A Light in the Dark
The Dwarves are a hardy folk who are known for their respect for their ancestors, their stonecutting, and their love of all things alcoholic.
Dwarven Houses are typically known as Clans. The structure varies from Clan to Clan, but there are a few things that are typically consistent.
- The majority of Clans are led by a Lord and/or Lady, though some are led by a council or elected leader.
- Most Clans are synonymous with a noble Family, but the entire Clan isn’t typically made up solely of members of that Family.
- Clans are almost Holy in Dwarven culture. A Dwarf’s life and existence typically revolves around his/her Clan.
- While it is possible to leave a Clan, the only accepted way of doing so is through marriage.
- To leave a Clan in any other manner is accepted in most cases as a necessity, though it generally leaves both parties at best cool towards one another and at worst as outright enemies. It is considered something to avoid at all costs, and is pretty rare.
- Though some unscrupulous Clans will try to use this flexibility of moving through Clans via marriage or other means for spying, this is considered taboo by most Dwarves and risks getting the perpetrating Clan ostracized from society.
Clans typically have three tiers of members:
- Clan Head – The Family of the Lord and Lady. Heirs and most high leadership positions come from this group.
- Clan Heart – These are typically made up of lesser Families (nobility) that owe fealty to the Clan.
- Clan Hands – The bulk of the Clan is from this caste. They owe fealty to the Clan, but are not of the nobility caste. Most are craftsman and tradesmen.
In Prism the base laborers are typically Clanless and are merely employees, though through effort and skill they can become part of the Clan. In other Dwarven settlements, the base laborers are serfs and are generally stuck as such for life.
Dwarves believe that they are one of the first peoples of Tahanan,The story they tell goes something like this:
Long ago, when the Elves and the First Gods were the only intelligent creatures to walk the face of Tahanan, One of the Gods saw how serious his Elven people were and set out to give them something to help them enjoy their lives more.
This God, whose name was lost in The Upheaval created games of skill and chance, and the Elves accepted this gift with solemn thanks, but little joy. The God then gave them art, and the Elves took to it and crafted masterpieces of impressive beauty, but still they did not smile. The God continued and gave them things that brought joy into his heart, but all to no avail.
The God decided nudges were no longer enough. He would need to create something that would ensure that the Elves perspectives were changed. He hit upon the concept of a beverage that when imbibed would lessen inhibition and enhance mood…he invented alcohol.
The first alcohol the God created was beer. Intent upon making sure of its efficacy, he drank some of it himself and found that he liked it. So he drank some more. Then some more again and again, until he was good and drunk…yes, even Gods can get drunk.
In his inebriation, he slopped a large dollop onto the rock upon which he sat. The rock immediately absorbed the beer. He then dumped a barrel onto the rock and the rock soaked it all up. Amused by this, the God tested other boulders, yet none took to the beer like that first. The God continued to ply the boulder with alcohol, and yet the rock always seemed as dry as it began.
The God, drunk and belligerent as he was, thought about the Elves and how none of his gifts gave them joy. He came to the conclusion that they didn’t deserve this gift, when a mere rock took to it with such vigor. The problem was that this gift needed to be shared, but there were none but the Elves to share it with.
So the God, in a fit of giggles started molding the boulder into something with whom he could drink, something that clearly appreciated beer as much as him, and the Dwarves were born…