Nurun

From World of Charun

An enduring race, the Nurun have persevered through the destruction of their original kingdoms, the adaptation to outdoor life with harsh and bitter winters and the very threat of extinction.


Contents

Origins and History

Nurun
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Nurun

The name Nurun means "Without a Mountain" in dwarven. It is a name they gave themselves after being forced to leave their kingdoms within the Snowy Peaks.

During the Age of the Firstborn the Nurun inhabited two large kingdoms, Thuran-Zag and Thuran-Nog, that were located within the same majestic mountain in the Snowy Peaks. The kingdoms were ruled by twin brothers called Zag and Nog, and thus were the kingdoms known as "The Twin Kingdoms".

In the 5th century of the Second Age the cities were ravaged by terrible and violent earthquake that decimated their grand kingdoms beyond repair, only leaving one-tenth of the inhabitants alive. Having their homes destroyed and with hordes of humanoids moving in to claim their territory left them with no choice but to flee, and descend the peaks to the Northlands. As the refugees reached the foothills, and the ever-frozen landscape spread out before them, it was decided that in order to survive they would have to divide themselves into smaller groups that could be provided for more easily.

The refugees scattered into five groups of approximately one-hundred dwarves each, thus forming new clans to replace those that had vanished in the destruction of the Twin Kingdoms. Upon departure it was decided that every year on that very day they would come back to the location where they set out from each other - a tradition known as the "Honouring Days" and that has carried on ever since.

Faced with an alien environment, and without the safety of mountainous halls and vast numbers, the Nurun could have easily perished. However, that was not the case. They were able to quickly adapt to their new nomadic lifestyle. Hunting and gathering was a new experience for them, but they successfully grew accustom to it. Within one generation the Nurun were fully assimilated to life under the sky, rather than beneath a mountain - which was to prefer, since a mountain could fall on them.

The survival of the Nurun was unknown for all but their own kin. For the Clainthuror dwarves their cousins were considered dead and buried within their ruined kingdom, and as the centuries passed, they became mere echoes from the past. They would not emerge until thousands of years later.

It was an explorer by the name of Dun Figioth that discovered the Nurun while exploring the Northlands late into the 8th century of the Third Age. It was also Dun who gave them the name ‘Frost Dwarf’ as he said they resembled frozen dwarves with their icy blue skin and white shimmering hair. When their existence was revealed, the Clainthuror dwarves were most astonished of all to hear about their distant cousins. The destruction of the Twin Kingdoms was an old dwarven legend and no one would have dreamed of having ancestors to these dwarves being alive. However, when the Clainthuror sent out an ambassador to the site described by Dun Figioth, with the task of establishing a contact, all that was found was the remnants of a small village. The Nurun didn't obviously want to be contacted, nor did they want to reveal the sites of their settlements.

After being discovered, the Nurun begun sending traders to the human villages they had been observing over the years. Always secretive, never revealing their settlements, they were quick to leave as soon as they were done trading.

It was thought for long that the Nurun had been destroyed, along with much of Charun in the Cataclysm. They had vanished from the face of the Western Lands. It was not until the second century of the Fourth Age that they made an appearance again, when a small band of traders arrived at a Northerner village to trade, acting as if they had never been gone.


Culture and Society

Nurun
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Nurun

Over the course of centuries, the Nurun have increased in population significantly. Growing from the few hundred survivors from the Twin Kingdom tragedy till now, reaching the largest gathering of dwarves in Charun. Some 3000 Nurun are now spread throughout the central Northlands, divided into five clans known as; Zag, Nog, Vusin, Kildoth, and Bundth.

The clans are all led by an elder, a wise and cunning dwarf who has proven his worth more than once. Each clan holds roughly the same population and tther than that they have only subtle differences. The five clans are divided into smaller bands, which makes the population easier to provide for. The bands, that usually consist of a few families, meet bi-monthly at a pre-ordained site of the elders choosing. The five clans, on the other hand, meet up once a year in the foothills of the Snowy peaks at the very location where they once founded the clansystem. The gathering, known as the "Honouring Days", hold council, trade and sharing of resources, and it carries on for five days.

The Nurun have become accustom to hunting elk, winter wolves and polar bears within the region. Like most people that live off the land, they have learned to use every part of the animal, such as bones for tools, the hide for clothing and the meat for food.

They have developed wood based homes, usually supported by dense layers of snow. These the small communities are easy to disassemble, pack around and set up. It is not uncommon for the dwarves to set up residence in small caves, but they only stay as long as their game is in the area or as long as the resources last.

There are some permanent Nurun settlements, but they are known only by their kin. This distrust to outsiders is mirrored in their behaviour when they encounter non-Nurun out in the wild - they hide and prefer to stay out of sight, unless confronted and cornered, which often leads to hostilities.


Armour and Weapons

The Nurun have found a handful of small, hidden caves that hold an abundant resource of iron ore, which their smiths successfully turn into steel. The metal is mainly used for armour pieces, as well as the famed Nurun battleaxes.

Every Nurun, even the children, carry around a hunting knife, fashioned from the animal bone. These knifes are used for eating, as tools and last-resort weapons.

