Sheltered within the barren and rocky Mountains are the Western Holds which, barring the few clustered around Athfort, are the last remaining true holdfasts of Dwarvenkin. Within their halls are Clans claiming a heritage concurrent with the ancient Indahar and the other Ancient Holds, but decry their better-known cousins for the hubris which was obviously their downfall. The Raniar Clans pride themselves on independence and the difficulty of life, which they tend to emphasize rather than overcome. And now, they sit as the most powerful Clans in all of Kai’ckul, attributed to their patience.
Their location, natural defensive position, and lack of external natural resources left the Raniar Clans with little conflict during the Lost Wars. They denied Perius and Lothar Greatworth assistance to bring the evil to heel, and denied attendance at The Codification, but have been more than willing to attend, voice, and vote at each subsequent meeting of the Council of the Code. Their attitudes both a boon personally, as the rest of Kai’ckul was ravaged, whereas their numbers and culture remained unaffected, and a curse socially, as they are generally disliked, dismissed, and derided throughout the rest of the world.
Leading them at The Council, is Triath Sharzad Oezter. Hailing from Mount Oezter, her ancestral holdfast of An Dun, she commands attention on her yearly ‘campaign’ to Oakenfell and back — a trip she makes entirely alone and on foot. Bearing only a crossbow and quiver of quarrels, which she wears into the Council as well, she is quite the sight: a squat, barrel-chested woman of fire-red hair, shorn beard and eternally exposed mid-section. She seems to take pride in her womanhood, emphasizing it rather than ‘hide’ under a beard as other Dwarven women do, and loudly proclaims that she is one of few female leaders in all Kai’ckul.
Also notable is Clan Kaarle, whose holdfast lies furthest west, within eye-shot of The Bight, and maintain a black sheep relationship to the rest of the Raniar Clans.