On the sixth day after the second dozenth day in his great wandering into the beyond, Muheim discovered the three caverns which would someday be a city called Whitestone. Deeply disturbed by his continual hunger as he went, Muheim was nevertheless given a great pause—perhaps one of his last moments before his sanity totally departed from him—as he was first able to lay eyes on that white-stoned central pillar as it pulsed with the deep light.
“BEHOLD!” bellowed Muheim then, “A CITY I SHALL RAISE HERE!”.
However, in the rest of his life, Mulheim never spoke of raising the city, or any city for that matter. For only a few hours thereafter, exploring caves which ran upward almost to the surface, Mulheim finally succumbed to that illness which had poisoned his mind and set him on his journey. I remembered when he turned back to me, his eyes filled almost to the brim with salty tears. He tried again to speak, but only guttural sounds would arise. He tried to gesture, but his hands locked in that most peculiar, most tentacle-like position, and I couldn’t understand his meaning. Then, almost without warning, he began the great wailing. Words indecipherable; sounds untranslatable. Even a hundred years later, they’re still present in my mind. It held him all afternoon, and then, without really changing, Mulheim the Mad—the madman we had followed for a half-dozen years in hopes that he might have actually glanced at the sky—became Mulheim the Remembering, and his soul passed from this world. We figured we could found a city in his honor, and so Whitestone was to be.
-Thunof Brassshield, We Followed A Madman
The area around the Dwarf city Whitestone fills three large caverns, each of which borders a central pillar. The city owes both its name and its mythological origin story to the rock which makes up the pillar. On an almost logically regular cycle, the pillar in the midst of the cavern pulses with a great white light. As Dwarves almost always built cities where they found these strange pillars, it was actually no so novel for Mulheim to cry out and intend to build a city there. Nevertheless, in due time Thunof and Mulheim’s other companions had gathered their clans from afar and built a city.
Contemporary Whitestone is an underground city about six solar days journey by cavernous passages from Mourning. It is one of the larger Dwarf settlements, and it is from Whitestone that much of the tension between Elves and Dwarves is instigated. Very proud of their city with its great location and ancient tradition of superior craftsmanship, the Whitestone dwarves are regarded by some of their kin as supremacists. However, in contemporary times, Whitestone has acquired small populations of humans and halflings, as well as a few stray creatures from further down.
The three principal Dwarven clans of Whitestone are the same as the day the city was founded: The Brassshields of Thunof, who are the preeminent historians of the Dwarven civilization, the Goldsniffers (after Wikon, who followed Mulheim with Thunof), who are the great miners which power Whitestone’s industry, and the Shield-masters—originally members of Mulheim’s clan who followed Thunof and Wikon to found a new city—today the Shield-masters are the preeminent earthworks builders on [red-planet]. The three clans also host a number of clanless dwarves from other caverns, always making sure to ask exactly the right sort of questions before granting admittance.
The three principal exports of Whitestone are Masterwork Weapons and Armor, Dwarfspice, and Domesticated Hissing Centipedes—which will take a small or medium rider. The three principal imports of human-raised surpashrooms, raw materials—usually from other Dwarf settlements, and various surface items which are bought from greedy Mourning merchants.
The government of Whitestone is a rotating autocratic position, held in turn for a period of one gross of days (100 12 ) ( 144 10 ) by each of the clan patri/matri-archs in turn. Non-dwarf citizens are given certain economic rights, but generally are not entitled to civil protections. The principal government building, which is carved from the stone slabs nearest to the glowing pillar in the city-center, is called the Clan-hall, and also serves as Whitestone’s primary meeting point for magic users.
Whitestone is the least agrarian of the Dwarf settlements, in part due to its late founding and in part due to the geological layout of its cavern. With only a small portion of its area sufficiently strong in the light-pulse energy which defines Dwarf agriculture, Whitestone grows only a few hardy herbs with the shed light. These herbs together constitute Dwarfspice, and also serve—in certain combinations, notably with activated water of surpashroom—as an explosive. Individual herbs from the varieties grown “under the White stone” can also be used to kill certain growing molds.
The halfling population, finding their more nimble bodies well-adapted to moving amid their Dwarven neighbors, are in near-constant demand for projects which require dexterity. Those who do well in these tasks are often incorporated (in a non-reproductive capacity) into Dwarven clans and given the rights of citizenship. Some among Whitestone’s more “in-the-know” have suggested that this arrangement is to prevent rogues from amid the halfling’s number from selling the secrets of Dwarf agriculture to the hated Elves.
Humans also find themselves in comfortable arrangements, although it is in an unusual role. Humans in Whitestone are regarded as being especially vocally gifted, as their vocal ranges (for both sexes) include ranges unavailable to any Dwarf. Thus, even untrained humans can relatively easily be trained as Canters. Rumors floating around other settlements suggest that some of the humans of Whitestone have learned an offensive form of vocal elemental magic.