Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Western Factions Continued...

The Dwarf Realm of Dun Garuk:  Dun Garuk is situated in the Gray Mountains.  It is comprised of three large halls,  Khazad Modgorond, Kkazad Nothrogond, Khazad Erebor.  Erebor is the the capital and shining jewel of the Gray Mountains.

The Dwarf Realm of Dun Huack: Dun Huack is located in the northern Dragon Fang Mountains.  It has two holds, Khazad Huack, and Khazad Althgorond with Huack as the capital and only hold to produce Mithril in great quantity.

The Dwarf Realm of Dun Kothgorond :  Dun Kothgorond is located in the Misty Mountains east of Dun Garuk.  Kothogorond is the only hold and captial.

The Black Watch:  The Black Watch is a non-aligned military fraternal order located in the Dragon Fang Mountains.  The Watch has guarded the west from hostile invasion from the Frozen Wastes by bands of Orcs, Barbarians and eldritch monsters and beasts for 300 years.  It's headquarters is the famed Black Castle and it guards the Frost Gap.  Volunteers from all races and kingdoms of the west are accepted.  Lords often give criminals a chance to escape the dungeon by taking "the Black," an oath to serve the Black Watch until death.

To be a member of the Black Watch is to eschew home and kin for the brotherhood.  All the kings of the west send men to serve in the Watch.  By far the Reichmark is the largest contributor of troops.  Mostly criminals, and outcasts but all are taken even the high born.  But whether highborn or commoner, once there the novice swears the Black Oath which is followed by a rigorous training program and indoctrination.  Merit and ability are prized in the Watch, not blood and kin.  In the Watch a common man can become a Knight or a Grand Master and a man who may once have been a noble's son might now scrub dishes or sweep dung in the stables.  The Watch is a rare place where a man can be more than what he was born.  Once trained for duty on the Watch a novice becomes a Brother.  To desert the Black Watch bears the penalty of death.  The Watch has their own hierarchy with the top post being held by the Grand Master who also bears the title of the Black Baron and his estate is known as the Barony of the Frost Gap, an area bequeathed to the brotherhood for their upkeep. Beneath the Grand Master are the Black Wardens, Rangers and Knights, and the Brothers themselves.  When a Grand Master passes on, the new Grand Master is elected from among the Black Wardens, Rangers and Knights of the Brotherhood in a conclave.  Once elected the Grand Master serves for life.

The Black Watch has stood so long that is has developed it's own cult.  The Brothers have temples and shrines setup for the honored dead of the Watch.  Those whose bravery in death led them out of the Black into the Light.  While most brothers serve as guards in the castle, keeps and towers of the Gap many find work in the kitchens, stables, smithies and fields of the Watch proper and the Barony itself.

The Barony of the Black Gap has a small population of peasants.  There are 13 scattered villages, towns and a single large city, Everwinter located just outside the Black Castle.  These folk are not bound by the Watch nor are they required to take the Black Oath but they live in a highly regimented militaristic society.  They do however owe military service to the Grand Master in the Baronial Militia when called upon.  Each village has an Warden as it's mayor.  The Warden is responsible for the protection and governance of the village he is assigned to.  The estimate population is 19,000 souls not counting the Brothers of the Black Watch themselves.

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