Turves (Tuɾves)

"We are the children of the stone-gods, even if the Sonzturfs left for the sunlight. You word for our species, 'dwarves,' comes from our word for people, 'turves.'"

"Dwarves" is an Adrakian-distorted pronunciation for the word of both the species and the ethnicity of the short people who live deep underground, Turves is used by people on the surface to specifically refer to the ones who only reside underground, instead of including the whole species meaning their surface-dwelling kin who migrate up.

Language

Turves speak Turvdzind, one of the few languages that have resisted Adrakian influence due to the Turves' isolationist preferences. It has however, shifted from its roots in Turvesdzint due to the addition of the loan words and the absorption of Lost Route Turves' dialects despite efforts to wipe out those dialects.

Dialect

Dialects spoken by Lost Route Turves are officially described as being wiped out upon their reunion with their kin. The only surviving and recognized dialect is a language itself - Turfzin - spoken by the Sonzturfs or other sunlitlands people who learn Turfzin.

Those who speak Turvzin are generally understood well enough by Turvdzind speakers and vice versa, though hindered by the need to clarify or slowdown and repeat words.

Traditions and Customs

 

Garments

"How can you stand to wear leather down here? How are you not sweating a gallon a minute?"
"How can you stand to wear so little up there? How are you not freezing the moment you step away from a fire? Because we live here and you live up there."

Materials

Most Turves dress in heat-resistant material, such as silk from the underground spiders or leather made from the other creatures of the deep underground.

The silk is a lightweight, flexible, and maleable material used to make the interior layer of armor, or for regular garments.

Leather is more typically used in places that are more likely to come in contact with heat sources or as an armor material - it makes for a popular outermost layer for wearing outside of residences.

Dress Styles

Unlike when heading up to the surface, Turves will generally wear less material the further underground one goes due to the heat, preferring to cover what needs protection for their jobs. Physical strength is a standard for beauty, so fashion trends towards showcasing major muscle groups such as arms, legs, and abs.

The styles change when one gets closer to the Sunlit Lands, as Turves used to the heat of the Undercities find themselves facing chills. To fend off the cold, they will add layers of silk and once on the surface, they tend to add in Sunlit Lands clothing intended for winter months.

Armor

Most armor sets are in layers - undergarments, silk and padding to prevent chafing, leather at points needing protection but unsuited for metal, chainmail, and then plate parts. Very few Turves have a full set of plate armor when heat exhaustion is a risk for ending combat before the enemy is truly defeated.

Due to the threats of underground life, most wear at least the padded silk with leather reinforcements when outside their Undercities. The few who take the journey up to the Sunlit lands tend to bundle up and add clothing over their chainmail if they have it.

Isolationist Policy

Unlike the surface-dwelling dwarves, Turves hold their isolationist values as law. Sunlit Lands people have to go through a lengthy process of proving they have legitimate business before entering the underground pathways. Items from the surface are confiscated and removed in order to maintain the "purity" of Turves culture.

The few who would speak on the origins of the policy refer to diplomatic disasters in the early history of exploring the sunlit lands, or the machinery used by the Turves as they're typically described as having better weapons, better armor, better anything made of metal or stone.

The policy extends beyond the Sunlit Lands and out to the Lost Routes. When Lost Routes are reunited, a process involving comparing their way of life to the ways of the Undercities and the Lost Routes' ways from before the events when the Lost Routes were lost.

"If there is something Turves will resist, it's ... how would you say 'breaking stone'? Turis! What's the Common for conlangwordhere?"
"IronstoneConlang Conlangphraseshere?"
" MoreConlangHere!"
— Ussar Ironstone to Dzitan Turis

Gate Guards

The Turves who guard the gates are often viewed as being tainted by the surface, and have to go through purifying rituals to return to their proper status. Guarding the gates is a common form of punishment when a noble youth steps out of line, but not far enough as to warrant exile entirely.

The few gate guards who choose to stay after their posting would ordinarily cycle back are often viewed with suspicion. In some families, the guard would lose their family name for lowering the family's prestige by continuing their contact with the Sunlitlands. There are some exceptions - descendants of the Sunlin Lands explorers sent from the Undermountains, or families with a reputation for being "unusual."

Sunlit/Undermountains Item Black Market

There is a black market for items from the surface to make their way underground, and vice versa. However, escaping the eye of the gate guards often requires skill, persuasion, or enough coin to make the effort worthwhile to the individual guards on shift.

