Kingdom of Oulder
The Dwarven Kingdom of Oulder (Ol-Door) have a governing system that differs from the other kingdoms of the realm. They are ruled by a council and figure head called the Steward of Oulder. The council members are given there position through regular votes held amongst the citizens of Oulder and a member is elected for each of the major cities. The Steward however is selected by merit as decided by the current council and rules until their death or they choose to retire.
The current steward of the Oulder is Throsila Caskriver, selected as she is credited with the victory at the The Seige of Mil Gurihm.
A large portion of the dwarven cities and fortresses are constructed underground or in ready access to the underground for the ease of mining purposes. The kingdom of Oulder produces most of the mineral resources for the rest of Alira and currently controls the only known mines of Mithril. In addition to mining the raw resources some of the best articians, blacksmiths and stone masons call the Kingdom of Oulder their home.
For many years Oulder knew peace and saftey unknown to the human and elven empires in large part due to their positioning away from enemies and also the masterful construction of their walled cities making them near impenetrable. However this all changed when they were attacked from within their own mines. In their constant mining and searching for resources the dwarves had connected into the underdark realms. As one multiple cities across the empire fell to the the underdark hordes able to almost completely bypass their cities defences and attack at the heart of the cities. Many cities where lost however Throsila was able to turn the tides of battle and reclaim many of the cities that were thought lost through careful strategies and bold moves. All dwarven cities are now constructed with equal defences to attack from above ground and below. Though the mining of resources now require for each precious stone mined to be won through battle and a time of underground war has began for the dwarves.
Given the Dwarves masterful construction of weapons and armour but their relative short comings when it comes to magic it was a widely accepted practice for the dwarves to send large shipments of weapons to the elves to enhance with their magic. However the invention of Empyrean Spheres has many dwarves questioning if they still need to rely on the elves and discussions with the Bimore Kingdom are rumoured to be underway on this matter.
People and Culture
The cities of Oulder are populated mostly by dwarfs and rock gnomes, though all are welcome so long as they are happy to work to the betterment of Oulder. Likewise traditional gender roles are non existent and one is just as likely to see a female mining or smelting metal and a male sewing clothing. The citizens of Oulder are, for the most part, extremely work driven seeing a job well done as its own reward, and of course the gold it may earn. It is not uncommon for dwarves or gnomes to pass away from old age still working on their next great project. Outsiders can sometimes find this single-mindedness confronting, but for the citizens themselves they can thing of little worse than not having work to do or a project to complete.