Dwarven society is first and foremost modelled on the clan and family. Hundreds of these clans make up the population of the 6 kingdoms. These clans and a dozen others maneuver for supremacy within the court of the Alvater (High-King), and occasionally war with each other. Dwarven clans are structured in a hereditary feudal system, but the High-King is selected by the council of lords called the Thang. Each kingdom is bound to supply troops to the High-King to defend against mutual threats to Nordgaard. Some Alvaters have been merely symbolic, while others have wielded ultimate power; it generally depends on the fullness of the state treasury.
The standard militia of the clans are the Fjell Warriors, wielding battleaxe and trained in the shield-wall. Fjell Warriors are supported by elite Huskarls, Thegn axe-hurlers and Bjornling bear-riders. Living outside the villages in woods or hills are families of Gangr – the stunted descendents of the Jotuns – and these giants will often accompany village warbands. Because the dwarves are a hardy folk, villages are found all over Nordgaard by fjords, mountains, fells, forests, plains and northern ice-plateau.