Dwarven Holds of Aseadal Peaks (T9A Gaya Confederacy)

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    • Dwarven Holds of Aseadal Peaks (T9A Gaya Confederacy)

      As was discussed here, let's propose T9A to have both a fantasy Human Korea (quite much a given, to be expected) with a few Dwarven Holds in its numerous mountains (not a given). Let's pick Aseadal as a working name for this land, for the moment being; by taking Asadal (the name for the mythical first Korean city, founded by Dangun, a God-King descended to Earth) and inserting "ea" from the end of Korea for a mash-up. In the concept drawing above, the Dwarves of Aseadal Peaks take aesthetic cues from both Korean bronze age culture (especially the Liaoning type dagger), and the ironworking Gaya confederacy (42-562 A.D.) of the Three Kingdoms era, with its famous plate armour suits. The hexagonal shield shape is borrowed from Baekje, contemporary of the Gaya in the peninsula.

      To distinguish the more heavily armoured Dwarrows of T9A's fantasy Korea from the proposed Sky Foothill Dwarves, all Dwarven Holds within Aseadal ought to be independent of the Human kingdom surrounding them, as is the norm for isolated Dwarven Holds elsewhere in the world. Having Dwarven Holds within the borders of Grand Tsuandan be subject to the Human Emperor is one way to play up the sheer exceptional power of Tsuandan (able to cow even Dwarves bunkered up in their heavily fortified highland Holds, and thus field some Dwarven auxiliaries in her armies), while the Aseadal Dwarves face a normal separated situation visavi the Humans around them.

      And now, I hope @YKK will enlighten us on Korean history and share rich knowledge with which to craft a fantasy Korea. The name of this thread can with ease be changed to Aseadal (or some other name) in general to fully include discussion on the Humans of this peninsula (for which Perry Miniatures sport a great historical Joseon range), just say the word!

      Please share your ideas, comments and criticism for this background proposal, folks. :)

      Reference images:

      See also:
      Dwarven Holds of the Maidens (T9A Celts)
      Dwarven Holds of the Crimson Peaks (T9A Celtiberians)
      Nekoshim: Dwarven Holds of the Copper Mountains (T9A Nabateans)
      Dwarven Holds of the Sky Foothills (T9A Akha)
      Dwarven Holds of the Wrathful Mountains (T9A Inca)
      Lost Islander Dwarves (T9A Rapa Nui)
      Karuits: Polar Dwarves of Remotest Silexia (T9A Inuits)
      Cave Dwarves of the Mountains of Gold (T9A Prehistorical)
      Infernal Dwarves of the Torture Valleys (T9A Moche)
      Borean Elves (T9A Finno-Ugrians)
      Saurian Ancients of Aotarakoa (T9A Indonesia)

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Karak Norn Clansman ().

    • Uther the unhinged on CDO had these ideas to share:

      Uther the unhinged wrote:

      The Korean’s famed for archery therefore the dwarves would need to counter this. One way is heavy plate armour. Another would be wall shields (stretched hexagonal). They would need missile weapons too. To distinguish them from other dwarves maybe no set firearms but hand held miniature rockets launched along a wooden track like a cross bow without the bow. You could have a series of these ranging all the way up to large rocket batteries. Crossbows too could be used but stylistically with Korean heavily recurved bows. Maybe phalanxes of spear wielding heavy infantry protecting rocket batteries and lines of heavy armed half held rocketeers. You could convert crossbowmen with removing the bows adding a rocket and a backplate behind it. These guys would need beard plates and face armour. Possibly the stylised face plate of late shogun era. They would need protection from the air... what about leaders on winged Kirin? Magical horned winged goats of the Mountains.
      The independence of these holds could be maintained similar to the Swiss of the 16th century. Too much effort to conquer and happy to be hired as mercenaries by the empire to the west. Whilst acting as a barrier to that empires expansion into the human lands of the peninsula to the east
    • @Karak Norn Clansman

      Since the Aseadal Peak Dwarves are mainly influenced by Gaya Cofederacy, perhaps we can try to burrow more ideas from the ancient petty kingdoms of Gaya.

