“The rock has power unlike any other material, and the same can be said for those who were shaped from it. Crafting the Dweorgs was our most grievous mistake... one that shall be rectified either by us or by them.”
The Khargrim Dwarves, otherwise known as the Red Dwarves or simply as the Khargrim, are a race of dwarven deiwes who reside within the Tropical Lands of Koldenwelt as the founders of the Khargrim Greatholds. Descendants of the Dweorg, the Khargrim Dwarves are those who settled in the southeastern region of the Tropical Lands under Khargrim Asmund following the migratory dispersion of the Dweorg after the voluntary dissolution of their former kingdom. The Khargrim are distinguished by their fiery red facial and bodily hair alongside the plethora of innate dwarven traits, such as broad and stout bodies, solid and chiseled features, and their innately strong and durable physiology.
The Khargrim Dwarves, as the majority of dwarvenkind does, descend from the Dweorg; an archaic civilisation located in the Eastern Plains that had once been enslaved to the Cobalt Kingdom as labourers and conscripted soldiers against the remaining Void Denizens of Caligaduro Provectus prior to the intervention of the New Colossus of Thunder, Thunardormir, whose interference in 5,000 BNA allowed the Dweorg peoples to rebel against their tyrannical masters and establish a realm of their own. The tribes of Dweorg that resided in the outskirts of the Cobalt Kingdom, west of Ar-Klith, would come into contact with the Klaxxa and garner their support against the Ordnung via the exchange of materials, with a significant fraction of the ores and minerals mined by the Dweorg being relocated to their allies for the production of equipment such as armour and weaponry alongside contributing to Klaxxa alchemical study. The Thunder Hammer, meanwhile, would appear to various Dweorg insurrectionists in the guise of a spectre of lightning and teach them the use of rune magic.
Following their liberation, in 4,200 BNA a ruling Dweorg council and the Thunder Hammer - now the patron deity of the dwarves - would issue for the dissolution and migratory dispersion of their race to evade the possibility of their kind becoming too powerful; Khargrim Asmund, the grandson of a Dweorg rebel commander, would leave for the south towards the southeastern coast of the Tropical Lands and found the Khargrim Greatholds, with the dwarves that were led under his migration coming to call themselves the Khargrim Dwarves following Asmund's death to honour him and his heritage - although a small fraction of Dweorg under his command, led by Asmund's lieutenant Koll Ranmir, diverged from the migration and trekked to the west, settling in the lands of southern Qliphoth and neighbouring the Oevrumine. The Khargrim would later send members of their number back to the Eastern Plains to become priests and defenders of Thunardormir and the monument built in dedication to him by their Dweorg ancestors - the Hammer Throne.
The Khargrim would come to develop an intense and bitter feud with the Duergar of the Duergar Empire following a consistent, major series of raids and unprovoked assaults instigated by the latter against the northern Khargrim cities. The Khargrim Dwarves also became involved in major conflicts with various Bharloron hordes and invasive forces from the Sea of Sand in the form of Khaepsha-ultan, alongside managing to establish beneficial negotiations with the Sovereignty of Dryada following their own expansion into the Tropical Lands. The Khargrim would at some point send various fleets of ships, both exploratory and military, to the island of Akriarion for the purpose of colonisation and the acquisition of precious ores and minerals, where they were disastrously met with hostile resistance from the native Vulcanus Horde led under the Scorched General Wrugrak, leading to dwarven settlements on Akriarion to be razed to the ground by the Horde and the Khargrim Greatholds to steer clear of the island for millennia.
The Khargrim Dwarves share many traits common amongst the inheritors of the Dweorg; stout and broad proportions, thick skin and musculature, and copious amounts of bodily and facial hair, which is almost universally red for those of the Khargrim. The Khargrim are thought to be more physically inclined than other deiwes as a result of their history as soldiers and labourers, leading to them to be tougher and sturdier than elves or men at the cost of being marginally less dexterous. The Khargrim possess greyish skin as a result of their Dweorg heritage, alongside eyes which allow them to see in low-light conditions, large noses, rounded ears, and thick skulls. The Khargrim are omnivorous descendants of the Dweorg, although they possess the innate ability to draw nutrition from ingesting rock, ore, and minerals due to their ancestry.
Khargrim lifespans extend to 300 years, with dwarves of the Khargrim reaching sexual maturity between their 30s and 40s as the last component of their full physical maturity. Khargrim possess sexual dimorphism among themselves, although only 40% of the entire Khargrim population are female, with Khargrim women possessing an absence of facil hair while retaining the strong physical features of their male counterparts. Khargrim gestation lasts for an entire Koldenweltian year with only one or two babies resulting from pregnancy, with both Khargrim men and women becoming infertile sometime into their second century of life. Khargrim possess a notable resistance to natural drugs and toxins, although while they are far more resistant to damage and pain than other deiwes, they are still subject to effects and damage caused by magic.
