The latest issue of the 9th Scroll is here! You can read all about it in the news.
My colleague Tjub (of the Tjublings) wanted me to draw a south sea dwarf, and so here it is! The islands of the Pacific Ocean is not the first place one would think of Dwarves for, when converting real world history to fantasy, yet the famous Rapa Nui of Easter Island did carve (and transport) Moai statues out of stone, so they, if anyone, will serve for Dwarf duty. A good distance to the west of Easter Island lie the Kiribati islands, of which the warriors of Gilbert Islands were famous for their armour (overall and cuirass) woven out of coconut fibres, which protected the warrior elite against sharp tooth weaponry during ritualized combats which were not supposed to end in the death of the enemy (which would incur a fine of lost land for the killer). The warriors also wore porcupinefish headgear to top it all off. This exotic wargear required some skilled craftsmanship to produce, which is ever a must with Dwarves. And so I present to you this concept of the Dwarves of the Lost Islands, stranded out at sea to the west of Virentia:
While by far the most of the scattered islands of the giant ocea between Augea and Virentia-Silexia are inhabited by Humans (or other sentients), a corner of this vast sea harbour a pecularity which will surprise any explorer that ever happens to come upon it. For thrown out far from land and far from other isles are to be found the Lost Islands, formed in bygone eons by volcanoes. These volcanoes deposited some rich mineral deposits on some of the islands, which the world-dominant Saurian Ancients sought to exploit during the long First Age. As such the reptilian overlords imported Dwarves from their breeding pens and silver mines in Virentia's Wrathful Mountains, and set about strip-mining the ores and gemstones. This mining operation was carried out with great investments and vigourous slavedriving, and as the skyhammer fell, the underground of the islands were all but empty of minerals. The thunderous impact of the distant comet reverberated the world over, and under the Lost Islands it pulled out reinforced masonry that held back the sea.
Enormous quantities of water crashed into the mining tunnels and devoured almost everything and everyone left down there, drowning both master and slave and dashing their corpses against the rock. Yet some Dwarven slaves survived above ground, and some others managed to find shelter in underground caves into which the water could not rise, and then succeeded in swimming out from these pockets of air. The lucky divers emerged and set their brethren above ground free, and together they drove the remaining Saurians to extinction in a vicious series of running battles. Yet this celebrated victory was also the beginning of everlasting woes, for these wayward Dwarves were lost far out at sea, with no mountains in sight and no metal to mine and forge. Thus began their long isolation, during which the Lost Islanders made do with the materials at hand, and after a fashion they crafted their items with such raw materials as coconut fibre, wood, stone, shells and shark teeth.
Although the sun warms well, in their Dwarven hearts lurks an eternal yearning for mountains, and their songs tell of their longing and plight, and their stories are filled with wondrous lands beyond the horizon, which they however cannot in reality reach.