Friday, August 21, 2009

In the Halls of the Mountain Kings; Old School Dwarves

The dwarves were one of the earliest races breed from Man by the Demons. They were breed to act as underground workers. Unfortunately the hardiness given to them also resulted in a legendary stubbornness. The early dwarves were not easily terrorized by the demon and soon revolted. They took readily to the metalsmith arts. The discovery of iron is credited to the Dwarves. After the wars they returned to the mountains where they still dwell today.

• Dwarves are long lived and have triple the lifespan of Man.
• Dwarves are +2 to Constitution, -1 to Charisma.
• Dwarves are gain +4 saving throw vs poisons.
• Dwarves gain +2 to any Athletic task.

Veritas is the god of creation, craftsmen, and truth. He is revered by the Dwarves. He is the eldest of the gods and the first to come to the Wilderlands. He is known as the High Lord among the elves. In lands influenced by Elven culture he forms a trinity with Dannu, and Silvanus.

The Dwarves revere Veritas as their patron and teacher. They call him the Soul light because he led them into freedom from being enslaved by the demons. Veritas taught the Dwarves their skills as craftsmen. The Dwarves believe that Veritas continues to inspire their greatest craftsmen.


Rune-casters originated among the Dwarves shortly after the chaos of the Uttermost War. While the Elves offered to teach all allied races their way of magic, the pride of the Dwarves led them to develop an independent method of creating spells.

The dwarves found that certain runes have magical properties. When properly inscribed the runes can be used create magic items that allowed the maker to cast spells. Over the centuries they refined rune inscription into a high art.

The dwarves are secretive and taught little of their art to the other races. However during the Crystal Wars, which brought down the Founder Empire, many dwarves immigrated to other regions of the Wilderlands. This was a time chaos and of great peril. For the first time dwarves taught allied races the secrets of rune casting. It would not be the last time.

Cultural Notes
Short and stocky, the Dwarves were created as a hardy races designed to endure the worse conditions in the mines of the Demons. However along with their bodies their spirit proved to be hardy as well. The demon could never break them as slaves and many escaped into the wilderness to join the rebellion against the Demons.

Because of this Dwarves feel most at home underground in deep mines and caverns. Their homes are magnificent works of art hewn from the living rock. They revel in work and will pursue a task for days without rest. Dwarves are the finest craftsmen of the Wilderlands, while the Elves can match in quality Dwarves out produce in quantity. They are also innovators in metallurgy and engineering; many of the advances in these two fields originated in Dwarven Halls.

The Dwarves are extremely protective of their family. A legacy of their creation by the Demon Lords has left them with the ability to produce only a few children. Among those who are born 75% are male. With so many without a spouse or immediate family the clan has become the focus of the ambition of many Dwarves. A dwarf will fight as fiercely for a nephew or niece as they would their own children. Dwarves hold their feelings in reserve and are perceived as a dour and cheerless race. Privately their halls ring with song and laughter shared with family and good friends.

Their infertility has caused them to regard their home as sacred and its defense the most important priority. Many of the Dwarves who adventure do so in hopes of gaining for their home a decisive advantage.

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