Dwarves

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Dwarves
DwarvesImage.png
Dwarves, the Indomitable
Aliases Dorrin
Shortfolk
Squats
Classification Cognitia
Intelligent Yes
Playable Yes
Physical Information
Build Short, stout and broad
Height 4'2" - 4'8"
Hair Natural colors, white
Skin Tone Pale, sometimes tanned
Eye Colour Natural colors, cyan
Cultural Information
Culture(s) The Four Kingdoms
Homeland(s) The Northlands
Language(s) Common
Dwarven
Religion(s) The Dorraki-Kaz
Playable Races Category


Dwarves, also called the Dorrin in their own tongue, are a race of short-statured humanoids native to the Northlands. They live within a vast hostile wilderness that is dotted by ancient stronghold-cities the dwarves call home. Though Mankind and the Elrathyr have historically pressed to control the four dwarven kingdoms, any and all attempts to take the mountain fortresses that guard their homeland have failed spectacularly. The success of such defensive battles can be attributed to dwarven culture, their knack for masonry, and the ritualistic power of their mages. They remain deeply rooted in their culture and ancient lands to this day, unwilling to give up the place they call home to internal conflict or foreign adversaries.

History

Born to the frigid Northlands, dwarves have undergone a transformation from warring tribes of savages to a united empire of craftsmen, warriors and arcanists. Tucked away on the remote continent of the Northlands, they've been isolated from the rest of the world for as long as their known existence. The mountains have been their canvas, carved into great fortresses built to withstand not just warfare, but nature itself. Through storm, winter and summer, their great fortresses remain steadfast. Such greatness was spawned only through strife.

Their early years, as obscure as they may be, are known by modern dwarves to have been difficult. They were a race of short folk in what was a massive wilderness, challenged by dragons, trolls and nature itself. They had to stake their claim through force and perseverance, and from this diligence eventually arose four dominant tribes. The names of their leaders and members have been lost. It's only through old rune-etched tablets and cave drawings that this era is remembered in the minds of dwarves. This is a bygone age, but one that cemented the future of this resilient race. Each of these four tribes represented the foundation for the four dwarven kingdoms that followed. They all arose from their own conflicts and tribulations, and thus, each of the Four Kingdoms have taken a distinct personality that defines their people, traditions and craft.

Warfare between the four lasted a while, with battles fought over territory, pride and wealth. These were considered dark times for the dwarven people, where every kingdom had no allies or kinship beyond its lone self. They were a people disunited, with no common goal beyond feuding with one another. To them, their only goal was war. It was only until 1100 BE (before Eyrm) that the dwarves considered ceasing this needless combat. Their innovation had been stifled, their own lands being destroyed and turned to ash. The Four Kingdoms turned their attention to the war-seeking elves mooring upon their shores. Differences between the Dorrin were put aside, their bellows and banners turned to a different cause. It was the first time that the dwarven race had united, and should they have instead decided to continue their skirmishing, they would have surely been forced beneath the boot of the elves just as the humans had.

Their battles with the elves were short. Such decisive victories could be accredited to, in part, lack of preparedness on the elven side. They expected to combat the four warring kingdoms individually, not as a whole. The elven ships were sent either back onto the horizon or into the deep sea by combined dwarven weaponry. The rebuttal of the dwarves was swift, the elves had learned their lesson. The dwarves learned a lesson as well. No more wars ensued between the four kingdoms, and instead, pushes for treatises and amends were made. Whatever lingering grudges the dwarves may have were settled through diplomacy, not war. In the years following the defeat of the elves, the Dorraki-Kaz was drafted by the four kings. Its contents laid down laws for their united people. These laws bound not just the citizens of the kingdoms, but their kings and rulers as well. The Dorraki-Kaz remains as the highest authority above all dwarves to this day.

Unity led to victory. It paved the way for a golden age of innovation, where their fortresses rose higher than they ever had before. Massive statues of the four kings who wrote the Dorraki were erected, now standing watch over the sea as a warning to all who would threaten the Dorrin. In modern day, the dwarves remain as an orderly, isolated people. The dwarves continue to be a people divided by kingdoms and clans, but now they work together to build a future that would astound the generation before them.

