As dwarves continue to be a minor focus of my Stolen Lands game, I thought it was about time, I documented my thoughts on them. I have ‘known’ this in brad detail since the game started, but now it is time for a bit more detail and to update Dwarf progress during the years my players have been adventuring and building their new land.
Like many Dwarf Clans, The Golka are made up of many smaller clans and families. However, like all Dwarves, the majority of those smaller families have the overall welfare of the Dwarf ‘nation’ as a priority, and cooperate together under the leadership of Clan Golka. When the great mines and holdings in western Brevoy were lost, the dwarves started reorganizing. It was slow, but what is fifteen or twenty years out of a dwarf’s lifetime?
While the dwarves don’t yet appear to have a grand plan, the basic plan seems to be based around a number of different communities. Perhaps learning a lesson and going with the ‘don’t put all your eggs in one basket‘ philosophy or, perhaps, there just wasn’t a strong enough leader. So far four main initiatives have had some success.
Brunderton is a majority Dwarf town, and has grown significantly over the last few years. Little more than a mining village when House Rogarvia disappeared and the Great Mine was lost, Brunderton has become the new Dwarf-Home in Brevoy. Under the leadership of their mayor, Ralin al Golka, Brunderton has grown from a small mining settlement into a sizeable town. Compared to some places, development has been slow – BUT it is financially stable (based on the output of no less that thee mines!) , well managed and capable of growth. While the town and the mines are all controlled by Dwarves, and dwarves are a large proportion of the population – Ralin al Golka hasn’t shied away from building links with human run businesses and settlements, and has arranged a series of loans (financed from across the Dwarf Diaspora) to help smaller clans and groups to get established.
Restov is home to a large community of dwarves, led by Darain al Golka., it now holds the second largest population of dwarves, after Brunderton, in the whole of Brevoy. Most are found in Dwarf Town, as it is commonly known, a whole district of Dwarves dedicated to making weapons and armour. There aren’t just weapons-smiths and armourers, of course, there is all the supporting infrastructure of an ex-pat community as well. There are blacksmiths, whitesmiths, leather workers, cooks, tailors, woodworkers and even dwarven entertainers. The whole gamut of dwarfdom can be found there, somewhere. Like Brunderton, Dwarf society in Restov is financially stable, and is represented on the City Council (by Darain al Golka). It is a recognized, and important, part of the City of Restov, especially now the Aldori influence has been reduced. Ironically, much of the growth in Brunderton was financed by the Dwarves of Restov – while the Dwarven Brotherhood and Clan Golka is important – the Restov Dwarf community would collapse without a good supply of iron and steel. Anyway, Mutual Aid is a tenet of Dwarf culture.
Greyhaven, Toval Golka ( son of the old Chieftain of the Golka) has organized the dwarves of Greyhaven into a coherent body. They aren’t anywhere near as influential as they were – but they are still a significant part in the mining and forging businesses of Greyhaven. The biggest problem, for both House Garess and Clan Golka, is that the source of ores from the Great Mines has been lost. In the old days, the Golka were House Garess’ most important Allies. Now, while still bound to an Alliance contract, their influence is greatly reduced.
Tusk has something similar, although The Golka never had much influence in Tusk anyway, and there were no senior members of the Golka in residence. It fell to an elderly Cleric by the name of Strude Stigmar to bring the Dwarves of Tusk together in a mutual support group, and build up a resilience in his community. Strude doesn’t have a big congregation, but then there aren’t all that many dwarves in Tusk. Most of them work in smithies or masons – and many of those are employees of other (human) houses. However, they have a mutual support society, based around Strude’s Great Shrine. They are all aware that the main temple of Torag, situated by the Great Mine, has been lost, and they support the establishment of new religious buildings across the region. Stude has encouraged his flock to help finance a loan to fund the religious expansion in Ironkeep.
The Great Clan of the Brevic Dwarves takes its name from one of their earliest leaders, Golka the Miner. He was an early leader of the Great Mine, who negotiated the alliance arrangements with the Garess. Both the Great Clan and his direct decedents took his name for their own. Even now, decedents bearing his name are trained for leadership and command. Sooner, or later, one of them will rise to assume the title of Chieftain, in behalf of their family.
Toval Golka ( son of the lost Chieftain of the Golka) has organized the dwarves of Greyhaven into a coherent body. In Dwarf terms, he is quite young, and hasn’t truly been tested – and while his initiatives in Greyhaven are laudable. They haven’t been a great success ….
Ralin al Golka, Mayor of Brunderton, is nephew of the lost Chieftain, and has led the growth of his town. It has grown from a small mining settlement into a significant town with trading links to both Restov and New Steven. It is successful, financially strong, and is fast becoming the new Dwarf-Home of Brevoy.
Darain al Golka, leader of the Restov Dwarves, nephew of the lost Chieftain, and City Councillor in Restov.
Gandred al Gorka, a young, and very distant, relative of the Lost-Chieftain. He spent some of his youth in Brunderton, completed his apprenticeship in Restov and oversees a Forge-Shrine in Ringbridge.
These family groups are all a part of Clan Golka. They recognize that dwarves who bear the Golka name are the leaders of the Great Clan, and follow the principles that the overall wellbeing of the Dwarf people and the Great Clan is incredibly important. However, so is the welfare of a dwarf’s immediate family members, and the extended family’s status within the Great Clan. While, to outsiders, dwarves appear to have a solid and monolithic political structure based on mutual aid and support, there is a lot of (very polite) manoeuvring that goes on inside the Great Clan.
A small clan, shattered by the loss of the Great Mine, the majority of Clan Golka, and many of their members – the Stigmars have struggled to carve out a place for themselves. Traditionally, the more suitable members of the family have gone into the church, while others have worked for the military or in general roles. Now, they have found a way to start bringing their disparate family together again, raise their status and provide a family base. (Note: This is a DM based clan)
Strude Stigmar – Elder of the Church of Torag in Tusk. Has arranged a loan from the dwarves of Tusk to fund the expansion of the Church in Ironkeep.
Lutz Stigmar – Elder of the Church of Torag in Midmarch/Tusk. He trained at the temple to Torag in Brunderton, and nephew of Strude, The Elder Priest of Tusk. Using a loan from the Church of Torag (underwritten by Brunderton) to establish Torag as the primary deity in House Aeris holdings. Lutz is the leader of Clan Stigmar in Midmarch and has an Alliance contract House Aeris.
Findal Stigmar – Leader of a group of Dwarf Prospectors – and one of the beneficiaries of the loan arrangement between Clan Stigma and the Dwarf Diaspora. Findal, and his team, have been working for Brunderton Mining – but have taken this opportunity to set up on their own.
Named after an exceptionally talented whitesmith, the clan leaders have pursued the family tradition of working with fine metals and have a reputation for top quality jewellery and fine art pieces. Many others follow the more traditional affinity with stone, and are noted for their larger civic and military constructions. (This is a PC affiliated clan, which has to meet the PC’s expectations)
Hargrym Silverhammer – Leader of the Silverhammers in Midmarch and associate of House Medveyed-Solanus. He is a skilled stonemason, merchant and negotiator.
Not really a clan in the Traditional sense, the Bouldershoulders are a ‘new family’ of dwarves who lost many of their family members when the great mine was lost. They were all part of extensive (and unsuccessful) search parties in the aftermath of the disaster. They took their name from the number of times that they cleared large rocks during their search. (This is a PC affiliated group, which has to meet the PC’s expectations)
Valgard Bouldershoulder – he is a skilled miner and armourer. He oversees the mining complex at Ironkeep in Midmarch.