Starforged Clans

The Dwarven Communities of Wildspace are much more separate than the monolithic Elven nations, but no less powerful or widespread. While the Elves regard themselves as a single nation, each Dwarven citadel is a nation of its own, with its own king, princes, and nobles. The master of a Dwarven community, whether it can move or not, is called “the king within the mountain” and his court is “the shining council”.

The smallest of these Dwarven nations are the citadel ships, powered by the creativity-tapping forges, which ply the skyways. The Dwarves devour their own ships in building and carving them, once they have no more space for art or no more riches to be tapped, they are abandoned, their forges quenched and moved to a new ship.

The larger nations are unmoving asteroids that tumble around the suns and planets. The Dwarves hunt out earth-type planetoids as bases to set up colonies. Dwarven citadels whose populations have grown too large may move into an asteroid as opposed to creating another citadel immediately. Part of the asteroid is carved away to form a new citadel, and the forges placed within, so that some of the population may move on, should they so desire.

Dwarven life within the asteroids is similar to that of Dwarven life on most planets: an underground existence with much mining, crafting, and other activities, broken by feasts and celebrations. The Dwarven citadels are lit within by a pale, luminous moss which also provides most of the air found within an asteroid base. The moss grows everywhere, and often conceals carvings or secret doors installed by previous generations.

The Dwarves of a nation consider all other Dwarves their relatives, and will go to great pains to establish a genealogical relationship, however faint. This is reflected in a strong sense of personal honor among the people, such that an attack against one dwarf is seen as an attack on al Dwarves. The Dwarven leaders can be worked into a fury by tales of atrocities against Dwarves, and many a careless bard has set off a Dwarven jihad by elaborating too greatly on his tales.

The Dwarves are on cordial, if long distance, terms with their groundling cousins. Most of their communication is with adventuring Dwarves who pass to and from the planetary surfaces with other adventurers in non-Dwarven ships. A Dwarven citadel will never intentionally land on a planet. (Two years ago in Realmspace, a particularly bright asteroid streaked over Waterdeep and The North, apparently burning up or landing in the Great Desert of Anauroch. This may have been a Dwarven Citadel.)

The Dwarves are concerned with the decline of the Dwarves in the face of more robust populations of men, orcs, and elves. Those citadels and asteroids that Dwarves inhabit are thriving, but a huge number of empty and abandoned citadels and bases have been drifting through space, later to be used as lairs of monsters and bases of humans.

The Elves say that the Dwarves are doing as well as they are because of the Imperial Elven Navy and the Unhuman War. The Dwarves deny this stoutly as Elven propaganda.

A fair number of Dwarves mix with men and are found in human cities. They serve as artisans, weaponsmiths,and craftsmen, and some become adventurers before settling down to life “within the mountain”.

A myth among the Dwarves is the Dwarven homeworld, a concept missing in Elven and Human tales. The Dwarven home is a wonderful planet of huge mountains bored by great tunnels and filled with ornate, wondrous sculptures the size of Dwarven Citadels. Attempts to recreate this fantasy have often been made on other worlds, but the legend persists.

SJ-LotV 56-57

Starforged Clans

Ethereal Golem virgil2oct