Friday, March 15, 2019

Dwarves of Athas Part 3: Family and Clan

Next, I had the privilege of speaking to Agafya, an old Dwarven woman who was likely already hard at work when my grandfather was learning to walk. She did not need a drink to speak to me, but I purchased one for her anyway. She had heard I was asking about Dwarves and I told her I wanted to learn all about them.
I'm sure you are well aware of Dwarves from what our kind show you in public. The hardness, the steadfastness. Well, there is a side of our people that we do not show the outside world and that is our love of family. Dwarves value only our focuses higher than our families. Unlike many humans, we value our extended families as well as our close family. Grandparents, uncles, cousins, they're all as close as immediate family members.
Of course, to manage our large families we form clans. Clans are lead by a Uhrnomus, a close enough translation is over-leader. The Uhrnomus is responsible for over-seeing the entire clan. He, or she, is often the eldest user of the way or cleric in the clan. The Uhrnomus acts as a judge among the clan, setting disputes and seeing to everyone's overall well being. The Uhrnomus is assisted by an uhrnius, or leader.
The Uhrnius has responsibility similar to the Uhrnomus, but with only part of the clan. While an Uhrnomus may have a hundred or more Dwarves to look after, the Uhrnius has about half that amount. If there is a dispute beyond the Uhrnius to handle, they may have the Uhrnomus review it for them. Of course, if a Uhrnius does this too often, they are likely to find themselves replaced as Uhrnius by the Uhrnomus.

 The Uhrnius is assisted by a Uhrakkus, or sub-leader. The Uhrakkus is usually the leader of a single family line, or a group of Dwarves with the same focus. As you probably guessed, the Uhrakkus is responsible for their group of Dwarves, as the Uhrnomus is responsible for the entire clan.
Sadly, some Dwarves live outside of clan life. These outcasts are unable or refuse to follow a Uhronmus. They are often criminals or too selfish to think of others. They often turn their hearts and focus to the service of a sorcerer monarch. These Dwarves are universally hated and untrusted by all clan loyal Dwarves. Of course, some former slave Dwarves don't have clan, but they seek acceptance into another based upon their focus and are welcomed.
In addition, Dwarves have great reverence for their ancestors, if we know them. Dwarves are taught to memorize and recite their ancestors for several generations. Sadly, much of this knowledge is lost when a Dwarf is enslaved and robbed of the opportunity to learn of their ancestors. Free Dwarves usually learn to read and write in the old age in order to protect their family information.

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