Dwarves Species in Yeia | World Anvil

Dwarves

Basic Information

Anatomy

Dwarves belong to the family of the humanoids as well as humans, elves, half elves and tieflings. and because of that they have the same basic traits as all humanoids, a head, four limbs, two eyes, a nose (which is bigger or more prominent in the dwarves than in other humanoid races) and a robust body which is smaller but more muscular than humans and elves. That allows them to be small but strong in a fight and their anatomy also fits perfectly for living in the depths of the earth as well as for mining and smithing (their main economic activities).

Growth Rate & Stages

The average life expectancy for a dwarf is around 200 years. More than a human but much less than an elf and about the same as a half elf. A dwarf is considered to have reached adulthood when they reach the age of 30, at which age dwarves usually look for a wife to start a family and are usually assigned a job within their community according to their social class and skill. On the other hand, a dwarf is considered old when he reaches 150-160 years of age. But despite this, many of them continue to work until they reach 170 years of age, after which their community considers that they have served the community well and so they retire and live out their final years caring for the younger members of the family. As with humans, and unlike elves, old age is usually shown by the appearance of wrinkles and grey hair, as well as physical deterioration. Although it must be said that even in their old age, the Dwarf elders are healthier and fitter than their human counterparts.

A dwarf couple by Midjourney

Habitats

The main habitat of the dwarves are the deep caves and mines in the interior of the big mountain chains across Yeia.Here they have developed their civilisation and economy for more than 3000 years.  And it is there where they feel safer. Dwarves then to establish their prosperous cities and towns  near  veins of precious metals, such as gold, silver or mithril. Aside from agriculture thanks to magic, the main economical activity and job of the dwarves is as smiths and miners. But it is true that since the Dawn of the Dwarves some dwarves have established settlements and trade post in the surface but always not too far away from the entrance to their cave settlements and mines.  Although the most daring dwarves with an eagerness to see the world have also settled among the other races of the two continents that form Yeia to trade with them and also attracted by the economic prospects that the great cities in the surface offer. 

Additional Information

Social structure

Dwarven society is divided in classes. The first one is the nobility, formed by the family and relative of the king. This royal family is most of the times divided into clans, and each one of them takes a sit at the Great Council. The second one is the Priesthood, that holds an important possition in society as guardians of the faith, and the only ones aside from the ryal family that can use magic. Apart from performing the ceremonies and liturgy in the temples, they spend much of their time studying the sacred Dwarven scriptures as well as correctly interpreting the prophecies of the 7 prophets. They are also in charge of imparting justice and several schools of jurisprudence have been created by the priests. Then you have the Anuzuûm, which is a class that comprises both miners, smiths and artisans, which are the bulk of dwarven society and lastly you've the farmers.  In most kingdoms and cities these two last classes appoint  one representative to the Great Council.

When duty calls all dwarves forget their social classes and go to war armed in the same manner and fighting as a cohesive unit of equals whose mission is to defend their cherished settlements and families from their main enemies: orcs and dwarves.

 

Geographic Origin And Distribution

Dwarves lived in similar geographical areas in both continents, traditionally in the interior of the main mountain ranges of Teria and Karia. This is where they feel most secure and where they have developed their culture. An exception to this are some dwarven communities established in the surface after the Dawn of the Dwarves mostly in the valleys near their underground cities. These settlements acts as trade posts with the neighbouring nations. Another exception are the mountain ranges near the Nari lands or near the lands of the nomads, the tieflings and the dark elves. The reasons for the latter are unknown but probably it has to do with the magical poisoning of the land or the humidity of the land that produces collapses in caves.

Average intelligence

Despite their rude or extremely "passionate" behaviour, dwarves are very intelligent and skilful. A testimony to that is their mastery crafting and mining metals and minerals with very sophisticated and advanced techniques and the fact that the major advances in technology that the surface world experienced were also experienced by the dwarfs despite their total isolation from the outside world. Also the fact that they live up to two centuries makes them very wise beings.

Perception And Sensory Capabilities

Dwarfs are sensible to magic, but only a tiny fraction is able to wield it (those who can become part of the priesthood class, but also the royal families of the Dwarves are able to wield magic and created spells). Overall, the sensory capabilities of the dwarfs are mostly the same as humans, but unlike them, dwarves have developed a keen sense of sight, which allows them to see in the dark and perceive glows much more clearly, very useful if you're mining materials deep underground.

Civilization and Culture

Major Language Groups and Dialects

Like the Light Elves, whose dialects derive from the classical Elvish, which was spoken from the mid-Bronze Age, the Dwarven languages also have a common ancestor, called Common Dwarf, which is used for diplomatic relations with other Dwarves who do not speak the same language from which they originate.

