This is an article about the Dwarf race. For individual Dwarves, see Category: Dwarves.
Dwarves were a race of anthropoids who existed during the Old Age. Dwarves were stocky and powerful, but shorter than most races, averaging around four feet tall (the support structures of their mines tended to be five feet in height). They were typically grey-skinned. Dwarves were particularly sensitive about their height, particularly when compared to other members of the Greater Races. Social stature among Dwarves was partly determined by height and was measured in mere fractions of inches. Both male and female Dwarves sported beards; they were a symbol of social status. Females often braided their beards; those who were unable to grow beards tended to feel inferior.
The Dwarves were once ruled by a Dwarf King. Dwarves were distantly related to Elves; the Dwarve race once lived with the Elves in the forested lands. However, a falling out compelled the Elves to exile them, at which point they rereated to the mountains and began a life of living underground. The differences between the two races culminated in a cold war which lasted for ten generations. It ceased only once, centuries ago, just long enough for the two to cooperate to imprison Dul Kark Ktacht.
The worst tyrants in Dwarf history were said to have slaughtered millions. Dwarves responded to these atrocities by waging war.
Dwarves used an ancient language that was usually transcribed using old-fashioned runes. The term in their language for the plural of Dwarf was in fact Dwarrow (or dwarrows). Their word for males was Dwerrow (or dwerrows); their word for females was Dworrow (or dworrows). The pronunciation differences were subtle, but important. Dwarves often referred to members of other races as being "nondwerrow." None of this terminology was commonly known, or frequently used, by other members of the Greater Races.
Culture and BiologyEdit
Dwarves typically lived for hundreds of years. Physically, Dwarves possessed an extremely high fortitude. They tolerated extreme temperatures readily and had a high constitution, and routinely went for days without sleep (collapsing only when they reached a state of total exhaustion). Dwarves ate at least five square meals a day, though it was not uncommon for one meal to segue into the next. They favored pickled foods, especially. It was extremely rare that they suffered from intoxication from fermented consumables.
Dwarves tended to live not in towns, but in fortifications inside mountains or underground. Anything built by a Dwarf was built to last for many centuries. One such colony was Stonekeep, located at the north point of Swordedge Mountains to the east of the Torlynn countryside. With no available sunlight to set their circadian rhythms, Dwarves had little concept of "night" or "day." Rather than basing their meals and sleeping patterns around predetermined times of day, they simply ate constantly and only slept when they had reached the point of utter fatigue.
Dwarves shared a bitter rivalry with the Elves; Dwarves disliked the Elvish focus on frivolous things like music and art, while the Elves looked down upon the Dwarves for their reclusive nature and their love of gems. Additionally, Dwarves were not particularly fond of Men, due in no small part to the human tendency to expand their territory indefinitely; Dwarves also saw Men as competition for the gems to be found in the world. Their name for Humans was Kul Trakt Klatt, or "Babies Who Are Too Tall," due to their comparative lack of body hair and muscles. Dwarves shared a mutual dislike for Pixies as well.
Dwarves placed a high value on the rare and elusive precious metals and gems of the world. They were not particularly fond of gold, but they recognized its value as a commodity. They were far more enamored with metals with more practical applications, including aluminum, titanium, and and mithril (their word for platinum). They were also immensely fond of precious gems, most notably diamonds and the even more rare diamondite, and went to great lengths to secure them. To this end, Dwarves spent much of their time excavating through the Earth, searching long and hard for these materials. They were capable of distinguishing between sixteen specific types of gems that humans, for example, lumped together collectively as diamonds.
Dwarves laid claim to all gold and gems within the soil of their territory, and were the only ones authorized to dig for them. According to Dwarf penal law, trespassers were guilty as soon as they set foot on Dwarf land. The guilty were not afforded a trial, but rather were sent to work in prison camps to help the mining efforts. Dwarves considered capital punishment a waste and did not believe in jails.
Dwarf men generally preferred their females short, stocky, and bearded.
Dwarves had been burrowing through the ground for thousands of years, since the beginning of the Old Age. An estimated ninety-five percent of the world's supply of metals like tungsten, iridium, and osmium had been mined and consumed in Dwarf refineries, putting them at a premium on the marketplace.
Some time in the 3700's, the Dwarves developed drilling machines that facilitated their mining operations. The machines enabled them to excavate past the bloodrock barrier to even greater depths, many miles beneath the Earth's surface. They used this technology for the next hundred years or so; by unctual year 3889, the Chief Engineer over one of two known drilling machines was Gerrick of Gonderick.
Another technological accomplishment of the Dwarves was the creation of the mechanical juggernaut called the Giant, a massive steam-powered war machine. The Dwarves had constructed it underground, a project which had taken many centuries and hundreds of thousands of hours of labor.
The Curse of the Fate ShifterEdit
After Dul Kark Ktacht was freed from his imprisonment in unctual year 3891, an Elven talisman was found at the site, leading the Dwarves to conclude that the Elves had deliberately broken the seal and released the ancient being. They launched the Giant, intending to strike against the Elves in their home, the Elvenwood. Intervention by the human Four and the butterfly princess Mariposa forced the Dwarves to evacuate the machine, stopping the attack.
Dwarf screws and bolts tighten counter-clockwise and loosen clockwise, which is considered "backwards" by some other cultures such as Humans.