Kingdoms of Frandum - Kraegor
Kraegor is not a very old kingdom, being founded in the later years of the Third Age by about half of the dwarves of Kraggen-Kor who were forced to leave their lands. Back then, the dwarves of Kraggen-Kor experienced great distress due to their mines running dry, and the result of that was a change of faith among many dwarves. Some had began to follow the ways of Reset, while others saw the situation as a test from Galanhir, who was their god at that time.
Under pressure from the ones still faithful to Galanhir, the king of Kraggen-Kor, Korum, had been forced to try delving deeper into the mountain than ever before, utilizing new technology and the efforts of a united people. The result was disastroush1 a great evil was awakened and after a terrible battle, in which Sentinel himself joined, Korum managed to hurt the beast and make it flee into the deep caves, but was himself mortally wounded. With his last strength he sealed the entrance to the mines, so that this evil would never again disturb the peace of Frandum.
Now everyone in Kraggen-Kor agreed on one thingh1 they had to leave their homes and start a new life somewhere else. The dwarves following Galanhir and those following Reset agreed that they could not live together, and they decided to lead their people to different areas of Frandum.
Kralon, the heir to the throne after Korum had died, led his people to the Thunder Island, which would later be known as Thunderdelve, a place rich with gold and gems, where the dwarves would thrive for some sixty years, before Tagran, Harbinger of Destruction, destroyed the dwarven settlement by unleashing yet another great evil from within the depths of their mines.
Gemin, the son of Korum, lead the dwarves that had converted to neutrality to the mountainous area in the north-east of Frandum's mainland, in the southern part of what was the kingdom of Sulmak. There they settled, and found great amounts of metal ore in the mountains. The orcs of Sulmak did not like their presence, but would not dare attack them openly, since Drago was at that time gathering his armies and beginning to organize them under the leadership of Tagran. So, the dwarves claimed the area, uncontested save for occassional orcish raids. Kraegor's borders have slowly crept north ever since, even though far less half of the mountains belong to the dwarven kingdom even in the Fourth Age.
Thus came into being the dwarven kingdom of Kraegor, which has been a kingdom most known for its mining skills and great smiths, as well as its fierce warriors.
Climate and geography
Kraegor is mainly a mountainous kingdom, and in the northern part of its territory, next to the long border with Sulmak, rises one of the tallest mountain ranges of Frandum.
Yet the southern boundary of Kraegor is the shore of the Dragon Sea, however the dwarves have never been great with boats, so they have not established more than a small harbour, which has been little used by the dwarves since the fall of Thunderdelve. Humans have used it, however, for fishing in the Dragon Sea, a business which has proved quite lucrative.
Kraegor is in a temperate area, and the climate is mild along its southern border. In the tall mountains, though, the peaks are always snow-covered and winds are strong.
Raw materials and resources
The only resources known to the dwarves are the metal ores and stone in the mountains. There have been great findings of iron, silver, copper and a little gold, but so far they have not find any of what they had hoped to find in these mountainsh1 mithril.
Whether or not the land has other resources is unknown to the dwarves and probably every one else as well, if not the orcs of ancient Sulmak know of some hidden treasure in these lands that once belonged to them. It is doubted, though, since the orcs surely would have put more effort into reclaiming their old land if that were the case.
It is possible to farm the near the southern of the border, but there is little such activity there. A few farms have been set up by humans, but this is far from enough to cover the needs of the whole kingdom.
People of Kraegor
Ever since the founding of Kraegor, dwarves have been the dominant species. Apart from a few orcish tribes that at times intrude on their lands, the dwarves have little company from other races. Humans are rare, and the few of them that live in Kraegor are farmers with little dwarven contact.
The dwarves are a very proud people, who change their ways for no one. As individuals, they take up their axes to defend their pride if ever insulted. As a kingdom, they do not want to go to war without a good reason. Thus, they defend against the orcs without taking action to retaliate, but not foreverh1 if truly angered, the dwarves are a power to be reckoned with against any foe, and they will not be trampled by anyone, be it a kingdom, the whole of a race, or a tribe of orcs kidnapping dwarven children. They have a great sense of justice, and defend the innocent until their last breaths.
Legends speak of dragon sightings as well, but whether or not these sightings are true has not been proven so far.
Cities and countryside
The only city in Kraegor is Tak-Nor, the grand dwarven capital, located by the mountain base. There are, apart from that, quite many dwarven settlements in the mountains, either strongholds or watch towers, to make sure that Sulmak doesn't intrude, or mining communities where people live permanently. They are far from self-sufficient, though, since they cannot conduct any farming activities in the mountains, nor do they hunt any animals for meat.
The farming communities along the southern border of Kraegor is completely a human part of the kingdom. No dwarves live or work there, and the opposite is true in the mountains (no humans live or work there).
There are also some smaller villages close to the harbour, in which fishermen have settled to make use of the harbour the dwarves have abandoned.
The humans of Kraegor are almost solely people from Coranor, who are tired of the great city of Sanctuary.
Politics and laws
Kraegor is a monarchy where the king has a lot of power, as has been the tradition since the days of Kraggen-Kor. For business concerning dwarven matters, he has to his aid a faithful crowd of eleven dwarves of different age and occupation, each from a different stronghold or mine, speaking the will of their community. These are chosen by the stronghold or mine they hail from, and the king has no say in which one is chosen to come to the meetings, which happen on a monthly basis.
