The Lesser Tribes

While Durin’s Folk was the oldest and most noble of the Dwarven lines, the six other tribes of Naugrim deserve mention. They include the lines of the other original Dwarven Fathers: 

Bávor’s people were the first to leave the homelands. They went into the south and built their homes in the Yellow Mountains (Q. Orolanari”; S. Ered Laranor”; K. Mablâd”). Quickly sundering after the murder of Bávor, they split into three factions. The largest of these groups constructed the vast delving at Baruzimabûl, the great hold that the Men of the South call Blackflame.”

The Dwarves of Belegost and Nogrod

Dwálin and Thrár led their peoples into the Northwest, seeking the storied wealth of the Blue Mountains. Their lines met with tragedy, for they became embroiled in the warfare between the Black Enemy and the Elves of Beleriand. Dwálin and Thrár’s nephew Thrár survived to bring their followers out of the fray and ultimately to escape the predations of Morgoth, although both Dwarf-kings lived long lives, the Third and Fourth Tribes of the Khazad remained small throughout the Second and Third Ages.

Dwálin’s Folk constructed the wonderful city of Gabilgathol, which the Sindar called Belegost (S. Mighty Fortress”; W. Mickleburg”). It was located north of Orod Dolmed (S. Wet-Head Mountain”). Thrár’s Tribe settled in Tumunzahar, the great hold of Nogrod (S. Dwarfmine”). Situated to the south of Belegost, its gate stood just below the eastern lip of the Cirith Ascar (S. Impetuous Pass”; aka Cirith Rathlóriel”). The city overlooked the Dwarf-road that cut through the pass and wound down to the Sarn Athrad (S. Ford of Stones”) on the River Gelion. This well-maintained trade route cut north along the eastern side of the mountains and connected the two Dwarven cities.

Dwálin’s Dwarves aided the Noldor, resisting the onslaught of Morgoth’s armies. The valorous stand by Naugrim of Belegost during the Battle of Tears Unnumbered the Fifth Battle of the First Age” enabled the Free Peoples to avert annihilation at the hands of Glaurung the Dragon. Dwálin lost his son Azaghâl in the fray and the Sons of Fëanor became his fast allies. Later, the Dwarf-king sought to intercede on the Elves’ behalf when the Sindar and the Dwarves of Nogrod came to blows over the right to possess the fabulous Nauglamír.

The Struggle for the Nauglamír

The Nauglamír was a jeweled necklace of incomparable worth remade by Nogrod’s Dwarf-smiths at the bidding of the Sinda King, Elu Thingol (Elwë) of Doriath. Thingol asked the Naugrim to place a Silmaril, one of Fëanor’s Great Jewels, at the center of the exquisite work. When the Elven-king descended into the smith-halls of Menegroth and asked to examine the necklace, however, he found the Dwarves reluctant to relinquish the Nauglamír. Elwë confronted the Khazad, demeaning their race and calling for them to lay down the necklace and to leave Doriath, The Dwarven smiths responded by slaying the Sinda monarch and fled toward Nogrod with the Nauglamír.

The Elves pursued the Naugrim and hunted them down as they struggled eastward toward the Blue Mountains. Few of the Dwarves made it across the Aros into Estolad; most were killed beneath the canopy of the Forest of Region. The Sindar retrieved the Nauglamír and returned it to Queen Melian.

The surviving Dwarf-smiths returned to Nogrod, where they told King Thrár that Thingol had ordered the murder of their brethren. Incensed, the lamenting Dwarves of Nogrod called for war upon the Sindar of Doriath. As noted, Dwálin of Belegost attempted to sway them to peace, but failed. Thrár’s host armed and marched on Doriath. Crossing the Aros and passing unhindered to the gates of Menegroth, they confronted the Sinda Army led by Thingol’s Captain, the powerful Elf-lord named Mablung. The Khazad crushed the Elven defenders, slew Mablung before the doors of the Treasury, and sacked and plundered the city.

The Elves avenged their defeat in the Thousand Caves. Joining with the Ondrim (Ents), the Sindar struck the victorious Dwarves as the Naugrim marched homeward. The resulting fray took place at Sarn Athrad, where Thrár’s forces were slaughtered and the treasures stolen from Doriath fell into the cool waters of the River Ascar (which became known thereafter as the Rathlóriel, or Goldenbed”). Beren, the Captain of the Sinda Army, slew Thrár the Cold and wrested the Nauglamír from the fallen Dwarf-lord.

