Post by Former DM Dark Herald on May 20, 2012 19:55:15 GMT -5
As enduring as the earth from which they were shaped, the Stout Folk once ruled vast empires that sprawled on and beneath the surface of Faerûn. After centuries of decline, most dwarven kingdoms are gone, but the fruits of their labors survive, unbowed by the passage of time. In recent years, the Thunder Blessing has sparked a dwarven renaissance that might one day restore the Stout Folk to their former glory.
Most nondwarven scholars believe that the Stout Folk are an interloper race, not native to Abeir-Toril, who arrived so long ago that they have become one with the earth and stone of Faerûn. However, the collective dwarven racial memory holds that their ancestors sprang fully formed from the heart of the world itself, fashioned of iron and mithral in the Soulforge, shaped by the All-Father’s hammer, and then given life by the breath of Moradin. The oldest myths claim that the first dwarves fought their way up from the world’s core to the mountains above, overcoming many dangers along the way through strength, skill, and force of arms.
The first dwarven settlements appeared in the great mountain range known as the Yehimal, which lies at the juncture of the three great continents of Faerûn, Kara-Tur, and Zakhara. From there, the earliest dwarves migrated into all three lands.
Those who came to Faerûn settled beneath modern-day Semphar before spreading westward, founding innumerable settlements along the way. One isolated branch of this great migration settled amid the isolated peaks of the Novularond, and eventually became known as the arctic dwarves.
The first great kingdom of the dwarves of Faerûn was centered in the great cavern of Bhaerynden deep beneath the Shaar. The first great schism of the dwarves of Bhaerynden began more than twelve thousand years ago when Taark Shanat the Crusader led a great westward migration. These emigrants eventually became known as shield dwarves and established the great empire of Shanatar beneath the lands of Amn, Tethyr, Calimshan, and the Lake of Steam. From their number, Dumathoin created the urdunnir, who moved into the depths and became creatures of legend. Meanwhile, Bhaerynden fell to the drow after the elven Crown Wars and the descent of the dark elves, and the dwarves of southern Faerûn were driven into exile.
In the millennia that followed, new divisions appeared among the Stout Folk. The mind flayers of Oryndoll, deep beneath the Shining Plains, enslaved the shield dwarves of Clan Duergar. Their descendants became known as gray dwarves after throwing off the shackles of their illithid masters and spreading throughout the Underdark.
Some dwarves who fled Bhaerynden’s collapse reached the Jungles of Chult, where they abandoned their subterranean homes. Members of this isolated branch eventually became known as wild dwarves.
After the first drow kingdom of Telantiwar tore itself apart in civil war, the great cavern of Bhaerynden collapsed to form the Great Rift. Those dwarves who resettled the caverns of the Deep Realm surrounding the Great Rift eventually became known as gold dwarves. As Shanatar declined, the shield dwarves migrated north to settle the great kingdoms of the North and eventually migrated eastward along the shores of the Moonsea and into the mountains of northcentral Faerûn.
Today, dwarves are found all across Faerûn, although the greatest concentrations are found in the North, the Cold Lands, the Great Rift, and the Underdark. Although the Stout Folk are easily segregated into distinct subraces with distinct racial traits, such distinctions by no means reflect the entirety of dwarven diversity. Numerous cultural, historical, political, and social divisions remain even within the ranks of a specific dwarven subrace.
Arctic dwarves, who call themselves the Inugaakalikurit, are the isolated inhabitants of Faerûn’s northernmost reaches. Native to the mountains at the heart of the Great Glacier and other northerly regions, arctic dwarves are little known to the outside world. Many arctic dwarves are rangers, barbarians, or fighters, for they hold little interest in the spellcasting arts or godly worship.
Arctic dwarves are unique among the Stout Folk in that they do not trace their ancestry back to Bhaerynden, the great cavern that later fell to the drow of Telantiwar and now lies open as the Great Rift. As such, they have little in common with other Stout Folk, lacking any common political, religious, craft, or magical traditions. In recent years, a handful of arctic dwarves have migrated across the icy northern wastes to establish new settlements along the shores of the Great Ice Sea and in the Silver Marches, but for the most part the Inugaakalikurit have dwelt in splendid isolation for uncounted generations, wholly content with their lot in life. Arctic dwarves are squat and hardy, with blocky bodies, pinched faces, and stubby legs. They rarely exceed 3 feet in height and are nearly as broad as they are tall. Their eyes are bright blue, their cheeks as ruddy as apples. Their skin is white, almost bluish, but because of their fondness for basking under the bright sun, many of them are sunburned red from head to toe, a condition that causes them no discomfort or other ill effects. Their fingers and toes are thick and blunt and their feet flat and wide. Curly white hair covers their heads and tumbles down their backs nearly to their waists. Males sport short beards and twisting mustaches. Both sexes favor simple tunics of polar bear fur and generally go barefoot.
Arctic dwarves are open and friendly and can be quite sociable with neighboring races, with the exception of frost giants, whom they despise. Unlike other dwarves, Inugaakalikurit have little interest in mining or crafts, instead devoting themselves to hunting, raising children, and leisure. Traditional dwarven strictures, such as those imposed by family and clan, hold little weight in arctic dwarf society, and history and the past achievements of one’s ancestors are seen as little more than a source of enjoyable tales. Arctic dwarves are quite curious about the outside world, although they have little inclination to go and see it.
Arctic dwarves have the life expectancy and age categories defined for dwarves in Tables 6–4 and 6–5 of the Player’s Handbook, but use the following random height and weight characteristics instead of those described on Table 6–6: Arctic dwarf, male 2'8" +2d4 50 lb. × (1d4) lb. Arctic dwarf, female 2'4" +2d4 40 lb. × (1d4) lb.
Since the arctic dwarves have no historical record other than their own stories, little is known about the true history of this enigmatic subrace. Scholars believe that the arctic dwarves migrated into northern Faerûn around the same time as the Stout Folk who originally founded Bhaerynden, but, if that is true, they have left no trace of their passing. Some claim that the Inugaakalikurit once ruled a northern empire that rivaled great Bhaerynden, but the Great Glacier long ago crushed any ruins it might have left. Arctic dwarves did not always claim the towering peaks of Novularond as their home. Prior to the coming of the Ulutiuns, they dwelt in small villages across the Great Glacier. Since adapting to their alpine homes, the arctic dwarves have dwelt in quiet isolation, untouched by the passage of time.
Arctic dwarves are friendly and outgoing, little concerned with class or clan distinctions. They enjoy life to the fullest and see little reason to accumulate wealth or material possessions. They believe in hunting and gathering sufficient food to feed themselves but otherwise have little interest in labor of any sort. They strive to spend as much time as possible in leisurely pursuits, storytelling, sports such as wrestling, and games with their children. Arctic dwarves are rarely drawn to adventuring, but those who do usually evince a curiosity about other cultures so strong that they willingly forgo the life of leisure they might otherwise pursue. Instead of waiting to chance upon evidence of other cultures in their remote glacial homes, they head out to explore the world, seeking out the exotic and the new. As such, they stumble into adventures by happenstance, happily exploring any new environment they come across.
Arctic Dwarf Characters
Arctic dwarves typically make good rangers and barbarians, since they are well equipped to survive in extreme environments. Likewise, generations of battling frost giants and other monsters have given rise to a strong martial tradition. The selfsufficiency of these classes enables arctic dwarves to feel comfortable about their continued survival and hence engenders the relaxed attitude many feel toward life. Inugaakalikurit have no arcane spellcasting tradition, and their lack of religious faith precludes the role of cleric or paladin. Arctic dwarves often multiclass as ranger/fighters or ranger/barbarians.
Favored Class: An arctic dwarf’s favored class is ranger. The harsh polar environment of the Great Glacier rewards those who possess excellent survival skills, and the intermittent feuding between the Inugaakalikurit and their frost giant enemies demands the specialized skills of a giant-killing ranger.
Arctic Dwarf Society
Arctic dwarf culture is remarkably homogeneous, the result of centuries of isolation from the other races of Faerûn. Compared to other dwarven cultures, Inugaakalikurit place almost no emphasis on bloodline or clan. While individual accomplishment does garner respect, rarely are such feats remembered for more than a generation. The pursuit of leisure is placed above hard work or skilled artisanship, and few arctic dwarves are driven to accomplish more than continued survival.
Arctic dwarves receive a great deal of individual attention in childhood, with all adult members of the community serving as parental figures to varying degrees. Little is expected of Inugaakalikurit youth, so they spend their days engaged in playful pursuits. As adults, each arctic dwarf is expected to contribute to the community’s well-being, but there is little societal reward for doing more than the minimum required. Elderly arctic dwarves are considered to have earned the right to live out the rest of their days engaging in leisurely pursuits and are simply encased beneath the ice and snow when death finally claims them.
