Rockhome Clan (Rockhammer)
Population: 800 Hill Dwarves (dwur)
Though not technically a part of Veluna, this clan of dwarves has very strong ties to the city of Valkurl. The settlement consists of a large warren of tunnels in the side of a mountain about 2 days travel into the Lortmils Mountains south of Valkurl. They have an exclusive trade arrangement with the High Roads Trading Company and the two have made each other very rich over the last 10 years. Most dwarves in the Valkurl area hail from this clan and they take their clan name very serious. It’s a common saying in Valkurl that you only cross a Rockhammer dwarf once.
History: The controversial treaty of Grot-Ugrat damaged the credibility and authority of the undermountain king of Balnorhak. A strong contender for his throne, Sire Evrast of the Oimaeglin clan, rose up against the undermountain king. With the blessing of the new high priest of Moradin, Sire Evrast condemned the old king for his part in the failed treaty and publicly denounced him for his foolishness. His rhetoric took advantage of popular sentiment, for the undermountain king’s negotiations with goblins scandalized all the clans. Moreover, Sire Evrast had the awe-inspiring assistance of a powerful golem he called Rockborn. This creature was magically fashioned of granite in the likeness of a great dwarf, and it commanded god-like awe and fear. Indeed, Sire Evrast claimed that the golem had been given to his clan as a gift from Moradin and that the voice of Moradin spoke through the golem. None dared challenge him or his golem, and even the thane of Balnorhak feared Evrast and his monster.
Sire Evrast might have unseated the old undermountain king and taken Balnorhak for himself, but he had higher ambitions. Rather than seize the throne of what he considered to be a fading kingdom, Evrast desired to chisel his own kingdom from solid rock and richer veins. Sire Evrast agreed to leave Balnorhak peaceably, but he invited all those “who would not bandy with goblins” to follow after him and his golem. “We will cut our own kingdom from the stone, and we will take for ourselves the everlasting possession the gods have promised us.”
Evrast led a great exodus from Balnorhak, including many renowned heroes, the sacred priests of Moradin, and the entirety of the Oimaeglin Clan. Despite the helpless protests of the undermountain king, the defectors also took with them the Anvil of Lortmil Mountains. The stone golem carried the heavy anvil in his arms at the head of their northbound procession. Prominent families of Balnorhak took this as a definitive sign of the gods’ favor upon Sire Evrast and his divine golem, and forsaking their ancient halls they elected to follow him. In the space of a few days, half the kingdom of Balnorhak abandoned the old undermountain king.
Sire Evrast and his followers traveled north through the Low Road, but they turned aside before reaching Gilmorack. Digging new tunnels to the surface from the Low Road, the high priest of Moradin led them into a broad valley of mountain lakes and high cliff walls. “Beneath these stones,” he piously declared, “is the place our kind first were formed. Beneath these stones, Moradin first gave shape to Durin, and Durin begat his seven sons.” Whether his claims have any validity is left to the dwarven people to argue and sort through their own theology. Although dwarves from outside the Lortmil Mountains still scoff at the notion, for those dwelling in the mountains, that new doctrine transformed all those hills and snow-covered peaks into a holy shrine, sacred to all dwarven-kind.
The golem set the anvil upon a firm rock in the sacred valley, and they raised the Citadel of Dengar (also known as Rockhome) round about it. Then, they turned their attention to the denizens of the valley. They flushed the goblin-kind out from the networks of caves set in the cliff face, and they burned the hobgoblin villages that stood beside the lakes.
Kelly, Thomas. “Dwur Kingdoms of the Lortmils – History, Development, and Locations of Dwarven Strongholds.” Oerth Journal #33, Summer 2020