Body: They are one of the shortest races living in Yliakum, but one of the more robust and physically powerful. They are known for letting their beards and mustaches grow and then using the to form elaborate plaits and knots.
Height: They are from 1.30 m to 1.50 m tall.
Eyes: Brown, Black, Silver or Green
Hair: Considering all the different clans, they have a wide range of hair colors: Brown, Red, Blonde, Grey, Black.
Age: They live around 160 years.
Starting stats: Strength 75, Endurance 70, Agility 55, Intelligence 50, Will 55, Charisma 45.
Social Structure and Organization
Their love of war and fighting has given them a semi-martial society and along with their prowess at metal working a love for weapons of all sorts. You can often find them in taverns, because as a race they love their Ale. While at a tavern they usually behave in a cheerful and communicative way, becoming noisy and boastful when sitting in big groups. Because of this you may easily hear someone using the phrase "rough as a dwarf". Despite the number of fights and brawls that take place in bars across Yliakum, Stonehammers consider the use of weapons on another person unacceptable unless in an organized, legal fight or during a war. Otherwise they prefer to just use fists and feet. They have developed a real interest in and dedication for war and war-related activities, considering war as part of their every day life. They are one of the races more dedicated to the battles against invasions from the Stone Labyrinths and are the race with the most Master weapon smiths and armor crafters. The HammerWielders will start brawls with each other and other races, but are more interested in a good fight with other intelligent races than killing. They take defeat almost as well as victory, congratulating the victor heartily. The best way to win a HammerWielder's respect is to best him/her in a fair fight. It is the thrill of battle and the life of a warrior that they love. They see it as more of a sport. The HammerWielders only want to fight things that will fight back, and it is in their nature to help those that need aid. The most shameful thing HammerWielders can do is turn their backs on someone in need. Rare is the HammerWielder who would let even a foe fall from a cliff if they could be saved.
StoneHammers don't like weaving, but are expert tanners. Oddly, they are very fond of music, and most are somewhat skilled in playing traditional Hammers instruments.
Clans: They like to divide themselves into Clans. The two major clans in existence are the StoneBreakers and the HammerWielders. Many other smaller clans are present. They have a strong pride that sometimes develops into feuds with other clans or other races. They tend to be suspicious and quarrelsome towards other races that are taller than they are.
Oral education: Stonehammers knowledge is passed on in groups. From the age of four until they enter into a guild, they are taught in a group of their peers. All HammerWielders are taught basic math, reading, writing, crafting, warfare and mine and tunnel safety skills. StoneBreakers have colleges for Engineering, Occult, Crafting and Liberal arts. At the age of puberty, they graduate into schools for their area of knowledge.
Each School of Mines teaches Mining Operations, Safety techniques and planning, Operations Management and Research and planning.
Each School of the Occult teaches History, Advanced Mathematics, Science, Magic and Theology. Here Mages, Priests and scholars are trained side by side. Magic is treated as a serious subject here, but nowhere else in Stonebreaker society. Still those who persevere to learn the Magic arts, are rewarded with genuine knowledge.
Each School of Engineering teaches Engineering, Technology, Research, Logistics and Deployment. If you think of the massive works of the Stonebreakers, odds are they had their birth in one of these colleges.
Each School of Crafting teaches wood, metal and stone forging, molding and shaping.
Each School of Liberal Arts teach all other subjects, such as Art, Agriculture, Accounting and other trades that StoneBreakers consider non-essential to their society.
Surely great minds have come from these colleges and there isn't a Stonebreaker endeavor that does not rely on a graduate to some degree. These pursuits are still considered superfluous by the majority of Stonebreaker society though.
The two major clans inside the Stonehammers have different view on religion. StoneBreakers are faithful to Laanx, HammerWielders to Talad. Dakkru is almost a mirror of how they saw their old gods and beliefs. They will see dying in a mighty battle as the best death in honor of their family, themselves, and Dakkru. Less even will follow Xiosia. Unknown numbers will follow Blackflame, being promised battle, glory, and the return of the old gods.
