Duergars (Firmament)

From Bestiary of the Hypogriph

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While you wretches enjoyed your freedom, we were trapped and suffocating in the most vile venom. Where were our so-called brothers of Kharaz-Khargran when we needed them? No, there is only one future for us now, one where we stand mighty above all others and bring the lesser races to heel. The world will suffer as we have.
โ€” Thalmur Krumthrun, Lord of Kharaz-Thalmur

Duergars, also known as Dark Dwarves, are a subspecies of Dwarf who have adapted to living in the polluted, dark reaches of Grungirnur in southern Dryadala's subterranean regions.

Biology[edit | edit source]

The Duergars appear similarly to other Dwarves, having a short but stocky body build and great facial hair, but are distinct for their deathly pale skin, glaring red eyes which glow in the dark and leave shining trails as they move, and their skin, which is described as being not unlike stone in sensation. They tend to be discoloured and sickly in appearance even when healthy due to their complete retreat from the Sun, which hurts their eyes and skin upon exposure. All Duergar are also irreversibly bald, though many mitigate this by wearing wigs.

History[edit | edit source]

The Duergars descend from the inhabitants of the great Dwarven citadel-fortress of Kharaz-Thalmur in the region of Grungirnur, which fell to the forces of Skitterfall during the Rat Wars 3,000 years ago. A particularly malign lord of Clan Chemicus, Chant Spittlespark, ordered the passages of the subterranean Underway leading to Kharaz-Thalmur to be poisoned with a special concoction which was specifically created to cause as much pain and agony as possible to dwarves and then be closed off entirely, causing them to lose all contact with their homeland of Khargrimnir, who believed them to be dead.

Most of the population of Kharaz-Thalmur died off from the poison, including all priests of the Dwarven gods and all runemasters. This would only come to an end when Thalmur Roarie, Thane of the fortress and lord of his clan, pledged to the heavens for the aid of anyone who could have him and his people; and the demon lord Druacath answered, and gave these Dwarves an immunity to all poisons of this world and beyond at the cost of tainting their souls with his vile energies, leading them to transform into the first Duergars.

The Duergars remained isolated until centuries alter, where first contact was made by an expedition of Khargrimnir who happened to find the tunnels of Kharaz-Thalmur mined clear of all rubble. The Duergars reacted to their uncorrupted kin with hatred and slaughtered the expedition to the very last, leading the two races to become fierce opponents.

Society[edit | edit source]

Culture[edit | edit source]

After giving up on their former culture to ensure their survival, the Duergars have become fiercely cruel and antipathetic creatures who believe a life of constant toil to be the only one worth living. They are prolific slavers and take glee in tormenting anyone unfortunate enough to cross paths with them, but at the same time hold many of the same warrior codes of the common Dwarves, and as such possess a strong sense of honour (albeit twisted in their favour). Like Dwarves, Duergars are fiercely vengeful creatures and never forget those who wrong them.

Religion[edit | edit source]

While the Duergars exist today thanks to the machinations of Druacath, they do not worship him. Rather, Duergar sorcerers are known to summon demons into the Material and enslave them into submission; they have forsaken all gods in favour of using their resources for their own personal gain. Druacath himself is both angered and humoured by their defiance, as they indirectly perpetuate war and conflict in his name regardless of their affiliation.

Relations with other races[edit | edit source]

Duergars see all other races as potential slaves. They hate Dwarves above all else, believing them to have forsaken them and left their ancestors to die, and as such never miss the chance to either kill or humiliate them. Despite their dark nature, they hate the Rakash with equal ferocity and have spent most of their history waging war on them in an attempt to get revenge for the original poisoning of Kharaz-Thalmur. The only race the Duergars see as potential partners are the Dark Elves, who are among their few trade partners along Telamon's slave trade.

Notable Duergars[edit | edit source]

  • Thalmur Krumthrun - current lord of Kharaz-Thalmur and leader of the Duergar race

See also[edit | edit source]