The Kiingerim Dwarves (loosely
translated from the Thergerim
tongue as "High Dwarves") were once one of the great powers of
Nybelmar, but due to the
War of The Chosen the
mountain cities of the Kiingerim were destroyed and today they can only be
found in the city of Tyr Faerath.
These are true survivors and are very proud of their history because of the
fact that they changed their traditions and life styles less than other tribes.
They are more competitive than other dwarven tribes and the goal of their life is simple. To have as much money and wealth as they can. The Kiingerim have taken, with help from their cousins, the Kavogerim (Plain Dwarves), more and more control over the trade routes of Nybelmar. In the south they are the undisputed rulers of continental trade, much thanks to the location of the city.
Appearance. Slightly taller and sturdier than their cousins of the plains, the High Dwarves also have darker colours. Most High Dwarves are also taller than one ped. This is explained by the fact that the food supply in the mountains always has been better than that in the desert.
Their hair colours range form black to grey, with a few white exceptions. Having white beard and hair is usually taken as a sign of knowledge. The white beard generally comes when the dwarf passes 200 years.
Like most dwarves their bones are as hard as their will. Unlike other dwarves they tend to walk with straight legs and back, upright, much like the humans or elves. Their eyes are always dark, almost black. The dwarves say that itís from looking back at their black city for so long. In general it can be noted that the way the Kiingerim walk and the way their eyes look shows that they are proud of being Kiingerims.
Kiingerim faces are more open and their eyes not as deep-set as the Plain Dwarvesí. A person who meets them tends to think they are more honest than most dwarves. They seem nice and friendly, which most of them actually are as well.
|Image description. The steelmark of the dwarven Kiingerim clan, three diagonal lines. Picture by Artimidor Federkiel.|
Coat of Arms/Sign.
Unlike their cousins on Sarvonia the
High Dwarves possess an own coat of arms. The Coat of Arms of
Tyr Faerath is something that has
been changed over the years. At first it consisted of two mining-picks on a
black background. That represented the mining business the city first was
founded upon. When the mining ended and the city took more and more control
over the trading routes, the symbol changed several times. The last change was
made 752 a.S. by the Trade Council. It is now a simple black background with
three thin red diagonal lines. The black stands for
the colour of the city and the red lines for the trade routes it controls.
When printed simply on a bag or a chest or when used as a steelmark to say where a product is from, the sign of Tyr Faerath is usually simply a square with the three characteristical lines in it.
Territory. The only place in the world where you can find the Kiingerim is in the last city of the High Dwarves, Tyr Faerath. The city is located on the southern tip of the Zharkanions, the city lies right next to the mountainside. The stone of the mountain is black and so is the city as the houses are most often cut directly from the mountain.
Since the last family got into the council in 1456 b.S. there has been talk of colonisation to the north. Some dwarves who have read the history still dream of a High Dwarven empire all over the Zharkanions but the Chyrakisth make this a mere wishful thinking.
People. The Kiingerim are always out to make a deal and the struggle to get more wealthy is something that binds the society-classes together. They are the masters of trade and it is said that if you give a Kiingerim a spoon he will have traded it into a house in a week. In Tyr Faerath there are three times more traders than smiths. The traders guild is also five times the size of the army.
The craftsmanship of the tribe is not much compared to the skills of the ancient smiths so the skill of trading is very important to the cityís survival.
Housing. A typically Kiingerim family lives in a small cubic house most often cut directly from the rock. A normal home to a Kiingerim has one side, 6 peds long and one side, 10 peds long. The houses normally have two stories. Only in the poorest area more than one family lives under the same roof.
The roofs always appear flat but they are designed to lean in the smallest angle possible. That way the water that falls onto the roof is gathered on one side of the house and can be used as cleaning water. The drinking water is led down from the mountains. The aqueducts that lead the water down from deep within the mountain are tunnels that let no dirt in and on hot days in the summer lead more than 20.000 tuns of water down to the Kiingerim.
The houses normally have two or three windows to the street. The windows are small, not more than holes and only on the most expensive houses they have glass windows.
Inside the furniture are loose. Unlike their cave-cousins on Sarvonia the Kiingerim donít like to cut furniture directly from the rock. They like to be flexible and as there is a lot off moving around in the city they like to take their furniture with them. They are still made of stone of course.
The rooms are not many and in smaller houses where the living room is usually the dining room and kitchen too. In the grand mansions closest to the mountain there can be three dining rooms and two kitchens. Same for every house is the altar to Tyr Hthom.
