Hefrumm is the main village of the forest dwarves, founded by the Paragon Bjor Cottonwood in Atlas with the idea of having a place where forest dwarf culture and unity can be protected. It is led by their elected High Chief, in cooperation with the separate clan chiefs or leaders. Hefrumm consists of the Cottonwood, Treebeard, Blackroot, and Emberhorn clan, together with a few lesser clans and clanless dwarves. All clans bring different traditions and ways to Hefrumm, though what they all share is a strong communal feeling. They take care of each other and share their land with their kin, for that is how Bjor had envisioned it. The forest dwarves live off the fat of the land that Anbella has blessed them with, be it through farming or the art of the hunt.
As the hammering from their anvils, the arguing of dwarves and the feasting of younger beardlings would echo through the deep underground caverns of Agnarum, it would be rather quiet above ground where Bjor ‘Sugartits’ sat looking over the remains of his village. He was the current Chief of the Cottonwood clan, though this was an empty title, for he had seen little of his kin in general for many years. The thought of his kin feeling the same solitude as himself would rush through his troubled mind as he would stand up convinced it was time for a new age for his forest dwarf kin.
Bjor started packing and preparing himself for the many years of wandering through the realm of Atlas that was to come. Bjor had very little success at first though with the years passing he started to pass more and more of his kin, telling them about the village and warm hearth that was waiting for them. Many of these joined the Cottonwood clan, though the first separate clan that joined Bjor’s quest was the Treebeard clan, the first forest dwarf clan under the leadership of Ozneat, they brought religious wisdom to the village, something that their kin had been lacking. The young chief welcomed the Oakhand clan next, led by Entfar Oakhand, which he found on the outskirts of Holm. During these times there were rumors of a few Cottonwoods of Old returning, as they were seen within Kaz’Ulrah. Excited the young Bjor Cottonwood would quickly introduce himself to these members, revealing that these dwarves were led by Thelnir Cottonwood. He was an old elder of the clan and wouldn't follow Bjor back to the founding lands of Cotton, for Bjor reformed the Cottonwood alliance with the Confederation of Hammers. Determined Thelnir stood his ground upon the matter setting up a small outpost within Garrond's Vale in the lands of Kaz'Ulrah where he and his followers stayed with him. Disappointment struck Bjor, not because they did not want to live under his leadership, but because only a year later these dwarves would scatter once again, for unknown reasons.
~Bjor meeting with the Cottonwoods of old~
During these times Bjor turned to the Hearth Mother for guidance, and this call is rumored to be answered. With the exponential growth of Hefrumm more and more of his lost kin would hear of the name, starting on their travels to the Cottonwood valley next to Agnarum. One of these individuals would be the great Mossbeard, a druid of unknown age who, with his druidic magic, formed the legendary crown of Hefrumm, which to this day is still being passed from High Chief to High Chief. It is rumored to have some magical properties.
But rising numbers did also attract unwanted attention, which was answered by the Red Plague of Atlas; foul lizard creatures that turned living creatures into mutated beasts with their venom, referred to as swamp alars in dwarven history, invaded the poorly defended village. The forest dwarves of Bjor went to war with these creatures though with the element of surprise they were able to overrun the village, with the forest kin pulling back into the forest. There they set camp and helped the wounded. Though there were no records of any fallen forest dwarves, Bjor still saw this as his own failing, which resulted in the formation of the Thorns of Hefrumm later in his ruling. A few weeks later Hefrumm went to war with the swamp alars which had taken their village and had feasted on their food supplies. The untrained dwarves fought bravely pushing back the alars and their mutations like vulgar worms with more mouths than a spider has eyes or mutated farmers with arms the length of a dining table. Though the swamp alar queen, referred to as the Colossal Slayer, halted their retake of the village. This was when the mountain and cave dwarves of Agnarum charged the battlefield, for Bjor had sent a bird speaking of what had happened. Together, the united dwarven race slew the ginormous beast, the size of a dwarven tower, expelling the alars from their land, though this was not the last they’d hear of their species.
The forest dwarves of Hefrumm lived simple lives, only bothering about how great their harvest would be, what they’d eat tomorrow, and what other opportunities they could use to call for a feast. This would bring great joy to their High Chief, though still, he did not feel satisfied, for he knew there was a large fraction of his kin lost in solitude. Together with Agnarum Hefrumm would set sail towards the new world of Arcas.
