Dwarves of Lost Koldukar
Dwarven Clans of Koldukar
Encompassing possibly hundreds of family members spanning six or more generations at a time and up to a dozen settlements, a dwarf’s clan is the social centre of his life and a great comfort in times of strife. Though there are many differing roles which a dwarf may pursue within a single clan’s structure, most clan members tend to learn and practice related trades traditionally associated with their clans. Individuals who gravitate towards another clan’s trade might be apprenticed and further seek to marry into that clan; ensuring their own happiness while helping to maintain a healthy population and alliances between clans. Such marriages are traditionally arranged by the couples’ elders, though the bride and groom are permitted to refuse a match with good reason. With few exceptions, children of such unions are hereditarily members of their mother’s clan. In this way, with a well maintained genealogical record, a dwarf can proudly trace her ancestry through most of an area’s clans and so claim kinship with newly-met strangers with varying degrees of effort. There are titles of respect afforded to older members of one’s parentage within the clan, starting with one’s parents (father & mother), grand-parents (grand-father & grand-mother), great-grandparents (sire & dame) and great-great-grandparents (grandsire & grandame). The eldest dwarves in any holding are always referred to as “patriarch” and “matriarch” by their kinfolk, while those older than oneself but indirectly related are addressed as “elder” and those of the same age or younger are addressed as “cousin”. Though there are and have been many other dwarven clans that have formed, split, joined together or died out through the ages, the following lists some of the most prominent clans native to the lost kingdom Koldukar.
Clan Amberfire (Khamur): Though several dwarven families brew their own beers and spirits, few commonly do so with such pious ritual as do members of this clan. Though their lagers and ales are a mainstay of the region’s dinner tables, it is their special reserve of blessed “Khamur” whiskey (which doubles as holy water amongst dwarven priests) that is the family’s true source of pride.
Clan Blackhammer (Narabekzar): Reputed to be descended from an ancient order of highland forge-priests, members of this family claim to have been entrusted with tools and techniques by Torag himself which they used to craft dwarvenkind’s greatest relics in ages past. Though many relics were lost with the fall of Koldukar, descendants yet maintain sacred forge-temples in which they continue their devotions and smithing work to this day.
Clan Earthdelve (Kâminagnad): One of the oldest of the great dwarven clans, the history of the family stretches back beyond the founding of Koldukar to the very beginning of the Quest for Sky. It was the clan’s hardy and resolute ancestors who lead the way upward; toiling endlessly to clear corridors through the earth and up into the alien world above for their people. Their descendants have never stopped their toil; continuing to plumb the earth for mineral wealth to supply the countless craftsmen who depend upon them.
Clan Goldenhand (Kidzulrath): A prosperous clan with branches in many dwarven communities, members of this family are unusually gregarious and possess an ease of manner and facility with languages that allow them to excel as diplomats and traders. With many members venturing far from home and with an ear to the ground, they are one of the primary means by which distant dwarven communities stay in touch and share news.
Clan Hallowforge (Lagunakab): Though all clans have priests to lead worship and carry out the sacred rites tied to virtually every aspect of dwarven life, members of this revered clan are among the most gifted in matters of theology, spirituality and prayer. From their ranks have come dwarves blessed with divine insight, oracular visions and even the power to perform miracles. It’s the clan’s very founder who reputedly first conveyed the Gods’ will concerning the Quest for Sky to the dwarven people.
Clan Harrowtract (Baiblêglabrur): One of the most widespread clans, its honest and hardworking members are often discounted until they gather together in vast numbers for some purpose. As skilled as any craftsman, they have traditionally been farmers with a knack for drawing forth life from all manner of soil; even in the lightless depths from which they originated. Not to be underestimated, some adventurous clan members prefer to range further afield; becoming canny hunters and trappers of no small skill.
Clan Thunderhead (Thenbarbund): An extended family of savage highland warriors whose ancient oath to defend lost Koldukar from predatory giants continues to sway them in the modern age. They are known for their indomitable courage, brutal martial skills and an all-consuming battle frenzy to which short-tempered members of the family are often prone.
Clan Rockfall (Tharrislên): A family of soldiers and mercenaries reputed to be descended from Koldukar’s ancient lowlands military divisions, members of this clan proudly maintain a longstanding warrior tradition focusing on strategic teamwork, shield formations and sudden devastating charges likened to an avalanche. Their traditional enemies are the orcish hordes of against whom they hone their skills.
Clan Runemark (Ablâkarash): A relatively small family of mystics whose members pursue all manner of arcane arts (save tabooed necromancy), but who are most often associated with prognostication and imbuing items with power through the engraving of runes. Alternatively respected, feared or mistrusted, the family continues to suffer the stigma of being associated with the deposed Whispering Tyrant’s regime due their clan’s protracted enslavement by the same.
Clan Silverbeard (Zigiltarg): Keepers of dwarven history, genealogy and lore, members of this scholarly family maintain both a rich oral tradition as well as their own repositories of written materials; which they endeavour to safeguard with a bewildering array of secret ciphers lest they fall into enemy’ hands. Members of the family are often called upon to educate youths, to officiate or entertain crowds during holidays and offer council to leaders.
Clan Steelskin (Thikîlfallul): Adhering to the dwarven precept that ‘the best offence is an impervious defence’ members of this clan have been renowned armour-smiths since the golden age of Koldukar when they sought to encase the kingdom’s greatest warriors in a hardened second-skin of pure metal. The family has long maintained secret techniques for crafting unusual materials into armour with a cabalistic zeal bordering on fanaticism, including specially treated stone, dragon hide, rare sky metals and that which they consider their sacred trust, mithral.
Clan Stonebearer (Abanuthrag): Members of this clan are renowned quarriers, carvers and stonemasons whose ancestors, according to legend, were responsible for the engineering and construction of Koldukar; the greatest of the ancient dwarven Sky Citadels. Their unparalleled understanding of the very nature of stone seems uncanny and possibly even supernatural in origin, with some claiming members of the clan share an ancestry with denizens of the plane of earth.
Since they’re focused more on survival and their lost history than on fleeting wealth, Trunau dwarves almost all have the Craftman or Lorekeeper traits rather than Greed. Those dwarves who live uniquely in Trunau usually keep the Stability, Stonecunning and Hatred traits (orcs are the greater threat in the lowlands) while those who live in or commute to the scattered mining villages in the nearby Mindspin Mountains usually have the Mountaineer, Rock Stepper and Giant Hunter traits respectively (giants are more common in the highlands). Almost all dwarves in the region have are Unstoppable rather than Hardy.