Welcome to the fourth stop in the #exploreleira blog tour where we’re celebrating the (almost) one year book birthday for Songkeeper! It is the second book in the Songkeeper Chronicles, which tells the story of a girl who can hear the song that created the world.
If this is your first encounter with the blog tour, we are continuing a series of alphabet posts looking at the world and characters and magical creatures of the Songkeeper Chronicles … and we have an awesome giveaway that you can enter below! You can find a list of the stops and dates here: #exploreleira tour. (Links will be updated once each post becomes live.)
Today, we’re looking at the letter …
D is for Dwarves …
The dwarves of the Whyndburg Mountains were some of my favorite characters to write, whether it was the kindly Jirkar, faithful Nisus, irritable Thallus, or incorrigible Migdon. In fantasy, dwarves are often seen as rough and earthy, though they are often noted for their craftsmanship and particularly skilled with metals and stone. They are commonly heavily bearded, frequently stout, and notoriously unrefined.
The dwarves of the Whyndburg Mountains are somewhat more varied. Their hair is often curly, and though many go about bearded, they prefer to keep their beards closely cropped. They are as prone to be fond of tea as strong drink, and many consider matters of etiquette no less important than matters of state. Theirs is an ancient society and a proud one. Known (among less illustrious tribes) for having names longer than they are tall, dwarves are often punctilious about matters of introductions, courtesy, and honor.
“Come, come,” Nisus interrupted. “You know better than that. Introductions, of all things, must be done properly.” He marched toward Birdie.
She shrank from him, but he merely thumped a fist to his helm—just as he had done to Amos—and bowed his head.
“I am Nisus Plexipus Molineus Creegnan, Xanthen Chancellor to the Caran. And this is my brother—“
“Jirkar Mundibus Icelos Creegnan, Commander of the Fifth Cohort of the Adulnae,” Jirkar finished with a helmet thump and a bow.
The Whyndburg Mountains are ruled by the Caran, which is a hereditary position not unlike a traditional monarch. Because the Caran holds the highest power and responsibility in the land, he or she gives up all else, including all other titles, names, or family ties. Nothing matters but duty to country, to people, and to mountain pride.
“I’ve never met any folk more loyal to each other and their way of life or more determined to stand against the Takhran. The rest of Leira will gave way eventually, you can bet your britches on that, but when it’s all said and done and the dust of battle clears, the Whyndburg Mountains will still exist as their own sovereign kingdom, I’d stake my life on it.”
– Migdon, Songkeeper
In the mountains, scholars and warriors are held in the highest regard. The Xanthen form the high council of the Caran and serve as his (or her) advisors. They are the philosophers, scientists, strategists, deep thinkers, inventors, and scholars of the Whyndburg Mountains. Among them are also many versed in the knowledge of herbs and healing arts, a fact that Ky Huntry of Kerby learned from the dwarf Migdon, which is why he was determined to enlist their aid when the white fever struck the Underground. The Xanthen typically go about clad in light colored, loose fitting robes, belted about the waist, and those of high position wear bronze torcs about their necks.
“ … living in the Caran’s stronghold can get a mite stuffy. Too many fierce Adulnae shoving about as if they own the place and those pretentious Xanthen making up excuses for them—that’s our fighters and scholars, two most revered positions in the mountains.”
– Migdon, Songkeeper
The Adulnae are the renowned warriors of the mountains, divided into ten cohorts led by esteemed commanders. To be admitted into the ranks of the Adulnae is a high honor indeed. Each warrior is equipped with a breastplate of bronze, fine chainmail, and tall bronze helmets plumed with feathers. The color of the feathers varies depending upon the cohort. Dual swords and crossbows are the prescribed weapons, although many (like the redoubtable rebel Migdon Hipicarious Listarchus Noonan) also carry slings and sling-bullets.
It is rumored that some (also like Migdon Hipicarious Listarchus Noonan) have been known to inscribe humorous phrases onto their sling-bullets to taunt the enemy, such as “Duck!” or “Catch!” But as few enemies have survived to tell the tale, such reports are largely unconfirmed.
There are also rumors that we may yet get to see more of the Whyndburg Mountains and of the dwarves who call the mountains home in the third book of the Songkeeper Chronicles, but I can neither confirm nor deny such whisperings.
Dwarves named in the Songkeeper Chronicles:
- Jirkar Mundibus Icelos Creegnan, Commander of the Fifth Cohort of the Adulnae
- Nisus Plexipus Molineus Creegnan, Xanthen Chancellor to the Caran
- Migdon Hipicarious Listarchus Noonan, advance scout of the Third Cohort of the Adulnae, among other things
- Hogan Micthineous Cadronitus Roardin, philosopher
- Commander Thallus Liturgis Xyamphene Noonan, guardian of Siranos Pass
- The Caran, ruler of the Whyndburg Mountains
Which dwarf in the Songkeeper Chronicles (or any other fantasy novel) would you choose to join you on a quest?
Want to find out more about the dwarves of the Whyndburg Mountains? Check out the links below to purchase the books:
And before you leave, don’t forget to enter the giveaway! One lucky winner will take home a copy of Orphan’s Song, Songkeeper, and a gorgeous handmade mug. Two lucky winners will take home copies of Songkeeper! Open to international entries. Enter through the Rafflecopter below and be sure to continue following the blog tour. You can earn new entries for each post that you visit along the way. Winners will be announced after April 15th.