Dwarves are a stoic but stern race, ensconced in cities carved from the hearts of mountains and fiercely determined to repel the depredations of unnatural horrors from the blackness of the Underdeep. More than any other race, the dwarves have acquired a reputation as skilled craftsmen but unreliable allies. It could be said that dwarven history shapes the suspicision of many non-dwarves. At the height of the NewGods war, dwarves abandoned their faith in Drothos the Magma-Exarch and retreated from the battlefield into their clanholds taking the faith of Ferrakus with them.

Physical Description: Dwarves are a short and stocky race, and stand about a foot shorter than most humans, with wide, compact bodies that account for their burly appearance. Male and female dwarves pride themselves on the length of their hair, and men often decorate their beards with a variety of clasps and intricate braids.

Dwarves pride themselves in being ever ready for battle. They wear armor throughout the working day and even those working at the hottest forges have been seen in metal armor. Dwarven armor is sturdy but detailed in design. Each suit is specially fitted to the owner, so that any Medium character who finds a suit in their adventures must have it refitted for themselves or suffer a -2 armor check penalty.

Society: Dwarven society has always been insular. Most communities are divided into clans who master a particular art of craftsmanship or warfare. Clans can be familial based or merit-based but all members accepted into a particular clan are treated like family. Dwarves value the contribution of each clan to their society and therefore do not engage in the class politics common in other races like the erkunae.

That said, dwaven communities rarely cooperate with each other. Each community has a responsibility to keep they clan and the surface world safe. It is a minimum expection of what it means to be a dwarf. Any clan needing help from another class is seen as a failure. If a clan falls in battle to the horrors of the Underdeep, an expedition is sent to reclaim the hold and establish a new, more worthy clan in place of the fallen one.

Relations: Relations with the surface races range from ambivalence to outright hostility. Elementalists like the zendiqi have a deep hatred for dwarves over their betrayal during the NewGod wars. The erkunae, who also landed on the losing side of that series of wars, are more pragmatic about the situation, for they have seen countless dynasties rise and fall on their own Mist-Shrouded Isle and betrayal has always been an essential part of that process.

Dwarves themselves are not innately hostile to any of the surface races. Part of the sustainability of the clanholds depends on trade with other races. Also, most young dwarves will spend many years outside their mountain stronghold exploring the world and travelling with others. This exploration of the broader world helps dwarves expand their skills, understanding other races, and appreciate of the world they are protecting from the horrors of the Underdeep.

Religion: Besides the anpur, dwarves are one of the few races that can be seen to have an almost monotheistic devotion to the god Ferrakus. This was not always the case. Before The Calling, the dwarves worshipped the Drothos, Magma-Exarch. When the New Gods arrived on Porphyra, dwarves re-examined their relationship with their Elemental patron and decided to "trade up". Consumant craftsman, dwarves have always looked for the right tool for the right job and it was clear to many of their clerics that the time of the Elemental Lords was coming to a close. With Ferrakus as their patron, they would be better suited to defend the world above from the horrors below. For most dwarves it was simply a pragmatic choice. For the other elementalists, it was was a foul betrayal of the faith. Though most dwarves revere Ferrakus above all other, some clanholds have remained with the Old Faith (Drothos or Ashamar Shining), and youth exploring outside the stronghold often worship Linium, Myketa, Nise, Rolterra, or Veiloaria.

Adventurers: Dwarves do much of their adventuring in their youth. There is not one particular heroic class that is favored by dwarven youth as all skills and roles are valuable to the clan. Parties of adventurers rarely have more than one dwarf in their party. This is because the purpose of the exploration years is to experience other lands and other cultures without too much "clan bias" altering the way the youth preceive the world. In the rare instances where there are multiple dwarves in the same adventuring party they are almost always either from different clanholds or they are siblings.

Although dwarven adventurers are rare compared to other surface races, they can be found in most regions of the world.

Names: Both male and female dwarves tend to have short two-syllable given names. These names usually contain hard consonants and vowels. They are often the names of long-dead clanfolk passed on generation after generation because if a name serves one dwarf well it will serve many other dwarves well. It is not uncommon in large clanhold to have several dwarves with the same given and clan names. Clannames are often descriptive of the work that particular clan member does, some martial achievement, or a description of the clan elder. It is usually a compound word containing an adjective and noun.

Male: Baermek, Bramkyl, Ebduhr, Grennar, Horgus, Kromdan, Thulgrun, Tornom
Female: Arthel, Anvian Brynwin, Elma, Lasma, Lasthel, Rynnia, Rynris
Clanname: Copperpot, Greyaxe, Hammerpants, Redbeard, Steelforge, Stonemason, Yewsunder

Dwarf Racial Characteristics
Dwarf player characters are defined by class levels—they do not possess racial hit dice. All dwarf player characters possess the following racial characteristics.

  • +2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom, –2 Charisma: Dwarves are both tough and wise, but also a bit gruff.
  • Medium: Dwarves are Medium creatures and receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Humanoid: Dwarves are humanoids with the dwarf subtype.
  • Slow and Steady: Dwarves have a base speed of 20 feet, but their speed is never modified by armor or encumbrance.
  • Darkvision: Dwarves can see in the dark up to 60 feet.`
  • Item Crafters: Dwarves are known for their superior craftsmanship when it comes to metallurgy and stonework. Dwarves may select one Item Creation feat that they qualify for as a bonus feat.
  • Deep Warrior: Dwarves with this racial trait grew up facing the abominations that live deep beneath the surface. They receive a +2 dodge bonus to AC against monsters of the aberration type and a +2 racial bonus on combat maneuver checks made to grapple such creatures (or to continue a grapple).
  • Spell Resistance, Lesser: Dwarves gain spell resistance equal to 6 + their character level. This resistance can be lowered for 1 round as a standard action. Dwarves suffer a –2 racial penalty on all caster checks.
  • Stability: Dwarves gain a +4 racial bonus to their Combat Maneuver Defense when resisting a bull rush or trip attempt while standing on the ground.
  • Weapon Familiarity: Dwarves are proficient with battleaxes, heavy picks, and warhammers, and treat any weapon with the word “dwarven” in its name as a martial weapon.
  • Standard Languages: Dwarves begin play speaking Common and Dwarven. Dwarves with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Giant, Gnome, Goblin, Orc, Terran, and Undercommon.
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