Dwarf

Dwarves are a hardy people naturally resistant to magic. In the continent of Barshiin they live mainly in the south western region of the Vakron Mountain range.

Basic Information

Anatomy

The dwarven body is the structure of a dwarf. It is composed of many different types of cells that together create tissues and subsequently organ systems. They ensure homeostasis and the viability of the dwarven body.   The body comprises a head, neck, trunk (which includes the thorax and abdomen), arms and hands, legs and feet.

Genetics and Reproduction

Dwarves are forcibly evolved beings. Humans that work the viiz mines for extended periods begin a metamorphosis into a dwarf. Not all exposed humans become dwarves, although it is generally obvious who is going to transform by the time they are in their early thirties. What causes some individuals to transform and not others is not currently known.   The transformation does not complete until generally the early to mid fifties - although at this point the dwarf can look forward to easily another century of life, outliving still-human contemporaries considerably. Although many dwarves have grey hair, they commonly dye it - generally to the color of their human youth. After transformation, they age slowly, but they do not become “younger” again - which means that many dwarves have the appearance of wizened elders, although only the oldest come over as gruff or grumpy. In rare cases, the transformation goes wrong - often if the dwarf-to-be leaves the mines and attempts to get away from viiz - this tends to result in cancer-like symptoms that can be fatal. Specifically, they can change their mind after five years, but if it goes longer there will be problems. In the 6-10 year range they can revert, but will require some medical attention for a few years and they often lose some life span. At the 11 year mark, they need major medical treatment for the rest of their lives, and those lives too are often shortened. After 21 years, there is no way to prevent death, although it can be postponed for a decade (with a lot of pain and suffering). At the 26 year point, the nearly-transformed dwarf will die if denied major viiz exposure at least once a month. The transformation is normally fully complete after roughly thirty years of exposure.   However, as far as others are concerned their method of reproduction is unknown.

Growth Rate & Stages

See the Genetics and Reproduction section on the life stages of dwarves.

Ecology and Habitats

Dwarves share optimal environments with humans with one exception; dwarves do not normally live predominantly above ground unless the region has cloud cover the majority of the year. This is due to their sensitivity to light.

Dietary Needs and Habits

Dwarves have the same dietary needs they did when they were human, although they have slightly higher caloric requirements.

Biological Cycle

No information is known on this topic.

Additional Information

Facial characteristics

Dwarves have similar facial features as when they were human. However, the viiz warping caused their faces to become broader, noses larger and bulkier, grew their brow both hair and bone, and caused their facial hair to grow at astounding speeds (although it is more brittle than human hair, thus split ends are more likely to occur resulting in a generally static hair length unless groomed carefully daily to allow for length growth).

Geographic Origin and Distribution

Dwarfs predominantly live in the southwestern region of the Vakron Mountain range.

Average Intelligence

Dwarves are no more intelligent as a species than humans.

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

Their physiology contains a unique differentiation from humans in the form of a previously unknown type of cell that works to repel the effects of viiz and similar effects. It does not hamper the ability of the dwarf to utilize magic, but instead, it makes magic difficult to affect a dwarf.   These new cells also store magic that affects the dwarf. With small concentration, a dwarf can cause these cells to generate a similar magical resistant effect to individuals around it. This discharge has a side effect of causing the dwarf to emit a low light to the range of which the resistant effect extends.   The ocular organ (eyes) of a dwarf have a cell type in addition to rods and cones that grant them the ability to see in pure darkness. Conversely, this new cell also increases collected light causing the dwarf to be disoriented in bright light (like pure daylight).

Civilization and Culture

Naming Traditions

Dwarves continue to use their human name, although the occasional dwarf takes on a new surname, this tends to reflect some distaste for their human family. For the most part, it is not possible to tell from a Chilzangan name whether its owner is human or dwarven.

Major Organizations

Mining corporations, Chilzangan government, Pathian high priesthood, Chilzangan special military forces

Beauty Ideals

Dwarves have yet to exist long enough to develop these ideals as a people. The ideals of the individual may have shifted from when they were human, but they are not likely to be majorly different.

Gender Ideals

Dwarves have yet to exist long enough to develop these ideals as a people. The ideals of the individual may have shifted from when they were human, but they are not likely to be majorly different.

Courtship Ideals

Dwarves have yet to exist long enough to develop these ideals as a people. The ideals of the individual may have shifted from when they were human, but they are not likely to be majorly different.

Relationship Ideals

Dwarves have the same sexuality and relationship traits as humans, although their longer life and practical nature inclines them towards serial monogamy rather than true lifelong relationships. With no possibility of children, marriage and divorce are both easy. Few dwarves remain with partners they had as humans, although it is not unknown. As with humans, some individuals prefer to have multiple partners or none. Same sex relationships are reasonably well-accepted amongst them.

Average Technological Level

Dwarves, as the elder population of the Chilzangan nation in combination with the innovation bred into their national culture, have heralded in significant technological advances. Plumbing and other such advances exist in Chilzangan. They are closely guarded secrets.

