The Northern Longbeards are the citizens of the Kingdom of Balbûnzudnu and are a faction of of Durin's lineage that live Northeast of Ered Luin in Forochel and parts of Western Forodwaith. The kingdom was originally founded by the ancestors of Borin II Silverhand in the year 33 of the S.A. but fell apart in the year 1976, T.A. after they helped King Arvedui of Arnor hide from the Witch King of Angmar. Borin came from Khazad Dum with a small host of Longbeard dwarves to reclaim the ancient halls and mines of their ancestors in year 2992, T.A. and re-established the capital of Zigilgund and the Kingdom of Balbûnzudnu.
By nature they are a folk of skilled craftsmen, miners, architects, engineers, and stonesmiths as with all of Durin's decendants. But they are best known for their warriors. They clad themselves in heavy plates and scale coats made of special cold forged steel when going to battle but also make room for thick fur jackets and undergarb beneath their armor to keep themselves warm. They primarily make use of warhammers and battle-axes in melee combat and are known for their prowess as spear throwers at range and for the famed Dragon Guard. What truly sets them apart though is their ferocity in battle. They are some of the fiercest warriors and most cunning tacticians in all of the dwarven lands, owing this status to their constant training, unceasing bravery, and never ending skirmishes with the spawn of Gundabad, Utumno, and Angmar. They carry such hatred for Orc-kind into battle with them that they scarcely leave survivors when the dust settles on the field. If ever asked why they hate the Orcs so much they will often say, "Amhul nê azur'e. Izri Thrain! Izri Arvedui!" or "Do not ask me. Ask Thrain! Ask Arvedui!" This is in reference to their ancestor Thrain I and the fall of Khazad Dum, as well as the fall of Arnor and their last king, Arvedui, who was a close friend to their ancestors in the region.
The Northern Longbeards have a few distinct traits that set them apart from their brethren in the other dwarven lands. They are known to have heightened resistance to extreme cold and heat due to the icy environment they live in and the deep lava lakes they dig out and use as a source of heat in their halls. They have dark brown hair with occasional reddish hue and commonly have grey-blue eyes. The men have thicker-than-usual beards and body hair which is likely due to their work outside of the halls in the icy winds. Women however have the least thick beards when compared to most of the other dwarven holds. This is likely due to women seldom leaving the halls for anything but battle to fight alongside the men. They work primarily as miners, smiths, tailors, caretakers, and cooks, thus remaining very warm in the lava-heated halls of Northern Longbeard strongholds. It is common for both men and women to have facial tattooing and piercings in their ears and eyebrows. They use this to show heritage and status within their hold. This practice began when the first dwarves to make the journey to the ancient halls arrived with black markings on their face from frostbite and campfire soot which they then tattooed to permenantly remember their triumph over the frozen wastes.
Laws of the Kingdom of Balbunzudnu (Forochel)
What follows is a record of all laws and standards of the Kingdom of Balbûnzudnu set forth on the tenth of January, year 2992, T.A. These laws are in addition to those set forth by the Valar and are secondary to them.
I. One must abide by the laws of the kingdom and the decrees of the King are law and as such must be followed or punishment up to and including banishment and exile from the kingdom may be levied as the King sees fit.
II. One must respect other dwarves in any of the Dwarven kingdoms and shall not bicker or fight with brethren for any reason unless verily warranted and deemed a just grievance by the King. This grievance must then be brought forth in council with the King and resolved.
III. One must not commit murder against his Dwarven brethren unless the Dwarf be labeled a traitor or enemy of the state. This is viewed as treason and is punishable by death and exile from the kingdom.
IV. As a dwarf of the greater Kingdom of the Dwarves all decrees given by the High King of the Dwarves are to be carried out as law and followed as such.
V. Any dwarf of the varied kingdoms is considered a brother and is to be given aid, if one has the ability to give aid, in time of need regardless of circumstances or danger.
VI. For the good of the kingdom and to promote productivity of the citizens therein, a bimonthly tax is to be levied upon citizens of the kingdom. The current tax is as follows:
Tax System for Balbunzudnu
In order to provide for various improvements and services for the citizens of the Kingdom, each citizen is asked to pay a General Tax according to their position within the kingdom:
Citizen: 3 Stack of Coins
Thane: 3 Stacks of Coins
Lord: 5 Stacks of Coins
Heir: 5 Stacks of Coins
King: 8 Stacks of Coins
In addition to the General Tax, once a month each citizen will be required to complete some assigned work within a Guild of their choice. This is to allow them to contribute to the Kingdom in a manner they prefer rather than a preset way. This assigned work will be referred to as their "Workload". The materials, labor, or items and the amount of each required for this will depend upon their chosen Guild Membership. Any citizen who is not a member of a guild will be required to pay an additional General Tax rather than one of the "Workloads" below unless they choose membership before the tax collection date for the given month. The Workloads available to each guild are as follows:
Miner - (choose 3) 10 Stacks of Cobblestone, 5 Stacks of Coal, 3 Stacks of Rock Salt, 1 Stack of Iron Ore, 1 Stack of Tin Ore, 1 Stack of Copper Ore, 1 Stack of Silver Ore, 1 Stack of Gold Ore, 1 Stack of Niter and Sulfur, 32 Rubies, 20 Emeralds, 48 Sapphires, 16 Buckets of Lava, or 1 Mithril Ore.
