The Seven Houses of the Dwarves

Author: -
What did Tolkien write about Dwarf settlements?
(From History of Middle earth, vol. XII: Peoples of Middle earth)

Note: Num­bers in paren­theses refer to map posi­tions.

Where are the awakening places ?

… the most wes­terly, the awa­ke­ning place of the ances­tors of the Fire­beards and the Broad­beams ; and that of the ances­tor of the Long­beards, the eldest in making and awa­ke­ning. The first had been in the north of the Ered Lindon, the great eas­tern wall of Bele­riand, of which the Blue Moun­tains of the Second and later ages were the rem­nant ; the second had been Mount Gun­da­bad (in origin a Khuz­dul name)”

… Since the ances­tors of the Fire­beards and the Broad­beams awoke in the Ered Lindon, these kin­dreds must be pre­su­med to be the Dwarves of Nogrod and Bele­gost”

We don’t know with exac­ti­tude the awa­ke­ning place of the Fire­beards and the Broad­beams, except that it is in the north of the Ered Lindon

But we have this quote from The War of the Jewels”

Their most ancient dwel­lings were far to the East, but they had delved for them­selves great halls and man­sions, after the manner of their kind, on the east side of Eryd Luin, north and south of Mount Dolmed, in those places which the Eldar named Bele­gost and Nogrod (but they Gabil­ga­thol and Tumun­za­har)”

Why would Tol­kien make refe­rence of this par­ti­cu­lar Mount ? I believe that Mount Dolmed can be the ori­gi­nal awa­ke­ning place of the Fire­beards and the Broad­beams.

So, we have Mount Dolmed (Fire­beards and Broad­beams), not far away from Nogrod and Bele­gost (2). And, the Long­beards awa­ke­ning in Gun­da­bad (1).

At that time [Second Age] the migra­tions of Men from the East and South had brought advance-guards into Bele­riand ; but they were not in great num­bers, though fur­ther east in Eria­dor and Rho­va­nion (espe­cially in the nor­thern parts) their kin­dred [Dwarves] must already have occu­pied much of the land.”

So in fur­ther East in Eria­dor and Rho­va­nion” must be Dwarf-stron­gholds.

The other two [awa­ke­ning] places were east­ward, at dis­tances as great or grea­ter than that bet­ween the Blue Moun­tains and Gun­da­bad : the ari­sing of the Iron­fists and Stiff­beards, and that of the Bla­ck­locks and Sto­ne­foots “

And we have this sta­te­ment :

« …they [the dwarves] were loth to migrate and make per­ma­nent dwel­lings or man­sions” far from their ori­gi­nal homes, except under great pres­sure from ene­mies or after some catas­trophe such as the ruin of Bele­riand… » (PoME p. 301).

The latter sta­te­ment gives the GM flexi­bi­lity to place dwar­ven man­sions at some dis­tance from their ori­gi­nal homes while being true to Tol­kien (though the cause for such migra­tions has to be great indeed).

For the awa­ke­ning place of the Iron­fists and Stiff­beards, a loca­tion in the Barl Syrnac moun­tains, and par­ti­cu­larly in Dyr, seems appro­priate.

And for the Bla­ck­locks and the Sto­ne­foots, the awa­ke­ning place could not be too in the Barl Syrnac (because there would be a need to add a new chain of moun­tains). The impe­ra­tive is not to far south, so a loca­tion near the Sea of Rhûn would be more than appro­priate.

But, for this we have to exa­mine the seven tribes more tho­roughly.

The Seven Houses of Dwarves

A. The Longbeards

…for the Long­beards had spread sou­th­ward down the Vales of Anduin and had made their chief man­sion” and stron­ghold at Moria ; and also east­ward to the Iron Hills, where the mines were their chief source of iron-ore. They regar­ded the Iron Hills, the Ered Mithrin, and the east dales of the Misty Moun­tains as their own land. But they were under attack from the Orks of Mor­goth.”

New settlements of the Longbeards

Decipher/I.C.E. History

The Long­beards, or Moun­tain-Dwarfs are Dúrin the Death­less” Folk. 

Their Ances­tral Place of Awa­ke­ning is the City of Gun­da­bad , which long ago was sacked by the Orcs. After the Fall of Gun­da­bad, the City of Khazad-dûm became their Chief Set­tle­ment, where they dis­co­ve­red the magi­cal ore Mithril. The Long­beards were great mer­chants and crafts­men and, which is seldom among Dwarfs, were rela­ti­vely friendly with Elves, espe­cially the Noldor of Ere­gion. After the Balrog Dúrin´s Bane, appea­red in Khazad-Dûm, or Moria, the Long­beards esta­bli­shed seve­ral smal­ler cities and colo­nies, chief amongst was Erebor the Lonely Moun­tain.

I.C.E. notes: The Long­beards are typi­cal Dwarves, Strong and Stout and are espe­cially known for their extre­mely long, often Forked Beards and their extra­or­di­nary (even for Dwarves) long Live. Seve­ral Long­beards lived beyond 220 years. 

