Each of the nine clan halls in Caradar had a ring of Stones. In the center of these rings were magikal forges called Ring Forges. The Ring Forges were built by the clan’s chief or, in some cases, by the clan priest (the denotes that the clan priest in question was the clan’s high priest. as opposed to one of other priests of that clan. You had to listen for it.)
All Forge Folk prayed to the Earth Mother in the Stones, as did the other Elder Races, though the paucity of womenfolk resulted in them finding different, less … enthusiastic forms of prayer. The clan priest channeled these prayers to the Earth Mother, just like the other Elder Races, assisted as needed by other clan priests.
In addition to clan priests, another group of Forge Folk made use of the Ring Forges – the Runesmiths. Runesmiths were Earthmages who could craft enchanted items using the Ring Forge, most often armor and weapons. Two distinctions marked the Runesmiths as different from other Earthmages. Firstly, they all shared a similar gift of Earthmagery, the ability to craft items on the Ring Forge, though some were more or less blessed than others. This was highly unusual. Other than the one instance of Elras’s gift of fusing song & sorcery passing to Kandol, gifts of Earthmagery did not repeat.
Secondly, there is a delicious irony in the nature of the Runesmith’s gift. Earthmages, you’ll remember, could hear earthsong at any time, whether they were standing in the Stones or not. This held true for Runesmiths too, they could hear earthsong everywhere, but they could not put their gift to use unless they were using a Ring Forge.
The most skilled Runesmith in each clan was named Forgemaster, and he served as the nominal leader of the clan’s Runesmiths. Runesmiths and clan priests shared responsibility for maintaining the Dwarven rings. Clan priests spent most time tending the ring of Stones, the Forgemasters concentrated their efforts on the Ring Forge. If push came to shove, the clan priest had the final say.
These roles could and did overlap. Here’s some bullets to help you keep track:
- Some Dwarven Earthmages were Runesmiths, but not all.
- All Runesmiths were Earthmages.
- All Forgemasters were Runesmiths
- One Runesmith per clan was Forgemaster
- Some Runesmiths were clan priests, but not all.
- Some clan priests were Runesmiths, but not all.
- Most clan chiefs were clan priests, but not all.
- Most clan chiefs were Runesmiths, but not all.
- One clan chief, Vaggir, clan chief of the Black Dwarves, was Forgemaster for the Forge of Life, the clan’s Ring Forge.
Each ring of Stones, and each Ring Forge had a name. The names of the Ring Forges, and the Forgemasters who tended them, have been handed down over the ages. The names of all but one of the Dwarven rings of Stones have been lost to antiquity, as have the names of all the clan priests. I find that an interesting bit of trivia, reflecting perhaps, the priorities of the Forge Folk. For most of the Elder Races, reverence for the Earth Mother and the need to pray, pray hard, and pray often was the highest priority, and the priests channeling prayers were held in high esteem. That we have lost the names of the Dwarven Stones and the Dwarven channelers, and remember better their master craftsmen, speaks volumes about the Forge Folk.
Listed below are the names of the Ring Forges in each of the nine clan halls, and the name of its Forgemaster.
Daladorn Forge – The Ring Forge of the Mountain Dwarves. A clan priest, Daladorn, built the forge named after him and served as its Forgemaster.
Earth Forge – The Ring Forge of the Earth Dwarves. Tharigar, the clan chief and a clan priest, was its Forgemaster.
Ebony Forge – The Ring Forge of the Hammer Dwarves. Vindegar, a clan priest and son of clan chief Virdan, was its Forgemaster.
Forge of Life – The Ring Forge of the Black Dwarves. Vaggir, the clan chief and a clan priest, was its Forgemaster.
Forge of Victory – The Ring Forge of the Blood Dwarves. Graldar, a Runesmith, was its Forgemaster.
Forge of White Flame – The Ring Forge of the Forge Dwarves, the Forge of White Flame rested in the center of Garradarran, the only Dwarven ring of Stones remembered by name. Danvil, the legendary Runesmith who helped forge Caerycal served as its Runesmith.
Maker’s Forge – The Ring Forge of the Deep Dwarves. Danvarag, a Runesmith, was its Forgemaster.
Silver Forge – The Ring Forge of the Silver Dwarves. Garaxin, a Runesmith, was its Forgemaster.
Viggult’s Forge – The Ring Forge of the Gold Dwarves. Viggult, a Runesmith, was its Forgemaster.