Arctic dwarves have emigrated in such small numbers from their mountain homes that they have very little experience as minorities within other cultures. Those who do leave usually look for individuals of similar temperament, regardless of race, and attempt to recreate the easygoing lifestyle of their native villages.
Language and Literacy
Like all dwarves, arctic dwarves speak a dialect of Dwarven and employ the Dethek rune alphabet. They also speak the dialect of Common spoken in Sossal. The Inugaakalikurit dialect of Dwarven is known as Kurit and has strong ties to Uluik, the Ulutiun tongue spoken by the humans of the Great Glacier and the Ice Hunters of the North. Common secondary languages include Uluik, Giant, Damaran, and Draconic, which enable arctic dwarves to communicate with their neighbors.
All arctic dwarf characters are literate except for barbarians, adepts, aristocrats, experts, warriors, and commoners.
Abilities and Racial Features
Arctic dwarves have all the dwarven racial traits listed in the Player’s Handbook, except as follows:
• +4 Strength, –2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, –2 Charisma. Arctic dwarves are incredibly strong, but shorter and more stout than other dwarven subraces.
• Small: As Small creatures, arctic dwarves gain a +1 size bonus to Armor Class, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, and a +4 size bonus on Hide checks, but they must use smaller weapons than humans use, and their lifting and carrying limits are threequarters of those of Medium-size characters.
• Immune to cold.
• Automatic Languages: Dwarven, Common, home region. Bonus Languages: By region.
• Favored Class: Ranger.
• Level Adjustment: +2. Arctic dwarves are significantly stronger on average than most Stout Folk, and they possess an immunity to cold. They are slightly more powerful and gain levels more slowly than the common races of Faerûn. See Table 1 in the Introduction.
Arctic Dwarf Magic and Lore
Arctic dwarves take a pragmatic view toward magic: It’s useful if it helps them hunt, but otherwise spells and spellcasters—especially arcane ones—are a matter for tales told to youngsters.
Spells & Spellcasting
Arctic dwarves do not have an arcane spellcasting tradition. Since they do they not worship the dwarven deities, they lack a strong divine spellcasting tradition as well. Most arctic dwarf spellcasters are druids, adepts, and rangers. The druids in particular have an affinity to fire magic, because many of their most common foes (such as frost giants and frost worms) fear and hate flames.
Arctic Dwarf Magic Items
Arctic dwarves rarely employ magic items, as they do not have a cultural tradition of clerics or arcane spellcasters to craft such items. Those few items that do exist are usually fashioned by druids or the rare arctic dwarf arcane spellcaster and include such items as amulets of natural armor and snowshoes of speed (identical to boots of speed).
In caves carved into the Great Glacier, arctic dwarves nurture coin-sized ice crystals of exceeding sharpness. Called kerrenderit in the Kurit tongue, these crystals can be magically enhanced to form deadly arrowheads (see the Magic Items section of the Appendix). The kerrenderit crystals take a long time to form in their icy caves, so only the greatest hunters among the arctic dwarves carry kerrenderit arrows in their quivers.
Arctic Dwarf Deities
Among the various dwarven subraces, the Inugaakalikurit are unique in that they do not venerate the Morndinsamman or, indeed, worship any gods. A few exceptions exist, including a few arctic dwarves who have turned to the worship of the human god Ulutiu. Instead, the arctic dwarves follow a druidic tradition, venerating Talos and Ulutiu.
Relations with Other Races
Isolated as they are by their environment, arctic dwarves have little experience with members of other races aside from Ulutiun humans and frost giants. They get along well with the former and hate the latter. Since most arctic dwarves are amiable and peace-loving, they treat representatives of most other races favorably unless shown reason not to. The Inugaakalikurit find other dwarves and gnomes somewhat amusing, a combination of their familiar appearance and odd (to an arctic dwarf) ways.
Likewise, humans other than Ulutiuns are seen as odd since their cultures differ greatly from that known to arctic dwarves. The Inugaakalikurit regard elves and half-elves with a measure of awe, having only ever seen winged elves soaring high above their mountain homes. Halflings, half-orcs, and planetouched are exotic creatures to a typical arctic dwarf.
Arctic Dwarf Equipment
Arctic dwarves commonly employ only a handful of weapons, including battleaxes, halfspears, shortbows, and shortspears. Most arctic dwarves wear hide armor, with pelts of polar bears being most highly prized. The harsh arctic environment of the Great Glacier requires the use of dogsleds (as sleds in the Player’s Handbook), snow goggles, and snowshoes. Arctic dwarves favor riding dogs with heavy winter coats as pets and pack animals. When they hunt behind dogsleds, they often chase down and exhaust their prey, then finish the hunt with arctic harpoons (see the Equipment section of the Appendix). While the arctic harpoon can be difficult for arctic dwarves to wield, they favor it anyway, motivated by a mythic tradition of arctic dwarf harpooners who felled impossibly large polar bears and other prey.
Arctic Dwarf Region
Most arctic dwarves live on the Great Glacier. This region is appropriate for an Inugaakalikurit raised in the race’s homeland in the icebound mountains of the glacier.
Preferred Classes: Barbarian, fighter, ranger, druid. A character of one of these classes may choose a regional feat and gain his choice of the bonus equipment below as a 1st-level character.
An arctic dwarf character of any other class may not select one of the regional feats here and does not gain the bonus equipment at 1st level.
Automatic Languages: Common, Dwarven, Uluik. Bonus Languages: Aquan, Auran, Common, Damaran, Draconic, Giant. Regional Feats: Oral History, Survivor, Swarmfighting. Bonus Equipment: (A) light pick* or halfspear*; or (B) riding dog and hide armor*.
Found largely in the South in the immediate vicinity of the Great Rift, gold dwarves are the dominant southern branch of the Stout Folk. Renowned not only for their smithwork and craftsmanship but also for their military prowess and legendary wealth, gold dwarves have maintained their empire for millennia, unbowed by the passage of time.
For generations, the Deep Kingdom of the gold dwarves has stood unconquered, dominating the surface lands and subterranean caverns that surround the Great Rift. As their numbers never declined in the face of endless warfare like their northern cousins, the Thunder Blessing has actually filled the great caverns of the Deep Kingdom beyond their capacity. As a result, for the first time in many years, large numbers of gold dwarves are setting out to establish new strongholds across the South and the rest of Faerûn, including the Smoking Mountains of Unther and the Giant’s Run Mountains of the Shining Plains.
Averaging 4 feet tall and weighing as much as an adult human, gold dwarves are stocky and muscular. The skin of a gold dwarf is light brown or deeply tanned, and her eyes are usually brown or hazel. Both genders wear their hair long, and males (and some females) have long, carefully groomed beards and mustaches. Hair color ranges from black to gray or brown, with all shades fading to light gray as time progresses.
Like their northern kin, gold dwarves harbor a great deal of pride, both in their own accomplishments and those of their ancestors. They also share the philosophy that anything worth doing is worth doing well, and that the natural world is but raw material to be worked into objects of great beauty. Unlike the long-beleaguered shield dwarves, gold dwarves have not faced a serious challenge to their way of life for thousands of years. Confident and secure in their isolated realm, gold dwarves do not share the pessimism or fatalism of their shield dwarven brethren. To the contrary, having seen the rise and fall of countless elven, human, and shield dwarven empires, their endurance has fostered a deep-seated belief that their traditions and culture are superior to those of all other races.
Founded more than sixteen thousand years ago, the original dwarven homeland of Bhaerynden occupied a vast cavern deep beneath the southern plains ruled by the elves of Ilythiir. Bhaerynden claimed great swaths of the Underdark, but remained largely unknown in the Realms Above. Little is known about the history of Bhaerynden except that a great exodus of dwarves led by Taark Shanat the Crusader left to found a new kingdom in the west about –11,000 DR. The end of the elven Crown Wars and the Descent of the Drow in the years after –10,000 DR directly precipitated the fall of Bhaerynden. The first drow civilizations arose in the southern Underdark around –9600 DR, but the drow quickly directed their anger against the Stout Folk. Within the space of six centuries, the Stout Folk had been scattered and the drow empire of Telantiwar ruled supreme in the dwarf-carved halls of fallen Bhaerynden.