Guildmaster - (Same options as above but choose 5)
Artisan - (choose 3) 10 Stacks of Smoothstone, 1 Stack of Salt, 2 Dwarven Armor Sets, 10 Dwarven Weapons, 10 Dwarven Pickaxes, 1 Stack of Dwarven Steel Ingots, 1 Stack of Tin Ingots, 1 Stack of Bronze Ingots, 1 Stack of Silver Ingots, 1 Stack of Gold Ingots, or 1 Mithril Ingot.
Guildmaster - (Same as above but choose 4)
Engineer - (choose 3) 2 Stacks of Dwarven Brick, 2 Stacks of Obsidian Dwarven Brick, 2 Stacks of Stone Bricks, 2 Stacks of Spruce Wood, 2 Stacks of Cram, 16 Redstone Repeaters, 16 Redstone Comparators, 16 Pistons, 16 Sticky Pistons, or 32 Tri. Orc Bombs.
Engineer's Guild members are also able to fulfill their workload by completing a certain amount of work on major builds and excavation tasks should they choose to do so instead of the above mentioned Workload items.
Guildmaster - (Same as above but choose 5 or choose 2 and fulfill the building/excavation requirements)
Fighter - (choose 3) 2 Stacks of Orc Bones, 1 Stack of Warg Bones, 32 Troll Bones, 10 pieces of Orc Armor or Weapons (excluding bows), 1 Stack of Orc Steel, 1 Stack of Fur, or 2 Utumno Items.
Guildmaster - (Same as above but choose 5 or pick one from below) Chill of Daedelos, Flame of Udun, Troll Totem Piece, Mithril Ingot
The workload for the Trader's Guild is different than that of the other guilds in that there is not a payment to be made. Instead the traders are expected to sell various surplus materials for the kingdom and in return for making a certain number of transactions on the Kingdom's behalf they are allowed a tax waiver and they are given a 5% commission on trades they complete.
Traders - 8 Trades per Monthly Tax Cycle (3% Commission)
Guildmaster - 12 Trades per Monthly Tax Cycle (5% Commission)
Taxes are to be turned into the Guildmaster of your respective Guild to be turned into Guild Warehouse at the Guild HQ in Zigilgund. Please place your items in a Small Pouch labeled with your Name and Guild Affiliation in this format:
[Name] -- [Guild]
BorinofForochel -- Engineer
Taxes and Workloads will be collected on the 15th of every month. Failure to produce your monthly workload or taxes will result in one warning. After this all services and use of facilities within the kingdom will be revoked and any apartments or land you hold within the kingdom will be subject to withholding until you comply with the system again. Back taxes will not be levied or required to be paid if you have a valid reason for your delinquency. The validity of any reasoning provided will be evaluated on a case by case basis and left up to the Council and the King.
This system is to create a plentiful state within the kingdom and all taxes and workloads levied will be put back into the kingdom for the use of each guild and of the individual members. The King and his Lords are not to place taxes in their personal storages or withhold any portion thereof. These are for the citizens and the infrastructure of the Kingdom itself only.
VII. No Lord or citizen may levy taxes upon his hold beyond paid use of facilities under their control. The King's tax is to be the only regularly levied tax in the Kingdom.
VIII. No dwarf is to steal from any other Dwarf, Man, Orc, or Elf in all of Middle Earth. If caught stealing from anyone outside the kingdom, including other Dwarves, the punishment will be levied by the Valar. If the theft takes place within the Kingdom then it will be attempted to be resolved without involving the Valar. Items will be returned and a fine of 200% of the stolen items' value will be paid to the victim and the thief will be demoted and force to mine coal for the following weeks until it is deemed he has paid for his crimes.
IX. No dwarf shall build within 1000 blocks of a lore build without the express permission of the King and such builds will require heavy oversight to ensure they are up to the King's building standards and follow the aesthetic theme of the Kingdom.
X. If a dwarf wishes to have his build recognized and submitted for promotion to Thane, he or she must follow the aesthetic theme and building standards of the Kingdom. If the build is deemed worthy it will be given recognition and the owner will be made a Thane and allowed to recruit dwarves for his hold.
