dwarves

Society before the War of Iron and Blood

Dwarfs were governed by a junta of war-chiefs. Each of these war-chiefs held responsibility for a family or group of families. Dwarven society was mostly concerned with defense of the northern gate of Ironhold and trade concerns with the Elves and Humans to the south. They worked hard to mine out the minerals and gemstones they could from the mountain range, working up and down the range to do this. At the time of the War of Iron and Blood there were five main families in Dwarf life.

Stonebreaker Family was responsible for the civilian infrastructure.
Gemfinder Family was responsible trade negotiations with the humans and elves.
Ironbound Family held responsibility to ward the northern gate.
Deepdigger Family and Diamondfinder Family worked the business of mining and bringing back the goods to be processed in Ironhold.

Each family had it's own craftsmen who would work the metals and gemstones brought back to Ironhold into goods that would then be traded for food and other necessities for the settlement. Goods and services between the families was worked out through a complex system of tributes that each family would pay each other. Originally, each family had also done some foodstuff manufacturing, but once trade sprang up with the humans after the fall of the crystal kingdom, the dwarfs moved almost exclusively to trading to feed their families.

Families frequently exchanged service in each other's major roles, both to bind the families together and to ensure that the bloodlines did not become too separate. Marriage and migration between family lines was fairly frequent. Additionally, the dwarfs had no problems with Human and Elven craftsmen who wished to settle inside of Ironhold, treating them as a separate entity onto themselves and expecting tribute to support the infrastructure the same as they expected out of any other non-major family group.

After the Fall of Ironhold.

Dwarf society today is a pale and sad shadow of what it once was. Pushed off their homeland over fifty years ago now, the number of dwarfs who remembered the glory days are fast dwindling. Today they exist in small groups in human settlements trying to keep alive some hope that better days might be ahead. For the most part they are put to work in the forges of human settlements to construct implements of war for the Flaming Fist tribe of orcs. To what end these instruments might be used, the dwarfs don't know. They only know that by continuing to ply their trades, they get the food and shelter then need to starve off death by exposure for one more day.

A hope for the future?

Crushed in spirit and driven from their homelands, made to work at the whims of their orcish masters, Dwarfs have little to look forward to. However, recently in hushed voices and spoken only amongst their own kind, there is a whisper of a change coming. Dreams of Dwarfish glory of old being reborn has crept into the dwarfish dream-scape, and the extent to which it has been common has given Dwarfs all over the plains and forests an opportunity to continue to hold out hope that they will have a chance to eventually strike a blow at their slave masters. After all, how could it get any worse?

dwarves

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