The Dwarves have battled against the forces of the world, both natural and not, for centuries. From this emerged the School of Karutûk, diverse in its weapons but united through training to allow Dwarven battle units to move in synchronized defensive or offensive formations. Wielded against the proto-Isldar, the Drogonites, the Dakkar, and now more foes that come to pick at the bones of their once-great people, the Dwarves still retain the School’s knowledge in their broad spread across Aloria, in all their subracial diversities. The School is distinct for its singularity- so to say, Karutûk has no Disciplines as other Schools do, teaching a single, standardised set of weapons that an individual Dwarf can then independently expand upon.
The Dwarves have an ancient history of combat, and therefore the School of Karutûk was born very early on in Dwarven history. Myths and tales are all that remain of the time before the Olovomm Hold emerged but tell of mythical heroes battling goblins, cave water krakens, and other monsters of the earth’s depths. In the Olovomm Records that emerged later on, the tools and weapons of the School were prolifically mentioned, and it is clear that battles against dangers of the deep, but also ceremonial combat or inter-family Grudges resulted in the basics of Karutûk combat. The School itself claims no founder, other than a vague statement of being “born from the hardening granite of Olovomm,” and so ultimately the School’s origins can be chalked up to citizens from that first Hold. Later, warriors from the School of Karutûk fought against the future Isldar in the Age of Strife, and the three Dragon Wars within it. During this time, the focal point of the School shifted away from Olovomm into the Tehl-Humm Hold, which unfortunately caused some serious problems for the Dwarven people. The conflict between Holds around Tehl-Humm grew, and Grudges led to warfare within the Dwarven Race. But the final indignity the School suffered was its near-collapse in the face of the Dakkar threat during the Age of Depression. Thousands of warriors were horrifically scarred and killed by the magma creatures, and the Dwarves were forced to the surface in huge numbers. Despite this diaspora of their people, and their general isolation, either self-caused or a result of the societies they seek to enter, the School has survived, be it abroad in these foreign populations, or in the few Holds that are left in Ellador.
- Battlehall of Aldruin: Located in one of the only major Dwarven Hold left in Aloria, Aldruin's Battlehall continues to churn forth warriors to confront the growing threat of the Isldar to the Dwarven people. Grand, majestic, and half a millennium old, this Battlehall at one time held a Dwarven Artifact which has since been hidden to prevent theft or capture by Isldar forces.
- Dredge Ship Austrik: The Dredge Ship Austrik is a war vessel of the Dredger Dwarves, and sails the waters of the Fendar Strait and coastline of Cain though it routinely anchors for weeks on end to accomplish its task. Outfitted for conflict, it is the destination for many Dredger Dwarves seeking to learn the School of Karutûk regardless of their age.
- New Grebor: A shantytown of Dwarves located on Cain, New Grebor was founded around 280 AC by Greborrin Dwarves explicitly seeking a land separate from the Regalian Empire yet close enough to home. The town remains a source of fresh warriors for Grebor proper.
Code of Conduct
The School of Karutûk has a stringent code of conduct, thanks to the centuries of existence and pride of the Dwarven Race over their civilization and society. Concepts of honor and “fair play” are enshrined into their combat, though these rules have been glossed over in recent times, with the guerilla tactics of the Isldar and the mindless waves of Dakkar necessitating a far less honorable approach, much to the dismay of those subjects of their Grudges who do abide by codes of honor. The same thing happened during the Age of Strife, and has now begun again in the wake of renewed Isldar incursions. The School is also versatile, however, and allows for other breaches or flexibility according to one’s subrace background. On top of this, the School has stringent rules around its Battlehall system. Within the walls, no fights must break out, and no Grudges may be pursued. If they do or are, both parties must engage in restitution. Other regulations involve food, drink, and sleeping quarters, as well as how rooms should be cleaned and objects arranged. As a result, there is a shockingly strange level of uniformity between each Hallhouse, no matter the location.
The learning period for the School of Karutûk is identical given the strict structure of the School. Training can begin at any age for Dwarf, and either takes place within a Battlehall, known as an Und-Dûrmak, or through education with a private tutor outside in broader Aloria. Battlehalls themselves have Urûn, the Dwarven Dialect word for teacher, and exist in a grand council. They are headed by the Undra-Urûn, or “Warmaster,” warriors of legendary renown. When at a Battlehall, students of the School of Karutûk reside in Househalls, small extensions off of the Battlehall, which often feature students bunking together in pairs of two or four, and sometimes in the largest Househalls, six. It takes six years to learn the core system of education for the School, and while some Dwarves only educate themselves in two weapons (most often the shield and polearm), it is routine for them to learn more to have the best variety and adaptability to a situation, adding anywhere between two to four extra years onto their period of learning. Skilled warriors in particular take up the usage of heavy, blunt, or two-handed weapons. This training takes place on the “grounds” of the Battlehall, though what counts as “grounds” on Dredger and surface Battlehalls is fairly different from the subterranean nature of the Hold Battlehalls. In the case of private tutors though, it takes place wherever there is suitable ground. Students are often taught to fight in groups, and to work as a larger unit, meaning that team-building exercises are common. However, once a week, the hall of the Battlehall itself is cleared of the tables (where mealtimes take place), and instead, duels between students and warriors take place. Additionally, the School heavily encourages the study of architecture and similar fields, to allow Dwarves to also develop sapping knowledge and technology that has been so key to their relevance in wider Aloria.
- The School, of any polity or organization in Aloria, once has the highest number of Artifacts. When the Dwarven Holds began to collapse, many such relics were either lost to the Dakkar or the chaos of the evacuation. A further portion have since fallen out of Dwarven hands in their diaspora out of Ellador.
- Those Dwarves living in Anglia have often taken to learning about and wielding crossbows, spurred on by the skills of the expert archers of the School of Wapnbog.
- It is sometimes bitterly believed within the School that those Dwarven warriors who ended up captured by the Isldar in their recent takeover of Ellador are now forced to fight to the death against others of their kind or strange, alien beasts kept by the Ice Elves in their icy spires, all for the amusement of a grim crowd. Such stories are based purely on Dwarven dislike for Isldar.
Antimreoir, Scribbe, FireFan96||
HydraLana on 04/3/2021.|
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