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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. OW

Area: 41,140 sq. mi. (106,555 sq. km.).

Population: 980,000 dwarves (population is down from many recent wars), plus a very few humans who have been permitted to stay.

Languages: Dwarvish (Rockhome dialect), 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).

Flora and Fauna: Wild horses, deer, mountain lions, wolves, and yetis. Rampaging goblinoids found throughout Rockhome in recent years have been mostly killed or driven out, though the occasional small tribe or marauding band can still make travel unsafe.

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 Gilor Rockcrusher.

The ancient dwarven homeland of Rockhome holds a place in any dwarven heart. I must have heard this saying a thousand times from my father. I used to think this was sentimental rubbish, after all I didn't think much about it. And if it was so wonderful, why had he left it?

Still, back in AC 1016, when the beleaguered dwarves of Evekarr Fort sent a plea in to their Vestland allies, I heard of their plight and figured I might as well see the homeland for myself, while earning me some gold and fighting some orcs.

The Land

I must admit that when our small unit started climbing the Evekarr Pass, and we were surrounded by tall, obtrusive mountains, I felt a chill going down my spine. I simply couldn't wait to see what lay beyond the pass. Somehow the ground of Rockhome felt more solid, the water clearer and the air lighter. I couldn't help but imagine what the caves deep beneath the mountains must look like. It must have been my father's stories that had imprinted themselves on me.

Finally between two of the greatest, most imposing mountains, I laid eyes on a dwarven construction, the fort that dutifully protected Rockhome from any invaders passing through the pass, Evekarr Fort. Amazingly well constructed, the fort completely obstructed passage through the pass, its walls being built into the mountainsides. No invader would be entering Rockhome this way, unless they could fly well out of ballista range.

As we approached, we were greeted by the garrison stationed at the fort, who swung open the massive doors to let us through. Most of the Vestland warriors were exhausted by the climb, and were thankful for the respite from the cold gloom, being offered a meal at the fires of the garrison, which was actually built into the mountain. I felt invigorated by being here among my fellow dwarves, and had little need for rest.

The People

The dwarves of the Evekarr garrison were happy to find a dwarf in our unit, and I was asked to accompany our leader to dine with their commandant. At his table I inspected the dwarves of Rockhome, and listened to their conversation. The dwarves were of course like me: shorter than humans, but powerfully built, and the equal of any man in a fight. They were in good spirits, looking forward to be on the move, and furious that the goblinoids would dare invade their lands.

Most of the dwarves had little interest in eating and were sharpening their already quite impressive weapons, while discussing how best to gut an orc and how a proper weapon should be crafted. Others talked of their homes and loved ones, and worked themselves into a rage, thinking of what the goblinoids might have done to them.

Recent History

During our spartan meal I exchanged stories with their commandant, a famous hero of the Torkrest Clan, and learned of the recent events in Rockhome. During the great war of empires, Rockhome had closed its borders, and wisely chose to let the humans settle their own affairs. Unfortunately trouble came from within, as the crazed Denwarf returned from his millennia of absence and threw Rockhome into a civil war, which led to the death of the former King Everast XV.

Trouble led to more trouble, and while the clans were still arguing amongst themselves, Rockhome was spurred into a war against the sinister shadow elves. Taking advantage of its weakened state, goblinoids then entered Rockhome, led by the infamous Thar, the crafty Psa'gh, and the exiled former dwarven heads of Clan Hurwarf, Duric and Bifia. It was these dark forces that we were going to help annihilate. I could hardly wait.

We left the fort early the next morning and as soon as we had entered the lowland valley of Klintest, we saw fighting against bands of orcs, kobolds, gnolls, and even occasional frost giants. It took many weeks of fighting, but through clever use of guerrilla warfare, we managed to stay ahead of our opponents, until the day we met up with other forces for the final assault on Kurdal, base of Thar, the last of our enemies.

The forces we met up with were among the strangest groups of warriors I have ever seen. Men from far-away nations had banded together with the dwarves, and were aided by the small folk calling themselves hin, and even by some rogue orcs! There was a tense atmosphere among these forces, but as the assault began, we were all forced to depend on each other.

The fighting was fierce; Thar's forces had had too much time to prepare for the assault. Still, the combined might of our different forces were winning the day. Suddenly a white dragon took to the air and spread terror among our soldiers. Our orc allies turned out to actually win the day for us, as they took to the air on strange, featherless birds [skinwings. Ed.], and managed to drive off the dragon. Thar's forces, seeing how the battle was going, were already fleeing, and we pursued them, and killed off as many as we were able to.

Unfortunately, I was hit by a stray boulder, thrown by a fleeing frost giant, and had to spend some time in an infirmary. I got a lot of attention from a particular female dwarf, and this time spent immobile, while she fussed over me, was far worse than the weeks of desperate fighting, surviving on low rations, and facing death every day. As soon as I was able to get up, I left Rockhome before she could introduce me to her family.

Don't Miss

I find now that I have actually been to my ancestral homeland that I actually think of it quite often. I guess it must be true that Rockhome holds a place in any dwarven heart. For that reason alone, I encourage you to visit Rockhome at least once. When you gain the final pass before entering the valleys, try standing absolutely still, be completely quiet, and just absorb the splendid view and feel of the ancient lands lying before you.

Do Miss

Avoid being caught up in Rockhome politics. With the current hard feelings between the clans, you should strive to stay neutral, and not offer opinions one way or the other. The hard feelings run deep, and if you offend a dwarf of Rockhome, you risk offending an entire clan.