The guards are typically the first to be investigated when smugglers are found and arrested. Turves found in possession of Sunlit contraband have to pay a fine. Smugglers found to have undermountain goods face a variety of punishments based on the contraband found. Ores and gems are typically the least punishment, but weapons, armor, or other technology can lead to the smuggler being jailed for years.

Local Law

Most local laws involve limiting contact with Sunlit Lands people, and preserving the Undermountain traditions. The majority of crimes - theft, murder, sale of controlled substances - are covered by fines, jail sentences, and paid labor. Guarding the gates is a common punishment for when young nobles push too far.

Exile is typically reserved for kinslayers, repeat murderers, and the worst of crimes. Most exiles are sent into the Deeps to explore without shelter until their unmourned deaths.

Etiquette

Family prestige is central to how society treats the individual Turv. It is polite to refer to an individual by their family name unless given permission or the individuals are familiar enough to use their personal names. When in a gathering of multiple people from a family, individuals are referred by their personal and family name.

"Ironstone."
"Which one?"
"Ussar Ironstone, sorry Edridz Ironstone."

Traditions

Coming of Age

When a Turv comes of age, they have a grand feast ceremony where they add their name to their family's Wall of Names. By adding their name to the Wall of Names, they vow to preserve or improve their family's standing and announce to their community how they will be a part of the community.

"I am Ussar Ironstone, and I vow to the names of those before me on this wall, I will strengthen the family's standing. I will fight against threats to our homes."

Death and Memorial

When a Turv dies, their body is lowered into the rivers of molten rock so their body rejoins the stone the first ancestors were shaped from. Each Turv decides on their Return To Stone outfit every three years after they come of age until their first century, and then it becomes every three decades. Most chose simple garments that will burn easily. Very few are Returned in full armor as metal takes time to craft, and is often passed down to kin of about teh same size who do not have armor.

Diverged ethnicities
Encompassed species
Languages spoken
Related Locations

Naming Traditions


Feminine names

  • Ruby
  • Silva
  • Ambra
  • Lihmel
  • Palla
Generally names based around gems, stones, or metals.

Masculine names

  • Argen
  • Aurou
  • Silvin
  • Lymen
  • Zaphir
Like the feminine names, names based around gems, stones, and metals.

Unisex names

  • Saphin
  • Topan
  • Fuz
  • Deense
  • Lect
  • Vale
  • Mag
  • Anion
  • Alka
More names based around gems, stones, and metals.

Family Names

  • Moltenstone
  • Hammerfist
  • Fungitender
  • Minedust
  • Goldhands
  • Silverblood
  • Ironstone
Generally descriptive names of what the family is known for. A few will be gifted with new surnames based on new grand deads of the individual to be passed down his or her descendants.
Upon the joining of families via marriage, the spouse with the greater prestige is the one who keeps his or her family name.

Ideals


Beauty Ideals

Physical strength is a commonly desired trait in potential romantic partners, as earthquakes can be more common the closer to the more volcanic mountain cities one is.

Gender Ideals

Relationship Ideals

Statblocks

CD10
Turves - Dwarves of the Mountains CD10 Starting Traits
+1

+1

Dislike(non-enclosed spaces)
-1

+1

+2

-2

Iron Physique(Poison and Disease)
+1

-1

-2

+2

Superstitious(v)
-2

D&D 5e

Dwarf, Mountain

Ability Score Increase +2 Con, +2 Str
Size Medium
Speed 25 ft

Darkvision: You can see in dim light within 60 ft of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of gray. Dwarven Resilience: You have advantage on saves against poison, and you have resistance against to poison damage.   Dwarven Combat Training: You have proficiency with the battleaxe, handaxe, throwing hammer, and warhammer.   Tool Proficiency: You gain a tool proficiency with on of the following artisan's tools: smith's tools, brewer's supplies, or mason's tool.   Stone Cunning: Whenever you make an Intelligence (History) check related to the origin of stonework, you are considered proficient in the history skill and use double your proficiency bonus, instead of your normal proficiency bonus.   Dwarven Armor Training: You are proficient with Light and Medium Armor

Languages. Dwarven and Common

Food

As Dwarves are capable of eating almost anything, and Turv cooking follows the same trend. Mushrooms are a staple food, along side various meat products found in the Undermountains.

Most anyone, including Turves, will strongly urge Sunlind Lands people not eat Undermountain food unless they are Sonzturfs, and even then, eating Turv cooking is ill-advised.

