Karak Mingol is a relatively new hold, founded by some the dwarfs of Karak Grom, and its main clan Byrnik.These are the dwarfs that fought in the famous battle of Skull Pass. The fate of Karak Grom is a sad and unfortunately common one in these times of hardship and tribulation. How exactly these dwarfs ended up in Tilea and specifically here is not quite known, although their records seem to indicate a retreat from a massive Skaven invasion. The dwarfs migrated south over the course of a couple of centuries before finally stabilizing themselves where the hold is found today.
The colours of the hold are green and blue, a combination born out of the lost hold blue/gold and Clan Byrnik’s green/silver. The lack of any metal in its symbolism is probably due to the influence of Tilean culture. The Tileans are famous for “piangere miseria”, that is to lament and feign a state of perennial lack of any money as to ward any envy and attract others’ sympathy.
In typical Tilean fashion, the richer the person the stronger and dramatic his lamentations will be. The dwarfs have always been wary of disclosing their true wealth to other races, so this curious habit was one they quickly understood and adopted.
More poetic dwarfs see the colours as a reflection of the deep azures of the Tilean skies and the green sides of the low mountains.
In real life terms this just means that I'll limit myself to a much more subtle palette of blue and green with little or no metal accents. I like the "comfy" look this gives the models and it also provides the added benefit of unifying the look of a whole army. A soft colour scheme, I found, is also easier on the eyes when playing the game and much more forgiving of less than stellar paint-job.
These longbeards, Skull Pass veterans, perfectly display the scheme I'm going for: green/blue with as little metal as possible.
Karak-Mingol is a bit of an oddity in the dwarven realm. The hold lacks access to many precious metals and its geography makes it nearly impossible to grow the typical dwarven crops. Because of this, KarakMingol had to turn to the only resource that never seems to diminish in Tilea; civil wars and mercenaries.
The ever-warring nature of the Tilean city-states means that the nearby humans are always in great need of both money to recruit mercenaries or weapons and equipment to arm soldiers. The dwarfs have thus learned to loan money to the Tileans, well knowing that when a clients somehow ends in power, another rival will soon rise, becoming a new customer.
The sale of armors, weapons and, most importantly, war machines, is also another important part of the hold’s economy. The dwarfs are exceptional engineer and weaponsmiths, their guns rarely misfire and are exceptionally accurate; their artillery is capable of massive destruction while still being reliable and (relatively) safe to use. Even their skill as engineer and architects means that often they’re hired by Tilean lords to erect buildings, build fortifications, design and plan cities; providing both money and prestige to the hold.
The sulfur and guano mined by the settlement of CastroCielo also proved to be a boon to the economy,as it spurred an increased production of gunpowder. Dwarven guns, bullets, blackpowder, and artillery are always in high demand by the Tilean princes that wish to arm their soldiers with the best weapons money can buy.
The same artillery sold to the Tileans (and built to the buyer's specifications) is frequently used as collateral when approving loans. This explains why Monte Trocchio often deploys cannons that aren't what you'd typically expect from dwarfs; someone couldn't fully repay the interests on their loan and so the dwarfs took back the cannons as part of the payment.
As far as agriculture goes, the rocky yet warm terrain of the Apuccini makes for the perfect place to grow olive trees and grapevines. Many, more traditional, dwarfs have often expressed disdain for such a thing as dwarven wine, but even they can’t deny that a dwarf can make better (which often just means stronger) wine than an elf.
And in a sense, both olive trees and grapevines are similar to the dwarfs themselves: they thrive in rocky and elevated terrain, they are slow growing but extremely resilient, require lots of constant attention but yield products of great value and can live for hundreds (if not thousands!) of years.
And while it might have started as a joke, a now typical product of Karak Mingol is durazmakk, a sort pasta of all shapes and forms created by integrating stone powder in the flour mix. Most Tilean dwarfs like to eat their durazmakk al dente.
Another minor aspect of the economy is the production of pot, pans and many cooking utensils.
Tileans are proud people and often boast and brag about having "the best cuisine in the world". Dwarven cookware, being of much higher quality and lasting seemingly forever is a very sought-after commodity. Often given as a wedding gift or as a token of alliance, Tilean merchants come from all over the peninsula to KarakMingol to buy kitchen utensils, well knowing that they can be re-sold for a small fortune.
Mining guild: The hold’s very existence is due to the miner’s guild of Monte Trocchio. The miners that survived the gobri attack at Skull Pass were responsible for collapsing the greenskins lair and turning the tide of the battle. After rearranging themselves into their own mining guild they were tasked by their thane to find a suitable site for a new hold. No one is quite sure on how this particular spot in the Apuccini mountains was chosen. The legend of its foundation goes as follow: while consulting the map, the main prospector, still bleeding from the recent fight, had a drop of blood fall where the hold is located today. The prospector swore revenge on that particular mountain and the rest is history. Other dwarfs suggest, hardly containing a smile, that rather than blood that was wine that dripped from the prospector’s mouth.
