|Location||Damara, Impiltur, the North, Vaasa, the Vast|
Mountain dwarves are among the most common of the dwarven peoples. Once the rulers of mighty kingdoms across Faerûn, the shield dwarves have since fallen by the wayside after centuries of warfare with their goblinoid enemies. Since then, the subrace, spurred on by the Thunder Blessing, began to retake an important role in local politics.
The mountain dwarves are on average half a foot (15cm) taller than other dwarves. They are the most common dwarf in the north of Faerûn. They have light skin and green or silvery blue eyes with long light brown or red hair. Most males and even some females have large beards and mustaches. The females are slightly shorter and less heavy than the males.
The majority of shield dwarves live with their own kind, especially "the Hidden," although some dwarves actively seek roles in human communities, usually as blacksmiths or craftsmen. Clans that follow this latter method are known as "the Wanderers," though, due to the boldness of the Thunder generation, the distinction between these two groups has become less clear. Most children become apprentices of a specific trade before they reach maturity and adults are expected to support their close families. Honor is very important to shield dwarves, especially in death, where funerals are held to reflect the achievements of the deceased.
Although the shield dwarves came into being as they are in present-day Faerûn when a large dwarven migration headed north after the fall of Shanatar, their history goes back much further than this.
Taark Shanat led a migration of dwarves west from Bhaerynden around -12,000 DR, entering them into the Cloaker Wars with the inhabitants of Rringlor Noroth. When Taark killed four blue dragons, the dwarves were victorious and settled the Rift of Dhalnadar as their home, founding the kingdom of Alatorin. The lair of the dragons was renamed Brightaxe Hall and the Wyrmskull Throne was formed from the dragons' skulls.
Taark's eight sons spread beneath the areas now known as Tethyr and Amn to build kingdoms of their own and each adopted a child of Moradin as their deity, but fighting over territory broke out between these kingdoms around -9000 DR. This allowed the drow of Guallidurth to attack and capture Alatorin in the First Spider War, but it was later reclaimed by all eight kingdoms during the Second Spider War when they allied against the invaders.
Although unrest between the allied kingdoms began to increase, the Mindstalker Wars were initiated by the illithids of Oryndoll around -8100 DR. This conflict lasted around twenty years with the dwarves emerging victorious, but Clan Duergar in the caverns of Barakuir had been destroyed.
The Third Spider War began around -6150 DR when the Guallidurth drow attacked once again. After around thirty years, the dwarves were forced out of Brightaxe Hall although they took the Wyrmskull Throne with them.
Moving to the SurfaceEdit
When the dwarves moved to the surface in search of new territory, an initial early allegiance with the humans against the djinni ended when the rulers of Coramshan turned to evil gods. The dwarves established the kingdom of High Shanatar north of the Marching Mountains around -5960 DR.
Fall of the empiresEdit
More and more dwarves migrated north, leaving behind their old kingdoms and forming Oghrann, Haunghdannar, Ammarindar and Delzoun. Eventually, all these dwarven settlements fell, the last of which being Ammarindar in 882 DR as a result of the Netherese.
The ancestral homelands of the shield dwarves are located primarily in the North. Shield dwarves can also be found in Damara, Vaasa, the Vast, and the Western Heartlands. Of all their strongholds, the most important is likely Citadel Adbar, formerly a part of Luruar.
Presented here is a list of locations inhabited at one time by the shield dwarves. Very few remain in present-day Faerûn.