|Ruler||The First House|
|Demonym||Dwarven, Bormar, Bormarian|
Bormar is a Dwarven nation of skilled craftsmen, rich nobles, hard workers, endless trade, thriving industry, and immeasurable wealth. It is a culture that strives for excellence in one's pursuits, particularly those which result in great monetary reward as it is wealth and ability that confers power in Bormar.
While neighboring nations scoff at the mountain realm, calling it corrupt and other less-polite terms, they do so in private, for it is unwise to risk the ire of the Dwarves of the Mar Mountains. All of the world’s wealth passes through its sundry holdings at one point or another, and it is nearly impossible to avoid its might and influence. For this is Bormar, the epicenter of civilization; the beating heart of the world; the incomparable nation of the Dwarven people.
History[edit | edit source]
Once, Bormar was simply the name of a small vale in the middle of the mighty Mar Mountains. It was populated by hard-working Dwarves, bleating Mar Goats, and little else. The Dwarves lived in sundry holdings, scattered across the gray valley, led by their wisest and most respected elders. They rejoiced in simple prosperity, revering craftsmanship and respecting their many Gods. Although life was simple, it was happy.
With the Mar Mountains sitting at the heart of the known world, no one could go from North to South or East to West without first passing through them, often causing great disruption to the peaceful lives of the mountain Dwarves. Eventually, some of them decided to make the most of these circumstances and began tolling travelers passing through their holdings, becoming the first Dwarven Passkeepers. The territory of the Dwarves was far safer than the rest of the Mar Mountains, and traders and travelers happily paid the fee for safe passage. Over time, the wealth gained from this scheme allowed the Dwarves to expand into other valleys and across the mountain range, earning even greater wealth from their tolls and tariffs.
Soon the Dwarves saw that there were even 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 increased their profits exponentially. Their humble villages became bustling trade hubs, and their wooden holds became great stone keeps, creating a vast network of secure trade routes where a caravan from the North could buy goods from the South without having to make the journey.
The vast array of Dwarven settlements soon realized that this prosperity could only be maintained through stability. Combining their strength was the next natural step, and the resulting decades of unification led to the formation of a united Bormar where no hold or community was left without its share. From its humble beginning as the name of a small valley, Bormar became the name of a mighty nation.
Culture[edit | edit source]
While Bormar is an incredibly diverse land, there are five core values of the Dwarven people that are near-universally accepted.
Kinship[edit | edit source]
The world is a dangerous place and, in times of hardship, Dwarves owe a certain level of loyalty to one another. In times of threat, Dwarves are usually expected to fight alongside one another and recognize the value of every Dwarven life in need, regardless of wealth or social standing. This is usually prevalent in far-flung settlements, where the local Dwarven population is vastly outnumbered by other races or threatened by local wildlife or the environment itself.
Communal Ties[edit | edit source]
In ancient times, Dwarves were born into small, insular communities known as clans. In more recent times, Dwarves are now born into holdings, towns, or villages that are but a small part of a greater Dwarven nation. When asking a Dwarf where they hail from, most will answer ‘Bormar’, but will often follow this by then stating the name of their holding or village.
While Dwarves lead their own lives, there is an expectation to act in the common interest, or for the greater good. The grouchiest Dwarf in the largest city can usually be expected to make some effort to contribute for the sake of the greater community, even if this may still be for personal benefit.
Wealth Is Pride[edit | edit source]
Individual wealth is the defining trait for selection into the Lords and Ladies of Bormar and is an incredibly important aspect to any Dwarf, and many believe that if their home prospers then everyone will prosper with them. Many rivalries exist between towns and holdings that were once combative in nature, but have now shifted to the economic. While these rivalries are now quite peaceful, they are still incredibly competitive.
Respect For The Elders[edit | edit source]
Whilst they have no true power today, respect for the wisdom of the yanka remains a crucial part of Dwarven society. Many older Dwarves can find themselves in highly respected positions of advising, consulting, or counseling, in many levels of Dwarven society. Even those who do not hold a profession or job based on their age will still receive a high level of respect from the local population. Many yanka are given cognomen, which marks them above the rest.