The Khargrim are renowned for their stubborn and proud nature, along with their cultural emphasis for personal and familial dignity and honour. A majority of Khargrim Dwarves are innately social, preferring the company of others to solitude and isolation, and greatly value both family and friends, even if the latter are of a race outside of their own as the Khargrim, despite their pride, are not known to be xenophobic or elitist. Khargrim despise laziness and more often seek to perform and accomplish their goals to the best of their ability rather than seeking means to cheat or humiliating themselves and others with under-performing. While often considered to be wise following their maturity, many Khargrim are known to be reckless when they feel they have been challenged, being quick to defend their honour by any means possible - often translating into non-fatal, and occasionally friendly, brawls and heavy drinking, which serves as a secondary means of communication between them, although they have a reputation for violence which follows their capacity for strength.
Khargrim are often jovial and merry, especially in the company of friends and family, yet they are known to strictly abide towards debts, as a means to repay loyalty and favour, and personal grudges. The Khargrim Dwarves place great pride in their work, their heritage, and their beards, which are often styled and decorated; to intentionally cut a Khargrim's beard is unforgivable, as the cutting of the beard is thought to be reserved for when a Khargrim has shamed himself. Khargrim are also known to pierce soft flesh, such as ears, lips, and noses, with jewellery and tattoo themselves to reflect their heritage, merits, and achievements. The Khargrim are largely monogamous and their society places an emphasis on gender roles, with males usually becoming labourers and soldiers while females often become teachers, healers, and housewives, and Khargrim children are often raised by immediate and extended family beyond their parents and educated publicly. Khargrim are naturally drawn towards a combination of strength and bodily hair, with Khargrim women valuing facial hair, in their sexual partners.
The Khargrim Dwarves are known for the extent of their natural strength and durability as a result of their Dweorg heritage, outmatching a large number of other deiwes by a notable margin alongside possessing a natural resistance to toxins and a great deal of stamina to draw from. The Khargrim can navigate in dark and low-light conditions and can gain nutrition from ingesting raw materials such as ore, with the ability to produce magic complimenting their strength although their usage of it is not as refined and potent as that of a majority of elves. The Khargrim are literally thick-skinned and as a result of their physiology they possess notable musculature, and often weigh heavier than taller deiwes despite their compact stature while still being capable of tasks such as climbing and swimming.
However, despite their strengths and abilities, the Khargrim possess a number of weaknesses and vulnerabilities; they are not as mobile or as agile as other deiwes, and their temperament and pride can be used against them, as the Khargrim are often known to be reckless when challenged or greatly insulted. Despite their stamina allowing them to perform under much duress, the Khargrim still sustain damage and can potentially harm themselves unintentionally due to their reluctance for surrender or retreat. The Khargrim Dwarves are stubborn and traditional, making their actions largely predictable to those that know of them which can be used against them, and a vast majority of Khargrim will fly into an untempered, almost mindless frenzy should their beards be cut.
“Now, now. If you're going to do something, do it for something other than coin; do it because it is what your heart and soul tells you to do.”
Great-Captain Jalaric Hathgar the Third of Khargrimhold, otherwise known as Hathgar the Berserker, is the eldest son of the Lord-Thane Jalaric Hreithar the Second and the current Great-Captain of the 4th Khargrimhold Company. A former mercenary and exile in his youth due to an incident involving the unintenional murder of the son of a Thane during his time in the 2nd Khargrimhold Company, Hathgar is a self-proclaimed patriot and a recognised, and valued, defender of the Khargrim Greatholds due to his compassion for his role and his experience and skills as a dwarven warrior. While noted to be the First Heir of Khargrimhold, Hathgar shows little to no interest in the internal politics of the Realm and no desire for the role of Lord-Thane, preferring to leave the task to his younger sibling, Hafgrim, once the next Lord-Thane is to be coronated.
Hathgar possesses a penchant for adventure and frontline combat in contrast to his role as a commander, a role at which he is undoubtedly competent at, and is known to be marked with a Rage Enchantment - a runic tattoo which distinguishes him from other dwarven warriors as it allows him to enter a berserk state at will and channel supernatural strength and the essence of electromancy. Hathgar is recognised as a potent warrior across various regions of the world due to his ventures and actions as a mercenary, although he is also known to be largely jovial and friendly and a caring family man as he supports both a wife and a child, Jalaric Konal the Second, and seeks to uphold the pride and dignity of Clan Jalaric, alongside the Realm in its entirety, at any given opportunity.