Major Language Groups and Dialects

There is no racial language for dwarves. They speak Chilzangan Common, Miner's Tongue, and Night Sign normally.

Common Dress Code

Chilzangan dwarves have a complex set of clothing arrangements to denote role and class in Chilzangan society. Specially made articles are made for dwarves depending on their function in society.   Servants: Robes, Smocks, and Tunics   The most critical and valuable positions are those of the "Servant" caste. These jobs are usually quite the opposite of servant positions and are often those with the most power. However, the titles and rules of each arm of the caste are designed to keep reminding their members that they exist to serve the more significant body of the nation. Robes are granted to those accepted into religious roles. Smocks are issued to those allowed into labor roles (usually as High Mangsk, or managers of projects and public works). Tunics are granted to those accepted into administrative positions. These simple clothing articles are designed to remind the bureaucratic folk that they exist to serve the people at large.   Citizens: Armor, Coats, and Blacks   The second caste of Chilzangan dwarves is the "Citizens" caste. To earn the title of citizen and gain the right to vote among other benefits, a dwarf must be in the military, serve in one of the Innovation Corporations, or do some significant service to the nation. While all dwarves are required to serve a term in the Chilzangan military as recompense for the great boon they've been granted in becoming a dwarf, those that remain after their minimum term are allowed their Citizen's armor and are vaulted to their new station. Innovation Corporations are the research and development arm of the Chilzangan nation. Those that remain in service for greater than five years are granted their specialized robes denoting their station. The blacks are an outfit of great honor bestowed on only those who provide some excellent service to the nation. The blacks are usually made to the desire of the wearer, but their real value comes in the dark. Those wearing the blacks are considered as close to a scion of the nation as possible and thus can freely move among their people. The blacks symbolize this by granting invisibility to the wearer against those who can see in the dark.

Culture and Cultural Heritage

The dwarves have not been present long enough to develop these traditions.

Common Customs, Traditions and Rituals

Most dwarves tend to congregate with their own kind given the ordeal most went through in their transformation. A common custom when meeting another dwarf outside of daily life is to grasp forearms with both hands as if holding a miner's pick and whisper the corporation they were with and mine they were working in when they first doubled over in pain from their transformation.   When greeting a dwarf of a higher station than themselves, they will bow at the waist to show deference. The lower the bow the more deference they grant. It's expected that the dwarf of a higher station will bow even lower to show their adherence to being servants of the overall nation.   When facing impending storms, dwarves react by baring their chest at the storm. This arose from a semi-religious concept that the mines and the storms are connected through their viiz. Thus they bare their hearts to the storms as the mines gave them birth.   Dwarves in the light will usually imbibe a small portion of viiz when first venturing into it as a sign against misfortune. No one is sure where this came from, but the tradition is rarely ignored.

Common Taboos

Dwarves will not touch the viiz of others unless given explicit permission. They cannot do so under any circumstance.   Dwarves never tell the secret of how they came to be and will guard it fiercely. Those who may be promoting such tales are frequently hunted and silenced by any dwarf that hears of it.

Historical Figures

St. Yokal, Pillar of Resolution   A dwarven god outside of the Pathian pantheon, St. Yokal came to be out of the controversy of the Homecoming War. The end result was the first dwarven god, but he primarily provides his boons to those who act against Chilzangan on topics related to the twil and vlax. This causes much consternation among the entire Chilzangan population.

Common Myths and Legends

The dwarves have not been present long enough to develop these traditions.

Interspecies Relations and Assumptions

Dwarves tend to view humans as children - any human is a potential dwarf, although not all of them choose it or deserve it as dwarves see it. Dwarven relationships with others tend to be tempered by the fact that they hire themselves out to mine - and often strip mine - viiz deposits found on the land of others. The economic benefits they bring with them are welcomed, but the environmental deficits mean some are wary when they see a group of dwarves. The hokhala, in particular, dislike dwarves, and the virakarasht generally will not permit them in the desert, with the exception of lone adventurers who have demonstrated their worth. Some humans also fear dwarves, especially those who are aware of but misunderstand the nature of the transformation.   However, they are valuable trading partners, and lone dwarves who are not part of mining camps are often welcomed for their tough ability to fight, even if they are seen as “roughnecks.”

Genetic Ancestor(s)
Scientific Name
Homo sapiens dwarvus
Origin/Ancestry
Chilzangan
Lifespan
250 years
Conservation Status
None
Average Height
4ft 8in
Average Weight
160lbs
Average Physique
Dwarves are stockier and more hardy than humans but do not differ in other ways.
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Dwarves resemble short, stocky humans, although their skin and hair color has the same variety as humans - that does not change through the transformation. People who knew the individual before their change has a chance of recognizing them. A typical dwarf stands no more than four and a half feet high and may appear to be almost the same across the shoulders.   Male dwarves often, but not always, wear beards. These are generally neatly trimmed. Long hair is not uncommon for both sexes, but dwarves can show the same variety in styling as humans.

Comments

Please Login in order to comment!