The collapse of the cavern of Bhaerynden destroyed Telantiwar and created the Great Rift, scattering the drow around –7600 DR. Gold dwarves believe Moradin destroyed Telantiwar with a blow of his axe, but scholars of other races have suggested that the drow weakened the cavern roof through excessive tunneling and reliance on magic to support the ceiling’s weight. In the aftermath of Telantiwar’s fall, there was a great scramble to claim new territory in the Underdark. The Stout Folk quickly returned to their ancestral home and established the Deep Realm, occupying lesser caverns and miles of tunnels spreading out under the Eastern Shaar. Drow refugees claimed lesser caverns to the north, south, and west of the Great Rift, establishing cities in nearby lands.
In the millennia that followed, the Stout Folk of the Deep Realm became known as gold dwarves. Once the borders of their realm were firmly established and defended, they set about buildinggreat subterranean cities and harvesting the bounty of the earth. While external threats from the drow and other Underdark races such as aboleths, cloakers, illithids, ixzans, and kuo-toa never entirely abated, no other race could match the unity of purpose evinced by the gold dwarves, and the sanctity of the Deep Realm was never challenged. The dwarves profited in trade with each successive human empire that reached their Great Rift, including ancient Jhaamdath, the folk of Mulhorand and Unther in their heyday, the Shoon Imperium at its height, and in more recent centuries the mercantile Chondathan nations of the Inner Sea.
In 1306 DR, the Thunder Blessing shook the gold dwarves out of their millennia-long quiescence. In the decades that followed, a burgeoning population forced the gold dwarves to seek out new caverns to claim and settle across the South, upsetting the longheld status quo of the southern Underdark. The largest exodus to date from the Deep Realm began in 1369 DR, when the Army of Gold set out on a great crusade to reclaim the caverns of Taark Shanat and restore the glory of Shanatar, the ancient kingdom of the shield dwarves. That expedition has become bogged down in warfare with the Army of Steel, dispatched by the gray dwarves of Underspires. Fierce battles rage in the tunnels beneath the Lake of Steam and the Cloven Mountains.
Gold dwarves measure others by how much honor and wealth each individual garners as well as the status of his or her bloodline and clan. To gold dwarves, life is best lived through adherence to the ancient traditions of the Deep Realm. The very persistence of their own way of life indicates that other shortlived cultures are inherently flawed. As such, those who lack a meaningful cultural tradition or reject their elders’ dictates are untrustworthy and possibly dangerous.
From birth, gold dwarves are taught to conform to the traditional strictures of their society. Every important decision, from choice of profession to their mate, is dictated by the circumstances of their birth. Those who do not act honorably in their dealings are shunned from an early age, breeding a tremendous societal pressure to fit in.
Gold dwarves lack the longstanding tradition of adventuring found in their shield dwarf cousins in the north. However, population pressures induced by the Thunder Blessing have given birth to a new generation of gold dwarf adventurers. Most gold dwarves who wander beyond the familiar confines of the Deep Realm do so in order to found new strongholds of their own, but many find the lure of adventuring hard to ignore once it has entered into their blood.
Gold Dwarf Characters
Gold dwarves are painfully aware that many once-proud empires have been brought low, and they are therefore vigilant about maintaining their own. The keen awareness gold dwarves hold of the dangers to their eternal rule ensure that all gold dwarves are trained to fight from a young age. Most are trained as fighters, although clerics, paladins, rangers, rogues, and even the occasional arcane spellcaster play important roles in defending the Deep Realm. Gold dwarf sorcerers usually trace their ancestry back to a powerful dragon or some creature of elemental earth or fire. Common multiclass combinations include fighter/cleric,fighter/paladin, and fighter/expert.
A gold dwarf’s favored class is fighter. Only a strong and fierce military tradition has kept the Deep Realm secure from its enemies above and below, a result of generations of gold dwarves training as fighters.
Battleragers are legendary dwarven warriors who can enter a battle frenzy through ritual singing. Given to drinking, rowdy and boisterous singing, and drunken dancing, battleragers love to plunge into close-quarters battle, heedless of any danger. Most battleragers are shield dwarves, but a small number of gold dwarves rebelling against the discipline and tradition of their society have joined the ranks of the berserkers. More disciplined gold dwarves lean toward the dwarven defender or divine champion classes.
Gold Dwarf Society
Gold dwarf culture does not exhibit a great deal of variability, the result of generations of gold dwarves insulated from outside influences. Class and clan divisions are strong among gold dwarves, and great importance is attributed to bloodlines when ascribing social status. However, the Deep Realm is so swamped with petty, decadent royals and nobles that little real power is invested in anyone but the governing council of clan elders.
Commerce and craftsmanship both play an important role in gold dwarf society, as does the never-satiated grasping for more riches. Pride and honor play an important role in all aspects of daily life, for disgrace applies not only to oneself, but also to kin, clan, and long-dead ancestors.
Gold dwarves are raised in tight family units, but the clan elders play an important oversight role in the upbringing of every child. Book learning is common, as is an apprenticeship to learn a trade. All adults are expected to support themselves and their family as well as bring honor and riches to the clan. Ostentatious displays of wealth are important for maintaining one’s prestige, so poorer gold dwarves often scrimp and save to keep up appearances. As gold dwarves age, they are accorded increasing respect for their wisdom. Clan elders form a ruling gerontocracy that strongly enforces traditional practices. Families and clans are expected to honor their elders in death with elaborate funereal rites and tombs befitting the deceased’s reputation.
Outside the Deep Realm, gold dwarves hold themselves apart, forming small, insular enclaves that attempt to replicate traditional clan life. Few gold dwarves have any interest in adopting local practices except where it furthers their ability to hawk their wares.
Language and Literacy
Like all dwarves, gold dwarves speak a dialect of Dwarven and employ the Dethek rune alphabet. They also speak Common, the trade language of the Realms Above. The primary gold dwarven dialect (sometimes referred to as Riftspeak) has changed little since the glory days of Bhaerynden. Gold dwarves dwelling in the colonies in Unther and the Giant’s Run often learn the languages of the nearby lands.
Common secondary languages reflect the extensive trading contacts maintained by gold dwarves with their neighbors in the South and include Shaaran, Untheric, and, to a lesser extent, Durpari, Dambrathan, Mulhorandi, Halfling, and Halruaan. Gold dwarves who have extensive contact with other subterranean races often learn Terran, Gnome, or Undercommon. All gold dwarf characters are literate except barbarians (who are very unusual among the folk of this ancient civilization).
Gold Dwarf Magic and Lore
Gold dwarves have a strong divine spellcasting tradition, with many of the Stout Folk called to serve the Morndinsamman as clerics, paladins, runecasters, or runesmiths. Arcane spellcasters are much rarer, but they do exist.
Spells and Spellcasting
Gold dwarves favor spells that aid their abilities in combat or assist in craftwork or mining. Most are divine spellcasters, but the gold dwarves’ millennia-old civilization has ensured both ancient libraries of wizardry and strange, sorcerous bloodlines.
Many gold dwarves take the Gold Dwarf Dweomersmith feat, which grants them advantages when creating or enhancing weapons with magic.
Gold dwarves have created many spells over the years, many of which are now employed by the Stout Folk across Faerûn. One such example is detect metals and minerals.
Gold Dwarf Magic Items
Gold dwarves favor magic items that aid in combat, facilitate craftwork, provide personal protection or comfort, guard against theft, or are adorned with fine metals and gems. Blades and axes are commonly crafted with keen, holy, lawful, mighty cleaving, sundering, and stunning special abilities. Hammers and maces are commonly crafted with holy, impact, lawful, returning, stunning, sundering, and throwing special abilities.
Armor is typically crafted with fortification, invulnerability, reflection, and spell resistance special abilities, reflecting a long tradition of battles against the drow and other creatures of the Underdark.
Common Magic Items:
Magic items particularly prevalent in the Great Rift and the trade cities at its edge include anvil of the blacksmith, belt of dwarvenkind, forge of smithing, hammer of the weaponsmith, and tongs of the armorer. These items can be purchased at a 10% discount in the Great Rift.
Iconic Magic Items:
Gold dwarves have fabricated many unique magic items, but they are best known for the stonereaver greataxes.
Gold Dwarf Deities:
Gold dwarves have venerated the dwarven deities of the Morndinsamman since the founding of Bhaerynden, but centuries of relative isolation and security have made their culture far less religious in nature than their shield dwarven kin. Among gold dwarves the churches of Moradin and Berronar are sopredominant and have been for so long that many lesser dwarven deities enjoy little more than token obeisance. High-ranking clerics of both faiths command a great amount of institutional authority in gold dwarf society. The clerics of Berronar’s faith are responsible for preserving records of the extraordinarily ancient genealogy of the noble families and serve as the guardians of tradition in the home and community.
