Note: These are the major Clans of the Stone Clan Dwarves. They have the most influence and the most power (for the moment) but they are far from the only Clans. Players may choose to have their characters come from a Stone Clan of their own making, if they wish. Those who want to have their characters come from one of the listed groups below, may do so — however, they cannot be direct heirs to the rulership of that particular Clan.
Beware that Clans rise and fall with the ages however — countless are the Clans whose lineages have been completely wiped out from Midworld by petty dispute or brutal warfare.
“Blades will break and steel will shatter, but the Souls of those Shaped by the Maker cannot be sundered” — Vasha Bladebreaker
Basic: A matriarchal clan of Thinkers, Priests, and Builders.
Symbol: A red fortress with a runed gate and two towers against steel. Bladebreaker Dwarves prefer the weight of armor upon their shoulders and the feel of a hammer in their hands. They prefer tattoos of building tools (like hammers and picks) and runes of warding/good luck upon their flesh.
History: Clan Bladebreaker was ever known for its builders and its priests, their faith dug them deep and strong within the Stoneclaw mountains. They were strange among the Clans for their Matriarchy, but their strength was such that few would besmirch them without risking a hammer to the face.
For all their craft and skill, they saw their greatest defeat at the hands of the Wyrdic Empire. Their holdings ruined, the mightiest walls of these First-born fell before Imperial Legions. Afterward, the Wyrdic Legions held the ruins of Bladebreaker Hold against the remnants of the Bladebreaker Clan and their Queen, Vasha. However, the Imperial soldiers could not hold overlong against the combined might of the Stone Clans.
Much to the surprise of many, it was Vasha Bladebreaker herself that called for a halt of the fighting when the Wyrdic were all but defeated. On her word, the Humans were allowed to return home and through her wisdom, the Empire and the Stone Clans shared their lores with one another. This peace ushered a new age of gold for both peoples, forging an alliance so loyal that many Stone Dwarves went to the Empire’s aid when it fell a few centuries later.
As a benefactor of this alliance, Clan Bladebreaker was showered with its prizes. They combined the ancient Dwarven lores with Imperial ingenuity. Henceforth, even against the Jotun and the Demons its walls never fell again.
Current: The Bladebreakers have always been a Clan that challenged tradition and established protocol. Less war-like than the other Clans and following closely to the Maker’s building aspect, they have forged alliances and loyalties among neighboring Clans.
The Bladebreaker Festival is a yearly celebration of their efforts at mutual protection, a festival brimming with holy ritual, drink, food, trade and fighting. The Bladebreakers themselves have a game called the tortoise duel where two Dwarves in the heaviest Bladebreaker armor fight with wooden weaponry that shatter when used — first blood ends the duel and the loser buys drinks for the winner and all assembled.
However, uncertainty has darkened the Festivals of late — several allied Clans have sought nothing but war with one another despite their promises to the Bladebreakers. Because they occupy a vulnerable flank to Bladebreaker Hold and their trade supplies the Bladebreakers with resources, their in-fighting may actually affect the Clan and leave them open to attack.
Leadership: Kragdi Bladebreaker V is the current Stone-Queen of Bladebreaker Hold and all the Clan’s other holdings. A powerful Priest tested and tried in combat and in holy rite, Kragdi is set with the unenviable task of keeping the Clan’s alliances together. She is known to be as patient as a mountain, but some say that she is gathering an army to keep her allies in check — by force, if necessary. On the other hand, such an overt enforcement of her treaties may be seen as Empire building by the other Clans and may bring their combined wrath upon the Bladebreakers.
“The earth shifts in anger and I am the slayer of all that moves” – Kromm of the Rumbletum Clan
Basic: A shiftless clan of Berserkers, Soldiers and Marksmen.
Symbol: A black and silver double-bladed axe enshrouded by a jade flame. Rumbletum Dwarves often will bear flames and/or axes upon their flesh as tattoos.
History: An ancient Clan of nomadic warriors, the eddas and lore-chants of the Rumbletum Dwarves have ever been steeped in war and savagery. Their antiquity belies their anarchic nature — a chaos far removed from the traditions of the First-born. Reviled and feared for their restless and constantly moving nature, the Rumbletum Clan are beset by the countless feuds and blood-grudges held by the Stone Clans against them. However, their ever-moving warbands and lack of Clanholds make these wars difficult to conduct.
Among the other Clans, the Rumbletums are one of the few that accept all Clanless or exiled Dwarves into their fold – providing the entrant succeeds in a test of strength. In this way, despite their constant travels, weekly casualties and deadly enemies, the Clan continues to grow.
