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Heirloom Chest

Do you feel ready to make your first addition to the family chest, little goat? Your dad and I made it when we moved to Aseli.
— Ynsen, a dwarven mother

A common tradition amongst the dwarves is to keep important keepsakes in a chest, which are kept for generations and generations. Over time, and with continued care, these keepsakes become relics which can help their families in small but not insignificant ways.

How many chests?

Families often have several chests, accrued over time and relating to the migration patterns their families have seen through the ages. Families which have scattered and then reunited (decades, hundreds but sometimes thousands of years) will have many chests.   Families who have seen few splits in their lines, or for whom few have ever returned to the family homestead will have few chests. When people move away from their clan and family's homestead, it is customary to give them at least one family relic to keep them safe and in good luck. Thus, even the newest chest holds important relics.  
If you ever wanted to go back, little goat, you will take the chest with you. You should see the chest collection we have at home... So many memories inscribed on their walls!
— Ynsen, a dwarven mother
glowing chest_zalefairytale.jpg
by Zale Fairytale

A tradition beyond Dwarves

In most areas of Tiel where Dwarves are a majority, they are often not living in isolation, but rather, in companionship with the other Tielian races.   In these areas, it is not uncommon for the other races to adopt the custom of maintaining a chest to place their families' keepsakes. Often, the strict dwarven adherence to making a chest of one's own is not kept, but rather a beautiful chest is bought.

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An honoured legacy

Heirloom Chests are a dwarf's most priced possession. Should they ever lose one, they will go to great lengths to recover them.  
— Bet you have no idea what I found in the wreckage!? A dwarven chest!
— That's some luck! They say even the humblest families pay a lot of gold ingots for them!
— Ha! No, no... I'm opening it and keeping whatever relic is inside!
— You mad!? If the ancestors don't curse you, whoever is left alive in that family will kill you!
  Should anyone find a dwarven chest, they can be assured that they will be rewarded very handsomly for its return. The chests are adorned with the clan and family's crest, which makes them easy to return.

Cover image: by Shellz - art


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Sage eccbooks
E. Christopher Clark
26 Dec, 2020 14:45

This is fabulous. Short, sweet, and to the point. I love how you've taken a trait I identify with dwarves (hoarding) and turned it into something with such a good heart, and that has such a basis in tradition and the values of the society as a whole.

27 Dec, 2020 11:25

Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoy this aspect of dwarves in my world :D

26 Dec, 2020 21:39

It's remarkable they (dwarves) have possessions where memories are kept! With so many relics, things, letters and similar they can hold inside, it makes for a prized goods, indeed. Even at this moment I'm super interested in what is in any of the chests and thousands of stories that are connected with them. :3

27 Dec, 2020 11:26

A plot where my players find one such chest is brewing... I'll see if I can get it out before WE finishes!

Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
27 Dec, 2020 14:32

This is such a wonderful idea. I love that the chests are full of relics and interesting bits and pieces. Must be so interesting to look through them.

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
3 Jan, 2021 22:11

Yes... I imagine it like something you do with your family, as older generations retell the tales they themselves heard, aided by the inscriptions in the chest which explain the significance of the trinkets.

Journeyman David_Ulph
David Alexander
29 Dec, 2020 18:51

I love this idea! I mainly rp Dwarves in D&D and this fits so perfectly with my own headcanon of the race its made so believable in my eyes. Fantastic article!

Latha math leat! Sending praise from the Hebrides - Welcome to Destiny!
3 Jan, 2021 22:11

Hehehe, I'm glad you enjoy this little snippet of my dwarves and that it fits with your idea too <3