Dwarves

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CONTENTS


CONTINENT

The dwarven continent of Gilduun is made up of a number of volcanic mountains. At any given time, at least one peak is active, spitting ash and molten rock into the sky at intervals ranging from a few weeks to several years. Not much lives on the surface – underground dwellings provide more reliable shelter from the magma flows that occasionally spread across the landscape. The dwarves have to contend with underground menaces of all kinds, because many of the the regular flora and fauna of the continent have adapted to subterranean lifestyles. Of particular interest are the mindshredder colonies [MM3] secreted in places about the continent, and the fire giant tribes that are quite content to live topside.


SPIRITS

Dwarves believe that when they die, their life energies are absorbed by the spirits. The spirits are repositories of ancestral knowledge all the way back to the very first dwarves. The dwarven dedication to family and clan mean that their spirits are highly venerated – much more so than human spirits. To a dwarf, dying is not a terrible thing. They join with the spirits of their ancestors, and remain close to their clan and descendants. As one might expect, the idea of resurrection is not one that sits well with most dwarves, and rare indeed is the dwarven priest that will (or even is able to) cast such a spell.


OTHER RACES

Elves tend to look on dwarves as allies, but frustrating ones. Dwarves subjugate the individual in favour of the group, and elves do the opposite. Despite this fundamental difference, they agree on most issues of importance because both are basically good.

Gnomes regard dwarves as nearly their closest cousins. They often feel that dwarves have the solidity and the grounding in truth that they lack. Gnomes envy dwarves their lifestyle, but favor change too much to chain themselves to a similar path.

Halflings admire dwarves for their industriousness and their strong family ties. However, like anyone else who lives in the same place all their lives, typical dwarves are rather stodgy and more than a little provincial. They’re also a bit too warlike for the halflings’ taste.

Humans look up to the stalwart traditions, deep convictions, and dedication to family and honour that are central to the dwarves’ outlook. A dwarf’s martial skills and intricate stonecraft are also worthy of admiration.


CLASSES

BERSERKER (Barbarians)

Dwarven berserkers are often banished clan members or their descendants. Sent to the unforgiving surface, these clanless either die or learn to subsist as berserkers, shamans, or sometimes hunters. Berserkers are offered the hospitality due every dwarf, but no more – and it is offered with one hand on a weapon.

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MINSTREL (Bard)

Dwarven warchanters or skalds are great boons to their clans, as their booming voices and rhythmic chanting sets a steady pace for both digging and more martial endeavours. Wandering skalds are welcome in any clan and city, as they often know legends or songs the local warchanters do not.

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PRIEST (Cleric)

Priests are the keepers of dwarven heritage and tradition, and as such are important parts of clan life. They rarely leave their homes to go adventuring, preferring to stay and care for their clan. Priests of other clans are treated well, but often carry with them an unsettling air.

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SHAMAN (Druid)

Dwarven shamans are often banished clan members or their descendants. Most live on the unforgiving surface world, but a few retire to the dark caverns below even the deepest dwarven stronghold. Shamans are more welcome than berserkers, but are still not entirely trusted.

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WARRIOR (Fighter)

Since every dwarf is trained for battle, dwarven warriors are more common than any other class. They favour axes and hammers, and sometimes polearms designed for close-quarters fighting. Warriors of any clan are treated with the status their martial prowess dictates.

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CRUSADER (Paladin)

Dwarven crusaders are more common than those of other races—many spirits have two, and some even more. They serve as clan military leaders and only leave their continent to track down and retrieve lost or stolen artifacts of dwarven power. Crusaders are always welcome in any town, and can usually expect material assistance from the locals.

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HUNTER (Ranger)

Dwarven hunters act as scouts and a clan’s first line of defense against their many subterranean foes. Groups of hunters will occasionally have to drive away bands of marauding giants on the surface. Hunters are a necessary part of dwarven life, but their solitary nature means that city life is ill-fitting.

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SNEAK (Rogue)

The dwarven attitude to duty and clan honour means that there are very few sneaks in dwarven cities. Often, they travel to other continents and pose as mighty warriors while stealing everything they can. Dwarves that have been confirmed to be sneaks are cast out of cities with little ceremony.

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MAGE (Sorcerer/Wizard)

Dwarven mages are likely to be the studious kind, poring over stone tablets inscribed with the wisdom of ages. They assist the smiths in making magical items, and the miners with excavation. Mages do not travel much, and their wisdom often gains only a lukewarm welcome from foreign clans.

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Dwarves

Dei Penates ArcaneZedric