Dorand: Hierarchy

The Anvil has a simple set of ranks. Dorand is not a complicated god, enmeshed in the politics of the heavens, his church is about crafting; the strength to craft, the discipline to craft, the desire to craft, and the patience to develop skills in crafting. It has been this way since the Converge of 790 when the first shrine to Dorand was founded, and it has evolved continuously along those ideas since. Strength, discipline, desire, and patience: this is the Anvil.

One begins as an Acolyte of the Hammer, commonly called a Sledge. The next step is Apprentice of the Hammer, often called a Setter. After Apprentice, one is a Journeyman of the Hammer with the nickname Peen, but that name is falling into disuse. The highest rank that most clergy achieve is simply called Hammer (or Hauberk) of Dorand with no preamble. Past that, there is the leader of the church, the High Hammer, and his council, which each High Hammer hand-picks upon taking Wraithbone, their symbol of office. The council then liaisons with the Hammers and the various sects and provides advice to the High Hammer.

Ranks are achieved after Acolyte by apprenticing to a Hammer and submitting works for review. Once per season, a Tempering is called and the hopefuls travel to the Citadel at Lyn to apply for their next rank and await the review of their works and deeds. This can take time because at least five of the clergy compare notes and discuss each of the candidate's deeds' some dwarves have been sent back to the Acolytes for laziness or poor quality. The High Hammer makes an appearance only if the promotion of a new Hammer is imminent as part of the craft of the High Hammer is to ensure that only the most competent and dedicated clergy ascend the ranks. A High Hammer is elected for life or until they choose to retire. Should the office be vacant, candidates present themselves to the previous High Hammer's council and a vote of Hammers is called with the popular vote deciding the next High Hammer.

Elections and Organization

The clergy of Dorand have been known as Hammers ever since Dorand's very first worshipper pounded on his first piece of metal; also, to honor their god and the tool most often used by him. The path to Hammer has developed steps which, like the forging of a weapon, must be taken slowly, carefully, and in order:

  • Acolyte of the Hammer
    Commonly called Sledges, beginning clergy lack the finesse of a final work. The sledge learns the ways of shaping and the work involved and builds strength. A Sledge hammers their soul as they do their craft with the strong, heavy strikes necessary to turn a slab of metal or a chunk of stone into something workable. Sledges need no vote. Anyone may begin the Way of the Hammer (except orcs) at the Citadel or on their own.
  • Apprentice of the Hammer
    The Apprentice will do just that, finding a Hammer who is willing to teach and spending years or decades in his or her service. The Apprentice is often called a Setter after the hammer used to rough out the shape of a blade. Setters learn finer work, flattening metal so it can be shaped as they shape their devotion and selves into a tool of Dorand. During this time, little travel is done because most of what must be learned is internal, between the cleric, their teacher, and the Master Crafter. Apprentices will be found near their forges and tools most of the time.
  • Journeyman of the Hammer
    Apprentices who have progressed to crafting complete items learn the most detailed parts of their work. Formerly called Peens, this name is less popular now, and most Journeymen identify themselves by their formal title. Here, the raw material of each cleric is ready to shape itself into a Hammer of Dorand. Journeymen are often called on to answer the questions of Acolytes and travel more as their material needs become more exotic. They also must create several things to take the mantle of Hammer. At minimum, they must forge both a set of tools for their craft and at least one work of Hammer quality. Although, the definition of "Hammer quality" is up to whoever reviews the application and then the current High Hammer.
  • Hammer (or Hauberk) of Dorand
    Clerics determined to have great proficiency in their craft as well as devotion to Dorand's ideals drop prefixes to their title. Hammers are the bread and butter of the Anvil. They teach apprentices and take the word of Dorand across Layonara. Hammers decide who will advance in their journey along the Master Crafter's path, vote for High Hammers, and serve as the example of all that Lord Forge espouses.
  • High Hammer
    The Right Hand of Dorand is charged with making sure the clergy follow the Way of the Hammer and setting policy for the church. The High Hammer leads from the Citadel at Lyn. Voted into office by Hammers and Hauberks, he (there has not yet been a female High Hammer) votes on the Hammers or Hauberks once their review is complete and is the final word on the matter. The High Hammer is expected to summon a council and this alone is not limited to Hammers and Hauberks; anyone who worships Dorand (except orcs) may sit on the council of the High Hammer at his request.
The current High Hammer of Dorand is Argus MacBearen, a stern but fair-minded dwarf still robust in middle age. Argus MacBearen specializes in armor craft and is a Hauberk rather than a Hammer. He has a son on his council as well as two apprentices he values for their analytical skills. He was chosen to become High Hammer in 1418 and has proven to be a good influence on the Anvil, growing it slowly while overseeing expansion of the Citadel. He is notably less fond of humans and elves than his predecessor Ta'karsh Blacklung, but he tolerates them. He has jet-black hair, sharply dark eyes, and a beard flowing down to his midriff with no signs of gray yet. While Argus is respected, he is subject to the scrutiny of some of the older dwarves since he left his wife for another woman. He has five children between his two wives.