Dwarf Species in Zheng-Kitar | World Anvil


The short but stout warriors of the mountains, now homeless and lost

Base Racial Traits

Ability Score Modifiers: Dwarves are both tough and wise, but also a bit gruff. They gain +2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom, and –2 Charisma.   Size: Dwarves are Medium creatures and thus receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.   Type: Dwarves are humanoids with the dwarf subtype.   Base Speed: (Slow and Steady) Dwarves have a base speed of 20 feet, but their speed is never modified by armor or encumbrance.   Vision: Dwarves can see perfectly in the dark up to 60 feet.   Languages: Dwarves begin play speaking The Regional Language(See Languages of Zheng-Kitar) that reflects their origins, and Terran. Dwarves with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following bonus languages: (Common, Giant, Gnome, Goblin, Orc, Necril, Aquan, Ezdhûlian, and Old Dwarven). See the Linguistics skill page for more information about these languages.   Immovable Legion: Trained in the art of Defensive Warfare, Dwarves can as a free action move 5ft(Which counts as a 5ft step) when an adjacent ally takes a 5ft step so long as they continue to be adjacent to them(For every time this is used in the same turn after the first off another Dwarf with this ability, the movement subtracts from your speed on your next turn to a minimum of 0ft). They gain Escape Route as a bonus feat and may grant it to a number of allies equal to 1 + 1 per 3 HD they possess as a standard action that does not provoke AoO. Once granted, the allies retain this feat for one minute. Using this ability removes the feat from any allies who were previously granted it that still possess it.   Cyanide Survivors: Exposed to the worst airborne toxins and magical effects imaginable during the War of Boiling Skies and adapting to survive, Dwarves have incredibly resilient bodies which grant them a +2 racial bonus against poison, spells, and spell-like abilities as well as immunity to Inhaled Poisons.   Geokinesis: Blessed by the Spirit King of Earth, Dwarves can move up to 5 pounds per HD of rocks, loose earth, sand, clay, and other similar materials up to 15 feet as a move action. They can search earthen and stone areas from a distance as if using the sift cantrip. This counts as the Basic Geokinesis Utility Talent.   Embrace of Sorrows: Embraced by the loving embrace of the Wild God Soo-min, Dwarves carry their grudges as curses burned onto their very bones - they may perform a ritual that takes one hour to burn the True Name of one who has severely harmed or wronged them(GM Discretion. Targets who they do not personally hate or bear ill will towards likely will not take with this ability) onto their body, granting all attacks they make the Bane Weapon Special quality against that particular individual and allowing them to bypass that target's DR, even untyped. By ingesting a portion of that creature's blood or body, they gain the ability to focus on the link for the next 24 hours as a full-round action to know the direction and distance to their target from their current location. They may only have one target marked in this way, and once marked cannot remove it until the target dies or unless they take one point of CON drain to destroy the curse upon their bones. At random intervals, other names may appear upon their bodies in a similar manner from an unknown source - these names do not count towards their personal limit, and vanish if the associated creature is killed.   Heavenbane: Dwarves' attacks always count as evil-aligned for the purposes of overcoming DR. They treat fire and electricity resistance as 5 less for creatures they attack, though immunity is still immunity. Every 5HD, this reduction increases by 5. At 10HD, immunity is reduced to resistance 20.   Visualization: Blessed with unique brains that allow them to visualize a phenomenal amount of information, Dwarves can literally "see" the histories and possibilities of objects - they treat all Craft and Profession Skills as class skills, can craft all items both mundane and magical in 25% less time than usual(rounding up), and can do so at 5% reduced cost. This ability also allows them to, by focusing for a minute on an object or area, look into that object or area's past and see the object's past functions(if it was once part of a whole) or its previous uses or users(Gaining vague information on them as people unless they left a particularly strong imprint on the object, GM discretion). For areas, they can examine their surroundings and reconstruct events that occured nearby up to 1 month per HD they possess in the past - since this comes from extraordinary deductive reasoning, it only allows for a factual reconstruction of events that happened and does not infer details aside from clearly observable forensic information(Such as shoe size, gait, etc). Areas that have been thoroughly and supernaturally cleansed may have this duration shortened, GM Discretion.   Weapon Familiarity: Dwarves are proficient with battleaxes, heavy picks, and warhammers, and treat any weapon with the word “Dwarven” in its name as a martial weapon.

Basic Information


Dwarves are a short and stocky race, and stand about a foot shorter than most humans, with wide, compact bodies that account for their burly appearance. They are short and stocky, with wide bodies and powerful muscles to support their short frames. Their bone structure is a bit thicker and denser than humans, but they are mostly the same or similar anatomically to humanity, as far as limbs, organs, bones, and muscles go...they are incredibly hairy beings, though, and grow hair at almost 4x the rate at which humans do.

