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"A powerful, authoritative voice in any Hold, the Guilds dominate Dwarfen civil life, controlling trade, finances and labour."
The Way of the Guilds[3a]

Dwarf society is predicated on Guilds. Of the numerous Dwarf clans that inhabit a hold, many of them will be expert craftsmen in some field and thus belong to the guilds associated with their given profession. Of all the guilds, it is the craft guilds that are the most highly respected and who enjoy a high pecking order in dwarf hierarchy. Goldsmiths, brewmasters, weaponsmiths, runesmiths, jewelsmiths, stonemasons, miners and engineers (one of the most powerful and highly respected craft guilds, whose principal shrine is at Zhufbar) are some of the most esteemed - only members of the royal clan are ranked higher. Each guild will set out the standards and practices that are to be followed by an initiate of the guild. Apprentices are taken on in varying frequency according to the craft being undertaken - runesmith apprentices are much rarer than that of weaponsmiths, for instance. Through journeyman and eventually to master, a dwarf will learn and become an expert in his trade. Expulsion from any guild is a very serious matter and each and every guild has a unique method of punishing those who fall short of the standards required or who fail to observe tradition.[1a]

Changing Craftguilds

The Dwarfs of the Karaz Ankor and other mountain realms are bound by tradition to follow the craft of their mother's clan. However, there are rare situations where a Dwarf is better suited to a craftguild other than the one into which he was born. With few exceptions, this determination is made during the Dwarf's youth by a clan elder or the Dwarf's mentor. The matter is then brought before the Elder Council of a clan and the appropriate craftguild. If both Elder Councils agree that the interests of the community are best served by allowing the individual to change craftguilds, they petition the Dwarf King or settlement leader to approve the move. The petition is just a formality, and is almost always approved. The two clans then hold a joint ceremony called Gangovr, whereby the Dwarf is adopted by a family in the new clan.[2a]

For example, Gimli Durakson was born into a Metalsmith clan of Karak Kadrin, but had difficulty working metal. He was unable to control his great strength, and pounded so heavily with his hammer that he usually destroyed the item he was creating. The master of his workshop brought the matter to the Elder Council. After much deliberation, the Council contacted the Elders of a Mining clan and Warrior clan, since Gimli's strength would suit him to either craftguild. The Warrior clan agreed to adopt Gimli into their clan and train him in the art of war. In later years, he was to be found happily cracking Orc skulls with his warhammer.[2a][2b]

List of Known Guilds

Source

  • 1: Grudgelore
    • 1a: pg. 21
  • 2: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 1st ED -- Stone and Steel
    • 2a: pg. 19
    • 2b: pg. 21
  • 3 Total War: Warhammer

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