~Final days on Arcas~
At the arrival in Arcas, king Filimlin Grandaxe had offered the north-eastern valley for the new village of Hefrumm and so the forest dwarves started their construction. Bjor had led these constructions with great plans for the village, which would reach the size triple that of the Cottonwood village in Atlas. It is after those constructions that the first golden era of Hefrumm fell upon the village. Now kin started to wander towards the village themselves for the mention of Hefrumm had spread around Acras. Even after Bjor’s ruling these dwarves, referred to as ‘lost ones’, kept arriving at Hefrumm. During the golden age of Bjor, the forest dwarves gathered in unseen numbers, forming their own military force, medical institute, market, and library. Old clans like the Boldshoulders would return and new would be found, like the Bogbellies. Ale would flow and harvests were celebrated. There seemed no limit to the success of Hefrumm, until word had gotten around about the return of the alars.
Through cracks in the soil, Hefrumm scouts had found that a new kind of alar had been making a network of tunnels and caverns underneath Hefrumm. This left the High Chief no choice but to rally up his warriors to facethis threat. They first encountered a variation on the swamp alars, adapted to the underground environment. Cave alars would be great lizardlike beast with two powerful limps and an even more powerful jaw, filled with rows of venomous teeth. The forest dwarves fought back the swarm of alars though they were pushed back, for they were overwhelmed by the beasts’ numbers. All got out alive, though they poisoned with the venom of the creatures. Later they found out that the venom would solely turn an area on the limb you were bitten to stone, attracting the alars even more for a good meal. When the dwarves stormed out of the tunnels they had realised that Entfar Oakhand hadn’t made it. He had been captured by the foul creatures, who had taken him to present to their queen. Bjor immediately called for a rescue mission, which would result in his own death. Bjor had sacrificed himself for his kin when all seemed lost. The alars had torn apart his back and poisoned him with his venom, turning him into stone. Till this day the petrified body of Bjor still watches over his kin, stuck in time. Bjor would be made paragon in the year 1716. Bjor demonstrated the characteristics of what a dwarf should be. He rose from nothing to the top of leadership. In power, he never used it for evil nor for self benefit. He cared for all those that were under him and respected all those he met. He was one of the key figures that helped reunite the dwarves after the unstable years caused by the Frostbeard Rebellions. To his last breath Bjor showed bravery and honor, sacrificing himself to save the lives of his fellow dwarves. For his kindness, honor, bravery, and leadership skill Bjor was made a Paragon of the Brathmordakin. Due to his strong connection to Anbella, she was made his Patron Brathmordakin. If it were not for Bjor Cottonwood it is questionable if the dwarves would have been reunited again, it is for certain though that the forest dwarves would of remained divided and spread across the continent longing for a place to call home. After Bjor’s death a feeling of grief would fall upon the village and its forest dwarf kin. Because of the death of their High Chief the forest Clans had to call for a meeting. A successor was needed, and many saw Thorin Treebeard as it. Through election Thorin became High Chief. Though this would not change the grim fate of Hefrumm. The village came to be struck in mourning for its fallen High Chief, and Thorin’s failing to save his father would make his insecurities shine. Because of this none of his promises were realized and this resulted in the departure of many. Thorin saw the life seap away out of Hefrumm with his own eyes, and this would result in him doing the same. Thorin Treebeard was since then mostly seen in the Talus Grove, surrounding himself with those druids who knew Bjor. It is rumored that Thorin did this in an attempt to one day contact his father again, for it is known druid folk could make contact with those in the eternal forest. The following years were met with the decay of the glory of Hefrumm, for there was very little left of the forest dwarves to be seen on the land. They had once again all scattered around the realm of Arcas, some turning to other nations but most to the forest from which they once came. The tavern caught only dust and weeds would overrun the farms of the forest folk.
