Strongmantle Clan

The Strongmantle clan is a formerly upstanding clan that is reeling from the loss of honor from the fact that the most notorious dwarf Meckelorn every seen was born of their clan.   The infamous jormanger Dyrik Mykrrún was once known as Atuk Strongmantle. The other clans rarely bring up the connection out loud but almost every other dwarf knows this.   While the Strongmantle clan disowned Atuk and Atuk disowned his old clan. It is not clear who disowned who first, but nevertheless the stink of his villainy has shamed the clan for generations.   Almost every action the Strongmantle dwarves take now is an act of penance. Atuk was an areligious warmonger, so the clan has tried to remake themselves as ultra pious lovers of peace. This has only partially redeemed the clan's reputation.   The clan is slowly dying off as It is difficult for them to find marriage partners and every generation has a fair number of men and women that choose to be celibate, while others choose to leave dwarf lands entirely.


The Strongmantle clan very rigorously holds to dwarven traditions with the exception of martial traditions.   The clan follows the dwarf traditions of filial piety and a strong work ethic with a fervor bordering on fanaticism.   As for martial traditions, they are not pacifists, weaklings, or cowards. They still take the same basic military training most Meckelorners undertake and they serve in the military when called to do so. The main difference is that the Strongmantle clan members are extremely modest and don't engage in traditional dwarven bravado and braggadocio.   Both before and after the shame of Dyrik Mykrrún, the Strongmantle Clan treated the Meckelorn kalazotz with polite indifference.   A universal aspect of Meckelorn culture is that dwarves that don't quite fit in with the dwarves' hidebound traditions simply leave. Some leave forever. Others take on vocations or trades that let them travel away from dwarf lands for long periods of time but they periodically come back.   This is more extreme with the Strongmantle Clan. Even very small deviance from conformity can lead to a member being pressured to leave, either temporarily or permanently. This is contributing to the clan shrinking, as is a disproportionately high number of their sons and daughters joining various priesthoods, often but not always taking a vow of celibacy when they do it.


Before the birth of the dwarf who would one day be known as Dyrik Mykrrún, the Strong Mantle Clan was a very respectable clan. Slightly larger than average and respected for their quality craftsmen.   During the exile precipitated by Mordock the Destroyer, the Strongmantle Clan grew in prestige as the clan produced many fine warriors.   At a young age, Atuk Strongmantle became a celebrated war hero who was famous for slaying many orcs. The Strongmantle hoped to ride Atuk's coattails to more clan glory. While the clan as a whole was not guilty for Atuk's many sins, they did help apologize and cover up for Atuk's minor indiscretions, at least early on.   After Atuk was exposed and chose to rebrand himself as Dyrik Mykrrún he formally foreswore his old clan and rebranded his cult following into Clan Mykrrún. Many Strongmantle warriors swore to take Dyrik's head, a few died fighting Clan Mykrrún, but mostly they were unable to find Dyrik or any of his followers.


A fair number of dwarves support the Cult of the Compact as individuals but the Strongmantle Clan is the only clan to officially make that their public practice.   A lot of sons and daughters of the Strongmantle Clan become priests and priestesses. While more than a few joined the Cult of the Compact you can a few of them in almost every priesthood in Meckelorn.   Even members of the Strongmantle Clan who formally or informally expatriate themselves from the clan disproportionately ending up joining pariah dwarf priesthoods such as the Testers and Children.   The clan supplements their ritualized worship of the Nine as a whole with fervent ancestor worship. The shame of being related to Dyrik Mykrrún has pushed them to play up their many honorable ancestors as much as they can.

Strongmantle on the Others

      Greystone Clan: The royal clan chooses to largely ignore us and in this case, the other clans choose to follow their leader’s example.   Red Shaft Clan: Honorable warriors, but their zeal for righteous vengeance against orcs might backfire on them.   Red Scales Clan: We had one extremely shameful villain in our bloodline that went too far in his vendetta against orcs. They had dozens of moderately shameful villain in their bloodline that went moderately too far in their vendetta against orcs. Unlike us, society and history has forgiven them, and they are even one of the leading clans. No one ever said life is fair.   Heart's Fire Clan: The clan is good at reinventing themselves in positive ways. We need to try to emulate them.   Dragonbane Clan: Of all the ruling clans, they treat us with the most open disdain. The nouveau riche hope to shore up their traditionalist credentials by being snobs.   Order of the Stone: They are honorable as is Lord Hallisan, but it is a mistake to ignore the rest of the Nine so completely.   Priesthood of Mera: Most dwarves pay Mera little heed and take the Hearth Mother for granted. We are not most dwarves.   The Sóleið: Most dwarves pay Khemra little heed and take the Lady of Light for granted. We are not most dwarves.   Priesthood of Phidas: Most dwarves view Phidas as untrustworthy and avoid the Masks altogether. We are not most dwarves.   Rangers: They provide a useful service providing Meckelorn with resources and defense while also giving some of our nation to safely blow off steam. Many dwarves need to go above ground more often and breathe some fresh air.   Maiden Guard: Our daughters train as hard as any other clan’s but the matriarchs almost never make our women officers.   Armorers Guild of Meckelorn: Martial actions are often necessary and profit is often necessary but mixing the two is a potential recipe for disaster.   Kalazotz: I bear them no ill will.   Stahlheim: Even though Stahlheimers rarely felt the touch of our clan’s mistake, they treat us with more disdain than most Meckelorners.   Mondert: They are good dwarves. Some of our clan members are responsible for keeping our limited lines of communication and trade open with our distant islander cousins.   Kantoca: They are honorable humans but we rarely have reason to associate with them.   Borderlanders: These humans are no better or worse than most other humans. Some dwarf clans want to create a dwarf hedgemony in the Borderlands. At best, this is a waste of time and resources. At worst, this will open Meckelorn up to absorbing the spiritual and political problems of these humans.   Fumayans: They seem like good people and I sympathize with their problems, but dwarves need to work on our own problems before we interfere in human politics.   Swynfaredians: It is possible that arcane magic can be used for constructive ends, but magic can easily be used for dark ends. It is possible that political power can be used for constructive ends, but political power can easily be used for dark ends. It is a mistake to link political and magical power. With that much power concentrated in so few people, only saints can avoid abusing their power and the Swynfaredians are no saints.   Codenya: There is a human saying that good fences make good neighbors. I don’t know if the elves have a similar saying, but they seem to live this principle.   Uskalans: We know well the dangers of a malefic mage artificially extending his life span by any means necessary. Now one of these beings is king of a large nation. Nine help us all.   Orcs: They are a threat to us and threats must be removed. It is important to be stoic while fighting orcs, or any other threat. We fight when we must. We do not fight because we love battle or hate our enemies. We fight to protect our families and our nation because we have to.   Goblins: These creatures have my pity, but they are a still threat to us. A small threat, yes, but once in a while the underdogs win a battle and slay their foe. I’d like to make peace with them, but I don’t think the goblins want peace even though it is in their best interest.   Kobolds: Most dwarves distrust kobolds because they don’t understand them. That is no excuse to bear them enmity. The best way to make peace is to never make war in the first place. Maybe we can make the kobolds allies like other clans have done with the kalazotz but at the very least we can leave them alone
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Cover image: Symbol of the Nine by Pendrake


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