Dwarven Cliffs

Centered on a large chasm, this is the sole land ruled by dwarves. Unescorted outsiders are seldom tolerated and the populace is suspicious of non-dwarven strangers. In addition to the cliff-side cities there are a number of hillside towns and villages carved into the mountains.

Geography

A deep chasm with a small river fed by underground streams, the Cliffs is the result of tectonic activity, torn open by Catastrophe as the planet’s molten core shifted and the seas evaporated. The majority of the canyon is uninhabited, being well over 100 kilometers (62 miles) in length. The nation also includes both the sandy dunes to the north and west and the rocky barrens to the south and east, in addition to a number of mountain valleys and hillside communities.

Barren Valley – A length stretch of rocky dunes and low hills that lies between the Dagger Hills and the Cliffs. The Barren Valley is uninhabited but often patrolled by dwarven soldiers.

Dagger Hills – Rough jagged peaks that were once surf-pounded rocks below the jagged cliffs of small islands, now exposed peaks. Mostly sand and crumbling rock, it is considered by most to be unstable and uninhabitable. As such, the region is avoided by travelers and frequented by monsters.

Dwarf Pass– A well-traveled and well-patrolled stretch of road between the Dwarven Cliffs and the Lawless Lands. Despite its length it is one of the safest stretches of road in the Beltway, with frequent rest stops and dwarven patrols.

Population

The Cliffs are universally populated by the dwarves, although there are a few small pockets of dwarven allies such as gnome, earth-bound genasi and dragonborn. Human and human kin such as half elf, genasi (except earth genasi), and tiefling are not permitted except in rare situations.

Lifestyle

The Dwarven Cliffs is a series of small towns built into the canyon walls. The dwarves of the Cliffs make their living through mining and crafting. Almost every family operates a large garden across from their home. Family members take turns tending the crops, alternating between that and the more dwarven arts of mining, stonecutting and metallurgy.

The few dwarves also work as merchants and traders, although these are often those unskilled at working with stone or metal. These operate the many trade companies that sell dwarven goods across the Beltway.

A large number of dwarves also work as soldiers, guarding the Cliffs and the necessary trade routes south that bring in precious food and water. There are a number of mercenary companies that work with trade companies to move shipments across the Lawless Lands to Hronth and Grigoran.

History

Discovered in 199 by dwarven explorers, it quickly became the heart of the dwarven nation attracting the stout folk from all across the Beltway. They carved a vertical metropolis into the cliff face, spreading outward as more dwarves came. Originally content with their nation, they soon built other small trading communities at the outskirts of their territory.

Settlements

The Cliffs – (city, pop. 1,000,000+) Not a true city but a kingdom: a collection of smaller, interconnected towns and villages. The population lives in homes carved into the sides of the cliff with a web of bridges between the sides. Crops are grown on the south side, carefully exposed to sunlight for half the day, while people live in the cooler and shaded northern side.

Dwarf Post – (town, pop. 2,300) The primary trading post and marketplace for dwarves, Dwarf Post was built to allow dwarves to profit from their own ore and craftsmanship and cut out the human middlemen that had been keeping the bulk of profits. Traders and emissaries of far away lands come to trade for dwarven goods.

The Mine – (city, pop. 10,500) A sizable mining settlement that supplies much of the ore to the Cliffs. The entire city lives in temporary shelters built around the entrances of the mines. They haul up a variety of metal ore; mostly iron but the many of the deeper mines strike veins of mithril. The miners are currently attempting to carve a lengthy tunnel connecting this to the Cliffs. Most of the population only lives here for a short period, working for a few months until they find enough ore then returning to the Cliffs. The only permanent residents are criminals, sentenced to work-off their crimes.

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Dwarven Cliffs

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