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Drill Codex

By order of the lord of Durin's Folk, and in service to the king under the mountain, this Drill Codex is presented to every dwarf who would serve in the military.


As a dwarf who has chosen to serve in the military, you have responded to the call to defend our homes, our lands, and our peoples. You have certain skills, of which you may have honed most of your life. This codex is more than just a drill manual, but a standard military handbook.
Study it well.

The way of Durin

"We are dwarrows, and not a band of uncoordinated, untrained, and undisciplined orcs"

"In time of war, or in battle, the need for greater discipline between kinsfolk is of the upmost importance"

"All kinsfolk have a duty when they report, to report fit for battle"

Drill and basic training

A young dwarf once asked of his drillmaster, 'why do I have to train with other dwarves, I know how to fight, just show me the enemy'.
The drillmaster looked at him and said, 'find me a number of sticks, all about the same size'.
The young dwarf looked at him, thought for a moment, and then did as his master asked.
The drillmaster showed the young dwarf one stick, 'break it'.
So, the young dwarf snapped the stick in half, wondering what he was meant to learn from this.
The drillmaster then asked him to tie the other sticks together into a larger bundle of sticks. The young dwarf obliged.
The drillmaster then asked, 'now snap this bundle in half'.
The young dwarf tried all he could, but this bundle of sticks, tied together as one, were much stronger than just the one.
The drillmaster looked to the young dwarf,' now do you understand why we train together?'

The Military Academy

Durins Folk are proud to introduce the military academy, a dedicated 'hall' for recruits and officers to hone their skills, study and train. Address: 5 Roaring Road, Ulfhirth

Basic Drill

"We fight shoulder to shoulder, forming an unmovable wall, standing rooted like the great pillars of Moria. As while the foe crashes upon our shields, we systematically chop and hack anything coming our way, wasting neither time nor energy and especially no beards".

Basic drill serves to teach two things; basic formations, and how a great number of dwarves can move and stand as one. The important thing to learn here is that you, and your fellow dwarfs are a fellowship of dwarven steel, moving and fighting as one. All drills will be conducted by a drillmaster, who can be any rank above Dumul.

Forming the line.

Drill typically begins with the command "Line up!" ("Imhî zadkh!"), whereby every recruit forms a line in front of and faces the drillmaster. Recruits will be inspected for both uniform and battle readiness, briefed and given a chance to warm up. All dwarves will be expected to attend drill in UNIFORM. Warm up exercises may include push-ups and stretch exercises designed to improve muscle flexibility in the cold conditions our armies often find themselves in.

Fix the line

From time to time, recruits may be inexperienced in the discipline of good drill. "Fix rank!" ("Istimi gash!") will be a command that reminds them to form a good line. As each recruit looks to the dwarf on either side of them, to check if they are in a straight line with equal distance between each dwarf.

Basic drills commands are required to move any army from one place to another. It is important that this is carried out with discipline and in an orderly fashion.

Turn left (Ibnisi!)

From a formed line, this command orders each dwarf to turn on the spot, to their left, being one quarter of a full turn.

Turn right (Ihgiri)

From a formed line, this command orders each dwarf to turn on the spot, to their right, being one quarter of a full turn.

Slow march

Typically, this command would follow a formed line that has turned left or right. You will be facing the back of the dwarf in front of you. When the command prepare for slow march ("Irmishi khama gang subuk!") is given, each dwarf must be ready to follow, in a slow pace, the dwarf in front. On the command "march!" ("Mahignigi!"), the lead dwarf will move off, and each subsequent dwarf will follow keeping slow march pace.

Fast march

Typically, this command would follow a formed line that has turned left or right. You will be facing the back of the dwarf in front of you. When the command prepare for fast march ("Irmishi khama gang mulum!") is given, each dwarf must be ready to follow, in a fast pace, the dwarf in front. On the command "march!" ("mahignigi!"), the lead dwarf will move off, and each subsequent dwarf will follow keeping fast march pace.

