Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Secret Santicore: Dwarf Clan Feuds

Edward Wilson requests his Secret Santicore deliver: "a d10 list of the legends behind epic dwarven inter-clan feuds." Thomas Molyes give us that and more:

1. When the Doomcairn clan fought the Blackwood Goblins at the battle of Ash Ford, they did so expecting the Veinfinder clan to show up as well. The Veinfinders never did, and while they claim that the call to battle never came, both clans have bad blood over it to this day.

2. Both clans claim to have been the first to discover a particularly rich vein of gold. After some minor skirmishes, the area has been blocked off and all entrances guarded by one clan or the other. Clues as to which clan was first can be found within the tunnels, should a third party convince both clan chiefs that they should be allowed to enter.

3. King Bolli of the Honorlode clan repeatedly met with representatives of the Bronze Hill clan with his beard unbraided. After a series of these affronts, they could not bear it any longer and attacked him in his own throne room.

4. When Vahari and Gim strode forth to defeat the Bog Hag, only Vahari came back. Gim’s clan accused Vahari of cowardice which caused Gim’s death. Gim’s body has never been recovered.

5. The Anvilbreakers and the Bronzegauntlet clans both come from the same geographic area and have been involved in a feud for as long as anybody can remember. What is unknown to all but four dwarves in the world, the leader of each clan and their chief adviser, is that both clans came from a schism in the Greatforge clan. A series of deaths (deemed either unfortunate or assassinations, depending on who you talked to) created a succession crisis, with the resulting civil war leading to two separate clans, unwilling to acknowledge their shared history. Within a few generations, the truth is now only whispered in conclave rooms after the death of a previous leader/adviser.

6. To pass the long nights in the cavern halls, many dwarven clans developed a game involving the younger dwarves and a decapitated goblin head. As the sport grew in popularity, teams began to form and the betting and drinking increased. At some point, the fans of the teams known as the Reds and the Whites became such great rivals that their violence led to the creation of separate clans, now opposed to each other in all ways, not just on the stone playing field.

7. One fine day, Knorri and Giliden were boasting to each other of their drinking abilities. Each made stronger and stronger claims until the only possible result was a drinking contest. Midway through the contest, Knorri accused Giliden of watering down his ale. Giliden, in his wrath, slew Knorri.

8. When splitting the treasure from a joint expedition, dwarves from Clan Dragonbellows hid an artifact of great value and power from the other dwarves involved. All clans believe that the artifact rightfully belongs to them and are constantly scheming either to get it back or to keep its location hidden.

9. The Halls of Light were a sacred dwarven site. When they were destroyed in a fiery eruption, blame was mainly placed on the Shalehall clan, who were the guardians of the shrine. There have also been some fingers pointed at the Goodpick clan, who are rumored to have been engaging in a secret ceremony at the time of the eruption.

10. Various dwarven clans have had important items stolen by a single mysterious dwarf. Each clan suspects one of the other clans of harbouring the thief and thus the items. The person in question is actually a female human magic-user who is very good at passing as a charismatic dwarf.

Random Clan Feud Generator
If the above feuds are too specific/unsuitable for your needs/dangit you need a lot more dwarven clan feuds, use this simple generator to get a random Dwarf feud. Roll a d10 for each table -- so a result of 8, 6, 1 would get you a Vicious Feud based on Forbidden Love where one clan has been infiltrated by doppelgangers. The Flavor entries should be struck-through and replaced with something else each time they’re rolled in order to avoid repetition.

Level of Animosity
1 Amicable Disagreement - Both clans are aware that the feud is mainly for pride, although most reasonable dwarves will put up a front of being angry or upset; eventually they can be persuaded to cooperate or talk to one another, especially if a third party is involved.
2-3 Rivalry - Although both clans dislike each other intensely, the feud tends toward competition/verbal disputes rather than actual armed conflict - if two dwarves of each clan met in a bar, it’s a given that they would at least argue, fairly likely that they might have a fistfight and fairly unlikely that they would actually draw weapons.
4-7 Feud - The clans involved hate each other and are engaged in a series of reprisals for real or perceived misdeeds by the other clan. Although both clans might be convinced to meet under the auspices of a third party, any chance meeting will likely lead to blood being spill.
8-9 Vicious - Any meeting between representatives of the clans will eventually result in violence unless a third party mediates somehow. Both clans are actively scheming to attacking/weaken the other clan, with multiple dwarves having lost their lives recently.
10 Blood Feud - Dwarves who meet a dwarf from the other clan will attack on sight with intent to kill unless forcibly restrained. Dwarven honor goes out the window, such is the level of enmity.

Reason for Feud
1. Conflicting claims over a rich mining area.
2. Breach of dwarven etiquette/affront, often relating to facial hair.
3. Schism of a single clan resulting in multiple warring clans.
4. Betrayal/cowardice in battle.
5. Argument turned deadly -- i.e. there was a minor altercation between clan members that led to the death of a dwarf, with resulting reprisals.
6. Forbidden love -- a dwarf from one clan married a dwarf who was already betrothed to another. Murders ensue.
7. One of the clans allied with humans and elves in order to fight a common enemy. The other clans view them as sellouts.
8. Differing (and often trivial) interpretations of one section in the extremely lengthy and boring dwarven legal codes, often relating to dwarven brewing laws.
9. One clan is either extremely thrifty or has outright cheated the other clans when engaging in trade.
10. Historical conflict between dwarven heroes from each clan.

1. One clan is heavily infiltrated by doppelgangers who have replaced important members of the clan for their own nefarious goals.
2. The local dwarven king (or poobah, or deity) is secretly favoring one of the clans, providing support in an attempt to undermine the other.
3. The disturbance causing the initial rift between the two clans was caused by a third clan; neither of the warring clans are aware of this.
4. One of the clans has a powerful ally in a human trading syndicate.
5. One clan is suspiciously tall for dwarves.
6. There is an upcoming every-other-millennia dwarf-moot that both clans are expected to attend.
7. Both clans engage in kidnapping and then raising the children as members of their own clan. Double-agents feature prominently.
8. Sound-based weaponry is used to collapse rival clan’s mining tunnels.
9. The feud is mainly carried on by vengeful dwarven ghosts. Most of the living dwarves don’t give a fig.
10. The feuding clans both occupy the same ancient dwarven fort, creating an intense tunnel-to-tunnel subterranean urban warfare.


Gothridge Manor said...

Very cool set of tables. Santicore has been very generous this year.

Pridday said...

Hey, that's me! Excellent work, I must say! Thanks very much!

Trey said...

Thanks, guys!

@EPW - Glad you liked it. :)

city said...

thanks for share.