Stahlheim Armed Forces
Stahlheim does not have near as many small scale raids and monster attacks to deal with as Meckelorn does but Stahlheim shares borders with Kantoc, Swynfaredia, and the Elven Empire. All three of these nations have an expansionist military history, so Stahlheim cannot afford to become complacent about their defense. About 6% of the adult dwarf population of Stalheim are full time soldiers made up primarily of nobles, mercenaries comapanies, and professional men-at-arms. About one fifth of the adult population can be called up as reservists if needed. Stahlheim is fairly prosperous and they can afford to outfit their professional soldiers and reservists alike with high quality armor. Most full time soldiers either train primarily with polearms or longbows. A small percentage of them train with shields plus a war hammer or miitary pick in order to deal with heavily armored opponents. Cross training is rare though nearly every soldier carries a sword as a backup weapon, making Stahlheim the only realm where dwarves commonly carry swords. About half of the reservists train with crossbows and about half train with axes and shields. They usually have access to heavy armor. Stahlheim has a fairly large human minority population. Within the Stahlheim army, the majority of the humans are mounted troops, including heavy cavalry, light cavalry, and archer cavalry. Stahlheim has a small kkalazotz population and while friendly, kalazotz and dwarves are not nearly as closely tied together as in Meckelorn, very few kalazotz serve in the Stahlheim army. Stahlheim’s gnome population is bigger but they don’t serve in the military much. Stahlheim is technically a coastal nation, but sea trade is something these dwarves have only begun relatively recently. They have an almost laughably small standing navy and rely on hiring human and elf mercenaries or allied nationals to defend their maritime interests. A lot of Stahlheim dwarves think the nation should stop relying on outsiders and set aside funds to create a real navy. A lot of other dwarves think they should disband their navy entirely and rely on foreign ships entirely. The last time this subject came up in the Council of Elders, a fist fight broke out.
Stahlheim is not a pacifist realm by any means, but they have not suffered centuries of constant war like Meckelorn. A major cultural difference between Stahlheim and Meckelorn is that Stahlheim has more extreme division of labor. On harvest and planting time, in Meckelorn it’s common to see non-farmers pitching in. When work on the farm is slower (the crops are planted and harvest is long way off), it’s not uncommon to find farmers working in a mine. Stahlheim is big on “if it’s not in my job description I don’t have to do it.” That is why relatively few of their citizens can be called up as reserves, but the nation boasts a lot of full-time professional soldiers.
Demography and Population
Stahlheim's human minority is represented disproportionately often in the military, as mentioned before, most of them Stahlheim's human soldiers are cavalry soldiers. A modest number kalazotz serve in the military and a neglbie amount of gnomes. Stahlheim is a patriarchal realm, but they do not have the population pressure that Meckelorn has, so dwarf women have fewer obstacles to seeking a military if they choose, but there is less military pressure too so there are probably proportionally fewer dwarf women in the military than their northern cousins.
One aspect of Stahlheim’s military that other dwarves finds scandalous is that they utilize mercenaries a lot. If a special problem pops up that the standing army is not equipped to handle, rather than call up reserves or ask the temples for help, Stahlheim lords will often hire some adventurers (either from within or without the nation) to put down the problem. Dwarf nobleman are expected to be able to defend their subjects and typically among the best combat trained individuals within Stahlheim but they try to balance their military obligations against their civic obligations.
Given enough time, Stahlheim can call up a number of human mercenary companies, some based in Kantoc and Swynfaredia, many in the Border Baronies. Stahlheim has friendly trade relations with all of their immediate neighbors and admittedly depends on good relations with the Elven Empire to defend their maritime interests.
Centuries of relative peace has dulled the martial edge of stahlheimer dwarves relative to their cousins elsewhere. Specialist soldiers train very hard, but dwarves in other professions are unlikely to practice combat skills as part of their basic education. Only about half of dwarf boys and less than a quarter of dwarf girls grow up with their parents drilling them in the basics of basics of self defense. A paltry number compared to dwarves elsewhere.
Stahlheim's spiritual needs are dominated by a triumvirate of the Guardians, Masks, and Khemra as the spiritual head of the nation with minority position for the others. Each of these priesthood has a small attached military order but they autonomous organizations and are not officially folded into Stahlheim's military culture. The other deities have small priesthoods in Stahlheim but they don't bother maintaining their own military orders. Given that all three of the major priesthoods in Stahlheim are competing to try to become the state religion, if there a military crisis they are likely to volunteer their militaries to aid the state without being asked.