Dwarven Language in Erisdaire | World Anvil


"Hearing a dwarf speak in their own language is akin to hearing a landslide of rocks crashing together. Loud, harsh, and leaving a feeling you should maybe be seeking shelter."
— Evan Holimion, Elven Adventurer

  Dwarven language is full of rather guttural tones, hard consonants, and can be fairly difficult to pick up for those who aren't prepared for it. Furthermore, the written language is glyphic in nature rather than using script; as such context becomes important when reading and determining how to sound out the words. (It is not recommended to try raiding lost dwarven tombs without someone who understands the language, as they are keen on traps protecting the wealth buried within from outsiders. The language is one of their primary defenses, since dwarves are not often keen on desecrating the resting places of other dwarves.)

Common Phrases


"Orphan" or "Clanless": Among dwarves, the family and clan are mostly what are valued over any mere object, and these insults cut to the heart of this by inferring a lack of such connections. Either by choice, or by external push, the individual described is seen as being unworthy of basic respect. This insult is rarely used against non-dwarven individuals, except those who show similar behavior patterns to those who would earn this descriptor in dwarven society.

  "Craftless" or "Drifter": Another insulting descriptor, this time relating to the dwarven value of work and craft in their lives. To many, the idea of supporting one individual who produces nothing of use is irritating; exceptions are of course made for the honored elderly or those who were injured in the line of their work. This is reserved mostly for younger folk to display a lack of discipline to settle into a craft and a place in the clanhalls.

  "Dragon-tongued" or "Speaking With a Dragon's Voice": There is a sort of special enmity among dwarves concerning dragons, and it relates to a legend where dragons bargained with a clan lord over territory. While the deal was agreed to, the dragon had minions remove objects which were the point of contention; thus it was the dwarves were given the territory but not what they wanted. "To speak with a dragon's voice" is thus to be duplicitous and bend the letter of the agreement to violate the spirit.

  "Cracked" and "Shatterprone": When an individual is has an emotional outburst, those outbursts are usually referred to as "being cracked"; in the sense of an object becoming cracked but able to be mended. However, those who are readily prone to falling into this behavior to the point of normalcy, they are called "shatterprone" amongst others as a warning to avoid causing said outbursts.

  "Like a Gilded Spoon": Among one of the general things dwarven culture appreciates is utility, and similarly one of the general things they dislike is opulence for its own sake. This phrase is used to describe something or someone which is made to look pretty yet serves no better than something or someone more common.


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