The Neidar (knoll dwellers, a.k.a. Nearest) are the name given to those dwarves who at the time of the creation of Thorbardin chose to live outside. All Hill Dwarves are grouped into this thanedom. Many of these dwarves could trace their ancestry back to one of the other clans. The role of the Neidar prior to the Cataclysm was scouting and tending to the flocks outside of Thorbardin. Led by Cale Greeneye, this group was indispensable during the Wizard's War the fight against Rage.
Although they do not live within the underground realm of Thorbardin, they are considered part of that society, maintaining a seat on the Council of Thanes. Long ago, they might have even challenged the Hylar for the ruler-ship of Thorbardin, but their natures urged them to not stay. Instead, through their worldly natures, they were able to make contacts with the other cultures of Abanasinia. It was the Neidar, Cale Greeneye, who established the permanent boundary with Qualinost. The two cultures (mountain and hill dwarf) had warm relations prior to the Cataclysm.
Once the Cataclysm occurred the Neidar suffered from a lack of communication with their Mountain Dwarf cousins. The Neidar believing that they had been left to die in the outside world raised an army against their mountain cousins. Led by Reghar Fireforge, and backed by plainsmen and knights, this army fought in the Dwarfgate War. The dwarves fought against their mountain cousins and were defeated on the Plains of Dergoth by the treachery of the Daewar.
Following the Dwarfgate War the Neidar suffered terribly. Many of the Neidar voices were destroyed in revenge for the war. The result of this led to a dark century for the Neidar who fought starvation, disease and the chaos that resulted from the cataclysm.
During the War of the Lance relations improved with their mountain dwarf cousins but still remained tense. The Neidar did prevent arms sales to the Dragonarmies by preventing the Theiwar from taking over the village of Hillhome. The defense of Hillhome, was led by the Fireforge Family, began a period of open communications with the dwarves of Thorbardin.
Following the Chaos War the Neidar fared better than most of the other races. They helped the Hylar and Klar exiles survive through the first few years until the exiles could return to Thorbardin. Prior to the War of Souls, Tarn Bellowsgranite had married the Neidar Crystal Heathstone and relations had steadily improved.
Habitat and Society
Unlike their Mountain Dwarf cousins, these Hill Dwarves prefer to live outside the kingdom of Thorbardin because their restless natures found the underground caverns too cramped and small for them. They are also more willing to travel the world, hiring themselves out as master craftsman. They have taken to farming and raise many crops and other beasts for trade.
Neidar clans form small villages that consist of modest houses of thatch, wood, and stone. Because of their dwarven roots they are excellent miners, metalsmiths, and woodworkers. The eldest male serves as clan leader, but most major decisions are made by consensus. Unmarried Neidar often set out on their own, returning to their original clan only occasionally. The Neidar clan system predates the Cataclysm by hundreds of years and, true to tradition, different clans seldom associate with each other. This attitude has not only bred suspicion and a lack of cooperation among the clans; it has also hindered trade and economic development, keeping most clans in relative poverty.
Once part of the society of subterranean dwarves, the Neidar were cast from their homes in the wake of the cataclysm that preceded the Age of Darkness. Forbidden to return to their former homes, the Neidar were forced to live permanently above ground. Neidar have been reasonably successful at integrating themselves into Krynn society and are as likely to be found in urban taverns as in their own modest villages.
Neidar get along well with Humans and Kender. Some have established cordial relationships with Elves. However, most other dwarven races shun the Neidar, particularly the mountain dwarves. Fond of animals, they keep kittens, sparrows, and ponies as pets. They produce few items of value, but sometimes they create metal tools and honey candies to sell in human towns. Neidar have voracious appetites, favorite dishes include cornbread, mushroom soup, and roast kingfisher.
Clans on the Neidar
List of Neidar Dwarves
- Barsteel Firebrand
- Cale Greeneye
- Crystal Heathstone
- Durgar Fireforge
- Flint Fireforge
- Garrin Hammerstrike
- Hildy Bowlderston
- Mayor Holden
- Reghar Fireforge
- Reynard (Dwarf)
- A World in Stone pg. 45
- Songs of the Loremaster pgs. 42-46
- Covenant of the Forge pgs. 214-272
- Dragonlance Campaign Setting (sourcebook) p. 13
- Dragons of the Dwarven Depths (PB) p. 358, 379-380, 407, 440
- Flint the King pgs. 266-308
- Hammer and Axe 10-12, 19-48