Decipher/I.C.E. Dwarf-holds

Compatibility between versions


B. The Firebeards

Decipher/I.CE. History

They awoke toge­ther with their Kins­men the Broad­beams at Mal­lost in the Nor­thern Blue Moun­tains and soon after foun­ded the large City of Bele­gost or Gabil­ga­thol (Mighty For­tress) (Nogrod in Deci­pher ver­sion). They were famous Dragon-War­riors and fine Smiths. Most pro­minent among the Fire­beards was King Azag­hâl who woun­ded Glau­rung the Dragon. 

After the Drow­ning of Bele­riand and the des­truc­tion of Bele­gost they spread into sou­thern Eria­dor and made suc­cess­ful tra­ding connec­tions with their Kins­men of Moria and the Men of Enedh­waith.

C Haas. notes: The Fire­beards are known for their often fire-red Hair and their Hor­rible Mask-shaped Hel­mets. Unu­sual for Dwarfs they some­times fight with short Stab­bing-Swords. Fire­beards are known to live beyond 150 years. The Fire­beards or Ore-Dwarves are Bighâl the Wise´s Tribe. 

I.C.E. Notes : in A:TL.54 an arbi­trary tribal iden­ti­fi­ca­tion was made for the Fire­beards for Bele­gost, and the Broad­beams with Nogrod. But the Ency­clo­pe­dia of Arda sug­gests that Bele­gost may have been foun­ded by the Broad­beams, while Nogrod was foun­ded by the Fire­beards.

Decipher Dwarf-holds

I.C.E. Dwarf-holds

Compatibility between versions

100%, except the name of their main hold (but not the place, as they both are in the Blue Moun­tains).

See the Lindon module, where the I.C.E. iden­ti­fi­ca­tion was made, but the cor­rec­tion can be made in Lindon module

The Movements of the Firebeards

(1) Those who went in Nogrod. Fol­lo­wing the des­truc­tion of Nogrod and Bele­gost, the Fire­beards divide bet­ween [1a] those who remain in the Blue Moun­tains, [1b] those who go to Moria, and those who settle in the Ered Mithrin (Grey Moun­tains), where they fight against the Petty Dwarves [1c].

C. The Broadbeams

Decipher/I.CE. History

The Proud and War­like Broad­beams or Anvil-Dwarves are the Clan of Tel­phor the Cold. Tel­phor awoke along with his friend Bighâl at Mal­lost, in the nor­thern Ered Luin. Later his Clan foun­ded the great city of Nogrod or Tumun­za­har (Kh.« Deep-For­tress ») (Bele­gost in Deci­pher ver­sion). The Broad­beams were great Arti­sans and even grea­ter smiths than their Bro­thers from Bele­gost. Two of the Grea­test Dwarf Smiths of all times, Tel­char and Gamil Zîrak (Kh.:« Silver the Old ») were Broad­beams. Howe­ver the Broad­beams for all times are brand­mar­ked for their cruel and coward Murder of Thin­gol and their rava­ging of the Elven City of Mene­groth.

After the Drow­ning of Bele­riand the Broad­beams were expan­ding into Nor­thern Eria­dor and Forod­waith on the search for Riches and foun­ded the City of Baraz-Dûm later called Carn-Dûm. 

C Haas. notes: The Broad­beams, as their name implies in gene­ral are espe­cially heavy and stout. They are known to achieve a common Age of beyond 170 years. 

Decipher Dwarf-holds

I.C.E. Dwarf-holds

Compatibility between versions

100%, except the name of their main hold (but not the place, as they both are in the Blue Moun­tains).

See the Lindon module, where the I.C.E. iden­ti­fi­ca­tion was made, but the cor­rec­tion can be made in Lindon module

The movements of the Broadbeams

(1) Those who went to Bele­gost. Fol­lo­wing the des­truc­tion of Nogrod and Bele­gost, the Broad­beams divide bet­ween [1a] those who remain in the Blue Moun­tains, [1b] those who go to Moria, and those who settle in later Angmar
land (Baraz­bi­zar in SA 2911) [1c]. Baraz­bi­zar is des­troyed by the Witch King in TA 1300, who takes the Ring.

(8) Carn Dûm (Kh. Baraz­bi­zar). Accor­ding to Chris Seeman´s ver­sion, it was esta­bli­shed by Blue Moun­tains Dwarves (Broad­beams) after their lord was given a Ring of Power. Foun­ded in 2911 (S.A.), it lasted until 1307 (T.A.) whem the Witch king take it. This may be the most contro­ver­sial, as it an inven­ted” Dwarf-hold of same impor­tance in North-wes­tern Middle earth, but it could fit.

