Preview of the roster of the Kingdom of Khazâd-dûm
It is told that in their beginning the Khazâd, the Dwarves, were made by the Valar Aulë in the darkness of Middle-earth for so greatly did Aulë desire the coming of the Children, to have learners to whom he could teach his lore and his crafts, that he was unwilling to await the fulfilment of the designs of Ilúvatar. And since this violation became sanctioned by Ilúvatar the Dwarves became one of the speaking folks of Middle-earth, yet different from Men and Elves. As their creator they were aligned to the earth itself, its mountains and deeps.
Seven Fathers were created, and the first and oldest of them was Durin who awoke at Mount Gundabad, and his folk were the Longbeards. South trough the Misty Mountains he moved before the First Age and founded the greatest mansion of all their race, Khazâd-dûm. The Longbeards prospered and spread, so that their realm ranged from the Iron Hills in the east trough the Grey Mountains to the Misty Mountains, their roads for trade stretched trough Rhovanion, and trough Eryn Galen. Also to the mighty realms of the mansions of Nogrod and Belegost in Ered Luin contact was frequent, and the craftmanship in smithing and building improved throughout the millennia.After Morgoth fell, hosts of his surviving Orcs assailed the north, and much was lost. To strengthen their power the Longbeards allied with the Northmen who were tamers of horses and skilled archers, and the alliance proved a great gain to both kindreds. Khazâd-dûm was further helped as the majority of the Dwarves of Ered Luin immigrated during the early Second Age, and Noldor who remained in Middle-earth founded Eregion west of the capital, and firmer friendship between them than anywhere else between Elves and Dwarves arose.
But also Sauron remained, and after the Eregion smiths had crafted the Rings of Power and Sauron the One Ring to rule them all, war engulfed the West once more. Khazâd-dûm set out to aid Eregion when it was attacked in 1697, together with forces from Lórien, but Eregion fell and Khazâd-dûm came under siege. The Dark Lord's hate follows the Longbeards ever since, and Orcs are ordered to assail them whenever possible.
During these wars also the alliance with the Northmen was broken, and since the Khazâd have kept within their own borders, and the population of Khazâd-dûm dwindled.
Seven Rings are held by Dwarven lords, six handed to them by Sauron, but the Longbeards hold true that the one that Durin's line posess indeed was given as gift to Durin III by Celebrimbor of Eregion himself. Whatever the truth, Sauron found that Dwarves could not be dominated trough their Rings, they ill endure the domination of others nor can they be turned to shadows. He yearn to get the Rings back, and while they grant the Khazâd increased wealth they also grant greater dangers.
Now for a long time Sauron have had his Eye and interest fixated elsewhere, in what has led to the new war with the Elves and the Exiles from Númenor, and this breather inspires hope. It is time to emerge in force, to regain land that was lost, to recapture Mount Gundabad from the Orcs, and to revive the bonds of old with the Northmen. Perhaps even, if king Durin IV wills it, to join the Alliance that now march against Mordor and the Dark Lord?
As Mahal, whom the Elves and Men know as Aulë, the Khazâd are aligned to the substances of earth in which they live and work.
It is as miners they are perhaps best known, delving for metals and gemstones or increasing their underground halls and mansions, a task that both demands and provides the workers great strength. When their realms face hostilities this profession is from which inductees are mustered. They may not be trained for proper warfare and they are lightly clad, not to be compared to professional troops, but there is nothing wrong with their determination. Armed with mattocks they prove deadly, as what may cut stone can also prove a challenge to enemy armour.
A warlike race of old were all the Khazâd, and they would fight fiercely against whomsoever aggrieved them, be it Dwarves of other mansions, other speaking peoples or wild beasts. Foremost of all weapons among their race is the axe, and their warcry "Baruk Khazâd! Khazâd ai-mênu!" has echoed across battlefields throughout the ages, the meaning being "Axes of the Dwarves! The Dwarves are upon you!".
The Khazâd Axemen are the bulk of the armies of the Longbeards, on duty to all from guarding the halls of their realm, patrolling the trade routs against brigands, to marching out against enemy hosts. They wear basic but good ring-mails or equal armours, helmets and shields, that allow them to create a firm line against an enemy. Step by step the axemen grind attackers or defenders into the dust, their axes sharp and efficient to penetrate enemy armour or break the bones beneath it.
Ered Luin Spearmen (Ered Luin AoR)
Ered Luin, the Blue Mountains, was where the fathers of both Firebeards and Broadbeams once awoke, and their peoples history there was both glorious and grievous. At the end of the First Age the world changed, the mountain range ended up at the western border of the world and during that upheaval the great mansions of Nogrod and Belegost were destroyed. Most left to swell the population of Khazad-dûm in the east, but certainly not all. In the Blue Mountains Dwarves remained, mostly in the part south of the Gulf of Lune, mining for coal or metals. While these parts were fairly peaceful the need for defence still remained on occasion, and for this task the spearmen stand proud.
The spear is not a common weapon among the Khazâd, but its use was noted when their forefathers crafted spears for the Sindar in the First Age, as against foes out in the open it is an advantage to increase the reach of a soldier. Clad in armour and carrying a broad shield for extra protection they make up a respectable line, especially against beasts and hostile riders.