Clothing. A normal male dwarf of the Kiingerim goes to work in a short robe that ends at the knees. It is most often white or grey, but the most expensive ones are black with golden edges. The belt around the waist is there for aesthetic reasons rather than for some useful purpose. It is common the have a large buckle of gold or silver with the owners name on it. Under the robe the men wear a tunic. The same colours are used as on the robes with the addition of red.
Unlike their cousins of the plains the Kiingerim donít cover their faces. They usually donít even have helmets and the only ones wearing armour are the militaries. They do carry knives with them for eating purposes but that is more of a tradition than a practical thought.
The only difference in clothing between men and women is that women-robes are longer than the male version. They wear belts with golden buckles but they are much smaller than the malesí.
Diet. Being a trade-city the dwarves of Tyr Faerath have access to most of the exotic foods of Nybelmar. That is if they can pay. The wealthy dwarves can eat dinner every night for a year and never eat the same food twice.
For the normal dwarf the assortment is somewhat more limited. There are not many animals living in the mountains or the heaths to the south and the editable plants living in the area are few. A normal meal for a dwarven family is a piece of meat from a milch goat, some mushrooms and a beer. From early years Kiingerim children are served beer. In the first years they drink the milk from the milch goat.
The mushrooms are grown in the old mines where there is enough moist. The mushrooms taste well, if you are a dwarf. The men of Korweyn tried to import them, but found that they caused stomach disorder. You have to be a dwarf to stand them.
The meat from the milch goat is a bit chewy and salty, but as the chefs of the tribe say, "with a nice beer everything tastes good!" The breweries have a good reputation but the cooking of the tribe leaves much to be desired. The Kiingerim beer is strong and bitter and is something that taverns of Korweyn buys and serves. Not to children though.
Weapons. The army of Tyr Faerath uses axes. Most of the warriors have two or more axes when on duty. Some of the soldiers have shields but that is something they have to buy for themselves.
The axes size and form varies from small, just a Ĺ ped for throwing to 1.5 peds long monsters for crushing the shields of their enemies.
By looking at the size of the soldiers axe you can see what kind of soldier he is. If the axe is big and he only carries one or two he is a ďBreakerĒ and if his belt is filled with small throwing-axes he is a ďFellerĒ. There are four kinds of soldiers.
The Fellers are the archers of the tribe. They never leave the great wall and are the first blow against the enemy. With small, Ĺ ped large axes that they can throw for more than 80 peds with accuracy they are used to make the lines of the enemy a little thinner.
The Breakers are large powerful warriors that have enormous axes. They are the ones who first face the enemy on the battlefield. With their large axes they crush the shields and the morale of the enemy. A good breaker can occupy five to six enemies at the time.
The Shofim are the general soldiers of the tribe. They come out just after the Breakers and engage the enemy one on one. They use the holes the Breakers have made to come behind the enemy lines. Their axes are normal in size, 1 ped.
Raiders are fast, light-equipped warriors that use secret exits from the mountainsides to come behind the enemy. They are the last weapons the tribe has. When engaging the enemy they run past them striking and making a circle and attacking some other enemy soldiers. This way the enemy soldiers donít now from where the next blow will come.
The Kiingerim view their army
as a body that needs all parts to work. Therefore they have named the ranks of
their officers like body parts. The Head or Hthom that thinks, the Legs or
Merchirerons that holds up the army, the Arms or Elengerons that does the
duties of the body and the Hearts or Ongerons that keeps the blood of the body
pumping. Hthom is equivalent to general, Merchirerons and Elengerons to
captains and Ongerons to lieutenants.
Chief over the army, or in Thergerim "Thrazerons", is the Hthom, usually a member of the Marilin family. He is given the command for a period of ten years and is usually an old Captain or a Commander who has shown great knowledge and courage or just someone who is a friend of the sitting council presidents. The last hundred years the size of the army has been fairly stable at about 1700 fighters.
The army is then divided into four divisions for each kind of soldiers with two Merchirerons in charge of the Breakers and the Soldiers and two Elengerons in charge of the Raiders and the Fellers. The Merchirerons are usually old warriors that have become veterans and gained the trust of the soldiers while the Elengerons are new officers from council-families. These know more of tactics than the Merchirerons but less about real combat. There are now 200 Breakers, 260 Raiders, 270 Fellers and 1000 Soldiers.
