Ikarhus (Ilarion Environment)
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The Nine Ways
Community is better than alienation
Courage is better than cowardice
Freedom is better than slavery
Honesty is better than guilt
Honour is better than dishonour
Knowledge is better than ignorence
Realism is better than dogmatism
Vigor is better than lifelessness
Strength is better than weakness
The dwarven nation of Ikarhus is not a true country, as the dwarves see it. They are a mining company. Their lands bypass the borders of many nations. When living and/or working within the borders of a nation dwarves will follow both company law and that nation's laws.
They built and live on top of mountains by carving flat or terraced expanses into the peaks. The layout of each city is standardized (unless the city is older than the company), changing only due to topography. Dwarves enjoy consistency and place a high value on order.
Dwarves live by the nine ways set down by Great Foreman Grimmwalk. Community is very important. They believe that in order for the community to be prosperous and successful, each member must be as well.
- 1 Geography
- 2 Cities
- 3 Government
- 4 Military
- 5 Law
- 6 History
- 7 Society
- 8 Clothing
- 9 Commerce
- 10 Traits
- 11 Gear
Dwarves describe useless things as “shale” (A barrel of spoiled fruit would be referred to as a ‘shale’s bunch’). Poor things (ranging from weather to business conditions) as “copper,” average things as “silver and gold,” and exceptional things as “platinum.”
Dwarves descend from earth elementals when they die instead of rotting their bodies turn to stone. Even when put to the pyre dwarves turn to stone rather than ash.
The Dwarves of Ilarion mine deep within the mountains, but their settlements are perched on the peaks. They do not worship the gods; the gods have no time for them and they've no time for the gods.
Dried sliced citrus strung on ribbons with herbs, cinnamon, or tied to wreaths. clear blown glass orbs with gold dust trapped inside. white ribbons tied to pinecones and small branches hung from doors small presents left in shoes giving a page of sheet music as a way of courting Dwarves sing a lot; mining songs, drinking songs, wedding songs, festival songs, etc. a fondness for candlelight and decorating with nature. hanging tin pots filled with water for cut flowers and twigs.
In time a pebble will grow into a boulder.
The Wolf Peaks
The Wolf Peaks form the eastern border between Aylea and Crisania. While both nations lay claim to them their true masters are the Dwarves.
Each dwarven city made after the founding of the company follows a strict pattern. The main office is built no less a hundred feet from the entrance to the main shaft. Across a wide street (two ore carts cam pass each other with room to spare) is an acre of empty flat land. It is used as the community needs it; crops, common grazing, festival grounds. The commons, company provided housing, starts next to the field. A step well is dug on the other side. The company store is next to the main office. After that is an alehouse, a bathhouse, a clinic, a forge, and a library.
Ikarhus has a standing army of X,000 soldiers – mostly infantry – and a reserve pool nearing X,000 persons in times of emergencies.
Ikarhian Law defines property, contracts, and crimes.
Minor legal disputes are settled on a day-to-day basis by elected officials (called the committee); each case is assigned between one and three of them. Major crimes are judged by the foreman. The dwarven legal system is based on compensation rather than revenge.
Crimes and Punishments
Assault: Includes kidnapping, and unlawful detainment and is punished by fines.
False testimony: Fines and Public flogging. Lying about another member of the community is a very serious crime, one that sows unrest and disorder.
Millitary treason or desertion: Includes desertion of duties, assisting enemies, or causing rebellion in the army and is punished by hanging.
Murder: Fines. no distinction is made between intentional murder and manslaughter. Murder by carelessness is still murder.
Corporal infamy: Includes rape, incest, and child abuse and is punished by throwing the condemned off a cliff.
Unlawful use of magic or use of arcane magic: Fines
Execution:The death penalty is reserved for two kinds of capital offenses: military treason or desertion, and rape (often called Corporal infamy).