Since the holds doesn’t have an abundance of metal, the guild focuses mostly on stone work and architecture; as well as providing the labour for the earthwork and terracing needed for the planting and cultivations of olives and grapes.
Nowadays the Mining guild deals with exploring and mapping the mountains (outside and inside) as well as discovering any deposit of precious or useful minerals.
The guild is also responsible for the founding of the mining settlement of CastroCielo. Young members of the guild often get started here with an apprenticeship period of 10 years.
These miners sport an all green uniform. They're also upset that I haven't painted their flames yet.
Engineering guild: When being initiated into the guild, the dwarfs of monte Trocchio are made to choose between one of the two “houses” that form the guild. The two houses are based on its members love or hate relationship towards gunpowder. To become a member of the house a dwarf has to build handgun or a crossbow and fire it in front of his mates. While there’s definitely a lot of rivalry between the two houses; over the years this has led to an ever-increasing standard of quality and craftsmanship in the weapons sported by both quarrelers and thunderers.
In recent decades, the love for gunpowder has indeed increased (especially since its tied so closely to the local economy) but dwarfs are quite stubborn and many just refuse to ever adopt such frivolous innovations.
Quarrelers are some of the proudest and most stubborn members of the hold.
Their house also supplies weapons to rangers, who prefer a quiet crossbow bolt to the loud cracking of an handgun.
The guild has always adopted an open-door policy towards engineers from other holds or even outcast ones; because of this the guild is very open minded (by dwarf standards, at least). The fact that most of the time innovation comes from a client's absurd requests also helps a lot in somewhat loosening the Dwarven standards.
In Karak Mingol, the engineering guild gets as much freedom as it does because it's directly responsible for a large portion of the hold's wealth and fortune.
Technological ideas and innovation combined with the dwarfs’ skill in producing high quality artillery has in fact proven to be a driving factor in ensuring the wealth of Karak Mingol. The hold has a vast arsenal of cannons, bombards, mortar, catapults, bolt throwers; as well as more exotic pieces such as flame cannons and organ guns. The Engineering guild is also responsible for arming and maintain the large fleet of flying vehicles that crisscross the sky patrolling the area around MonteTrocchio.
The guild often collaborates with the mining guild in developing and using tunneling machines.
Additionally, the guild provides the weapons and training to the many regiments of quarrelers and thunderers that make the standing army of Karak Mingol.
Some of the engineers leave the hold for a few years, trying their luck in Tilea by providing their services in training soldiers in the use of handguns or crossbow; or by instructing the Tileans on how to properly care for a piece of artillery.
Others are hired by lords and princes as architects to build walls, castles, monuments ecc.
Banking Guild: No one is as good as keeping records as the dwarfs are, and no one likes money and wealth as they do. As such, it only took a few entrepreneurial dwarfs that saw the potential in the constant need the Tileans lords have for money before the hold realized it could become rich by lending money, charging interest, and keeping tabs on who owns what.
Tileans, on the other hand prefer dwarfs bankers to other Tileans because they know a dwarf won't go back on his word in matter of interest rate, payment plans ecc.
It happens sometimes that a client can't fully repay their loan. To avoid this, the dwarfs have started using the same artillery they sold the humans as collateral for the loans.
in the past few decades the guild has also started offering services unrelated to banking: members are often called to act as notaries, sort out property disputes, settle historical arguments ecc...
A few dwarfs from this guild end up travelling the world as historians or researchers.
Someone couldn't fully pay their debt back, so KarakMingol reclaimed some artillery.
Weaponsmith guild: I haven't come up with anything yet. They provide the armour as well as tools and weapons to dwarfs.
The warrior with great axe sports an inverted colour scheme to distinguish it from the shield+weapon troops. For some reason he seems really happy about his job.
Runesmith guild: nothing much yet, just that it's fairly small guild.
Additional bits of trivia.
*The very first cannon of the hold is the same the dwarfs used in the battle of Skull Pass. It’s called McDaddy the slayer of deamons after killing a massive deamon of Nurgle in a game in real life in which my opponent kept screaming "who's you daddy?/come to papa Nurgle" every time he'd move his Great Unclean One around.
*Twice a year the two houses of the Engineering guild have a competitions in which the members test their aiming skills and show off their craftsmanship in developing and building the finest crossbow/handgun. The competition consists of trying to hit moving targets (often captive goblins or skavens let loose from their cages) and it is divided in two rounds; one before and one after drinking copious amount of dwarven wine.
*Due to the lack of metal in the hold, the dwarfs of Monte Trocchio have special units that pick clean all fallen enemies of their weapons and armors. This equipment is then melted, and the metal used to craft weapons and armors of much higher quality.
Edited by Luigi, 10 December 2020 - 06:16 PM.