When the refugees arrived in the Forsaken Isles, the Dwarfs split into two factions. The total lack of dwarfs already on the Isles, the size of the Tsoran Isle, and the prospects for mining activity exacerbated differences long simmering among the Dwarfs. The great king Gar-Galad identified mountains to the north and west of what is now called the Valley of Bloodstone. He said, “Come brothers, lets us go to the mountains and connect with the land. Let us plumb the treasures of this new land in alliance with the land itself.” The dwarven mages and clerics who were friendly to the land agreed and left with Gar-Galad.
These bohemian dwarfs believe in creating alliances with creatures and monsters and elementals to find and bring out from the earth those materials they most want. They believe that gems, in their natural state, are both more powerful and more beautiful than when forced into a faceted shape. They hate the waste of industrial mining and the stains it leaves on the land. Though only a few thousand left with Gar-Galad, most of the people with magical or divine talents went with them. They were exhausted from the long Kinslayer Wars and the appeal of what Gar-Galad called ‘an invisible empire’ suggested safety.
In the mountain range of Bloodstone where it drops to the frozen lake called Floodwash, Gar-Galad established his invisible kingdom. They all but vanished from the history of the Isles. Only when the human city of Haven began trading interesting magical equipment and non-military applications of it, did the dwarfs of Gar-Galad resurface. They supply rough ore and gems, many of such high quality that they do not require re-working. Wire-wrapped and enchanted in ways that defy magical deconstruction, Haven quickly established an alliance with Gar-Galad and exclusive trading rights.
Gar-Galad hates how Sora and Tania continually fight with each other and, while they do not begrudge Haven’s profit motives that sometimes moves their goods to these nations, they will not visit or trade with these groups. Morilon has a sometimes friendly relationship with them as well though it is strained by Vel Pajor’s odd ways.
A visitor to Gar-Galad would find crystal caverns lit by bioluminscence. There are no forges, no refineries. The dwarfs combine magecraft, druidic magic, and Krentismic faith to summon earth elementals and persuade them to bring them what is needed. Druidic power heats metal for smithing and refining where needed, but only if an elemental of the correct type cannot be convinced to do the refining as a natural process. Each family is clustered around alliances with creatures from the Earthen realms, or underground with affinity for mining. Each family is headed by a patriarch and a matriarch, where one takes affinity for earth elementals (patriarch; and it can be the woman). The other tends to the family business. Adoption, orphaning, and family alliances create a mostly-self-governing community though there is a “king” role. The first Gar-Galad, before he passed, he interviewed both the patriarchs and matriarchs and selected one as his successor. This tradition has been passed down since through an apolitical succession the dwarfs are very proud of.
While Gar-Galad’s goods are strong, some say better than traditional techniques, they all have a rough natural appearance to them. Armor plating is textured and rough with non-standard pieces worked together, sometimes of different alloys all together. Weapons have similar characteristics as do jewelry and clothing. Pottery, ceramic goods, earthen paints, magnetic and luminescent materials… these are the foundation of Gar-Galad’s trade with the other nations.
The dwarfs are proud of what they have achieved. Only since the threat of Bloodstone became very real did Gar-Galad begin focusing on defense. From that, a warrior caste arose. Like the rest of the families, warrior families have a patriarch and matriarch and took to mimicking Tania’s paladin Orders with a focus on small units built around a magic or divinely powered figure.