The dwarven clans of the Hammerdeep settled in the borders of the First Empire of Miles during the reign of the Empress Lyrulan, who was the first Milean ever to meet a dwarf. As a sign of good will, the empress made a pact with the reclusive dwellers in the great gray mountains of Hârnholme and invited many to come and settle within the bounds of her kingdom. This they did, establishing the city of Hammerval in the dawn of recorded time, and marking them as one of the earliest official colonies of the home country to receive a colony-stone.
The nature of the Hammerdeep settlements is such that fresh travelers come from the Arinnfal and points north each year to settle within the comfortable structure of the imperial clans. While the life of a dwarf in the Arinnfal seems perpetually at risk (of war with the Stonemarkers, the Karlungs, and the Weyls, or at risk of slipping into civil war or war with the great underground orcish and goblin kingdoms of Middlemark), that of a dwarf in the empire is safe, protected, and well-appointed. Indeed, the dwarves of Hammerval have reached an agreement with the emperor and their duke, Darius Anarjent, that grants them essentially free reign in the Hammerdeep and the mining towns in exchange for their services as the official imperial mint of golden coin.
The largest clans in the Hammerdeep are listed below:
The Goldhar are an ancestral princely clan of the great city. Their clan name refers to the predominance of their golden hair. Many golden beards can be seen in the great city of Hammerval and its satellite settlements. They are one of the ancient noble clans of Hammerval, having lived in its walls since the city's founding.
The Goldhar clan-prince, Aedwin Thorosson Arnulfr Goldhar, is also the hall-prince of the city. He is known for his conciliatory politics with the imperial authorities and often refuses the advice of the elder thanes of his council, who were appointed by the hall-prince Thorgi Malufsson Vhítøx nearly two centuries ago.
The thanes of the Goldhar clan are:
The Vhítøx are one of the great noble clans of the duchy. Their name means "white-axe," and they are a clan of weaponsmiths who provide swords and spears to the city. They are one of the more powerful noble clans in Hammerval, having hosted a string of hall-princes in the last few generations. Their leader, the clan-prince Hurri Goroldsson Thengrist Vhítøx, stands in open opposition to Prince Aedwin.
The thanes of the Vhítøx clan are:
The other noble clans, of lesser importance, are the Barsteinn (Blackstones), Drengrinn (Stouts), Eikir (Oakwood), and Fjalltind (Highpeaks). Their thanes are:
Torsti Oroldsson Magnus Barsteinn
Otha Othasdottir Horolf Drengrinn
Ledda Hengisdottir Lond Eikir
Torri Torrisson Tordir Fjalltind
The Hársmitha are the minting and smithing clan that produces the coinage for the entire empire. The Hársmith clan-prince is Ogundir Logirsson, and he personally owns many of the smelters used to melt the Auruxol gold.
The Strekdei are the mining clan that controls the mines directly adjacent to the city, including the works at Nainon and in the mountains. The Strekdei clan-prince is Agmundir Agmundirsson, and he is a very conservative dwarf indeed, little concerned with the goings-on outside the mines.
The Boerhúl clan includes most of the largest farms in the duchy.
The sign of the city is a pair of crossed hammers above a triangular mountain peak. The other sign of import, that of the Strekdei, is a mining pick with its pick side down, surmounted by a dwarven lamp. This sign marks out mines of importance in the Duchy.