Ellistar: The Fractured World
Village of Sandathal
The Village of Sandathal is located on the side of the Great Chasm, a network of caves and small outcroppings built into the side of the chasm wall. The village is well hidden using a variety of dwarven techniques to keep the location secret and out of the view of the empire.
Regularly the inhabitants of Sandathal gather together a fairly large amount of minerals and smelted materials that they produce to pay as tribute to the Empire of Elisia. The tribute is placed in varying locations usually within a small distance of some small settlement. The inclusion of this tribute into their regular lives has afforded them some leniency, and has kept the empire from searching too fervently for them.
The town is lead by a small group of dwarven lords, a council of 6 members who govern the laws of the town. Though most traditions are seeped in dwarven roots, the town is not largely dwarven. Over the ages many different races have mingled in creating a largely diverse population.
The town has a population of roughly 1000 people, given the nature of their location and the need to maintain a smaller population, the town has had a long standing, very strict, two child policy. The rare occurrence of this law being broken resulted in the death’s of he child and the mother. No one has violated this mandate in hundreds of years.
All members of the town are expected to preform functions that benefit the community as a whole. As such, there is little need for material wealth (a sharp contrast to standard dwarven society). When a person needs a home, the community builds them one. If someone needs food, it is given to them. However all persons are expected to contribute.
This is hallmarked by the coming of age ritual referred to as "The Gift of The Stone’. Once a child has been trained enough or has become capable enough to assist the village in some way, the child is brought to the elders for a final decision. The elders then pass judgement on if it is time for that child to undergo the ritual. If they deem the child ready, he is sent to a pilgrimage into one of the many snaking caves in the mountain. There he must go to receive his gift from the stone…largely a symbolic gesture that usually ends up with the new adult returning with a shiny rock or an uncut gemstone. The pilgrimage is never taken alone, usually a group of aspiring adults and a guide to act as additional protection.