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Stronghollow Dwarvesby Joaquin Menchaca
1. Overview of Stronghollow Dwarves
The Stronghollow clan is the predominant clan for dwarves within this region, officially referred to as Karameikos for short, but more often referred to as Traladara by dwarves. The Stronghollow clan has struggled for hundreds of years, and with the help of the influx of trade into the region, is very efficient and economically successful.
The Stronghollow clan has the concept of group importance, where each dwarf contributes to the overall benefit of the clan and work toward the embitterment of all members of their society, rather than selfishly focus one oneself. Everything in their lives must be equated toward the advancement of their clan, or corporate division within the clan. Their individual wealth and power only exists with the promotion by the clan through demonstration of dedication and self-sacrifice.
Adventuring is often frowned upon unless it relates to missions for the clan. It is nevertheless tolerated, as retired dwarves can provide new opportunities for the clan, given their broad experience within the world.
The Stronghollow clan is very well structured and ordered, and views other races as being too disorderly. They have no toleration for the more savage chaotic races that commit atrocities against others, or those that make excuses for their deeds or lack of effort. They come to accept and even in some instances admire natural forces of sylvan races, despite their more chaotic existence. The Stronghollow dwarves have come to admire the Calarii clan for their structured martial society and their deep respect for honour.
The Stronghollow clan is notorious for extensive long drawn-out contracts. Given that many races, in their view, are very disorderly, they feel this is the only way to make all agreements clear to the sake of both parties.
Today, the Stronghollow is very successful, and is in the process of greatly expanding the mining operations, in conjunction with the gnomish Tunneltrotters clan, throughout the Duchy behest of the Duke himself. There is apparently or rumoured to be an extensive contract with the Duke to mine tax free with the Wufwolde hills, and also in subterranean mines. The Stronghollow clan is expanding their mines outside of Wufwolde hills and is also, assisting humans with the expansion of their mining operations. The dwarves also contract out some of the Duke's army to patrols around areas where the mines are located.
The Stronghollow clan is divided into seven corporations: security, mining, invention, engineering, culture, commercial, and crafters. Each of these corporations have various functions. The culture corporate for example has religion, entertainment, artwork, and constructs. The constructs are produced by a specialised religious clerics called Kagyar Shapers.
2. History of Stronghollow Dwarves
The dwarves migrated to this region several hundred years ago during the mass exodus from Rockhome in a search for mineral deposits. Many dwarves flocked to Glantri and met an unfortunate fate their at the hands of evil wizards, while others had great success, such as the dwarves in Glitterland (Five Shires) where more zealous dwarves committed regrettable acts upon the hin (halfling) people. Many dwarves also came to the Traladara, now Karameikos, and met with both extraordinary success followed by horrible failure. Many of the mines were plagued with marauding monstrous horrors, competing savage humanoids within the area, and even the fearsome stone giants.
The isolated expeditions banded together and formed one united clan called Stronghollow clan, and were able to maintain one operational mine. The Stronghollow clan allied with the Highforge community and added their persistence and dedication toward engineering that was greatly valued commodity to the wild crazy inventive genius of the gnomes. The result of this marriage was as one scholar puts it help create "devices that actually worked".
After the formation of the clan and subsequent alliance the dwarves established grand mining operations within the Wufwolde hills, and slowly expanded through Traladara, now known as Karameikos, long before the arrival of Duke Stefan Karameikos III.
After the Thyatians conquered these lands, much of their operations were left unchanged. In fact, the Thyatians never really knew of Highforge's presences, except through exotic tales told by Traldarans. It wasn't until the arrival of Duke Stefan, the building of Duke's Road, and regular patrols, have the presence of Thyatians been felt. At the insistence of the clan, the Great Caravan was established. Through this, the dwarves sell their goods and services to both domestic and foreign markets.
Now with the added security and secret arrangements with Duke Stefan, the dwarves have expanded their operations throughout Karameikos, previously called Traladara. There is rumoured to be a tax negotiation, which is favourable to both parties.
3. Government and Society of Stronghollow Dwarves
The Stronghollow dwarves have their own social stratification that is different than both the dwarves of Rockhome, homeland of all dwarves, or human societies. The clan is divided into separate groups called corporations that focus on a particular profession. There are corporations in mining, security, engineering, religion and art, commercial, and crafters. The most prominent corporate is mining, as this was the focus of many early expeditions before the formation of the clan. The mining corporate is further divided into departments, which manage a single mining operation. The mining corporate maintains their own guards, but now they hire out of the most recent corporate the mercenary corporate, which specialises in security and warfare. The mercenary corporate also offers their services to other races, and the most common work for this corporate beside guarding the mines is guarding caravans, especially during the great caravan.
The leadership of the Stronghollow clan consists of a clan leader, and a council consisting of one member from each corporate. Each corporate has the freedom to determine the selection process for the council member. This is commonly done through popular election, except the mercenary corporate, which holds a trial of combat to determine the council member. The clan leader is appointed by the council out of a pool of candidates elected by each corporate.
Each corporate is ruled by a leader called a craft leader. The craft leader is elected by popular vote of members within that corporate. A corporation that is further divided into departments will be managed appointed leader called a craft master. The leader is usually an individual that shows exceptional skill in her profession, or has demonstrated long standing dedication towards the clan and corporate.
[Game Master's Notes: Imagine the Stronghollow clan to be like the Shelliak of Star Trek: Next Generation. Though, they are not ruthless to the point of killing colonists, but the idea of contractual agreements and having a government stylised like a mega-corporation would be reflective and similar concepts.
4. Social Standing
The dwarves social structure is completely different than the human standards. No one within the Stronghollow clan can go hungry or be without shelter. Each worker's family will be able to own land and perform a role within a corporate.
The dwarves wealth and power is represented by his long standing display of dedication and devotion toward is clan. This is the single most respected quality of any dwarf. The dwarves also admire raw talent and potential within an individual, but this most be coupled with dedication to one's tasks. Those that respected or admired in this manner are promoted within their role into leadership positions where they control more funds of the clan. The family where one or more of its members are in a leading role have more control of funds, and can make a greater investment into a starting adventurer.
Players can elect to either choose to from a family of crafters, i.e. comfortable, or roll for a chance to be from a great success.
Dwarven Social Standing
Roll d20 to determine result
half starting funds
Craft Master (Wealthy)
one and a half starting funds
Craft Leader (Very Wealthy)
double starting funds
The Council (Ruling)
triple starting funds
5. Permitted Classes
Generally with Dungeons & Dragons, 3rd Edition any race can play any class, despite how outlandish, bizarre, or freakish the combination may be, or whether it fits in the campaign scope. This game master will not part from this path. Thus if a player wants to play a hin paladin/pscionist/monk/wizard, but they will find themselves wholly unique within Mystara.
The dwarves of the Stronghollow have natural tendencies to certain classes. These include Fighter, Cleric, and Rogue. They avoid attempting to learn the arcane arts due to their difficulty overcoming their physical resistance towards magic.
Below are the list of classes are how common they are. Very Rare represents that no one studies this career; rare represents maybe a few people study this profession; uncommon represents more than a few study this profession.
Barbarian, Monk, Paladin, Psychic Warrior, Pscion
Classes, Very Rare:
Alchemist, Bard, Druid, Ranger, Sorcerer, Wizard
* The dwarves abhor stealing from another, and those that do this in dwarven society are considered insane.
Some dwarves have this class as they are expert security specialists, locksmiths, and trap makers.
This class offers access to many skills needed for those professions.