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 Hylar & Klar (Mountain) Dwarves

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PostSubject: Hylar & Klar (Mountain) Dwarves   Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:44 pm

Mountain Dwarves

While hill dwarves are most commonly encountered by
other races, they are only a small percentage of the entire
dwarven race. The mountain dwarves of Ansalon consider
themselves the true dwarves of Krynn. Among the
mountain dwarves are the noble clans that were established
thousands of years ago. In the depths of Thorbardin dwell
the royal clan of the Hylar, the spiritual Daewar, the erratic
Klar, the treacherous Theiwar, and the ruthless Daergar.
At the height of their glory, mountain dwarves controlled
three kingdoms and were considered a major force of
trade on the continent, forging trade agreements with the
nations of Solamnia, Ergoth, Qualinesti, and Istar. It wasn’t
until the Kingpriests of Istar began to impose their laws
upon all the people of Ansalon that the dwarves closed
their doors to the world. However, nothing could save
them from the Cataclysm.
With the fall of the fiery mountain from the heavens,
the kingdom of Thoradin was destroyed, leaving the
Theiwar clan to suffer alone. Under Thorbardin, the
mountain clans remained safe from the hazards of the
Cataclysm, but they could not escape each other. Civil war
erupted between the clans, lasting decades. Even the peace
following the War of the Lance only lasted until the Chaos
War. Then the kingdom under the mountain erupted into
a war that destroyed the ancient cities of the dwarves and
reduced the population to a fraction of what it once was.
The only mountain dwarf kingdom to survive relatively
unscathed is the kingdom of Kayolin beneath the Garnet
Mountains of Solamnia.

Physical Appearance
Mountain dwarves typically stand between 4 and 4 ½ feet
tall and nearly as wide. The dwarves of the Daewar clan are
among the tallest, some even standing over 5 feet in height.
Daewar dwarves often have golden hair and lustrous
braided beards. Of all the dwarves, they are the most vain
and prefer to wear fine clothes of bright colors.
The Hylar also prefer to where fine clothes to
demonstrate their noble status among their people, but
colors are muted compared to the flashy Daewar. Typically,
Hylar hair color ranges from sandy-blonde to dark brown.
They often style their hair into complex patterns and keep
it clean and brushed.
This is in stark contrast to the Klar clan that prefers to
let their hair rest where it may in wild tufts. The Klar have
been known to tie trinkets into their beards, such as beads
or even the bones of enemies. The dwarves of the Klar clan
wear tough, simple wool clothing that can resist the wear
and tear of the physical labor they often perform.

Psychology
Mountain dwarves are generally gruff and possess shrewd
minds. When it comes to their people, they are fiercely
devoted to clan first and then to all mountain dwarves.
They are willing to defend their homes to the death and are
some are literally raised with hammers in their hands. They
see the world as a creation of the god Reorx—something
to be revered and crafted into shape by skilled hands. To
outsiders, mountain dwarves appear introverted. Most
prefer to dwell apart from the world, below the surface,
never seeing the light of day. Although they can make
steadfast trading partners, mountain dwarves rarely stray
far from their mountain home. Among the Hylar and
Daewar, a good day’s work should yield riches and wealth.
They work hard, so they deserve the best. Mountain
dwarves appreciate the finer things in life and are not
ashamed to flaunt it. Unlike hill dwarves, they are not
modest and dress as regally as they can afford. This display
of wealth, their success in industry, and secrecy of their
mountain home are reasons many folk believe dwarves hide
mountains of gold in their underground kingdoms.
The Hylar are the most outgoing of the mountain dwarf
clans. They and the Daewar have more experience with
the surface world than other clans. Honor, respect, and
tradition are the tools by which a Hylar views the world. If a
nation fails to respect its people or fails to honor its pledges,
they are unworthy of trade or association. Among their
own kind, the Hylar can be bit self-righteous, but other
races find them to be rough and no-nonsense. The Hylar
are considered the most noble of the dwarven clans.
When they are not suffering from problems within
their own clan or withdrawn into their mountain city, the
Daewar dwarves are actively seeking trade with all who
will trade with them. Worship of their gods and industry
are indistinguishable. The Daewar live to give shape and
purpose from raw substance and further the concepts of
trade and engineering. Daewar priests work the forges day
and night, showing their faith by the hours spent working.
Warriors sing dwarven chants to the gods as they meet their
enemy on the battlefield. “May their hearts and pockets be
rich,” is a prayer many Daewar merchants often utter before
every sale. They are a spiritual people and honor those
who respect them and their beliefs. Intense and loud, the
golden-haired Daewar are often easy to recognize.
The wild Klar are natural explorers. Unlike many other
dwarves, Klar have a knack for dealing with the natural
wonders of the world, especially plants and animals. Even
so, few Klar are willing travel far beyond their mountain
home, preferring instead to explore the details of their own
mountains before looking to the world beyond. However,
a touch of insanity is prevalent in the Klar clan, and has
produced some odd dwarves. Some have willingly left to
make their fortune in the surfaceworld or even taken up the
art of wizardry.

Social Structure
A mountain dwarf ’s life revolves around his clan and his
place within it. Each clan is led by a Thane who represents
his clan’s interests on the Council of Thanes. The original
Council was established to be the ruling body of all dwarves
upon Ansalon, but now each dwarven kingdom has its own
Council.
In Thobardin, there are nine chairs on the Council of
Thanes, one for each clan of seven clans, a chair for the
Kingdom of the Dead—a nation of honored ancestors who
have passed on before and the adopted clan of all dwarven
clerics—and a chair for the High King of the dwarves.
The High King of Thorbardin is the dwarf who rightfully
claims the Hammer of Kharas. Without it, a dwarf may
claim sovereignty, but he will never be accepted by all the
clans as the true ruler.