Halt (Mahitdini)

Upon hearing this command, every dwarf must stop and wait for the next command.

Make room and mount up (Imhî surju ra ikhribabi)

This command requires every dwarf to mount up on their suitable ride, be it a goat, a pony, or some other mount.

Prepare for slow ride (Irmishi d'akhrub subuk)

This is the mounted version of slow march. Each dwarf will ride at a slow pace behind the dwarf in front.

Prepare for fast ride (Irmishi d'akhrub mulum)

This is the mounted version of fast march. Each dwarf will ride at a fast pace behind the dwarf in front.

Dismount (Binikhribi)

A simple command to dismount.


Sparring is a great way for dwarves to hone their individual fighting skills. The importance of sparring is to learn better fighting skill. Each sparring partner must show respect to the other by bowing first before, and after the fight.

Field operations


When your troop find them in enemy territory, it is wise not to provide the enemy with information, as far as is possible. March in single file because this will help hide your numbers. Also make as little noise as is reasonable. An elf remarking he could have shot you in the dark from the noise you were making might prove embarrassing; an orc could prove fatal.

Camping considerations

Important considerations when camping in the field include the location of potential enemies, wild beasts, and weather conditions. Clearly, you should not start fires close to enemy forces. And if fires are started when at a safe distance, wind directions should be considered, aiming to not alert any enemies. Find a good defensible location where possible, and organise a watch duty. Wild beasts are attracted to the smell of cooking, especially in regions where food is scarce. A sheltered location, or indeed a cave, might be wise in extreme weather.


"See, but not be seen", might be the motto of the scout, or indeed a scouting party. The Sabâj are a specialist division within the dwarven army dedicated to the art of scouting. The importance here is for the dwarf to blend in with the surroundings. Use suitable clothing; greens and browns for forested areas, and whites for the snow covered landscape. Make use of cover, and remember to stay downwind of any foes. Some orcs can smell a dwarf in the wind.


Every dwarf should carry basic supplies, these would include;

• Field rations
• Water or ale
• Small knife and a small axe
• Weapon and armour field repair kit
• Bandages
• A map

Other supplies such as a beard comb, dry socks or cram are not part of the Durin's Folk military basic supply, yet are allowed to be included in military packs (provided any cram is well wrapped).

In addition, every field operation has its own requirements and every dwarf should carry according to their own speciality. Proper planning from the officers would ensure these requirements.

Care of wounded

Fortunately, the dwarven body is a hardy one. Wounds and infections, poisons and disease that would prove fatal to other races often are only a mild condition for the dwarf. However, there is one major concern for the wounded dwarf and that is blood loss. The dwarven body contains about seven pints of blood, any more than two pints of lost blood will induce shock.
Severe blood loss must be prevented; use bandages, or cauterise the wound with a hot knife.
It is recommended that field operations have six healers and three herbalists for every maznakkâ’ (company of forty-nine dwarves).
Standard battlefield practice would be to survey the wounded and treat in order of severity; a dwarf lying quietly may be more serious that one who is shouting. Just remember when tending to the wounded, to keep your weapon handy. A stray orc will have no qualms about killing a healer.

Survival skills

The dwarf in the field must remember that the environment can also be a killer. Various steps should be taken, where possible, to ensure survival.
It should hardly need saying that the dwarf should be equipped to suit the conditions in which they might find themselves; winter clothing for cold regions; extra water, or ale, for hot or dry regions. Good strong boots are necessary, but also a wide-brimmed hat for those areas where the sun is hot.

Basic survival shelter

Use your axe to cut a long sturdy branch or trunk of a tree, making a pole. This should be approximately twice your height in length, and as thick as your fist. Sharpen one end, and stub it into the ground while supporting the other end at a height of approximately your waist. Use the V shape of a small tree, or perhaps a rock for the supported end. Now cut smaller branches and lay them against the pole to form a small den. Cover the whole thing in leafy branches or other material to make it wind and waterproof. This small survival shelter may save your life if caught out in the open.

