The Stonehelm Clan

The Stonehelms
The guardians of the eastern Warkore mountains are the Stonehelm Clan -- a sub clan of the Warkore Clan. The Stonehelms are a rather unusual clan of only 500 deep dwarves. The clan has a strange affinity for the rumors surrounding their 'strangeness', and has a strange sense of humor that is tempered with bitter knowledge. The Stonehelms prefer the deepness of the mountains to the surface world, but because of luck and location, the Stonehelms found themselves the first line of defense through the eastern Warkore Mountains. Booby-trapping almost the whole eastern side of those mountains, they maintain a tiny presence on the surface -- but those few dwarves are the most feared warriors of all the dwarves. Master veterans of the War of the Undead and the War of the Four Winds, the Stonehelm Clan boasts over four hundred Dwarven Defenders (see Dungeon Master's Guide, p32), as well as camouflaged catapults and trebuchet, and a wicked mentality regarding their enemies.

Clan Chief and leader of the Stonehelms is Duke Thorril Yarbus Stonehelm, brother to Commodore Seamus of the Rakoran Navy.

The clan's heart is a large, natural cave deep within the mountains. The cave has an underground river's falls flowing through it, and carefully diverted to various pools for use in everything from laundry to traps. Light is supplied by dim everburning torches of various colors, and by the smithies' mirrors and armors, designed to reflect light from the master forges all over the cavern in warm oranges and yellows. A natural vein of quartzite was quarried out to make the buildings of the Stonehelms, throwing the dim light everywhere, as well. The town itself rather resembles a bowl with three hills located along the edges, and the waterfall coming out of the wall between two of the little hills. Korkthalam (dwarven for Blood Shivers) holds most of the dwarven population. Branches lead off from it to the mines, the surface, and the Krelktham (Food District) where the rest of the dwarves live.

During the War of the Four Winds, the Stonehelms lost some 500 of their clan during the initial invasion, before surrendering their mountains to the ograns and falling back to Mount Basilisk, to defend the king. King Feldspar Graniteshoulders managed to escape Mount Basilisk, but the Stonehelms remained to defend the capital, fooling the ograns into thinking the king was still there, and wasting ogran resources assaulting Mount Basilisk. Some two thousand members of the Stonehelm Clan (and another thousand members of the Warkore Clan) gave their lives at Mount Basilisk -- including Chief Yarbus Stonehelm and his brother, Father Kurrold Stonehelm.

Together, Yarbus and Kurrold were the Hammer and Anvil of Galgiran. Between them, Yarbus and Kurrold took down a massive hatori and its full complement of ogre infantry and ogremai generals. Some estimates place the number of ogran dead -- solely by these two -- at nearly ten thousand. They both fell after nearly three weeks of continual fighting, and it is widely rumored that sleep deprivation led to the fall of these two colossal dwarves.

The Stonehelms and the Warkore dwarves destroyed nearly three-quarters of a million ograns in the Siege of Mount Basilisk. Over a million ograns remained, though, when the king's advisor on magic, Duke Henrik, sacrificed himself to save the rest of the Stonehelms.

A set of statues made in the image of Yarbus and Kurrold greets visitors to Mount Basilisk, and on the pedestals of the twenty-foot tall warriors are the names of all the Stonehelms who fell defending Mount Basilisk.

Strange Allies
The Stonehelms have made friends with a renegade kobold named Kyipyirip -- a ranger that keeps to the eastern Warkore Mountains. Reclusive and contemplative, Kyipyirip is anything but stupid, and has even learned a smattering of the dwarven tongue. The ranger treats everyone with caution, which is perhaps one reason the Stonehelms like him -- and have even allowed him to visit their homes, much to the consternation of the rest of the Rakoran dwarves.

Kyipyirip: male kobold; Rgr4; CR 4; Size S (3 ft., 7 in. tall); HD 4d10; hp 22; Init +3 (+3 Dex); Spd 30 ft.; AC 15 (+3 Dex, +1 Size, +1 Natural); Attack +3 melee (spiked guantlets, 1d4-2, crit19-20x2), or +8 ranged (shortbow, 1d6, crit20x3, RI60ft); SV Fort +4, Ref +4, Will +2; AL NG; Str 7, Dex 17, Con 10, Int 16, Wis 13, Cha 11. Languages Spoken: Shi'Kobold, The'Kobold, Ogran, Dwarven. Skills and feats: Bluff +1, Climb +1, Concentration +6, Craft (traps) +5, Hide +14, Jump +4, Listen +1, Move silently +3, Profession (hunter) +3, Ride +9, Search +12, Spot +8, Wilderness lore +7; Dodge, [Track], Weapon finesse (gauntlet, spiked). Ranger Spells Per Day: 1. Key Descriptors: fastidious, cautious, lewd, shrewd.

Gyipip (Animal Companion): mountain coyote; CR 1; Size M (4ft long); HD 2d8+4; hp 13; Init +2 (+2 Dex); Spd 50ft; AC 14 (+2 Dex, +2 natural); Attack +3 melee (1d6+1 bite, crit 20 x2); SV Fort +5, Ref +5, Will +1; AL TN; Str 13, Dex 15, Con 15, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 6. Skills and feats: Hide +3, Listen +6, Move Silently +4, Spot +4, Wilderness Lore +1, [Track +4 w/ scent], Weapon Finesse (bite).

The Grimbeard Tombs
The Stonehelms discovered ancient tombs, just before the ogran invasion in the War of the Four Winds. The tombs had been desecrated by the War of the Undead, and the souls within were locked in a fury of torment and pain that not even Father Kurrold could undo. The undead within the tombs nearly escaped, and even killed several of the Stonehelms, before Father Kurrold could lock them back into their mountain deepness.

Father Kurrold asked a boon of Galgiran as the Stonehelms retreated before the ogran onslaught: he asked Galgiran to grant the dwarves their final rest, killing as many ograns as they could.

When the Stonehelms returned to their clan home after the war, they found ogran bodies piled hundreds deep in the Korkthalam and the Krelktham, and bodies so thick they choked off the escape tunnels. Of the Grimbeards, there was no sign, and their tombs were completely empty. Priests of Xoriah, the Flame Goddess, had to be called in to help burn the bodies of the ograns out of the clan's mountain home.

For more on the Stonehelms, consult Campaign V's stories.

Several important survivors of the Stonehelms include Moror of Hallis Island, Seamus, and Angus.

The Bandylegs
The War of the Four Winds left the Stonehelms -- the most battle-hardened warriors in all Rakore -- too low in numbers. The King of Rakore considered realigning some of the clans already in Rakore in order to increase the Stonehelms' numbers, but decided not to unless absolutely necessary.

Ahira Bandylegs was a special operative for one of the Rakoran merchant companies, and a member of a clan from outside of Rakore. The king and his advisor Rial approached the special operative, and spoke with him for some while. It was agreed that Ahira would return to his clan and offer them safe passage by sea with all they could carry from their lands in the Avris Mountains, lands, titles, and even riches -- in exchange for the loyalty and fealty of the Bandylegs clan.

For their own reasons, the Bandylegs agreed. They added nearly 5,000 dwarves to the Stonehelms clan, and have added a fair number of abilities to the clan, as well: The Bandylegs are mainly brewers.

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