Glorvardum, properly called the Dwur Kingdom of Glorvardum, is a dwarven nation in the Gloriole Mountains.
The kingdom of Glorvardum is millennia old, although the gnomes and halflings are comparatively recent immigrants. Thousands of years ago, a genocidal war between the dwarves of Glorvardum and the local ogres and giants lasted decades but eventually stalemated; the dwarves buried their dead in the Crypts of Iron Souls. This cleared the nearby forests of giants to the extent that they were safe enough for gnomes and halflings to settle in. The region was relatively free of humans, however, until Flan took refuge in the Gloriole Mountains during the Great Migrations. The Flan migrants fought the local giants and each other, and their short-lived nation collapsed. Groups of Oeridians joined and interbred with the Flan in the subsequent centuries.
The dwarves of Glorvardum remained isolated from the expanding Great Kingdom, though they were friendly allies of the Iron League. They helped aid Sunndi when the Great Kingdom sought to punish it from seceding from the empire, and without the doughty dwarves Sunndi may not have been able to preserve its independence.
Glorvardum aided Sunndi again during the recent Greyhawk Wars, but this time failed to stop the armies of the Great Kingdom from conquering that land.
Glorvardum is in the north-eastern part of the Glorioles, centered around the peaks of the mountains Kilvangath and Bolwhurgirn. The mines, citadels, and holds of the kingdom are well-fortified, and extend deep into the mountain roots. Most of the mines are long-since played out, however, so old is the kingdom.
The dwarves are a slowly dwindling people, numbering barely 10,000 in the present day. Many of their own holds are abandoned.
The halfling, gnomish, and human settlements are in the lower regions, apart from the dwarves. A few hundred gnomes and approximately one hundred halflings live in the dwarven halls, acting as intermediaries, negotiators, mercenaries, or practitioners of specialist skills.
The chief gods of Glorvardum are Moradin Soul-Forger and Clangeddin Silverbeard, Father of Battle. This has been true since before the dwarf-giant wars of millennia past.
Glorvardum is ruled by a thane who is elected for life by the elders of the seven clans. The kingdom also holds a seat on Sunndi’s Council of Lords, though they rarely participate in Sunndi’s government.
Six of the dwarven clans are extended families and double as craft guilds. The most powerful of these are the Ironbeards, whose craft is trade and diplomacy. The seventh clan is the Samryntar (“The Favoured”), who are the priests of the dwarven kingdom. The members of the Samryntar are recruited from the six secular clans; they must leave their parent clans in order to join the priests, renouncing all claim to their clan birthrights, although their children, if any, are returned to their parents to be raised and to choose either the craft of their grandparents or the priestly way as they see fit.
The symbol of Glorvardum is a battleaxe crossed with a warhammer.
Though the mines of Glorvardum have been worked for many centuries, there is still much wealth to be drawn up in the newer mines.
The commonest fruit of these mines includes gold, silver, gems, blue and white striped agate, mottled blue azurites, and gray-black hematite. Iron ore can be found in modest amounts. Much more rarely, orange jacinths and star rubies can be found in the deepest mines.
The dwarves of Glorvardum trade almost exclusively with Sunndi, though in past decades merchants from Idee, Onnwal, and Nyrond were permitted to bid.
The nearby gnomish and halfling communities sell wood, food, and cloth to the dwarves in exchange for iron, steel, precious metals, and gemstones.
The folk of Glorvardum are increasingly insular, and they seldom rise from their halls of late.
Another powerful group in Glorvardum include the Barakadar (BAH-rahk-adahr), or army. All able dwarves must spend at least five years in the Barakadar before returning to their clans to practice their ancestral crafts. Each unit draws its members from many clans, and this is the time in a dwarf’s life when they mix with other clans the most. Some elect to remain in the Barakadar permanently rather than return to their ancestral tasks.
The other major group in Glorvardum is the Olsamman (literally, “Magic Shield-brother”), which is a recently-founded guild of dwarven magic-users, primarily elementalists and artificers. They have existed for no more than a century and a half, since the rise of the House of Naelax to the Malachite Throne.
Neither the Barakadar nor the Olsamman has a seat among the clan elders, and thus they do not have a role in choosing the next thane. Their skills make them influential nonetheless, and few thanes dare to ignore their opinions.