Known as the mysterious stout men of the north, the Dwarves are a hardy races of warriors, craftsmen, and survivors. Acclimated to the hardships and trials of the harsh lands of The Northern Wastes that they call home and the lands of The Twenty are not for weak or the faint of heart.
The lands of the Twenty have been under the rule of the Dwarven clans for as long as Dwarven history has been recorded since near the time before time when the clans finally broke into the upper layers of the earth after their long ascent to the surface world above. Since then the dwarves have slowly built and established themselves in the upper layers of the Umbra near the surfaces of Oki. Here these native dwarves have established long held trade agreements with the various tribes and nomad humanoid races of the region, trading minerals and fine dwarven wares for various crops, lumber, livestock, and various finished goods they cannot reproduce below the surface. Though they have been in contact with the surface races for millenia these hardy folk rarely if ever leave their underground homes or establish above ground settlements having a unique dislike or dissatisfaction with the surface world when compared to their underground homes. The many civil wars and clan degradations suffered soon after establishing homes on the surface throughout history hasn’t helped these sentiments either.
Clans and Clan structures: Amongst the native dwarves one of the most important societal structures is the clan. Part family tree, part political party, part religious organization or guild house this societal structure helps tell a dwarf who any individual dwarf is allied with, their political motivations, and their status in comparison to themselves. Currently their are 30 known clans active in dwarven culture and acknowledged as true clans within dwarven society. Another 20 that have been lost to time through either integration or secession from their society at large. Finally you have the 15 exiles clans, rag tag clans formed by the various dwarves that had been exiled to the northern wastes by their original clan homes located on the mainlands far from Oki.
Known Clans: These clans are the recognized and offical clans of the dwarven kingdoms. Currently numbering 30 in all these clans are part guild house, part family tree, and part political party with membership in these clans often determining a dwarfs political beliefs, religious affiliations, and resources they bring to bear. Members of these clan homes are considered full citizens within the dwarven kingdoms and receive the full benefits of citizenship within those lands, including rights to own property, vote, receive religious rights offered by the dwarven churches, and serve in their military as paid soldiers.
Arak: A Clan renown for it smiths and brewers this hearty clan has also seen its share of proud warriors but has recently seen great upheaval and trying times
Yurring: An ancient clan of dwarven warriors, Clan Yurring is known for it’s rune etched skin and resistance to even the most powerful of magics.
Stolik: The most recent clan, formerly and exiled clan of dwarves & half-orcs that was integrated at the end of trials of the Forge King for their bravery in holding Barizak against the rebellious houses and their previous aid during The Godsfall War.
Lost Clans: These clans are considered full members of dwarven culture like those clans currently known to the dwarven kingdoms but have been somehow lost to dwarven society at large. This absence is often due to clans dying out either through lack of population, assimilation into other clans, or by breaking off from the clans and contact being lost with them by the society at large. Members of these clans are considered brothers and full citizens should they be able to prove the veracity of their claims. Unfortunately their are also at least a few of these clans that have lost sight of the dwarven cause and have gone mad, often embracing destructive ideologies or even dark or mad gods associated with some of the wild and unpredictable forces they have encountered on the surface.
Glanten Baldur: One of the great clans, the Glaten Baldur were the major divine clan amongst their peers. Empowered by their gods might the Glaten Baldur were the beacon of divine light for their people. Unfortunately their god Baldur died suddenly, throwing the clan into chaos and wiping out nearly half of their numbers in the ensuring months as the ongoing war against the Sons of Jormungonder and the hobgoblin horde decimated their numbers. After the War of Lost Heavens ended the Glanten Baldur left the clans on pilgrimage, looking for ways to revive their lost god.
Surturten: An ancient clan, the Surturten remained behind in the Umbra when the rest of the clans migrated closer to the surface.