D. The Stiffbeards

Decipher History

They first esta­bli­shed in Kibil-tarag, in the far north and they remai­ned there until the inva­sion of Dra­gons, when they had to flee and their king was killed. The sur­vi­vors went this way and that, see­king more modest hearths hidden as best as they can from Dra­gons. They live an stoic exis­tence of hun­ting and weapon-craf­ting until the lon­ging for dra­gons­laying over­took them. They keep some for­got­ten lore of their own race about car­vings runes which they use against dra­gons.

C Haas. History

The Stiff­beards are one of the two Dwarf-Tribes that awoke in Cen­tral Middle-Earth. 

The Uns­teady Tribe is the people of Khadîn the Swift, who along with his friend Mabûn of the Iron­fists awoke at the Mirror Halls (Kh.:« Khe­led­khiz­din ») in the Barl Syrnac Moun­tains. The Stiff­beards or Cave-Dwarfs are rela­ti­vely pea­ce­ful and clever Mer­chants. After the Dwarves had to leave the Mirror-Halls because of the Inva­sions of Evil Humans into the sur­roun­ding Lands many Stiff­beards, after a great Wan­de­ring, foun­ded the Cities of Mablâd-Dûm and Bara­zi­ma­bûl in the South. The Stiff­beards are known for their strange way of wea­ring their Beards as long and poin­ted thorn-like knots. The Stiff­beards are a long-lived Dwarf-kin­dred, Stiff­beards are known to com­monly reach the 200th year of Life. 

I.C.E. notes

LOME III: Bavor’s folk were the first to leave the home­lands. They went into the south and built their homes in the Yellow Moun­tains. Qui­ckly sun­de­ring after the murder of Bavor, they split into three fac­tions. The lar­gest group construc­ted the vast del­ving at Baru­zi­ma­bûl, the great hold that the Men of the South call Black­flame (Shadow in the South) Dwarves have dwelt in the Mabûl Moun­tains since the early Third Age

Grea­ter Harad: Nar’s Folk – ori­gi­nally part of Bavor’s people. Nar was the second son of Bavor, and left with a few fol­lo­wers and friends after the murder of his father. The first hold, Mablad-dûm, was occu­pied by Bavor’s people in the Second Age. Early in Third Age, strife & conten­tion caused a rift among the Mablad. One fac­tion moved to the SW por­tion of the Yellow Moun­tains, and ano­ther foun­ded Narad-dum in the eas­tern peaks, the Tûr Betark.

Ardor: The offi­cial” dwar­vish name for the tribe living in the Ered Lara­nor is Stiff­beards, although today it is rarely used. Most people know them as Bávors Folk. Their tale is a sad one. First they arri­ved in the South around the middle of the First Age. Here they carved out the city of Mablâd-dûm in the cen­tral Yellow Moun­tains. In S.A. 1092 howe­ver, strife arose and the king was killed in the fray. After this, the main host of the Mablâd wan­de­red south to settle in the city of Black­flame (Kh. Baru­zi­ma­bûl), a mining colony foun­ded three cen­tu­ries ear­lier. Later, part of the remai­ning Dwarves of Mablâd-dûm left the city for the east, and they foun­ded holds at Bar Falin and Nárad-dûm. The former was later taken by the forces of Dark­ness, and so three prin­ci­pal Dwar­ven holds in the Ered Lara­nor remain by the middle of the Third Age. Most Dwarves howe­ver live in the city of Black­flame and it is here that the High King of Bávor’s Folk resides. Mablâd-dûm is second in pres­tige and Nár’s Folk in Nárad-dûm south of the Sára Bask in the eas­tern part of the Yellow Moun­tains comes third.

Far North: Drùhar’s Folk are a branch of Bàavor’s Folk, that before the First Age sepa­ra­ted from their people tra­vel­ling in the East, and set­tled in the Ered Engrin. They were even­tually joined by a small group of Drùin’s Folk, coming from Ruurik : they foun­ded Khe­ledh-dûm, and in a few gene­ra­tion were absor­bed by the locals.

Decipher Dwarf-holds

I.C.E. Dwarf-holds

Compatibility between versions

0%. Decipher´s are lonely dragon-hun­ters in their ancient lands with no main hold after the coming of dra­gons in T.A. 1712. I.C.E.´s awoke in cen­tral Middle-earth ins­tead of north and settle in the south. They fit a bit better with Decipher´s Bla­ck­locks.

The I.C.E. his­tory could be trans­fer­red to the Bla­ck­locks. But remains to explain why the murder of the first King ?


Deci­pher ver­sion for the Stiff­beards is selec­ted, so the I.C.E. his­tory has to be trans­fer­red to ano­ther tribe. The Stiff­bears are a united tribe. They all remain in the North with their King, in Kibil-Tarag. They can retake the halls of their bro­thers the Iron­fists, in Gamil-nâla. The Stiff­beards build other stron­gholds in the Bay of Illuin.