Current: Massive turmoil quivered the Clan of Rumbletum when Kromm became its Stone King, deposing his predecessor in honor combat for the position and exiling the defeated’s family. To sate the bloodlusts of his boisterous and quarrelsome clandwarves, Kromm himself led them into several attacks upon the Thundershields, the Stormgrimm and several minor clans. The spoils of their raids and the slaughters they committed won Kromm the support of his Clan.
Ever since then, the Rumbletum have been on the move – more aggressive and bloodthirsty than they have been in centuries. Kromm is ever at the forefront of these raids, directing his kinsdwarves with tactical precision toward vulnerable targets.
However, the Rumbletum’s successes may eventually lead to their downfall. While their victories have swelled their ranks with wealth and new blood, this only serves to slow them down and dilute Kromm’s direction. There may come a time when the Rumbletum Clan will know complete and utter destruction… or else, they may finally have to build holdings of their own.
Leadership: Kromm is the Stone King of the Rumbletum Clan. He is a proud and boastful leader, claiming lordship over his dwarves and strength enough to conquer the weak. He has won the admiration and respect of his Clan through storied warfare and his battle cunning.
Hated by all Stone Clans except for those that follow him, Kromm’s leadership has made the Rumbletum Clan strong and wealthy – however, it may be that his direction will become insufficient or when a misstep takes his Clan into destruction. Some First-born believe that Kromm understands this and seeks to uplift and keen his Clan’s might. Others think that Kromm cares little for the future, content to live upon the spoils of battle and victory.
“Tread soft. Your enemies may watch you but none but the wisest can see the Quiet Knife” — Shaggrath the Silent
Basic: A shadowy clan of Assassins, Poisoners and Sorcerers.
Symbol: Two crossed Shaggrathi daggers, usually bronze over black. The Shaggrathi use all types of weapons, but they carry at least a dagger upon their person and display the Shaggrathi dagger in their tattoos.
History: The lores of the Stone Clans tell of Shaggrath the Silent, Slayer of Drakkas, and his sacrifice to Dwarfkind. Although the First-born hold this clanless Dwarf in heroic esteem, the reputation of the clan that keeps his name is far from noble.
The Shaggrath Clan is drawn from the ranks of Shaggrath’s most devoted followers, Dwarves skilled in Sorcery and Subterfuge who were taught the ways of Sha-durath, the Quiet Knife – a Dwarven martial style so ancient that the Clan’s founder is only known for it.
As the centuries passed with wars and feuds, the Shaggrath clan’s fortunes have slowly waxed. From their shadowed Clanhold, the Shaggrath Clan is feared and respected for their deadly talents within the shadows. When the name “Shaggrath” is mentioned, it is synonymous with assassination, darkness and deception.
Current: In their infamy, the Shaggrath have gained great strength. They use the fear and loathing they have earned to their advantage, leveraging alliances and contracts for the Clan’s greater benefit. First-born who seek schooling in the dark arts of Sorcery or the shadowed skills of Assassination can do far worse than go to a Shaggrathi Clanhold — they accept Clan-born and Clanless Dwarves alike, although they bind to their Clan all whom they teach.
The true measure of their strength is obfuscated to even their Clandwarves. Only their Stone-King and his trusted advisors and leaders know the full power that the Shaggrath can unleash — it is a menace that they have let loose only a handful of times, leaving Clanholds bereft of everything except shadow and venom.
Leadership: Qib Shaggrath is the current Stone-King of his Clan, having bested the trials set upon him by his predecessor, Povarg. The terrible ascent of this Shaggrathi king culminated with the death of a King and the rise of another.
A sorcerer skilled with Flame and Frost, it is whispered that Qib himself holds the favors of several Daemonic entities. However, such is his strength that few can challenge him and win. He often allows those he defeats to live — so long as they serve the Clan and subject themselves to his will.
“Stand tall. Fear nothing. Even the Sky can be Broken” – Grimm Traggoth, the first Stormgrimm
Basic: Shamanic clan of Weaponsmiths, Adepts, Rune-readers and witches.
Symbol: A grey gauntlet or hand grasping a light-blue lightning bolt. Stormgrimm Dwarves favor dragons and lightning on their equipment and tattoos.
History: The myths of the Stormgrimm clan claim that their founder, Grimm Traggoth, was a Witch so powerful that he struck down and bound a sky dragon with the might of his spellcraft. Broken and defeated, the dragon whispered to Grimm secrets that he passed down to his sons and his daughters.