      For what we know, they were loose confederacy that never had any centralized government. Sometimes, they would gather their strength in order to achieve bigger goals or to defend themselves from outside threat, but most of the time each kingdoms were independent from each other and would often compete with each other for political or economical advantage within loose confederacy. This loose form of confederacy, formed by numerous city-states and petty kingdoms can applied to our Dwarves to explain why there so many holds, yet they never grew into large unified kingdom or an empire that can subdue their neighbors.

      One interesting thing about Gaya Confederacy is that they would often trade iron and their metal tools to multiple factions that existed in ancient Japan and Chinese Lelang Commandery thought I am sure most of you already know about this. Perhaps we can use this in our lore as well when we try to describe their struggle within peninsula and their survival strategy. These Dwarves would often provide quality metal and metal products to Tsundan merchants/mercenaries and warlords in Nippon in return for military aid and trade relations that would secure each holds' booming economy, although some might try to align with their neighbors within peninsula in order to gain advantage within confederacy...

      For their military, combination of bows and crossbow seem reasonable, although I am not so sure about winged Kirin and rocket-launchers. Although I am sure we can find more interesting ideas from different eras of Korean history
    • Decided to throw a lore/idea for our Aseadal Dwarves. I mainly got the ideas from real-world records written by Chinese historians when they were describing ancient kingdoms and tribes in Korean peninsula.

      ...just like their neighbors, they too inhabit the harsh lands of east. Their people live in small villages and towns but would always build fortress at near by mountain or a hill so that they may evacuate when enemies arrive. Although they speak similar tongue and wear similar clothes, they celebrate different types of ceremonies and rituals. They tend to place their kitchen by the western side of the gate. They are sturdy and robust-built folk, who wears clean and well-weaved clothes and tend to have long hair. They often have tattoos because of influence from island of Nippon and its natives, whom most are still not enlightened enough by Tsuandan culture and philosophy and thus retain most of its barbaric nature...

      Book of Tsundan, Chapter: Eastern Barbarians
      Written by Huang Jie, humble Scholar of Tsuandan and loyal servant of dragon emperor and his celestial family.

      ...despite mercifulness and generosity of our high king, those stunted barbarians of high mountains rejected his majesty's offer to receive their tribute and allow them to stay in our land and trade. So his majesty sent 3000 men, under command by general -erased - to suppress them. They successfully destroyed 20 villages, 3 of their biggest mining colonies and workshops, burning more than 400 households and capturing at least 100 of their people. They sent 100 fastest horsemen and successfully beheaded 23 enemies, who failed to run away. Rest of them fled to their folk or into wilderness. Next year on autumn, they raised large enough army to invade our kingdom when most of our men were working on farms and fields. Although they would sometimes trade with merchants from tsuandan, they rejected many of benevolent and wise Tsuandan philosophy and culture in order to retain most of their barbaric customs and religion. Thus, they bribed many sellswords and warlords of Nippon with marvelous craftsmanship and promise of silver in order to bolster their forces. Their fierce horde managed to destroy 5 of our fortresses and burnt many villages that were occupied by innocent people. However, a mighty Tsuandan warlord and our allies from North came to aid us with thousands of heavily armed cavalry and infantry, pushing back enemies into sea and cold barren mountains. After war was over, many islanders refused to invade our kingdom ever again on behalf of their stunted allies, while 12 Aseadal holds and its kings peacefully surrendered, sending many tributes, which includes hundreds of their young servants, craftsmen and maidens, beautiful gold ornaments and marvelous well-crafted swords and axes to our king and Tsuandan warlord, who promised us he would surely bring back these gifts to the celestial dragon emperor of Tsuandan for us.

      Record of Great War of 5 Armies
      Written by anonymous scholar
      Recently found in ancient burrow, along with many other valuable goods and a coffin sealed by strange rituals.

      Hope you guys these short passages. Please let me know if you guys have any other good ideas or questions.
    • @YKK: Nice, I like it! Characterful, and the Nipponese mercenaries are a good touch, as is the deleted general's name. Too succesful for the dynasty's security? ;)

      What is especially good about such in-world perspectives, is that author bias or ignorance easily allows for additions to the background which necessarily don't seem in line with previous writings, taken at face-value, but still don't contradict it.