E. The Ironfists

Decipher History

They awoke in cen­tral Middle-earth, where they have contact with Eas­ter­lings. So inju­red had Sindri´s folk grown to acting purely of self-inter­est, and sus­tai­ned by no other prin­ciple than mar­tial pro­wess, that they felt no shame in accep­ting gold from Mordor in pay­ment for arming his minions to make war against the West­lands. When Sauron and Durin´s heir sum­mo­ned them for the battle of Dagor­lard, few were willing to take the field against Durin´s heir. Fewer still could conceive of alliance against Sauron as a matter of common honour to the Khazâd, so most of them remai­ned aloof from the war. But their king and many war­riors fight for Sauron.

In the after­math of the Last Alliance, the Dwarves of the West­lands uni­ver­sally bran­ded them as rene­gades and turn­coats. The cata­clysm of Núme­nor Down­fall had ruined their chief city, and the exile of their king (which foun­ded Nurun­khizdín, near the Inland Sea of Rhûn) had left them lea­der­less

Actually, they live scat­te­red in the East as sha­mans and for­tune-tel­lers among the super­sti­tious Eas­ter­lings.

C Haas. History

The Iron­fists or Earth-Dwarves are an extre­mely war-like and xeno­pho­bic Tribe of Dwarfs from cen­tral Middle-Earth. They are the Tribe of Mabûn the Rich and are even by dwar­fen stan­darts extre­mely greedy and mis­trust­ful. The Iron­fist Tribe always suf­fe­red from ter­rible inner Strifes and ene­mi­ties among the dif­ferent Iron­fist Lords. After the Dwarfes for­sake the Mirror-Halls of the Barl Syrnac Moun­tains, the Place of Mabûn´s awa­ke­ning, they moved sou­th­wards and foun­ded the Large City of Nama­ga­lûz.
The Iron­fists are very broad and strong in built and by dwar­fen stan­darts quite tall. They are known to reach an ave­rage Age of 150 years. 

I.C.E. History

One of the most tragic tale. For a time they lived in Mount Gun­da­bad (nor­thern Misty Moun­tains) but a conflict with Durin’s folk and repea­ted attacks by the Orcs of the North drove them east­ward. They set­tled in the Moun­tains of Rhûn, where they pros­pe­red for almost 7 cen­tu­ries. Howe­ver, once again, intra-Dwar­ven strife ended their peace. An argu­ment bet­ween King Thelor XIV and his bro­ther Thulin resul­ted in a brief, bloody civil war. Thulin slew his overly-proud (even by Dwar­ven stan­dards) lord and laid claim to the throne. He was, in turn, mur­de­red by Thelor’s daugh­ter Thris, whose son Thre­lin became King.

Thre­lin moved the rem­nants of Thelor’s folk fur­ther south in early TA. He esta­bli­shed a domain cen­te­red at the del­ving called Nama­ga­luz. Loca­ted in the Ered Harmal, the gate to this rich hold opened east­ward, above the waters of Heb Aaraan and not far from the Chey lands. It was the grea­test Dwarf city in cen­tral Endor.

Decipher Dwarf-holds

I.C.E. Dwarf-holds

Compatibility between versions

50%, but as they (Decipher´s ver­sion) exiled their lord because he had fought with Sauron in the Last Alliance and he foun­ded Nurun­khizdín, it may happen the rest choose a new lord and settle in the south (and still may be some remai­ning in the eas­tern lands).

Decipher’s His­tory give a good reason of why this brief, bloody civil war happen in I.C.E. ver­sion. The bloody strife could happen because of the alliance with Sauron. Thulin could be the King who favou­red the alliance with Sauron, and Thelor’s last sup­por­ters would have to flee the fol­lo­wers of Thulin, more nume­rous. This way, the Deci­pher his­tory would be com­ple­men­tary with the I.C.E. his­tory. Com­pa­ti­bi­lity 100 %, if we change some details about this civil war.

