The Dwarves of the Rakers
Dwarves had lived in the Rakers Mountains for generations before humans even walked the Flanaess. Originally the dwarves were of one clan, the Anvil Clan, but a bitter civil war split them into two. Since then, the Brokenstone Clan has held sway in the southwest of the range, and the Blackanvil Clan in the northeast have been bitter rivals. The Brokenstone Clan was once much larger than it is now and had fortresses, mines, and outposts throughout the region. They traded with elves and gnomes and then the Flan. The Blackanvil Clan was much smaller and traded only some with merchants along the Ratik coast, and even then only in the past century.
The Sundering of the Clan
The exact date in which the great Anvil clan moved into the Rakers is unclear, but they were already well established when the Invoked Destruction (Rain of Colorless Fire) brought about the destruction of the last overking of the dwarves in the West of the Flanaess. Not long after, around CY -400, Lorthun Blackanvil was crowned the first king of the Anvil Clan. He quickly begins strengthening his realm and even reached out to the Flan living in the lands now known as the Bone March, to establish relations.
CY-367 The first real test of the new dwarven kingdom came when the ancient white dragon Shaunoroth began attacking their towns and mines. Unlike most dragons of his kind, Shaunoroth was a highly intelligent white dragon and well versed in the arcane. The arrival of Shaunoroth was preceded by an army of giants and humanoids assaulted the capital of the Anvil Clan, Garnholm. The dwarves were able to resist the giant and humanoid assault, but as they licked their wounds from that battle, Shaunoroth arrived. In the ensuing fight for Garnhom, King Lorthun was killed, and the walls of the great city destroyed. Driven from their capital, the dwarves rally and halt any further conquest by Shaunoroth's army, but were unsuccessful in reclaiming Garnholm in its hidden mountain valley.
CY -174 The humanoid tribes of the Rakers begin gathering into larger bands and putting pressure on the dwarven once again. However, these humanoid tribes are not lead by Shaunoroth but are a myriad of different allied tribes. The current dwarven King Arglus, and his daughter Balkurn, a warrior prophet of Clangeddin, are drawn into an ambush and slain with no apparent heir to the throne. In fighting erupts between the followers of the Brokenstone and the Blackanvils subclans as rumors once again surface of Abbathor worshipers arranging the king's ambush. Both sides are accusing the other of being in league with Abbathor and his followers.
Factions within the cities and strongholds of the Rakers erupt into open civil war as the lesser sub-clans choose sides. While the dwarves fight amongst themselves, the humanoids assault many above-ground holdings. By the year -149 CY, after much loss of dwarven lives, the Great Anvil Clan is no more. In its place are now two new dwarven kingdoms, the Western Rakers Kingdom of the Brokenstone Clan and the Eastern Rakers Kingdom of the Blackanvil Clan.
With the once great Anvil Clan dived, all hope of winning back the capital from Shaunoroth was abandoned. As the dwarves brooded and planned, a new race of humans began entering into the Bone March drawing their attention, the Oeridians. Fortunately, these new arrivals were uninterested in the Rakers.
In 109 CY, the generals of the Great Kingdom demanded the use of secret passes through the mountains in and around Spinecastle. The dwarves of the Blackanvil Clan refused, much like they had refused to allow the Frost Barbarians access to them. This soured what little relationship there was between the two.
After the battle of Shamblefield, rumors of Abbathor worship among the dwarven nobility surface in both clans the Brokenstone and the Blackanvil Clans once more. These rumors further deepening the mistrust between the two dwarven nations. Little do either of the clan leaders realize that the rumors are being spread by real Abbathor worshipers within both clans to keep the two great clans divided. Over the next 450 years, the dwarves of the Blackanvil clan withdraw further into their mountain strongholds, having almost no contact with the outside world. Ratik is the only nation that they have any real contact with, and even that is limited.
The Brokenstone Clan likewise withdraws into their mountains. Still, unlike the Blackanvil Clan they stay in contact with the gnomes of the Blemu and Flinty Hills and some humans from Nyrond. The Brokenstone Dwarves in recent years have been interested in the emerging power of Knurl under Count Dunstan Kargus' rule and will eventually become allies with him.
The Abbathor Scourge
The worship of Abbathor has long been associated with the dwarves of the Rakers and the Anvil Clan. Not considered to be more than a nuisance during the early history of the Raker dwarves, the Abbathor worshippers' greed evolved into the dwarves' worst enemy, far worse than Shaunoroth himself. The first, and best known of the Abbathor devotees of the Anvil Clan was Karzoc, the younger brother of Lorthun Blackanvil. Karzoc was jealous of his older brother and wanted to title of King of the Raker DWarves for himself. His greed and jealousy lead him to worship Abbathor, where he sought to find the power to usurp his brother.
Karzoc busily spread the worship of Abbathor by erecting many small temples to the god of greed erected while actively converting all those he thought could be swayed. At this time, he had learned of Shaunoroth, an ancient White Dragon that had moved into the Rakers. The Drake had come from the Corusk Mountains seeking a better home from which to amass his horde.
Karzoc and several other loyal Abbathor worshipers made their way to the drake's new home in a cave atop a high peak. The journey was hard and difficult. All of Karzoc's companions perished, save for one sole survivor, Kaergor Klawhammer. Shaunoroth was impressed by the two dwarves and listened to Karzoc's proposal. He sought to have his brother removed as the King of the Rakers with Shaunoroth's help, and in return, he offered Shaunoroth Garnholm.