Before the meetings with the king and his eleven advisors, each dwarven settlement has a meeting of their own, discussing any problems or needs they might have, and these are forwarded to the king through the chosen emissary. Once the king and the eleven gather, the matters are discussed and two propositions are being suggested by the king, for which the eleven and the king may vote; each of the eleven has one vote, and the king has four.
The king has also made it possible for humans to have their needs looked-to in a manner not too far from what he uses with the dwarven communites. The main difference, however, is that the king does not attend the meetings between the human emissaries. Instead, he has appointed a human counsellor for this task, and an emissary from each human settlement arrives and speak their needs. The council votes (the human counsellor has no more than two votes, though) and what is decided is brought before the king who either grants or denies their requests. The king always has the final word on matters concerning humans.
The humans are quite pleased with this system, probably because most dwarven kings are friendly with humans, and often grant their requests.
Laws are based on Reset's doctrines, and followed by close-to every dwarf. Humans that come to Tak-Nor may use crime as a means of survival, since they have a hard time getting good jobs in the city. The dwarves are often too proud of their great tradition of smithying and working metals, that humans seldom even get the chance to touch their work, thus leaving humans with not much option but to open taverns or shops, leave the city or try a career in crime. Dwarf-to-dwarf crimes are very rare.
Wars and armies
The only wars that Kraegor have known have been the ones with the orcs of Sulmak. There have been times when open war has broken out, but they have never led to any greater exchanges of land. Orcish raids are quite common, even in peace time, but the dwarves often manage to defend themselves and seldom retaliate.
The capital has not many soldiers, since most are stationed in strongholds in the mountains, or as guards in the mines (ever since the Kraggen-Kor incident, the dwarves fear awaking some evil in the deep mountains), close to the border with Sulmak. Each stronghold has its own captain who, in the absence of the king, has complete power over the soldiers in his stronghold.
Dwarven warriors are known throughout Frandum as being extremely strong and tough, despite their stature. The orcs believe that the dwarves were originally made out of stone from beneath the mountains, and the battle-cry of a dwarf makes the blood of an orc freeze.
Fighting in the mountainous areas of Kraegor is quite hard for people not known to such terrain, which is yet another reason why humans aren't recruited to the army, even though their ally of old, Sentinel, actually was human.
Trade and craftsmanship
As mentioned, the only resources the dwarves care about are those offered by the mountains. They mine tons and tons of iron, silver and copper every year, and also quite an amount of gold, yet not close to what was mined in Thunderdelve in its prime.
The ore is worked in Tak-Nor and smithies in the city or in the many strongholds of the kingdom. The dwarven smithes forge great weapons, axes and hammers being dwarven favourites even though they also forge swords and knives for other races that pay good money, and armour. The dwarven chainmail is expensive and very strong, treasured by many adventurers and officers in armies of wealthy kingdoms. The dwarves are, however, very careful about whom they sell their works to.
Dwarves are also great carvers of rock, which can be seen in all of their strongholds and not least the capital. They do not sell the rock of the mountains before having shaped it into a statue or a figurine, though. Their architecture is admired all over the world, and it is not rare for a dwarf to be invited to build castles or monuments for other kingdoms.
Food is something Kraegor has to import in enormous amounts. Cereals, vegetables, meat and fruit are imported from Valea, Carleny and Tan-Lorak. What the farmers in the kingdom produce is not enough to feed even Tak-Nor. Fish is not very much liked by the dwarves, so it is eaten by humans, a lot of it being exported.
Wood and coal are very important to the forges, and these products are imported massively.
Science and education
Most dwarven science lies in mining and working metals, and in these fields they are the most advanced civilization in Frandum. Apart from that, architecture is the only more theoretical field that they are acknowledged masters of.
Some effort was put into improving their ships in the Third Age, but when they lost contact with Thunderdelve, all this research was dropped and never looked at again.
There has been some interest among later generations of dwarves to widen their knowledge beyond mining and metal-working, which has spawned a few schools in the capital. There is still a long way to go before dwarves will become a power of science, though.
Religion and magic
Kraegor is a neutral kingdom, and most of its inhabitants follow Reset. The humans tend to follow Galanhir, even though there are a few followers of Reset, and even a few evils, among them. They are, as mentioned, seldom more than simple farmers or fishermen, and are thus not interested in magic that goes beyond the reach of weather-forecast, or simple elementals.
The dwarves have always practiced magic of preserving and containing, as well as spells concerning time. Some say that the reason that dwarves may often live for more than 250 years is because of their good hand with time-altering magic.
Arts and culture
Dwarven art often takes the form of, if not weapons and armour, statues or figurines, on a small scale. On a larger scale, they create huge monuments or official buildings, and their work is admired by more or less the whole world.
Dwarven battle-songs are well known (especially to the orcs, who fears them), and sound very special. Often, the whole army sings a song simultaneously, while they slash their opponents with their heavy axes and hammers. It sounds like a low, humming muttering out of which no words can be discerned if you are not a master at speaking their language. These songs make the mountains tremble, and in that manner symbolize the extreme strength of this folk.
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