The Dwarves

This is the main inspiration for The Dwarves, Enjoy!



      While most have an image of a greedy, often short, and bearded man the moment they are so much as mentioned, there are so many surprising elements of the dwarves that few are even aware of such as the fact that dwarves are close cousins to the Gnomes. There are several species that make up dwarven society. They have numerous cities all over the world and are almost as common as elves and even humans.  

Dwarven Complexity

The dwarves are a subterranean group of races that joined together to survive the harsh conditions of the ever increasing dangers in the world. Their history stems back to well beyond the times of recorded history, and according to their records, they are the second oldest race after the Nocturna.

Dwarves Are one of the most complex and unique races in the world. Their system of government is the only form of economic theocracy in the world. The also have a caste system that truly exemplifies dwarven diversity.
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by bobkehl

The Economic Theocracy

Economics theocracy is a form of government coined by the dwarves and is defined as the unification of church and state surrounding their religion which features worship of economic elements including currency, wealth, and economic prosperity.

How this form of government came about is a topic of much discussion for those on the surface who are aware of it and even the dwarves themselves, who despite their exhaustive records cannot seem to find any information regarding the churches creation and evolution.
   

The Wealth Of Many

The Wealth of Many is the name of the religious institution all dwarves seem to adhere to. Its influence spreads throughout every dwarven city and the organization dictates just about every single aspect of dwarven life. The organization bases itself out of what are referred to as credit chapels. Credit chapels serve as mints, banks, creditors, and places of worship all at once and each dwarven city features numerous chapels within its limits. Oftentimes the reason for the number of chapels is due to the fact that each Chapel generally deals with specific caste, Union or Korpa.


An Alliance Forged In Gold

Dwarves come in three different varieties, not including the gnomes. What truly binds them is their tendency to live underground, their remarkable thick skin, and significant physical strength. This thick skin is the reason the dwarves tend to prefer blunt weapons like hammers, mauls, and maces, as its hard to penetrate dwarven skin but internal damage is easier to dish out. The dwarves all have keen eyes for detail and make excellent craftsman. Dwarves tend to live around 200 years before dying of old age becomes a legitimate concern. They see little difference between genders, particularly the Lorum who are asexual.
 


Derven

Derven, meaning hill, dwarves are remarkably similar to humans even to the point where the tallest of Derven exiles can often pass as a human on the surface. They range between 3" to 5'11" Apart from their height, they are not so different from the other dwarves. The true factor that separates them is their deft hands and aptitude for stealth. Many believe the breed to be a half breed of dwarf and human. This has often led many to refer to them as halflings.



Talim

The word for forge, Talim dwarves are short and hearty often resembling The stereotype most surface dwellers know them for. The men are often bearded whereas the females are most often seen with rounded faces and look a lot closer to more aesthetically pleasing gnomes.

It is not uncommon to see a forge dwarf with a missing limb or some other deformity. Accidents happen and in recent years the dwarves have pioneered a new form of magic that replaces what was lost. In some cases this could be a golden eye or an arm of stone and metal. ranging between 3' to 4'7" on average.

They are known for their high tolerance to poisons and medicine alike giving them the stereotype of being alcoholics. The Talim make up the vast majority of the race. They can be seen at every caste level and are a naturally gifted craftsman, each having keen eyes for detail.
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by Rob Joseph
 
 
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by Les Varia


Lorum

The oldest of the three, the Lorum, meaning stone born, are dwarves that were not born of sexual reproduction but rather from the stones of mountains. These dwarves come into this world by bursting forth from massive stones. These dwarves appear much like their kin do but their skin is literally stone. Unlike golems, who are created, the Lorum are often called stone dwarves or mountain dwarves.

They are the strongest breed and the most resilient, however, they are remarkably slow both physically and mentally. These dwarves make up most of the working class has little ambition to do more than work. A select few have risen in caste but this a rare event at best.
   


Lexip

An honorable mention among the dwarven races. The Lexip, meaning cousin or kin, is the name given to gnomes by the dwarves. The gnomes fled their homeland and while many stayed on the surface some ventured Underground to more familiar territory.

They found the Dwarves and when the higher-ups recognized their lack of intelligence but remarkable resilience as well as their affinity for runes, they Incorporated them within their race has the Gnomes in the dwarves have always recognized each other as close cousins on the tree of life.

