|CREATURES STATISTICS||CREATURES ARTWORK|
The dwarves have coalesced from a series of scattered clans into a mighty nation, capable of defending itself against all enemies. Children of the Dragon of Fire, they worshipped him in the deep places of the world where magma provided the only light, and in return they were taught the secrets of the forge and the hearth.
At first, the other races were not even aware of the dwarves. Not until the Wars of Fire (28-41 ASD), when the dwarven warbands joined with the others to resist the demons, were they recognized. Once the fighting was over, they returned to their homes under the mountains and had little to do with the other races for centuries. Slowly tunnels were dug between the various dwarven cities, connecting then into a honeycomb deep beneath the earth.
All that changed when the first Dark Elves settled on the dwarves’ borders. A steadily deteriorating situation turned into the War Under the Mountain, in which the dwarves, led by Hathor Deepstrider Orlandsson, crushed the Dark Elves and drove them out. The Dark Elf dwelling places were collapsed, and the dwarves considered their borders secure.
Today, the dwarves still keep a watchful vigilance up. They watch their borders, and no one moves on their lands unseen. They befriend a precious few, and expand their kingdom carefully.
Note that most of dwarven history is actively hidden from the rest of the world. The dwarves have lengthy sagas, eddas, and histories concerning their deeds, wars, and adventures, but these are not shared with the outside world. The things they have seen and battles they have fought within their own domain remain mysterious, at least for now.
Internal / Social Organization:
Dwarven culture is very much male-driven – though women are neither bearded nor as rare as one might think.
Social structure is based around three relationships: family, fostering and fighting. There is a complicated web of apprenticeships that serves to train up young dwarves and cement relations between clans. These ties are precious – a single unworthy apprentice can poison an alliance that has existed for centuries.
While there are numerous ties that bind the kingdom together – race, family, city – the most important by far is the clan. The six dwarven clans are:
* Deepflame – Rune Priests, the religious leaders of the Dwarves
Clans and families are not the same thing. Families are different lineages within a single clan, with each clan having its own name, battle history, customs and so forth. Ultimately, dwarves always fall back on their clans. While a single city may house families from a half-dozen different clans, at important times, such as the election of a new king, dwarves fall out along clan lines before anything else.
While they prefer fighting underground, dwarves do occasionally muster on the surface. In the tunnels, where large bands are less useful, they build complicated defensive fortifications and traps. Dwarves who explore unknown tunnels are called Delvers, and they are often the first line of defense against an incursion by dark elves, necromancers and the like.