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Dwarves

No one knows how long the dwarves has existed and their origin, and even with their strong memory and propensity to record their history, the early records of the dwarves are far and few in between.   One of the oldest records of the dwarven civilisation started near the early periods of the cataclysm that destroyed Desaroque. Tomes were written and reliefs were carved from the time where the dwarves were the slaves of the giants, especially fire giants, and how as the cataclysm that happened above ground seeped through the crusts of the earth, the number of fire giants dwindled and the number of dwarves exploded. This was how the dwarves freed themselves after centuries of slavery, in a wave of revolution that spread through the undergrounds of Desaroque led by Moradin Soulforger, united against their giant masters on the brink of extinction.   And yet freedom also brought them danger, especially from the Aether Scars that birthed monstrosities and aberrations underground. Above ground also wasn’t an option to live, as polluted air covered the continent and could mutate their bodies within seconds. As such the dwarves continued to bunker underground inside their trusty defences, until centuries later where curious explorers started to venture aboveground and found a new continent full of races they had never known before, and new opportunities to sell their superior craftmanship for the rewards they deserved. While the dwarves still regard the earth and their caves as a home and a safe place, a lot of dwarves love the new life they can make aboveground, trading and creating and progressing in the way that they never could when they were under the giants or bunkering underground defending against aberrations.   The dwarf is an old race, and yet they are one of the most isolated ones, only venturing aboveground within the last few hundred years. With their long lifespans and relatively slow birth-rate, all dwarves are born with light-sensitivity, although venturing above ground had become very common that most dwarves now follow a tradition where they were trained to adjust to the sun before they came of age. Dwarves that settled to live aboveground tend to have a second home in the dwarven kingdom or the underground parts of their city, where they will stay for a while until their kids are ready to adjust to the sunlight (this was also the reason why half-dwarves, the Müls, are one of the rarest mixed races out there). The exception to this is the duergar, a subrace of dwarves that still eschews the aboveground even after millennia’s, and this relatively recent tradition is what brings tension to a race where unity is their most valuable virtue.

Additional Information

Geographic Origin and Distribution

Underground underneath the Valrum mountain range, or generally on northern Desaroque

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

All dwarves have darkvision, all young dwarves and duergars have light sensitivity.

Civilization and Culture

Major Organizations

Kingdom of Valrum, Strojvin

Culture and Cultural Heritage

A secret kept close amongst the most important of the Dwarves, the nobility, and the Secret Service, is that dwarves were in fact first created as a construct by the Fire Giants. This is not common knowledge for a dwarven commoner, and the secret is well-guarded against non-dwarves knowing about it.   The dwarves gained sentience by the work of Moradin Soulforger, who with his dying power blew souls into his dwarven constructs. Moradin was a fire giant, but this fact is even more of a secret that only a select few dwarves are aware of this fact. Other dwarves thought of Moradin as a God, or at least an angel under Khamluk the creator God. It is through Moradin Soulforger that the dwarves send their prayers to Khamluk, for breathing life into "magical rocks" or so it is taught to most dwarven children.   As beings created from constructs, most dwarves are hardworking and practical. They also inherited manuals and libraries from the fire giants, and has developed writing cultures early in their development as a race. There history is carefully catalogued in the tome "Codex Historia", representing the history from when they first rebelled against the giants until the present day. A copy of Codex Historia is made with dwarven help in Strojvin, to record the history of the aboveground world.   The dwarves have spent millennia defending their underground ancestral home from the aether havoc around them, and that was why they were very slow to actually venture outside their city-forts, to explore more of the underground, and it is only even later that they reached the aboveground. But as the years went on, so did the Dwarven philosophies changed. After some centuries of exploring the underground, they had found lots of new materials that can make them stronger, their life more efficient and convenient. Eventually, the reclusive nature of race is eroded and is replaced by an opportunistic nature. The millennium long storm has finally ended, there are this whole-wide world to discover.   That is why, by the time the dwarves came to the surface they are quick to explore and familiarise themselves with the land, despite their eyes and skin being burnt by the sunlight. Rarely have they seen such a big space with endless horizon, and the texts they inherited from the stone giants only serves to further romanticise this new, exciting realm. First, it was the knights, scouts, explorers and scholars, who eagerly created expeditions to the surface. By meeting the other races who wanted to trade with them, who seemed to be amazed by the quality of their crafts, spurred thousands of dwarven artisans aboveground. Because the dwarves had only ever interacted with giants, they were amazed at how much the other races value their work.   The flourishing trades between dwarves and other humanoids (mostly humans), were the one that spurred rapid developments of human-dwarven cities, such as Dhamurka & Olhimyar. There, the dwarves enjoy a special place in society. The cities are built for their convenience, with their houses with big windows sticking aboveground to enjoy the sky, but is also burrowed deep underground for when they would have to raise their young ones. These cities have wide streets and squares to enjoy the space, but there are also underground networks to support young dwarves. Human-dwarven cities are vertical cities, but except that they grow mostly deeper.   There is said to be 3 cornerstones of the modern surface dwarvenkind:   The Hearth, which represents the Soul, some believed to be the greatest gift that Moradin had granted the dwarvenkind (see: Myths and Legends). It also represents their work and their craft.   The Mountains, which represents the home, the safe place, a defence against the chaotic churn of the cataclysm and the most important reason the dwarvenkind has survived.   The Sun, which represents hope, possibilities and new beginnings. The addition of this third aspect occurred only later in the history, when the first dwarves came to the surface. But for a former slave race who reached the surface, traded with other races and found their craft heavily appreciated and unparalleled across the continent, the sun is the symbol of a new horizon and rapid expansion, which leads to innovations and developments, more than the dwarves had ever hoped before.

Common Myths and Legends

Because of the scarce information on the origin of the dwarves, theories are abound. Amongst the most common one is that the dwarves were usually rock constructs created by giants as slaves, striking the balance between programmed efficiency and individuality which encourages creative problem solving. Eventually, the dwarves became so smart that they started to overthrow their giant masters on the brink of extinction, and lived on through the cataclysm almost no other races could live through.   A less well-known theory is that Moradin Soulforger was originally a giant, a very intelligent artificer who made a deal with Denayjor The Keeper of The Souls, to infuse souls to the bodies of his construct creations. These souls are the ones the reason why the construct gained sapience. That being said, dwarven records of Moradin always stated that he was a dwarf, and there were no existing records of "Moradin" within the ranks of the giants.

Scientific Name
Dwarves
Origin/Ancestry
Giant?? Constructs created by giants??
Lifespan
400 years
Average Height
130-150 cm

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