_gelvani

…..When Balderak cast the duervar in his forge he made them all alike at first. They were perfect, and for that reason he didn’t see why any one duervar should be significantly different than the others. However, as they spread across the world they adapted to their different kingdoms in different ways. The Clans formed, and though they always worked with one another in a common goal they became very prideful of which clan they descended from. Eight clans had formed. Four clans resided in the great mountains of the earth. Two clans lived in the rugged highlands and foothills. One clan descended into the deepest depths of the earth, and the last clan became nomads who traveled the plains and valleys.
…..During the Age of Ice, families of different clans became isolated. Eventually they began to think of themselves as separate from their ancestors. These new clans would still record their heritage as being descendents of a particular lineage, but they would take on new names and rule lands of their own. After the great glaciers receded many clans began to reopen contact with the others and reestablish trade routes as well. Clans of similar lineage gathered together and traced their bloodlines back to the first Eight Clans. The Thanes formed a council and decided to establish four true lineages, from which the Eight Clans were descended. Then all Family Clans would trace their bloodline back to one of these Great Clans. The thanes of all Family Clans would then choose an Elder Thane to preside over the Greater Clan.
…..There are four Duervan Lineages: Duumdravar (Mountain Duervar), Bormdravar (Hill Duervar), Keldravar (Far Duervar), and the Delvdravar (The Deep Duervar, the lost lineage). Alas, the Delvdravar are no more. From the remaining three Lineages there are twelve Greater Clans.
…..From the Duumdravar there are six Greater Clans: The Mordradak of the Mordraduum, The Tharadain of the Tharaduum, The Baradain of the Baraduum, The Duradain of the Duraduum, The Valderak of the Valdraduum, and the Garadain of the Garaduum. There was once a seventh, the Durgadain of the Durgaduum (which later became known as the Delvaduum). The Durgadain fell to the corruption of the Nameless One long ago and receded into the depths of the world, out of sight from their surface brethren. It is they who betrayed and destroyed the Delvdravar, and hence they became known as the Duergar (which translates to ‘he who bites his kin’). The word “Delv” means “Deep” but can also be used to describe something as “Unexplored”.
…..From the Bormdravar there are four Greater Clans: The Belderak of the Bormfeld (Iron Hills), The Gildadain of Gildaborm (Gold Hills), The Cordicar of Nordraduum (who live at the foot of those great mountains), and The Radadain of the Radaborm (Red Hills) .
From the Keldravar there are three Greater Clans: The Ailadain (Highland Duervar), the Galldadain (Lowland Duervar), and the Belodain (The Lake Duervar, a clan that prefers to settle along lakes, rivers and seas).

…..From each of these Greater Clans there are scores of Family Clans. Some Family Clans rule entire Mountains or Strongholds, others work in unison with many Family Clans. However, all such clans pay fealty to the Elder Thane of their Greater Clan. The Elder Thanes come together only rarely to discuss events that concern all Duervar. Unless some other event causes need, the Elder Thanes meet once every fifty years and always at a different location.
…..The Delvdravar were a great and ancient people who lived in deep deep caverns where they learned to master the natural crystal forming powers of the earth. Their keeps were said a mixture of excellent stone work and wonderful art made of rock-crystals of all colors. What more, they are said to have crafted armor and even weapons out of crystal. The Durgadain lived in the mountains above them, but when they became greedy and destructive they dug deep into the earth seeking out the riches of the Delvdravar Realm. The Durgadain betrayed their brothers and a great war ensued. The Durgadain won, but had become so evil that all other Duervar turned against them and now call them the Duergar. The Duergar who lived near the surface were driven deeper into the earth by war, having to live as outcasts in the realm they had conquered. It is said that not all of the Delvdravar Keeps were taken, but there has never been any proof.
…..In Duervan society, the Thane is king and the absolute ruler. He is the leader of the great family and is given the right to rule by his father, who ruled before him. Thanes are almost always men, and Duervan culture is clearly male dominated. That doesn’t mean that women have no rights or influence. Women are given equal rights to men, except that they are almost never rulers. Perhaps this is because their gods are almost all men. However, in the priesthoods women have as much power as the men. A council of clan elders advises the Thane. The elder male of each family is on this council and they make many of the decisions in the kingdom, but they must always serve the Thane. The High Priest of each god also sit on this council, and usually represent their own families as well. The High Priests have some power, but only through the ethos and commands of their gods.

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