So ended the brief war between the Sindar and the Dwarves of Nogrod. It was a sad story that gave birth to the long-standing animosity between the Khazâd and the Grey Elves and nearly doomed the entirety of the Third Tribe of the Naugrim. Thrár and his sons perished and the mantle of leadership passed to Thrár’s young nephew Thrúr.

The new King looked to his neighbor Dwálin for aid in rebuilding his people, and indeed Thrár’s Folk survived; however, it was not long before the cataclysm that accompanied the fall of Morgoth forced the Third and Fourth Tribes out of their ancient cities. Ironically, the Dwarves of Belegost suffered the most when the earthquakes and flooding reached their halls. While each tribe escaped the destruction and eventually resettled in the Ered Luin, both Dwálin’s and Thrár’s Dwarven lines were small in number with the dawn of the Second Age.

Thelór’s Folk

Thelór was King of the Fifth Line. Of all the seven tribes, the tale of his people was perhaps the most tragic. For a time, they lived in Mount Gundabad in the 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 seven centuries; however, once again infra-Dwarven strife ended their peace. An argument between King Thelór 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 Thelór’s daughter Thris, whose son Threlin became King.

Threlin moved the remnants of Thelór’s Folk further south in the early Third Age. He established a domain centered at the delving called Namagalûz. 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.

The Founding of Ruuriik

The last two of the tribes, those of the Drúin the Proud and Barin the Scarred, settled in easternmost Endor. There, after being apart for over seven centuries, they came together once again and laid claim to the guarded, seaward land they named Ruuriik.

The Dwarves of Drúin’s Tribe founded the Kingdom of Ruuriik in S.A. 700. Ruuriik was a land well endowed. Eru had given generously all those things Dwarves prize: the mountains were bold, high, and surrounded a great basin, itself fertile with the squat Tumarkhazad trees. The earth and stone were rich in gold and precious minerals, while the hills were populated with a beast ideally suited to the inhabitants’ narrow tastes — the fierce Kharhd.

Note: The Tumarkhazad is a lowland spruce found only in Ruuriik. It grows to a height of about fourteen feet. Astoundingly uniform in appearance, these dwarf trees were carefully tended and cultivated by Drúin’s Folk so that their lower branches grow straight out. The limbs of adjoining Tumarkhazad interlock, forming a canopy that is almost exactly five feet above the ground. This remarkable, fire-resistant tree grows all over the Faliodukûm river basin and permits the Naugrim to move swiftly while under cover. More importantly, the Tumarkhazad forests impede travel by large peoples.

The Kharhd is a hairy, short-legged beast remotely related to the Bison. Thriving in the dark Tumarkhazad woods, they stand only three to three and one-half feet at the shoulder and can move through the unique forest with ease. The Dwarves use them as beasts of burden, and a few have actually been harnessed as mounts. They have two sharp, curving horns, which they use to defend themselves and challenge one another for dominance. Kharhd are omnivorous herd animals.

Led by Balli the Rash, the Naugrim established their capital in the caverns of Akhuzdah (Ahulë), in the rim of the mountains on the southwestern side of the Great Vale. It was called Tumunamahal after Mahal (Aulë) and consisted of a seven-tiered complex built along the lines of Khazad-dûm. Balli’s craftsmen quickly realized that the site would serve as a superb delving for a capital. The area was, after all, not only blessed with countless ore-nodes, it was crisscrossed with dozens of subterranean rivers. Balli had little trouble convincing his lord, King Drúin the Younger, to move east from the hills of Burskadekdar and to relocate in the Walled Land.

Tumunamahal filled a vast cavern complex, one which could be reached from but two entrances. One was a door in the Tower of Drúin the Younger, a huge representation of a Dwarven cairn located in a high canyon called Drúin’s Cleft. This, the main gate, led to a spiral stair that descended through a shaft to the city below. The other entry opened out of the western side of the Mountains of the Wind (S. Ered Gwaen”; Q. Orostili”). A tunnel forty-nine miles long connected this secret gate to the lower level of Ahulë.

The Two Tribes of the East

Only seven years after the founding of Tumunamahal, 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 North-king, had proposed that his daughter. Bis, might marry King Drúin. Excited at the prospect of wedding the talented, brilliant, and beautiful Bis, Drúin quickly granted Barin a fief covering nearly half of Ruuriik. Barin swore fealty to his host in return for the grant, and his Folk received all the land north of the Faliodukam. By S.A. 714 the Line of Barin held sway above the swift-moving stream that divides Walled Land.

