Hammerheim

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Dwarven Pantheon
Hammerheim.jpg
Deities see below
Domains see below
Races Dwarves
Classes Any
Alignments Any
Holy Days Traditional
Place of Worship Anywhere
Holy Symbol see below
Priest Merribald Brightgem
Major Temple The Hall of Gems (Dwarrowdelf)

Dwarves are a practical folk. Their lives are spent seeking, for the most part, riches from the earth, camaraderie in battle and in the beer halls, and an inner peace found only in the solace of the last pipe of the evening. As such, early dwarves did not worship gods in the same way as the elves and humans. The elves found contentment from the many aspects of nature they found holy, and the humans whose superstitious nature generated hundreds of gods for every possible occasion worshipped power in all its forms. In the early days of Moradin when the first of the great dwarven halls were being built under the mountains, the Dwarven Histories make no mention of any temples or ceremonies whatsoever. While it is possible that the books and carvings of early Dwarven religion have been lost, scholars generally hold that the discovery of Hammerheim was tied to the blind, dwarven maiden Gretchen Chancesight in the First Age.

Today, large dwarven temples are rare - although each of the major dwarven cities have one stone building dedicated to Hammerheim and the ten dwarven heroes. These temples are fashioned around a large central room with thirteen niches - ten filled with wondrous statues and three waiting to be filled. Dwarven clerics and faithful may call to a particular hero to hear their prayers, but it is uncommon for the dwarves to gather for formal ceremonies. Instead, a fighter will invoke the name of the Warrior in battle, or a dwarven jeweler will invoke the Gemsmith before cutting a large stone. These temples act more as place of learning and instruction for acolytes training in their craft.

Some dwarves follow other deities - most notably the Druids and Rangers of Oakentree. But, all dwarves offer thanks to the Ten, and even the Lost Dwarves follow the old ways of Hammerheim.

The Legend of Hammerheim

Blind since birth, Gretchen was, on occasion, able to induce visions in those that she touched. Visiting Gretchen one morning, Moradin was struck by a startling dream of a great hall, more magnificent than could be made by any number of dwarves toiling away for any number of centuries. The intricate carvings and runes glowed with the light of a thousand hearth fires and the feasting table which stretched the entire length of the hall could seat a thousand dwarven warriors. Wandering the hall in his dream, Moradin came across a single dwarf sitting at the far end of the great table eating from a plate heaped with roasted meat and drinking from a great horn filled with beer. Dressed in plate mail of an intricate and alien design, a rune-carved axe resting against his chair, the dwarf looked up as Moradin approached. “Who are you and what is this place?” Moradin asked.

Smiling, obviously bemused, the stranger spoke in a dwarven dialect foreign to Moradin’s ear. “This place is Hammerheim, the victory hall of the greatest dwarven heroes,” the stranger replied.

“Why is it empty?” Moradin asked. “Hammerheim is for you and your descendants to fill with your victories and glory. Soon, this hall will resound with the merriment of a never-ending feast and the tales of the brave will fill the air.”

Moradin looked around, noticing thirteen massive niches in the walls. Under each was a unengraved plaque. The great ceiling overhead was filled with stalactites glowing with every color imaginable. The table appeared at first new, unmarred by tankard and trencher, but its wood also radiated an aura of impossibly ancient power. Confused, Moradin looked up.

“And who are you?” Moradin asked. The stranger smiled. “I am just an avatar, a visitor for now. My task here is done. You have been welcomed into Hammerheim, Moradin, who will be called the Forger. Go forth and bring honor to all dwarves. We will meet here again, some day. That I promise you.” With that, Moradin awoke, the vision and the dwarven path clear in his mind.

The vision of Chancesight has manifested itself several times over the following centuries, always in the blind eyes of a young female dwarf. These instances, now well documented, sometimes yield visions of Hammerheim, its banquet hall slowly filling with notable dwarven warriors. In each vision, a great feast is underway with Moradin sitting at one end of the table, the far end empty. The gift of Chancesight has always held great portent with the dwarves. Pilgrim dwarves from around the Realm travel to the gifted girl seeking visions of their husbands, sons and brothers. Each hopes to see their loved ones in the hallowed hall of Hammerheim.

The spirits of hundreds of dwarven heroes now fill the ancient hall of Hammerheim. Of the thirteen niches carved into the cavernous walls of Hammerheim, ten are now occupied. It is rumored that the last will be filled when the dwarves have driven their mortal enemies, the orcs and goblins, from all the mountains of the world. Others believe that destiny will be fulfilled when the greatest gems and minerals have been mined and turned into masterpieces by dwarven artisans. Under each of the Ten is carved a rune of power, and these mythical figures have drawn significant numbers of followers and priests in the mortal realm. By the early Second Age, dwarven clerics discovered a means to tap into the power of the heroes of Hammerheim using mithril amulets engraved with Hammerheim runes.

