The deep history of dwarves and tales of their magnificent treasures as depicted by scholars and sung by bards have captivated the heart of many non-dwarves. Almost everyone, from thieves to kings have wondered about dwarven splendors hidden at the heart of their stony strongholds carved out from the bowel of mountains or dug out from the deep undergrounds.
The reality is that dwarves can be found in just about any place. They are diverse like human and vary in culture and lifestyle. However, the one thing that seems to unify all dwarves is their strong adherence to clan and traditions. This tie is so ingrained in them that even those who are born into predominantly non-dwarven societies will feel its influence in all aspects of their lives.
Stout and Fine
Dwarves have a wide variety of combinations when it comes to skin tone, hair color, and eye color. Physically, dwarves' height caps around 5 feet and possess impossible dense muscularity. Their build grants them incredible strength and stamina that rivals even the bigger races.
Despite their rugged image, dwarves are blessed with the finest hair in all the lands. Dwarven hair grows fast and are resilient to extreme conditions. This unique trait encourages dwarves to obsess over their hair, whether it's on their head or their face.
Even stranger, dwarves' life stages drastically affect their appearance.
- Juvenile. (1-40) Dwarves have an extended childhood. They progress from infancy to late teenage years during this stage. One may mistake them for human child if not for their dense and hardy build.
- Young. (40-150) Female dwarves retain the youthful looks from their teenage years. Males may also retain a youthful appearance, but mature much faster than the females. Male also star begins to grow facial hair that would stick with them for a lifetime.
- Matured. (150-260) Male dwarves are larger, more muscular, and often sport a thick healthy beard. Female dwarves also transition into a more matured look, completes with a rounder face and more padding overall.
- Elderly. (260-300) These dwarves exhibit classic indicators of old age such as gray hair and wrinkly skin. However, they retain a lot of their strength from their younger years—there are rarely feeble elders in dwarven society.
For dwarves, hair is an important symbolism, dwarven culture regards hair as the physical bond between individuals, an ancestral gift passed down through the generations, and as such, a crucially important aspect of their life.
At a dwarf's wedding, the bride and groom are expected to cut a segment of their hair and weave them together to form their marriage vow. A lord's hair is used in the forging of metal armrings for his oathsmens. A dwarf who has made a lifelong friend might ask to exchange a lock of hair them. Business partners imprint their contracts with a strand of both of their hair.
Given its importance, dwarves obsess over hair and its maintenance. Most dwarves spend a copious amount of time and money caring for their hair. Unkempt hair, thinning hair, or baldness are looked upon as a sign of poverty or illness. This hair-obsessed culture has given birth to a bustling hair care industry that is fully monopolized by dwarves and highly sought after all over the world.
Dwarves traditionally build their cities within mountains, mega-landmarks, or the deep undergrounds with the intent to extract valuable resources and forge the most wondrous items. Many dwarves who live in these fantastical places often keep to their own kind out of fear that outsiders may lust after their wealth.
Then, there are dwarves who live beyond their confined homes. They may be immigrants seeking better opportunities, or specialists whose expertise is highly sought after, seekers of adventures, servants of divine missions, or even outcasts seeking to redeem their family names. Regardless of their circumstance, no dwarf can escape the foundations that makes an individual a dwarf.
Ancestry, Clan, and Traditions
Dwarves have a deep reverence for their ancestors, it is as important as religion. There are many holidays and festivals that celebrate a dwarf's heritage and family.
Dwarven society is also structured around a caste system that determines the social ranking of dwarven families (referred to as a clan). Each new generation of dwarves are expected to further the prominence of their clan's name. A clan's social prestige depends entirely on the deeds and the fame of the people within that clan.
Clans that fall under the high castes tend to be of noble blood or have a famed hero among their ranks. The working class makes up a large portion of the middle caste. Clans belonging to the lowest caste are consisted of serfs who are meant to serve the higher caste. Even worse are those who had their clan name stripped as punishment. Without a clan name, they become exiles if not slaves.
Most dwarves diligently maintain their culture even when they live in a majorly non-dwarven society. This often makes it difficult for their children to escape from archaic traditions that often holds back the true dwarven potential.
Artistry of Wealth
Stone, metal, and gems play a big part in dwarven culture. While industrious races such as catfolks would not hesitate to sell riches they uncover deep within the earth, dwarves value rare materials not only for their price, but also for their artistry. Because of this, most dwarven kingdoms tend to trade with one another as outsiders often are not able to appreciate such things.
However, dwarves' passion for riches will often turns into excessive greed and hoarding habits. This is especially true for dwarven kings. When these gold-obsessed rulers can no longer extract wealth from the earth, they will go out of their way to obtain riches through trades or conquests.
Given that dwarves outlive many races, their memory are comparatively just as deep. They keep their oaths and grudges alongside those of their forefathers', promulgating complicated alliances, rivalries, and feuds that last many a lifetime.
Friendship of a Lifetime
Dwarves are cautious by nature, but friendship with dwarves can last a lifetime. One of the most famous stories of this deep bond goes back thousands of years ago when a dwarven hero freed the enslaved Krynn from a labyrinth built by an evil god. Since then, the krynns have become close companions of dwarves. Wherever one may encounter dwarves, one will also see krynns.
A dwarf's name is granted by a clan elder, in accordance with tradition. Every proper dwarven name has been used and reused down through the generations. A dwarf's name belongs to the clan, not to the individual.
A dwarf who misuses or brings shame to a clan is stripped of the clan name and forbidden by law to use any dwarven name in its place.
- Male Names: Adrik, Alberich, Baern, Barendd, Brottor, Bruenor, Dain, Darrak, Delg, Eberk, Einkil, Fargrim, Flint, Gardain, Harbek, Kildrak, Morgran, Orsik, Oskar, Rangrim, Rurik, Taklinn, Thoradin, Thorin, Tordek, Traubon, Travok, Ulfgar, Veit, Vondal
- Female Names: Amber, Artina, Audhild, Bardryn, Dagnal, Diesa, Eldeth, Falkrunn, Finellen, Gunnloda, Gurdis, Helja, Hlin, Kathra, Kristryd, Ilde, Liftrasa, Mardred, Riswynn, Sannl, Torbera, Torgga, Vistra
- Clan Names: Balderk, Battlehammer, Brawnanvil, Dankil, Fireforge, Frostbeard, Gorunn, Holderhek, Ironfist, Loderr, Lutgehr, Rumnaheim, Strakeln, Torunn, Ungart
Way of Life
Dwarves have different way of life that greatly influences them. Pick a way of life below and use its unique ability score and features in addition to the dwarves' #Racial Stats.
As their name suggests, Mountain Dwarves build massive cities out of bowel of mountains or the deep undergrounds and spend their entire lives expanding the work of their ancestors. Of all the ways of life, this one desperately clings onto tradition, which makes it inflexible in many respects. For these dwarves, it would take an incredible calling or a great calamity to get them out of their habitat.
|Traits & Features|
Hill dwarves prefer living in the open. They are more flexible in their lifestyle and have an easier time living and socializing with other races. Many enjoy sharing their culture with non-dwarves. They are also highly industrious, establishing businesses and developing marketable artisan skills.
|Traits & Features|
The outcast and exiled who had been branded and having their name revoked are called Road Dwarves. These dwarves live a nomadic life, often steering clear of their own kind. Few are on a path of redemption to reclaim their name while others turn to the reclusive, wandering, or criminal way of life.
|Traits & Features|