The tribes of Barin and Drúin the Proud had little trouble in prospering, despite the occasional forays from the Fale tribes to the west and the servants of the Kanks of Rúartar. The two Dwarven lines coexisted, trading and flourishing behind the mountain barriers that shielded them from the affairs of Men. It was during this time that Barin III established a great temple at the mouth of Drúin’s Cleft. Reputedly built with the blessing of Mahal himself, this monument could be seen from the Great Vale and served as a watch and guidepost for the Dwarves of Ruuriik. Barin III named the structure Khalarazilin and designed the interior to resemble the legendary Birth-hall of the Seven Fathers. Centuries later, when the Banished” fled westward and Múar threatened the kingdom, the Keys to Ahulë were stored within Khalarazurn, for the temple’s stones were fused to each other and to the underlying basalt, and the structure seemed imperishable.

The Quest for the Mirror

In the earliest days of Ruuriik, when the skies were grey and the waters steel-black, there came an emissary. This counsel was a man whose stature and manner pleased all who encountered him, and even the wary lords of Ahulë lent him strong ears. His name was Anasa Wem.

Anasa Wem was of a people called the Arklu-shen. He brought word that his kind were beginning a long migration from their sacred home among the Lakelands of the Far North. He requested aid and understanding from Drúin the Proud and asked that the Dwarves allow his fold to settle among the vales of the Ubaya Orocarni. This request was put before the Council of the Mirror in the Temple of Auld and was honored by the whole of the North-king’s kind. Anasa Wem laid down before the Council his sword, one which shone in hues of silver and blue, and stated that his people would never strike bargains with the foes of Dwarven ways, nor would they war upon the Dwarves or their friends. He then gave Drúin the blade and bid him farewell.

The Arklu-shen settled as they had promised and founded a vibrant (but crude) society high in the vales of their chosen land. They traded with the Dwarves and allowed treaties to be signed with Drúin’s successors. As the years passed, both societies prospered. ln all of those times neither group treated the other with malice, and many secrets passed among the lords.

When Múar came from the North, many peoples fled southward and sought refuge in the expanded lands of the Arklu-shen. These multitudes were willing to fight for their own safety and caused an eruption of petty struggles later to be called the Old Lake-wars. The Arklu-shen retreated to the highest vales that had been their own from an earlier time; the others settled in the void. The latter groups were to pay dearly for their choice. Múar’s armies, ever-expanding hordes of terror, swept down upon the newly situated peoples and slaughtered them whole. Few survived. Only the Arklu-shen escaped the awesome horror.

The Kingdom of Ruuriik was considerably less fortunate in these years, and soon suffered the same onslaught as that encountered by the peoples of Ralian and the Lower Ubaya. Muar, with the aid of his horde and the host of Fell Beasts led by Fuingurth the Strange, crushed the defenses at the Jumping Walk, and swept into the Walled Land. Ahulë was assaulted, and the many mines of the realm were taken or put under siege in the opening months of fighting.

It was at this time that Druhar and Drús (also called Zigilûk and Azalidûm) sought council with the two kings, and stated that the Mirror of Aulë should be taken from their land into safety, and that all knowledge of its ways and existence should be hidden from the minds of the living. The North Hammer had been lost, and their land was nearly doomed.

Zigilûk was the keeper of the Temple of Aulë, and was one of fourteen in all the world who had known the true nature of the Mithril Mirror, the first gift of Aulë. It had been said that it could enable the Dwarves to watch over their kind in other lands, and would allow them to enter any realm of stone that they so desired. In addition to this, it held the secrets of the Elder Dwarves of the First Days and was the tool that taught the skills to the first generations of Aulë’s children. The Hammer was high and holy and had to be protected.

Zigilûk was given guardianship of the Legacy. He left with six other lords and went north through the mountains. Stopping at Shen-Ubatya, he stayed with the descendants of the trusted one” Anasa Wem. When he left, he was accompanied by ten of the Arklu-shen (later called Ubain). Together they took the most prized possessions of their kind on a journey northward to a place that could be called Home of an Enduring Time.” What occurred later is unknown. One clue was left. The Men were led by Anasa Fef, grandson of Anasa Wem, and it was his quest to find the holy focus of his kind and to refound the Kingdom.