The divisions are then divided into four companies. In command of a company is an Ong. He is a soldier or a chief who likes to move on in the chain of command. A Breaker-company has 12 warriors, a Soldier-company has about 75 and both Raider- and Feller-companies have 20.
Each division is then further divided into four groups with a chief as the boss. The group eats, sleeps and fights together and become friends for life.
In addition to the soldiers the city also has catapults located fifty peds from the wall that can throw stones or burning oil at the attackers. The old machines are replaced by new ones every twentieth year or so.
Occupations. The tribe has most of the normal occupations that dwarven clans have with some exceptions. The largest difference to other clans is the number of miners and traders. Traders also have a lot more classes like Master Trader and Far Trader than other clans.
The classes within the traders are from the top of the scale; Master Trader, Grand Trader, Far Trader, Near Trader and Trader.
The most dangerous job of the Kiingerim is to be a Milcher. A Milcher is a brave hunter that risks his life to capture living milch goats in the mountains. The milch goats are aggressive and the cliffs are sharp. Thatís why more young, courageous dwarves are lost rather in hunting than at serving the military.
Another branch which flourishes in the tribe are Movers. There is a lot of moving going on in the city and therefore there have to be many Movers. They also have to be strong to move all the goods and stone furniture.
Government. The tribe and city is run be the Trader's Council where the seven wealthiest families are represented. Once a council member you sit for a period of 77 year, eleven of those in a row as a president. A council-member cannot be more than 123 years old when entering the council. That is a security issue the Kiingerim have so that no one will be old and die during his time in the council even though it happens sometimes.
Every family has their own area of business that they control. They donít have monopoly, but they are the power in their area of expertise.
The Council is responsible for all contact with other countries, trade agreement and taxes. Council members are also in charge of the court. The judges, there are five, are appointed by the council for a period of 40 years, but after that they are on their own.
A judge from the court of Tyr Faerath can investigate if there is a family in town rich enough to take a seat in the Council. The last time that happened was in 1456 b.S. when the honourable judge Hurlin Hubin ruled that the Marilin were richer then the Jolins. Since then no new family has made it into the council.
The families are as follows:
It is the trading field where the Kiingerim excel all the other
dwarven clans in
Nybelmar. The production of the city is
like every normal dwarven settlement but
more goods pass through there than at any other place on
The tribe has strong trade-agreements with Korweyn, Anis-Anpagan and the elves of Emeraldwoods. But the most money comes into the city through the irregular trade with the western parts of Nybelmar. From that part of the world all sorts of exotic goods come to the tribeís traders. They buy them cheap or trade them for something common. Then they sell them to merchants in the east with a large profit.
The Kiingerim control the trade route that leads from east to west with a small fort south of the city. Two companies of soldiers live there together with about twenty employees, five weeks at the time. The fort, TrumChaor, is a small black fort on a rocky hill between the two great roads of the area. From the tallest tower you can see almost a furlay to the south, east and west. To the north you can see the walls of Tyr Faerath.
On the production side of the economy the dwarves have to rely on the trade. They have become experts in making weapons, jewellery and machines using material from east and west. They havenít got that much own material to work with and in times of trouble when the gates are closed, the industry stands still more or less.
Natural Resources. The only resource worth mentioning is the black stone of the mountain in Tyr Faerath. For more than 11.000 years there have been no new veins of gold or silver inside the mountain. Therefore the dwarves export the mountain itself. People building forts and castles send for the black stone of Tyr Faerath for its hardness but also for the colour. A popular way to build castles is to build a strong wall of ordinary stone and then build a thinner layer of black stone on the outside.
Holidays, Festivals and Observances. There's basically mainly one essential festival the Kiingerim celebrate: The Day of the Last Stand.
The Kiingerim have not forgotten the Burning Mountains and their Shadow. In the books of Kiingerim mythology you can read about 250 High Dwarves going to battle with the Hordes of the Burning Mountains. There is also a legend in the city that the Shadow will raise again and this time not overseeing the city. Therefore, a week every autumn every soldier stands a day on the wall holding a banner of his company. Itís an impressive sight when 250 dwarves, fully armoured, stand proud holding his banner on top of the great wall facing east.
The black wall, the black and red banners and the black dressed dwarves are a spectacle to watch but also an important reminder to the citizens of the dangers that lure outside the walls.
History. Still to be added.
Information provided by Victhorin