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Citadel Kaelwind

In the shadow of the Karak Mountains lies the Citadel of Kaelwind, "home" to the hardy mountain dwarves known as Clan Kaelwind. The citadel lies far east of Castle Eliador and north of the LightFoot Highlands. It is a walled fortress of iron and stone, where hammers continously pound on dwarven steel and many a forge burn hot night and day. They are watched over by their king, Thorgrim II, a stern and wise dwarf who won't take any non-sense from any human or elf at anytime. Here the dwarves of Clan Kaelwind make their trade, forging weapons and armor to sell to the inhabitants of Eliador, though they save their best steel for themselves and for King Denethor's army, the human king of Eliador. Although the dwarves of Clan Kaelwind live out their days in the citadel, they long for their true home of Karak Gul-Naz which was forcibly taken from them.

The dwarves of Clan Kaelwind are renowned for bearing an extraordinary amount of grudges, to the extent that every clan dwarf makes it a point to memorize every one and is expected to recite any given grudge at the drop of a hat. Once a year they assemble in the Clan Hall to take part in the grand recitation of all the entries in what has come to be known as the Book of Grudges. Men, elves, monsters, animals, all nature in general, have not a few entries in this book. It started out as a collection of travel journals and parchments that had grown to be a kludge of random scribbles, sketches and rants. That is, until King Grimkin Kaelwind(a old surly dwarf of ages past) commissioned a great tome to be created, with each and every grudge painstakingly copied into the tome. There is even enough blank pages left over for another 500 years worth of entries.

This "grand recitation" probably should be a long and dull affair, taking many days to complete, if not for the copious amounts of ale flowing through the clan hall during the recitation, which has actually made the grand recitation something to look forward to each year. King Denethor, the current human king of Eliador, had once attended such a recitation in an effort to improve relations with the clan. But that endeavor had ended disastrously as it was reported that he had angrily stomped out of the hall upon hearing his name mentioned more than once in the Book of Grudges, to the roaring laughter of many a clan dwarf.

It has been four centuries since Clan Kaelwind have been ousted from their ancient home of Karak Gul-Naz by the dragon ShadowGloom and its minions. On that day the legendary hero Gauntl-Grey(a nickname for Gauntilus the Grey Dwarf of Kaelwind), who wielded the mighty axe, The GrudgeBearer, stood up to ShadowGloom. After a fierce battle had ensued, the dragon emerged victorious. It then claimed the fallen body of Gauntl-Grey as its prize and scooped him up with its mouth, whisking him away back to its lair. The GrudgeBearer still laid on the muddy ground where it had fallen from Gauntl-Grey's grasp as ShadowGloom lifted him up into the air. Having witnessed the fall of their hero, the surviving members of Clan Kaelwind had no choice but to leave their home, but not before they fought back against the minions of ShadowGloom long enough to retrieve the GrudgeBearer.

Being forced to become refugees, they wandered out of the Karak Mtns in search of a new home. Good King Temerek, the king of Eliador at that time, graciously allowed the clan to establish a temporary base within the confines of the human kingdom, with the understanding that the dwarves would soon recuperate and then mount a counter-attack to reclaim their true home. What then followed was a string of failed attempts, the clan losing many of their bretheren each time. Months turned to years, and years to decades, and the king's patience was wearing thin. When it appeared that dwarves no longer had the drive or the resources to reclaim Karak Gul-Naz, He had then proclaimed the dwarves as citizens of the kingdom and thus levied a tax on them. The dwarves, having no desire to relocate far from their homeland, grudgingly accepted the tax(the ink on the proclamation parchment was still wet when a new entry found its way onto the Book of Grudges) and had resolved to forge armor and weapons to pay the tax, using steel refined in their forges and the gold they find panning in the river. As it now stands, most members of Clan Kaelwind have given up on the idea of reclaiming their mithril and gemstone rich home settling for the mundane life of forging sub-standard equipment in the citadel. Only a few dwarves still have the desire burning in their souls, to return to Karak Gul-Naz.

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