The High Kingdom of Arduan
|Political System||Clanship Elective Monarchy|
|Current Leaders||High Kjung Belegar Whitebeard|
The High Kingdom of Arduan was once one of the great centres of civilisation on Eden and was named after its legendary founder; Arduan Starforged. The forges plenty, their beards long, none would dare to sully the name of any Denur. A prideful people, their love for rock and stone is reflected in the ancient halls that can be seen throughout the entire continent.
This once mighty yet still proud civilisation, expelled from its mountain home of Dar-ach Denur, has never ceased its efforts to reclaim what is rightfully theirs. Their forges still run hot, and their ale still flows, always keeping in line with their ancient customs. The Denur of the High Kingdom work in unison to rebuild from the Jägershoff Brewery and gather what is left of their scattered brethren, hoping that one day they may return to the mountains and usher in a new golden age for all Denur.
Culture and Society
The Clans of Arduan
The Denur of Arduan are a closely-knit people and can be described as a large family contriving of other, smaller families. Families within the High Kingdom often refer to themselves as clans, with the largest and most prominent of them being part of the great clans and thus the clan council. These clans, although often rivals, continually work together to better the High Kingdom. Some clans can trace their heritage back to the times of Arduan himself, and some of the newer clans will tirelessly attempt to build their own legacy. Being part of a clan is one of the greatest pleasures for a Denur, the clans are often filled with Denur that are of the same mind and heart. Each and every clan has their own speciality, and it is not uncommon for clans to take in and adopt those that show great promise in their field. Those within a clan dine together, fight together, and form one political block within the council. Through this system of clans, these Denur have forged a system where those who provide service to the High Kingdom have a say within it, and ultimately choose a new High King when the previous dies or retires.
The Whitebeard clan is a Great Clan of Arduan. The Whitebeards are one of the oldest and proudest clans within the High Kingdom. They are often famed for the many High Kings that have come from their lineage, and strive to retain their political dominance. Denur who carry Whitebeard blood are often born with their signature white mane and adopted into the clan.
The Doomforged clan is a Great Clan of Arduan. Said to be born in darkness, and forged in fire; dwelling in deep caves, living close to the bubbling magma of the very depths. They are known to be dedicated smiths, and skilled prospectors. Usually of darker skin, and born with crimson or orange eyes. Known to be secretive about their history and skills, the Doomforged are usually extremely stubborn and distrustful of outsiders— and even their own. Often the Doomforged are seen wearing ceremonial paint in the colors of their eyes and environment, that being the streams of fire and magma.
The Emberborn clan is a Great Clan of Arduan. Founded by some of the greatest minds the Denur had ever seen, the Emberborn pride themselves upon their ingenuity and mental prowess. Their inventions have decorated their halls and assisted the Denur for many years, advancing their kin through hard work and determination. Members of the Emberborn clan often have blonde hair and tend to be slightly taller than the average Denur.
The Battlehand clan is a Great Clan of Arduan. The Battlehands are a clan of notorious Denur, known for their ferocious style of combat. These Denur pride themselves upon a long lineage of legendary fighters and Grand Marshals within the High Kingdom. The Denur of the Battlehand clan are often built leaner than their brethren and are brown of hair.
The consensus among the Denur of the High Kingdom has often been that the only ones they can rely upon are themselves. This is reflected in all they do, on both a small and global scale. These Denur believe that only through their own unity and strength, they can reclaim the greatness that was lost with time. This does not mean they do not interact with the other races, kingdoms and empires of Eden, for fate has forced them to. However, these Denur are often very distrusting and cynical about the intent of all things foreign and will rarely lock themselves into anything unless their trust has been won over, which remains a feat few have ever attained. Their trust in one another is something different entirely though, these Denur have always seen one another as brethren, and aside from the occasional squabble and grumble, Denur are known to be willing to lay down their lives in protection of their own.