The movements of the Ironfists

  1. In early Second Age, most of the Iron­fists follow their King and settle in the great cen­tral moun­tain of Middle Earth, in Galil-nâla under Mount Bun­du­shar. They are near the Eas­ter­lings, the Ulshyans and the Vothrig
    (Illuin Bay).
  2. At the same period (SA 500–700), some other Dwarves decide to go nor­th­west, towards Rhûn. They will later become the Dwarves of Ered Angu­rath (Gor­go­roth module [3a]), and the Dwarves of the Ered Mithrin (Grey
    Moun­tains), where they later enter in conflict with the Durin’s tribe [3b] [may be SA 1500–2000]. Eric Dubourg : I choose to main­tain this. As the Dwarves of Ered Angu­rath turned evil, why not the Dwarves of the Ered Mithrin, loca­ted not far away from Gun­da­bad, under the evil influence of the Ulukaï (see Gun­da­bad module).
  3. When the King of Iron­fists accep­ted gold from Mordor, and when the Dwarves asso­cia­ted with the minions of Mordor « Busi­ness is Busi­ness », and it lasted for nearly two cen­tu­ries before both Durin’s heir and Sauron sum­mo­ned the Dwarves to fight on the field of Dagor­lad (TA 3434). Most of Sindri’s folk remai­ned aloof from the war, but their King and many of his war­riors fought for Sauron. After the war, the King of Iron­fists are Exiles, and found the city of Nurun­khiz­din. The Exiles repent for their evil actions during the Last Alliance[DE2]. Eric Dubourg : « From Imla­dris they cros­sed the Misty Moun­tains by many passes and mar­ched down the River Anduin, and so came at last upon the host of Sauron on Dagor­lad, the Battle Plain, which lies before the gate of the Black Land. All living things were divi­ded in that day, and some of every kind, even of beasts and birds, were found in either host, save the Elves only. They alone were undi­vi­ded and fol­lo­wed Gil-galad. Of the Dwarves few fought upon either side ; but the kin­dred of Durin of Moria fought against Sauron. »
    « Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age », The Sil­ma­ril­lion
  4. Those who refu­sed to fight for Sauron expel­led their King from Gamil-nâla, tried to rebuild their city, per­haps with the help of the Ulshyans or the Vothrig.
  5. An unk­nown evil fall upon the Dwarves of Nurun­khiz­din, with a civil war (TA 62, as defi­ned in Inland Sea : the fight bet­ween Thelor XIV and his bro­ther Thulin. Thra­lin, Thulin’s son becomes the new king of Nurun­khiz­din.
    « In Dec. it said a nazgûl was send to reco­ver the Ring of the Iron­fists lord (maybe to give it to the more loyal Mordor Dwarves) »
    If a Nazgul is sent to reco­ver the Ring of the Iron­fists, this can’t be done after the defeat of Sauron at the Last Alliance, and not before his return, as the Nazgul pass in Sha­dows as their Master.
  6. The son of Thelor XIV, fea­ring the conti­nua­tion of the civil war, go south and they enter in conflict with the Dwarves of Nama­ga­luz (see the Bla­ck­locks & Sto­ne­foots).

It clearly appears that the Iron­fists are the most divi­ded tribe. But, until the time when the King of the Iron­fists accept the gold of Sauron, the tribe is not divi­ded. The divi­sion of the tribe come after (4, 5 and 6)

F and G. Blacklocks and Stonefoots

Their awa­ke­ning place is near the Sea of Rhûn. But, during the War of Powers, the awa­ke­ning place of the Bla­ck­locks and the Sto­ne­foots is des­troyed. A group of sur­vi­vors move to the Ered Harmal, and ano­ther to the Tem-eskam. The first group settle build Nama­ga­luz, and the second build Khelek-zarâm, where they enter in contact with the Lyne­rian people.

  1. Led by Bavor of the Bla­ck­locks, the first group and grea­test part build the city of Nama­ga­luz, and later build other set­tle­ments in the Yellow Moun­tains.
  2. The other group goes to Khelek-zarâm, and later some Dwarves go to Ruu­riik.


Decipher History

They had an ancient feud with Vigdi´s folk and Sauron use it to tempt them. He dis­gui­sed, deman­ded refuge in Nagu­braz. If they refuse, he pro­mi­sed punish­ment and he also pro­mi­sed reward for acquies­cence. The Dwarves were divi­ded and they fought, the loo­sers were exi­lied and Sauron find shel­ter among the others. Finally, he was drove out by the exi­lied, allied with Vigdi´s folk and helped by Saru­man. After that they make an oath : Not until the works of the Decei­ver are ended, his ser­vants slain, his shadow brought to naught shall we deem these halls clean­sed of the evils of our House. Not until that day shall we return to Nar­gu­braz.’ So they moved to the South and became mer­ce­na­ries in their see­king of redemp­tion. In the lands of the East and even in the South, the Axes of Nar­gu­braz’ wage war against the domi­nion of Mordor. But they do not fight for free, even in ven­geance they are prag­ma­tic and they never let slip an oppor­tu­nity of enrich­ment.

C Haas. History

The extre­mely loyal Bla­ck­locks or Jewel-Dwarfs are one of the two tribes of Eas­tern Middle-Earth. Awoken in the Red Moun­tains along with their fellow Tribe, the Sto­ne­foots, the Bla­ck­locks are the Clan of Khom the Proud. 

The Bla­ck­locks are espe­cially known as great artists, skilled in the work with Marble, but they also are busy Mer­chants. After a Golden Fire Dragon drove the dwarfs away from their awa­ke­ning Place, the great North-Hall near the Urulis Pass, the Bla­ck­locks went Sou­th­wards and foun­ded the Great City of Tumu­na­ma­hal in Akhuz­dah, later they built the Over­ground reli­gious centre, the Kha­la­razûm.

The Bla­ck­locks, as their name implies are in gene­ral Black Haired and darker than other Dwarf-Kin­dreds. They are known to reach an Age of beyond 150 years. 

