The Dwarven Holds
|Largest city||Karak Azghak|
(Council of High Kings)
|Official Religion|| worship of Clangeddin,|
|Original creator is Kadrin77.|
Dwarven Holds are great fortresses built into and inside mountains. The entrance is usually an immense door built into a side of a mountain, imbued with many magical runes to defend the Hold against invaders. Inside, the Hold is made up of many large halls, as well as numerous smaller ones. A Hold is made up of many floors, usually connected by huge flights of stairs, and even the smallest Holds have at least 5 floors. Massive pillars support these floors.
A Hold is usually self sufficient, and the dwarves use underground streams to satisfy the necessity of water and hunt many types of wildlife in the Hold's lands to feed the clans. The veins of gold and precious stones found in the mountains provide all the money needed, so trade is not a necessity. All the clans in each Hold can be seen as one huge family, as all of them eat and live together, but this does not mean that each clan does not have its own private living quarters. Still, the clans in a Hold regard each other as family, and usually call each other brother.
One of the largest halls in every Hold is called The Hall of the Dead, and this serves as a cemetery for the Hold. Usually, prayers to Clangeddin are carved into the pillars of this hall. The largest hall is usually reserved for the king, his family and his guard, and includes everything from a throne room, to the king's bedroom. However, the king's hall does not house a personal dining room, since the king usually eats with the other dwarves, at the head of the foremost table.
When Holds are built, traps are designed and placed for miles around the said Hold. These may include pitfalls, boulders which are set rolling towards the enemy by levers or small amounts of gunpowder etc... The king picks a select few dwarves to serve as rangers, and they are the scouts of the Hold, and also take care of these traps. Therefore, due to this efficient method of gathering intelligence and weakening the enemy, usually, not only is the foe decimated by the time they arrive at/a short distance away from the gates, but the lord will know how to tackle them.
Although the Holds are far away from each other, and are very large, they are not considered as countries, especially because each Hold's lord serves the High King Burin. The High King usually calls a council once a year, but this can change depending on the necessity and demand of calling one. Thus, each Hold is much like a province in Mannish society, with Karak Gnolgak serving as the capital Hold, and the High King's headquarters.
Dwarven Titles and Clan Names
Dwarven titles and clan names are not just invented by a particular clan or Hold. Usually, they are given for a particular reason. A clan name or title can be given either by the king, or else they are given to a clan by other clans for doing something noteworthy. Although these titles were originally bestowed to only one dwarf, as time passed it became more and more common to give a clan name.
As an example, let's take the clan name Ironbeard. This clan name was given to Kadrin's ancestors since they made armour which protected one's beard in battle. Not only did this prevent dishonour innumerable times to many clans, but as time passed special models were designed. These 'ironbeards' could be removed during battle if one got disarmed, and they could serve as efficient daggers and short swords. Thus, the Ironbeard clan was born.
Let's take another example, Tolkien's Oakenshield title, given to King Thorin the Second. Thorin's title was acquired when, during a battle, his shield broke. Seeing that he needed something to protect himself with, he cut a large branch from an oak tree and used it to deflect the enemy's blows. Although he was wounded, this feat earned him the title Oakenshield.
All dwarves are taught how to read and write in Dwarven by their families or chosen tutors. Some are also taught Common in this way.
When a male dwarf is no longer considered a child, at the age of thirty, he is taught the art of stonecrafting and given weapons' training. Many are also taught how to be blacksmiths or engineers. The arrival of adulthood also means that the dwarf has to memorise each and every grudge his Hold has against all races/groups/people. This may seem to be an impossible task, but the dwarves have good memories.
Dwarven females are also given weapons' training; many are also taught how to sew.