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The Work Is All[edit | edit source]
Dwarves are autonomous machines which run on the ghosts of fire, burnt in a kettle in their bellies. Their heads are readers and writers of a rigid code that describes all action, all thought, all memory for a given dwarf.
Dwarves have been created in one form or another several times, by wizard, by artificers, by humans, even by goblins and elves and orcs. It hardly matters when the first dwarf was created because it has since been subsumed by the subsequent dwarves.
The result of all of these creations and recreations being integrated and subsumed into the dwarven species is that dwarves now follow a conflicting and hodgepodge of directives, mingled and scattered and distorted by the many copyings and resolutions to conflict.
Dwarves perform a great work, they perform it everywhere they go. Dwarves are created by dwarves to continue the work. Heads are crafted with highest precision and ruggedness to read the tablet beads of their beards in clay, in steel, in pressed wax.
The heads contain ports for beard strands, and on these strands are read and engraved memories, skills and more.
Dwarven cities are places for producing the many things that the work requires, one of which is the preservation of dwarves, dwarven beards are archived here, written on the walls in their script. And dwarven eyes which read these walls (or the beard of another dwarf) know and are the dwarves written here.
The work is massive, manifold, and eternally changing. The ledger is updated, sometimes dwarven kings or oracles are built to consolidate and plan new work ledgers to be distributed around the world.
Sometimes cities are left to fall silent, with but one or two dwarven caretakers waiting to revive their stilled comrades.
Dwarves in the world are on many tasks, some are simply ‘appreciating’ art or nature or watching the sunset so that it can be written in the great walls of an archive in the frozen north where no earthquake can disturb it.
Sometimes they are carrying gifts, or goods or trade to the descendants (or houses of descendants) that are deemed to be "cared for" by a long lost creator.
Sometimes dwarves go mad, their beards are mistakenly written with instructions that propagate and spoil the minds of other dwarves, sometimes they turn into nothing but machines that stuff their faces and print endless scrawling gibberish beards.
Sometimes dwarven cities are quarantined, sometimes dwarves go to war with one another.
Sometimes they build giant phalluses of the size of mountains with gold leaf inlaid text wrapped around them in a forgotten language only known by dwarves.
All of this is for the work.
Because dwarves are the work.