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Mountain Dwarves

Masters of the stone

Introduction


"But nothing angers me more than the mountain dwarves. They are half your size but can spit rules for DAYS. At least they would rather date their rocks than come down here."
— Aria Dabalan, the Bard

Back in the early decades, some Dwarves isolated themselves from Human communities to live their lives their own way. In the most common scenario, they settled down upon and inside mountains, where they could defend themselves easily and have access to the stone they were so fond of. This earned them the name of Mountain Dwarves.

Naming traditions

Since their culture developed far from human societies, their names have grown to become unique, and mostly different from what is expected to be seen in human cultures. Still, much like their city cousins, their names carry a lot of sharp sounds, with heavy use of letters such as K's, O's and R's.

Culture

Culture and cultural heritage

Above anything else, mountain dwarves value greatly their work, family, discipline, honor, and respect - and those are the Law. Not only are they very rigid and intolerant when it comes to those beliefs, but their isolation also doesn't give them the opportunity to meet other cultures, and for this reason they end up having their own as absolute truth, making of them quite arrogant. This also means they would rather mind their own business than getting involved in events from outside, and so they rarely present themselves as allies, even to those who they consider friends.

Dwarven cities

The most distinct peculiarity of mountain dwarves is, to no surprise, that they live in isolated cities located on, or nearby, mountains. These cities are called Citadels, for the first recorded ones were composed of defensive external areas with an underground, highly fortified city, where they could be safe and have easy access to their tunnels. Outsiders, independent of their race, are often prohibited from entering a Citadel. Few humans have proven themselves worthy of entering dwarven cities, and those who have are called "Tall dwarves" by locals as a friendly joke.

While they rarely get involved in wars or ever fight at all, due to their nature they are always prepared for possible conflicts that might arise, a feeling edging paranoia. This means that they are a very militaristic society, with constant training sessions and combat tournaments, creating the best warriors the dwarven race has to offer. But that isn't the only place they shine: mountain dwarves are also marvelous masons and engineers, for their centuries of building underground have granted them a vast knowledge on the subject. Also, their miners and blacksmiths rival the city dwarves', for their craft is too a daily task.

Society and the Law

Although they are far apart both in influence and location-wise, there are a lot of similarities between the social structures of each Citadel. The most prominent is the lack of tolerance for any kind of transgressions against the Law. The punishment is swift and harsh. Often, the most offensive crimes result in the exile of the criminal, and these crimes are, curiously, not only those related to life-threatening actions, but also those that harm property, especially with the intent to cheat one's way up on society, such as theft and fraud.

Coming from their traditions of work and the lack of time to shave their beards, the facial hair has become a symbol of wisdom, as it used to indicate how long they have been dedicating themselves to their work. Eventually, the importance of the beard has grown to become a symbol of social status, and the dwarves proceeded to adorn and embellish them. And so one's wealth can be measured by the size and adornments on his beard.

Combat

With free access to ores from the underground and the lack of interest in trading them with the outside world, mountain dwarves often have enough metal to equip themselves to the teeth with the absolute best they have to offer. Heavy armors, polearms, tower shields, and crossbows are among the most common equipment they use. And they also compliment their fighting with the use of Earth magic that comes so naturally to them. They are frightful foes, able to change the shape of the battlefield to their advantage, throwing opponents off-balance and crushing them.

Major organizations

The Hawkcliff Citadel is a well known dwarven city for its alliance with the Kingdom of Archana and for the their successful use of falconry for both hunting and small-scale battles.

Parent ethnicities
Diverged ethnicities
Encompassed species

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