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A Brief Background of the Free Dwarfs of Bowland

Updated: Feb 28

The Free Dwarfs of Bowland are one of the more successful of the Free Dwarf coalitions that have sprung up in the lands of Estacarr, Led by their Clan Chiefs into exile after the fall of their Halpi Mountain homelands to the forces of the Abyssal Dwarfs and following their Scornful treatment at the Hands of the haughty Imperial Dwarfs of King Golloch, they had been granted the use of a long disused Hold on the shores of the High sea of Bari near to the Mountains known as the Sorrows by King Golloch, the ruler of neighbouring Abercarr and its Dwarf Empire. Since making the former Dwarf hold and subsequent human castle their home they have gone from strength to strength, their ranks swelled by the influx of Free Dwarfs who have heard of their success and travelled to become a part of it themselves.

Originally the Free Dwarfs settled in the Area known as the Trough of Bowland, this was a ring of hills surrounding a steep sided valley, in which there was the ruins of a Human stronghold called Langdon Castle. Closer inspection revealed that the outer ring of hills were in fact the base of a large mountain which had contained a vast dwarf hold. Sometime in the past the roof of the Mountain had collapsed in on the subterranean halls and galleries of the Dwarfs leaving them open to the elements or completely filled with debris and the Hold was abandoned. The Humans obviously came along and for a time used the rubble to construct a castle on the site but they too left and the castle turned to ruin. When the Free Dwarfs arrived they explored the area with a view to settling, as their folk sifted through the ruins a discovery was made, only the grand upper levels of the Dwarf hold had been destroyed completely, many levels of nearly intact living spaces remained under the mountain. The Dwarfs made good use of the rubble left to build a fortified settlement above ground but the major work continues far below as, even after a decade the Free Dwarfs are repairing and clearing the vast underground dwelling that is the centre of the New Hold that they call Cartref Newydd, Stone Priests work with the Spirits of the region to clear out the collapsed tunnels and re cut the adjoining galleries while artizans labour to restore the stonework to its former glories. The Dwarfs have also explored the surrounding area as far south as the River Hodor which forms the Northern Border of the Human Cities to the South and several small farming communities , workshops and mining camps have been set up to help keep the Bowlanders as self sufficient as possible.

One of the reasons for the success enjoyed by the Free Dwarfs of Bowland is that the whole is made up of many parts, the remnants of many former powerful Clans of the Free dwarfs now make up the Free Dwarfs of Bowland. The Raven Clan, with their Powerful Stoneclaw riders, the Brock Clan with their savage Berserker Brock Riders and foot berserkers and the Lordly Bear Clan with their Fearsome Bear Riders and Armoured Warbears, all of these and more make up the might with which the Free Dwarfs of Bowland protect their new lands. But not all of the Free Dwarfs that have settled in Estacarr are Warriors, the majority of them are Farmers and craftsmen, artificers and merchants of all kinds. These are the Dwarfs that have laboured long and hard to make Estacarr the new home of the Free Dwarfs, they live in small hamlets, isolated farms and remote mining camps and look to the Free Dwarf Rangers and their own Spear Levy to keep them safe from the prowling bands of Goblins, Ratkin and the occasional Abyssal Dwarf Slaving party that still roam the largely unsettled lands of Estacarr from their outpost in a wasteland crater to the North East of the Bowland Forest. There is also the Free Human City of Tyrsis and the nearby Basilean colony of Priest Town that, while they are currently cordial relationships with, indeed the Free Companies of Tyrsis have been known to fight alongside the Free Dwarfs on occasion, the expansion of Golloch’s Imperial Dwarfs towards the Hegemony and the treatment of non-Dwarfs in Gollochs Empire could push them towards Hostility against the Free Dwarfs, after all one Dwarf is pretty much the same as another to most Men. To the South East, across the River Hodor lies the mysterious Bone Tower, in which a powerful Necromancer is rumoured to reside, although these rumours remain unconfirmed as the Free Dwarfs have not yet explored past the Witch and Warlock Mountains due to the Fierce Human warriors that occupy the area.

The Free Dwarfs are building up their strength and resources with a view to reclaiming the Halpi Mountains from the Abyssal Dwarfs, Goblins and Ratkin that currently infest them and with the recent retaking of Cwl Gen by Sveri Egilax, the Free Dwarfs of Bowland have doubled their efforts. After the glorious victory at Cwl Gen the Whole of the Raven Clan with elements of the Brock Clan have set off to fulfil their Oaths of Revenge and support by covering the North East Flank of Sveri Egilax’s expeditionary force, the fact that this is also the area most favoured by the Mountain Ravens for nesting and the site of the former Raven Clan hold of Caer Y Cudd, is but a happy coincidence.

Their Journey North was hard and gruelling but now they are at their former hold the real fight has begun. Small parties of Raven Clan Rangers guard their small enclave and seek out Raven Nests while the Raven riders provide communication, resupply and combat support to these scattered bands. The Single Clan will have a hard fight to hold what they have reclaimed but they are determined and well trained.

Meanwhile the Brock and Bear Clans, along with several smaller clans and Guilds, continue to thrive in the Trough and Forest of Bowland. With their alliance with the denizens of the forest ( Link to article) they are in a strong position to hold what they are building, if only Gollochs taxes were not so crushing !

Read more about who the Free Dwarfs of Bowland are and what they are made up of here

And find out more about how the Raven Clan came to be and their exploits Here


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