“I need a drink to get through the day, but then again, who doesn't?”
- Name: Ermek Trughs
- Affiliation: Khargrim Greatholds
- Status: Active
Ermek Trughs is the current Thane of the dwarven city of Kunmaldur, belonging to the Khargrim Greatholds. The only son of Ermek Tryghom before his passing due to old age, Trughs attained his position after leading a counter-attack on an immense horde of Eclipse Cultists who sought to assimilate Kunmaldur into their pagan cult. For his efforts, Trughs obtained the title of Thane despite the heavy losses suffered during the battle. Several years later, Trughs' wife and child were killed by Black Orc mercenaries, and since then, he has obtained a deep distaste for all orc races.
Trughs prefers to stay at Kunmaldur for the most part, though he also leaves the city to do things such as deal with potential threats or speak to diplomats and other international figures when necessary. A very experienced and powerful warrior in the front-lines, Trughs is often seen riding a tame Dwarf Mauler affectionately named "Fang" in battle, and if forced to fight for himself, he will make use of his large dwarven waraxe. Trughs is a very typical dwarf, being optimistic and enjoying drinking great quantities of beer with his close friends, though any mention of orcish kind in his presence is sure to annoy or anger him.
“There is more to the world than bloodshed and death... To resist that false truth is the greatest challenge.”
Kvo Eirik, otherwise known as the Lightning Bruiser, is an Adept of the Bheldaral Monks, a sect of the Disciples of the Hammer, and one of the most potent warriors of his order despite his rank in the hierarchy. An ex-adventurer who travelled the Eastern Continent of Koldenwelt while on pilgrimage in his youth, Eirik is a kind and gentle soul who prefers the ideals of peace and mercy to violence in contrast to his devastating strength, skill, and capacity for electromancy, which owes itself to a distaste for causing permanent harm and, to a greater extent, death. Otherwise considered to be a pacifist, Eirik is a master of unarmed combat and is capable of harnessing and channeling intense amounts of power and magic although he will only bring himself to fight in self-defence or for the safety of others, with the full extent of his ability never having been seen even by his masters and tutors.
Eirik has no known family due to having been orphaned and delivered to a monastery of the Bheldaral Monks and as per the traditions of the Disciples of the Hammer is celibate, instead considering his fellow members of the Bheldaral Monks to be his family. He enjoys drinking as all Khargrim do, in fact contributing to his martial prowess as well as his social ability, and resides at the Hammer Throne of Thunardormir as part of a group of other dwarven monks in order defend it and represent his monastic order. Eirik is known to be a close friend to the First Heir of Khargrimhold, Jalaric Hathgar, due to having accompanied one another in many adventures prior to the onset of the New Age.
“The Red Dwarves are a very admirable people, their will as adamant as the weapons they use. I'm still puzzled and somewhat horrified of how they managed to tame those... monsters, though.”
“Hah! You! Friends of Clamak. Always welcome in Under cities.”
“Dwarven blood is a delicacy not all can enjoy to ze fullest extent, I assure you.”
“Geordagas ágéncómon. Ge éaðmódedon gelic geordweargas oþþe eower stánflæsc áfédede ūser īsernsearu. [The old times will return. You shall submit like the Dweorgs of the past, or your stony flesh shall feed our iron machines.]”
- - God-King Goldemar
“Unpleasant as they are, there is something in these dwarves - and, truth be told, in all of dwarves in general - that makes me respect them. Integrity, willpower, nobility... they are not so different from humans after all.”
“Runes. Very interesting magic... may I have a few?”
“Our allies from the depths shall stand resolute as we do for as long as Arddraigr the Great draws breath.”
- - Lord Protector Arken-Lak
“I heard they have a city called Boatmurdered. But how can one murder a boat?”
“BY YOUR BLOOD AND SPIRIT SHALL GROW STRONGER THE IMPERISHABLE LIGHT.”
- - Alar'xashan
“I have a soft place for these little bearded people. They're like little kids! I think I had a liking for them... a few centuries ago... or decades, perhaps? Time runs too fast for an immortal.”
- - Lady Lucretia Marzanna
“Umílioxǽdecesórírsí aésen...karúsǽváṃis vróstaṃvárítú ienús karúsǽváṃis vróstaṃvárátu aenós. [Successors of the dwarves...we have crushed you with your own stones and will shall do so again.”
- The Khargrim Dwarves were originally named the Khàrmurvahan Dwarves prior to a retcon, with the name coming from the words Armenian words karmir (red) and vahan (shield). Their alternative name, the Red Dwarves, was originally the Red-Shield Dwarves.
- The Khargrim Dwarves were inspired by common interpretations and depictions of dwarves in many fantasy settings, alongside the Vikings of Scandinavia.