All gold dwarves revere the Soul Forger as the founder of the dwarven race, and his church is the predominant faith of the Deep Realm, centered in the monastic city of Thuulurn. Moradin’s clerics sponsor many craftsfolk, particularly armorers and weaponsmiths, and serve as the principal judges and magistrates of gold dwarf society. The Soul Forger’s faithful are drawn primarily from those who labor as smiths, craftsfolk, or engineers, but he is also seen as the protector of the entire dwarven race and is thus worshiped by many lawful good dwarves regardless of profession.
A gold dwarf confronts a duergar and his steeder.
Relations with Other Races
Confident and secure in their remote home, gold dwarves have a well-deserved reputation for haughtiness and pride. They look down on all other dwarves, even shield dwarves and gray dwarves whose achievements and kingdoms have matched the glory of their own. Gold dwarves regard elves and half-elves with suspicion after generations spent battling their deepdwelling cousins. Gnomes, particularly deep gnomes, are well regarded and welcomed as trading partners. Their impression of halflings is shaped by the strongheart inhabitants of Luiren, whom gold dwarves find to be suitably industrious and forthright.
Gold dwarves know little of half-orcs, but usually lump them in with the rest of orc and goblinoid scum. Gold dwarves are very cautious in their dealings with humans, having found great variability in their dealings with Chondathans, the folk of Dambrath, Durpari, Mulan, Shaarans, and Halruaans. Planetouched are almost unknown but are usually viewed in the same light as the Mulan, since most planetouched the gold dwarves encounter are either Mulan aasimar or earth genasi followers of Geb.
Gold Dwarf Equipment
The gold dwarf craft guilds have had centuries to master their artisanship, so almost any finished good has some filigree, runic mark, or other decoration that marks it as unmistakably the work of the gold dwarves. Even a simple bucket will have carefully marked gradations along the inside, graven runes identifying its owner, and a curved handle shaped to fit a thick dwarven hand.
Gold dwarves commonly employ wellengineered equipment such as mobile braces and rope climbers. The hippogriff-mounted skyriders of the Great Rift are known to employ drogue wings and exotic military saddles.
Arms and Armor
Gold dwarves favor a wide range of weapons, including battleaxes, crossbows, gauntlets, handaxes, heavy picks, light hammers, light picks, mauls, throwing axes, and warhammers. More unusual weapons include dwarven urgroshes and dwarven waraxes. Typical forms of armor include breastplates, half-plate, full plate, scale mail, large steel shields, and small steel shields.
Battleaxe, light crossbow, heavy pick, dwarven urgrosh, scale mail, full plate armor. The gold dwarves manufacture adamantine heavy picks and battleaxes for those who can afford such things; adamantine weapons are available at a 10% discount in the Great Rift.
Animals and Pets
Gold dwarves favor small lizards such as the spitting crawler and shocker lizard for pets and familiars. Deep rothé are the preferred type of livestock. They employ pack lizards and mules as beasts of burden, usually breeding the latter from Lhesperan or Meth horses crossed with donkeys. Gold dwarves commonly use riding lizards as steeds in subterranean locales, and war ponies for travel in the surface lands. The gold dwarf skyriders of the Great Rift employ hippogriffs as aerial mounts.
Post by Former DM Dark Herald on May 20, 2012 19:57:13 GMT -5
A Duergar Warrior
Regions: Dwarf (gray), The North, Turmish, Vaasa, Vilhon Reach. Most duergar characters have little contact with other cultures and choose the gray dwarf region. Racial Feats: Arachnid Rider, Hammer Fist, Iron Mind, Stoneshaper. Level Adjustment: +2. Refer to the FORGOTTEN REALMS Campaign Setting entry for gray dwarf racial abilities.
Dwelling in great subterranean cities of the Underdark, the gray dwarves are deep-dwelling cousins of shield dwarves, known for their cruelty and bitterness. Like their surface-dwelling kin, gray dwarves are famed for their smithwork and craftsmanship, but unlike their brethren in the Realms Above, the duergar are grim and cheerless, living lives of endless toil. Like their gold and shield dwarf kin, the duergar have forged great empires, founding such realms as the Deepkingdom of Gracklstugh and the Steel Kingdom of Dunspeirrin in the endless darkness of the Realms Below.
Averaging 4 feet tall, gray dwarves weigh nearly as much as an adult human. While other dwarves tend to be round-bodied and stoutly muscled, duergar are wide of shoulder but wiry and lean, their limbs corded with tough muscle. The skin of a gray dwarf is light or dark gray, and his eyes are dull black. Both genders are usually bald, with males having long gray beards and mustaches.
Gray dwarves are consumed with bitterness, feeling their race has forever been denied what was rightfully theirs. The duergar expect and live lives of never-ending drudgery. While their work rivals that of shield and gold dwarves, they are relentless perfectionists who take no pleasure in their craftsmanship. Only cruel jokes and petty torments bring a moment’s smile to most gray dwarves, and they delight in tormenting the weak and the helpless.
Gray dwarves have the life expectancy and age categories defined for dwarves in Tables 6–4 and 6–5 of the Player’s Handbook, but use the following random height and weight characteristics instead of those described on Table 6–6:
Gray dwarves trace their history back to the establishment of Barakuir, one of the eight kingdoms of Shanatar. The Iron Kingdom was dominated by the shield dwarves of Clan Duergar, who venerated Laduguer as their kingdom’s patron. Although they swore allegiance to the Wyrmskull Throne, the rulers of Clan Duergar thought their king should have been selected to rule Shanatar at the conclusion of the Second Spider War. Consumed with bitterness, the dwarves of Barakuir largely turned away from the rest of the empire. The foolishness of this action was quickly proved when war broke out with the illithids of Oryndoll, a city that lies deep beneath the Shining Plains, around –8100 DR. Although Shanatar battled the illithids to a stalemate, the enemy’s armies managed to cut off Barakuir from outside reinforcement. By the time the Mindstalker Wars had ended, Barakuir had fallen to the illithids, and most of its inhabitants had been enslaved as thralls.
After millennia of enslavement and countless illithid breeding experiments, the descendants of Clan Duergar were transformed into a new dwarven subrace: the gray dwarves. Roughly four thousand years before the start of Dalereckoning, the duergar rebelled against their illithid masters and eventually freed themselves of the mind flayers’ dominion. These newly liberated gray dwarves carved out their own holdings in the northern Underdark beneath the Orsraun Mountains and in isolated caverns deep beneath the Great Glacier.
In the North, gray dwarves founded Gracklstugh, City of Blades, in –3717 DR. As the first city of their kind in the North, its holdings grew without rival throughout the upper and middle Underdark. The Deepkingdom reached its peak around –2600 DR, but in –1803 DR, the kingdom fell into a slow decline after smashing the quaggoth nation of Ursadunthar which lay deep beneath the Spine of the World. For centuries thereafter, the overextended duergar battled barbaric quaggoths (who were incited by the drow), as the Deepbear Battles raged until –1350 DR.
In the heart of Faerûn, gray dwarves founded Dunspeirrin, City of Sunken Spires, beneath the Orsraun Mountains. In time, the holdings of Underspires, as the city was also known, grew to encompass the Underdark of Turmish and the Dragon Coast, and the gray dwarves grew strong. In –1850 DR, under the leadership of their greatest queen, Duerra, the gray dwarves launched a series of attacks against the drow of Undraeth, the illithids of Oryndoll (from whom Duerra is said to have wrested the secrets of the Invisible Art), and other Underdark races. Duerra’s armies turned their simmering hatred against the remnants of Deep Shanatar sometime around –1800 DR. The gray dwarves overran Ultoksamrin and Holorarar and conquered the caverns of Alatorin for themselves. Laduguer rewarded Duerra with divine ascension. Afterward, Dunspeirrin fell into a centuries-long decline, from which it has only recently begun to emerge. The return of Deep Duerra during the Time of Troubles has sparked a new age of empire-building, but the city’s Army of Steel now finds itself locked in a three-year-old conflict with the gold dwarf Army of Gold over control of the caverns of ancient Shanatar.
Gray dwarves view the world with bitterness, convinced family, clan, other dwarves, and the rest of the world have cheated them of their birthright and their due. They see life as nothing more than endless backbreaking labor, a torment from birth through death. The duergar evince little mercy for the helpless or the weak and enjoy tormenting those they can prey upon. From a young age, gray dwarves are quickly schooled in the harshness of the world, taught that their lot in life is nothing more than never-ending labor accompanied by betrayal and then death. Gray dwarves rarely adventure out of choice. Those who are exiled or flee imminent banishment often gravitate to the life of an adventure simply in hopes of surviving. Adventuresome duergar are usually focused on the acquisition of material wealth, caring little for the plight of others.
