Once, Bormar was simply the name of a small vale in the middle of the mighty Mar mountain range. It was populated by Dwarves, goats and little else. The Dwarves there lived in sundry holdings, scattered across the grey valley, led by their wisest and most respected. They rejoiced in a simple prosperity, revered craftsmanship and respected their Gods. Although life was simply, it was happy.
As the Mar Mountains sat at the heart of the known world, no one could go from north to south, or east to west without first passing through them. At some point, some Dwarves within Bormar had the idea to ask for a toll for those passing through. Traders and travellers would make their way through the mountains, paying the Dwarves on the way, making them very rich as time went on.
The Dwarves saw there was more opportunities to be had, not in hoarding the wealth, but using it. Trading with caravans that were passing through and then selling those goods on to other caravans from elsewhere, the Dwarves of Bormar slowly made their profit. The keeps overlooking the passes became gatehouses and then hubs of trade, where a caravan from the north could buy goods from the south, without having to go through the laborious journey across the mountains.
Those settlements in the Bormar valley all soon realised the prosperity this new way could bring and so they founded their own keeps and conducted their own trade. Combining their strength was the next natural step, which they did and shortly afterwards formed the First House to server as a council among all of Bormar, to ensure no hold or community would be left without its share. Bormar slowly stopped becoming the name of a small valley and instead, the name of a mighty nation.
In its earliest days, Bormar was led by its elders, known as yanka. These sage-elders used to command the loyalties of entire holds, but have long-since been displaced as ruling powers by the Lords and Ladies of Bormar. However, to this day, Dwarves will give credence and authority to one respected, trusted member of a community. These Dwarves, still referred to as yanka, are not necessarily all old, but have proven their competence in one way or another.
These elders hold no official power and typically their authority only comes to play in times when a community needs arbitration or leadership, though their counsel is often sought from younger Dwarves when faced with a dilemma or an important decision.
The Dwarves of Bormar have long revered a large pantheon of Gods, but to the surprise of many foreigners, all this seems to have little impact on day-to-day life.
Spirituality is less of an organised, codified religion as it is in some places and more a large collection of superstitions. These practices are nearly all performed not out of a sense of piety, but to please a given God, or ward off their displeasure and thus be lucky. Conversely, some acts are avoided out of a belief that they offend the God in question and are thus unlucky.
The lists of these various lucky and unlucky acts vary from region to region and in day-to-day practices, but the list of Gods themselves remain consistent across Bormar.
Thus, with 'religion' being highly specific to the Dwarf in question, such things as the meaning of life, the origin of the world or what happens to a Dwarf upon death are usually debates found in the more scholarly meeting halls.
Bormar stories state that the Gods only reveal their true names to their most devoted; in practice they are nearly always referred to by their sphere of interest; the Ruling God, the Cooking God, etc. The Gods are all associated with an activity or a craft, not materials or mere 'things'. Whilst 'God' is the used term for deities in Bormar, it is important to remember that not all of them are male.
Religious fervour is exceedingly rare in Bormar, but not unheard of. They are mostly seen as a bit quirky or odd by other Dwarves. Typically, religious-minded Dwarves tend to form groups for solidarity. The most powerful of these sometimes pool their resources into pursuing some goal and encouraging the rest of their people to pay greater heed to the Gods. Groups willing to pursue their agendas with forceful means are mercifully rare. Such groups, such as the insular Pure Ones, the terrifying Children Of The Warring God and the mystic Others, are usually spoken of as entertaining historical trivia, rather than with reverence, fear or loathing. Were it not for their popularity as the antagonists of action novels, it is likely the average Bormar Dwarf would not even know of their existence.
Still, it would be incorrect to say that the Bormar do not care about their Gods, or matters of spirituality. Indeed, a certain sense of fidelity to the Gods is seen as a virtue in Bormar, and conversely, indifference to them is seen as shameful. It is simply that they take a much more mundane view of it than most other cultures and nations - the lives of the Gods do not revolve around mortals, and the lives of mortals do not revolve around the Gods.
With this more mundane view on religion, other religions are not considered as being fake, or mutually exclusive with other religions. A Bormar Dwarf visiting Maele might join in prayer with the surrounding Humans out of respect for their hosts and their deity and see no contradiction or 'disloyalty' on their part.
- Koreggi Mountains - south part of Bormar
- Galita Bluffs
- Ereben - unofficial capital city
- 0 AC (50 Bormar Calendar) - The Aerin Calendar is adopted.
- 396 AC - Attempted coup by The Children Of The Warring God.
- 804 - Present Day.
Bormar is predominantly populated by Dwarves, though in some towns the occasional Human may take residence. Grol traders are seldom seen, but not unheard of. Whilst these inhabitants do not face any sort of discrimination, they frequently find themselves not integrating fully into the communal atmosphere of Bormar.