The Denur Craft
Every area inhabited by Denur is often filled with the clanging of steel against steel, the grinding of gems and the carving of rock. The Denur of the High Kingdom are no different in that regard, with most Denur choosing a path of craftsmanship next to their usual thirst for a fight. All Denur are taught a craft and are expected to become masters within that craft, honouring their ancestors in the process.
Life in the High Kingdom is mainly focused on hard work, no matter the branch, which starts from the moment a youngling can walk. Depending on which clan a young Denur is born into, if any at all, they are given a task and a goal to attain in life. The Denur of Arduan have always believed that practice is the best, and only, teacher. From a young age, these young Denur become apprentices of their elders, striving to surpass the skill of their forebears. A certain hunger for improvement lives within the hearts of all Denur, and once chosen a path, a Denur rarely strays from it. Many of the Denur smiths and artisans have been craftsmen for tens, sometimes hundreds of years, with each generation passing on their knowledge and tricks to the next. In Denur society, working is one of the greatest honours, and diligence is a great virtue within their ranks. A Denur rarely stops working until they die, for it would bring great shame upon their clan if they were to do so.
Festivals and Celebrations
Founder’s Day | A day of celebration for the founder of Dar-ach Denur, Arduan. It is usually celebrated with a large feast in one of the holds, and all Denur travel there to celebrate the day.
The Great Melee | A day of brawling and drinking for the Denur, all are invited to test their mettle and fight to see who is the strongest in the hold. Bets are usually placed and spectators come from afar to watch.
Keg’s End | Celebrated on the night of the new year, this holiday marks a special moment for the Denur. All kegs within the hold must be emptied when the sun rises, and thrown onto a big pyre which is then set aflame during a ritual, promising good health and prosperity.
Military and Law:
The Way of Iron and Steel
Aside from their usual life of crafting and drinking, all Denur are known to be quite inclined to fight. A long tradition of having to ward off the many dangers the continent of Eden has to offer has bred a need for strong warriors within the Denur ranks. Like their craft, a Denur born in Arduan is taught to hold their own in combat from a very young age, often by the elders within their clan. A short and sturdy folk, most younglings opt to fight with hammers, axes and shields and are known to prefer getting up close and personal with their enemy. Some exceptionally skilled Denur choose to live a life of constant fighting and end up joining the Iron Guard, the standing army of Arduan.
The Iron Guard
The standing army of Arduan, a collection of Denur whose calling it is to fight. Sometimes they are referred to as ‘Arduan’s Slayers’, and will often act similar to a mercenary company. The Iron Guard takes quests and works to rid the continent of different beasts and enemies in search for glory and in some cases redemption. Though that is their purpose during peacetime, their main goal is to preserve the survival of the Denur race and the High Kingdom itself.
Trial and Punishment
Should someone break one of Arduan’s sacred laws, they are to be brought before a tribunal of clans where their fate shall be decided. Punishments differ depending on the crime, though most Denur criminals are sentenced to serve in the Iron Guard and redeem themselves and restore honour to their name. There is only one crime punishable by death within the High Kingdom, kinslaying, for it is seen as the ultimate dishonour upon one’s soul and the entire race. Punishments for outsiders are often much more severe, as those who take advantage of Denur hospitality are deemed unworthy, and a grudge must be settled. This can range from dismemberment to execution, yet it is safe to say that the Denur will have their satisfaction, usually taken with blood.
The history of the High Kingdom of Arduan is heavily influenced by the High Kjung of their times. Each High Kjung brought with them their own visions and beliefs, bringing about a new age for the folk living inside the Kingdom time and time again. From the founder, Arduan Starforged, to any modern day High Kjung, history is defined by their actions.