Gray Dwarf Characters
The ever-present dangers of the all-enveloping darkness are taught to gray dwarves from a young age. Most receive some training as fighters or rogues to better defend their homes against those who would steal their hard-earned wealth. Clerics are common as well, for those who serve the duergar gods claim positions of relative influence within their clan. Experts who combine traditional smithcraft with skill in the arcane arts are also much respected. Wizards are much more common than sorcerers among the gray dwarves. Common multiclass combinations include fighter/cleric, fighter/expert, and fighter/rogue.
Favored Class: A gray dwarf’s favored class is fighter. (If your DM uses the Psionics Handbook in your game, this could be changed to psychic warrior at the DM’s option.) The Underdark is a harsh and unforgiving environment, where only the strongest can survive. Gray dwarf fighters have formed the bedrock of duergar armies for generations, enabling them to hold off such varied threats as aboleth, drow, illithids, kuo-toa, and svirfneblin.
Prestige Classes: Gray dwarves gravitate toward prestige classes such as assassin and blackguard. A few become dwarven defenders. As with their cousins, the shield dwarves, the gray dwarves have a tradition of rune magic, and so a number of clerics become runecasters.
Language and Literacy
Like all dwarves, gray dwarves speak Dwarven and employ the Dethek rune alphabet. Gray dwarves also speak Undercommon, the trade tongue of the Realms Below. The primary gray dwarven dialect, Duergan, is an offshoot of the shield dwarven dialect, heavily influenced by drow and illithid words and language constructs found in Undercommon.
Common secondary languages reflect those spoken by traditional foes, including Draconic, Elven (the drow dialect), Giant, Goblin, and Orc. Those who have extensive dealings with creatures of elemental earth often learn Terran, while those who trade with inhabitants of the Realms Above often learn the trade tongue Common.
All gray dwarf characters are literate except for barbarians.
Gray Dwarf Magıc and Lore
Gray dwarves have a strong divine spellcasting tradition, with many of the Stout Folk called to serve Laduguer or Deep Duerra as clerics, runecasters, or runesmiths. Arcane spellcasters are much rarer, but wizards skilled in the crafting of magic items are much respected.
Spells and Spellcasting
Gray dwarves favor spells that aid their abilities in combat, assist in craftwork or mining, or facilitate stealthy movement. Spellcasting Tradition: Some gray dwarves take the Duergar Mindshaper feat (see the appendix), part of the lore they stole from the mind flayers.
Gray Dwarf Magic Items
Gray dwarves favor magic items that aid in combat, facilitate craftwork, shield the mind, or enable stealthy movement. Blades and axes are commonly crafted with bane, keen, lawful, mighty cleaving, sundering, stunning, unholy, and wounding special abilities. Hammers and maces are commonly crafted with bane, impact, lawful, returning, stunning, sundering, throwing, and unholy special abilities. Armor is typically crafted with etherealness, shadow, slick, silent moves, and spell resistance special abilities that facilitate stealthy movement.
Common Magic Items: Cloaks of arachnida, dust of tracelessness, rings of mind shielding, and whetstones of keen edge. Duergar are notoriously suspicious of outsiders, but duergar merchants trade throughout the Underdark. These items are commonly available at a 10% discount in any duergar settlement of at least large town size.
Iconic Magic Items: Gray dwarves have fabricated many unique magic items, such as absorbing shields, bolts of battering, and stonereaver axes (see the appendix).
Laduguer, the Gray Protector, is the harsh taskmaster of the duergar and the patron of their subrace. Although the duergar nominally venerate all the dwarven deities of the Morndinsamman, in truth they venerate only Laduguer and his daughter, Deep Duerra. Before the rise of Shanatar, each of the shield dwarven subkingdoms had its own patron deity. The kingdom of Barakuir, dominated by the dwarves of Clan Duergar, honored Laduguer and never accepted the ascension of Dumathoin as the patron deity of shield dwarves. The ancestors of the gray dwarves continued to honor Laduguer during their long enslavement by the illithids of Oryndoll. Unlike their shield dwarven brethren, the duergar did not evolve their religious practice toward the veneration of the pantheon as a whole. Deep Duerra, the Daughter of Laduguer, is said to have been a great warrior queen who stole many secrets of the Invisible Art (psionics) from Ilsensine, god of mind flayers. Deep Duerra is venerated primarily by duergar who study the Invisible Art and by those militant gray dwarves who would rather crush their subterranean neighbors than trade with them. Her faith is particularly strong beneath the Osraun Mountains of Turmish, where her followers rule Dunspeirrin, the City of Sunken Spires.
Relations with Other Races
Dour and suspicious of outsiders, gray dwarves have uniformly bad relations with all other races, including other dwarven subraces. The duergar regard their shield dwarf cousins with particular bitterness, dating back to the shield dwarves’ failure to succor Clan Duergar during the Mindstalker Wars. The Kin Clashes forever cemented the mutual animosity between the two dwarven subraces, a hatred that continues today. Gray dwarves regard their gold dwarf cousins as arrogant rivals and potential threats, but trade is possible between the two groups.
Gray dwarves view the surface-dwelling races—elves and halfelves, gnomes, halflings, half-orcs, and planetouched—with suspicion but willingly trade with those who are foolhardy enough to venture into the depths. The duergar harbor a longstanding hatred of their subterranean rivals, the drow and the svirfneblin. Nevertheless, they regularly trade with both groups, pitting them against one another whenever possible.
Gray Dwarf Equipment
Duergar carve and emboss scenes of bloodshed into many items they craft. Though they have a fierce appreciation for fine craftsmanship, they are pragmatic enough to shun ostentatious decoration (such as glittering gems) when it prevents them from creeping unseen through the Underdark. Duergar traders may be richly appointed or seem poorly equipped, depending on the sort of bargaining advantage they seek.
Common Items: Exotic military saddles, thunderstones, and any poison.
Unique Items: Gray dwarves have perfected armor lubricant to assist armored warriors in stealthy maneuvering (see the appendix).
Arms and Armor
Even more so than other dwarves, duergar favor weapons clearly derived from the craftsman’s tools. They favor hammers and picks of all sorts.
Common Items: Heavy pick, light crossbow, light pick, maul, warhammer, breastplate, chainmail.
Animals and Pets
Gray dwarves favor common bats, hairy spiders, osquips, and spitting crawlers as pets and familiars. Deep rothé are the preferred type of livestock. They employ pack lizards as beasts of burden. Although gray dwarves are known for their use of steeders (see the appendix) as mounts, some clans employ riding lizards as well.
Post by Former DM Dark Herald on May 20, 2012 19:58:00 GMT -5
Regions: Damara, Impiltur, the North, Silverymoon, Vaasa, the Vast, and Western Heartlands. Racial Feats: Azerblood, Batrider, Hammer Fist, Oral History, Stoneshaper. Racial Prestige Class: Battlerager.
Found largely in the northern reaches of western and central Faerûn, shield dwarves are the dominant northern branch of the Stout Folk. Renowned for their smithwork and craftsmanship, shield dwarves have endured a centuries-long decline in the face of never ending wars with orcs, goblins, giants, and trolls. Shield dwarves are descended from the founders of Shanatar, a legendary dwarven empire that once ruled the caverns beneath modern-day Amn, Tethyr, and Calimshan. After Shanatar fell, the shield dwarves migrated north, founding kingdoms such as Ammarindar, Delzoun, Gharraghaur, Haunghdannar, Oghrann, and Sarbreen. Although those kingdoms have also largely fallen, the Stout Folk of the North endure. The Thunder Blessing has served as a welcome reprieve for the beleaguered shield dwarves, giving hope that the descendants of ancient Shanatar may one day reclaim the glory of their forebears.
Taller by half a foot than their gold dwarf cousins, shield dwarves average 4 1/2 feet tall and weigh as much as an adult human. The skin of a shield dwarf is fair or lightly tanned, and her eyes are usually green or silvered blue. Both genders wear their hair long, and males (and a very few females) have long, carefully groomed beards and mustaches. Hair color ranges from light brown to red, with all shades fading to silver or white as time progresses.
Shield dwarves keep to their word, whatever the cost, and are incredibly stubborn, unwilling to concede an inch unless there is absolutely no alternative. Such intransigence has enabled dwindling shield dwarf populations to hold on to ancient strongholds with just a fraction of their original defenders. However, it has also led to clan feuds and long-standing misunderstandings with other races that have sapped the strength of the Stout Folk. Shield dwarves love worked beauty, seeing the world as raw material to be forged and shaped into something more than the original.
