Splinters of Praetoria - Kingdom of Grimbardun
Welcome to the immersive lore of the Splinterlands. In this series of articles, we present a comprehensive exploration of the major splinters of Praetoria. Each week, you’ll learn about a new splinter: its governance, economy, races, religions, culture, and more. Gain a deeper understanding of the Splinterlands and the splinters that shape it so the next time you see Eternan Brune or an Imperial Knight on the battlefield, you’ll know exactly what you’re up against.
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Kingdom of Grimbardun
"By forge, stone, and stout."
Carved into the imposing heart of the Central Fire’s northern Agniavas, the Kingdom of Grimbardun is an absolute monarchy ruled by the royal clan of Grimbard and its High King or Queen, who exercise ultimate authority over all matters of governance. Steeped in tradition and valor, the royal clan can trace its lineage to the kingdom’s founding and its first High King.
The other clans, which pride themselves on their rich history and lineage, are led by formidable Thanes.
The edicts of the High King or Queen are rarely challenged, yet their rule is not without wisdom and respect for tradition. To temper their own ambitions and ensure their decrees are judiciously considered, they call upon the Council of Elders, drawn from among the most respected dwarves in the kingdom and appointed by the monarch based on merit and wisdom. While some hold the title of Thane within their respective clans, most are acclaimed for their sagacity rather than bloodline. The High King or Queen seldom contradicts the collective counsel of this venerable assembly.
Deep within the Agniavas, the dwarves of Grimbardun toil in their mines, extracting gold, silver, gemstones, and other minerals from veins found deep beneath Praetoria’s surface. Yet these raw materials are not what define Grimbardun's commerce. Lit by the amber glow and the scorching heat of their foundries, skilled smiths convert ore into ornate armaments, statues, coins, and more. Their distinctive dwarven armor, layered and elaborate, as well as their expertly balanced weapons, are treasured by warriors far beyond Grimbardun’s borders.
Alongside metalwork, Grimbardun's artisans are celebrated masons who sculpt the very mountain into architectural wonders. From towering statues of renowned ancestors to intricately carved reliefs that tell tales of yore, every stone sings a song of dwarven pride.
The kingdom's under-mountain agriculture yields special fungi and mosses, which the dwarves use to craft ales, stouts, and other potent spirits. Many consider these beverages to be the best of their kind found throughout Praetoria, and they have become a sought-after delicacy in neighboring sovereignties, often exchanged for goods that the mountain cannot provide.
Bound by their shared heritage and a dedication to craft and home, Grimbardun's citizenry is composed exclusively of mountain dwarves. Outsiders rarely pierce the fortress-like confines of the kingdom's mountain halls and are only granted passage by the express invitation of the High King or Queen.
Most of Grimbardun’s mountain dwarves worship Thedan, God of Mountains and Crafting.
The Kingdom of Grimbardun stands as a bulwark of tradition and steadfastness. Its halls resound with the rhythmic hammering of dwarven craft, while its citizens embody the unyielding strength of the mountain.
The kingdom’s halls are a testament to the prowess of dwarven architects. Cavernous chambers are supported by massive pillars carved with tales of battles, discoveries, and significant occasions from the dwarves’ storied past. The melding of functionality and intricate design—with every brick and boulder serving both purpose and aesthetics—exemplifies Grimbardun’s philosophy of blending form with function.
History is generally passed down orally through songs and sagas, and deep drums and stringed dulcimers accompany bards who recount these tales of old. Dance is another cherished art form, with rhythmic stomps and steps that mimic work at the forge.
The palate of Grimbardun is one of rich, hearty flavors. Root vegetables and mountain herbs combine with cave-grown fungi and subterranean fish to flavor savory stews and roasts. Yet, it’s their bread and myriad of ales and spirits that make a Grimbardun feast.
The kingdom’s dwarves relish contests of skill and strength. The forge sprint is a favorite, with smiths racing against time to create the perfect armor plate or weapon from scratch. Wrestling is also a popular sport, as are gem hunts, during which teams are sent into the mines to retrieve a specific, elusive gemstone.
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