They eat mostly meat, because they are not good farmers. What grain they need for bread, they usually buy from the Enkidukai, with whom they have a good relationship. They prefer their foods not cooked too well, though refuse to eat any meat raw. They are not fond of green, leafy vegetables, nor most sweet fruits, but relish heartier root crops and mushrooms, and a hard, chewy bread. HammerWielders love the cheeses made by the other races, and will occasionally make a few of their own, though they would rather not. Making food is not the warrior's way. Though good at brewing ales, they are not fond of that process either. StoneBreakers eat more fish than other StoneHammers due to their past relations with the Nolthrir. They enjoy good, soft bread with sweet jellies and fruits. The StoneBreakers have a much sweeter tooth than their HammerWielder kin. They also tend to be very good cooks, creating very tasty, if simple meals. They are good at cooking basic 'homestyle' foods, and do not like the fancy foods Lemur crave. A very boisterous race, they love liquor in all its forms and enjoy it when not fighting.
They like to use object nouns in their last names like: Ironfist, Copperboot, Graybeard, ... If something very special happens in their life they may decide to change their lastname to represent it.
Abilities and fields of interest
Metals and Gems: StoneHammers have a natural affinity with metals and gems more than with granite, becoming often-clever blacksmiths and gem cutters.
Crafters: They tend to be skilful fighters and often want to put their crafted weapons to the test. Weapons and armor made by HammerWielders are often unrivaled in design, functionality, and decoration. They love crafting and using fine weapons, and would never make useless, gaudy weapons or armor. Many a HammerWielder can be found pounding metals as a full time job, or a hobby. Many of their homes will have a personal forge, to the dismay of non-HammerWielder neighbors. They will also spend a lot of time training for battle, or in rough sports that mimic battle. A great number of HammerWielders can be found guarding the more dangerous parts of the realm.
Engineering: They have the ability to build great structures. StoneBreakers have usually nice and elegant designs, while HammerWielder structures are often considered ugly by the other races, as they are overbuilt and designed to be intimidating, rather than aesthetically pleasing. This is because HammerWielders do not enjoy working with stone as the StoneBreakers do, so they never developed the finer points of masonry. Their buildings contain as little wood as possible, as they see it as weak.
The clan of StoneBreakers have lived for centuries digging tunnels, shafts, wells and caves in the deep of earth until they arrived in Yliakum. They are talented engineers and crafters of machinery like winches, ventilation pipes, canals, means of transport for goods and everything that can be useful to overcome the drawbacks of underground life. They are also powerful and untiring miners; many say that they created the Stone Labyrinths. But Lemurs and Kran know that the StoneBreakers made only parts of those tunnels. When they arrived the tunnels were already in place, even if not so complex. They are a people who like to keep busy, using this to build great structures with their stone working talents. Though they craft weapons, they do not possess the same level of skill as the HammerWielders, preferring to use metals for tools and machines instead.
Tools and Clothes
They are quite good at detailed drawing including maps and realistic portraits. One is taught to learn the lay of the land for battles, while the other is taught to know and remember the face of the enemy. The preferred style for the HammerWielders is black ink or paint on a plain parchment as they tend not to be fond of bright colors. It is not uncommon to find a chest full of drawings and maps in a HammerWielders home.
The traditional dress is woolen breeches and wool or rough cotton tunics. But each Stonebreaker will make an effort to make themselves stand out in a crowd. The methods used vary from dwarf to dwarf, but are usually fairly consistent in a single village. For instance, in one village, everyone looks and dresses the same, except that each member of the village wears a different colored or shaped hat. While in another village, the tradition is that everyone wears a silken vest that is uniquely adorned.
They like body/facial tattoos that depict names, foes killed, or some mystic or family meaning.
Most StoneHammmers are warlike and normally wield a shortened version of a Lucern Hammer averaging about 5 feet long. Other weapons they prefer are axes and maces. Swords are not a favored weapon, except in close quarters. Even then, the swords should be of the short variety.
