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Dwarf

Mountain Dwellers

Written by Endrise

Look, you want to know what Dwarven life is like? Waking up at 4 in the morning to be a hard-working citizen in a well-oiled machine!
— Dwarven Smith

Amongst the first races, none have been brought into existence more harshly than the Dwarves, the children of the mountains. Once slaves to the Titan Fjallguth, their kind has known troubled times ever since, standing together as a united force to create tight-packed communities amongst the strongholds they build.

Basic Information

Anatomy

Despite their similarities with that of Humans, internally they are a whole other beast. Not only are they shorter, their bone and muscle mass is also much broader and denser. Especially their skull is much thicker than that of other races, preventing fatal blows to the head.

Their body's endocrine system is known to be the most powerful thing that the Dwarves possess, evolved to withstand life underground. Not only are their kidneys and liver built to withstand regular poisons, their lungs have adapted to filter out any harmful gasses that might enter the body. The side-effects of such jacked-up system do lead to exceptional hair growth for both sexes.

Dietary Needs and Habits

Dwarven food is actually delicious, if your stomach doesn't implode from it at least.
— Elven Explorer

Dwarves are omnivorous like other humanoids across the land, though their bodies are capable of eating food that would be deemed inedible. Toxic plants that grow in the inhospitable mountain homes of Dwarves become delicacies or spices in their meals. It's why many Dwarven brews are so strong, just for their bodies to gain a kick of intoxication.

Additional Information

Geographic Origin and Distribution

Dwarves are found all across the world, whether it be the frozen north or the scorching deserts. Many are mainly found on the continent of Nõrdlann, with smaller clans and families living commonly amongst other societies. Some deep dwelling Dwarves have been also reported to be found in the Subterrane, while others even exist on the Plane of Earth.

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

Due to generations of working in caverns and strongholds built from mountainsides, many Dwarves possess some semblance of darkvision. When no light is present, they can see the world in only greyscale, unable to distinguish any colours in said darkness.

Civilization and Culture

Naming Traditions

Male Names: Dolgrin, Grunyar, Harsk, Kazmuk, Morgrym, Rogar.
Female Names: Agna, Bodill, Ingra, Kotri, Rusilka, Yangrit.

Average Technological Level

You want a blade that lasts a lifetime? I'll give you one that lasts a bloodline.
— Dwarven blacksmith

Dwarves revel in their inventions being not only simple to use, but also being highly effective. Although their creations are not the most advanced thing in the cosmos, each one designed and crafted to endure generations of wear and tear. Some clans still use tools and weapons passed down ever since their founding, solely because of how durable it all is.

Dwarves are also responsible for a lot of legendary pieces of armour or weapons, made in their forges and enhanced through their runic language. While each rune only can give one or two enchantments at a time, just one of them makes even a dull blade cut straight through steel plate.

Common Etiquette Rules

Dwarven culture emphasises the idea that, no matter how wealthy or powerful you might be, pushing others down to achieve it is never welcomed. Community and cooperative work are rewarded and encouraged, where everyone is seen as an equal, no matter their social status. Whether you are a royal king or a street rat, you will be given the same respect.

However, this does not mean that Dwarves treat everyone like a king. Rather, they handle one another like a family with fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters. You are but another citizen for them and they will treat you with the respect such citizens deserves.

Common Dress Code

Dwarven attire is to dress up and wear only what might be deemed functional at the moment. While royal family and highly ranked individuals might adorn themselves with elaborate gold plating, most of the populace keeps their clothing practical. Inner padding for the warmth is frequently used with pockets and holsters for tools and weapons being integrated in the outfit itself.

The most remarkable aspect of their fashion is how they handle hairstyles, especially with the males and their beard. Dwarven facial hair can reach up to their waist, often woven in elaborate designs held together with clasps and braids galore. Some families even have their own distinct styles, making them distinguishable from other houses.

