tasted before it is at least a century old.