After many years this briefly changed, as it was Ozneat Treebeard who had returned to the forgotten lands. Ozneat called for his brothers and sisters to return to their once glorious village, and some answered. Ozneat Treebeard became the third High Chief of Hefrumm and it was now that the Emberhorns were first welcomed to the lands of Hefrumm. They were offered land by Ozneat for they had no place to rebuild their clan. These first months were filled with hope, for Ozneat had promised to rebuild the unity of forest kin on these lands. The new High Chief started to clean up the land of Hefrumm and it’s surroundings. He granted the Emberhorn clan land to settle down upon, and so they did. Plans were made for new farms, and to clean the former ones. This is when the new High Chief ran into some difficulties, for there were many who did not immediately do what he asked of them, which would discourage Ozneat. Disappointed in his younger kin, Ozneat turned back to his travels 2 years after his return. This was the last time the elder dwarf had been seen on the mortal planes. When Hefrumm fell leaderless once again, it crumbled like it had before. And even after some years of most forest kin leaving, the Emberhorns left behind their residences, leaving the land to become forgotten once again. Many years would pass with the nature of Anbella consuming the village and its tale. Bjor petrified in stone was the only one to stand in the village, with his proud look, from the day he left the mortal realms, still looking over his kin’s land. It was when Beorn Cottonwood, the eldest son of Bjor and Eerika Cottonwood, returned to the valley that changes were to come. Just like many others, Eerika, together with her four children, left the land of Hefrumm many ages before this, for she was unable to bear the loss of her husband. Beorn returned to his father alone, when he was still a young beardling. The young dwarf called upon his kin once again, for the sight of the father’s village, consumed by time, would tear him apart. His mother was the first to return, followed by his brothers and sisters. That month new elections were called, though the numbers of kin seated at the council table were at an all low. Eerika Cottonwood won these elections from Xergarok Cottonwood, making her the first female and the fourth High Chieftess. It was no easy task Eerika had in front of her, for the once glorious village had turned into the ruins of what the forest dwarves could be. Eerika ruled in the image Bjor had for Hefrumm, focussing on the communal bond of kin. Though Hefrumm did not necessarily grow, this was a beginning for the uphill path they were taking. After a few years Eerika fell under the same spell as Thorin, she was unsure if she could live up to the expectations, which would make her insecure. This was kept from the forest kin though, what happened instead was that Eerika relied on her eldest son. Beorn, though carrying no other title than his clan name, helped his mother with her ruling where he could. After years lost kin would slowly start to return of the village. Eventually Eerika would step down from her position and left Hefrumm and her children.
Beorn feared the cycle was once again complete, as the disappointed kin left the village. This is when Beorn stepped forward, winning the elections. Beorn had only recently had he passed the age of 50, making him the youngest and fifth High Chief of Hefrumm. Having halted Hefrumm from yet another decay, Beorn firstly reformed the Cottonwood clan. Bringing new traditions and the ways of the hunt to the clan, which would attract old Cottonwoods who had left themselves after Bjor’s fall. His wife, Maggie Cottonwood, would be the one to successfully win the elections. After Maggie Cottonwood became the new Chieftess of the clan, Beorn brought his focus to the whole of Hefrumm. He realized that diversity was key, which would result in creation of the Blackroot clan and the attraction of other forgotten clans.
The rise of Hefrumm had come to a halt when the forest dwarves joined Beorn and the dwarves in their voyage to Athera. They had come here with a clear goal in mind, they needed to return the legendary relic of Gloin Treebeard, and so they did. Traveling around Athera, with the guidance of an ent they’d find the Staff of Gloin, returning it to the land of Arcas.
Beorn utilized the wisdom his father had passed down on him before his death, having an eye for the individual members of the village. The young High Chief knew his kin very well, which was useful in the sense that he was able to offer and get his kin what they wanted or what was needed, rather than things Hefrumm simply didn’t have yet. This resulted in the rebirth of the library, clinic, etc. Though steadily, the numbers of returning kin would start to increase, bringing not only new life to the village, but more helping hands. An example of this was Karl Cottonwood, son of Baldin Ironside and Freya Cottonwood, who brought new spiritual and religious guidance to Hefrumm. This wisdom and guidance would result in the formation of the Dverga eron da Kirkja Rhun and the Blackroot clan branching away from the Cottonwood clan. Now numbers began to rapidly increase with rumors of the return of Hefrumm spreading around the realm of Arcas. This would also come to a surprise to the mountain and cave dwarves for they noticed more and more forest kin traveling down into their caverns for trade and legionnaire service, while many of them had not even seen one in their lives. They would gain an undeniable presence both in the underrealm and above ground, with Xergarok and Darinn Blackroot being the first to rise to the officer rank in the dwarven legion.
Besides the return of the Treebeard clan a few years prior, the Emberhorns also returned. It was in the year 1767 that Beorn welcomed the Emberhorn clan as an official Hefrumm clan. Beorn cared very little for the fact that they were not full blood forest dwarves, for his father had always told him that it was those with mixed blood that often needed a warm home the most.
It was during Beorn’s last multiple years of ruling that Hefrumm flourished to unseen glory, resulting in a second golden age. It was then that Hefrumm knew almost daily hunting parties leaving the village to return later that day with a feast meal, weekly well crowded council meeting and the opportunities for kin to start up taxless new businesses with the full support of the High Chief. This support would not only result in the forest dwarves of Hefrumm being able to pursue their dreams, but also for a booming new trade economie in Hefrumm. At this all high of Hefrumm, it was that Beorn realised that Hefrumm was ready for him to step down from the High Chief rank. Beorn felt he had fulfilled his fate and that the time had come for a new leader to rise. Elections were called on the 3rd of Sun’s Smile, 1768, with over 200 forest dwarves attending the grand hall of Hefrumm to listen to both Beorn’s speech and those of the two contestants, Karl Blackroot and Ordvair Emberhorn. It was that day that Ordvair Emberhorn got elected as the sixth High Chief of Hefrumm.