XI. In order to be promoted to the position of Lord within the kingdom and be given the leadership of one of the various holds as well as a seat in the King's Council, one must be a Thane of a Hold within the Kingdom or one of the other Dwarven Kingdoms. They also must have 500 Durin's Folk alignment and undergo the Trial of Frostbinding before they move on the the recruiting phase. Once they are in the recruitment phase of ascending to the position of Lord they must gather and recruit 3 new dwarves, either for their hold or for the Kingdom's Capital, Zigilgund. Then they will be granted one of the 5 holds or be named Thane and Heir to the Lore build of a hold so long as a position is available for them.
XII. Only the King, Lords (Including Recruitment Phase), and Thanes may recruit for their holds. Lesser Dwarven citizens may aid in recruiting but must send the recruit to their Lord or Thane after the initial recruitment.
XIII. When in any build within the kingdom, including your own, always close all gates and doors you find open or open yourself. This is to prevent any players unauthorized from accessing our halls and mines and promote safety within our own builds.
XIV. The Laws are subject to change and alteration at any time without notice until after the changes have been made. The king will send out an updated book of laws when this occurs and it is every dwarf's duty to stay up to date with this and as such are accountable for any infractions they commit even if they were unaware that their actions were unlawful. That said, no retroactive punishments will be levied if a new law was broken prior to its inclusion in the books unless they were especially grievous infractions or were the cause for the law's inclusion.
The Northern Longbeards are known to regularly export fish, ice, salt, and other materials mined from the earth. However, they are best known for their incredibly dense and very hard steel, made through a special process they call cold-forging, and for their brewery's special honey-wine, "Dragon's Breath Mead," which is made using water melted from glacial ice, honey sugar, and a special spice called "dragon's fire" that they keep hidden with great zeal. Their Steel is known to be able to slice through even the best Orc steel plate armor as if cutting through parchement and known to blunt even the sharpest weapons when used for armor. This makes it one of their most valuable exports in trade. Their famed brewery, The Great Drake Meadery, is home to their second most valuable export, Dragon's Breath Mead. This mead is invaluable to both those who are needing to fight off the cold or get drunk at a party. It is a beverage brewed to high alcoholicity so that it doesn't freeze in the frozen wastes it is home to and carries a spice that the dwarves who brew it call "dragon's fire" that seems to warm the body from head to toe With only a sip. The mead's secret spice warms the body while the taste buds dance merrily with the sweet flavors of honey sugar farmed from bees kept in an underground hive. This combination makes Dragon's Breath Mead one very tasty beverage from start to finish not to mention its vital uses when one is fighting icy winds.
They regularly trade metals, gems, stone, and brewed drinks with the Blue Dwarves for sarlluin and other precious goods. They also have a close trade relationship with the Lossoth. With whom they trade salt, coal, brewed drinks, and iron in return for fish, red meat, furs, and wood. They also maintain a close relationship with the dwarves of Khazad Dum via their embassy, Zigilgathol, near Bundushathur. Lending stone, tools, materials, and even miners and builders to King Fundin and his lesser lords whenever needed.
The Northern Longbeard Dwarves are known to be home to some of the fiercest footsoldiers in all of the Dwarven Kingdoms. They have 5 distinct types of military units:
Legionaires- Elite close-combat warriors. Legionaires are the standard foot soldier of the Northern Longbeard Military. They usually are young dwarves eager to prove themselves in battle. Even so they are fierce warriors in their own right having extensive training under their belts.
Spearmasters- Hybrid units wielding shields and double tipped spears that act as ranged spearthrowers and front line warriors. These soldiers are the most versatile front lines unit in the Northern Longbeard armies. They can act as a standard spear and shield wall when marching, a medium range anti-cavalry unit, or as a makeshift fortification unit by planting their spears at an angle allowing no quick paced assaults or mounted units within a perimeter.
Siegemasters- Tactical engineers equipped with long-handled pikes, explosives, and a pickaxe. They are dedicated to defensive measures in case of a siege, designing and building traps and fortifications. They are the architects of defensive structures and carry out the demolition of structures as needed in following the King's battle plans.
Sharpshooters- Highly trained crossbowmen used for defense during sieges and as long-range units in assault operations. They are often found in the towers and ramparts of Northern Longbeard fortresses during siege sending a constant and accurate hailstorm of arrows into the enemy ranks from above. They also act as the standard ranged unit in open field, offensive operations.
The Frostbound- These elite soldiers are highly trained in all tactics and forms of warfare. They are completely encased in thick steel plate armor and special fire resistant fur and leather undergarb. Their name and fame comes from their unique hardened ice armor and their brutal selection test, the Trial of Frostbinding. The Trial involves submerging themselves in the waters of the bay of Forochel and making the trek back to Zigilgund without food or proper clothing. It is a test of will and endurance in the most extreme conditions that the weak do not often see the end of. Those who survive this trial may become one of the Frostbound. They also are known for their ferocity in battle and their armor which is unique in that it incorporates special hardened ice plates that provide extra protection in key areas as well as spikes of the same material for offensive use in close quarters.
(This page is a work-in-progress.)