[Ròc McGlainne Bio] [A’chiad Bhaile] [The McGlainne Clan]
Ròc was born into a nearly homogenous, smoothly functioning, hive-minded city built into the mountain face of Beinn Loch (LAKE MOUNTAIN). The largest city, A’CHIAD BHAILE (“ah-keat vayle;” FIRST CITY), is the oldest and busiest Dwarven city on the mountain. It attracts vast amounts of merchant visitors primarily due to its seat in the valley that connects the southern fertile lowlands, the mountain passage to the various northern lands, and the broad sea a few day’s ride to the East.
The lower district is called GEATA NA TALMHAINN (EARTH GATE) in which miners and farmer abound, providing the raw materials for the functions of the city. The people here man the valley gate that connects the mountain city to the fertile farmlands just outside the city walls. Just inside the city walls dwell the hearty, hammer-holding miners that boast the most district pride, founded on sheer physical strength and military volunteerism. This district houses the most EILE (OTHER) and takes a certain pride in its diversity, unlike the other two districts, that posit “outsiders” to be dirty and unnecessary.
The upper district is called GEATA NAN SPEUR (SKY GATE), where the military and textile workers hive juxtaposed to the city’s governing Clàr àrd (HIGH TABLE). In the massive fortress of Clàr àrd, the Council of Lairds hold committee and is the city’s inner defense during war time. It can hold the entire city’s population within its thick, high walls and vast inter mountain caverns.
The eastern district is called GEATA NAN SALAINN (SALT GATE) and it celebrates education above all. It also houses various “artisan” clans that are considered to be “necessary, but not vital” to the city whole. Gruff in description, the eastern district is no less important than the other districts, housing the majority of the city’s wealthy clans. It is, however, in hushed tones, gossiped to be less nation-minded due to its low military volunteerism and its guild-centered theology. Not many live in the eastern district and even fewer are able to successfully establish themselves due to the closely guarded family secrets and long-standing tradespeople. The eastern district thrives more on clan tradition than any other district.
Each district is associated with specific clans that initially made land claims on the city, with the seat of governance well-fortified in the upper district. The Oligarchy is a unisex rule, not swayed by matriarchy or patriarchy. Each district is headed by a council of Lairds from the strongest/most established clans, the position often inherited by blood, the number based on a ratio of land to populace. Together, they dictate laws for the city as a whole, while each represent and understand the needs of their respective districts, ruling them parallel to the overall city’s high law that is agreed upon by the Lairds when in committee at Clàr àrd.
The city is simply called “Bhaile” by its residents, as there is not a more impressive city on the mountain to confuse the fact that A’chiad Bhaile is the oldest and most lucrative city than any other nation on Beinn Loch.
In such a city, each member has a pivotal, almost predetermined role in society. As one member dies, another enters to take over the empty role. Each clan is known for a specific skill or trade, making their various high-quality wares available year-round to locals as well as to merchants passing through. The children of each clan adopt their family’s signature craft, innately melding into the social and economic web of Bhaile. Merchants often take these Dwarven objects to the various surrounding nations.
Although few visit the Bhaile for the sake of tourism, the city’s culture is well-known via its exotic wares imported through trade. Indeed, a few of the surrounding towns and villages have unconsciously adopted A’chiad Bhaile’s social cues such as fashionable beard adornments and Beinn Ghorm Fìon Eòrna (BLUE MOUNTAIN BARLEY WINE – This is a golden brown brew that turns the tongue blue depending on the quality of the drink. A lighter brew is of lower quality, whereas a darker blue stain denotes higher quality ingredients and/or a longer distilling period).
All citizens of A’chiad Bhaile, in order to be “full” citizens, must also enlist into the city’s military program in their younger years. The program teaches each citizen general military competency in melee and ranged weapons as well as a brief overview of military tactics. Combat training is compulsory for younglings at the age of 15, dawning their adolescence, and continues for 60 years away from their clan. During this time, each member is indoctrinated into the ways of the city at large. At 75, a dwarf is released from their initial residency, considered the starting of their young adulthood. Once released, they have political rights, may own land, may conduct business within the city, and may also have children according to High Law. Should a young adult choose to return to their clan head for family service, they may do so as their life debt is fulfilled, however they may be called upon until the age of 275 in times of war. Although technically a civilian, the expectation is that every citizen be fight-fit up to the age of 350. Should a released person choose to remain in the city’s military reserves, they are paid from city taxes for the stint of 10 years at a time and serve as sentinels and street guards to keep the general peace.
The people of A’chiad Bhaile are overly practical, with little regard or need for individualism. Although not outright turned away, Eile, are more-or-less considered to be a necessary social inconvenience for the sake of economy. Few non-Dwarven peoples take permanent resident in Bhaile, often citing an “unspoken suspicion” coming from its native dwellers. The city maintains a keen balance of its permanent populace, boasting of its formal and public banishments of its citizenry whenever those persons are found to be too… singular.