The gnomes are treated with rather well by the dwarves. They work for free and complain very little, preferring adverse living conditions, and often don't seem to care what work they perform. It is for this very reason that dwarves are polite to them and find them endearing.
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by Pathfinder Role Playing Game


Beauty


The dwarves live in a complex network of ornate corridors that have been built over many ages all over the world. They exist everywhere though many don't seem to know it. They live in subterranean cities they built and prefer the dark of the underground to the harsh sunlit world above. Most dwarves feature round faces and wide eyes. Dwarves are rarely angular, save for the Derven.

Derven tend to be far more angular but do still have the rounded faces of other breeds. Dwarven men also grow facial hair and rarely shave as this hair growth is rather fast compared to many creatures.

Naming Traditions


Dwarven names are usually simple names taken from their language usually referring to the dwarfs demeanor or their favorite things. Surnames are often a reference to the dwarves trade. For example, the name Dagda Cora, the head scout for Expedition Demeter, translates to "irritable thief."
in some dwarven settlements, dwarves don't even have a name such as the work camps where criminals and centers go. These unlucky few are usually given a single name and a number that follows. Gorgut jopli fex, for example, means happy miner three.


History


The dwarven races have been around for quite some time and always lived underground. Their history has many colorful moments from large battles in massive caverns to trade wars between Korpa that caused earthquakes on the surface and almost caved in The Harrows in Estoya. Their mediation to ancestors has led to retelling of daring deeds, mainly dealing with war, which the dwarves see as the most profitable venture. These tales are widespread and every dwarven family, union, and Korpa often has its own folklore surrounding those who came before. The Wealth of Many keeps exhaustive record of dwarven history but the information and details are often vague as these record often care more about economic information than anything else. It should be no surprise that the first words written by the dwarves, which serves as a basis for their written language, happened to be business transactions with other dwarves.

 

Beauty


Dwarves are materialists by nature and often care far more about how wealthy you appear rather than how symmetrical you are or healthy you look. Warriors are often judged by their scars and the quality of their weapons. A worker is judged by the amount of wealth and deformities they have gained during their work.

Gender plays a secondary role in their culture. Male and female dwarves are viewed as equals. A male dwarf is often considered attractive is they possess clean and properly styled facial hair and female dwarves draw attention based on their bodies curvature and fullness, indicating a balance of muscle structure and good nutrition.

Courtship


It is a custom to invite those you are courting to your home as many times as you possibly can. This is often to show your wealth. This custom isn't just for courtship, but also for general diplomacy, and even religious gatherings as chapels tend to possess the most elegant and ornate interiors.

Dwarven marriage is controlled by the church and those who represent it, as such no dwarf can marry outside of caste, union, or Korpa without their permission. Marriage is often a quick affair as too much time off means less time working.


Common Etiquette


Dwarves don't mince words and find it rude when those they talk to don't get right to the point. Nervousness takes up too much time and they see it as a weakness. When dealing with dwarves, one is likely to get much more out the conversation if they keep sentences short and simple as eloquence will often fall on deaf ears. The dwarves also value standing your ground and should they disrespect you its often a test to see if you will lash out for it. Doing so can often gain respect, once their pride has been restored of course.

The Organization of the Church


The Wealth of Many organizes itself into 4 parts. Each part deals with a fundamental element of the religion.

unions


Often referred to like companies, unions are caste based organizations driven to encourage efficiency of work by the members of the union. Dwarven unions only contain members of a single caste and always answer to a single Korpa. They act as human resources, doing what they can to better work environments and provide better equipment for its members in exchange for their wages.

They also set those wages based on a percentage of efficiency. Raising the quality of your work and the speed you can achieve that quality will earn more wages. Often times the best tools require considerable expense and many members accrue debt in order to buy them.

If they fail to keep up with the text, they will be stripped of assets and drop in caste. If they pay off these debts and continue to accumulate wealth, their chances of rising in caste increases dramatically.

Korpa


A Korpum is a single organization that oversees many unions and provides money and work to the unions. Korpa owns and operates entire districts. These smaller Korpa may be working under a larger one that owns the city they operate in. Each Korpa acts as an extension of the church, and, therefore, act as a ruling government of the city they own.

chapels


The credit chapel is manned by the members of the ruling Korpum or union and enforce and establish law on their behalf. They mint currency and collect taxes and serve as a hub for all religious practice. Like unions and korpa, a dwarf is given a chapel that they will bank with and visit to practice their faith. The dwarf will likely remain with that chapel their entire life unless they rise in caste or are exiled.