Henceforth, the power of storm and sky has ever been strong among the bloodlines of the Stormgrimm. They even applied this power to the Grimm-teeth, 10 Runic Weapons that even the Jotun Giants feared.
The end of the Jotun war saw that reclaiming of the Stormgrimm’s territories, but not their recovery. The years since were unkind to the Stormgrimm Clan until recent decades, when Bel the 10th took rein of the Clan. Within his lifetime, Bel forged alliances with neighboring Stone Clans, drove away their rivals and completed the rebuilding of Stormgrimm Hold.
Current: Though the days of titanic wars and dragon subordination are over, the Stormgrimm Clan has become one of the strongest of Clans among the Stone Dwarves. From Stormgrimm Hold, these First-born claim the alliance of at least a half a dozen smaller Stone Clans.
Still, even the great Stormgrimm Clan faces threats to their power. The other major Stone Clans are ever searching for weakness and a way to settle ancient blood-feuds. There are rumors of a Sky Dragon attacking fringe settlements and holdings. And finally, the Creed of the Maker has ever had grave differences with the animistic tendencies of the Stormgrimm, with their usage of Witchery and Totemry. Not only do the Creeds of other Clans look down upon the Stormgrimm, but also the Creed within the Clan is considered heretical.
But the Stormgrimm stand tall despite all that threaten them. Smaller Clans flock to their side, offering tribute and loyalty. Some seek the power and knowledge that the Stormgrimm bear while others see the waxing strength of Stormgrimm and they wish it in their favor.
Leadership: Bel Stormgrimm the 10th is one of the oldest and strongest of his Clan. He is also the herald of a different way of magic, learned from distant Kenrei — he is a Storm Mystic, having steeled his soul and his Totemic spirit with discipline and training.
Despite the immense amount of willpower and meditation required for this control, those who meet Bel find him quick to make friends and quick to laugh at himself. His figure and presence have inspired worship from his Clanhold, but he appears to have little in the amount of hubris or worry that torment most Dwarves of his station.
“Even the strongest of Winds breaks against the Mountain; the Thundershields endure” — a common Clan saying.
Basic: Traditionalist clan of warriors, smiths and builders.
Symbol: A spiked helm, steel-grey and plumed in blood red. Thundershields wear tattoos of these colors on their skin, in addition to images of shields or helms with symbols and protective images.
History: The Thundershields take their name from an ancient Dwarven helm known by the same name and capable of rendering its wielder invulnerable to all harm. Though now lost to the ages, these Dwarves remain one of the greatest armorsmiths in Midworld, rivaling the Bladebreakers and any other group in their skill.
The Thundershield Clan have ever been held in high esteem by the First-born of the Stone Clans. Their name has become a by-word for toughness, for honor and for quality.
This reputation stems from their legendary capacity to weather misfortune after misfortune. Over the centuries and millennia, they have nearly lost their Clanholds, their bloodlines and their deepest crafting secrets to Demons, rival Clans, elementals and natural disasters. However, the Maker has seen fit to gift this storied Clan with grit and determination — and they have seen through tragedy and catastrophe.
Thus, when one of these Dwarves faces dangerous risks and impossible odds, they simply say “The Thundershields endure”
Current: In recent memory, the Thundershield Clan is the one of the strongest Clans in the Stoneclaw Mountains. Smaller clans flock to them for protection and support, granting them influence and number against larger clans.
Even as their fortunes wax and their influence spreads among the Stone Clans, there are those that grudge and scheme against this honored house. Their holdings and allies suffer attacks from Shaggrathi operatives and Rumbletum raiders. From beneath, rumor tells of a horror in the dark that empties their mines of laborers and abducts the unwary.
To add to their troubles, a large group of Thundershield dwarves have been exiled from their Clanholds – accused of greed and defeated in honor combat. The tales of their expulsion varies from Dwarf to Dwarf, but the stain of their dishonor darkens the entire Clan for it.
Leadership: Thudd Thundershield III is the current Stone King of his Clan, the latest of a long generation of Dwarven war-smiths. Yet his brow is weighed with the burden of rulership and of the sentences meted to his older sister and her followers – all exiled from the clan for sin and treachery.
Many say the Thudd has performed his responsibilities with ability and skill – yet there are those that see a growing darkness within. While there are those that claim his actions and commands as prudent and far-seeing, some instead perceive a lack of trust that will eventually cloud his actions and doom his reign,