Fines: Weregild is a value placed on every being and piece of property. If a person or property is stolen, damaged, destroyed its weregild must be paid to the victim's family or to the owner of the property. The basic price of a person's weregild is one hundred pieces of ten, an animal is worth it's remaining production value (i.e. a pig set for slaughter is worth the value of its meat, a five-year-old goat used for milk and cheese production is worth is annual income times ten as goats live an average of fifteen years), and an object is valued as new (the cost of replacing it). A person working for the company is worth double (half is paid for damages to the community), unless they work the mines then they are worth four times as much. The foreman is worth six times, and elected officials are worth three times as much. A mother with young children is worth triple and children are worth ten times.
Outlawry: The most extreme punishment for crimes considered irredeemable is outlawry; the guilty party is beyond the protection of the law.
Public flogging: Carried out with a leather strap, the accused is stripped to the waist and struck thirty-nine times (forty is the official count but as it is not to be exceeded one less is used in case of miscounting).
All Dwarves are Free Men. Slavery is illegal in Ikarhus. In countries that practice slavery the Ikarhus Mining Company is said to own all dwarves. They will sue for the return of their stolen 'property,'.
In the distant past, the dwarves were organized in unaligned clans and ruled by the clan's elders. Everything was done in the name of the elders and for the benefit of the elders. Anyone that displeased the elders was cast out and had to make their own way in the world. Boris Grimmwalk (grim vahlk) was the grandson of one such outcast. He grew up on the outskirts of a human city, where his family ran a forge. Taking what little gold he had Boris Grimmwalk bought a depleted mine from a human. The Great Ikarhus Mining Company was born.
He began expanding the mine and digging deeper. It was not long before he hit a vein. He hired other outcasts and the children of outcasts to work the mine with him. Soon he bought another mine and another. Eventually, he was able to buy a mine from a Dwarven elder that had run his clan to ruin. Grimmwalk hired his clan on as workers. Helga Brandtroth quickly suggested a way to employ the womenfolk, who in this clan were not allowed in the mines. They would act as support staff for the miners and forge workers; making clothes, food, and other necessary supplies. The Company store was a great success.
Grimmwalk soon married Helga.
The Great Foreman.
-916 300 BC – First simple transmission gears created by Archimedes.
-516 300 AD – Introduction of sand glass clocks.
69 885 – Candles with time markings introduced to medieval Europe.
276 1092 – First mechanical water clock created by Chinese innovator Su Sung.
310 1368 – First mechanical clock makers appeared in England.
430 1490 – Locksmith Peter Hele invented the first mainspring in Nurnburg.
c. 440 Early 1500s – Appearance of first small domestic (table) clocks.
449 1510 – First mechanical watch created in German cities of Nuremberg by Peter Henlein. These models were either fastened to belts or carried around the neck and they measured only the passage of hours.
469 1530 – The oldest surviving mechanical clock.
479 1540 – Screws became used for clocks, enabling much smaller designs that kept time much better than first models.
480 1541 – First public tower clock fixed on one of the towers in Hampton Court Palace, England.
516 1577 - Jost Burgi invented the minute hand, even though 16th-century clocks were very inaccurate.
520 1581 – Italian astronomer and physicist Galileo discovered the properties of the pendulum.
526 1587 – Geneva became home to the thriving watchmaking industry.
549 1610 – Introduction of protection glass on watches. This finally enabled reliable protection of time dials on the portable small watches.
574 1635 – French inventor and clockmaker Paul Viet of Blois introduced first enamel dials.
596 1657 – Famous Dutch physicist Christiaan Huygens created the first pendulum controlled clock.
Mannerisms and Customs
Gender, Marriage, and Family
If a man wishes to marry he must first ask his intended's father for permission. The father then takes the lad's measure by setting him a few tasks. If they are completed to the father's satisfaction he gives his permission for the lad to ask his daughter for her hand. If she accepts the couple wears matching silver bands on their left thumbs.
