Atop the Shoulders of Giants
Ptolzi A Brafnen
A single, though large, dwarven city, Ptolzi A Brafnen was discovered by a group of halfling spelunkers in the south-western reaches of Kefran in 1491. More than a year passed, however, before the dwarves finally opened the doors of the city and reconnected with the outside world.
Beneath the Spire-Top Mountains, Ptolzi A Brafnen survived the nearly genocidal war against their people through adherence to a philosophy that is commonly stated as a three-part saying. Roughly translated in meaning, it goes “Hide your Home, Hide your Weapons, Hide your Actions.” In specific the ruling families of Ptolzi A Brafnen (which means “Little City of Shadows”) executed a plan to false evidence of their city’s destruction just before it would otherwise have been attacked, including collapsing nearly every entrance to the city and blasting much of the surrounding area with conventional and magical explosives to simulate the after-math of a large battle.
In the intervening time between their retreat into isolation and their re-emergence more than a dozen generations later, the citizens of Ptolzi A Brafnen became very skilled at political subterfuge. The city is ruled – if one can call it that – by a council of representatives of the eleven major clans. In the opinions of most citizens, however, council representatives are little more than sophists whose job it is to vote on decisions made by the sub-council committees which are sat upon by representatives of the council – representatives of the representatives, if you will. It is little secret that for all their posturing and speeches, the votes of the council boil down to a simple matter of political alliances and quid-pro-quo arrangements. Thus the high art of rulership in Ptolzi A Brafnen has been, and shows little propensity to cease being, little more than back-room deals, subterfuge, and back-stabbing (usually in the non-literal sense).
As a result the population of the city have become well acquainted with the methods of cut-throat politics and since their re-emergence into the world at large have become renowned as a culture for their exceptional ability to execute carefully structured, and thoroughly planned, schemes of deception and manipulation.
All of this, though, is not to discount many of the aspects of what was once common dwarven culture. The smiths of Ptolzi A Brafnen are considered superb, and are even responsible for introducing what they call Moon Steel to their new-found neighbors, an alchemically created alloy of Mithril and Adamantine that shares many of the benefits of the two component metals. Ptolzi A Brafnen also has a long tradition of stone carvers both as an artistic and as a strictly practical profession.
Ptolzi A Brafnen joined the East-Sea Alliance – despite being far afield from the East-Sea – shortly after its formation upon request from its closest neighbor and ally, Kefran.