Exemplars


The dwarves admire success and venerate those who came before that excelled and brought times of great prosperity. An exemplar is usually attached to a chapel and is where the dwarves go to honor their ancestors. The coins minted at the chapel will always feature the profile of one of these esteemed dwarves in their exemplar on one side and the seal of the church in the other.
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by Dragon Age Inquisition

Prayer and Devotion

The dwarves are very devout in their religion. A common practice is to take the money you have saved and pray over it along with all other elements if material wealth you possess. When returning into a chapel, the vaults will be open and large piles of coins will pour from them. Taking a moment to gaze in wonder and recite a prayer for such wealth is not uncommon.

Dwarven Technology

The dwarves have many technological wonders from their prosthetic limbs to complex automatons. Cities often feature complex clockwork that keeps many functions like irrigation of underground farms, and water supply in the wells.

Dwarven Coins

On the surface, dwarven coins are often considered good luck charms, they radiate magical energy as the dwarves literally worship wealth and currency. This makes a dwarven coil act much the same way momentos and other magical items do.. Some of these coins have enchantments on them but these coins are rare, hard to activate, and usually their effects are small.
 

The Prophets of Profit

Depending on how wealthy you are, you might get to test your luck and knowledge of economic progress before the Prophets of Profit. These are the highest members of the church who spend their days calculating the value of the many unions and Korpa throughout dwarven civilization. Every dwarven city possesses a trade sepulcher and these massive spires house a great machine. The clockwork turns and the prophets watch as random sequences of luminous letters and numbers emerge from the wall of steam the machine produces. The building has numerous booths that each focuses on a single group or category of groups. These numbers represent the value, accumulated wealth, and its efficiency over time. If one has the funds, they can invest those funds into an organization and share in the profits or lose it all. This strange form of gambling has brought many low caste dwarves to the top and vice verse. The prophets take note of trades, daily profits, investments bought and sold, and many other factors. They take these numbers and feed the information into the machine and the machine recalculates the new values.
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by bobkehl
   

Castes


Dwarves divide themselves into castes based on the amount of wealth, currency, and available credit an individual dwarf possesses.

Mora


The dwarven term for pillar, the Mora(more-uh) caste is the highest caste a dwarf can be in. They are the pillars of society and the order that comes with dwarven life. They are the wealthiest and most influential dwarves and is made up of dwarves of all ethnicity. Their primary purpose is to establish law and Order dictating what is legal and what is illegal. They're also responsible for handling various religious ceremonies and celebrations involving large groups of people. Rising to this particular level takes a considerable amount of work and very rarely do people ever actually make it has to be inducted one has to when the favor of at least 50% of the dwarves in the cast.


 

Khorma


The dwarven word for light, the Khorna caste is mainly populated by clergy bankers and creditors who tend and operate credit chapels. Opening a credit chapel is a dream for many dwarves but the upkeep as well as the initial expense involved keeps many from doing so. Every credit chapel is its own business, owned and operated by the one who opened it and sanctioned by The Wealth of Many. It is this sanction that lifts one from a lower caste to the Khorma.




Saipa


The dwarven word for the heat and fires of a forge, the Saipa caste is made of the finest craftsmen the race has to offer. While not particularly wealthy, at least not enough to be in higher castes, their skill more than makes up for it. These particular dwarves are usually the ones who run the various companies or are high-ranking members of said companies.

Aermis


The dwarven word for sky, the Aermis caste are another caste in dwarven Society. While not considered above or below the Saipa caste the sky dwarves are usually the least wealthy and often work for higher castes in hopes that they have what it takes to elevate their status. They're usually given tasks involving manual labor which paints a picture as to why many in the higher castes have lost limbs.
 

Fraumis


The dwarven word for dirt, the Fraumis caste is made up of the debtors and criminals of dwarven Society. They are giving the worst tasks to perform and these tasks are often the most dangerous and life-threatening. They work around the clock to pay off the debts they have accumulated. This can be the debt to a credit chapel or a dwarf from a higher caste or to serve their sentence for whatever crime they committed. Many of the dwarves in this caste have been maintained and deformed to the point to where they are unrecognizable.

