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Civilization and Culture


Dwarves are responsible for introducing the common tongue, currency, trade and entertainment to humanity. They have mastered clockwork, mechanical weaponry, and limited steam power. Dwarven clockwork, while uncommon, is notable, as time-telling in Thedas is inexact.   Unlike the other races, dwarves do not naturally enter the Fade as they do not dream and lack magical ability. In fact there is no recorded exception to their inability to learn spellcasting however they are not completely barred and may enter the Fade in exceptional circumstances. This is reflected in their resistance to magic, and accounts for their high tolerance to lyrium exposure.   Dwarves also possess a unique ability called "Stone sense", a talent for subterranean navigation derived from the race's progenitor, the Stone. Stone sense is described as the ability to hear the distant song of lyrium. This connection allows dwarves to sense a passageway before reaching it and can navigate the Deep Roads without getting hopelessly lost. Dwarves who live on the surface for a long time gradually lose this ability and those born on the surface appear to not possess it at all.   Due to their underground life, dwarves have developed superior vision in the dark. This ability is also shared by the elves. Furthermore, because of their hardy constitution, sickness is thought to be rare among the dwarven folk. But due to constant warfare, proximity to the darkspawn, and low fertility rates the numbers of underground dwarves decrease steadily (except during the Blights) for nearly a thousand years.

Scientific Name
Homo Nanus

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