The Dwarven Pantheon

Angmar Deepstone, also known as the Miner. In his mortal life Angmar is credited with the creation of the dwarven mining techniques, and, in fact, his mark can be found in the earliest passageways in Hurlstone. Named the first Master of Mines by Moradin during the initial construction of the dwarven halls, the teachings of Angmar are still used by masters instructing their apprentices in basic dwarven construction principles. Angmar’s name is invoked whenever entering a mine, both for luck and for safety.

Balin, also known as the Mason, was one of Moradin’s son who led a great First Age dwarven migration. Said to have possessed a great axe that cut stone like butter, Balin’s mark is found throughout the Realm. Balin’s name is invoked by stonecutters entering the quarry to cut stones, sculptors making the first cut into a fresh stone and builders when laying stones into their works.

Calin, also known as the Blacksmith, was the youngest of Moradin’s son. A rebel who bred malcontent within the dwarven nation, he was the last of the sons to migrate. While his leaving was bittersweet, the axes and armor that come from Calin’s ancestors are sought throughout the Realm. The finest forge fires are called Calinsfire. Calin’s name is invoked by all artisans of metal before creating an axe or suit of mail.

Clanggedin Silverbeard, also known as the Warrior, the Master of Axes, and the Father of Battle. In his mortal life, Clanggedin was a great First Age general who successfully defeated the orcs at twelve battles during the earliest conflicts with their mortal enemies. More importantly, he documented his tactics in the classic Dwarven Battle Tactics and Strategems. This work covers the every facet of dwarven warfare from basic training of dwarven troops, military organization to field tactics for defeating overwhelming horde armies. The most copied tome in dwarven history, it can be found throughout the Realm. Warriors invoke Father Silverbeard’s name before battle, and his name appears in dozens of dwarven curses.

Dugmanen Brightmantle, also known as the Caretaker, Wise One, Keeper of Secrets, Warden, or Steward. Dugmanen is credited with the creation of the great wall of dwarven history in Durinshold. As the first dwarven historian, Brightmantle establish a college of students to carry on his work. Carved into the pillars and walls of the great halls, only the smartest dwarven scholars wear the white and gold mantles of the Caretakers.

Durin, also known as the Gemsmith, was one of Moradin’s son. Durin led one of the great migration of dwarves, establishing his own dwarven kingdom in the First Age. Durin is fabled for his work with gems, both cutting and setting them into masterpiece works. Durin’s name is invoked by miners looking for precious gems in their mines, by dwarven gemcutters before cleaving the first facet of any new stone, and by jewelers before setting gems into their wares.

Gildrith the Great, also known as the Brewer, Mistress of the Hall. The only female in the pantheon, Gildrith is thought by some to be Moradin’s wife, although there is no conclusive evidence to prove or disprove this connection. Gildrith is associated with matters of the hall, especially food and drink. Upon the battlefield, Gildrith is rumored to have fed an entire army by herself, and one drink of her legendary brew is thought to make the drinker fearless in battle. Dwarves will oftentimes toast her name before beginning a long night of drinking.

Kalmirn, also known as the Merchant. Kalmirn was a Second Age Dwarf who recognized the vast potential of dwarven artisanship and broke the centuries old tradition of isolationalism with other races. Known for establishing trade pacts with the elves and humans, Kalmirn built a vast network of trading centers throughout the Realm. In the course of his enterprise, he became fabulously wealthy. Using this wealth, he invested in mining and commerce operations throughout the dwarven kingdoms. These efforts proved unnaturally lucky, and it is said that none of Kalmirn’s mines ever failed. In his latter days, Kalmirn was confined to bed. There, surrounded by his followers, he was rumored to have won one thousand consecutive games of dwarven dice. The Merchant’s name is invoked by gamblers and merchants alike, as a means to garner great wealth and luck in games of chance.

Moradin, also known as the Forger. Moradin is the father of all dwarves, the patriarch of all the dwarven clans, and the most powerful figure in the pantheon. His honorific does not denote the forger of metal, rather Moradin is said to have created the dwarven race by forging them from the fires at the center of the world. Dwarven souls entered their bodies when Moradin blew on his creations to cool them. Moradin then sent the dwarves into the Realm to build the mountains and valleys long before the other races set foot upon the land. After their work was finished, Moradin is rumored to have summoned the scattered dwarven clans from all the distant mountains of the Realm. He is said to have fathered four sons and begun construction of the great Dwarven city of Hurlstone. Strangely, his death is not mentioned in the writings of the Dwarven historians. It is clear that Hurlstone was completed by his eldest son, Thorin. Because of the fatherly nature of his existance, Moradin’s name is commonly invoked when matters of family, clan, love or marriage are involved.

Thorin, also known as the Goldsmith, was Moradin’s eldest son and oftentimes credited with the building of Hurlstone, although Balin’s mark is much more common on the great halls of the dwarves. Thorin was the greatest worker of precious metals, and his name is invoked by dwarven artisans throughout the Realm as they begin work on a new masterpiece. Miners often call his name when seeking a vein of gold in their tunnels. Thorin’s masterpiece was a set of magical rings, now long lost.