“Labor earns respect“
Women, 3 – 4.5 feet; men, 3 – 5 feet
Dwarves adult around age 20 and live to be an average of 150 years
Dwarves appear similar to humans but are much shorter and stouter. They have short legs and round torsos with densely packed muscles making up most of their body mass. Their eye, hair, and skin colors match those of humans, but dark tan and ruddy skin tones are more common in dwarves. A very pale dwarf is a rare sight. Dwarven men tend to grow their beards all through their lives, which often become exceptionally long on older dwarves. Braiding and decorating their beards in other ways is common. Dwarven women do not have beards, but are just as stout and muscular as the men, albeit with more curves. It is not unheard of for adult dwarven men to be clean-shaven, but it is rare. Some dwarves, particularly older ones, consider these beardless men to be young and irresponsible, like dwarven children who never grew up.
Example Description of a Dwarf
Here stands a youthful Dwarven Male, standing roughly 4.3 paces in height with brown hair that falls freely down to his shoulders. His beard is thick and long, running down to his chest. The goatee has been braided and some twine has been mixed in with the hair to make a simple cross pattern following the braid. Brown eyes peer out from his face just above a large flat nose and a fresh scar is quite evident on his brow. His body sports a barreled chest with massive shoulders that connect to muscular arms with noticeably large hands for his short frame. His well-toned, thick legs support his muscular mass and slightly protruding gut.
This middle-age Dwarven Female stands at 3.5 paces tall with frizzy hair that has a ruddy color and has been pulled back into a ponytail held by a simply engraved copper clasp. Her round, plump face sports rosy cheeks and freckles with two strikingly blue eyes contrasting her tan complex and a round nose that turns slightly upward at the end. Broad shoulders extend into athletic arms, and muscular forearms, wrapped in smooth skin all the way down to her hands that end with slightly pudgy fingers. Her buxom frame sways with her movements and is easily supported upon two stout legs.
Dwarves are hardy people with great tolerance, even enjoyment, for physical labor. “Labor earns respect” is their motto, and it says a great deal about the pride they take in their work. The dwarven people have a strong appreciation for quality, and being able to take pride in one’s own accomplishments is of the utmost importance. As such, they tend to be determinedly single-minded, thinking things through and completely finishing a task before moving on.
Craftsmen are the highest echelon of dwarven society, and any profession that involves crafting is considered a prestigious one. Nearly every profession in dwarven culture is highly specialized and refined, with crafters and even farmers and chefs taking apprentices and passing down the techniques they have learned through generations of work. Even other races tend to recognize the quality produced by a dwarf who has devoted his entire life to one profession. With such a culture-wide drive for quality and perfection, laziness is harshly looked down upon, and dwarves who have no aspiration to be great at what they do receive little respect in the dwarven community.
Dwarves tend to be gruff and blunt, and their manners can seem unpolished to some races, but they are generally honest people with a solid sense of honor. Most dwarves can’t take pride in their achievements if they use underhanded means, and so are very trustworthy. They are not naive, however, and fully understand that not all races follow their same values, not even all dwarves. There is the occasional dwarf who isn’t concerned with pride and will lie and cheat and steal, but these dwarves tend not to like or be liked by other dwarves. In the same vein, dwarves tend not to enjoy the company of the sneakier races of Visola.
Dwarves are rather monogamous when it comes to marriage and family structure. There’s never been a need to “absorb” widows into a household for caretaking because dwarves are, by nature, very strong and independent. Family structure is also a wide net and not just immediate blood. Cousins and several branches out are all very inner-connected in Dwarven Society. So long as you have the Family blood, you are family, it doesn’t matter how distantly removed.
Courting customs generally follow a female dwarf gifting a piece of homemade finery to a male she has agreed to allow to court her. Men have to work to garner the attention of the females through their own skillset, whether it is crafting or some other skill.
Coming soon, and it’s gonna be TIGHT
Dwarves who are not a part of the Church of Gannor believe in the standard afterlife in that they will be judged in the Hall of Knowledge and render themselves into either the Isle of Eraphus or Abystus depending on their deeds in life.
Followers of Gannor, however, believe they are given a different fate. They believe that those of the church will end up in the Hall of Gannor where their soul may craft for eternity.
Despite which belief a dwarf follows, all dwarves follow the custom funerary rite of cremation at death, called “The Rite of 7“, so that the ashes may be then reforged into weapons and armor to protect the next 7 generations.
Typical Dwarvish Names:
Dwarves are nearly solid muscle, making them strong for their stature and incredibly tough. Their stubby legs and round, dense bodies make them one of the least agile races in Visola, however, and so dwarves tend to favor heavy armor and grounded fighting styles which makes them very successful against forceful attacks. They are just as cunning and wise as humans, well aware of the trickery of others even if they are not deceitful people themselves. Dwarves have very little use for magic, however, sometimes even distaste for it, making dwarven mages a very rare sight. Due to their time spent underground, they have a natural affinity for cold, iron, and earth as well as seeing in the dark. Due to their lifestyle of fire and stone, they are not very good swimmers or deal with water on any regular basis.
Tips for Playing Dwarves:
Dwarves are one of the oldest races in Visola, second only to the elves, but they were largely unknown until the Age of Strife. It is said that the dwarves were born when Gannor went to the Beruvian Mountains and looked over them as a sculptor examines an untouched block of stone. He carefully planned his creations and worked out even the smallest details, aspiring for perfection from the very beginning. Legend claims that the first dwarves were molded from the rock itself and given breath by Gannor. He instilled in them his own drive for crafting and quality and sent them into the mountains to create a home where they could prosper on their own, untouched by the struggles and disagreements sure to plague the races he knew the other gods would create.
There the dwarves stayed, patiently perfecting their crafts and their home. The dwarven race met the giants early in their development, who also called the Beruvian Mountains their home. Their early encounters were uncertain, but both races were characterized by patience, and eventually, they came to trust one another. For centuries, the Giants were the only people to know of the existence of the dwarves. When the Age of Strife came, however, the dwarves marched out of their home to aid their large allies in battle, surprising many of the races in Visola who had never before seen a dwarf. The dwarven people proved themselves as capable warriors in that war and their hidden home remained untouched despite the devastation that ravaged the other races. As the rest of Visola worked to rebuild in the aftermath, the dwarves decided to open their gates. They began to trade with the other races and showed Visola a unique and unrivaled style of craftsmanship.
Notable Dwarves Throughout History
Human – They are hard-working, which I can appreciate. But they are blinded by their greed, so watch your jewels.
Brownie – Feisty lil fellers, I do enjoy their company and admire their devotion to their cause.
Hydrelean – Hydrel? Sounds like a beast to me.
Aeromis – They seem accepting and kind, but do not appreciate order, and thus do not understand the concept of labor .
Pixie – Bastardly flies! They only want what sparkles we comb from the ground, and they’ll steal them if you aren’t careful.
Elf – They appreciate fine architecture, and provide us with good business and trade. Not so much on the physical labor though, they seem sorta….dainty.
Centaur – A good honest ally, and you can always count on them.
Orc – I respect the brothers of the mountains, but I don’t understand what motivates them.
Felarae – Never trust a Felarae, no good can come from it.
Gnome – The feud with our cousins is deep-rooted, we just can’t seem to get along.
Giant – Brothers of the Beruvian mountains, they are good honest souls whom I would trust with my life.
(This is the general concept of the race. Advent allows for diversity and originality when it comes to racial concepts and backgrounds, as long as it is within reason, so feel free to use your creativity when playing the race. Physical references to races, however, should remain within the norm. Dwarf image created by: Melvin Barry Crocker)