In -367 CY Shaunoroth accepted the deal with Karzoc and led his army against his brother and the forces of Garnholm. Unfortunately, when Karzoc opened the secret passages to Shaunoroth's minions, he was discovered and slain. Following Karzoc's death, Kaergor Klawhammer took up the head of the church of Abbathor. Eventually, the Klawhammer Clan would become synonymous with the god of greed and the hated foe of both the Blackanvil and Brokenstone Clans.
Few were able to escape the destruction of Garnholm. Still, those who did took the knowledge that Korzac had betrayed them. Karzoc and his worship of Abbathor had tainted his family. Still, Lorthun's youngest son, Arglus, took the throne, and an uneasy peace settled over the Anvil Clan.
The fires of suspicion, however, were not allowed to be extinguished. The Klawhammer Clan, a well-respected clan, known for their sage advice, continued to sow the seeds of suspicion. They often would play up the threat that unknown Abbathor worshippers could be around any corner and even be your most trusted friends. Of course, the Klawhammer Clan was the primary source of the worship of the god of greed and kept suspicion off themselves with these false witch-hunts.
In -174 CY, with another invasion of giants and humanoids on their hands, the Klawhammers began placing false evidence of Abbathor worship in the homes of those they wished to get rid of. These were the dwarves that they felt could not be bribed or blackmailed and stood in the way of the Klawhammers gaining complete control of all the Raker dwarves. This began fracturing the trust between clans. Then, with tensions high, they arranged for the ambush and murder of Arglus and his daughter Balkurn, ending the Anvil Clan lineage. Leaderless, and on edge, it was easy for them to fan the fires of mistrust into a dwarven civil war.
In -175 CY, The Klawhammer Clan's intention was to marry into both the royal lines of the Blackanvil and the Brokenstone clans and then work behind the scenes to put one of their own on the throne. Achieving this goal was much harder than they had anticipated. The Cursed Invasion of the Bone March, which also included the Rakers, Shifted all focus to fighting an invasion of humanoids. The Klawhammers also suffered some significant losses during these times as their clan was on the frontlines as well. Then, as the war in the Rakers settled down, Emmer Klawhammer was outed as a worshipper of Abbathor. In response, Axeholm, the ancestral home of the Klawhammer Clan was laid siege to and all the inhabitants put to the axe except for the youngest children who were split up and put into foster care amongst the other dwarven clans.
In 595 CY the dwarves of the Rakers have not fully recovered from the wars and civil war, and yet the Blackanvil and Brokenstone CLans still refuse to try and settle their differences. One of the reasons for their remaining divided, beyond dwarven stubbornness, is that the Klawhammers still sow seeds of dissension. With the sacking of Axeholm, those Klawhammers that still remained Fled the Rakers into the surrounding lands, or to hidden fortresses in the mountains. The clan has become feverishly devoted to usurping the thrones of both the Blackanvil and Brokenstone Clans. Their new clan, Chieftain, Kriega, has headway into infiltrating the Brokenstone Clan as that clan seeks to end their centuries of self-imposed solitude. To help his clan in this endeavor he has sought the aid of an old ally of his clan, Shaunoroth.
Rulers of the Dwarven Clans of the Rakers
High Chief Klagundor Brokenstone: Klagundor has not seen the threats to his kingdom dwindle but increase as the centuries have passed since the dwarven civil war. As current Chieftan of the Brokenstone Clan he has decided that an isolationist way is not the best for his kingdom. Allies need to be found, and in this day and age, that means allying with humans. Klagundor has sent emissaries to Nyrond, and to Knurl to see such allegiances are possible. These emissaries are doing so secretly as many of the Brokenstone Clan still feel that being locked away in their mountain fortress is the best course of action.
Klagundor is a sturdy dwarf and a mighty fighter. He is blunt to those he does not know but jovial to his friends and family. His closest advisor is the high priestess of Moradin, Mora.
Mora High Priest of Moradin: The high Priestess of Moradin, Mora, is a strong-willed woman that hates giants and goblins with a passion. She sees them as the main threat to her people but is still mindful that the great wyrm Saunoroth still defiles the halls of the Garnholm. Mora does not trust the humans and is one of the few among her clan that feels they should make amends with the Blackanvil Clan.
High Chief Omrig Blackanvil: Omrig is an old dwarf who still remembers the dwarven civil war, and is convinced that the Brokenstone clan is full of Abbathor worshipers. Sadly his most trusted advisor, Darghor Bonesmith, is secretly a Klawhammer. Darghor has been feeding Omrig lies for a century and a half and has the old chief paranoid of nearly everyone that is not of the Blackanvil clan.
Omrig is crotchety in his old age and is more worried about preparing his daughter, Zenora, to become the next clan chief once he passes. Chief among Omrig's worries is seeing her married to a propper husband to carry on the Blackanvil heritage. Darghor is trying hard to find a dwarf that he can be sure to manipulate, but Zenora has rejected all of the ones he has suggested so far.
Battlemaiden Zenora Blackanvil: If ever there was a dwarf that embodied the tales of dwarven champions of old, it is Zenora. A deadly combatant and ardent follower of Clangeddin, Zenora sneaks out of the Blackanvil fortress with her band of trusted companions to find adventure and slay her clan's enemies. Her father does not know of this, as she hides the fact that she does so from her father.
While strong-willed and stubborn, she is also generous and jovial to all, including non-dwarves. While she sees nothing wrong with humans, she does not think that they should help her clan as it would be a sign of weakness.