I.C.E. History

The last two tribes set­tled in eas­tern­most Endor. There, after being apart for over 7 cen­tu­ries, they came toge­ther once again and laid claim to the guar­ded, sea­ward land they named Ruu­riik. The Dwarves of Druin’s tribe foun­ded the King­dom of Ruu­riik in SA 700. Led by Balli the Rash, the Nau­grim esta­bli­shed their capi­tal in the caverns of Akhuz­dah (Ahulë) in the rim of the moun­tains on the S-W side of the Great Vale. It was called Tuma­na­hal after Mahal (Aulë).

Only 7 years after the foun­ding of Tuma­na­hal, a second Dwar­ven tribe came to Ruu­riik. They arri­ved in hope of set­tling in the nor­thern part of the Walled Land, for their lord, the aged Barin Nor­thern King. Barin’s folk recei­ved all the lands north of the Falio­du­kûm. The two tribes had little trouble in pros­pe­ring, des­pite the occa­sio­nal forays from the Fale tribes and the ser­vants of the Kank of Ruar­tar.

453 years after the foun­ding of Ruu­riik, Muar – former war­lord in Uab and Uax appea­red in Ralian, and conque­red Ruu­riik in SA 1157. The tragic tale of Ruu­riik ended cen­tu­ries later, in SA 2742 (Fulla VII crow­ned as King of Ruu­riik, heir of Druin’s line). Refe­rence to a city Khazad-madûr (which is ???)

They speak Khuz­dul, and when they write use Cer­thar, adap­ted to their lan­guage (Cer­thar Ered, Moun­tain Runes).

Decipher Dwarf-holds

I.C.E. Dwarf-holds

Compatibility between versions

0%. In Decipher´s ver­sion they are one of the Tribes which ally with Sauron (who dwelt in their main hold for some time) and later they seek redemp­tion killing Sauron´s minions as mer­ce­na­ries.


Decipher History

They manage to make incre­dible defences against the Dra­gons with the help of Saru­man and the worms never could take their main hold. The wizard also helped them to stop the feud bet­ween them and the Bla­ck­locks. They deve­lop­ped toge­ther with the Istari some wea­pons he latter used when he turned to evil as what was called the fire of Orthanc’. 

I.C.E. History

The Sto­ne­foots, or Stone-Dwarfs, are the People of Rúras the Scar­red and awoke along with the Bla­ck­locks in the North-Hall, in the Red Moun­tains in the far East of Middle-Earth. After a long exile from their ances­tral Home they foun­ded the great City and king­dom of Radim­bra­gaz, and later in the late second Age the even larger City of Khazad-Madûr (Kh.:« Dwarf-Womb »). 

The Sto­ne­foots are very proud and War­like, but cir­cum­spec­ting and not easily ange­red.

They are very heavy and strong and after many Years of wan­de­ring have become quite reclu­sive and silent.
They are known to reach an Ave­rage Age of 180 years. 

Decipher Dwarf-holds

I.C.E. Dwarf-holds

Compatibility between versions

25%. Only the place where they settle have some coin­ci­dence.

Quote from HoME 12 

The Other two came much ear­lier, at the same time as pro­ba­bly Glor­fin­del, when mat­ters became very dan­ge­rous in the Second Age. Glor­fin­del was sent to aid Elrond, and was (though not yet said) pree­minent in the war in Eria­dor.

But the other two Istari were sent for a dif­ferent pur­pose. Mori­neh­tar and Rómestámo. Dark­ness slayers and East-hel­pers. Their task was to cir­cumvent Sauron : to bring help to the few tribes of Men that had rebel­led from Melkor-wor­ship, to stir up rebel­lion … and after his first fall to search out his hiding (in which they failed) and to cause [?dis­sen­sion and disar­ray] among the dark East .…They must have had very great influence on the his­tory of the Second and Third Age in wea­ke­ning and disar­raying the forces of the East…who would both in the Second and Third Age other­wise have…outnumbered the West. »
(HoME XII.385)

