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Dwarves, as a rule, are not prone to giving up in the face of adversity as humans would understand it. When are have committed to a task, there is little save death that will prevent them from seeing it to its conclusion, no matter what might come.

But sometimes, when dwarves despair - whether through loss of family members, personal dishonor, or the doom of their entire clan or nation looming ahead - they seek death. Not through suicide as humans would, for that is the coward's way. Instead, they wish to die in a way that will allow them serve their race one last time and bring honor to their ancestors - by seeking death in battle while fighting the enemies of the dwarves. Those who commit to this path are called the Maugrilar (lit. "bearer of black rings"), and they show their determination by wearing a black ring on one of their fingers.

This kind of death has become common as of late, as more and more dwarves of Gol Murak feel the doom of the nation approach. In many cases, when an outpost of the dwarves has become isolated and surrounded by the surathi, the trapped dwarves will storm out of their defenses and charge their enemies instead of trying to retreat to a safer position - for retreating and abandoning dwarven territory to the enemy is unthinkable to most dwarves, and dying gloriously seems to be the better alternative by far.

Unfortunately, this attitude has cost the war effort dearly at times, as such reckless charges means that dwarven lives are wasted when strategic retreats could allow the dwarves to regroup and counter the attackers more efficiently. Therefore the generals have forbidden the tradition of becoming a Maugrilar to their troops. However, it is hard enforcing this among the deeply conservative and tradition-bound dwarves, and many local commanders do their best to ignore this order. And even in units where the commanding officers make an effort to enforce it, many dwarves remain undeterred. Instead of wearing the black ring on a finger, they have taken to wearing it on a chain around their necks where no one can see it.

Adventure Ideas

Designer's Notes & Resources

As the Japanese failed to learn during the course of WWII, suicidal bravery doesn't necessarily get results…


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