One of the most tragic tales. The Ironfists awoke in central Middle-earth, where they had contact with Easterlings.
They settled in the Mountains of Rhûn, where they prospered for almost 7 centuries. However, once again, intra-Dwarven strife ended their peace. An argument between King Sindri and his brother Thúlin resulted in a brief, bloody civil war.
So injured had Sindri´s folk grown to acting purely of self-interest, and sustained by no other principle than martial prowess, that they felt no shame in accepting gold from Mordor in payment for arming his minions to make war against the Westlands. When Sauron and Durin´s heir summoned them for the battle of Dagorlad, few were willing to take the field against Durin´s heir. Fewer still could conceive of alliance against Sauron as a matter of common honour to the Khazâd, so most of them remained aloof from the war but the Ironfists supplied Sauron's Easterlings with Steel and weapons for the war which resulted in a deep hatred. Thúlin slew the overly-proud (even by Dwarven standards) Lord and laid claim to the throne of Gamil-Nâla. He was, in turn, murdered by Sindri’s daughter Thris, whose son Threlin became King. In the end the Ironfist-king Ôrn, Sindri's heir, and many warriors fought for Sauron. In the aftermath of the Last Alliance, the Dwarves of the Westlands universally branded them as renegades and turncoats. The cataclysm of Númenor Downfall had ruined their chief city Gamil-Nâla, and the exile of their king Buldin (who founded Nurunkhizdín, near the Inland Sea of Rhûn) had left them leaderless. Threlin II moved the remnants of Thelor’s Folk further south in the early Third Age. He established a domain centered at the delving called Namagaluz. Located in the Ered Harmal, the gate to this rich hold opened eastward, above the waters of Heb Aaraan and not far from the Chey lands. It was the greatest Dwarf city in central Endor. After the Dragon Wars of T.A.1650-2770 had devastated Namagaluz and the Spine of Arda had become infested with dragons the Ironfists were scattered in the East forced to live as Tinkers, Mercenaries or shamans and fortune-tellers among the superstitious Easterlings and were then often looked down upon and referred to as Gully Dwarves by their western kin.
The Ironfists awoke within the Spine of Arda, a great central mountain chain in the very midst of those eastern lands peopled by Men of Darkness. Unwilling to desert their ancestral dwellings, the Dwarves became the neighbours of these Newcomers. Relations with Easterlings never approached 'friendship' in any meaningful sense. On the contrary, the first contacts with them were hostile rather than cordial. The rude weapons of the Men were as children's toys before the fell Axes of the Dwarves who knew the secrets of Iron and Steel and it soon dawned upon the mannish invaders that they had either to make peace with these Barkashad or abandon their westward march. Mutual toleration and exchange of desired goods followed, but maintained by fear and threat rather than friendship. The Easterlings became the Ironfists' chief food-providers and the Ironfists dealt in metals and weapons, "Business is business" as many Ironfists felt no shame in dealing with enemies of the West. As the Spine of Arda had become uninhabitable after the Dragon Wars and the leaderless Barkashad failed to establish any new cities of greater importance, the Tribe dispersed across the steppelands of Rhûn, making out a meagre livelihood, smelting weapons and often performing divination or Alchemy on behalf of the Easterlings. In essence these Barkashad function as Shamans to the Easterling tribes who view the Dwarves (as they always have) with a certain degree of superstitious awe. For their part Sindri's folk are eager to foster this Aura- and not always by honest means. A good deal of Charlatanry undoubtedly passes for the Barkashad mysticism among the credulous Easterlings. Yet in one supernatural power Sindri's sons cannot be exposed as frauds. Over the Ages they have wisely kept the secret of Steel to themselves, so that their hosts must always depend upon them.
The Ironfists are relatively slim and angular (at least for dwarven standards). They mostly have a swarthy, yellowish or sallow complexion and dark brown or black hair and dark Eyes.
Hair and Dress
By Dwarven standards the Ironfists appear relatively unkempt. They wear long and stringy beards, often emulated by the Easterlings, heavy Dwarven Boots, Cloaks and hoods, but also often clothes purchased from the Easterling Nomads, made mostly of leather and hides, making the Ironfists' appearances exotic in comparrison to the western Dwarves.
- Kheledkhizdín (Akgundîm)