The night before the wedding, the bride and groom, their friends, family, and neighbors will assemble in the house they will live in (usually with the groom's family but not always) and smash clay and porcelain dishes and pots to bits. This is to scare off any aberrations that may be drawn to the dwelling. It is said to also bring good luck to the bride and groom. It is important to note that only clay and porcelain are used, never glass; breaking glass is considered to be bad luck. Once the smashing is over, the bride and groom work together to clear away the shards, which represents how well they will work together as a team during their marriage. This symbolizes that while some dishes may break, the marriage never will.
After that, the bride goes off with an older, married woman who washes and dries her feet. It is meant to bring good fortune and a lasting marriage.
An elected official performs the ceremony, usually on the steps of the main office (it is held in the lobby if weather dictates, or may be held in the town center). The father of the bride tosses coins (which are collected by local children) behind the couple as they make their way up to the official, to bring them prosperity. The official (or occasionally family members) wrap a series of brightly colored cords around the couple's hands while reciting the virtues that they represent and wishing the couple an abundance of them. The couple then wears matching gold bands on their right thumbs.
Women can, and often do, hold property independent of their fathers and husbands. As the tie between married women and their own families is kept intact couples can easily divorce or separate. Extramarital affairs are legal and not uncommon for both parties, but it is considered rude if they occur before the couples first child is born.There is no legal distinction between legitimate and illegitimate children.
Women and girls wear a dress called a dirndl. It consists of a bodice, a blouse, a full skirt (generally a light circular cut, gathered at the waist, that falls below the knee) and an apron (often in a contrasting color). In the winter heavy, warm skirts and aprons made of thick cotton, linen, velvet or wool are worn, the blouse is high collared and long sleeved. The colors are usually rich and dark. In the summer the dirndl is lighter and more revealing. The blouse is short sleeved and generally made of either lightweight cotton or lace, thou some chose to forgo it all together.
Accessories vary by region and may include a wool shawl, vibrantly colored, hand-printed silk scarfs, necklaces, earrings, and brooches made of silver, the antlers of deer or even animals' teeth. For colder weather, there are also heavy coats in the same cut as the dresses, with a high neck and front buttons, thick mittens, and wool hats.
For festive occasions, the dirndl is often embroidered and worn with elaborate hats. Additional accessories like plaited lace, ribbons, trims are also common.
Men and boys wear lederhosen (leather breeches) that are knee length and feature suspenders and front flaps. They are worn with shirts and sweaters made of coarse linen or wool. Wool stockings, stiff-soled leather shoes, jackets, and hats are often worn as well.
Hair and beards are usually braided. Women will put their hair up in complex plaits, while girls styles are much simpler. Men and boys will braid their hair and beards into one or two thick braids and secure them with either a leather cord or a decorative metal clasp.
In the mines long leather trousers are worn tucked into durable boots. A leather jacket is often worn over a coarse linen tunic. Accessories are never worn, clothes are not adorned with embroidery or otherwise embellished, and hair is tucked away inside shirts and mining helmets.
Illness, Death and the Pyre
Sickness and Medicine
With the exception of mustard for sausages, dwarven dishes are rarely hot and spicy.
Dairy products: Milk, butter, cream, and cheese from cows, goats, and sheep.
Herbs and spices: mustard, parsley, thyme, laurel, chives, black pepper (used in small amounts), juniper berries, nutmeg, and caraway. Cardamom, anise seed, vanilla, and cinnamon are often used in sweet cakes, beverages, or sometimes in the preparation of sausages. Fresh dill is very common in a green salad or fish fillet. Garlic has long frowned upon for causing bad breath and is therefore not often used in dwarven cooking.
Grains: Wheat, rye, barley, spelt, oats, millet, corn and rice.
Legumes: Green beans, chickpeas, beans, and lentils.
