The Dwarves are a brooding and serious family of Myndikin cave dwellers who served faithfully and flourished under the Elven rule of the 1st Age. They have long controlled logistics and trade across Eastern Gokrenxia with an iron fist, a necessity to ensure they have the proper goods to survive where their shadowed halls cannot provide. In hushed tones it is said the great houses of the Dwarves operate as highly centralized criminal empires, including but not limited to cargo theft, fraud, robbery, kidnapping, ransoms, and contracts for the movement of goods and services.
Ecology and Habitats
Due in part to their photophia, Dwarves gravitate toward indoor, covered environments. This, combined with their short staure makes them particularly well suited for the close quarters found in the mountains.
Due to their lack of exposure to sunlight, the Dwarven internal clock seems to have settled into a 48-hour rhythm. It is not unusual for an individual to stay awake for 36 hours, followed by 12 hours of sleep.
Psychologically, living underground without external light has molded the general Dwarven mindset to be equally dark, serious, and brooding. They are not known for their sense of humor and instead seen as volatile. Dwarves have a terrible sense of time, and are percieved as being secretive, but true to their word. They always have an angle and are always trying to make a deal. "Everything is negotiable" is a common Dwarven idiom.
Dwarven society is organized along family lines, with members of the family expected to serve the greater good of that family in whatever way the elder thinks is appropriate. A great deal of respect and deference is shown to the elderly, as it is assumed their survival came at great struggle and brought them great experience. Age and power are synonymous to the Dwarves, which is why they were more than happy to defer to long-lived Elves throughout the 1st age. Families and rankings therein are conveyed via colors and symbols etched upon their leather armor. This allows other Dwarves to quickly understand at a glance who they're dealing with.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
Dwarves suffer from genetic deficiencies leading to photophobia, a sensitivity to light. They have reduced eyesight, leading them to often feel uncomfortable in wide-open spaces. Those who do work to adapt to the outer world are rarely encountered not wearing their cowled cloaks. This only serves to exacerbate their persona as shady characters. Compensating for their eyes, the Dwarves have greatly heightened senses of hearing, touch, and smell.