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Dwarves in Northern Davaniaby Thibault Sarlat
The Forgotten Clan
Some 160 miles south east of Polakatsikes lies a region of hills and rocky mounts. Underneath them, a small clan of dwarves has been living for ages. Life has not been kind to them since the region is teaming with humanoids and particularly with Trolls. Over the years, the clan has suffered heavy tolls from the humanoids attacks. Their number has dwindled during the last century, mainly since the goblins have discovered gold deposits in the hills and have spread like fire. The Dwarves have done their best to repel the attacks, but slowly their best warriors have fallen to the enemy. Ever since Moray Vacco has claimed leadership over the humanoids of the desert (some 30 years ago), attacks have been more numerous and more fierce. The over ground villages have been raided and scorched, and the remaining dwarven population had gathered underground. Only the well designed dwarven fortresses have so far saved the clan from the humanoids attacks.
The dwarves have had very little contact with the rest of the world since they have been in many ways under siege for 30 years. Twice a decade, a daring young dwarf has left the clan in great secret, carrying precious gems try to reach the city states which lies to the north west to gather help for his people. None have ever succeeded, or at least has even fulfilled its task (most were killed in the savanna or were tortured to death by bandits who captured them and wanted nothing but knowing were the gems came from).
In AC 1015, when Wolfgang armies crossed the region, they met some scattered bands of trolls and hill giants, but these creatures soon retreated before the organised might of the Heldannic Order. That's why the clan went unnoticed until now. Should the knights ever hear about the presence of a dwarven hold in the region they will launch an attack and try to secure the region ( first because the presence of humanoids so close to Polakatsikes is not tolerable, and second because of the gold deposits).
The clan has only about 200 members among whom 27 venerable male dwarves and 10 venerable females (over 200 years old), some 40 under aged younglings (under 60 years old), the rest being some 63 females and 70 dwarven warriors (60 to 200 years old).
In autumn AC 1019, when the Wolgang Stemmel ordered to secure the southern region to avoid any future humanoid invasion, they stumbled on an abandoned advanced dwarven hold. They cleared the region from the local Trolls, and finally met the dwarves. They struck a deal which guarantied the Heldannic Order protection for the clan in exchange for a good percentage of the riches and manufactured goods the Dwarves could mine or produce. This was seen as a last chance by the dwarves who had very little chance to hold the humanoids any longer. So they agreed on the terms and have enjoyed a better life ever since. The local agriculture does not provide enough food to sustain the clan and the Heldannic commanderies, so caravans are send every month to and from Polakatsikes and serve both as trade exchange and changing of the Heldannic garrison.
Human colonists from Polakatsikes have slowly reached the region and started producing the food it needed to sustain a viable economic growth. The dwarven clan has been given some kind of political autonomy as long as it pays its share. The newly gained freedom has its cost, and the dwarves who have faced an almost complete extinction are way too happy to complain about their current fate.
What the PC can do: They can have been sent as scouts for the Heldannic army to try to locate the remaining pockets of humanoids. Finding buildings and ruins which were not made by humanoids, they should guess that there might still be some survivors hidden somewhere.
Or they could be dwarves sent as a last chance by their clan to either flee and found a clan elsewhere or gather forces and try to free their brethrens.