Dwarves and Orcs
Clans of Alba
The chief unit of dwarven society is the clan, and dwarves highly value social standing. Even dwarves who live far from their own kingdoms cherish their clan identities and affiliations. Dwarves cherish their clan identities and affiliations, recognize related dwarves, and invoke their ancestors names in oaths and curses. To be clanless is the worst fate that can befall a dwarf. Many clans trace their origins and family holdings to Fortriu and Dal Riata. Some large and old clans were once kingdoms in their own right after the fall of Odygia.
The Clans rule their respective holdings and are the basic political unit of Alba. A minor clan may consist of a single extended family, their lands, and a fortified manor. Minor clans are governed by a Chieftain.
A major clan will consist of extensive holdings, with liege-families, standing armies, cities carved in to mountains, and enough wealth to maintain representation in the King’s court, and wield political clout. The major clans are ruled by a “Mormaer.” A large liege-family of a Major Clan holding a manor house will hold the title “Laird.”
The High King claims fealty from the Clan Chieftains and Mormaers, the Mormaers claim fealty from their Lairds. The Mountain Dwarves divide dwarves into “High Clans” in the east (i.e. Mountain Dwarves) and “Low Clans” in the west (i.e. Hill Dwarves).
In Alba, clans are proud and powerful, commanding military forces in their own right. When Orcs attack, clans are usually left to defend themselves and their holdings. The common dwarf turns to the clan for safety, and offers them their alliegiance. The High King claims the right to resolve and administer conflicts between clans—this is what Thanes are usually used for on a regional basis—however, conflicts involving major Clans must be carefully managed, and may be brought directly to the attention of the king as needed.
Major High Clans (Governed by Mormaers)
Other Clans (Also Governed by a Mormaer)
- Dun Barra (Hill Dwarfs)
- Gallaibh (the “Black Clan”)