Kikthuum Clan

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Kikthuum Clan is an Official GemStone IV Document, and it is protected from editing.

The Kikthuum Clan is one of the northern Dwarven clans. Their specialty is water channeling.[1]

After the Great Emigration from Kalaza, the Kikthuum Clan settled by Lake Jostallim, close to the Gulroten Clan town of Bortrazo's Canyon. Using the resources near to them, the Kikthuum dwarves crafted all types of watercraft. The passage of time and the discovery of veniom by the neighboring Gulroten Clan eventually led the Kikthuum Clan to create the first of many submersibles. The secrets of these designs are held closely to this day.

Rumors suggest that a few renegades of the Kikthuum Clan became pirates in the Great Western Sea.

Introduction

After the great dwarven kingdom of Kalaza was sealed off to prevent the spread of the dwarven plague known as Red Rot, its citizens fanned out across Elanthia in search of new homes during a period of dwarven history known as The Great Emigration. This is the record of a settlement founded by Organa Kikthuum as inscribed in the runic hall of dwarven history in Zul Logoth.

Settlement

During the Great Emigration, one clan known as Gulroten made their way through the frigid Northern Peaks of the DragonSpine to eventually settle at Bortazo's Canyon. In the early years of the settlement's establishment, it was common for some of the clan to explore the area for resources that the clan could use. One of their best resource scouts was a shrewd and adventurous young dwarven woman named Organa.

Over the years, she helped the clan find a reliable water source, a suitable location for the Zul Golrot mining operation, and a traversable path south along the western side of the DragonSpine range to the forests beyond. As time went on, Organa found a peaceful lake shielded from the winds by the mountain range to the east with a lush forest and river outlet to the west. This was a place she would often visit for its beauty and tranquility. It was there that she first discovered a piece of raw veil iron ore on the shores of the lake. Some time later, she came across another. After the third discovery of the rare and precious metal, she formed a plan.

Organa approached the clan leader of the Gulroten with a proposal. She would take a group of volunteers to the lake in an attempt to settle and begin a mining operation that would provide favorable trade status to the Gulroten. The clan leader agreed so Organa led an ambitious group down the western hills of the DragonSpine to what is called Lake Jostallim to stake their claim and establish a mining settlement of their own. After a year with very successful results, Organa established herself as leader of her own clan, dubbed the Kikthuum.

Ecosystem

While no fish live in Lake Jostallim, it is a source of fresh water for the thriving fauna of the area that includes wolverine, woodland caribou, golden eagle, rock vole, weasel, willow ptarmigan, osprey, and rough-legged buzzards.

The forests to the west consist of black and white spruce, balsam fir, and trembling aspen, with krummholz, alpine lady-fern, orange agoseris, highland cudweed, and clustered lady's mantle covering the surrounding hills to the east.

The seasons are subtle in the perpetually cool region. Spring brings fresh growth and light rains, summers are sunny but cool, and autumns bright and crisp. Winters get frigid enough to see the lake freeze over with months of snow-covered ground, but rarely is there ever a blizzard. The Kikthuum take full advantage of this during the winter months being expert ice skaters and skiers.

Lifestyle

The Kikthuum enjoy a good celebration, often having many throughout the seasons. Their celebrations typically make a show of a good roast boar or caribou, while serving root vegetables with apples and apricots. Cider is a favored beverage that is fermented with a light sparkling quality along with piney beers brewed with traded grains and hops stored in pine barrels.

They keep domestic roltons for milk to make cheeses, pigs for bacon, and hunt game such as deer and caribou, while they gather mushrooms, apples, and apricots from the forest and grow their own potatoes and onions. They keep a stock of cheeses, dried fruits, and meats for the winter months.

Trade for the Kikthuum is usually through their cousins the Gulroten, but they openly trade with other clans and travelers on the western side of the mountains. They have developed a special relationship with the Sylvans in the neighboring forests, trading expertly forged veil iron arrowheads for their herbal medications. Some in the clan make decent empaths due to their knowledge of the Sylvan's remedies.

Culture

The Kikthuum clan are typically more amiable than most of their dwarven cousins. Those who dwell at Jostallim are content to be among their own, yet tolerant of all kinds of traders. Those who do leave the lake for the western seas are at ease in the bustling traffic of any busy port city. It's not uncommon to find the occasional Kikthuum dwarf on the roster of a merchant ship.

They are skilled as typical dwarves are, being natural miners, smelters, and blacksmiths, but they are also deft weavers and brilliant engineers. Their submersible constructions are unique in all of Elanthia.

In the magical spheres, their elementalists typically study water magic, and their sorcerers focus on summoning portals. Spiritually, they seek inspiration from the creators Eonak and Imaera.

Mining & Zul Jostallim

The Kikthuum discovered that there was more veil iron ore and other valuable minerals under the water of the lake. This led them to build piers, floating platforms, simple barges, and dwarf-sized steel globes they called "bells," in an effort to collect the underwater treasures. With the bells they could lower miners to the lake's floor to collect the rare and valuable ore to bring back to the surface.

While the purpose for the clan's mining operation is to collect the veil iron along the lake's bottom, they also have another mining project in the foothills along the base of the DragonSpine dubbed Zul Josatllim to search for other metals and gems. The materials from both the lake and the mine provide the Kikthuum with plenty of resources to not only remain secure but also to thrive.

Water Channeling & Submersibles

Organa's husband, Juc Kikthuum, was a clever dwarf in charge of the mining operation at Lake Jostallim. It was his design that was adopted for the bells that were used to lower miners to the bottom of the lake. His observations of water flows led him to begin experimenting with water channeling as a way to harness the power of water to aid in the mining operation of the valuable ore below the lake.

Juc traded veil iron for veniom with the Gulroten clan. He found that the lighter-than-air properties of the veniom could be used to assist the bells to float in water. By channeling water with pumps through various tubes and pipes throughout the craft, he could move a bell in all directions; forward and back, and up and down. Thus, the submersible was born.

At first, the underwater craft were little more than bells full of dwarves that could maneuver below the surface of the lake. A submersible could land on the lake's bottom, open its hatch to mine the lake floor, then return it to the surface more efficiently and with fewer dwarves than a team of miners using platforms and bells. Over time, submersible captains found inspiration in the myriad shapes created by nature, copying avian, amphibious, and aquatic creature's likenesses to design their nautical vehicles.

Smuggling

The shadier side of Kikthuum society deals in making things appear and disappear. Smuggling downstream and back through River's Rest and ports of the Western Sea beyond can be a lucrative operation for the savvy captain of a worthy submersible that more often than not conceals a hidden tribute to Tonis somewhere on board. Not being numerous outside of their home settlement, wayward Kikthuum purposefully develop reliable relationships wherever they go, making strong ties that they will go to great lengths for and that they can call on in times of need.

It is rumored that Kikthuum submersibles enabled a team of thieves in the cover of night to raid the vaults of the mayor of Tamzyrr one fateful evening. To this day, the culprits have never been caught.

References

  1. A History of Dwarves, Chapter 7.
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