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ROCKHOME (Kingdom of)

Location: East of Darokin and Aengmor, south of Ethengar, west of the Northern Reaches and northwest of Ylaruam.

Area: 41,140 sq. mi. (106,553 sq. km.).

Population: 1,000,000 dwarves, plus a very few humans who have been permitted to stay.

Languages: Dwarvish, Thyatian (which many dwarves learn during their trade dealings with the outside world).

Coinage: Sun (10 gp), trader (gp), moon (10 sp), star (sp), stone (cp).

Taxes: Annual (Kaldmont 1) 100% income tax collected by clan, which is then redistributed by the clan head according to need and productivity. Roughly 35% of the collected sum is paid as taxes to the king. Foreigners have a 5% sale tax on all goods purchased in Rockhome, as well as a 25% income tax on all wages earned in Rockhome.

Government Type: Monarchy, heavily influenced by clan leaders.

Industries: Mining (precious metals and iron), metalworking, stoneworking, crafts.

Important Figures: Everast XVI (King, dwarf, male, F15).

Flora and Fauna: The most important creatures of Rockhome at this time are the countless goblinoids running rampant throughout the valleys. Otherwise, one would have to worry about wild horses, deer, mountain lions, wolves, and yetis.

Pine forests seem to be the only type of forest that can make a living in the area.

Further Reading: GAZ6 The Dwarves of Rockhome, previous almanacs.

Description by anonymous.

As a longstanding former citizen of Rockhome, I am deeply saddened and disgusted by the current state of affairs in the mountainous kingdom. The dwarves, whom I have come to admire and respect deeply in my long stay in their realm, are largely forced to suffer due to the machinations of a small group of individuals of power and influence in the government, who are short-sighted and unwilling to compromise. Until and unless these individuals are replaced or forced to a change of opinion, I am sure that the people of Rockhome will only continue to suffer.

The Land

Rockhome is, as its namesake would suggest, largely a rocky, mountainous kingdom. Two large valleys exist in the interior, surrounding two large lakes. Since King Everast XVI's institution of a policy of virtual isolation, the population has had to rely increasingly on the agricultural supplies provided by the dwarven farmers of the surface valleys (primarily of the Wyrwarf clan). This, in turn, has led to increasing tensions between the despised farmers and the more traditional elements of dwarven society, represented primarily by the militant Torkrest clan.

The People

The large majority of Rockhome's dwarven population lives underground, in the caverns and subterranean passageways that wind their ways through the mountains that surround Rockhome. There, they mine the caverns for the gems and precious metals that the dwarves love so much, and for which they are known to be able to so skilfully make into beautiful objets d'art. Their isolation from the surface folk, who live in cities and houses much like the humans of surrounding realms, has led to a great amount of malcontent and ignorance of the ways of their surface relatives. The most pronounced evidence of this sentiment, as already noted, is the tension between the farmers and underground labourers. It goes further, however, including a certain amount of distrust (if not enmity) towards those clans, such as the Syrklist, who engage in a great degree of contact with humans and other foreigners.

It should be noted, however, that such polarisation of opinion, while not wholly absent among the "common" dwarves, is most prominent among the clan leaders and elders (many of whom have spent their entire lives below ground). I posit that such attitudes must change, or else the people of Rockhome will not be able to survive in a world that is far from static.

Recent History

The people of Rockhome have suffered many setbacks in recent years, beginning with the civil war of AC 1011. The return of the legendary Denwarf stirred up rivalries and sentiments among all the clans, setting dwarf against dwarf in one of the most tragic, if not bloody, moments in dwarven history. In the end, Denwarf was defeated, his confederates exiled, and the royal family of Everast reinstalled on the throne.

The troubles only compounded in the following years, as war erupted first with the shadow elves of the subterranean western lands, and, starting last year, with goblinoid raiders in our own homelands. Neither threat on its own might have proven so troublesome, had the people of Rockhome not still been so divided in their sentiments towards one another. The Torkrest clan, which had taken the most severe losses from the wars, virtually ignored the plights of their more surface-oriented relatives against the goblinoid armies. The Hurwarfs, still slighted from their loss of the throne following Denwarf's fall, mostly abstained from interacting with any of the other clans. The Skarrads and Syrklists steadily protested Everast's isolationist policy, and the much maligned Wyrwarfs were left to fend for themselves. Indeed, many of the latter have begun to emigrate outwards from Rockhome. With their absence, the agricultural subsistence of Rockhome shall surely suffer.

Don't Miss

Lest it sounds as if I hold the dwarves of Rockhome in complete disdain, I assure you that I could not feel so negative towards the current government of that nation, did I not care for the people of Rockhome so much. Indeed, there are many wondrous sights to behold within the nation of dwarves, and it is all the greater shame that foreigners are prevented from seeing them in these days. The Arena in Dengar's upper city is reminiscent of the Thyatian colosseums-boasting non-lethal bouts of boxing and wrestling between competitors. The Dwarfheart Cavern, in the lower city, is a truly stupendous sight-one of the largest natural caverns documented in the annals of the Old World, and providing homes to hundreds of dwarves in its demesnes.