But due to their isolation, unlike the Light Elves, this Common Dwarf fragmented into three branches. Two of them are spoken in Teria, the first being the so-called central languages and the second would be the three languages of the Snowy Peaks in the extreme northwest of the continent.

Finally we have the languages called Duradhis, spoken in the extreme north of the continent of Karia, between the Kingdom of Unhellion and the northern human kingdoms, which are the oldest known languages, with the earliest written records dating back to 4500 BP.

Interspecies relations and assumptions

Dwarves in the past, during the Bronze Age, before their forced exile into the depths of the earth were fierce enemies of the Elves, who over the course of millenia, due to their magical power and better weapons and strategy managed to defeat them, destroying many dwarven kingdoms in the process. Over the course of the centuries, resentment, hatred and fear gave way to mistrust, something that it still common among many dwarves while dealing with elves, though the latter have ensured them that they are not like their ancestors.

In their three millennia of their underground exile,the mortal enemies of the dwarves were the orcs and goblins, who also, after the time of the heroes, had made the depths of the earth their home. The dwarves fought multiple wars over the centuries on both continents, either to defend their kingdoms and cities from these races, or to drive them out of their caves and colonise them.

Relations with the humans however were rather scarce during the Bronze Age (we don't have a lot of mentions in dwarven chronicles, and at that time, many human realms were beginning to developing writing), but they increased after their return to the surface, establishing diplomatic relations with most of the human realms of both continents, and sometimes even making war on some of them. As an interesting anecdote, being so devout to the goddess of Fire, the Dwarves have a lot of respect for the seris, as they as a people, as well as their monarchs, claim to be descendants of the goddess of Fire, and in dwarven they are called Ysh Othurûn ( The Children of Fire).

Mythical Origin

The mythical origins of the dwarfs are described in both human, elf and dwarven sources. For elves and Davidovian humans the dwarves were created by the goddess of fire, who taught them the secrets of forging. The first generations of dwarves worked in the divine forge on Mount Mei. But their rather temperamental nature, like the forge and the fire, meant that when they left the forge and interacted with other races, they would become enraged if anyone messed with their size, their facial features or the quality of their wares.

 

One day, the God of Darkness and Death tried to abduct one of the dwarves to work with him to create magical items of unimaginable power, but the dwarves turned to the goddess of fire to rescue him, which she did. In revenge, the God of Death impersonated a tiefling, who, in a tavern, began to taunt one of the dwarven smiths in the forge: "If you dwarves are so strong, let us see if you can open this cask sealed with molten lava with your pickaxes". The blacksmith was emboldened, took his pickaxe and began to pick at the lava, but could not get it all out. So another fellow, cheered on by the rest of the group, set out to pick at it again, but he couldn't either. The god began to laugh, and, furious, all the dwarves began to pick until finally they broke the seal, and black smoke poured out of it, pouring into their bodies. This smoke also went out of the tavern window and into the forge, intoxicating all the dwarves. This black smoke was death itself, who made the dwarves deadly in his arrogance and anger.

 

When the goddess realised what had happened, she severely reprimanded the dwarves, who, for their arrogance, she cast out of the Divine Forge forever. Then she went off to weep in the area of the lakes, whose tears are the water they contain.

 

Here the myths vary. For the elves, this meant that the dwarves were scattered across what was then the only continent, while for the Davidovian peoples, who had little contact with the dwarves, and were guided more by the stories told to them by the elves, the dwarves were condemned not only to be mortal, but to live in the depths of the earth, repenting for having defrauded the goddess.

 

Of course for dwarves this is completely different. They only agree with elves and humans that the goddess of fire created them (in fact the dwarves are more specific, since they claim that the goddess joined two stones and joined them with mud, and with four boulders she created her arms and legs, and that with her magic she gave them life and turned them into flesh.), although the dwarves also claim in their myths that the Goddess Mother Earth assigned them a piece of land, called the First Homeland, where the dwarves flourished, but it was accidentally destroyed. after the earth cracked and they had to take shelter in the mountains to escape the subsequent tsunamis, and later own to escape the elven heroes and elven armies.

 

They say that the gods praised the goddess of Fire own creation by stating that these new creatures were the toughest of all humanoids, and, of course, there is no mention to a Divine Forge or the god of Death. Dwarves have no explanation to mortality, it's just the way the non-god world is.

 

Related articles

Dawn of the Dwarves
Prose | Dec 21, 2023

A prose article explaining how the dwarfs decided to have contacts with the kingdoms in the surface


Cover image: two dwarf diplomats by Midjourney

Comments

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Dec 26, 2023 19:08 by Absinthe

I know a dragon with a huge jar of ketchup.

Dec 27, 2023 18:32 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

I love the two different creation myths, especially. Nice overview of dwarven society as well. :D

Jan 7, 2024 16:59

It was as vast and detailled and lovely as imagined. Thanks for the Dwarves and I hope they don't dig to deep.

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