Honour The Work Of The Hands[edit | edit source]
Dwarves are notorious for devoting themselves to their projects and professions. Belittling or demeaning a project that a Dwarf has embarked upon is considered somewhat taboo within Dwarven culture and an incredibly rude gesture if said by other races. To pursue one’s craft unto perfection is one of the highest ideals a Dwarf can aspire to. Similarly, it is considered very rude to shame a Dwarf for their chosen profession.
Government[edit | edit source]
Main Article: Government of Bormar
In its earliest days, the communities that would eventually form the nation of Bormar were led by their elders, known in Old Dwarven as yankad. These Dwarves of wisdom once held the respect of all, with entire holds deferring to their sage advice. This archaic institution has long been replaced by Bormar’s current system of governance–the Lords and Ladies of Bormar, particularly those within the First House.
To the Dwarves of Bormar, wealth is a sign of ability, a measure used to compare one Dwarf to another in simple terms. It is in this spirit that a Dwarf ascends to nobility, for what makes a noble of Bormar is not their heritage or bloodline, but instead their ability to acquire and produce wealth. While Lords and Ladies are chosen from the wealthiest Dwarf in their community, the First Lords and Ladies of the First House are the wealthiest Dwarves in the entire nation.
Political Subdivisions[edit | edit source]
Regions[edit | edit source]
While not an official subdivision, it is common to see portions of Bormar referenced as distinct political and cultural realms. These regions–sometimes referred to as “holds” or “provinces”'–are typically vague areas that have some common trait that is used to define them. Regions are something that arose out of practicality, allowing a Dwarf to say where they are from without having to deal with endless frustrations of where their out-of-the-way village is located. For example, a Dwarf from Innsburg may simply say that he hails from the Koreggi Mountains, the region where Innsburg is located.
Holdings[edit | edit source]
The nation of Bormar is divided into a great assembly of versatile administrative divisions known as holdings (e.g. The Holding of Garum’s Hall).
A holding is typically composed of a settlement and its immediate surroundings, but this is not always the case. The rights to define and alter the boundaries of a holding belong exclusively to the First House. While most holdings remain of similar size and scope as they did at their creation, it is not unusual for the First House to expand, retract, or even divide a holding to ensure the proper and efficient administration of the nation.
Whatever their size, each holding is overseen by a noble—be they Lord or Lady—who does so until death, resignation, or dismissal by the First House. What separates Bormar from its neighbors is that these nobles do not inherit their title but instead earn it. For what makes a noble of Bormar is not their heritage nor bloodline, but instead, their ability to acquire and produce wealth.
Notable Holdings[edit | edit source]
Outposts[edit | edit source]
Bormar's great appetite has never been fully quenched by its mountainous homeland. It is for these reasons that the First House created the Office of Outpost Affairs (“OOA”) to organize and administer “expeditionary holdings”, known today as Outposts. Today, a vast network of these far-flung colonies dot the world, and each pays its dues to Bormar, propelling its industry and trade further than it ever could if kept within the Mar Mountains.
It is not uncommon for more adventurous Dwarves to take up residency at an Outpost due to the extraordinary opportunities they provide. Some find what they seek, but many others find terrible fates on the fringes of the world. That being said, with great risk comes great reward, and it is not at all uncommon to find a Dwarf entering the nobility on the riches they earned during their adventures at an Outpost.
Notable Outposts[edit | edit source]
Military[edit | edit source]
The Molir[edit | edit source]
Every holding has, to varying extents, a militia, commonly known in Old Dwarven as the molir. These militias are commanded–and financed–by the holding's Lord or Lady. Typically, the molir is made of local Dwarves-At-Arms and volunteers who undergo training to defend their holding in times of necessity. In most holdings, the militia is synonymous with law enforcement, watching for thieves, guarding prisons, and investigating crimes.
A central principle of the molir is they are forbidden to operate outside the borders of their holding. There is however a sole exception in that the First House can demand the services of a holding’s molir to face greater threats. These groups of Dwarven warriors–sometimes referred to as armies or legions–are, at the end of the day, an assembly of multiple molir under the united command of the First House. While this is extremely uncommon nowadays, every Lord and Lady is expected to keep their holding’s molir fit for duty in case they are called to serve their nation.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
The design for Bormar's banner, for those who want to fly the colors in game.