Blackhill Dwarf

Playable Sophont

Enslaved Progeny

The Blackhill Dwarves are the descendants of the first Udirkith to venture down from the Throat of the World and settle in Haven. When they discovered the mystical Blackstone hidden within the region, they summoned the Udrithi Empire's vast armies to descend upon the newfound territory. Yet as they greedily harvested the magical rock, it perverted their proud bloodlines, deforming them into the children of the Blackhill and alienating them from Udirkith society. After the fall of their mighty empire, these once-proud Dwarves were ultimately held responsible for the crimes of all Udirkith and were forced into the chains of servitude for generations as retribution.

Blackhill Dwarf History

Like all Udirkith, the Blackhill Dwarves originate from the northern-most region of Solith in the frigid Moorwald. During the Udrithi Empire's centuries of expansion, they migrated south through the Throat of the World and settled in Haven. Upon arriving here, these Dwarves established themselves on a vast deposit of Blackstone and mined out the expansive Shadmir Quarry that would later become the Glass Sea. This massive quarry and similar efforts to mine the black mountains of Haven earned these Dwarves their namesake as their Moorwald kin mockingly referred to Haven's relatively small mountains as the Blackhills. Their access and experimentation with Blackstone quickly made them the most influential Dwarves in Gaul's empire, as they brought about a new golden age for the Udrithi Empire. As Gaul's armies moved to seize Haven, the formidable might of the First Men halted their march towards conquest, and Blackstone became pivotal to the war effort. Spurred on by Gaul's will, the Blackhill Dwarves excavated thousands of tons of Blackstone and minerals from the Shadmir Quarry. Less than a century after they began, these once-proud Udirkith had become twisted by their exposure to the Blackstone's deep veins that stretched into the heart of Solith. Whether fearing further mutations or a dark evil released from the depths of Solith, these Dwarves hastily flooded the black pit after the horror following the Disaster at Shadmir. Thus giving birth to the enigmatic Glass Sea and its strange ecosystem.
 
No longer contributing to the Udrithi Empire's grand vision, the Blackhill Dwarves are spurned by Gaul as foul abominations and forbidden from returning to Dwarven society. Forced to remain in Haven, these Udirkith played witness to the final years of the War of Smoke & Steel, the fall of Gaul, and the eventual shattering of the Empire. Though exiled from Udirkith society for decades, these Dwarves were inevitably held responsible for their people's atrocities. Fifteen generations of forced slavery ensued, wherein these Udirkith lost much of their identity and purpose in the world. At the hands of Graystone and Ravenpeak, the Blackhill Dwarves became even further removed and distanced from their Dwarven kin with little hope of ever reintegrating. Despite generations of slavery, the Blackhill Dwarves maintained meticulous records of their people's history and are considered the foremost authority on Solith's long and fabled history.
 
Fifteen generations. That was the agreement. But still, what are we without the burden of chains?...What are we without our kin?...I do not know what we will become, but I pray our hate will subside. That my children will find peace in their freedom.
— Blackhill Elder, On the future of his people
 
In the wake of The Rebirth, the Blackhill Dwarves are finally free from the generations of slavery forced upon them. They now band together and venture out into the world looking to reestablish themselves and find again the pride stripped from them during their enslavement. While the Highland Dwarves refuse to allow their Blackhill kin to reintegrate into their scattered holds, these Dwarves now attempt to establish their independence by founding new Blackhill holds. Though they will never forget the cruelty of Haven's sophonts, they seek to forgive the barbarity inflicted on them and move on to a new chapter in the history of the Udirkith. An ever-present and seemingly impossible individual struggle to set aside their centuries of hate and anguish in the name of a brighter future for their children and their children's children.

General Information

Origin/Ancestry
Stonekin
Lifespan
Upwards of 200 years old, maturing at 35.
Average Height
Around 4 feet tall.
Average Weight
Average of 160 pounds.
Related Ethnicities
Related Materials
Male Names
Aldwin, Baranir, Everard, Frederick, Gottfried, Johan, Ludger, Karl, Manfred, Norman, Oswald, Siegmund, Ulrich, Wolfhard.
Female Names
Azmelyn, Anneke, Dorlein, Engla, Gele, Henrietta, Hilda, Ida, Isold, Kaja, Magdelenen, Margred, Otilien, Romilda, Sieghilde.
Clan Names
Axegut, Blackforge, Cragmaw, Coingulper, Crackedanvil, Darkeye, Grayshackle, Keenhammer, Rocksplitter, Stonefoot, Ravenkiller, Splitanvil, Tornbracket, Udirking, Warcaller.