Shield dwarves have the life expectancy and age categories defined for dwarves in Tables 6–4 and 6–5 of the Player’s Handbook, but use the following random height and weight characteristics instead of those described on Table 6–6:
Shield dwarves trace their history back to Taark Shanat, third son of the great ruling clan of Bhaerynden. In the legendary times more than twelve thousand years ago, the Great Crusader and his eight sons led a great westward migration of dwarves from Bhaerynden in hopes of founding a new homeland. The Cloaker Wars pitted the dwarves who followed Shanat against the mysterious inhabitants of Rringlor Noroth, who rose from the depths of a great chasm in a battle for control of the caverns of Alatorin. The Stout Folk eventually prevailed, after Taark slew four blue dragons who claimed the Rift of Dhalnadar as their demesne. By the hand of one of the dwarven gods, probably Dumathoin, the skulls of the four wyrms came together with a throne that emerged from the cavern floor to form the Wyrmskull Throne. Taark renamed the wyrms’ lair Brightaxe Hall and founded of the kingdom of Alatorin. Shield dwarves mark the founding of Alatorin as the beginning of the First Great Age of Shanatar.
Once Alatorin was established, the eight sons of Taark Shanat set off to found their own kingdoms in the caverns to the north (beneath modern-day Tethyr and Amn). Each son claimed one of the children of Moradin as his patron deity and so each of the subkingdoms they established became tightly linked with the church of that particular god or goddess. Around –9000 DR, skirmishing broke out between the eight northern kingdoms, as each fought to extend its borders at the expense of its neighbors.
Over time, the skirmishes evolved into open warfare, pitting thousands of dwarves against one another. While these wars raged, the drow of Guallidurth took advantage of the dwarves’ distraction to attack the caverns of Alatorin, which were far removed from the frontlines of the fighting. The First Spider War was fought from –8170 DR to –8150 DR and ended with the capture of Brightaxe Hall and the collapse of Alatorin. Aghast at their folly, the eight reigning kings of that era forged an armistice, and turned their armies against the drow. The Second Spider War raged from –8145 DR to –8137 DR, and ended with the drow retreating from the caverns of Alatorin.
In triumph, the eight kings marched their armies back into Brightaxe Hall, pledging never again to fight one another. Seeking to reclaim the vision of Taark Shanat, the eight kings pleaded with their gods to pick one of them to sit on the Wyrmskull Throne. In response, the gods revealed the visage of the reigning king of Ultoksamrin, high priest of Dumathoin. Shield dwarves mark this event as the beginning of the Second Age of Shanatar and the elevation of Dumathoin as patron of their race.
Despite their newfound unity, dissension still lurked within the breasts of many of Shanatar’s citizens. The kings of both Barakuir and Drakkalor both thought that they were entitled to sit on the Wyrmskull Throne, backed by the whisperings of their gods who had sought to have Moradin name them the patron of the shield dwarves. Before such dissent could erupt into open strife, the illithids of Oryndoll attacked the eastern subkingdoms in –8100 DR, beginning a conflict that came to be known as the Mindstalker Wars to the dwarves and the War of Cloven Thoughts to the mind flayers. The illithids were driven back by –8080 DR, but in their wake the surviving Stout Folk discovered that the caverns of Barakuir, which had been cut off in the early days of the fighting, lay empty. Clan Duergar had been carried back to thralldom in the mind flayers’realm.
The Second Age of Shanatar lasted for nearly 1,800 years. Around –6150 DR, the drow of Guallidurth once again attacked the caverns of Alatorin. The Third Spider War lasted nearly thirty years but ended with the Stout Folk abandoning Brightaxe Hall to the drow. The dwarven refugees brought the Wyrmskull Throne with them, marking the end of the Second Age of Shanatar.
As the Third Age of Shanatar dawned, the emperor of Shanatar made plans to establish a new subkingdom in the Realms Above. Dwarven scouts were sent up to the surface around –6100 DR, where they allied with the humans of the region to oust the remaining djinni despots. The alliance between the dwarves and the humans quickly foundered because the rulers of Coramshan turned to evil gods. In response, the dwarves claimed the surface lands north of the Marching Mountains as their own, establishing the kingdom of High Shanatar around –5960 DR.
High Shanatar flourished for centuries under the rule of House Axemarch, but the seeds of its destruction were planted within a century of its establishment. A conflict over a looted tomb led to skirmishing and eventually open warfare. The First Kingdom of Mir was established after Iltaker fell to Murabir Mir of Coramshan in –5330 DR, marking the beginning of the centuries-long expansion of Calimshan at the expense of High Shanatar. By –2600 DR, the last known dwarves of High Shanatar had fallen on the northern banks of the Sulduskoon River, and High Shanatar was no more.
As High Shanatar struggled to hold on to its territories in southwestern Faerûn, Deep Shanatar struggled with challenges of its own. Successive waves of emigration led many young dwarves north to found new realms but also depleted the ranks of those who remained. Over time, the northern kingdoms of Drakkolor, Korolnor, Sondarr, Torglor, and Xothaerin slowly dwindled away as their inhabitants migrated north. The kingdom of Oghrann was established beneath the Plains of Tun in –5125 DR. The coastal realm of Haunghdannar was established in the northern Sword Mountains and along the northern Sword Coast in –4974 DR. Ammarindar was founded beneath the Graypeak Mountains around –4160 DR, and Delzoun, the Northkingdom, rose beneath what is now the Silver Marches around –3900 DR.
Unfortunately for the shield dwarves, their conquests in the North proved illusory, and the glory of Shanatar was never reborn. Oghrann fell in –3770 DR, and Haunghdannar in –3389 DR. Delzoun and Ammarindar lasted many more centuries, but the Northkingdom eventually succumbed in –100 DR, and Ammarindar was overrun in 882 DR by lingering horrors unleashed by the Netherese of Ascalhorn.
In the South, after centuries of decline, the final fall of Deep Shanatar was precipitated by the Stout Folk themselves. Impelled by centuries of bitter resentment, Clan Duergar invaded Ultoksamrin and Holorarar around –1800 DR in a series of conflicts known as the Kin Clashes. Only Iltkazar survived the gray dwarf invasion, leaving Shanatar fallen in all but name.
Despite their centuries-long decline and deserved reputation for dourness and cynicism, shield dwarves have never succumbed to fatalism. Shield dwarves have traditionally been divided into two camps—the Hidden and the Wanderers—although such divisions have begun to fade since the Thunder Blessing. While members of the former group have literally hidden themselves away from the outside world, content to pursue their traditional way of life, members of the latter group have gone out into the world, unbowed by their race’s relentless decline.
Shield dwarves are traditionally slow to trust and slow to forget slights, but a dawning realization of their race’s plight has left many willing to seek out new ways of doing things unconstrained by traditional prejudices or practices. Shield dwarves have a long and proud tradition of adventuring, and many shield dwarves follow this route simply in hopes of equaling or exceeding the deeds of those who have come before. Others seek to recover long-lost strongholds and treasures that have fallen to orcs or other beasts. Since the Thunder Blessing, the question for many young shield dwarves is not why they should become adventurers, but why they should not.
Shield Dwarf Characters
Constant warfare with orcs, goblins, trolls, and giants have imbued a strong martial tradition in shield dwarf culture. Most dwarves learn to defend their homes and clan, with fighters, paladins, and martial clerics being commonplace. Other shield dwarves focus on time-honored skills, following the path of the expert or the rogue. Arcane spellcasters are quite rare, with few of sorcerous inclination. Common multiclass combinations include fighter/cleric, fighter/paladin, and fighter/expert.
Favored Class: A shield dwarf’s favored class is fighter. For centuries shield dwarves have fought a war of genocidal destruction against the orcs, goblins, trolls, and giants of the North. Fighters have always served at the core of shield dwarf armies, ever defiant in the face of overwhelming odds.
Prestige Classes: Battleragers are legendary dwarven warriors who can enter a divine battle frenzy through ritualistic singing. Given to drinking, rowdy and boisterous singing, and drunken dancing, battleragers love to plunge into close-quarters battle, heedless of any danger. See the battlerager prestige class in the appendix.
Shield dwarves of some accomplishment frequently adopt the dwarven defender prestige class, and many of their clerics become runecasters.
Shield Dwarf Society
Although clan and class divisions were once strong among shield dwarves, generations of decline have largely broken their once dominant influence. While shield dwarves are still incredibly proud of their bloodlines, individual accomplishment now counts for more than longstanding tradition or the dictates of clan elders. Shield dwarven life among the Hidden is still dominated by craft and forge, but increasing numbers of shield dwarves are making their own way in the world as adventurers or as craftsfolk dwelling in human dominated communities.
Shield dwarves are raised in tight family units, with clan elders playing a diminishing role in overseeing their upbringing. Book learning is common, and most children are apprenticed to learn a trade as they near maturity. Adult shield dwarves are expected to support themselves and their family as well as bring honor and riches to the clan. While shield dwarves do not shy away from displays of wealth, they avoid ostentatious or decadent behavior. As shield dwarves age, they are honored for their wisdom and accorded respect for their past accomplishments.