Advanced war tactics

The art of battle

General principles of military wisdom, in their most basic, mean do as much damage to the enemy whilst minimising the damage or losses to your own. At this point, it is worth pointing out the difference between military strategy, and military tactics. Military strategy concerns itself with the overall battle plan, and would be decided by higher-ranking officers. Military tactics are the concern of field units, and their officers. Being part of a military unit, your duty would entail carrying out effective tactics, to meet the overall strategy.
To be effective, two important factors need to be operating within the field unit; teamwork, and communication. Every member of a military unit must operate with the view of being part of a team. Communication between an officer and the whole unit must be effective and clear. Training together as a unit will help forge both these requirements.
Of course, we are not orcs, who just follow orders with no intelligence. The dwarf must know how to follow orders when handed down, but also be able to act with intelligence and initiative when needed. Reporting to your officer situation changes is important here.
Consider a unit, ordered to face the enemy, lined up in several rows. One dwarf, at the back notices an orc coming from behind. That dwarf needs to act, turning to block the orc, whilst shouting to the rest of the unit, the change in a situation. Yet at the same time dwarves of the same unit must ever stay vigilant of any other attacks as the rear attack may be a diversion.


Modern battle tactics necessitate the military dwarf specialise. To this end, three military banners, conceived to enable close cooperation and protection, operate in the field of battle.
The Shield Guard or Shield Banner forms the backbone of heavy infantry. Their primary role on the battlefield is to act as a shield wall and to block the enemy progress. They also act to protect the other banners. You can recognise these, in current uniform, by their heavy shields and shoulder armour.
The Hammer Guard or Hammer Banner forms the main strike force of the dwarven army. Their primary role on the battlefield is to deal damage to the enemy. You can recognise these troops, in current uniform, by their shoulder armour, heavy weapons, but no shields.
The Support Banner provides a varied support role within the dwarven army, whether it is ranged attack, confusing the enemy, using traps, crafting cooking or healing. Their skills are many but essential in any dwarven army. You can recognise them, in current uniform, by their lack of shoulder armour. Some may carry a small shield.


The military dwarf is a mighty fighter, but together we form an even mightier force on the battlefield. For this reason, various formations prove effective.

Skirmish Formation

The skirmish fighting formation is the most basic one. In this formation dwarves move freely without having to worry about strict coordination. The skirmish formation is appropriate in confined areas, such as caves. It is also suitable when moving through an area at a quick speed.
It is however important that although you will be moving freely, you must not forget to function as a team; stay close together so as to support each other, keeping your backs to each other where possible. Keep a lookout for ambushes and any dwarf that might become separated from the troop.

Banner Formation

The banner formation might be considered the standard formation for a balance between defence and assault on the battlefield. In this formation, each banner lines up in rows with the shield banner in front, facing the enemy. Behind them the hammer banner, ready to strike but protected by the shield banner. To the rear would be the support banner able to provide healing and ranged attacks. This formation typically moves at slower speed than the skirmish formation.
Clearly here, the battlefield troop must guard against flanking or surprise rear attacks.

The Dwarven Shield Wall

This is a variation of the banner formation, whereby the front lines of dwarves interlock their shields to form a defensive wall. Directly behind the shield wall archers are deployed who attack overhead; raining arrows down upon the enemy. Between the archers, dwarves with spears would be positioned, their spears thrusting through small gaps in the shield wall. These would target any enemy troops that charge the shield wall.

Boar Snout Formation

The dwarven Boar Snout Charge is a variation of the Shield wall, but in "arrow-head" shape. The sheer weight and momentum of the charge has its purpose in driving a wedge through an opposing force, turning the battle and spreading panic through the enemy.