Physiology

The dwarven race are a people easy to distinguish among a crowd. They are short, but undeniably broad and heavily set with muscle and fat. An average dwarf, regardless of gender, stands at about four foot six. The largest dwarf in modern history was recorded to stand at five foot. All dwarves possess strong arms, leading into broad shoulders, short torsos, and stump-like legs. Their bodies are remarkable at insulating heat for their otherwise small size, lending well to their natural habitat among the frigid climates of the Northlands. In addition to their husky bodies, male dwarves have thick, dense hair of an earthen color. Their long beards are symbolic both among the race and outside of it, often allowed to grow out as long as possible till it becomes an impediment to their movement or work. In addition to this dense hair, patches of hard stone can appear along their extremities over the years of adulthood. This is referred to by the race as their second skin, the 'stone' skin. It resembles stone in texture and appearance, sometimes appearing along their shins, the top of their palms and behind their shoulders. They're erratic in pattern, though always four sided and fit together like a puzzle atop their flesh.

Dwarves live for a fair amount of time. A dwarf, male or female, grows to their full body mass by their tenth year of age. They remain adolescent in features up until their twentieth, when male dwarves grow their beards and physically mature alongside the females of their race. A dwarf is considered a young adult from their twentieth year to their thirtieth, in which they finally begin to take on the duties of their family towards the end of it. A dwarf remains healthy and strong for a while, beginning to deteriorate only around the age of 160. The signs of age can come swiftly, most often in the form of graying hair and waning eyesight. Their natural muscle begins to fade away and their vision becomes blurry without the aid of spectacles. After forty or so years of their body beginning to dwindle from adulthood, they pass away.

While the appearance of a dwarf is largely influenced by the kingdom they originate from, they are all a hardy folk. Dwarves have a strong will and an undying passion to perfect themselves and their craft.

Base Attributes

Dwarves maintain utter adherence to the ways of old, forever seeking the wisdom of their ancestors and the unanswered questions of their endless libraries. Dwarves make for capable arcanists, scholars and artificers. More information on attributes and creating a character can be found here.

Body Instinct Mind Spirit
0 0 1 1

Culture and Society

Dwarven culture is one founded on family and authority. They hail from a past of solitude, never expanding their borders beyond the mountainous gates of the Northlands. The dwarves have always been an orderly people, efficient in how they follow the codes and laws set down by their ancient ancestors. Atop a throne sits their High King, overseeing the four warven kingdoms that have lasted for as long as recorded history. Each of these kingdoms is led by a king, with the High King chosen from the four through a systematic trial known to the dwarven people as the daz-Korar. It's a time of festivity, where the four kings duel and compete not just physically, but through mental and spiritual trials as well. When the High King is chosen from the four, the grand capital of the dwarves moves to the location of his kingdom's throne.

Beneath the kings sit the thanes, all of whom possess their own individual forts and cities. They are appointed by their king and trusted to abide to him. Quarreling between thanes is dealt with swiftly, whether through martial action or through seizing of their title and land. Civil disputes are a great injustice within the dwarven society. Their past was filled with hardship and internal conflicts, but the past thousand or so years has seen a turn for the better. The four kings see eye to eye, any dispute or problem they may have with one another quickly resolved by the current High King.

Various clans have taken hold within each of the four kingdoms, all of them the accumulation of dwarves with different bloodlines, professions and ideals. These clans all vy for the attention and support of their King, appealing to him through loyalty and tribute. Clans who show feats of strength, prowess and mastery over their given craft or trade may earn benefits from the King such as his personal favor and endorsement. For example, a proven clan of master smiths may be commissioned by their King to forge him a crown or supply his guard with weaponry. Clans oriented around combat tend to find themselves being hired to hunt down beasts, patrol the kingdom's territory or generally keep the peace.

Order, authority, family. These are the three things the dwarves revere above all else.

Behavior

The Dorrin are a gruff race, always pragmatic and dutiful when it comes to business. It's not rare to be deceived by this dour nature; many unfamiliar with their culture would mistake their gruffness as aggression. However, dwarves are quick to celebration and revelry, always enjoying the company of another dwarf or a good friend whenever all important duties are tended to. After the workday is finished, most dwarves will retire to an alehouse, their clan's district, or to a sauna. Dwarves can be a rowdy bunch with friends and family. Though, this gregarious attitude often fades when in the presence of foreigners. Dwarves have always kept themselves isolated from the world for good reason. Their distrust of foreign races is founded in their history, when the kingdoms of the elves and humans marched upon their mountains multiple times. For this reason, they've garnered a generation-lasting disdain of nondwarves, and an even stronger bond with those of their own kin and blood.

