Dwarves (Firmament)

From Bestiary of the Hypogriph

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You stand before the Dwarves. We are much like the mountains; we watch and judge in stoic silence, and if you disturb us, our rage cannot be contained. But if you respect us, we shall allow you to venture forth, with our support and loyalty. Such is the way of the ever-enduring stone... Now, did I hear mention of a tribute in gold?
โ€” Lord-Thane Murdin Hillmantle, king of Kharaz-Khargran, to a foreign emissary

Dwarves, collectively known as Dwarvenkind, are a hardy species of humanoid characterized for their short, bulky body frame and fondness of drink and industry. Among the oldest and most influential races of Telamon, Dwarves have inhabited the mountains and subterranean reaches of the continent of Dryadala for millenia.

Biology[edit | edit source]

Dwarves are distinguishable from Humans or Elves by their short, stout and broad build. They have thick, heavy bones, tightly packed muscular sinew, and stability unmatched by other races. This bulk also causes dwarves to weigh as much, if not more than, humans, and the average dwarf 1,3 meters tall, weighting 80 kg and living up to 400 years, with the oldest records reaching over 1,000.

Their hair is usually worn long, and Dwarven men spend considerable effort growing, maintaining, and embellishing their long beards. Popular beard decorations among more traditional Dwarves include complicated braids, small trophies of battle, or other objects associated with significant life events. One of the worst offenses to a Dwarven man is to shave his beard, as it is considered a deadly insult not only to the individual, but also to his ancestors and family.

History[edit | edit source]

According to the creation myth of the Dwarves, they were created by the god Skasdrumri roughly 8,000 years ago after he harnessed the raw power of the Plane of Earth and forged them in his image, creating the first generation of Dwarves in the region currently known as Khargrimnir from the remains of the ancient Primordials. Under the guidance of the Dwarven gods, these ancient Dwarves proceeded to create immense subterranean fortresses and cities before expanding to the surface world, leading them to become one of the ancient world's main players in international affairs.

During older times, the Dwarves were primarily concerned with dealing with Kobolds in their tunnels, living in relative peace. The rise of the Rakash of Skitterfall brought this to an abrupt end, however, when hordes of ravenous Ratmen begun infesting the underground, seeking to take the Dwarves' holds to their own and leading to constant war between the two races. In Dryadala, the Dwarves spent most of history unconcerned with the affairs of their Elven neighbours, considering the Great Eondrassana War between the Elves and northern Greenskins out of their interest, though they inadvertently aided in its conclusion after they launched attacks at Skitterfall which led the Rakash to retreat from that war, allowing the Elves to eventually emerge victorious.

3,000 years ago, the Dwarven fortress-city of Kharaz-Thalmur was poisoned by the Rakash and cut off from the rest of the Dwarven nation, leading them to believe it to be destroyed. Only later would explorers rediscover it, now inhabited by spiteful Duergars who reject the rest of Dwarvenkind. About a thousand years later, an accident involving a mining expedition at the fortress-town of Whistlehold breached directly into the Plane of Earth, causing the Dwarves who lived there to be exposed to its raw energies; while the breach was eventually closed, these Dwarves were transformed into the first Gnomes.

Society[edit | edit source]

Culture[edit | edit source]

Dwarves are a hard working folk, fond of martial prowess, craftsmanship, merrimaking and heavy drinking. However, perhaps their most notable feature is their conservative nature; Dwarves are resistant to change, and see new ideas with skeptism, being more comfortable doing things in ways they know already work. Dwarves are also famed both for their loyalty and for being notorious grudgebearers, so much that part of their culture is centered around punishing those who slight them in ways other races often find disproportionate.

Religion[edit | edit source]

The Dwarven Pantheon are a collection of deities, all linked to the greater god Skasdrumri, who directly instructed the Dwarves at the dawn of their civilization. They are paid much reverence among their people, with priests, clerics and paladins not being uncommon across their lands. Perhaps due do their conservative nature, Dwarves worshipping other deities are very rare, though not unheard of.

Relations with other races[edit | edit source]

The Dwarves are close neighbours of the Men of the Confederation of Lechner and the kingdom of Aynach, and the two races have a strong past of cooperation in their mutual battles against the likes of Orcs, Ogres and Kobolds. While fond of the Ashen Elves for their martial prowess and strong culture, the Dwarves have an uneasy relationship with the Wood Elves, having trouble understanding their links to plants and trees as opposed to stones and mountains. The Rakash are the arch-nemesis of Dwarvenkind, and the two races have been at open conflict with one another for all recorded history.

See also[edit | edit source]