Some have endeared so much pain and misery and their deformities that their bodies have been completely and totally replaced and their Consciousness and soul was placed within the body of a Golem. It is remarkably rare that a dwarf makes it out in any way intact. To be a debtor in Dwarven Society is to be a Direct threat to everything they have built. There are small work camps those underground and even on the surface where these unfortunate souls toil away at whatever task those they are indentured to give them.

Articles under The Dwarves



Cover image: by Elderscroller

Comments

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24 Dec, 2018 06:28

This excellent. Very information rich.I like the idea of the economic theocracy, and your break down of the castes is cool. Good job.

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
24 Dec, 2018 14:33

Thanks for the like and comment :) i appreciate it.

27 Dec, 2018 00:34

Actualize. Synergy. Synergize.
Growth. Profit. Grofit?

I briefly touched on this when you first posted it and I stand by what I said there. Such a distinctive cultural twist is great fun and entirely sensible if you look at classical Dwarves in fantasy literature and push that character trait just a bit further. It does make me wonder if another type of Dwarves noted for impulsive greed would have gone this route if we looked more into their culture over time. Say, Tolkien's.

Great set of images. I feel you could potentially round out the sidebar since that amount of empty space does offset the page appearance a little bit, but beyond that you go over them quite comprehensively.

The Prophet's Portents: Kelicho [Adjusting, currently Private]
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
27 Dec, 2018 00:44

Thanks for the comment and I'll rework the sidebar a little bit. I forgot it wasn't even and it drives me nuts. Lol apart from that I agree one of my major issues that I really couldn't think of a way to make dwarves truly interesting as they've been done quite a bit but I find that they're always done the same way I often wonder what it is about money and gold the drives the dwarves as well as using inspirations we previously discussed in Warframe and I suddenly realized that dwarves that worship money rather than just desperately wanting it made for a very interesting change as well as building off of what's already there and fantasy I even took a bit from Snow White since most of their first names come from emotions and demeanor's. I love dwarves a lot and I really wish they could be done in the whole bunch of interesting ways. Again thanks so much for the comment and feedback and like lol

27 Dec, 2018 01:04

This article is very informative and rich with information. a Unique take on a type of government who worships wealth. a great example of a caste system as well. Great job!

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
27 Dec, 2018 15:08

Thanks so much :) I'm glad you liked them and thanks for the like

27 Dec, 2018 07:50

Highly detailed and informative article that is well written. I really enjoyed the article structure, as it makes it easy to read and the accompanying images help to visualise this species. One thing that is only mentioned briefly is the interaction between dwarves and other species, especially on the large scale, i.e. between cities or countries. I'd like to see more on that, but maybe you have a second article for it?

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
27 Dec, 2018 15:02

We'll ok so first thing. If you liked the article be sure to click the like button XD IT FUELS MY EGO plus it helps me improve my positions in categories. Not all i wouldn't say anything but...world ember...lol i hope i dont sound rude there. Not my intention. As far as your question, the reason dwarves interact so little is because they isolate themselves. Unless it's a surface dwarf, they dont leave their cities. Ill be adding more to it on how they interact with other dwarven cities. Travel is very hard in my world. My next article discusses it in detail if you wabt to critique it when i throw it on discord :)

27 Dec, 2018 08:59

So I assume Dwarves are one of the great races of the world. There was a lot of detail for sure, though I have to say, it almost feels like the whole kitchen sink is here.   How did the Caste system start?   I was a little confused on where gnomes sprung from. Are they a type of dwarf? I didn't see them in the caste part. I like the little bits with the forge and such, but some sort of flow from one to the next would really take it to the next level.   Don't forget to credit the artist as well!

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
27 Dec, 2018 14:55

Bahhhh dangit. I was hoping to get the credit on there before you saw XD my bad. I'll get right on that. This one slipped through the cracks. There's a few that did, to be honest. Dwarves are not necessarily a great race. They are pretty isolated, there are not many of them in the world and well...my next article makes it make more sense. Travel is hard in my world. Gnomes are the cousins of the other dwarves and i really do need to fill in where they fit in the caste system. They really don't. Kind of honorary dwarves if that makes sense. They are refugees from their homeland. Also what flows is it that you recommend. Is it the flow from one side to the sidebar or between the races or overall. Any ideas how i can go about doing it. I love how your articles flow so i figured if ask.

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