“Many people make the mistake of believing us to be a peaceful nation because we talk them into negotiations and MAKE them listen when they’d rather not want to kill needlessly. They are wrong – we could not be who we are to them if we indeed were peaceful sheepherders. It has been the long history of our people to create the realms of the Deep and to defend them against the creatures clawing their way up at us. To fight the wild things that come from the North and East, if some of our friends knew what lives within a day of our Mountain reaches, their blood would freeze. But it is this strength that allows us to bring peace to other nations.” ~ King Rowan about his people.
When it comes down to it, nine in ten dwarrow are proficient with a weapon, be it ax, spear, crossbow, or hammer, and if their King calls for them, they will come and fight. Such a call is fearsome to behold: as workshops stop their doings and forges fall silent, more and more dwarrow assemble to form an army. For many centuries such a call had not been necessary, not since the days of Asturi the Brave. However, it is dwarven understanding that each and any man or woman, any youth above 50, can be called to fight when the King calls them to war. And necessary it became only 11 years ago, when part of their armies was already fighting Aquilone and guarding the Deeps, and Aquilone invaded D’hassa, to not weaken the Deep Defenses the King called his people to arms.
Outside of that, the standing military of the dwarrow is spread around their borders to protect their land from harm and holding the walls of the deep against the creatures from below.
Temporary or compulsory service is fairly unknown amongst the dwarrow – a warrior is a warrior for life, they made some concessions to that when it came to forming the Guard of the Hills, but the 12-year term on the Guard is a minimum service time for them, and not considered very long in their eyes.
Guard of the Hills
A guard unit composed of fighters of all nations that are part of the Conclave of Nations dedicated to protecting the passes and roads into Tynar-Dazûr and ensuring that no one traveling under the Raven banner is harassed or assaulted. These same forces make-up the standing military arm of Helvetia.
The Guard of the Hills is led by Deepsilver Crossing Clan, by whoever is Warden of the Passes. These days Arion of Deepsilver Crossing is Warden of the Passes; he was so named after his brother Dvalin of Deepsilver Crossing was named Warmaster.
Arion of Deepsilver Crossing, Warden of the Passes
Theran of Coldfire Hold (Pass of the Long Road)
Regar of Palegold Mines (Sunset Gate Pass)
The Guard of the Hills is one of two mounted units inside Tynar-Dazûr, the other being the Royal Guard, and has 1200 fighters assigned. It is their task to protect both passes, 600 are assigned to each pass, respectively, where they are stationed in the Warden’s Keep (Pass of the Long Road) and Greystone Fortress (Sunset Gate Pass). They man those fortresses, patrol the road to ensure the safety of travelers, and hunt down intruders, criminals, and raiders.
The Army of the Stone
The Army of the Stone
Warmaster Dvalin of Deepsilver Crossing
The Army of the Stone – the Royal army of the dwarrow, protects their land against danger.
Dwarrow does not know compulsory service or temporary service, a warrior chooses to serve and serves for life, retiring only due to injury or age. To dwarrow temporary service is unthinkable, except when the King calls all people to arms. Otherwise, a dwarrow’s life is given to his King and his people the moment he swears the Oath of Service. Dwarrow are proud in their service and very stubborn in their loyalties, it is often the tradition in a clan to keep the ax of a fallen warrior against the day his son or grandson may take it up and serve.
The Dwarrow army is primarily an infantry army, wearing heavy armor and utilizing heavy weapons. The common weapons of them are axes, hammers, spears, and crossbows. It should be noted that there is a strange stigma on wielding a sword amongst dwarrow – most dwarrow weapons are essentially tools that can be used for many purposes, the sword alone is a tool only for killing and as such considered to be a weapon that should only be in the hands of those with the sole duty to defend their people. As such, the sword has established itself mainly inside their ancient houses, and even they often prefer an ax.
What differentiates the dwarrow army from many other armies is their broad range of combat engineers, sappers, and use of machines. The dwarrow has entire units solely dedicated to allowing the army to pass rough territory quickly, to create paths, bridge ravines, and swiftly fortify camps. These units see their most use during peacetimes inside their own lands (when catastrophes strike) or in aid of other nations.
The dwarrow use a broad range of machines: Catapults, Pyroballistas, Cheiroballistas, Scorpios are amongst the best known in their arsenal. When forced into a war, they make use of their great skills as builders to construct whatever war machines they need, or to use sappers to undermine enemy fortifications.
Outside of that, their “normal” infantry units are heavy infantry mostly, often combining heavily armed fighters and crossbowmen. Dwarrow will use spearmen against riders but will prefer to dig rider traps (earth walls with spears in it) if they have the chance.
Guardsman: Common rank of the members of the Guard.
Fist: 30 Men, led by a Skirmisher. In the Guard, the Skirmishers are often called Defenders.
DoubleFist/Halfbanner: 60 men, led by a Jaeger (Huntsman). Amongst the Guard of the Hills, the term Lancer is sometimes used to describe the rank.
Banner: 120 men, led by the Bannerman.
Blade: 600 men, led by a Guardian. In the case of the Guard of the Hills, the Guardians are replaced by the Protectors of the Passes: Theran of Coldfire Hold (Pass of the Long Road) and Regar of the Palegold Mines (Sunset Gate Pass).
Legion: 10 Blades (6,000 men). This unit is not used in the Guard of the Hills.