Religion and Customs

Unlike the kingdoms of mankind or the fallen elven empires, the dwarves have never had any specific faith or religion they follow. Instead, their culture relies upon utter adherence to a strict set of codes and laws written down by their ancestors thousands of years ago. The book these ancient rites were written within is known as the Dorraki-Kaz. The Dorraki-Kaz, read in the Common tongue as 'the Ancestor's Laws,' is a massive tome full of yellowed pages and fading text. Its held upon the body of the High King at all times, kept safe by his retinue of guards and a mysterious order of dwarves known as the Ingrakarr. The Ingrakarr are an order whose origins date back to the days of the book's drafting. They are bound to the will of the Dorraki-Kaz, not the High King's. They wander the Four Kingdoms in search of those who would defy the texts, bringing them a swift punishment. There is no court or trial for the dwarves who would disobey the ancient texts, only judgement. The punishments of the Ingrakarr depend on the severity of the infraction, but no dwarf who faces judgement has ever escaped it. The Ingrakarr are ruthless, the intimidating hand of the Dorraki-Kaz who operates only to maintain order.

For this, the Ingrakarr have become feared among the dwarves, though its not solely fear that drives dwarven society forward. Respect, admiration and a desire for perfection fuel their stalwart kingdoms. The Dorraki-Kaz is symbolic of their dedication. The exact contents of the books is unknown to most, it is only ever opened should the dwarven people be led astray onto a path not desired by their forefathers. The Ingrakarr are only a small part of this race's continued success.

The dwarves have no gods nor any divine dogma. They only have themselves and their tools, pushed forward by an ancient debt they must fulfill to the ancestors who secured the race's success.

Clothing

Dwarven clothing is a broad topic. From one dwarf to the next, it's unlikely to ever see an outfit that's exactly alike. Their clothes depend largely upon their job and profession, with merchants wearing silky garments ornately designed, tradesmen wearing practical clothes made to last, and any kind of soldier or guard in thick, protective armour. They're typically all made of cloth resistant to the winter's chill, garments rarely in silk or other kinds of luxury cloth. However, regardless of status, a staple of dwarven fashion is jewelry. Rings, necklaces, earrings and amulets. Jewelry is a sign of wealth, power and finesse. Men often decorate their beards with intricate golden bands, plates and gems. Dwarven jewelry has become a prized commodity within Edriel for its beauty and rarity.

Names

Dwarven naming conventions follow the common arrangement of a first name and a surname. The first name is decided by the parents upon the birth of their child, though the surname of a dwarf depends on the clan they affiliate themselves with.

  • Taerndar, a masculine name roughly meaning 'tempest.'
  • Makragir, a masculine name exiled dwarves commonly adopt in place of their true name.
  • Azimgi, a unisex name meaning either friendly or trustworthy.
  • Ulthina, a feminine name common to blacksmith's daughters.
  • Thalma, a feminine name once belonging to a dragonslayer.

A few well-known clans among the Four Kingdoms are as follows:

  • Drakonspear, a historical clan of dragon slayers. They are revered by the Four Kingdoms. Found within the Taerndis kingdom.
  • Hammerhart, a newly founded clan of dedicated blacksmiths beginning the arduous rise to notoriety. Found within the Thaligrim kingom.
  • Blackstone, a shady clan of jewelers believed to be involved in criminal activity. Found within both the Morak-gir and Kazmokar kingdoms.




Dwarven Cultures
The Four Kingdoms The Kingdom of Taerndis  • The Morak-gir Kingdom
The Kingdom of KazmokarThe Thaligrim Kingdom
Cultures Category


Creatures of Astra
Playable Races Dragonkin  • DwarvesElves  • Humans
Non-Playable Races Bristlefur  • CentaursGoblins  • Tuskers  • Wraiths
Monsters Dragons
Bestiary Category



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PrepareForDoug N/A
Last editor: PrepareForDoug
Last edit: 25/04/2019