Thyrmchild: Lost clan of the high peaks, the Thyrmchild clan was one of the first clans to establish themselves on the surface but were lost after contracting “Snow Madness”
Torgrim: Lost clan of the north, the Torgrim were believed lost after establishing their clanhold amongst the frigid surface peaks of the White Wall mountains.
Exiled Clans: Composed of the various individual dwarven clans from the mainlands across the sea and their descendents, these clans are often wildcards and oddballs of dwarven society often filling niches and roles considered outside of the traditional norms of the dwarven race. These clans and exiles are not recognized as citizens of the dwarven kingdoms and are not granted any of the rights of citizens of the dwarven nations. Many of the dwarven townships and cities often do not allow these exiled dwarves within city limits, often treating them as hostile foreigners or as potential threats to the order of the city. With that in mind many of these exiled clans are located outside dwarven territories in the more inhospitable regions of the Umbra or on the surface amongst the humans and other native races.
The Miggard: One of the most well known of the exiled houses, the Miggards are predominately merchants and traders traveling throughout the Northern Wastes selling goods. The Miggards were the clan that discovered the Imperials as they trekked across the Deadlands and first to open trade with them. Unlike other dwarves Miggards are terrible in combat and instead hire outsiders to provide them with military might in exchange for goods & services.
Dwarves Beyond the North: Though concentrated heavily within the Northern expanses of Oki dwarves were virtually unknown to the Imperium and the rest of the world south of the Deadlands for much of their history. Thought to be no native to the continent this all changed 40 years ago when the Imperium ran into a contingent of Miggard merchant explorers while seeking a safe passage through the Deadlands. Since then the Imperium has begun to open up trade agreements and other alliances with the exiled clan, using their vast trade networks amongst the surface races of the north to acquire the various ores, crops, and dwarven made items they seek in exchange for imperial goods that the north has never seen before. Even with this budding trade alliance between the Imperium and the Dwarves of the north, actual encounters with these bearded northerner by most lay citizens within the lands to the south is rather sparse.
Dwarves in the Imperial Frontier: The Bearded Men of the North, dwarves are even rarer here then they are anywhere else in the Imperium. Considering their only recent discovery by the Noble houses, to most frontiersmen these fabled northerners are but a myth, with most of he common folk having never seen a dwarf let alone spoken to one.
Classes: Dwarves can be of any class but often gravitate towards those that benefit from their determined natures and tendencies towards stoic veneration. That being said with the lost and exiled clans established and growing daily, their is room to find just about any class amongst the dwarven numbers
Alchemist: A rarity amongst the dwarves, alchemists are the early adopters of the latest advancements in the fields of science and as a result are often looked upon with suspicion by their peers whom have learned that what is new is not often what is best. Most Alchemists from known clans are usually forced to practice their craft in secret or on the edges of civilization lest they bring about the ire of their people. Amongst the exiles the Miggards have a large number of alchemists, many of them studying the 7 base metals of the world in order to craft and manipulate the world around them. These alchemists are trained in the arcane academy of Ferrous Mons where they learn to incorporate these base medals into their alchemy. Alchemists also appear periodically amongst the lost tribes, particularly amongst the wolves of Fenris whom ingest various chemicals in order to hopefully mutate to further match their imprisoned lord. Common archetypes include beastmorph, grenadier, internal chemist, and ragechemist.
Wizards: Though rare amongst dwarves, wizardry is considered a respectable craft amongst many of the dwarven clans by those able to master the rigid discipline and subtleties of the craft of Odin. That being said the discipline is still rare with most students having to petition for apprenticeship under a recognized master and then spending decades toiling rigorously under their masters stern gaze. Particular note though goes to the exiled clan the Miggards who host one of the largest known concentrations of Dwarven wizards amongst their numbers as well as one of the only wizard colleges within the Wastes in their clanhome of Ferrous Mons. These dwarves have mastered the art of steel magic or Ferromancy, and are said to be able to manipulate the metals in their very blood. Most dwarven Wizards specialize in either Transmutation or Ferromancy.