Their name comes from ancient times and the trademark Hammer they wield, although some favor a shortened Lochaber Axe. They sometimes are equipped with Hurlbats, and use these to devastating effect. Hurlbats must be used with hand protection, like fingered or mitten gauntlets. Their weapons of war are designed to defeat larger foes, both mounted and on foot. Their history is fraught with conflict, unlike their more peaceful cousins, the StoneBreakers. The HammerWielders have much experience smiting weapons from a variety of metals. Their helm of choice is a Sallet-style (with visor), where the top of the head and eyes are protected, but the "rage" of the lower face can still be seen and heard. Their armor tends to be metallic pieces strapped together tightly, and they always wear large metal boots (good for stomping things). They wear full plate armor whenever possible..
StoneHammers grow long beards and braid them into their armor. They also like to weave "mementos" from fallen foes into their beards. Their beards are a source of great pride in their society, and to pull or grab one is a serious offense.
Homeworld name: Fnnargan
Description of Home World: Originally cool with great snowfields, then became ocean covered. Finally, a dead, sun-scalded wasteland with dying cities underground. Right now: A molten ball of rock in close orbit of a red giant star.
Social structure and organization: StoneHammers were always a short people, but centuries ago they used to be thin, almost like the children of other races. Dwarves loved the sun, as their planet was much cooler than ours, and had massive icecaps on the mountains and poles. In that time, they were an industrious people, just learning the ways of building great structures. They worshiped proud gods, and their stone books preached warlike ways.
Reason for Leaving Home World:The dwarves of the time could not have known it, but the sun they so loved was to be their undoing. Only a few of the oldest dwarves observed the change in it, saying that it seemed bigger than it had in their youth, and even slightly orange when they recalled it being a paler yellow, but those voices were easily drowned out by those who could not fathom the sun changing in any way. The seasons became warmer, and the winters shorter, until the great glaciers and icecaps began to melt. The waters released by this new warmth swelled and spread and covered what used to be dry land until the world was transformed into an enormous ocean, with only mountains and a few high plateaus remaining to stand over the waters that had consumed everything else. The dwarves adapted to this change by becoming mighty sailors, building fantastic ships and great cities on the craggy peaks of the mountains that were now islands. They built many great cities of stone, metal, wood, and clever composites, and filled them with fascinating machines of their new era. They forgot the teaching of the old gods. But the sun continued to grow as the dwarves lived and died, becoming more industrious with each passing generation.
The weather became ever more foul, casting storms across the seas in constant squalls. The people had to become more ingenious in their construction and designing of ships. Finally, the storms became so massive and constant that no dwarf would risk travel to the other islands, so they became separated from the rest of their people. This is when the dwarven people started to branch off into the different peoples we see today, as there was no longer intermixing of the islands.
The clouds started to become thick and dark gray with ash, protecting the planet for a time, but doom was at hand. A massive storm of fire and light hit the planet, wiping out all life on one side, and heating the atmosphere to a point where clouds could no longer form. The sun, not seen for many generations, suddenly loomed red and enormous in the sky. It would burn the skin in minutes. It would kill in an hour. The dwarves were forced to move underground, and took to wearing metal hats and plates sewn on leather to protect themselves from the harsh light of the sun if they had to go above ground, though they generally only did so at night in hopes of finding fish in their deep-water traps.
As the sun started to burn the planet, some clans saw this as a sign from the old gods that they were grasping at powers they should not be, and were being punished for forgetting their teachings. They went back to their ancient warlike roots and proud religion, and crafted the long hammers and pole axes of ancient times, and took the name HammerWielders to honor the old gods. Others clans of shorter dwarves in nearby cities did not believe this, so kept to their ways of vast community construction projects and the study of machines. The two peoples were yet close enough that they could travel through caves to reach each other. The HammerWielders became angered at the clans who refused to worship the old gods of war, naming them StoneBreakers for breaking the religious laws written in the stone books of old. The two groups went their separate ways, not to talk again for generations.