Noteworthy High Kings of Arduan
Arduan Starforged | The first High King of the Denur, it is said he built Dar-ach Denur for his people, safe from all outside perils. A great commander and a true leader, he wielded a large greataxe adorned by a shining white gem. The greataxe was the symbol for the High King, as it was masterfully crafted from metal originating from outer space, finding its way into the Dzrathas Mountains in the form of a meteorite. This greataxe later become known as the Starforged Greataxe. It is disputed what Arduan may have looked like, but he is often depicted to have a great brown beard with hazel, burning eyes. The High Kingdom was later named after him and he is often famed as the Father of the Mountain. Arduan was the first to realize the potential of the earth and all of its various minerals, starting the creation of the various Denur keeps utilizing clever contraptions made of bronze, iron, gold, and dark steel. Arduan handed over the High Kingdom to his friend, Argilac, as he continued searching for more legendary metals. The coronation where Arduan left the Starforged Greataxe in the care of Argilac is the last recorded entry of his existence.
Argilac Stoneguard | Famed as one of the greatest geomancers of his time, he was the High King of Arduan and brought an era of peace with him. The Denur flourished under his reign, and geomancy became more widespread throughout the holds. Many underground trade routes were constructed using the wisdom of Argilac. Though, after the decline of geomancy, these routes were doomed to collapse in the end. Argilac managed to pick up where Arduan left off and develop the holds into nigh impenetrable strongholds. These strongholds would later become the target of perilous corruption soon after their golden age. Dar Zenour and Dar Azur fell one after another to an unknown corruption that still haunts these places to this day. Many have tried entering the fallen holds, yet few return from such adventures. The cause of this corruption is said to have come from within, as these holds were almost impossible to conquer from the outside.
Orun Grudgebearer | One of the greatest High Kings to have lived, he forged the Great Book of Grudges and declared all slights against the Denur people be written within it, to be avenged at the hands of himself and all future High Kings. A great council was called where all the clans could write down their grudges within the book, creating a collective list of grudges against the Denur people. The Great Book of Grudges is now passed down from each High King to the next and provides the base for Denur culture. This would be the origin of the council of clans which can be seen operating until this very day.
Uldrig Proudfist | The sitting High King during the Great Collapse, known for his pride, some Denur speculate that is what brought forth the downfall of his Kingdom. Uldrig is often remembered as an angry Denur, more stubborn than most. He believed in denur supremacy over anything else, refusing to take aid when the High Kingdom most needed it. Uldrig shut the doors of the great denur holds during the Rotting Plague, causing the rations to dwindle quickly and the farms outside to be abandoned. When the Rotting Plague was over, not many Denur had even known it was really going on. The five years of the plague were spent indoors by the Denur, with only a few succumbing to it due to travelling outside of the holds when the plague first hit. When the Denur emerged from their isolation, they had been richer through years of dedicated mining. However, they found their farms were no longer functioning which caused The Great Starvation. An event where many Denur folk lost their lives due to the lack of insight by their High King.
Grilthram Runefist | A High King who fought a losing battle, having to pick up as successor to Uldrig. Grilthram attempted to bring back the Denur from the brink of destruction. A heavy famine had claimed many lives as Grilthram spent effort after effort to re-invigorate the food production of the Denur. Many adversaries laid their eyes bare to the impenetrable mountain hold of Dar-Ach Denur that was now laid to waste. First came a demon of rot, attempting to take over the hold by force, but a coalition between Denur and Men led a resistance that repelled the invaders, killing greater demons in the process. A time of relative peace ensued after, restoration plans underway and Denur-kind rising up again. This peace would not last as another evil looked towards the mountain as their base of operations. On the Night of Statues, an intense cold invaded Dar-Ach Denur, causing many Denur to be frozen solid in an instant turning them into statues of ice. Those who managed to survive became wanderers, but the body of Grilthram was never found. He is said to still stand in the mountain as he was willing to face whatever attacked the High Kingdom during the event.
Belegar Whitebeard | The current High King of Arduan, currently not in possession of Dar-ach Denur, is attempting to gather what is left of his brethren and retake the Mountain. He is known to have a white beard with icicles hanging from it, having survived the Night of Statues, and a magically imbued greataxe at his side. He is leading The High Kingdom of Arduan from the Jägershoff Brewery
|Human Nations||The Hadrian Empire · The Tzardom of Raevkov|
|Elvish Nations||Luminion · Mitrona · Anjyarr|