History of the Dwarves

Early First Age
They awake near the Sea of Rhûn.
Early SA
While Var’s people traded with the Lyne­rians and later the Vulmaw, Vigdis’s folk were not eager to inter­act with other kin­dreds.
SA 650–720
Wars against the Dili­kh­ran.
SA 680
Hea­ring some won­der­ful tales of the East, and after an impor­tant war against the Dili­kh­ran, Vigdis’s folk decide to leave the Bay of Ormal, and begin a long jour­ney towards the East, and with them leave a small tribe of Var’s folk, not wan­ting to aban­don fore­ver their friends.
SA 700
Foun­da­tion of the King­dom of Ruu­riik in Eas­tern Middle Earth by the Sto­ne­foots : Baraz-lagil (=Tuma­na­hal) by King Barin, and Nar­gu­braz by King Druin the Proud
SA 989
Foun­da­tion of Zirak-gathol (« Silver for­tress ») by the Bla­ck­locks, which would later be known as the grea­test Dwarf city in cen­tral Endor by the Sto­ne­foots. Two years later, foun­da­tion of Lyna­har, a common Lyne­rian-Dwarves set­tle­ment, fol­lo­wing the Dwar­ven laws.
SA 1143
The Coming of Muar in Ralian, and the conquest of the sur­roun­ding lands
SA 1157
Conquest of Ruu­riik by Muar the Balrog. The Sto­ne­foots are nearly wiped out, because of a crime com­mit­ted by the Bla­ck­locks of Ruu­riik. Some few Sto­ne­foots, led by their King, go north in the Oro­carni moun­tains. But they make an oath to reco­ver, when they will be able to do it, Ruu­riik from the Balrog.
[this to tackle with the Dec. His­tory – what this crime could be like ? an alliance with Muar ? or Muar was able to seduce some Dwarves, to let his forces enter inside the Dwarves cities ?]
SA 1243
After a very long migra­tion, the last sur­vi­vors of Sto­ne­foots build the mar­ve­lous city of Khazad-madûr, near the inland sea of Helkar.
SA 1270
From the once beau­ti­ful cities of Ruu­riik, some dwarves of Bla­ck­locks folk, manage to escape their former cities, now occu­pied by orcs and trolls, and become wan­de­rer com­pa­nies, from Ralian to the Oro­carni Moun­tains. They too make an oath to reco­ver their former land, and not share their shame with their bro­thers of Khelek-zaram and Zirak-gathol.
SA 1600
Arri­val of Queen Mor­mi­re­sûl, as Rómestámo, the East-helper ; and Laurrë as Mori­neh­tar, the Dark­ness-slayer. Mor­mi­re­sûl is quoted in COME page 115. Mor­mi­re­sûl contacts the Eas­tern People, and send her emis­sa­ries in the East, to locate the sources of Evil. Sto­ne­foots came to share great friend­ship with the Avari of Helcar Sael.
SA 1700
The Black­foots wan­de­rers are still seen as rene­gades and betrayers by the Sto­ne­foots, but through the inter­ces­sion of Queen Mor­mi­re­sûl, the two com­mu­ni­ties recon­cile them­selves.
SA 1745
1752 First Dwar­ven war against the realm of the Balrog. This is a fai­lure, but the forces of the Balrog are wea­ke­ned for a time.
SA 1823
The Alliance of Men, Elves and Dwarves is formed. Second war against Ruu­riik.
SA 1845
Mys­te­rious disap­pea­rance of Queen Mor­mi­re­sûl. She reap­pears seven days later, and tell to the Dwarves that the last offen­sive against Ruu­riik can start.
SA 1845–1853
War against the Balrog. Queen Mor­mi­re­sûl fight alone the Balrog, and it is belie­ved that Muar is defea­ted. In fact, Muar is able to sur­vive, though greatly wea­ke­ned, with a fusion of spirit bet­ween him and Mor­mi­re­sûl. But Muar spirit stays dor­mant.
SA 1870
Fight of Mor­mi­re­sûl against the Drake Utom­ku­dor. Utom­ku­dor is killed.
Around SA 1990
Through the influence of this spirit, Mor­mi­re­sûl turns evil, and a few decades later, is known as Queen Dar­da­rian, an agent of Mor­goth. Muar as Queen Dar­da­rian is able to seduce Komul. He secretly hopes that Komul will help her to the recon­quest of HIS realm.
SA 1996
Komûl accepts a Ring of Power from Dara­dê­rien, first his father’s mis­tress and now his own, at the Isle of Sun­rises.
SA 1999
Komûl drives the Núme­no­reans from the Empire, and uni­fies his empire under his rule.
SA 2010–2040
War of Expan­sion of the Womaw Empire. Conquest of Karn Ord, Aegan and Ubain. During that time, Dar­da­rian uni­fies the Orcs tribes of the Oro­carni Moun­tains.
SA 2053
A fac­tion of lords dis­co­vers the source of Komûl’s lon­ge­vity.
SA 2062
Aon Mûl wrests the throne away from the absent Komûl ; he is backed by Núme­no­rean power. In truth, Aon Mûl is the puppet of Kômul and Dar­da­rian, and he strictly fol­lows the com­mands of his mas­ters.
SA 2099
First Orkish assault against Ruu­riik. The Dwarves repel the assault.
SA 2741
Fulla, the last heir of the Sto­ne­foots, defeat the evil Queen Dar­da­rian, and rees­ta­blishes Ruu­riik as a Dwar­ven king­dom.


Map crea­ted by Thomas Mor­winsky based on Pete Fenlon’s conti­nen­tal map publi­shed in I.C.E.“s MERP series and appro­ved by Chris Seeman. Upda­ted design by Mando.