Common Customs, Traditions and Rituals

Dwarf Tossing

To settle debates or as a form of entertainment, Dwarf Tossing is a sport performed in Dwarven strongholds. Two enter the ring, using nothing but their bare strength and hands to push or even toss the other Dwarf out of it. Most of the time being pushed or thrown out the ring means you loses, but the rules are open to customisation.

Some matches have special conditions to make it more entertaining, such as having both contestants oiled up or just tossing ten Dwarves in the same ring. In championships, it truly becomes an insane sport.

Noble Beards

Amongst noble circles of Dwarven society it's a tradition to actually keep the beard long as a symbol of peace and prosperity. Although trimming is allowed, some kings are known to have their facial hair nearly reach the ground, having gone decades without conflict.

It's only when said rulers cut off their beard is when things get serious, declaring war to whoever they sent the hair to. Some entire clans cut their beard as a response, making the sight of a mountain of hair a true threat amongst Dwarven culture.

Common Taboos

To put shackles on the freedom of men is to put shame in your own heart.

There are few taboos amongst Dwarves, all except for one: tyranny and enslavement of others. Since most of the race has their history with slavery as Fjallguth's servants, they despise any and all dictatorships that they come in contact with. Many clans who would rule with such methods are typically cast out, if not shamed or executed right there. Same goes for slaves, who many Dwarves will set free without a second thought.

Common Myths and Legends

  • Dwarves don't have females: It's commonly believed that Dwarves do not have any females, solely because males only ever appear outside their strongholds. They do exist, and have wicked sideburns to compensate for the lack of beards.
  • Dwarves don't shave: Dwarves do shave their beards as hygiene is an important aspect of their culture. Although some do like to keep their beards long, trimming and cleaning are done on a daily basis.
  • Dwarves are greedy: Dwarves might be known to hoard gold and gems like there is no tomorrow, but they are far from greedy. Any Dwarf worth his beard has a coin to spare, just don't abuse their hospitality.
  • Dwarves are alcoholics: Despite their strong brews and nights of heavy drinking, Dwarves discourage going overboard. Only during holidays or festivals do they drink one another under the table, with local bars brimming with festivity.

Interspecies Relations and Assumptions

Dwarves rarely like to associate themselves in most of the conflict of other species, preferring to stay as neutral as possible. However, this does not mean they are heartless monsters either, as their hospitality is only rivalled by that of Halfling themselves. As long as you keep your weapons down and respect their kind, they will offer you a meal and a drink for bargain prices.

Despite popular beliefs however, their rivalry with Elves is often exaggerated, seeing the two have only crossed blades with each other once or twice. In reality it might just because the Elves' lack of community skills Dwarves have, leaving royal meetings typically in an awkward situation.

Oreads have a special place in their culture, seeing them as good fortune amongst their fortresses and strongholds. Many are believed to be earth spirits given physical form amongst Dwarven mythology, while others are kept around as charms for finding minerals easier.

The only races they seem to have problems with are the Orcs, Goblins and Hobgoblins, mainly due to some of their slave handling. Although some alliances have been made with their kind, many strongholds prefer to rather eradicate them and free any war slaves they might have. Whether Dwarves are qualified to do so is up to interpretation.

Dwarf Players

Dwarves regularly explore the world to find some purpose in their life or to find a new home to claim. Known for their hospitality and honour, many have their personal codes they follow or a lineage to maintain. Others simply explore for the thrill, showing the might of what Dwarven craftsmanship can do.

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Genetic Ancestor(s)
Genetic Descendants
Scientific Name
Homo sapiens pumilionis
Origin/Ancestry
Lifespan
170 years
Average Height
3'7" - 4'5"
1.09m - 1.34m
Average Weight
120 lbs. - 206 lbs.
54 kg - 93 kg
Average Physique
Sturdy
Related Ethnicities

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Cover image: Species - Humanoid Cover by Endrise

Comments

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28 Feb, 2020 02:16

I absolutely love the visual of sending beards as a declaration of war.

Author of Fillimet, bright fantasy land of possibilities, and Vazdimet, its darker spacefaring future.