GUILDS

Woven through the social structure are the guilds which form factions outside of the clan power-struggles. Largest are the mining, smelting, smith and jewelers guilds, followed by the stone-masons and traders guilds and the Stonemage Association. Within each city and town, the Guildmasters form leagues to further profits and to bring combined pressure to bear upon clan nobles. Together, the guilds wield more power than any of the six leading clans. Although cities belong to the clans of the respective realm, their true control lies with the Guildmasters, who select the city Ealdorman.

The guilds include the renowned Order of the Godguardians who are unlike most other Dwarves, in that the Godguardians are dedicated to the Gods, and undergo the Psycho-morphosis rite when inducted into the order, converting their earth-spirits into mortal souls. As such, they enter Asraedia after death as guardians of the gods. Also included in the guilds is the Rhundra Society – a clandestine group of master-smiths adept at forging rune-enchanted items. This group dates back to the demon wars and is bound to protect the knowledge of rune-forging from falling into the wrong hands, which they accomplish partly through a secret language known only to members. Runes are immensely powerful, for they are a method of combining the two forces which make of the cosmos – the 12 Keraunoi and the five elements.

The Traders Guild includes caravan & shipping captains, merchant houses and explorers who seek out new trade routes. The famed Fimbul Toughborns are a fellowship of scouts employed to protect trade caravans and to patrol the routes themselves, as well as accompanying explorers. So accomplished are the Toughborns in ambush tactics that the High-King of Nordgaard also employs them to patrol porous borders of Nordgaard. The Stonemage Lodge is an association of Mages practicing the ancient art of stone Magic. These individuals are traditionalists following the Purity path of elemental refinement – cleansing their spirits and bodies of other elements in pursuit of transformation into pure earth beings. Their much-feared warriors – the Spalthammer Guard are able to move beneath the ground, and attack enemies from the rear, while the Seers pound the enemy with earthquakes rock swarms and stone spikes.

Dwarves vs Shadow Trolls