Khâzad–Ankor

From Anstepedia


Khâzad-Ankor
Flag of The Dwarven Empire Coat of Arms of The Dwarven Empire
(Flag) (Coat of Arms)
Motto: Khazâd ai-mênu! (Khuzdul)
The Dwarves are upon you!(Common)
Anthem: none
Location of The Dwarven Empire
Capital Kâzad-Sigin-tarâg
Largest city Kâzad-Sigin-tarâg
Official languages Khuzdul
Religion Dwarf Pantheon
Government
High King
Monarchy
Glalin Longbeard
Founded
Founded
Independence from Launcia
Before the First Age
4A 7
Population
 • 4A 11 est.
 •Makeup
 
460,000 ([[List of countries by population|]])
99.96% Dwarves
Currency Kibil (kb) (1 SP)

Overview

The reformation of the Dwarven Empire in FA 7 has reversed the slow decline of the dwarven race with the return of one of Dunkild’s lineage to the throne. Glalin Longbeard, with the help of the Longbeards and the dwarven clans of the Freelands, crushed the occupying Kebeyen Republic's forces and restored the ancient nation of the dwarves. During FA 11, however, the Treaty of Khazd forfeited virtually all of the surface lands except for the ancient claims to the mountains and some surrounding (dwarven) farm villages. The Dwarven Empire is therefore a realm consisting almost exclusively of large subterranean cities, all linked together through the Underpass.

Table of contents

Government

As the High King has technical authority over all of the mountain halls, but rarely involves himself beyond his own, the government is best described, in practical terms, as a feudal monarchy (although the High King assumes authority over every dwarf on Calenndor). The great dwarven clans, who each have their own hall that runs deep underground into the mountains, are semi-autonomous cities ruled by kings. Clan Longbeard, however, is ruled by the High King who has authority over the whole empire. The thanes, or eldest of the noble dwarven families, and the priests of Dunkild act as courts of advisors to their kings. The High King generally only uses his absolute authority in times of war, whereas in times of peace the kings and their courts enjoy almost complete autonomy.

Law

The dwarven legal structure is very conservative, and follows the law code given to the kings of old by Dunkild himself. His priests are usually the ones to hear disputes, with the more important ones being heard by kings or thanes. The principles of dwarven law lie in compensation by the wrongdoer to the victim, harsh punishment of thieves, murderers, and traitors, and finally, having a wrongdoer return to the old ways, the path of Dunkild. Capital punishment is reserved for the worst of murderers or traitors, and may only be ordered by a king. Exile is the much more common punishment for considerable crimes.

Military

The dwarven clans maintain large, well-equipped armies in their mountain halls, though it is mostly made up of reserve levies. Most male dwarves (and certainly, many females) are ready to fight with less than a day's notice, as they generally all have a complete set of war gear, often passed down from generation to generation. The bulk of the dwarven army is made up of heavy infantry, equipped with finely tempered steel armor and whatever weapons they prefer. The forward regiments of a typical dwarven force are equipped with spears and other polearms to repel cavary, although the hardiness of the dwarves make them particularly resistant against mounted attacks; sheer force of weight is hardly enough to topple a line of dwarves. The mountain folk are ingenious when it comes to siege warfare, on both the attack and the defense. Cannons, ballistas, and catapults are usually brought to their battlefields, where the expert crew put them to proper use. Each time a dwarven hold fields an army, the onlookers cannot help but be mesmerized by their technological prowess.

History

The old dwarven empire was founded some time in the First Age when the dwarven clans, centered in the east of the area later to be known as the Freelands, united under Dunkild Longbeard, who was then king of the clan that still bears his name. It reached its peak of power during the Great War with the elves, but gradually began to decline as waves of greenskin invasions wore down their great halls. Kâzad-Sigin-tarâg was taken by a gigantic army of orcs and ogres who were supported by groups of dark elven mercenaries attacking from underground. The siege lasted over two years, and in the end, Khazgâd the Hammer, High King of the Dwarven Empire, was slain.

It is only through the escape of his infant son, carried away by the Temple Knights and the High Priests, that the line of Dunkild was not ended. The clans thereafter were forced to fight isolated battles against the rest of the greenskin hordes from their holds, with the surface lands of the tattered empire being claimed by Aractha, their former allies. After the fall of Aractha, the lands of the empire were united under various other governments, and the dwarves, without a High King, ruled their realms as autonomous provinces, with the center of power for each being a clan hall.

After the Liberation War, Glalin Longbeard, the eldest direct descendant of the Longbeards, led a large force of dwarves from all over the Freelands to reclaim Kâzad-Sigin-tarâg. The fall of Launcia to the Liberation Army had been a huge blow to the dwarves, and its rekindling of the dwarven fighting spirit was the single most responsible factor in the restoration of the empire. With the ancient capital restored, all dwarven clans pledged their loyalty to the new High King, and the occupying Kebeyens were routed from the same borders that had been drawn in the First Age.

The empire now controlled most of the former Kingdom of Launcia. However, in early 4A 11, the Launcians (who, under the reign of the High King, were effectively autonomous tributary subjects) rebelled against the Dwarves. This exposed the new High King's inability (or disinterest) in asserting control over his surface subjects, as a great many of the dwarves that had lived in Launcia had returned to the restored capital. After negotations with Pope Honorius, the Treaty of Khazd was signed in the early days of 4A 12 which ceded all of the above ground lands of Khazâd-Ankor to the Holy Launcian Empire, save for the ancient mountain domains and surrounding farm villages.

The High King later clarified to his subjects that the Dwarven race, in his opinion (and that of Dunkild), had the sworn duty to defend the old boundaries of the Dwarven Empire against any invaders and that the ancestral claims to the lands themselves were not relinquished.

Dwarves in the Freelands

Launcia