The Coming of Muar

Four hundred and forty-three years after the founding of Ruuriik, Múar — Morgoth’s former Warlord in Uab and Uax — appeared in Ralian. Rumors immediately reached the court of Bain, the High-king of Ruuriik, that a Giant had seized control of the forested lake lands northwest of the Orosúli. He had no idea that the Umli of Urd had accidentally stirred a Valarauko from his slumber. Múar was in fact a Balrog.

By the end of S.A. 1143 Múar had subjugated the Fale tribes of Ralian, and in the following year, the Demon-king made war on the Horl and the Dwarves of Ruuriik. Chorthul IV of Womawas Drus paid the Demon-king a price to insure the peace of the Womaw. Múar’s horde conquered Horl and Fenfenen, but they were unable to force their way through the mountains into Ruuriik. The war became a siege, with the Dwarves taking comfort in their safe isolation.

The Conquest of Ruuriik

In S.A. 1157, however, Múar succeeded in fooling the Dwarves by using a strange and treacherous illusion. He seized the caverns of Akhuzdah and forced his way into Ahulë, slaying King Fulla at the Battle of the Knee. King Barin III died fighting before the gates of his home at Radimbragaz. All of Ruuriik was put to the torch; only the refuge of Barin’s Folk at Khazad-madûr escaped destruction.

Scattered and leaderless, Drúin’s Line was virtually wiped out. Remnants of the tribe wandered westward, led by Funds old uncle. Barin’s People fared better, although King Drárin (the Fool) perished in a vain assault on Múar’s Troll-guard near the Brûl Faliodukûm. Drunin Orc-slayer restored order in Khazad-madûr and invited the survivors from Radimbragaz to safely settle in the crowded halls of the holy mine. Drunin’s last actions on the ridge guarding the entry to Khazad-madûr enabled the Dwarven refugees to escape Múar’s northern army. The tale of Drunin’s valiant stand was recorded by an Avar chronicler who witnessed the debacle.

Drunin was not to be seen. As the smoke cleared, Grun (II) stood in a stupefied trance; his eldest son had been cremated in the awful creature’s bodily flames. Only the panic-stricken cries of abused Dwarves could shake him into a sober state. But it was too late. The battered line gave way to the onslaught; they had defied countless attacks that night, but were beaten in spirit. Attrition and horror devastated the harried Naugrim. The army that had numbered in the thousands that morning was now composed of a hundred broken warriors.

Gurn sounded a retreat on his horn, and the remaining Dwarves fled into the mine. There was little thought for the wounded, for there was so little time. Fleeing for their lives, they still lost thirty. Yet they held the door of the mine for ten hours, and at daybreak the Orcs receded into the adjacent hills, confident that their success had spelled the end of the Dwarves in Ruuriik.

Ten days later, when Gurn and his battered followers again felt confident and ventured out from the mine, it was the saddest moment of their lives. The once-proud land of Ruuriik lay in utter desolation, a virtual desert where no signs of life could be perceived. Indeed, the awful creature had made real his curse. The Dwarves wept. But work was to be done and the land replenished. Gurn then renamed the small shelf of land on which they had lived and mined; he called it Khazad-madûr, the Dwarf-womb.’ They had killed his family, his people, his king, and the evil forces would be repaid. Gurn knew he would never see the vengeance fulfilled, but the descendants of these few would. The name would serve to remind them of days gone by.”

The tragic tale of Ruuriik’s fall ended centuries later, for Gum’s line kept Barin’s Folk safely protected within the bowels of the Ered Gwaen. By maintaining their self-imposed imprisonment, the entombed tribe survived the ravages of the Demon-king. As the years passed, Múar’s siege ended and the Dwarves began to carefully venture out. Eventually, the Naugrim sought aid.

In S.A. 2741, Fulla, the heir of Drúin’s Line, led an embassy of Dwarves and Men on a journey to Khazad-madûr in hopes of ascertaining how Múar could be defeated. Fulla sought to free the Tribe of Barin. Unwittingly, however, his arrival accidentally provided a means for Múar himself to enter the Dwarf-hold. Múar slew the Lord Dáin and his son Bain, but the Dwarven Animist Balli Stonehand killed the Balrog before the day was lost. The awful reign of the Demon-king in Ruuriik ended. A year later, Fulla and his friend Balli led an expedition which recaptured Akhuzdah (Ahulë) and drove the last servants of the Demon-king out of Ruuriik. The victorious Dwarf-lord was crowned Fulla VII, King of Ruuriik, on Yule of S.A. 2742.


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