Saturday, October 8, 2016

Tales from the Lost Realm: The Dwarves of An Fáinne

Tales from the Lost Realm

The Dwarves of An Fáinne

Across the Long Fields, west of the Forgotten Road is a great spine of mountains known to the native dwarf clans who dwell there as An Fáinne - or more commonly, The Ring. These rising peaks run for countless miles, spreading and embracing a valley of rolling hills in its cool embrace. Long banks of fog fill The Ring as if were a great basin, only to have them burnt away by the noonday sun or cast off by the great breezes that gather from the Bay of Dusk.

In these mountains, the dwarf clans of An Fáinne build their great stone halls and delve deep into the earth in search of all that glitters. Gold and jewels, silver and mithril, all the bounty of the low places are dear to them. But they do not dwell in darkness. Massive citadels of perfectly carved stone spring from sheer cliffs and seaside stone, crafted from a time before the rise of Man.

The great valley, simply known An Glas is home to shepherds, farmers, and woodsmen. These dwarves trade wool and wood for stone and jewels, and thus the clans maintain a fairly peaceful co-existence between clans while retaining their fierce independence. While strife between clans inevitably arises, such matters are kept within the Ring. Outsiders need never be involved in the affairs of dwarves.

The rare dwarf who ventures beyond the Ring and into the world is either a merchant trader or, in rare cases, an exile. These pariah are forbidden from speaking of their sins and indeed their very names are stricken from all records. They are cast from the Ring as if they never existed before they day of their banishment. Whether trader or exile, the dwarves of An Fainne carry with them a deep and fierce love of their homeland. Their independent life has forced them to be tough and strong, both in body and spirit. This is not to say they are cold - far from it. Dwarven passions run deeper than human in many cases, and dwarvish ballads are said to be among the most beautiful in the world.
A dwarvish bard plays an ancient ballad
In addition to the beauty of their craftsmanship and their songs, dwarvish women are among the most beautiful. Their bright eyes and shining hair, combined with a kind of sturdy grace and cool confidence has given even the most peaceful dwarvish beancloch the reputation of being a fierce warrior woman. The truth is that like the men of their society, lady dwarves are confident and self-sufficient, seeing themselves people to be judged by the merits of their deeds and not by their appearance.

A dwarvish woman, exiled for crimes unknown

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