Iron Hills Veterans (Iron Hills AoR)
The Iron Hills are an ancient homeland for the Longbeards. Rich on iron ore as it is they trade across Middle-earth along the Dwarf-road and beyond. Positioned on the border to wild lands the need has always been great for well-armed people, in no other land the Longbeard nowdays hold the Khazâd are more used to battle. This dreadful experience provides the region with grim veterans, forming an irregular force equal to many professional soldiers.
When summoned they come clad in hauberks of steel mail that hang to their knees, caps of iron and a round shield slung at their backs. Dwarves are exceedingly strong for their height, but most of these warriors are strong even for for their kind, and their stamina has impressed those who met them. The loud cries of "Khazâd-dûm" and "Durin!" are heard when the Dwarves of the Iron Hills plunge into the fray, wielding their heavy two-handed mattocks.
Aulë created the Khazâd as they were ever, as they still remain, short and squat in stature, they are deep-breasted, strong in the arm, and stout in the leg, and their beards are long. This is fine when fighting in or under the mountains, but often war brings the battle to the surface where increased reach is most helpful. For this end the smiths of the Naugrim, 'stunted people' in Noldor tongue, provide polearms to end mockery and opposition alike.
It has the advantages of a spear and the abilities of an axe but it adds a pronounced hook that has proven deadly to knights and heavy infantry alike, hurling them into the dirt where they can easily be finished off. Thanks to a wall Dwarves wielding of this weapon many battles have been turned from the threat of defeat to hope of victory, as beasts or enemies mounted upon them have been eradicated in their charge.
The Khazâd delved for themselves great halls and mansions, after the manner of their kind, in the eastern side of Ered Luin before the First Age begun: one of them was Tumunzahar, by the Elves named Nogrod, the Hollowbold. Early the Sindar had their deep armouries filled with great wealth of war gear: chainmail, swords and axes, shields and helms, often bought from Nogrod, sometimes wrought by the legendary smith Telchar himself, or by his master Gamil Zirak the old.
When the Sindar High King, Thingol of Doriath, got a Silmaril in his possession it was to the smiths from Nogrod he turned to make a necklace for it. Thingol died when they quarreled over the jewel and so did most smiths in return, but in Nogrod it was spoken how treacherous Elves had cheated and murdered their kin.
That started a wrathful and bitter war of revenge, where the Nogrod Dwarves sacked Doriath, but they were all killed in the end by Nandor Elves and Ents, during the march home. Many Elves and Dwarves were slain in this war and it has not been forgotten, especially the lords of Eryn Galen hold this against the Dwarven race even after an Age has passed.
Many Dwarves left their ruined cities in Ered Luin to go to Khazâd-dûm and swell its numbers after the First Age, and the warriors of the Nogrod people now aid the armies of Durin's folk. They remain a fierce kindred, who delight in assaults rather than defence even if they are well protected. For this purpose they wield dual swords, and there are always old wrongs to avenge.
Gabilgathol, which the Elves interpreted in their tongue Belegost, that is Mickleburg, was a great mansion in Ered Luin before and during the First Age. Respected still, as with the fellow mansion Nogrod, the smiths and masons of Belegost became renowned among their kin as they learned new skills from the Noldor, when they returned to Middle-earth, and it was of good use to them as the wars against Morgoth raged.
During the terrible battle of Nirnaeth Arnoediad last of all the eastern force to stand firm were the Dwarves of Belegost, and they won great renown for this. The Khazâd withstand fire more hardily than either Elves or Men, and it is their custom moreover to wear great masks in battle, and those stood them in good stead against the dragons Morgoth sent. Without them the dragon Glaurung and his brood would have withered all that was left of the Noldor. But the Dwarves made a circle about Glaurung, and even his mighty armour was not full proof against the blows of their great axes. Glaurung slew Azaghâl, Lord of Belegost, but with his last stroke Azaghâl drove a knife into his belly, and so wounded the worm that he fled the field, and the beasts of Angband in dismay followed after him.
There were and always remained some Dwarves on the eastern side of Ered Lindon, where the very ancient mansions of Nogrod and Belegost had been until the First Age ended. Since they transferred most of their strength to Khazad-dûm, where, with heavy armours, masks and great axes, the Dragon Banes are Belegost's vital legacy.
Since the race of Khazâd were to come in the days of the power of Melkor the Morgoth, Aulë made the Dwarves strong to endure. Therefore they are stone-hard, stubborn, fast in friendship and in enmity, and they suffer toil and hunger and hurt of body more hardily than all other speaking peoples. This has been a great gain to them in the many wars against Orcs and other beasts and threats that assailed their lands since before the Sun had risen.
After Morgoth fell surviving Orcs came in vast numbers to the Misty Mountains, and the wars there have swayed back and forth. Dwarvens halls has been occupied and strongholds of the Orcs have been sacked in pitiless struggle, and there have been death and cruel deeds. But while the Dwarves have lost much ground they have never bent their knee or surrendered their claim, and through their strength, and their matchless weapons, and the fire of their anger they have secured their current realm and intend to retake what has been lost.
