Tales from Forgotten Europa
Dwarf Terms, Laws & Customs
Among the following you may find tidbits of Dwarf Culture. May they make your future encounters less disagreeable :).
Karak – A holdfast of enormous size, capable of holding as much as a million dwarfs at its peak. This is a term to describe a large city-state of the dwarf people, usually underground but always some form of mountain fastness, and composed of massive stone halls, structures, avenues, parks, gardens, and many-storied buildings. All holdfasts are named such, from the Norsca gate-warden of Karak Belgrin, to the ancient and primary Karak Ilin in Ruus.
Thane – The dwarf word for ‘Lord’, a thane is the ruler of a particular Karak. There is no king of all dwarfs however – each Karak acts independently, linked to other Karaks by religion, tradition, and trade, if not outright necessity. Many clans inhabit a given Karak, but one clan rules in perpetuity and from this clan comes the Thane.
Book of Awakening – On Thoraín Díy, Dwarfs throughout Norsca and Ruus record the names of those who died in the last year in their memories and tomes, provided they have died ‘with honor’ as per Dwarfen Law.
Book of Grudges – Each clan keeps a detailed record of any slights, insults, or wrongdoings performed against any member of the clan, with the goal that one day proper reparations will be made for each entry in the book. And dwarfs do not forget such things … ever.
Law of Cordiality – Each Dwarf will give newly-met Dwarf three days of ‘probation’ before making judgement on his character, or before deciding whether future interactions are desired. Exceptions to this, of course, are any names from Book of Grudges, and war.
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