Dwarfs are short, stout, and strong. They are primarily miners and metalsmiths. However, they are also highly mechanically minded and often the source of mechanical inventions. While magic is not unknown to them, they generally eschew it in favor of armor and weapons that they can easily understand. The one exception is in the shaping of the more exotic metals they mine and forge.
Male and female dwarfs tend to be roughly the same build. Dwarfs are shorter on average than humans, ranging from 4′ to 4′ 9″ on average. Shorter and taller are possible, but dwarfs rarely attain a height more than 5′ 2″. Their weights range from 180 pounds to 250 pounds.
Genetics and Reproduction
Dwarfs are very similar to humans in their base genetics, with only a few tweaks here and there. As the second bioengineered species, they are much closer to human than some of the later developments. Their gestation period is slightly longer than humans, 43-47 weeks rather than 38-40. Dwarfs usually give birth to a single child, although twins are not uncommon, occurring about 5% of the time. Anything more is unheard of. As near humans, dwarfs can interbreed with humans and most other human-derived species that can also interbreed with humans. The result is generally a "half-breed" as far as genetics and characteristics go, tending toward the dwarfish side. They tend to follow the same rules as humans for interbreeding.
Ecology and Habitats
Dwarfs tend to live underground, either in natural caverns or in structures they have built themselves.
Civilization and Culture
While the dwarfs are currently united under a single king, the old kingdoms still hold sway. Thus the five kingdoms act as individual factions. And with each kingdom, individual clans have varying amounts of power.
Dwarfs were the second significant species created based on humans during the Third Age. The intention was to create a worker class. Thus, dwarfs are short, stout, and strong. In the Fourth Age, the dwarfs started in disparate parts of the Northern Continent, generally located near ore-rich areas. These disparate clans eventually consolidated into five kingdoms, each with their own ruler. Each of the five kingdoms was formed through gradual conquest, with one clan conquering a neighboring clan, with this continuing until there was a single king that could control all the clans within a given kingdom. This warlike nature has continued throughout their history, with kingdoms fighting kingdoms, clans fighting clans, dwarfs fighting outsiders. This cycle has recently been broken, nearly 100 years ago in 1823 CT, when Ian Stonecarver, king of the Umuti Kingdom, with the encouragement, assistance, and ideas of his son Ito Stonecarver and his daughter Nina Stonecarver, united the five kingdoms into a single empire, known as the Dwarfish Empire.
Interspecies Relations and Assumptions
Dwarfs have traditionally been extremely xenophobic. This has begun to gradually change under the Dwarfish Empire as they begin to take a larger role in world politics.