A Great Change was needed

The Dwarves that remained within the thaig of Hormak started out as all dwarva culture, with the hereditary caste system. Very quickly, however, once the darkspawn were no longer an imminent threat and the dwarves left to maintain their way of life realised that they needed to make some drastic changes to their long-held way of thinking in order to survive the test and obstacle of time. After constructing an aggressive defense system to their outer walls— one that seemed more offensive than not, in reality —the dwarven of Hormak could turn their efforts inward toward improving the lot of their people. The darkspawn had whittled away at their numbers, even with the influx of refugees from neighbouring thaigs, and so those left to survive and try to thrive in Hormak realized that they needed two new things that the dwarva of old had never felt need of before—the first being a complete census taken systematically and very regularly to monitor the number in their new very insular little society. The second was a much larger change, and a much more monumental one to coordinate and implement— altering the caste system of old.

It was long debated before the decision was reached by the dwarven of Hormak, to cast aside their old traditions, but with their greatly reduced numbers and the constant threat darkspawn had in making those numbering among the living even smaller, no dwarf at all could be left out of regular society as the casteless had always been. A master from each of the old castes met and decided amongst themselves that the castes instead be reformed, so that any dwarf could be admitted, regardless of their ancestry, so long as they showed skill and talent enough to begin apprenticeship. Eventually, over the centuries, the caste system fell away entirely, and was solely replaced by Guilds and guildsmen. Many of the skills and principles within the guilds remained the same as they were in the castes, though new guilds emerged as the technology advanced, and older ones fell into a decadent antiquity as their industrialism increased, rather than relying on an purely ancestral hierarchy that had kept dwarves in general somewhat stagnant for some time.

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By and large, their culture is still very much dwarven— they revere their own Paragons much more so than the older, more traditional ones (though they have not completely abandoned them), but perhaps do not hold as quite a reverence for the Stone as their fellow dwarves in Kal-Sharok or Orzammar still do. They have become a highly factual and experimental people, placing far more merit on what empirical studies and data show than what old stories and legends passed down tell them.

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