Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain
The Ironfists awoke with the Stiffbeards in the northern peaks of the Spine of Arda, where they built the halls of Gamil-nâla and came to have for neighbours Men of Shadow, the Easterling peoples. Gamil-nâla was wrecked long ago, but the Ironfists remained in the same mountains. Despite guarded mistrust they traded arms for food and other goods much as the other Houses, and came to trade even with Men who gave fealty to Mordor. At the end of the Second Age, Sauron and Durin V called them to join opposite side in the War of the Last Alliance. Civil war broke out within their House, but ultimately many Ironfists fought for Sauron, many more refused to join either side, and only the defeated rebels in exile fought for Durin. These founded the halls of Namalaguz in the Golden Mountains far to the south. Dragon incursions drove the Ironfists out of the Spine of Arda mountains in the mid Third Age, and they became a scattered people eking out their livings in the lands of the Easterlings.
Personality & Physical Description
Ironfist Dwarves are somewhat taller than the dwarves of the other Houses, and have a sense of gauntness to them despite their dwarven bulk. Their colouring is dull, and their beards are often grey from early adulthood.
Exile and dispersion have deepened their cynicism and hardened their hearts, such that their chief loyalties are to their own small clannish groups rather than to any shared Ironfoot ideal.
They live to around 150 years.
Since their refusal to answer Durin’s call to war, the Ironfists have been branded as renegades by the western Dwarves (even those who fought for Durin were ironically tainted by disobeying their own king and leaving the North). The contingent who came to join in avenging the death of Thrór gained grudging recognition, but the rest are deemed little better than Petty-dwarves.
They live in small households among the Men of the East, to whom they sell their services as steel-smiths, gemcutters and ‘travelling magicians’.