"Nope! That tea is made with ToxicPlantHere. Tea is very bad for Søŋɘsdiɾtuɾves like you. Uneaten food everywhere and not inside, and you choke while seeing people you do not see. Ironstone is the one you need to listen to."
" Sonesdirturves ConLangHereLater."
— Dzitan Turis and Ussar Ironstone dealing with Human Merchants who got "too curious"

Cities and Architecture

Turv cities are carved out from the stone, unlike the cities built by the Sunlit Lands people where trees or stone are cut and transported into cities. The few visitors allowed are often surprised to find the smooth cave openings lead to homes or larger caves lead to streets.

Most of the ceilings are smoothed out and inspected for stalagtites. While most are knocked down, some are cultivated with their stalagmite pair creating fountains.

Technology

While most of the Sunlit Lands have simple machines with cogs and wheels, the Turves have had complex machines for centuries or thousands of years before the surface. Their machines are powered through heat convection and steam while the Sunlit Lands generally use weights or water movement for generating power without magic.

Long lives and living underground has granted the ancestors of Turvs time to develop and fine tune the melding of magic and machinery to the point most modern Turves are unimpressed by the magical tech Artificers sweat and blood to craft.

Forged

Forged of the Undermountains are crafted and treated as Turves once the Forged has the ability to communicate effectively with others around them.


History

Lost Routes Disasters

Over time, events occur where cities are lost. Magma floods, quakes, volcanic eruptions, the occasional deep rifts and ravines ripped out by desperate mages and their final moments, all events where cities lose contact with their neighbors.

The disasters are usually marked by the city being listed as "lost" and an estimation for when a new route could be create or and old route cleared to reunite the lost city with the rest of the Undermountains.

Myths and Legends

Origin

Dwarves were initially "birthed" from golem-like gods-like beings (if not gods) made of stone, so a dwarf returning to their stone-like form, or to bring life from stone would be akin to ascension to godhood.

The Lucky Ones

SomethingSomethingLuckHereBecauseTurvesLikeHavingLuck

When the wall could withstand the pressure of the river no longer, the stone broke, flooding the city and burning all who lived in the deeper districts. The Architect who designed the districts turned himself in and saved face by going into the deep districts as the river flowed, and vowed.

"Never again will stone break."

- excerpt from a fable

Breaking Stone

The phrase "breaking stone" refers to a series of fables about an architect who tried to build a city in a new way and disaster following, one about a miner who built a dam to redirect the river away from the mines until generations later when the river worked its way between the brick cracks, and similar events. The phrase is used as an idiom referring to a foundational change to way things are, and often a warning such changes lead to disaster.

Historical or Legendary Figures

Deense Goldhands, the Luckiest Dwarf.

Dorist Ironstone, Commander of the Initial Expedition to the Sunlit Lands

Additional Reading


Articles under Turves


Comments

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4 Apr, 2022 13:17

This is a great beginning for Turves, Lyraine! It sounds very plausible and well-thought out. I particularly enjoyed the language notes and the list of typicaly names.

4 Apr, 2022 20:48

The names actually need a rework for the development of Turvesdzint and Turvdzind since the initial writing of this article, but was fun all the same back when I first created the article.   I'm glad you found the content there is to be well-thought out (I always worry when I notify late at night that I'm a rambling mess XD)

Lyraine, Consumer of Lore, She/Her, primary project: Corive
7 Apr, 2022 09:27

I admire the layout of the article! A fun fact: Did you know that Turve in Finnish is peat/turf/muck in English?

Que the wardrums! Check out my bloodied river, running from the heart of the jungle:River Arteria!
7 Apr, 2022 17:32

I did not know that fun fact, but it seems oddly suitable. The name actually came from me playing with the sounds in Dwarf and the International Phonetic Alphabet chart of sounds until I found something that was "close" and could explain why the word Dwarf is used. (I also love the idea of people mistaking words for other words like River Avon being River River when translated).   The layout was fun to develop for my never ending quest of finding the perfect arrangement for readability and maximum content availability. xD

Lyraine, Consumer of Lore, She/Her, primary project: Corive
13 Apr, 2022 15:43

'Upon the joining of families via marriage, the spouse with the greater prestige is the one who keeps his or her family name.' I love this detail, as well as the wall of names.   Really well thought out. I love the many different touches to their culture and the things that make them unique. Also I will always love anyone who eats a staple diet of mushrooms. :D

13 Apr, 2022 19:30

Mushrooms, Algae, bugs big enough to eat a dog.... xD   I'm glad you like the wall of names and surname changing aspects.   On the unique aspects, I was trying really hard to move away from the Always Drinkings, Always Up For A Good Fight, Etc. etc. That the typical Dwarves have as their culture in a lot of mainstream settings. I'm glad you found them to be unique and interesting!

Lyraine, Consumer of Lore, She/Her, primary project: Corive