For armour, the Nurun wear thick and heavy clothing and fur, often with metal plates and chain mail on top of that. Thick leather armor is worn over a jerkin or shirt, then a coat of fur is donned and thin metal plates and boots are worn over that. Some times a light coat of chain is worn above that but generally only for fighters and warriors. Over top of that they wear long polar bear and winter wolf capes, that act both as protection from the climate and as effective means of camouflage.


Customs

The choice of seclusion is immensly important to the Nurun. They go to great lengths, facing even death, in order to keep their settlements a secret. It is nearly impossible to contact or find the Nurun, and any communication has to be done on their initiative.

Birth among the Nurun holds a ceremony where a cleric delivers the baby and the elder of the specific clan blesses and cleans the new-born, wrapping it in winter-wolf furs. The ceremony is ended with the elder giving the baby a name, after which the mother is handed the new clan member.

Nurun children grow up in an environment where they are taught of the dangers of relating with non-Nurun and to fear earthquakes and the perils to living under a mountain, due the very combination was what drove them to the outdoors. A youngster is prepared for his first trip out into the wild through repetition of the hazards awaiting, relentless training in combat and the use of his weapons.

When Nurun dies, he is wrapped in a polar bear fur and cremated on high ground, allowing the ashes to send off in the winds. Rarely would a dwarf be buried under ground, and even rarer would the family keep the ashes of their loved ones. It is believed that as the ashes reach the sky, they are claimed by Nuria, the White Lady of Death, who takes the soul to Gesana to be judged.


Religion

The Nurun recognise the Dwarven Pantheon, from which they hail Furumthan Whitebeard, Clainthur Hammerfist and Nuria the White Lady of Death, as the most important and influential ones. All of their kin despise Varundin Earthmover, who is held responsible for the loss experienced in the earthquakes that destroyed their kingdoms in the Second Age.

Their worship and relation to Nuria is a complex one. Dwarves in general fear the goddess of fortitude and winter, but the Nurun have learned to understand her, and prepare in order to face and endure her trials. Originally forced into pleasing Nuria out of fear, they have grown to respect her and understand that she is the very power that enables their survival in the Northlands.


Appearance

Nurun
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Nurun

The Nurun had originally a very pale complexion, with white hair and skin, when they lived in the Twin Kingdom in the beginning of the Second Age. However, the thousands of years they have lived outdoors in the freezing climate of the Northlands, has resulted in the hue of their skin slwoly turning to frozen, pale bluish, a characterisic that earned them the name of "Frost Dwarves". Their hair colour has stayed shimmering white, with gray strokes, with their eyes are usually being brown, or black. According to dwarven tradition, the Nurun wear their beards long, often well greased to withstand the freezing winds of the north.

Their clothing consists out of leather and thick furs. Jewellery and fancy garments were abandoned along with the old lifestyle beneath the mountains.


Player Characters

Some youngsters go against the teachings of their parents and spy on humans they encounter during their hunting trips, and even follow them for short distances. The excitement gained from this is enough for the majority, whilst a few feel the urge to find out more about these strange folks. If a Nurun youngster decides to leave home in order to travel to human settlements, his family or even the entire community will do their best in persuading him to stay and warning him of the dangers that await. In rare occasions the youngster is so determined that there is no turning back.


Nurun names for your character: Dwarven Names


RACIAL FEATURES:

  • Dwarven Blood +2 Constitution. Dwarves are known for their natural, innate ability of withstand great physical endeavours and punishment.
  • Nurun Heredity: -2 Dexterity. The Nurun They wear armour combined with heavy clothing and furs to protect them from the freezing temperature. This has resulted in fighting style that resolves around hoping to outlast one's opponent, rather than dodging his attacks.
  • Darkvision: Dwarves can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
  • Hardiness vs. Poisons: +2 racial bonus to saving throws against poison.
  • Hardiness vs. Spells: +2 racial bonus to saving throws against spells and spell-like effects.


CULTURAL FEATURES:

  • Self Sufficient: +2 bonus to Heal and Survival checks. The Nurun have learned how to survive in the harsh enviroment found in the Northlands.
  • Keen Senses: +1 racial bonus to Listen and Spot checks. Keeping an wary eye and ear on the surroundings is a must for the Nurun in order to survive. Countless of dangers roam the ice wastelands of the north.
  • Battle Training vs. Giants: +4 dodge bonus to Armor Class against monsters of the giant type (such as ogres, trolls, and hill giants). Frost giants are a real and frequent threat to Nurun settlements.
  • Battle Training vs. Orcs and Goblinoids: +1 racial bonus to attack rolls against orcs (including half-orcs) and goblinoids (including goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears).
  • Favored Class: Barbarian. A multiclass Nurun's barbarian class does not count when determining whether he takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing.

LANGUAGES:

  • Given Languages: Common, Dwarven.
  • Secondary Language List: Clandur, Giron, Nordska

The Nurun have an opportunity to learn the languages of surrounding cultures of the Northlands.


CLASSES:

Barbarian 60%

Cleric <5%

Druid 10%

Ranger 25%


Statistics

Location in Charun: Northlands

Population: 3000, divided into 5 clans

Settlements: Nomadic camps and hidden, permanent villages.

Army: Every able member of the community is considered a warrior

Government form: Gerontocracy


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