The Dulgar Mountains
The Dulgar Mountains are a home to several diverse societies. Both the wild and noble races can be found here, although coexistence is fraught at best. Cultural tensions often lead to conflict, but regardless of which village one calls their home, chances are they are proud, deeply opinionated, and perhaps a little too stubborn.
There are two major settlements in the Dulgar Mountains: the dwarvish town of Thaingor, and the orcish stronghold of Grikthar. The legitimacy of these settlements are often called into question by each other, with their validity either being ignored or regarded with disdain. As such, traders from Jardium and Nagasif are cautious to refer to the area only as whatever settlement they are trading with at the moment - or to tread cautiously and only refer to the area as “the mountains.”
In the orcish tongue “Grikthar” means “peak,” and that is exactly where this village was first formed. In the hundreds of years since the orcs settled there, it has since expanded to cover much of the upper mountains. Finding success in domesticating the sheep and goats found in the area, these first orcs began trading wool and meat with the plain-dwelling biata in the next region over. This was, in no small part due to a tunnel passing through the Dulgar mountains. Whether it was created by the orcs or some society before them is unknown. In any case, orcish society flourished, and the villages became a well fortified stronghold, one of the most advanced in Desara. In addition to nearly dozens of orcish tribes living in relative harmony, ogres and wylderkin from the Varyyyk forest down below would quickly be welcomed to the city on the peak, and by 425, Grikthar was known as the jewel between the plains and the desert.
When Grikthar began to flourish, a number of traveling dwarves came across the pass in the mountains. After studying the work of the pass, they came to the conclusion that its craftsmanship was dwarvish in nature, and as such, claimed ownership to the mountains that predated the orcish settlement. This did not sit well with the citizens of Grikthar, whose response was to try and drive the dwarves out. But the dwarves did not relent, and despite the turmoil, created a settlement around the base of the mountains, naming it Thaingor. Like the orcs, they welcomed people with similar views to their own like hoblings and humans, who merged with and formed their own communities there.
In Grikthar, orcish tribes, wylderkin packs and ogre clans are the main form of organization outside of immediate families. While a pup born (or adopted by) parents is under the protection of their /group, they do not become an official member until they reach maturity and earn their tribe pack or clan name, which is usually in reference to an event or role within their society. Until then, they are referred to by a simpler, more impersonal name given at birth. These names generally refer to some physical trait or even their birth order. For those adopted into tribes, they may choose to also maintain a name more suited to their birth culture, but they are still given a name out of respect.
(Some players may find inspiration for names in fictional languages like Blackspeech (LoTR), Klingon (Star Trek) or orcish languages from video games and novels. Please be respectful when using names based on real-life languages.)
EXAMPLE PUP NAMES
Norgimir - child of death (often given to orphaned children)
Zugkir - cherished
Simbaur, Galbaur, Keilbaur - first, second, third-born
Vogal - small or short
Pragnar - lonely
EXAMPLE CLAN NAMES
Shatterjaw, Bramble, Lacewing, Windseeker
Thaingor is headed by a single governor who has a cabinet to advise them on matters. There is a small standing militia to protect the town from their wild neighbors (and occasionally raid them).
For the dwarvish citizens of Thaingor, they typically have a family name handed down throughout the generations, and most likely a family crest as well. There is great pride in familial ancestry and two dwarves meeting each other will often spend a moment or two finding a place where their family trees branch into each other.
Animals are very important to the people of Thaingor, with cats and dogs holding a special regard. No home is complete without some sort of pet. Thaingor is also known for their breweries and sweetshops, with recipes for booze and confectionaries carefully guarded secrets.
EXAMPLE FIRST NAMES
Huldan, Brodhir, Brandora, Varyn
Silverstone, Sunrock, Maw, Belltower
Allies and Enemies
Frequent raids between the two cities have caused their infrastructure to suffer. These raids can be attributed not only to an attempt to “drive these trespassers out,” but particularly in later years, to misunderstandings in culture and the resulting offense taken from these faux pas. It’s not uncommon for orcs to adopt orphaned or abandoned children from outside their race. These children are treated with just as much love and respect as biological pups, but to a shocked hobling, it may seem to be kidnapping. Likewise, a dwarf attempting to offer assistance to an ogre is seen as rude and condescending, as ogres believe challenges are to be completed by oneself unless absolutely necessary.
Inter-tribe conflicts in Grikthar are generally rare, but typically arise from an act of aggression, thievery or shady dealings, and are short-lived (provided the clan is headed by an honest leader.) Generally every able-bodied adult in a clan is involved in taking up arms to protect their land (or raid the folks below).
Every nation in Desara has at least some sort of advantage by trading with the people of the mountains. Even with Robinsroost’s recent focus on internal affairs, the wealth of natural resources means diplomats make the trip out. Every other nation sends merchants as well.
Grikthar has a particular bond with Jardium. Certain orcish tribes were recruited in the Celestial War to lay siege to the biata city. These first orcs were seized with guilt at what they had done, and so swore off violence against Jardium ever again.
The main export of Grikthar is animal products, with the domesticated sheep and goat herds providing meat, wool, and spun cloth to trade with neighboring societies. While the ore deposits were initially mined by the first orcs to settle there, the dwarves now claim ownership to them, and most of the deposits are carefully guarded by them. Thaingor also taxes traders a small price to use the pass, and some of the most valued cats and dogs in all of Desara come from Thaingor.
Holidays are a bit of a strange idea to the Grikthar tribes, who are much more likely to celebrate events as they happen rather than commemorate ones from the past. Grikthar celebrations are characterized with feasts, fighting, and sometimes both at once. Marriages are the most common cause for these, with festivities sometimes lasting several days!
In Thaingor, however, they have a few holidays, including:
Sweetheart’s Day - February 14th. A time of romance! Celebration! Lots of sweets and alcohol given as gifts.
Family Day - The third Saturday in August, though celebrations start as soon as the Monday before. This week-long celebration is spent predictably, with one’s family, and to be the host is a deeply honored (and stressful) position to be in.
There’s not a lot of options for entertainment in the rural mountains, but some examples include:
Visit a Brewery
Common Sayings and Dialect
“You are unworthy of your name.”
“May insects devour your flesh.”
“Lies have short legs.”
“We share the same blood until some is spilt.” (“I have no quarrel with you”)
“The morning hour has gold in its mouth.” (Similar to “the early bird gets the worm.”)
“He got caught with his beard in the kettle.” (to be caught in an embarrassing position)
“Each cat will call his own tail long.”
"Sharpening your axe" - Sharpening your axe toward someone is seen as a threat
"Never wake a sleeping ogre."
Grikthar: Fleeces, hides and other animal products are common. It gets cold in the mountain, so there may be a lot of fur involved. Armor is usually asymmetrical and leather or bone.
Thaingor: Woven leathers, braids, aprons and long skirts.