Chosen warriors of unyielding honour are equipped with swords and splendid armour by their chieftains, for this purpose. While they lack the edge of an axe stroke, the sword is a more dexterous arm and these craftsmen of warfare are highly skilled to take on any kind of opposition.
Gundabad Champions (Mount Gundabad AoR)
The names of the places where each of the Seven Ancestors had 'awakened' are remembered, and that of the Ancestor of Durin's Folk had been Mount Gundabad. As he was the first of their Ancestors it was therefore revered by all Dwarves, and its occupation by the Orcs of Morgoth and Sauron is one of the chief reasons for their great hatred of the Orcs. As a further offense the Orcs made it a capital of theirs, a muster ground for invasions throughout Middle-earth, but the time to put and end to that is finally here.
The Gundabad Champions consist of veteran warriors who swear to protect the realm of the Khazâd and make sure that never again will the sacred place fall into enemy hands, and even as their ranks are mostly filled with Longbeards members from all Houses can be found among them. This heavy infantry carry two-handed warhammers and wear fearsome masks to take on the strongest of foes, and few on earth equal them in duty-bound morale.
Durin's Chosen (Khazâd-dûm AoR)
Only the most worthy among the Sigin-tarag, the Longbeards, dare to enter the companies known as Durin's Chosen.
Durin was the first of their race to be created by Mahal, the Valar Aulë, and the first to awake and in the caves above Kheled-Zâram he made his dwelling, the renowned Khazad-dûm. He died at end before the Elder Days had passed, but his line never failed, and at times an heir is born in his House so like his Forefather that he receives the name of Durin.
The Chosen swear a solemn oath by Durin's tomb, by the living Durin that rules and by all Durins yet to be born, to never rest in any one place until the ancient homelands are recovered and all the enemies of the Khazâd are overthrown.
They are ironclad with the best armour the skilled Dwarven smiths can provide, and their axes are eager to cut Orc necks, or to deter anyone foolish enough to think the folk of the earth an easy target.
Orocarni Warriors (eastward AoR mercenaries)
From the far east companies of battle hardened warriors come, to offer their services. They are from the Houses of the Ironfists, Stiffbeards, Blacklocks and the Stonefoots in the Orocarni, the Red Mountains, beyond the edges of land charted by the Free Peoples of the West, where their Ancestors awoke and their realms were founded. Little is known about these kindreds among other folks in the West but between the houses of the Khazâd the communication has always been upheld. At Mount Gundabad where Durin awoke, revered first of all the Ancestors of their race, they often held assemblies of delegates before it was captured by the Orcs. And if a dire, dishonourable offense has been commited against a House, or if great need arisen, the other Houses have even supported each other in war.
Whether it is with delight or with toil that a task is carried out, Dwarves always demand a price, still these fierce warriors are valued by the commanders of their kinsmen. With determination they carry maces into battle, in the custom of Easterlings whit whom they of old have relationships, and therefore it is perhaps not altogether surprising that some of these companies, forced or in the hope of great reward, take service also for the hosts of Rhûn.
Men in scorn have at times said that Dwarves do not understand war above ground, whatever they may know of battle in the mines, as they perceive the Khazâd a folk of neither riders nor archers. For both these purposes Dwarves indeed have, during the Second Age, derived aid from Northmen, but it is not true there are no archers among the 'stunted people'. The need for ranged fighting on the surface is obvious to them after all, and the chieftains acquire fitting shortbows for chosen companies to train with.
These soldiers can aim their bow and fit an arrow for swift and sure shots, not as marksmen but still able to hurt any mass of enemies that advance against them, either on a battlefield or in a siege. They are also well outfitted with mail and caps, that allow them to withstand hostile attacks to some degree, without limiting their performance.
Orocarni Archers (eastward AoR mercenaries)
In the Orocarni, the Red Mountains, in the far east the fathers of the Ironfists and Stiffbeards, Blacklocks and the Stonefoots awoke and there their realms were founded. Little is known about these kindreds among other folks in the West but between the houses of the Khazâd the communication has always been upheld. At Mount Gundabad where Durin awoke, revered first of all the Ancestors of their race, they often held assemblies of delegates before it was captured by the Orcs, and at great need or when great dishonour is afflicted upon them the Houses have supported each other in war.
Companies of battle hardened warriors have marched west as the rumour of war has reached them, and though the Dwarves ever demand a price for their services, whether with delight or with toil, at this time they are considered well worth the price. Their kin in the West have soldiers with basic training who carry a bow, but in the Orocarni where the relationship with the Easterlings is old and firm the Dwarves have taken up the composite bow. This allows their range to be greater and their impact more deadly, even if they still lack the accuracy of folk who hunt and train since childhood.
A boon for the Khazâd armies, yet dark rumours claim that some Orocarni companies by force or greed also offer their service to the Dark Lord's armies.
Elite warriors protecting their chieftain or king with their lives.
Units created by Curufin.
Credits to King Kong, Taro_M, Rusichi TW Team
Description texts by Ngugi, edited by Veteraan