Dwarves are a stocky race noted for living in the high mountains of Kementari, being master craftsmen, and fierce fighters. Most dwarven settlements are built around mining or quarrying operations. Some very small scale agriculture is done, along with raising a few livestock, but most food is acquired by trade. Dwarven agriculture differs from that of humans. Dwarves have a special relationship with goats, and often use Dwarven Goats as pack and draft animals. Regular and even miniature goats are also kept in large numbers. Dwarves also have a breed of chicken with more dense feathers and better adapted to the cold. They do not tend to keep much other livestock though (see Trying to sell a dwarf a riding horse). The other large part of their diet is from a type of large fungus called the Dwarven Fruit Tree. The fungus is typically fed the goat manure at the “roots”. While the result is rather tasteless it can absorb the flavor of other things and thus dwarven cuisine has a strong tradition of puddings and stews. Dwarves are also famous for their mead. Typically, the honey is imported from nearby Halfling, Elvish, or Human communities. Before the exile, Dwarves say the mountains of Khazad-Gathol grew a plant called sugar weed that could produce a sugary sap that was fermented into a Dwarven sugar ale. The crop failed to grow in Kementari and honey was used as passable substitute. There are two types of dwarven settlements. The first is a "Thorp", which is an agricultural town high on the mountains were other races would find the environment uncomfortable. Dwarves are more resistant to cold and can climb much higher without worry of altitude sickness. These are above ground settlements that usually consist of stone houses and artificial terraces for gardens. Goats are let out to graze on the mountainside. There is often a dug out treepit or enclosed treehut where the Dwarven Fruit Trees are cultivated in darkness. Cisterns to catch rain water are also usually found if there is not a mountain stream nearby. The other type of settlement is a "Burg". These are much larger settlements and are often supplied by several Thorps. They are almost entirely subterranean and are half mine-half town. As the mine grows, living spaces and workshops are hollowed out off the old tunnels- resulting in an ever growing maze-like town. Dwarven cities are often several Burgs that have tunneled into each other and connected underground. The legendary Hollow mountain in Khazad-Gathol was supposed to have been the largest of these cities ever built, even bigger than the impressive Khazadbar in central Kementari. Due to dwarven dark vision such dwellings are seldom lit at all and any creature lacking natural dark vision would find it impossible to live or even navigate a Burg. Khazadbar is a massive work, effectively hollowing out a ring of mountains in the center of Kementari. Air and light for the half million inhabitants are provided my numerous shafts, with vent fans driven by underground streams and animal power. Light is sent down shafts by mighty mirrors, allowing some normal crops to be grown underground. Heat is provided by geothermal means (wherever possible), and by burning combustibles (often coal, but a lot of wood is used as well). The produce of Khazadbar ’s mines and workshops is traded for food and fuel. Dwarves worship the Demi-Human Pantheon, and consider Khuzduluzbad to be their patron.
Anatomy & Morphology
They have very little sexual dimorphism compared to humans, and the ratio of male to female is approximately two to one.
Ecology and Habitats
Dwarves strongly prefer underground dwellings in mountainous terrain over all other areas.
The basic social group is the clan, and Dwarven culture emphasizes clan self-sufficiency. Settlements outside of Khazadbar are often single clans. Septs in clans will specialize in various trades. Dwarf clans often have stories around their creation, often forming a clan specific mythos. For example the two oldest clans (Ironstone and Battlehammer) in Tolpereth have a rather well known origin legends. Clans can be either matrilocal or patrilocal, depending on their history and circumstances. Dwarvish culture is egalitarian in that it is neither a Matriarchy or a Patriarchy (in spite of the male to female ratio). Dwarves themselves live in extended families. Because of this social arrangement, marriage is to someone outside the sept, and the clan if possible. This has the added benefit of tying the clans closer together. Due to the male to female ratio, about half of Dwarven men will not marry. This, combined with the technological orientation of the culture and the use of ritual and ceremony, has resulted in the trades being very hierarchical. Among Dwarves, skill in their profession translates into social status. Assessments of professional skill are done by their peers, and these assessments are not retractable. Age is respected, but not revered. Dwarven hierarchy, focus on clan and family relationships, and the pervasive use of ritual have resulted in Dwarven government being a tribal based hereditary Monarchy.
Geographic Origin and Distribution
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
They have the ability to see in total darkness (Infravision).
Civilization and Culture
Dwarves are team players and more comfortable in groups.
Average Technological Level
Dwarven culture has achieved a late Medieval level of technology
Culture and Cultural Heritage
Due to the limited opportunities for agriculture in their chosen environment, Dwarvish culture places an emphasis on conservation of food and fuel. This, combined with having a (usually) large group of people together in a confined space, has resulted in Dwarves having many holidays and celebrations, but little actual feasting (with the notable exception of the Feast of Khazad-Gathol). Dwarves also tend to be ritualistic and ceremonial as a way of insuring that everyone in their culture is aware of mutual obligations and expectations. Where Elves see ceremony as a way of preserving their culture (and passing the time), Dwarves use ceremony and ritual as a social lubricant to keep conflict minimized and channeled. Another result of the limited agricultural opportunities is that Dwarvish culture tends to have a technological orientation.
Common Customs, Traditions and Rituals
The tendency for dwarven culture to have a technological orientation combined with the confined living arrangements has resulted in theft being a much more serious crime to Dwarves than to Humans.
Common Myths and Legends
- Scientific Name
- Homo Terrestrialis
- 400 years
- Average Height
- 4 feet (1.3 m).
- Average Weight
- 180 lbs (396 kg)
- Average Physique
- Dwarves are a stocky race, averaging 4 feet in height, but massing about the same as a human.
- Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
- They tend to have brownish complexions, with little variation in hair and eye color, size, or build.
- Related Ethnicities
- Related Myths
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