Families and clans are expected to honor their elders in death with solemn funereal rites and tombs befitting the deceased’s reputation and accomplishments. Generations of Wanderers have created large and thriving dwarven enclaves within most human settlements, with all shield dwarves welcome as part of the loosely knit dwarven “clan.” Shield dwarves occupy the roles of smith or craftsmen in many human communities and are well respected for their skill as artisans. Few shield dwarves turn away from veneration of the Morndinsamman, but most are quick to learn the local trade tongue and make friends with other races.
Language and Literacy
Like all dwarves, shield dwarves speak Dwarven and employ the Dethek rune alphabet. They also speak Common. The primary shield dwarven dialect, Shanatan, dates back to the founding of Shanatar and is still spoken by dwarves along the Sword Coast from the Shining Sea to the Spine of the World. To the east, in northcentral Faerûn, most shield dwarves speak the Galenan dialect, strongly influenced by the Damaran human tongue.
Common secondary languages reflect the extensive trading contacts maintained by shield dwarves with their neighbors in the North and include Chondathan, Illuskan, and, to a lesser extent, Elven and Gnome. The shield dwarves of northcentral Faerûn are more apt to learn Damaran than Illuskan as a secondary language. Many shield dwarves also learn the languages of their traditional foes, including Draconic, Giant, Goblin, and Orc. All shield dwarf characters are literate except for barbarians.
Shield Dwarf Magic and Lore
Shield dwarves have been engaged in a perpetual war against goblinoids and giants for centuries, so their magic reflects a martial bent. Anything that helps slay more giants is a welcome addition to the shield dwarf arsenal. Among the Hidden, magic from the Illusion and Abjuration schools are immensely important, because they guard a dwarf clan from discovery and attack. The Hidden create layer after layer of protective spells to guard every entrance to their strongholds. Many an invading orc horde has been tricked into leaving or frustrated into exhaustion without ever seeing the shield dwarves they’re fighting.
Spells and Spellcasting
Shield dwarves have a strong divine spellcasting tradition, with many of the Stout Folk called to serve the Morndinsamman as clerics, paladins, runecasters, or runesmiths. Arcane spellcasters are much more rare, but increasing in number.
Spellcasting Tradition: Shield dwarves often take the Shield Dwarf Warder feat (see the appendix), which reflects their knack for creating armor and shields with magic.
Unique Spells: Shield dwarves have created many divine spells over the years, including mindless rage and shape metal.
Racial Magic Items
Shield dwarves favor magic items that aid in combat, whether offensively or defensively. Whether magic is best employed to protect or attack is a centuries-old argument among the shield dwarves, with Wanderers favoring magic weapons and Hidden favoring magic armor. In any case, all shield dwarves revere any magic item that facilitates craftwork, because the urge to create flows strongly in dwarven blood. Axes and other blades are commonly crafted with keen, holy, lawful, flaming, flaming burst, mighty cleaving, sundering, and stunning special abilities. Hammers and maces are commonly crafted with holy, impact, lawful, returning, shock, shocking burst, stunning, sundering, and throwing special abilities.
Armor is typically crafted with fire resistance, fortification, and invulnerability special abilities, reflecting a long tradition of battles against orcs, goblinoids, trolls, and giants, and a deep understanding of metalworking.
Common Magic Items: Common examples of items favored by shield dwarves include anvils of the blacksmith, belts of dwarvenkind (often given as gifts to nondwarves who help a dwarf clan), boots of the winterlands, forges of smithing, hammers of the weaponsmith, tongs of the armorer, and whetstones of keen edge.
Iconic Magic Items: Shield dwarves have fabricated many unique magic items as well, such as doorbreakers, hammers of staggering blows, and stonereavers. They are justly famous for foesplitter axes, which are +1 keen battleaxes.
Shield Dwarf Deities
Shield dwarves have venerated the dwarven deities of the Morndinsamman since the dawn of Shanatar, although their mythology has evolved significantly over the millennia. Taark Shanat and his followers in Alatorin venerated Moradin and Berronar, but worship of those two deities receded as Taark’s eight sons set out to found their own kingdoms, each choosing a patron deity of his own from among their eight children: Dumathoin, Laduguer, Abbathor, Clangeddin Silverbeard, Vergadain, Sharindlar, and the twins Diinkarazan and Diirinka. When the eight kings came together to choose who would first sit on the Wyrmskull Throne, Moradin selected the king of Ultoksamrin, who was also the high priest of Dumathoin. This act cemented the Silent Keeper’s position as patron deity of the shield dwarves but strongly disappointed Dumathoin’s chief rivals, eventually leading to Laduguer’s bitter exile and Abbathor’s enduring corruption. By the fall of Shanatar, the shield dwarves had abandoned the worship of Laduguer, Diinkarazan, and Diirinka, while younger gods such as Thard Harr, Gorm Gulthyn, Marthammor Duin, Dugmaren Brightmantle, and Haela Brightaxe had arisen.
Dumathoin is considered the patron of shield dwarves, and his church has by far the most adherents among shield dwarves. Miners and smiths venerate the Silent Keeper, but he also has a small following among those good- and neutral-aligned shield dwarves seeking secrets of arcane lore. The Mountain Shield is also considered the guardian of the dead and is propitiated by most shield dwarves during burials. Dumathoin’s clerics take charge of all burials, inter the dead in secret vaults, and guard the funereal wealth of great shield dwarves.
Marthammor Duin, the Finder-of-Trails, is venerated by those shield dwarves who consider themselves Wanderers. He watches over good-aligned adventurers, craftsfolk, explorers, expatriates, travelers, and wanderers. Marthammor has a secondary aspect as the dwarven god of lightning, which curiously has attracted a small but growing number of wizards and sorcerers who specialize in evocation magic.
Relations with Other Races
Shield dwarves get along well with most other dwarven subraces, although they regard gold dwarven arrogance as naive and have little understanding for their barbaric wild and arctic dwarven kin. Shield dwarves have a longstanding enmity for the descendants of Clan Duergar, dating back to the Kin Clashes that marked Shanatar’s final chapter, and they attack duergar on sight.
Despite centuries of squabbling with elves and half-elves, shield dwarves have always managed to put aside their differences with the Tel-quessir in the face of outside threats. Shield dwarves have always gotten along well with gnomes, particularly rock gnomes and deep gnomes. Colored by their experience with lightfoots, shield dwarves find halflings to be somewhat unreliable but easy to get along with. Shield dwarves get along well with most humans, particularly Illuskans, Tethyrians, Chondathans, and Damarans.
Shield dwarves see half-orcs as little better than their hated brethren, although exceptions do exist. The Stout Folk of the North associate most planetouched with the horrors of Hellgate Keep and view them with suspicion. Earth genasi are a notable exception and are commonly welcomed in dwarven delves across the North.
Shield Dwarf Equipment
Shield dwarves commonly employ equipment such as armor lubricant, mobile braces, rope climbers, thunderstones,and sunrods.
Arms and Armor
Shield dwarves favor a wide range of weapons, including battleaxes, crossbows, gauntlets, handaxes, heavy picks, light hammers, light picks, longswords, halfspears, short swords, mauls, throwing axes, and warhammers. More unusual weapons include dwarven urgroshes, dwarven waraxes, horned helmets, spiked chains, spiked gauntlets, spiked helmets, and spike shooters.
Typical forms of armor include breastplates, chainmail, half-plate, full plate, large steel shields, and small steel shields. Less common forms of armor include dwarven plate, grasping shields, and large mithral shields. Whenever possible, shield dwarves fashion their armor from mithral; their love of the metal matches the gold dwarves’ admiration for adamantine.
Animals and Pets
Shield dwarves favor bats (especially the common bat), canaries, and small lizards such as the spitting crawler as pets and familiars. They use pack lizards and mules as beasts of burden. Shield dwarves commonly employ ponies or war ponies as steeds, except in Iltkazar, where riding lizards are still the norm. Favored breeds include the Island pony, the Nether pony, and the Whiteshield (war pony). The shield dwarves of the Far Hills employ dire bats as steeds (fitted with exotic military saddles) to navigate the subterranean wells they call home. Shield dwarf barbarians and battleragers often employ dire boars as steeds.
Post by Former DM Dark Herald on May 20, 2012 19:58:46 GMT -5
Regions: Dwarf (shield), Lake of Steam, the North, Tethyr, Urdunnir Dwarf. Small numbers of urdunnir dwarves live among the shield dwarf citadels of the North, but most urdunnirs hail from their own secretive kingdom in the deep Underdark. Racial Feats: Stoneblood, Stoneshaper, Stonewalker Fist. Level Adjustment: +4.
