The Roughbeard’s have carved themselves a territory and a reputation which has made their clan militarily powerful and respected.
Unlike other clans which were primarily founded geographically, with dwarves migrating to areas with resources and geological opportunity, the Roughbeards came together because of persecution for their appearance. There had been a time when those who would be called “roughbeard” were called so out of mockery and ridicule. Now the title is a mark of pride and for those whom the Roughbeard’s call enemy, a title to fear. Originally, the clan was founded by outcasts from other clans who were ostracized and shamed for their scraggly and patchy beards.
The most violent, loyal, and battle-hardened clan, the Roughbeard’s have forged alliances through spilled blood. Though now a banned practice due to political pressure from the other clans, the Roughbeard’s had taken up the practice of skinning the beards from their fallen enemies and wearing them on their belts. Battle tactics which involved grabbing beards and cutting up close were seen as cowardly by some but they won their clan many battles. Despite a bloody history, Roughbeard’s are known for their loyalty and have strong ties with their longstanding allies the Houndshanks and Hambelecks who they have fought for unrelentingly since their founding.
Historically, it was the Houndshank leader who gifted the Roughbeards with the advice to take the stony pass—a cleft of stone which merchants had long used to travel through the mountain passes and which had been known to sometimes be held by trolls and giants. No clan had laid claim to the pass but it was the Houndshanks who knew that whoever did could exact a toll on travelers as well as hold a key military position between the East and West mountains.
After killing the Giants and shackling the few Trolls that remained, The first founders of the Roughbeards took their seat at Stone Cleft. It was the Hambelecks who first came to the Roughbeard’s aid when their claim to land and title was challenged at council. At that very same meeting of the clans, the Hambeleck leader’s own daughter took the clan title Roughbeard and joined her new clan triumphantly. After that, and many battles later, no one challenges the Roughbeard’s claim—at least not openly.
The Stone Cleft pass settlement is still where the Roughbeard Chiefs have their hall. And most Roughbeards in Vali are there on a rotating basis for work with their family still at Stone Cleft. The city has being hiring Roughbeard mercenaries as its enforcers and security for a century, ever since the Slate-covenant. The slate-covenant was the outcome of the central mountain alliance formed due to fear of the humans from the coasts’ military improvements. What is entailed is essentially that Vali may trade freely using the pass controlled by the Roughbeards and may have a supply of soldiers for their millita in exchange for access to the city’s facilities for smelting ore and a levy on precious stones.