The growing sun continued to heat the surface stone to unbearable temperatures, and a black ash befouled the air of the upper caves, forcing the dwarves to dig deeper with each generation. The ceilings of the great halls they had built when they first moved underground to avoid the storms began to turn black, and ashes fell from the cracks. The once vast oceans evaporated into the sky. Unable to form rain, the water expanded the atmosphere, where it was slowly washed off the planet by yearly firestorms like the one that had killed half the world. This cycle continued until the Dwarven home world was nothing more than a vast, lifeless desert. The only water to be found was deep in the still cool rocks the dwarves tunneled into. No dwarf ever saw the sky of their home again. Moving underground changed them. The deeper they dug to escape their sun, the harsher it became, killing off all but the stoutest and strongest of each generation, until they gained the look of those seen today.
Food was desperately hard to find underground, but the resourceful dwarves learned how to cultivate edible molds and lichens, which they also used to feed their sturdy little pack-beasts. These beasts were the only source of meat to the dwarves besides foul tasting insects that somehow survived as well. But time was running out as the sun continued to expand. The dwarves were all doomed. They could delve no deeper, or suffer the heat coming from deep within the rock, boiling the blood in their veins. They could not go back, for the light of their cursed sun would burn the very flesh from their bones. In the depths of hopelessness, a miracle formed. It was a glowing blueish silver disk. A portal. It was the HammerWielders who first came upon the Portal, and knew it to be a gift of the gods. They began to travel into the blessedly cool caves that welcomed them on the other side. Despite their differences with the StoneBreakers, the HammerWielders could not leave their wayward brothers and sisters behind, so sent a group to find them. After many days of hard travel, the groups finally found the remaining StoneBreakers ensconced in a city designed to shelter them from the heat. It was beginning to fail. It took no convincing for the StoneBreakers and the few odd refugees from more distant cities to follow the HammerWielders back to the portal. Even the StoneBreakers thanked the gods as they stepped through into their new home. If one were to see the dwarven homeland now, they would never dream that the molten ball of rock bathed in constant solar flares could ever have supported life.
Race history in Yliakum
- Portal Location in Yliakum: Deep in the caves close to the Dermorians.
- 320AY, Winter. Arrival Time in Stone Labyrinths__
- 321 AY - The dwarves began to explore further from where they entered the Labyrinths and began building larger structures.
- 322 AY - The first permanent structure was completed in the RedStone Fortress. This was located next to a big gorge, which provided protection on one side.
- 323 AY - The StoneBreakers relinquished control of a rich mineral vein and foundry to the HammerWielders.
- 324 AY - Lemurs were seen across the gorge next to RedStone.
- 325 AY, Spring - The Dwarves found Yliakum. And saw the great Crystal for the first time.
- 325 AY - Early Spring. The StoneBreakers left the city and traveled to the cave of the Crystal. They found the magical stairs created by the Gods which connected to the second level. The StoneBreaker clan settled on the second level and began carving a city into the wall. The city was called Pillars of Felim, Felim in their language means Joy.
- 325 AY - Winter. The HammerWielders started the slow, steady construction of a massive bridge crossing the gorge and the anchor fortress used to house the workers.
- 326 AY - The RedStone Fortress at the edge of the cliff was essentially completed, and the bridge was halfway across.
- 327 AY - Some HammerWielders went to Yliakum and started a trade of meat, metals and furs for grown food.
- 327 AY - Some of the StonesBreaker clan traveled back and helped the HammerWielders in the construction of the Redstone Bridge.
- 329 AY - The basic bridge was finished, allowing an army of 500 Hammers to cross. They met the Lemur.
- 330 AY winter - The Klyros showed up near the StonesBreaker clan settlement and they mingled a little. They left the following spring.
- 331 AY - HammerWielders started worshiping Laanx.
- 332 AY - The Nolthrir found the Gods passages used by the StoneBreakers and showed up on the second level. They convinced the StonesBreaker clan to start building paths all the way down to the lake on the lowest level of Yliakum.
- 335 AY - The first meeting between the HammerWielders and Dermorians occurred in the Dermorian city of Ilith Thalasind.