Mount Gundabad

The evil influence of the Ulukai in Mount Gun­da­bad influence some Dwarves to betray their com­mu­nity, and give secret pas­sages to the Orcs who conquest Mount Gun­da­bad (SA 1699). The name of these Dwarves are cursed among the Nau­grim. These Dwarves per­haps killed the heir of Durin ?? [this should not be the Irin’s tribe, but ano­ther tribe). Of what stock could they be ? Iron­fists or Long­beards ? Per­haps Long­beards. Their last des­cen­dants will be Mîm and Ibûm (- some infor­ma­tions about them in some I.C.E. modules)

From the Gundabad module

« THE COMING OF THE ORCS : At the end of the First Age, the wrath of the aven­ging Valar shat­te­red the unnum­be­red legions of Mor­goth, and his armies of Orcs were scat­te­red like straw in the winds of a storm. Yet not all per­ished. While the host of the West sought Mor­goth, some of his Orcish minions fled into the East, see­king refuge far from the power of their foes. One such Orc band was cap­tai­ned by Morgoth’s trus­ted gene­ral Skorg. »
« The Orcs were not the first to dis­co­ver its value ; already present were Dwarves of the house of Thelór, but trea­chery and a series of savage assaults soon expel­led them from their del­vings, and Mount Gun­da­bad was then the Orcs” alone. »
« A final tale is told of the pas­sing of Skorg. As he lay dying, his power­ful frame rot­ting of disease, the grea­test of his under­lings gathe­red around their master to pay homage — for even now, none dared to risk his dis­plea­sure. At last one ven­tu­red to ask, « Dread Lord, Master of the North, who shall reign in Gun­da­bad after ? » »

So accor­ding to I.C.E. Gun­da­bad is under Orc’s control at the end of the First Age and not in SA (1699), as Orcs do not have such a longer life. In that case we don’t need to dif­ferent stocks for Petty Dwarves. Anyway if the change of the date is needed, I pro­pose the trai­tor was an Iron­fist and there is no other branch of Petty Dwarves. Also there is pro­blems with chro­no­logy, as Túrin’s his­tory is in the First Age (Núme­nor is foun­ded in SA 32).

From the People of Middle Earth, and analysis by Thomas Morwinsky

In his 1989 cam­paign module Mount Gun­da­bad, Carl Will­ner pro­poses a conti­nual orcish habi­ta­tion of Mount Gun­da­bad since the end of the First Age. While being sui­table for the time, Chris­to­pher Tolkien’s publi­ca­tion of the HoME series has pro­vi­ded us with much addi­tio­nal infor­ma­tion on many topics of Middle-earth. Of spe­cial impor­tance for Mount Gun­da­bad is the twelfth volume The People of Middle-earth (publi­shed 1996). It gives us much new insights about the Dwarves of Durin’s folk and their rela­tions with the North­men from the First throu­ghout the Third Age. Here we learn that Mount Gun­da­bad was the Place of Awa­ke­ning for Durin and the­re­fore sacred to his tribe. Moreo­ver it tells us that the Orcs only later occu­pied it, the­reby foun­ding the spe­cial enmity of the orcs with the dwarves of Khazad-dûm. There is one chro­no­lo­gi­cal evi­dence in PoM on p.301 : « Mount Gundabad…and its occu­pa­tion in the Third Age by the Orks of Sauron… » (my empha­sis). This pas­sage expli­citly states that the orcs who began the conti­nuous orcish occu­pa­tion in the Third Age were in the ser­vice of Sauron, obviously after Sauron’s re-emer­gence around T.A. 1000. Addi­tio­nally Appen­dix B of the LotR tells us that around TA 1300 « Orcs increase in the Misty Moun­tains and attack the Dwarves ». This refe­rence com­bi­ned with the PoM refe­rence and the gene­ral deve­lop­ment in the nor­thern parts of the Misty Moun­tains led me to the deci­sion of coor­di­na­ting the cap­ture of Mount Gun­da­bad with the foun­ding of Angmar. 

In PoM we also learn that « … the Dwarves of dif­ferent kin­dreds were in com­mu­ni­ca­tion, and in the early ages often held assem­blies of dele­gates at Mount Gun­da­bad. » (PoM p.301). Since the Dwarves awoke in the First Age, the plural « ages » implies that the Dwarves held Gun­da­bad in the First and Second Age (other­wise there would be no need for a plural). Accor­din­gly Mount Gun­da­bad must have been in dwar­vish hands nearly the whole First and Second Age.

Mount Gundabad history

c. 40 SA
Second union of the khazâd. Gun­da­bad reta­ken from the Orcs.
1699 SA
Gun­da­bad taken by the Orcs. End of Dwarf-North­man alliance.
1932 SA
Third union of the khazâd. Gun­da­bad reta­ken from the Orcs.
1302 TA
Gun­da­bad taken by the Orcs.
c. 1605
TA Fourth and Fifth union of the khazâd (Dra­gons Wars)
2793 TA
Sixth union of the khazâd (begin of the Orcs War)
2795 TA
Gun­da­bad reta­ken from the Orcs.
2842 TA
Gun­da­bad taken by the Orcs (Bolg).


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