Circle Formation

The circle formation is a very defensive formation, often used in times of great need. In this formation, every dwarf forms a circle, facing outwards. If troop numbers are sufficient, a number of circles could be deployed, or indeed one big circle consisting of an outer circle of shields, and inner circles of hammer and support. This formation typically moves slowly, if at all.

Ceremonial duty

From time to time, the military dwarf may be called upon to carry out ceremonial duties. Consider this an honour. Typically, these kinds of roles necessitate full uniform and here it is important that every dwarf take pride in their appearance. Uniforms must be clean and in top condition, weapons must be gleaming like new. Remember you are likely to have an audience.

To preserve ancient traditions and ceremonies, several ceremonial handbooks have been issued, detailing each ceremonial event. As of yet, the handbooks that have been issued are:

Parade of Êrâs Nar
Ceremonial Kinship Funeral

And the handbooks planned for the future are:

Ceremony of the lost
Ceremony of 'Aban Mazabdul
Ceremony of Mahalmerag
Weapon Naming Ceremony
Wedding Honour Guard

Dwarven Military Tradition

Army divisions:

• ‘Azghakkâ’ (“war-force”) - a full size army.

• Gangbuh (”march-company”) - a regiment force consisting of ten maznakkâ.

• Maznakkâ’ (”fist-force”) the smallest military company consisting of usually forty nine dwarves, each maznakkâ could consist of different units of seven dwarves, these could be engineers, foot-soldiers, elite forces, archers, and/or logistical personnel.


• Uzbad - Lord - Commands the ‘azghakkâ.
• ’Azghzabad (or 'Azaghâlbad)- Warlord - Right hand of the Uzbad and main tactician in matters of war.

• Fabarâl - General - (“forward-mover”) - Commands each gangbuh.
• ‘Uzkhas - Commander - (”greater lieutenant”) - First in command of a maznakkâ’

• ‘Izkhas - Lieutenant - (”lesser lieutenant”) - Second in command of a maznakkâ’
• Dumul - Soldier - (“from the halls”) - Soldier who has experience in battle or deemed worthy to fight in the vanguard.

• Idmul - Recruit - Soldier who is new to battle, or still in training, more frequent in the rearguard.

Other military terminology:

• ‘Azaghâl - person who, by profession, is a soldier warrior or private soldier; covers both “dumul” and “idmul”.
• Zabad - an officer (from ‘Izkhas to Uzbad)
• Dahâl - person who, by profession, travels with a military regiment and supplies food and all matter of provisions
• Barâl - person who, by profession, is a member of an elite military regiment that fights in the vanguard to break open the front lines of the enemy
• 'Udshankhuzd - dwarf (about to reach battle ready age) who is the personal assistant to a lord, general or army commander, often carries messages and weapons or armour on his behalf (like a squire)
• 'Idshankhuzd - a dwarf boy or girl, before battle ready age, who has entered into service of a general or army commander; usually doing household work (like a page) - remains in the Hall and does not join in campaigns.
• Rimi - part of an army set to cover its rear ranks, especially in retreat (rearguard)
• Ifbaragash - foremost rank of an army (van, vanguard)

Battle cries

In times past dwaven armies have sown fear in the hearts of their enemies even before the first blow. The use of battle cries and fierce warm ups, for example pounding the earth with mattocks whilst shouting warrior chants, can erode the enemies will to fight.
The battle cry "Sigin!", should be answered by the troops, "Tarâg!"
(('Sigin-tarâg' mean "Longbeards", meaning Durin's Folk))
"Baruk Khazâd!", with the reply, "Khazâd ai-mênu!"
(("Baruk Khazâd, Khazâd ai-mênu' means 'Dwarven axes, dwarves are upon you". A battle cry may be combined with a /roar))

The Moon of Dare

The name of the thirteenth month, or leap month, is ‘aftharn, “The Moon of Dare”. So-called as dwarves born in this month were believed to be great darers, superb commanders with little fear in their hearts.