Naming Schemes

Blackhill Dwarves treasure their names as one of the few things not stripped from them by their years of enslavement, and will even engrave or decorate them onto their property. Blackhill names are concise, comprised of no more than two or three syllables. Few Blackhill Dwarves fret over naming their children and typically prefer the most straightforward names possible while scorning the use of nicknames. Their Clan names are used to denote the allegiances between Dwarves and have little to do with actual familial relations. Clan names often hold historically or culturally significant and always consist of two relevant objects or attributes merged into a single name. Even the moniker: Blackhill Dwarves comes from the original deposit of Blackstone mined by these Udirkith from what would later become the Glass Sea.

Telvnol

Telvnol is the Blackhill Dwarves' native tongue, birthed during their long enslavement. It is a harsh tongue, full of the hate and rage of fifteen enslaved generations. Yet as the common tongue of Haven's Dwarves, it is frowned upon by most other Udirkith.

Description

Blackhill Dwarves are a rough and weather-worn lot born out of generations of hard, backbreaking labor. They are the most rugged of all the Udirkith, and even their children have the hard callouses formed from a lifetime of hard work. They tend to be shorter than most other Dwarves but make up for it by being built like brick storehouses, capable of withstanding immense punishment. Their iconic bluish-gray skin sets them apart from other sophonts on the continent; paired with their abnormal skin, many describe their eyes as being black as pitch with a strange, incalculable depth. Many believe their long-term exposure to the Blackstone veins found in Haven caused these unique mutations, and that the other Stonekin could be similarly susceptible.
 
These mutations prove to be dominant traits among the Dwarves, as the Blackhill traits inevitably pass down to their children even in the rare cases where their kind mate with other Udirkith. Meanwhile, thair is very coarse and often comes in shades of black or grey with some rare bloodlines holding onto the shades of earthy brown or deep auburn more prevalent among their Highland kin. Many Blackhill Dwarves wear their hair long and keep it tamed in simple braids or tied back with precious metal bands. Where the Highland Dwarves leave their hair wild and the Salt Dwarves chop their own back with orderly efficiency, Blackhill Dwarves carefully manage their hair as one of their few personal treasures. Alongside the personality and care expressed through their hair, it is common for these Dwarves to decorate their bodies with various, rune-inspired tattoos in vibrant colors such as red or blue to contrast sharply against their odd-colored skin.

Prideful Ex-Slaves

When creating a Blackhill Dwarf, remember that your people were slaves for fifteen generations, your ancestors lived and died beneath the burden of chains. Now free, your people have vowed never to know the yoke of servitude again and would rather die than be caged again. A renewed sense of pride is prevalent among these Dwarves, but the scars of slavery remain. What was enslavement like for you? What scars, both figuratively and literally, will forever be with you?

Society

Blackhill society is still evolving in the wake of their newfound freedom and liberty, but uncertainty surrounds their hopes for the future. Gifted artisans and determined visionaries make up much of their adult population, and they dream of a future where their people are unified and prosperous once more. Fueled by a drive to move beyond their past, they dream of reattaining the Udirkith's lost honor and glory. Yet wiser than their conquering ancestors, these Dwarves do not seek to break the world beneath their iron rule but to forge a society capable of weathering even the end of days. Adopting beliefs similar to much of Humanity, the Blackhill Dwarves have made survival a defining pillar of their community only superseded by their adamant refusal to bear the chains of slavery ever again. Only the youngest Blackhill Dwarves have been born to freedom; these young Udirkith serve as beacons of hope to their people and on their backs rests their people's greatest dreams and aspirations. Blackhill Dwarves treasure their children as much as all the wealth in Haven combined, believing their people would be lost without them. In the years following The Rebirth, many Blackhill leaders have emerged attempting to unite the fractured clans beneath a single banner. Yet until a Blackhill Hold can be agreed upon and declared amongst the many clans, reunification is a wistful dream for their treasured children to realize.

A Blackhill Hold

The founding of a Blackhill Hold is a matter of great contention among the Blackhill Dwarves, requiring immense deliberation by all the clans. To be named as the new home and capital of their people, and to truly unify their scattered people's efforts, such a place would need the support of a majority of the Blackhill Dwarf clans. A colossal achievement that is much easier said than made a reality.


This article has no secrets.

Comments

Author's Notes

Blackhill names are loosely based around germanic first names, avoiding any names with accent marks for the sake of my sanity.


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