The Rivethun (pronounced RIV-uh-thoon)1 is a loosely organized order of spiritualists who act as living intermediaries between dwarven civilization and the supernatural world. Members of the Rivethun, which include both dwarves and non-dwarves, endeavor to commune with a wide array of spirits as a means of acquiring knowledge, guidance, and favors. Their practices descend from a long lineage of dwarven animism, and the name of the order itself derives from an ancient dwarven dialect which roughly translates to "releasers of secrets".2 The practice is seeing renewed interest among dwarves of the Five Kings Mountains34, especially as the number of spirits reportedly continues to grow in places such as the dwarven city of Highhelm.2
Rivethun members serve their communities in a variety of roles that are aided by their spiritual attunement. Archivists, exorcists, emissaries, and even entrepreneurs can be found among their number, maintaining an acute connection to the spiritual world without becoming enthralled to the whims of the spirits they commune with as they provide counsel and mentoring to the living. They are often called upon by dwarven communities during important life events such as marriage or childbirth to contact the ancestral spirits of the gathered in hopes of gaining their favor or blessing.2
Although the Rivethun believes that anyone can make a connection with the spiritual world, their initiates undergo specific processes to strengthen their capacity to treat with spirits. Many of these techniques draw from past troubles or chronic issues of their lives, focusing on the pain, emotions, and growth of these memories to cultivate their attunement to the spiritual world. Opening their minds and souls to the spirits develops their members' innate internal abilities. Attunement can allow one to cast magic, channel qi, develop psychic abilities, or other skills as a natural result of their spiritual connection. Not all Rivethun members draw from trauma and difficulties to develop their skills, instead utilizing meditative practices to draw on other emotions. However, as the Rivethun's original teachings were built around working through the natural difficulties of life, these other members sometimes struggle to reach the same level of spiritual attunement compared to their peers.2
With much of the Rivethun's activities center around aiding their local communities through the guidance of the spirits, the order has developed a plethora of support methods, rituals, and teachings over their long existence to aid in their ability to help others through hardship. Notably among their chronicled knowledge, the Rivethun maintain recipes, formulas, and therapeutic techniques for gender transition. While the dwarven population accepts transition and gladly give their support to loved ones who are undergoing the process, even those with strong support networks consult the members of the Rivethun for their insight, some of which draw upon their experiences in the understanding of their gender as a way to attune to the spirits in the Rivethun tradition. 2
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- James Jacobs. (October 17, 2019). Post in "Rivethun pronunciation?", Paizo Forums.
- Piper Amatrudi et al. (2023). Highhelm, p. 28-29. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-521-2
- Dennis Baker, et al. (2014). Advanced Class Origins, p. 16. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-674-4
- Crystal Frasier. (July 31, 2014). Meet the Iconics: Shardra Geltl, Paizo Blog.