Genetics and Reproduction

Dwarves as a species do not have as low a sex drive as Elves so as to be called Asexual, but lack the overwhelming drive humans have for the same...due to their long lives and typical xenophobia that plagues most Dwarven communities, Dwarves are not above having sex for pleasure but rarely fraternize outside of their own species. "Mongrel" is a very common insult thrown around to Dwarves born of unions between dwarves and non-dwarves, and due to this intense discrimination they face coupled with the immense difficultly they face in reproducing with other species Dwarves rarely reproduce with other species both for cultural reasons as well as practical ones - children born of these unions are often mutated or malformed, and more commonly simply they cannot concieve with non-dwarves.   Otherwise, though, Dwarves reproduce through sexual reproduction - Dwarve Females carry their children for anywhere between 10 - 14 months before giving birth in special "Stone Circles", where the child is taken and encased as fast as possible in a "Stone Seed" - a casing made of bedrock and other stone that the child is encased in for an additional month or two to help it finish developing, absorbing minerals and power from the ground to finish its growth into a fully fledged baby dwarf. Once this final maturation is finished, the Stone Seed is cracked open and the child is retrieved, having been kept alive and sustained by the power of the rock and stone. Thus, the locations of these "Stone Circles" - large underground ritual chambers where females go to give birth and where infant dwarves are kept in their seeds - are kept highly secret and well-protected. Even in the modern day, as most Dwarves have migrated aboveground, this practice endures and the Stone Circles are built underneath their aboveground homes in points where leylines intersect or natural mana is at its strongest.

Growth Rate & Stages

Once born from their stone seed, Dwarves grow at a much slower rate compared to humans and do not reach physical maturity until around age 30.   Dwarves typically hit middle age around age 125, become old around age 188, and reach venerable around age 250, after which they can live for anywhere between 2 to 200 years further depending on luck and bodily health.

Ecology and Habitats

Dwarves are most ideally found living underground, and act as industrious mining engineers in these underground environments - they diligently take to mining, surveying, and cataloguing the surrounding area and expanding outwards in a diligent, highly efficient pattern that maximizes the rate of expansion and minimizes the time and complexity of doing so. They are industrious and highly ordered, mining out vast underground tunnels, caverns, and mining networks with armies of miners and workers.   In the modern day, however, they can be found in almost every climate save extremely arid and hot ones - the Dwarven Diaspora that resulted after the fall of their underground capital of Nan-Dhurgalir to the armies of the Celestial Host spread the Dwarven People across the continent, and they can be found anywhere.

Dietary Needs and Habits

Dwarves are omnivores and can eat most anything - notably, they can gain nutrients from the consumption of solid stone as well as other calcite and mineral formations - and ancestral dwarven cuisine as a result is all but inedible to non-dwarves, as bowls of flavored boulder-soups and mineral deposit-based hearty meals, seasoned and cooked in various ways, formed the basis of dwarven meals for time untold.

Biological Cycle

As they age, Dwarves become more and more hairy as their hair grows longer and thicker, greying with age as their skin begins to wrinkle and their bodies begin to grow increasingly infirm.

Additional Information

Uses, Products & Exploitation

Many believe that Dwarven Eyes are incredibly valuable as actual gemstones, but this is unconfirmed - merely a superstition.

Facial characteristics

Male and female dwarves pride themselves on the long length of their hair, and men often decorate their beards with a variety of clasps and intricate braids. Clean-shavenness on a male dwarf is a sure sign of madness, or worse—no one familiar with their race trusts a beardless dwarven man. Dwarven Females grow no beards, and instead have a massive amount of hair on their heads, often braided into thick locks that cascade down their backs like rivers, decorating them with similarly baubles like males do their beards.

Geographic Origin and Distribution

In the modern day Dwarves can be found in almost every climate save extremely arid and hot ones - the Dwarven Diaspora that resulted after the fall of their underground capital of Nan-Dhurgalir to the armies of the Celestial Host spread the Dwarven People across the continent, though their main homelands are now the Kingdom of Seoghar where they live in great numbers alongside the Bomujeo, and in the Shenchuan Tundra where the Frost Dwarves live alongside their old allies, the Dai-Yukai and Jotun.   Rumors persist of Dwarves located across the seas in places such as Myrkheim, in the Nidavellir Mountains or even in land of Khyarmani...though the few expeditions to these places has yielded no answers one way or the other.

Average Intelligence

Dwarves are typically moderately intelligent, on par with humanity.