~The elections of 1768: Beorn stepping down~
➻ The Cottonwood clan teaches and follows the ways of the hunt, as they live off it. Besides being barbaric warriors of the woods, they are considered fine craftsmen of those materials they gather from the hunt. Being experienced in their craft, they are often seen wandering down into the mountain to sell their animal goods to their mountain and cave kin. The Cottonwood clan has the tradition to ride fierce boars and wield relatively primitive weaponry on their hunts, using the technique of flint napping.
Current Chief: Maggie Cottonwood
➻ The Blackroot clan is a clan that branched away from the Cottonwoods and now composes the spiritual and religious soul of Hefrumm. Their members tend to integrate religion and spirituality in all forms of their lives. Many Blackroots become seers when they are old enough offering advice and guidance to those that look for it. Blackroots are very proficient with herbs for medical and spiritual uses. Despite not being as welcoming to people they do not know as the cottonwoods, they still believe in kindness to travelers. Blackroots are always open to gain new knowledge from the world around them.
Current Chief: Karl Blackroot
➻ The Treebeard clan is the only elder clan of the forest dwarves, having their roots go back to the seventh son of Urguan, Gloin Treebeard. The Treebeards are often considered wise dwarves with their clan knowledge dating back to the birth of the dwarven race. The Treebeard clan is known for their ability to keep records of the religion and of the history of the dwarves. In a primitive environment like Hefrumm this type of abilities made them often a strong asset.
Current Clan leader: unknown
➻ The Emberhorns are well known as stonemasons, ram riders, and smiths, and have always had a wanderlust within them. They are proud dwarves, but are humble enough to work the farms and reside peacefully in the forest and mountain tops above the Kingdom, wanting for not more than a pint of mead and a quiet existence in their clan hall.
Current Clan Lord: Nagorain Emberhorn
Lesser or missing clans
➻ The Oakhand clan had their main presence during the end of Atlas. The clan focused on the skillful art of woodworking. Making both rough items and beautiful carvings. Though their numbers were never extraordinary, many of the beautiful wood carvings around Hefrumm were done by the fingers of an Oakhand.
➻ The Boldshoulder clan is a clan of unknown origin, for there were tales that they were older than Hefrumm itself. The clan would have been centered around trade, for which they lived as nomads.
➻ The Bogbelly clan also branched off the Cottonwood clan, founded by one of Bjor’s sons, Horren Bogbelly. The clan preferred the swampy environment more than the forests. They adapted to this new hunting ground and took the tradition of licking cane toads to get high, though this sometimes resulted in fatalities.
➻ The Pufftree clan specializes in the craft and harvesting of puffs and other hallucinogenic substances. They consist of often lazy hobos purely living for and from those puffs, often filled with delusional and interesting views on the realm as a result of extensive drug use.
Hefrumm is led by its High Chief. A figure that embodies and represents the unity of forest dwarves at the council table of Urguan. For each clan that is part of Hefrumm, which fit Urguan’s requirements, the High Chief would get an extra vote on Urguan’s council. The High Chief is chosen in an election, open to all members of Hefrumm. Shortly after the High Chief would undergo a coronation where a traditional twigs-woven crown will be passed from High Chief to the next generation’s High Chief. This coronation is believed to be sacred with the blessing of Anbella and it would be considered highly dishonorable to interrupt this process as it would show no respect to the Hearth Mother herself. The High Chief is guided not only by the Hearth Mother herself but also by the wisdom of his clan leaders.
On the topic of internal matter, Hefrumm will call upon the townsfolk council. Here all members of Hefrumm come together in their mead hall. Just like the elections all members would get a vote and the opportunity to voice their opinion and complaints. During the second golden age of Hefrumm these meetings were called yearly.
Council of Chiefs
Not all matters could be discussed with every member present, hence the council of chiefs was created. Mainly going over the external matters of Hefrumm, it would consist of the High Chief and all clan leaders of the clans that met the given requirements of 3 active members of said clan. These clan leaders are also known to be the advisors of the High Chief.
