D&D: The Worth of Steel
The Landsender Mountains are a series of mountains that make up the coast of the Eastern Continent along the Godsplit Ocean, south of the Aisengate Sea, west of the Kingdom of Aphonia, and roughly equidistant between the Kingdom of Algard to the north and the Theocracy of Laertia to the south. The mountains themselves are a cluster of wavy ridges running along the coast, shot through with valleys, canyons and switchbacks, that only the locals can navigate with any efficiency.
The Landsender Mountains are also the collective name given by outsiders to the numerous dwarven clans that inhabit the region, sharing a common culture and frequently engaging in internecine warfare. These clans are also sometimes called the "Landsender Dwarves" in contrast to their cousins in the Kingdom of Docalca. While a smattering of humans and halflings call the Landenders their home, they are usually treated as outsider by the clans- contracted specialists at best, annoying squatters at worst.
Government and Rulership
The Landsenders are a dozen clans, each organized under the leadership of a clan council made up of rich (though not necessarily elder) dwarves. The council's memberships is made up of individuals who have the largest financial stake in the clan's holdings, owning most of the land and resources or having contracts over the most workers. Membership is the clans is more fluid than ne would expect- it's relatively common for a council member to sell their stake in one clan only use that money to buy up property in another. Similarly, non-landowning dwarves are generally kept in perpetual indentured servitude through complex employment contracts, and are often forced to follow their contract holders to a new clan.
The Landsender coinage is generally called a landsmark, whose weight and imprinting varies from clan to clan but is generally on the heavier side. A single landsmark is worth 1-2 gp, and the smaller, more generally useful coins are the silvermark (a stamped silver coin worth about 2 sp) and the chip (a copper coin worth about half a cp).
The Landsender clans are aggressively capitalistic, trading raw minerals and worked metal to outsiders in exchange for things like textiles, lumber, and spices that they cannot produce in their own mountainous homeland. The Landsender mountains are rich in metals, both precious and plain, and mining and smelting form the cornerstone of their economy. The dwarves do enough farming to be self-sufficient and not have to import food, and indeed Landsender cheese is considered a delicacy among the upper echelons of society.
The Landsenders have something of a penchant for puns, what one might even call a punchant. The heraldry of the clans are generally playful, based on clever turns fo phrase and playing on words. For example, the Bronzepick clan's heraldry features a crowned dog in brown on a field of green, symbolizing a bronze dog as the "pick of the litter". This playfulness with language is usually a mild annoyance to outsiders.
The Landsenders are enthusiastic believers in the benefits of an armed populace, and virtually everyone to some degree practices the dwarven martial art, Kudar Kanth.
As one might expect, Sennus is the god of choice for such a heavily mercantile people, though worship of Suana is a distant second.
Each clan maintains a private army, made up a an elite core of professional soldiers bolstered by drafted contractual employees. The elite clanguard is generally heavy infantry backed by crossbowmen wielding the infamous repeating crossbow.
The repeating crossbow is an invention unique to the Landenders, and knowledge of their craft is strictly regulated. The crossbow are even designed with this in mind- by removing only two pins, the crossbows collapse into a meaningless armful of sticks and bowstring. While not a game-changer in terms of warfare, they are effective in holding fortified points such as the gates to the Landsender's underground strongholds.