Long have the dwarves lived side-by-side with humanity. Fewer in number, they take their places on the periphery of the human world: a farming community across the road from a village, a band of itinerant specialists, or especially a dense, industrious district of a town or city. An ambitious, talented dwarf can often find his way into the inner circle of a noble court, as an advisor on diverse technical matters. Within their own communities, dwarves are insular, secretive, and intensely clannish, as a rule. Individuals who turn their backs on the clan are ostracized, and even those who appear to enjoy too much the friendship of humans face intense pressure to conform. Being physically near to but socially apart from humanity has led to distrust, tall tales, and all too frequent episodes of persecution of dwarves. The soul of a dwarf is bent inexorably toward labor. They feel themselves compelled to productive activity, so much so that most of their tongues have no simple word for 'work'. It is not unheard of for dwarven prisoners to grind their hands to bloody stumps, compelled vainly to try to dig out of a cell of stone. Slavery as such is unknown among the dwarves, though some forms of labor are seen as nobler or purer than others, and every dwarven polity seeks, violently if necessary, to keep each clan in its proper place, according to the form of labor its members specialize in. Within the clan, the authority of a dwarven hierarch over his or her family is absolute, and employed diligently in keeping the members aligned to a common purpose. The unlettered peasant who frightens his children with stories of conniving cannibal dwarves could never conceive that the cyclopean ruins carved into the cliffs of the nearby mountain were the work of a vast dwarven civilization that once stretched throughout the inner earth. Those who have read the antiques, though, know that the opening of the great doors of stone coincided with the rise of the first great human civilizations, aided by the technical wonders of the dwarves. But this world is gone forever. Centuries ago, the twin calamities of the great earth-shudders and the coming of the creatures the chronicles call the "dwellers below " brought ruin to their civilization. One by one, the lights glowing in the darkness of the inner earth went out. The great split of dwarves today is between those who seek to build better lives next to humanity, and those who have banded together to reject the surface world and reclaim the lost, subterranean cities of their ancestors. The bravest of dwarven hierarchs lead alliances of clans on expeditions into caverns known to connect to the inner earth. Some few of the ancient dwarf cities have been occupied and fortified in recent decades. These dwarves live a hard life on the most dangerous of frontiers, fighting monsters and the dwellers below on the one hand, and laboring against the crushing entropy of a millennium of neglect on the other.
70 to 120 years
Males and Females 4'0" to 4'9"
Males 100 to 150 lbs, Females 90 to 130 lbs
Ability Score Increase. You may switch your Constitution with another of your starting ability scores.
Alignment. Your alignment is unaligned.
Languages. You speak Common and Dwarvish. If your intelligence modifier is +1 or more, choose a language to speak or a language to read & write, choosing a number of times equal to your intelligence modifier.
Low Light Vision. For 30 feet around you, you can see in dim light as if it were bright light. You cannot see in darkness.
Subrace. You do not have a subrace.
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