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

Dwarves almost all grow up deep underground in tunnels that never see the light of day, and their eyes have adapted accordingly. They can see in the dark out to sixty feet.   Though modern dwarves grow up aboveground, this relic of their underground origins remains.

Civilization and Culture

Naming Traditions

Dwarven names typically follow the Scottish or Nordic lexicons. Dwarves that live in non-frigid climates tend towards Scottish or Gaelic names, whereas Frost Dwarves tend towards Nordic and Scandanavian ones.   Male Names: Dolgrin, Grunyar, Harsk, Kazmuk, Morgrym, Rogar   Female Names: Agna, Bodill, Ingra, Kotri, Rusilka, Yangrit

Unlikely Allies

  Though on other continents and in ages past the Dwarves and Giants were once mortal enemies, the Dwarves of the Modern Day have a suprisingly excellent relationship with their old allies, thanks in no small part to their apocalyptic events of the Age of Descent that saw armies of fiends invade the frozen north...during this invasion, the barbaric Giant Tribes were the first to fall under assault by the fiendish hordes, and for all their might their lack of unity and cohesion proved to be their undoing - all seemed lost for the giants until the Dwarven High Thane at the time pledged his iron legions to the giant's support - breaking all tradition and logic to ally with their ancient foes and fight alongside them.   Fighting at each other's side, learning tactics together, and surviving a fiendish apocalypse together did much to make the two races fast friends - all previous hatreds fell by the wayside in the face of the bottomless and infinite evil that they fought, and together they proved better than they ever could have been alone. Even now, long after the war, the Giants of the North remember the legendary Dwarven High Thane and know they owe him a life-debt that can never be repaid - one for saving their species from total extinction at the hands of the fiendish invaders. So, in remembrance of the ancient debt they owe, most Giants threw aside their hatred for Dwarves to embrace them as friends, even in the modern day. And when the Dwarves lost their homeland centuries later, it was the Giants who first welcomed the Dwarven Survivors with open arms, giving them shelter in their camps and giving them a new home at their side.
Alternate Racial Trait List:   Dwarven Alternate Racial Traits  
Racial Feat List:   Dwarven Racial Feats  
250 years
Conservation Status
Though the loss of their ancestral underground cities and their once-great capital of Nan-Dhurgalir, the City of a Thousand Smiths, has reduced their numbers greatly, the resulting Dwarven Diaspora has spread them all across the surface of Zheng-Kitar - and as a result, their numbers are still incredibly high and they remain one of the most populous races on the continent.
Average Height
3.8ft - 4.4ft (1.15m - 1.34m)
Average Weight
140lbs - 206lbs (63.5kg - 93.4kg)
Average Physique
Dwarves are short and stocky, with short and muscular and durable bodies.
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Dwarven skin can range from tan to dark brown and sometimes charcoal black(A rare mutatation), and their hair and skin generally takes on earthy colors. Their eyes resemble solid gemstones inlaid in their eye sockets, and gleam without pupils as gems do - emerald, ruby, and sapphire are the most common 'eye colors', with Diamond being the most rare.
Related Ethnicities
Related Materials

A People without a home

Though the Dwarves of Zheng-Kitar once proudly lived in their ancestral halls beneath the great Dholerian Range in the north, the great cataclysms that befell their people long ago during the Age of Descent left them a broken and shattered people, and one lacking a centralized homeland. As the rampaging hordes of demons, devils, and daemons rampaged in the north during the Age of Descent, the ancient Dwarves were the ones who were left to bear the brunt of the assault - and from their underground homes alongside the races of the north did their steel legions face the armageddon that threatened to obliterate them. So dire was their plight that the Dwarves of yore turned to the one place they thought they could turn to help - the good-aligned outer planes.   Building a massive device known as The Celestial Orrery, the Dwarves opened gates to the realms of Heaven and the like, summoning the armies of the Celestial Host to the material to do battle with the fiends that rampaged across their lands. And fight they did - and allied with the Celestial Host, the Dwarves and their newfound angelic allies pushed back the rampaging fiends and drove them howling into their abyssal homes once more, sealing the gates they arrived from...but once the fight was over, the Celestial Host showed its true colors as the twin archangels leading the armies of the Host turned on the continent of Zheng-Kitar, branding them heretics and vowing to tear down the Spirit Kings and their followers. In the resultant struggles, the Dwarves lost their mountain citadels one after the other, and ultimately sacrificed their capital to seal away the last of the Celestial Host and their Archangel leaders - breaking the Celestial Orrery in the process but sealing their enemies away as they were forced out of their homes on an exodus to the surface...homeless and weak, they spread across the land in search of a new home.


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