Religion
Mountain dwarves respect religious traditions and
incorporate them in their daily lives. Even in those ages
when the gods have been silent, some dwarves continued
their veneration. However, in the centuries following
the Cataclysm, many dwarves gave up hope, believing
the gods had abandoned them. Some temples to Reorx
were converted into places of learning, while others were
abandoned entirely.
Following the War of the Lance, the dwarves were
reunited with Reorx once again, and the forge fires at
the heart of each temple were reignited. The sounds of
hammers ringing against steel, and the comforting chant
of the dwarven clerics echoed through the underground
halls. After the Chaos War, many dwarves turned to the
Power of the Heart in order to keep their traditions alive,
although this practice did not come without a price; the
use of mysticism brought its own problems. Some dwarves
believed it was a betrayal to use this new magic.
In the Daewar clans, the use of this magic brought
civil unrest as the dwarves hotly debated the use of magic.
Severus Stonehand made the use of mysticism even more
questionable by using his magic to persuade many of the
Daewar clan to follow him out of Thorbardin, an act that
fractured the already unstable Daewar clan. The eventual
return of Reorx and the rest of the gods following the War
of Souls helped ease that tension. Now with the return of
the clerics, the use of mysticism is being reconsidered as a
gift from their god.
Most mountain dwarves observe religious holidays
and ceremonies. Among the more common rituals are
naming ceremonies of newborns, weddings, and blessings
of artifacts.
While Reorx is considered the high god of the dwarves,
he is not the only one worshiped. The Hylar traditionally
prefer to remain to true to Reorx, although Shinare also
has a small following. The Daewar generally feel open
to worship any of the good or neutral gods. Among the
favored are Thak the Hammer (Paladine), Kijo the Blade
(Kiri-Jolith), the Silver Mistress (Shinare), and Sirrion the
Firemaster. Among the Klar clan, many dwarves venerate
Reorx, but a fair number also worship Chislev, who they
often refer to as the Living Earth. The Klar are the only
mountain dwarf clan known to have druids among their
people.

Racial Relations
Mountain dwarves deal with other races on a limited
scale. While many mountains dwarves are merchants,
they rarely leave their underground kingdoms, preferring
to sell just to their own kind. Views about other races
are often developed from second-hand hearsay or brief
encounters when representatives of that race have visited
the mountain dwarf home.
On the whole, mountain dwarves consider elves to be
haughty and reclusive. The kingdom of Thorin traded with
Silvanesti, and the mountain dwarves of Thorbardin built
up a strong relationship with the elves of Qualinesti. Yet
those relationships were severed with the occurrence of the
Cataclysm. The elves retreated into their forest homes, and
the mountain dwarves retreated underground. Following
the Chaos War, Tarn Bellowgranite tried to convince the
mountain dwarves of Thorbardin that the elves could once
again be strong allies. Unfortunately, his plan ultimately
failed when thousands of dwarves and elves perished in
the fall of Qualinesti. Now, with the elves exiled from their
lands, it seems highly improbable that such a relationship
could be restored.
Mountain dwarves find gnomes amusing in a
pathetic way. Dwarves live among some of the greatest
examples of architecture and technology Ansalon has
ever known. Gnomes are clearly cursed. This is painfully
obvious in their so-called inventions and their illogical
methodologies. However, mountain dwarves admit they
admire the gnomish desire to create and their tireless work
ethic.
Mountain dwarves do not quite understand half-elves.
Often, they simply assume they are humans. However,
half-elves do seem to be amiable and understanding, and
relations between mountain dwarves and half-elves often
work well.
Humans are often too unpredictable to place in any
one category. While many humans make good trading
partners, just as many want to rob you blind. Dwarves deal
with humans on a case-by-case basis.
Mountain dwarves find kender as irritating as gully
dwarves. Thankfully, not many of them make it below
ground. In dwarven eyes, they can’t be trusted.
Mountain dwarves have no love for minotaurs. They
rarely trade with them and know very little about them,
beyond the fact that they are large, smelly, and like to fight.
Draconians, ogres, and goblins fall in the same
category. No self-respecting dwarf would waste time
dealing with them.

Mountain Dwarves as Characters
Mountain dwarf characters are the iconic dwarves, made
for players who want to play strong, vibrant characters.
They are never timid and never afraid to speak their
minds. The Hylar are perfect for those players looking for a
lawful archetype, although the Klar allow a player to break
from the norm and play a chaotic dwarf. The Daewar can
be any alignment but are rarely evil.

Adventuring Mountain Dwarves
Adventuring mountain dwarves are somewhat rare, but the
current conditions in the Age of Mortals allow a number
of reasons for mountain dwarves to be found outside their
underground homes. Presently, only Thorbardin dwarves
would be unlikely to leave their mountain homes, as they
have closed all entrances to their kingdom again. The most
likely adventurers from Thorbardin would be outcasts. The
regions of Pax Tharkas, Kayolin, and Thoradin offer the
most likely home for mountain dwarf adventurers.
Mountain dwarves may take up adventuring for a
number of different reasons; perhaps they were sent on
a mission by their Thane or are working for a dwarven
merchant. Some dwarven clerics find they must leave the
mountain on a spiritual journey.

Mountain Dwarf Racial Traits
Mountain dwarves have all the dwarven racial traits provided
at character creation except as follows:
• Dexterity –2, Constitution +2. Mountain dwarves are
less agile than their hill dwarf cousins. They are just as
durable, however, and far more sociable.
• Automatic Languages: Common, Dwarven.
Bonus Languages: Gnome, Hammertalk, Ogre.

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