      I'm here thinking about Dwarven Holds not only having fortifications and clan settlements above ground, but being large carved-out settlements below ground as well (both living town and bunker with stores waiting for the surrounding population to fill out its excess halls). I think every single Dwarven Hold faction - bar the prehistoric proposal in Mountains of Gold - should have impressive underground towns and cities for their Holds, with towering halls of stone and magnificient carvings in the subterranean core sections. For Aseadal Dwarves, think Erebor or Moria in the Lotr movies, but on a more humble scale for most (small) Holds, though still a sight to behold - and in a Korean-based Dwarf style of architecture and stone carving and other decorations. The largest Aseadal Dwarf Holds would be titanic in scale, much like Erebor and Khazad-Dûm, with large populations that have toiled at carving them out and adorning them beautifully for many thousands of years. Marvels of the world, the stuff of legend and overblown tales, and rarely glimpsed by outsiders' eyes.

      So the anonymous scholar would either be ignorant of the true (hidden) nature of subterranean Dwarf Holds in Aseadal Peaks, only describing the surface works, forts and settlements. Perhaps having heard fanciful rumours which his conscientious, learned mind have dismissed as peasants' fantasy. Or he would have no interest in playing up the sheer achievments of the Dwarven Holds opposing the Tsuandan armies, and in the process accidentally highlight how little true progress was actually made toward thoroughly breaking the bunker-like Holds proper, in such a brief campaign expedition.

      Siege of the underground Dwarven Holds' cores would always naturally be an absolute time-consuming nightmare compared to besieging any Human city, no matter how well-fortified said Human city would be. As such, swift campaigns of surface subjugation, burning and mountain fort sieges by mighty Tsuandan banner armies would certainly be enough to drag the Dwarves to the negotiating table to trade away tribute and concessions for peace (because sitting holed up in a besieged Hold is so many lost years when prosperous business could have been made, and food produced, instead) just as is described here. This was a run-of-the-mill war, of competing interests but not at all an extermination campaign. But had it instead been a life-and-death struggle, a real siege to actually root out the Dwarves would have taken many, many years of arduous labour. Digging mines and counter-mines; smoking out the defenders or collapsing their tunnels; Cappadocian cave system tunnel warfare hell conditions and so on.

      (I'll by the way likely be late with responding in weeks or months ahead; will be preoccupied with sculpting and other stuff. But I will always, eventually read brainstorming in these threads.)


      The post was edited 8 times, last by Karak Norn Clansman ().

    • @Karak Norn Clansman
      I'm glad you liked it! And yeah probably the general was too successful for the king and his loyalists...as the wise Tsuandan man once said, "when the hunter runs out of rabbits to hunt, the hound gets boiled instead."

      ...although we have many different sources that tell us Dwarfs of this land loved to record their past and present, which is true even today, we don't have any surviving records of ancient Aseadal Dwarfs written by themselves. Thus, the situation forces us to rely on records written by Tsuandan scholars, whom almost never visited Aseadal dwarf holds, or even the peninsula they dwell in. Due to this, I am very skeptical about their claims that Aseadal Dwarves being 'uncivilized barbarians' or that they did not have ancient marvelous city of their own. Most of the present day Aseadal dwarf holds were rebuilt, so we will need each holds' kings and wealthy guilds to fund our project in excavating ancient sites of Aseadal Dwarves, although some hold boasts long history and we might even discover something there if we were allowed to enter their city...

      Letter written by Oh-sori the Archaeologist, written to his wife

      For the records about Great War of Five Armies, it might also be possible that writer's kingdom didn't actually win the war. You see, the high king at first was winning the war thanks to his brilliant, yet anonymous general/commander who was later purged due to political reasons(his successful campaigns probably made high king jealous and his fame probably threatened his authority as well). This gave the dwarfs time to regroup and counter-attack, giving the high king no other choice but to call for an aid to near by Tsuandan warlord, who was willing to help this illegitimate war against dwarfs unlike the benevolent celestial dragon emperor. They might have halted Aseadal coalition army, but were depleted of strength and wealth to continue the war. So they were somewhat forced to reopened their market and allow Aseadal merchants to come in and export their goods without any restriction, which they phrased "accepting tributes" and "giving back generous amount of boons."

      Or they actually won the war against Aseadal dwarfs by pressuring them from surface. Who knows?