Dwarven Beliefs Organization in The True Dark Ages | World Anvil

Dwarven Beliefs

Dwarves are one of the most common humanoids found in Europe. Regularly found in Germanic speaking regions, and even more so in Scandinavia. They are a religious people even if they don't show it, at least obviously. With them originating from the world of Svartalfheim on Yggdrasil, they closely follow the Aesir more than the Vanir. Given the warlike and aggressive nature that can manifest in an angry Dwarf, this doesn't surprise those in the know. Each Dwarf follows the dictates of whatever god he or she follows, and the majority follow Odin himself, with a few following the other gods. Thor is recognised though thought of as being a protector of mankind so isn't as popular. Constantly at war, or at least ready for it, against Black Elves (who also comes from Svartalfheim), Trolls, Giants, and Dragons, many Dwarves take it almost as a spiritual rite to take the life of one of these opposing species. Indeed, fanatics like the trollslayers, giantslayers, and dragonslayers, act as a mix of barbarian & paladin, and as a them being touched by Odin himself.   Most Dwarven strongholds & enclaves will have a part of it's structure given over to worship. They will regularly sacrifice goats, boars, and bulls to the gods but never another sentient creature, at least outside of a battlefield. Each such site will have oak trees present, as well as standing stones. Different clans favour one over the other, or in rare cases favour one or the other altogether. Runes are carved into both, usually runes espousing strength, honour, family, religious laws (Dwarves are very lawful after all), and spells related to these as well as protection. A few are curses, usually aimed at mortal enemies of the clan, and the gods. A few of these sites have shrines to wolves, bears, and boar, and are attended to by berserker priests, who administer to the clans berserkers. Many also give over a space to a shrine where the heads & skulls of fallen enemies are kept, mainly to attract the gods attention. This follows the tenuous relations the gods have with Giants, Black Elves, Trolls, and Dragons. Any runes found in these areas follow the same as the rest of the Germanic peoples, who they sometimes worship with when no Dwarven religious sites are present.   Dwarves have clerics that impeach the gods, and act as council to the local Dwarven peoples & leaders. They are very similar in outlook to Human clerics following the same gods. Both are called Hofgothi, and most have a rank of Gothi. The former is usually more high ranking than the latter, though it is usually the local tribal or clan leader fills in for the latter's role during ceremonies. The Hofgothi are sometimes referred disparagingly as Seidr, or basically effeminate, unmanly, or even homosexual. Though saying this, any in Dwarven society are not, and a good number are female. Also, a good Dwarf would never say this, at least directly round one, if he or she valued their heads remaining on their necks. They are usually tattooed with runic symbols to show their devotion, and will gladly carry out other high ranking duties too. This can range from the judiciary, politics, and lore keeping.   Slight changes appear in Duergar societies. With the Duergar being the dark reflection of the Dwarves, they have given up worship of the Aesir & Vanir, and now follow a different path. J√∂rmungandr, Fenris, Hel, Loki, Surtr, as well as powerful giants & dragons are worshipped instead. They look forward to the destruction of the world, and the final death of the gods. The Hofgothi that lead the Duergar fulfil the same basic role, and preach that by bringing down the rest of the intelligent species, that they can rule in peace and punish all others. In the process of killing those who wronged them in the past, the Duergar will be the only ones left to take over.
Type
Religious, Organised Religion

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