Dwarrow are discerned according to the Halls in which they live. The VolKernen, the Timber Fellers, are those Dwarrow who once lived throughout the Mountains of Das EkLachen in the Halls of Das EkLachen. They were a major ethnicity of the Dwarrow of the Das, which has been all but destroyed. They have their own looks, cultures, architecture, and beliefs distinct from any of the other Dwarrowish peoples.
The VolKernen are sometimes called EkLachen, which is the word used to refer to the Northern Das in general.
The VolKernen are fair-skinned. They are short but not very wide; they are rather slender among the Dwarrow. They are probably the most nimble. They are also among the tallest of all the Dwarrow peoples. Their noses are aquiline and pointed. Their eyes are bright, wide, and lightly colored. Cheekbones are high, and cheeks are full. Their hair is always silver, regardless of age or circumstances of birth. Their beards are grown out according to their social status. Those considered masters, either of land or people, grow out their beards until they sweep the floor. Those who are disgraced or exiled have their beards forcibly cut from beneath their chins. The VolKernen like to decorate their skin with many piercings — gold piercings for the wealthy, iron or copper for the less wealthy.
The VolKernen were a major people in the Halls of Das Eklachen, which lays under the northern Mountains of Das EkLachen. They are similar in appearance to the Halorvi people of Pokhrazad. There are a few VolKernen left in the fjords of Juraedon Proper, but they are kingdomless; the dragon Gaorung destroyed the underground Halls of Das EkLachen. The remaining VolKernen continue their tradition of building log houses on the slopes of the mountains. They also maintain the few aboveground grottos that remain of Das EkLachen — usually small forts or storehouses.
But Gaorung was not the first calamity to befall the VolKernen. In ancient days, after the Black King Elwëdorf's fall but prior to the arrival of Nelqora, the Dwarrow were experiencing what they call their Silver Age. During it the VolKernen, with their brother kin the EkLachen, made for themselves a mighty kingdom beneath the mountains. This age ended with the sea and land battle of Nova Concord, against the Nelqorana. With the Dwarrow armies smashed, the Nelqorana hewed down the White Gates and ransacked the Halls of Das EkLachen; and it was to never regain its former glory.
Skills and Likings
Unfortunately, the Halls of Das Eklachen are difficult to enter, and the Northern Empire has not yet issued a decree to commit to a concerted effort to map the Halls out and record its architectural styles. But we do know that the VolKernen liked to carve the history of their families on the walls of their mansions. We also know that they were masterful carvers. Grand, ferocious effigies carved at monumental scales into deep, long lost caverns — these were among their first loves.
The VolKernen Homely Houses are more well known. They are built with high, sloping rooves, supported with many wooden pillars and by many wooden buttresses, and have many windows of colored glass that allow the sunlight to filter in with soft shades. There is usually a great tower rising from the house's center. At this tower's peak an eternal flame is kept: a sign to all weary travelers.
The VolKernen are friendly and hospitable. They are fierce companions, and will kill to defend a friend's honor.