This post is the first in a series that presents in greater detail various factions for a space fantasy RPG that I've mentioned in previous posts.
Dwarven Mining Guild
Only the elves were faster in embracing aetherial travel than were the dwarves. Indeed, the first members of that stout, earth-minded race quickly identified the asteroids of the Belt as a source for considerable mineral wealth, and immediately started working to claim it. To that end they acquired a few aetherships, and then used elemental obelisks to convert asteroids into floating facilities for smelting and smithing. Now those structures drift through the belt, providing the dwarves with facilities from which they earn considerable wealth.
Goal: Discovery, Craftsmanship and Wealth
The goals toward which Guild members work are simple: Find valuable ores among the asteroids of the Belt, mine and smelt them, and then use that metal to create items of supreme beauty and function.
By and large, the dwarves who belong to this Guild respect law and order, since that makes for a safe, secure and efficient society. They're not overly concerned about big moral issues, as long as they can find a market for their wares.
While individual captains are in charge of their own mobile facilities, they all ultimately answer to Rudrig son of Ragnar, a dwarf who participated in the First Delve and who has worked his way up through the ranks to lead the guild now.
Rudrig son of Ragnar can be found on his own ship, the Edifice, which is detailed below.
Using the Dwarven Mining Guild in an Aetherial Adventures Campaign
This organization can provide plenty of plot elements for a space fantasy RPG campaign; presented here are a few of the possibilities.
- If the PCs are seeking to buy weapons, armor or other metal goods, then a visit to one of the Mining Guild's ships is their best bet for finding what they want.
- Alternately, they could be hired to deliver foodstuffs and other important cargo to the floating facility, possibly even live animals such as goats of sheep. Naturally, such a voyage would not go smoothly.
- Alternately, they could be hired to help guard the delivery of a valuable cargo that pirates are plotting to steal.
- The PCs could be present when—or might come along shortly after—the dwarves find something unexpected among the asteroids, perhaps a monster such as a xorn or a purple worm, or even evidence of a lost civilization.
- Arriving at one facility, they find that all of its inhabitants are dead. What is the cause of this calamity, and is it still a danger to the PCs?
Mining Guild Mobile Mining, Smelting & Smithing Facility
These facilities consist of a small asteroid outfitted with an elemental obelisk, set up to function as a smelting facility and smithy, and towed by an aethership such as a dhow.
Refer to the maps above and below for the following location descriptions.
1. Mess Hall
This small building has a hearth against the wall opposite the door, with a spit for roasting meat above it. There are also barrels of water, beer and wood, along with tables for preparing and serving food. Additionally, there are platters, utensils, pots, pans and the like.
The walls of these structures are lined with eight beds, each of which is accompanied by a footlocker (hardness 5 and 15 hit points; DC 30 to open and DC 23 to break). These chests contain the valuables and personal items of each inhabitant. There are also two table, surrounded by chairs, at which those who aren't working or sleeping can sit, relax, and enjoy some conversation or a game of knucklebones.
This building is sealed with an iron-bound door of thick oak. Inside it is lined with shelves that are stacked with various supplies and equipment items. The middle of the floor is filled with chests and barrels that contain metal ingots, forged weapons and the like.
4. Elemental Obelisk
In the middle of the asteroid's surface level stands this magical item, which provides heat, gravity and fresh air for the facility.
A ten-foot-by-ten-foot platform here can be raised from the bottom level to the top via a crank mechanism, allowing items to be hauled up from below and vice versa.
From the upper level, stairs here wind down to the lower level.
7. Interior Chamber
Inside the asteroid has been hollowed out, providing room for the smelting operation and a number of individual smithing stations (detailed below). The ceiling here reaches to forty feet in height at the center of the chamber. In addition the locations here, a number of mine carts are located throughout to help with moving materials and finished products.
8. Smithing Stations
At each of these locations there are an anvil and a barrel of water, providing places where the individual dwarves can take heated pieces of metal and hammer them into useful implements and then quench them afterward.
9. Smelting Crucible
This big, cylindrical stone structure is almost as tall as the ceiling. Three side hatches open into it—one for stoking the fire, one for adding unsmelted ore and one for removing refined metals and the dross that is left behind. Characters within thirty feet of it suffer the effects of very hot conditions, while those within ten feet are affected by severe heat (see page 444 in the core rulebook for details).