Vegetables: Carrots, cucumber, onions, turnips, mushrooms, peas, broccoli, and potatoes. Asparagus, white asparagus,
Fruits: Apples, plums, strawberries, and cherries, black and red currants, raspberries, rhubarb, gooseberry, Pumpkin, pears, grapes, apricots
Nuts: Sunflower seeds, sesame, linseed, pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, walnuts, and almonds.
Greens: spinach, many types of cabbage
Dressings and sauces: Mustard is a very common accompaniment to sausages and can vary in strength. It is occasionally served with pot roast or X as well. Horseradish is commonly used as a condiment either on its own served as a paste, mixed with cream, or combined with mustard. In some regions, it is used with meats and sausages where mustard would otherwise be used. A vanilla sauce often accompanies desserts in place of cream, milk, or whipped cream.
Breakfast may be elaborate and extended on rest days, with friends invited as guests; the same holds for coffee and cake, especially in cafés.
Thick noodles, made from wheat flour and egg and sometimes stuffed, are a common side dish. Meat is usually braised or pan-fried. A vinegar or wine vinegar mixture if often used to marinate tough cuts of beef, horse meat, or venison. Pork, sheep or lamb intestines are used as casings for sausages. Dwarves make more than 1,500 different types of sausage. Cold cuts are also popular.
There are as many types of bread (both loaf and roll form) as there are types of sausage. Various sourdough breads, potato bread, pumpernickel, and rye are among the most popular.
Vegetables are more often used in stews or vegetable soups but are also served as side dishes. Asparagus, especially white asparagus, is a common side dish or may be prepared as a main dish.
Potatoes are most often boiled in salt water and served whole, but mashed and pan-roasted are also common. Dumplings and potato noodles (similar to gnocchi) are often added to soups. Fried onions are a common addition to many meat dishes throughout the country.
Open sandwiches or different kinds of sausages, either sliced or in a roll, served with a slice of cheese, a pickle, and mustard and/or horseradish.
Spirits are made from malt (wheat, rye or barley), or distilled from apples and pears, plums, or cherries, and are mostly brewed at Alehouses.
Coffee is also very common, not only for breakfast but also accompanying a piece of cake in the afternoon. Whole beans are added to a double boiler pot with eight parts water to every three parts bean. The coffee takes an hour to make, as long as the beans are in a single layer. The finished product is smooth and neither bitter nor sour. It is then poured into a kraft to keep warm throughout the meal. Nothing is added to coffee (except beer or spirits in the evening). Tea is made the same way but adding cream, milk, honey, or rock candy is acceptable, making it more palitable to children.
Imports: Textiles, silk, chocolate, fruit juice, cocoa beans, tobacco, furniture, toy animals, glass mirrors, glazed ceramics, pasta, cane sugar, rice, pepper, cheese, eggs, corn, wheat, seed oils.
Exports: Ore of all sorts, metal ingots, metal goods, beer, ale, wine, spirits, salt, peat, clays, sulfur, sausages, wool, wool blankets, wool cloaks, barley, tea, potatoes, hops, glass bottles, jewelry, gemstones, precious stones, pig meat, pigs, offal, butter,
Currency: Dwarven coins are bullion. Each coin is triangular in shape and makes up a larger coin; therefore each triangle is called a piece of however many it takes to form the whole (a piece of six, a piece of eight, a piece of ten, a piece of twelve). In the mining camps, workers are paid in "cups" anytime they spend more than a week in the mine (they will receive their regular pay once they return to the surface). Novice miners receive seven cups a day. Each round struck lead or iron coin can be exchanged at the company store for a shot of strong coffee or a mug of weak beer; three for a meal. All other goods bought or sold at the company store are done at a comparative value.
Taxation: There are no 'taxes' as such in Ikarhus. Most individuals work for the company and are therefore paid by the company, it would make no sense to demand a portion of this pay be returned. Those that run their own businesses do so on company land and pay rent for its use.
The following are regional traits for Ikahrus:
The following is a list of gear commonly available in Aylea: