Dwarves, also known as “dwur” in the Flan tongue, are one of the primary civilized races of the Flanaess. Most dwarves are renowned for their distrust of magic, and for their skill as axe-wielding warriors and blacksmiths.
Physical Description: Dwarves average four feet in height, with squat, broad bodies. Male dwarves grow thick facial hair. It is often a sign of extreme sadness and mourning for a dwarf to shave his beard. Dwarves live, on average, for about 350 years. Their pregnancies last about ten months, and children usually breastfeed until the age of eight or nine. Dwarven women can have children about once a decade from ages 50-150. Twins are uncommon. Dwarves traditionally wear wool trousers, a belted tunic of linen, and a hooded cloak. Their boots are heavy, usually made of leather. They favor earth tones contrasted with checkered patterns like those of the Oeridians. They enjoy leather, often festooned with as much jewelry as they can carry. There are several different dwarven subraces:
•Derro: The descendants of enslaved dwarves and humans magically crossbred by the ancient Suel. Derro are terrors of the Underdark, and their society is completely unlike that of true dwarves.
•Duergar: Also known as gray dwarves, these evil dwarves wear dull clothing and accouterments. They average 4 feet in height and are emaciated compared to other dwarves, weighing about 120 pounds. Male and female duergar are both usually bald, and those who are not will typically shave their heads. They can psionically enhance their size and turn invisible. Most are lawful evil, though they have neutral tendencies. Many believe they were the first of all dwarven races, though they have a common belief that they voluntarily exiled themselves to the Underdark after the gods of the other dwarves betrayed their patron, Laduguer. Their society remains much like that of other dwarves, though grimmer and harsher.
•Frost dwarves: Extraplanar dwarves found on the Iron Wastes of the Infinite Layers of the Abyss. They were once duergar enslaved by frost giants.
•Hill dwarves: Considered the “standard” dwarven race, hill dwarves are the dwarves most commonly encountered by other races. A typical hill dwarf stands 4 feet in height and weighs about 150 pounds. They have deeply tanned or light brown skin, ruddy cheeks, and hair of black, gray, or brown. They are usually lawful good. The hill dwarves claim they have always dwelled in the hills, and other dwarven races are their descendants.
•Mountain dwarves: These dwarves live deeper underground and have fairer skin than hill dwarves. They stand about a half a foot taller than hill dwarves. They have paler, ruddier skin, and weigh about 170 pounds. Most are lawful good. The mountain dwarves believe they are the first dwarves and all other dwarves are descended from them.
Society: Dwarf society is divided into clans. Members of a clan are normally all related by blood, and every member of a clan typically practices the same trade. Dwarves normally dwell in strongholds in the hills and mountains, usually partially or entirely underground. Most dwarven settlements are constructed around profitable mines. Their cities are huge works of art carved into the solid rock. They can stand for millennia without maintenance. Dwarves prize wealth, and are vulnerable to a mental illness known as gold-fever where their desire for the metal actually consumes their minds. Those leaders who are unable to gift their loyal followers with treasure, as honor demands, are surely cursed with gold-fever. Dwarves are omnivorous, enjoying a wide variety of foods, but they have a preference for meat. Hill and mountain dwarves keep cattle, fowl, goats, pigs, and sheep, allowing them to graze on the surface. Those who live deeper underground keep giant lizards and giant beetles. When possible, dwarves grow wheat, rye, and barley close to their stronghold and store it in underground granaries. They may buy large quanties of grain from other races. In the deep Oerth they grow fungi instead, breeding a wide variety of flavors. They also make use of vegetables in their cooking, adding flavor and variety. Dwarves dislike spicy or heavily seasoned food.
Relations: Dwarves are generally monogamous, and practice arranged marriages. Divorce is permitted and cannot be withheld. Dwarves usually remarry many times during their long lives. They are skilled miners, and produce vast amounts of valuable gems, metals, and crafts to trade with other races. They are also skilled engineers and builders of stone. They trade mostly in finished goods, and the quality of their workmanship allows them to charge more than similar goods made by other races. Their endless wars against the orcs, goblins, ogres, giants, and similar evil races help keep down the numbers of those fecund species, but have also contributed to the decline of the dwarves own numbers.
Alignment and Religion: Most dwarves are usually lawful good, though duergar tend to be lawful evil, while derro and frost dwarves are usually chaotic evil. The dwarves believe themselves to be the creations of Moradin, whom they often credit with creating the world and even all the other gods of every race. Strangely, dwarven gods are often portrayed as giant in stature. Their avatars may manifest as beings of dwarven height or up to twenty feet tall. They dwell, for the most part, scattered throughout the planes, with the largest cluster of dwarven deities being the Dwarven Mountain in the Outlands, the home of Dugmaren Brightmantle, Dumathoin, and Vergadain. Of the other dwarven gods, only Moradin and Berronar live together.
Dwarven warriors and priests believe that when they die, their souls travel to a hall of heroes in the afterlife where they will wait until the gods need them to battle for them. Dwarven craftsfolk believe the afterlife is a place of endless, but fulfilling, labor.
Language: Dwarves speak their own tongue, Dwarven, and the trade language of the Underdark, Undercommon. Those who deal regularly with other races know the Common tongue, and dwarven warriors often know Goblin in order to better interrogate and spy on their enemies. The Dwarven language has remained essentially unchanged for millennia, though the duergar have altered their language intentionally in order to help preserve their secrets. The derro language, Derrosh, is a combination of Dwarven and Suloise.
Adventurers: They begin their apprenticeships by the age of 26 (usually a few years earlier than that), which last from 10-12 years, but which may last as long as a quarter century for extremely challenging trades. Dwarves become adults at the age of 50, at which time their apprenticeships must end. Sometimes they are apprenticed to other clans or even in other communities, though this is rare; more commonly, they are apprenticed to their great-aunts or great-uncles. Dwarven clerics often have to leave their home clans in order to assume their calling.
•Breadth of Experience
•Let Them Come