Monday, January 12, 2009


Journal of Khazrel Nakhu “Journey to the Cities Afar” 32’s93

To maintain an unbiased account of the great Dwarven society, I have requisitioned Scoki Daeremel, my Human apprentice to note his accounts of our glorious race. Please note that the paragraphs after this will lack my usual charms and technical writing aptitude. Forgive the intrusion by less skilled hands.”

- OF DWARVES, by Scoki Daeremel, apprentice to Cog-lord Khazrel

“As a child growing up in the hinterlands of Plebes, it was a long dream of mine to see the citadels of the great Dwarves. This eventually came to fruitition after two decades of tutelage within the clergy of Vipunen, the Knowing. It was soon after I was invited to make the year-long pilgrimage to the Citadel of Ebbing Waves, or as the Dwarves call it Koti-Kyyneltyä. Therein I discovered the way of the Dwarves and the alchemical-wizardry which they employ.”

“First, let me speak of the Dwarves nature and demeanor. All Dwarves are shorter than men by a several heads at least. They are stout and all have thick and oily manes of hair. Males have oily beards which often drape to their belly. Women’s long hair often drapes down over their face and many leave only one half of their face to show, hiding the rest beneath a black curtain of hair. Older Dwarves usually do not grey as men do, but they appear more grizzled and their hair and bears grow wiry. Extremely old dwarves have hair which turns stark white, in a matter of months. This is usually a sign of extreme knowledge and somewhat of a transcendence among Dwarves. In the entire Citadel of Ebbing Waves only 18 such Dwarves out of thousands have this pure white hair. All Dwarves have black or brown eyes and their skin is dark compared to most men. They have flat faces with ovaloid skulls, protuberant eyes that are faint slits compared to the likes and of men, and flat noses. Their stout build is usually heavily set and most are as least as strong as a man despite their height.”

“Most men, even learned ones as myself know very little about the inner workings of the Dwarven society. It is a complex thing, far more so than the ways of men, so I surmise I will not do it justice. First off, let me start with their homelands. Most Dwarves live in Citadels which operate as hearth and workshop. These Citadels are almost always named after what gives them ‘flow’. In the case of the Citadel of Ebbing Waves, obviously water is the main device to make movement. Mills and vortex lay along a large waterfall in the heights of the Jaunermyst hills which provide the necessarily flow for the Dwarven alchemical-wizardry. Other Citadels are likewise named, here are a few: the Citadel of Circling Leaves, Citadel of Rising Flame, Citadel of Endless Sun, Citadel of Falling Ice – and so forth. In total I know of 21 grand citadels, and many lesser ones. I am told there were once as many as 3000 in the days of yor but this is no longer true. Indeed many ruined Citadel dot the landscape in nearly any climate.”

“The Citadels themselves vary in size, layout, architecture and population as much as Human cities. The Citadel of Ebbing Waves has roughly 6,000 inhabitants, and double that many animals which aid in the toil. The primary terrain is the 250 foot waterfall and the redwood trees that surround cover the hills. Three gates lay along the outer edges of the Citadels which are walled with un-melting glacial ice and one section is backed by granite cliffs. Internally, most buildings are wrought from a mesh of bronze, granite, and a filament material that is akin to very hard sap. No wood is uses and I am told fire in general has very little effect inside of a Citadel. Perhaps this is practical application due to the various mishaps that seem common place.”

“Dwarven Citadels have three primary wings; one for social, one for the workshops and one for the clergy. These are usually harmonious but I am told this is not true in all Citadels. Most Dwarves of working age stay within the Workshops for weeks at a time. A smaller group works in the clergy, which usually includes the Thane, his Daamis and the Dwarven court. The social wing is usually tailored to the upbringing of children, those too old to work, and any ‘broken’ (Dwarves unable to work for whatever reason).”

“Of obvious scrutiny are the mechanical workings of the Dwarven Citadels. They have devices that are well beyond the ways of men, which unfortunately cause envy and strife among the other races. I will cite examples from the Citadel of Ebbing Waves since it is what I am familiar with them most intimately. The three wings of the Citadel are placed upon large cog-plates which shift throughout the day ever so slightly. This can be particularly disorienting to travelers since going from one point to another usually changes depending on the time of day. Water flows through canals and pipes providing most dwelling with heated water and carrying devices for internal commutations. Even food is sealed in bronze jars and sent to and fro through the water ways. Clockwork machines are operated by Dwarves for a variety of tasks; milling grain, creating cloth, smithing metals, even cleaning the street ways. It is no odd occurrence to flee for ones life when a Dwarf is pushing a geared wire-brush sweeping cart and he can not see what is in front of him.”

“I am told that other Citadels are even more fantastic but I find this hard to imagine, even as acquainted with the Dwarves as I am. Many of the older and elaborate machines fall into disrepair and are beyond the knowledge of any living Dwarf. This is unfortunate since I only guess at the great knowledge lost. Still, I have seen such great works as a flying machines, self-powered rail cars, light refectories that can melt steel, and even clockwork golems which walk on their own merit. These are rare, even among the Dwarves and such things are maintained with a near religious doctrine. I deduce that should one break in a major fashion, it would be beyond the knowledge of living Dwarves to repair them.”

“Dwarves are highly spiritual, although there appears to be several deities which vie for their worship. This is oddly diametric to their lawful nature, and I am surprised to find that most wars fought internally among Dwarves are in the name of one deity or another. Most Dwarves serve a deity that has served their family for generations, mostly out of habit. Few Dwarves are overly zealous, but those who are, are often outspoken in many ways. These individuals often climb into power among the clergy and often this is when the seeds of trouble begin. Bitter feuds among rival clergies never appear to be forgotten and they are amicable at best in peaceful times.”

“I suppose this has something to do with the concept of equivalent exchange among the Dwarves. If something is gained, something must be lost of equal value. Likewise if something is lost, something of equal value must be gained. Most of their laws operate under such mandate, and so areas of spirituality are ill-defined therein. It is no wonder such things would eventually cause problems.”

“From what I have read, many citadels have fallen to such spiritual infighting which spread to other Citadels like a plague. Doom eventually follows after many years of internal strife. I can only guess that this is the ultimate cause of the disappearance of so many Dwarven Citadels over the last eon. Today, most Dwarves are very cautious about their spiritual nature and do not speak of it openly. They go about their daily prayers among their family and leave their spirituality behind closed doors. Those zealous few who preach openly are distained by most as a trouble maker, but rarely stopped in fear of inciting their powerful clergy. Luckily the practical minded of their own clergy usually curtails their preaching to a modest degree. Still, I have seen fist fights and even one murder occurred because of such spiritual outrages among rival worshipers.”

“That said, the nature of most Dwarves is that of fantastic hosts to their guests and humble in light of their accomplishments. They are slow to anger in most situations, but are as tenacious as a rabid dog when brought into conflict. Woe to their enemies indeed. I have read ancient books with Dwarven foes which are simply no more.”

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