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Dwarf Noble Clan Banner

A Dwarf Noble Clan banner.

“When the Thanes call to gather the throngs, it is the Clans that answer, for they have bonds stronger than Gromril.”
—Description of the Way of the Clans.[6a]

Dwarfs take their ancestry as seriously as they take their grudges. Each Dwarf belongs to a Clan — a group of Dwarfs who can trace their descent to a common point, such as a shared ancestor or one of the earliest strongholds established in halcyon ancient days. When the original clans formed, different households came together and swore allegiance to one another, naming their leaders as kings. Many of these same clans continue today, and new ones have branched off after disputes or overcrowding.[1a]

A Dwarf clan typically lives, works and goes to war together. Their clan's history is a source of great pride to Dwarfs, and all individuals can readily trace their lineage back to ancient times. It is in Dwarfs' nature to show extreme reverence to the past, venerating their ancestors and place of origin. Each generation keeps old traditions alive through sagas, elaborately built tombs and the cherished maintenance of relics from elder days. A clan member will also remember any grudges or debts his forefathers may have accrued. A wrong done to a Dwarf is a wrong done to his whole family, an insult not only to the living relatives, but also to his ancestors and as yet unborn descendants. Like heirlooms, grudges are passed down to each generation, and in every Dwarf's heart, there burns a fiery thirst to avenge ancient wrongs.[1a]

Most Dwarfs practice a trade, but as war is common, each clan readily forms into one or more regiments, ready for battle. Thus, though they might be gem-cutters, stonemasons or miners, when enemies arise, they don heavy mail and take up weapons. It is customary for members of such regiments to display colours and symbols from their clan and/or stronghold — not a uniform, as such, but rather a reflection of the pride those individuals take in their common bond. After thousands of years of warfare, many clans have been wiped out or driven far from their homelands, their original holds lost or destroyed. In this way, surviving strongholds now house not just their founders, but also Dwarfs from many different clans. These displaced clans pledge fealty to a new king, swearing oaths to fight for their adopted stronghold. However, no matter where a clan re-settles, or how long they remain with a new hold, they maintain a strong sense of their unique identity and harbour hopes of one day reclaiming their ancestral homes.[1a]

Clan Hierarchy

Not all clans are considered equal. The lowest ranks in Dwarf society are those clans that have been disgraced, such as Clan Growlsh, infamous drinkers who failed in their oath to protect then High King Alrik Deathdealer's daughter. Outcasts are unwelcome in any hold and must make their own way. Some persevere in the wilderness, living rugged lives as prospectors or rangers, others leave the mountains to work in Human realms, but most perish, overcome by ancient foes before they can restore their honour. Ranked above outcasts are wanderers - clans that have lost their homes and have yet to settle, or have only recently arrived to a hold. Such clans' reputations are not besmirched, but without roots, they are regarded as untrustworthy.[1a]

The majority of Dwarf clans are respectable and live in or near well-established holds. Higher up in the hierarchy are those clans that show a mastery at a craft or are extremely rich. At the apex of a hold are clans with royal ties - the nobility of the Dwarfs, the highest of which is the king of the hold and his family. The greatest of the kings can trace their lines unbroken to the Ancestor Gods - and it is from these clans that the High King is chosen. Only if a royal line is extinguished (or disgraced) will it change. In such an event, a relative from the same clan might be invited to claim kingship or a thane from a related high-ranking clan might be raised to establish a new line of lords. The exact action is decided in council by the thanes of the hold, and is subject to wrangling from the guilds and the most influential of clans.[1a]

Noble Clans

Of all the Dwarf clans, the Nobles can claim the most direct descent from the Ancestor Gods Grungni and Valaya. In fact, their bloodline makes the Noble clans among the most long-lived of Dwarfs and some of the most determined in temperament.[3a]

These ancient clans are unlike any other. From their number come the rulers of the Dwarfholds, their emissaries and ambassadors, and most of the Kings' and Queens' advisors. Members of the noble clans may even apprentice themselves to the elders of other clans to learn a specific craft (with the sole exception of rune-smithing). Due to their role in society, no noble clan has emigrated to the Human realms.[3a]

List of Known Clans

Note that many of the clans from Karak Eight Peaks migrated to Karak Azul after its fall and so became subsumed into the clan history of the latter hold.[2a]

A

B

C

D

F

G

H

I

K

M

N

R

S

T

U

  • Ullek (the Ullekssons) - Karaz-a-Karak; warriors

V

Y

Source

  • 1: Warhammer Armies: Dwarfs (8th Edition)
    • 1a: pg. 27
  • 2: Grudgelore: A History of Grudges and the Great Realm of the Dwarfs
    • 2a: Appendix
  • 3: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Dwarfs: Stone and Steel (1st Edition)
    • 3a: pg. 21
  • 4: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Karak Azgal (2nd Edition)
    • 4a: pg. 77
  • 5: Dragonslayer (Novel) by Wiliam King
    • 5a: Chapter 7: Preparations
    • 5b: Chapter 8: Into the Mountains
  • 6: Total War: WARHAMMER

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