- 335 to 350-ish - The HammerWielders and Dermorians established good relations and started to develop trade.
- 336 to 357 AY - Tensions began rising within the formidable HammerWielder city as the worship of Laanx became stronger.
- 340 AY - The passages from 2nd to 6th level were completed enough to allow travel down. The StonesBreakers continue to improve them.
- 343 AY - A blood feud is started between two clans over religious conflict. The old gods were banned from being worshiped.
- 345 AY - Dark, evil fog came, driving the remaining dwarves from the Labyrinths out to Yliakum.
- 347 AY - StoneHammers (mainly the HammerWielder clan) founded the city of Araloth kel'Maren in the Dome around the mine called the Dark Delving. In modern times, most people call both Dark Delving or just Delving.
- 384 AY - Work started to create a winch system to link the second to third level.
- 392 AY - The Winch from second to third level was completed.
- 409 AY - The fort that the HammerWielders would later convert into the Battle College was built. It was abandoned a few years into the war to move troops to a more vital area.
- 425 AY - Octarchy of Hydlaa made contact with the StoneHammers, asking them to meet the Klyros and establish a single Octarch. This was not done for quite some time.
- 443 AY - Some StoneHammers found the "Paths to the Void". Tunnels which go deep into the rock and down, and exit. Terrible creatures inhabited those regions.
- 450 AY - StoneHammers and Klyros on the second level tries to create common rules, but the attempt failed. The two races were too different.
- 482 AY - Thanks to the Hall of Reflection and a Klyros elder informer, the StoneHammers manage to deflect a pretty strong attack instigated by the Blackflame to their city. The Blackflame's plan was to turn some of the most notable personalities against one another through assassinations and deception. StoneHammers accepted to having a Klyros Octarch for the Barn.
- 505 AY - The winch on the first level was completed. It was to be used in conjunction with the stairs/passages.
- 590 AY - Burtan Ironboot was elected as the ruler of Araloth thanks to the fact he was brother of one of the most notable treasurers in the city. He promised to stay strong against the wizards and the chaos generated by the heresy of magic, he built an army to defend the city with the money from the treasurers/bankers.
- 595 AY - A large army was gathered by Burtan, more debts were made with the treasurers/bankers.
- 600 AY - Assassination of Iris (Octarch) maked Burtan think it was the right time to strike. He strengthened the army even more, depleting most of the cities funds.
- 603 AY - End of Heresy, Master of Ways (see History of Magic doc).
- 603 AY late - Burtan Ironboot laid siege to Hydlaa with a large army and asked the current temporary government to join forces and elect him as Octarch. Some fights began, the StoneHammer army was too large to be fought. The captain of the guard, Jerard DuLaren gave over control to Burtan. He became the first StoneHammer Ochtarch.
- 615 AY - Burthan Ironboot started to lose support from the population of Hydlaa, he enacted high taxes to repay the debts he had developed while raising his army.
- 620 AY - Burthan started to trick the treasurers, some mysteriously disappeared, including his brother. Treasurers gathered and decided to stop helping him.
- 626 AY - Population revolted against Burthan, a part of his army as well, treasurers were against him. He ended up being imprisoned. Temostes Salikarios was his successor.
- 630-750 AY TO BE DEFINED.
Significant Person Tracking
- Deirgan Bloodaxe - Leader of the group that first met the Dermorians.
- Volen Bloodgem : Vigesimi in Radiant Sector. HammerWielder clan. (see Meet the Dome Vigesimi, Book One )
- Orgun Granitefist : Vigesimi StoneBreaker clan. (see Meet the Dome Vigesimi, Book Two)
- Burthan Ironboot : First StoneHammer Ochtarch in Hydlaa, taken by force.
- Main City: Araloth kel'Maren, Level 1 sector H.
- RedStone: City in the StoneLabyrinths
- RedStone Bridge: In the StoneLabyrinths, used to rescue the Lemurs.
- Pillars of Felim : City on the second level, actually the first city built by them in Yliakum.