High Chiefs of Hefrumm
Bjor Cottonwood, founder and first High Chief
Thorin Treebeard, second High Chief
Ozneat Treebeard, third High Chief
Eerika Cottonwood, fourth High Chief
Beorn Cottonwood, fifth High Chief
Ordvair Emberhorn, sixth High Chief
The forest folk of Hefrumm have the tradition to gather around their fire and hearths to tell the saga’s of their ancestors and the tales of the mythical beings. Folklore of Hefrumm is the bundle of such tales, with which the dwarves try to teach their younglings about values and ways.
➻ Mi, the wandering tree
A forest troll, befriended by Beorn Cottonwood. Though a lot of mystery would float around the intelligence of this forest troll and its origin, the massive beast and the forest dwarves helped each other multiple times. Mi was mainly a help in fighting off the alar plague of Arcas both with his brutal strength, as Beorn rode the beast to battle and his knowledge on the creature.
➻ Grogg, the protector
A golem that was believed to have been tasked to protect the forest dwarves of Hefrumm. The massive construction frequently patrolled the village during Bjor’s era. The golem has not been seen in years, however, it is believed that in Hefrumm’s time of need the golem will show himself once more to protect the forest folk.
➻ Snowball, the snow demon
Once a dwarf, the child eating creature is believed to return after death. This led to the theory of him being a spawn of Khorvad himself. Under Beorn’s ruling the creature was captured and held in captivity with the idea, if we can’t take his life we must take his freedom.
The silvernips are little silver haired tiny gnome like beings that steal food from animals, and steal resources from chests. These beings also have a tendency to take the hay from forest dwarf farms for which they are hated.
⧫Orders and Organizations in Hefrumm⧫
Dverga eron da Kirkja Rhun
Founded by Karl Blackroot the Dverga eron da Kirkja Rhun offers a slightly unique view on the Brathmodrakin and its practice compared to that of the Da Kirkja Dverga. The order is formed by the seers, who teach those willing often through more tribal rituals and ceremonies, in which psychedelics would often come to use.
Seers are individuals that have proven themselves able and responsible enough to be verified as a seer. Knowledgeable and in control of his emotions the Seer guides communities to be closer with the Brathmordakin and to try to be an example of a good dwarf. For this reason it is recommended that each clan has a Seer which the clan members can come to in their times of need for answers and guidance. The seers also have more of an eye for the world around them, believing the Brathmordakin bring the dwarves signs and messages through the natural world.
Qrarm, also known as the Puff uncle, was the one to bring the usage of drugs or puffs to the village of Hefrumm. The puffden was founded by Qrarm functioning as a center of puff usage and trade. Some would refer to the den as Qrarm’s drug basement, other’s a heaven of pure relief and joy, either way, you get the best puffs there.
Also known as the Hall of Creation, Khaz’ur’Yemkadar would be the hall under which the craftsmen and women of Hefrumm would unite their craft. It would be here that all knowledge of the forest dwarven crafts would come together. The forest folk would teach each other there, hold lessons, and sell their goods under a common name and most importantly find company during the long hours of their work. The Cottonwood clan would mainly supply the one to conduct the working of animal materials like their hide and bones, together with the craft of flintknapping. Though there are also forest dwarves highly experienced in woodworking, tailoring and other crafts.
The tavern of Hefrumm is the place the forest dwarf would dwell after a long day of work. Serving the legendary Cottonwood Honeybeer, brought over from Atlas, it would attract many townsfolk and travelers. After Bjor’s death, and the running dry of their honeybeer barrels, the tavern would fall to ruin. It was during the second golden age the tavern would serve ale again. Nabrick Grandaxe would be the first to start serving drinks once again, though swiftly followed by other helping hands.
Founded by Horren Bogbelly during the age of Bjor, the library of Hefrumm is a collection of the wisdom and knowledge beyond simply the dwarven world, situated in between the roots of the tree of ancestors. Though what the library is most visited for, are the books on the history of the forest dwarves. During the war with the orcs, the library functioned as a hide away if needed, which would result in other facilities, like the Paragon hall, being build.
Crown of Hefrumm
The wooden crown appears to be made out of a single piece of thick tangled dark oak root. It has two distinctive sides, one looks fresh and green, the other seems to be a bit decayed and covered in moss. On the front side there appears to be a story carved into it - A dwarf coming from the woods, who will then work the land, eating the fruits he grew. More other dwarves will begin to gather around him. Eventually he is handed a wooden Crown and made King of the Forest Dwarves, under this image with the name 'Bjor' be carved. Few would know that a nature elemental phoenix's feather has been added into the heart of the wood, giving the crown strange properties.
Credits to Mateolog for helping me with this <3.