Stones: Tales of Ma'ar
A tribe of Dwarves – ancient relatives to those in the Eastern Consolidated Kingdom – were nearly wiped out during the cataclysms of The Breaking. Migrating to a new location and attempting to settle, they were set upon by those already claiming the land as their own. Attempting to explain that they would live beneath, while the current inhabitants remained above, did nothing to help. The Dwarves, desperate and outnumbered, delved quickly and deeply into the earth. They cut off routes from above in an attempt to set them apart from their aggressors, and soon faced provisions that were running out. They realized that their culture and their children faced annihilation. It was at this desperate time that they stumbled upon a being, somehow imprisoned by a powerful and unknown magic, deep within the earth. The entity was terrible to look upon, and all who approached it could immediately recognize that it emanated evil. Yet, faced with the doom of their entire culture, a group of the strongest warriors volunteered to access the power also emanating from the entity. Very little effort was needed, it turned out, and all who made the attempt were suddenly able to wield great magical power. The entity, for its part, continued its slumber. The warriors, however, were changed. The spoke of the struggle to use their new-found power in a way that supported their personal integrity, their morality, and the structure of their culture. None were unchanged. Though the warriors could have wiped out the inhabitants of the lands currently besieging them, they were instead able to use their new-found might to force a settlement. The Dwarves of Blister have existed peacefully since that time. However, they also realize that they are still vastly outnumbered and wish to maintain their advantage. To this end, a system was set up within the first generation that selected and trained Dwarven warriors to wield the powers available through the slumbering entity. A few are unable to wield the power, and yet a few more choose not to do so after their first “touch.” All who wield the power continue to struggle to maintain their own integrity. However, in the three generations that have now become Dwarven Warlocks, not one has betrayed the integrity of their people. Great pressure is placed upon those choosing to become Warlocks to maintain that same integrity. The dwarves, realizing how others, particularly other Dwarves, would view their powers, consider it a highly guarded secret.