Urdunnirs, sometimes known as orecutter dwarves, are a long-forgotten offshoot of shield dwarves who have become one with the earth and stone. Thanks to the blessings of Dumathoin, urdunnirs can walk through earth and stone as if it were air and shape metal and stone with their hands. Many orecutter dwarves are clerics of Dumathoin, expert smiths, or expert gemcutters. The Children of Dumathoin, as they call themselves, believe that the Silent Keeper transformed their ancestors in order to create a race of dwarves who could appreciate the true beauty of the subterranean landscape without needing to destroy it in the process. They have dwelt ever since in splendid isolation in Oldonnar, the legendary Lost Kingdom of Shanatar, deep beneath the Alimir Mountains.
Averaging 4 1/2 feet tall but weighing much more than an adult human, orecutter dwarves are stocky and muscular. The skin of an urdunnir is light gray, and their eyes are always silver. Both genders wear their hair long, and males (and some females) have long, carefully groomed beards and mustaches. Hair color is uniformly gray, with varying degrees of silver and black highlights.
Urdunnirs see the world as a work of living beauty, walking through stone and earth much as a diver might explore the wonders of the ocean depths. The Children of Dumathoin regard themselves as particularly blessed, for they are not forced to cling to the exterior of Dumathoin’s creation like other races but can wander through the heart of the world itself in an endless search to uncover the Silent Keeper’s hidden secrets (gems).
Urdunnir dwarves have the life expectancy and age categories defined for dwarves in Tables 6–4 and 6–5 of the Player’s Handbook, but use the following random height and weight characteristics instead of those described on Table 6–6 (the extra weight reflects the higher mineral composition in the orecutter dwarves’ bodies):
Shortly after Taark Shanat and his followers first claimed the caverns of Alatorin, Dumathoin transformed a small group of devout shield dwarves into urdunnirs, in hopes that they would be better able to appreciate the beauty of his creation. These early orecutter dwarves broke off from their fellows and set out to establish their own realm, deep in the heart of the world. Miles beneath the Alimir Peninsula, they discovered the Corundumdelve, a vast dodecahedron composed entirely of tightly packed amethysts, rubies, and sapphires, each larger than a dwarven helm. Seeing this as a sign from the Silent Keeper, the urdunirrin established the kingdom of Oldonnar around the Hidden Gem of the Depths and have dwelt there in splendid, unchanging isolation ever since.
Secure in their otherworldly fastnesses and isolated from external threats, orecutter dwarves have never experienced great wars with other races. As such, urdunnirs lack the martial traditions of their gold, gray, and shield dwarven cousins. Strangely enough, urdunnirs share with druids and elves a deep understanding of the natural world. From a young age, orecutter dwarves are taught to live in harmony with their environment. They see Dumathoin’s vast creation as a great sea of earth and stone, ever-changing and always beautiful. They view their role in the world as that of both observer and artisan, working in harmony with Dumathoin’s creation to unlock the secrets the Silent Keeper has hidden within. Thanks to their relative isolation, orecutter dwarves are rarely drawn to the adventuring way of life. However, those who encounter other races or stumble across doings in the Realms Above often find their curiosity piqued, becoming driven to understand those who have not been blessed by Dumathoin.
Their cultural focus on craft skills has made most urdunnirs experts in their trade. Others choose to serve Dumathoin directly as clerics. Fighters, rangers, and paladins are relatively rare, for few orecutter dwarves have ever been forced to defend their holdings from other races. Those who practice the arcane arts are even scarcer, with those evincing the powers of sorcery usually tracing their powers back to creatures of elemental earth. Common multiclass combinations include expert/cleric and expert/fighter.
Favored Class: An urdunnir’s favored class is expert. Far removed from the endless battles that have plagued their kin, the deep-dwelling urdunnirs have the luxury of concentrating on their craft skills, forever seeking the buried treasures and secrets of Dumathoin.
Prestige Classes: Urdunnir characters rarely multiclass into prestige classes, but those who do favor divine disciple, hierophant, loremaster, and runecaster. Urdunnir
The isolation of urdunnirs has preserved traditional family and clan strictures in a form largely unchanged since the founding of Shanatar. In that respect, orecutter dwarves have more in common with their gold dwarf cousins than they do with the shield dwarves of the North. Class divisions are almost nonexistent, for there is little concept of wealth among the Children of Dumathoin, but clan divisions are quite strong and govern most societal behavior.
Orecutter dwarves are raised in tight family units, with clan elders playing a strong oversight role in the upbringing of each child. Book learning is common, albeit in forms not well understood in the Realms Above, and most children are apprenticed to learn a trade as they near maturity. The greatest artisans use their skills to unveil Dumathoin’s secrets and shape his creations into new and pleasing forms, all without disturbing them from their original resting place. As orecutter dwarves age, they are honored for their wisdom and accorded respect for their past accomplishments. Families and clans are expected to honor their elders in death by weaving their bodies into gemstone veins that wind through the earth in a fashion befitting the deceased’s reputation and accomplishments.
Orecutter dwarves are almost unknown outside their own communities, but those who do leave usually seek out other dwarven communities in which to dwell. They typically organize themselves according to ancient clan strictures that suggest little understanding of the cultures in which they dwell or changes in the world since the birth of their race.
Language and Literacy
Urdunnirs speak Dwarven and employ the Dethek rune alphabet. They also speak Undercommon, the trade language of the Realms Below. The only known urdunnir dialect, an archaic form of Shanatan, dates back to the founding of Shanatar. Common secondary languages include the dialect of Gnome spoken by the svirfneblin and Terran, the language of elemental earth. Some urdunnir learn the language of their foes, including the drow dialect of Elven, Kuo-Toan, Beholder, and Aboleth. Few venture close to the surface, but those that do occasionally learn Common, Alzhedo, or Illuskan. All urdunnir characters are literate except for barbarians, who are very rare among this people.
Abilities and Racial Features
Urdunnir dwarves have all the dwarven racial traits listed in the Player’s Handbook, except as follows: • +4 racial bonus on saving throws against poison: Urdunnirs are even more resistant to toxins than other dwarves. • Stone Walk (Su): Urdunnirs can pass through stone and earth as if it were air. They can carry up to twice their own body weight with them in this manner. Urdunnirs (and anyone carried with them) cannot breathe while within stone or earth and must hold their breath while traveling in this manner. • Stone Shape (Sp): At will as an 8th-level sorcerer. • Shape Metal (Sp): At will as an 8th-level sorcerer once per round. This power works just like the shape metal spell (see the appendix), except that urdunnirs can only affect 5 cubic feet of metal. Using this ability is a full-round action. • Automatic Languages: Dwarven, Undercommon. Bonus Languages: By region. • Favored Class: Expert. • Level Adjustment: +4: Urdunnirs have the ability to walk through stone and earth and two unusual spell-like abilities. They are more powerful and gain levels more slowly than the common races of Faerûn. See Table 1 in the Introduction for more information.
Urdunnir Magic and Lore
To the urdunnir dwarves, magic has no inherent interest, but it is a useful tool to help them delve through the heart of the world. They favor divination magic to commune with Dumathoin, and illusions to keep the rest of the Underdark away.
Spells and Spellcasting
Orecutter dwarves have a strong divine spellcasting tradition, with many of the Stout Folk called to serve Dumathoin as clerics, runecasters, or runesmiths. Arcane spellcasters are almost unknown.
Spellcasting Tradition: Urdunnirs favor spells that assist in craftwork or mining or enable close communion with Dumathoin, such as make whole, meld into stone, and stone shape. Orecutter dwarves have created many divine spells over the years; one such example is commune with earth (see the appendix).
Many urdunnirs take the Runesmith feat (see the appendix) because they have difficulty finding many material components so far beneath the surface.
Urdunnir Magic Items
Urdunnirs favor magic items that facilitate their craft skills or further their communion with Dumathoin. When they make weapons of war, they favor blades and axes with holy, lawful, mighty cleaving, sundering, and thundering special abilities. They also wield hammers and maces with holy, impact, lawful, returning, sundering, and throwing special abilities.
Common Magic Items: As befits their name, orecutter dwarves favor magic items that improve artisanship, such as anvils of the blacksmith, belts of dwarvenkind, forges of smithing, hammers of the weaponsmith, necklaces of prayer beads, tongs of the armorer, and whetstones of keen edge.
Iconic Magic Items: Urdunnirs are unquestioned masters of magically enhancing dendritic armor, which they call earthskin. The lucky purchaser who can find the urdunnirs in the first place can obtain a 10% discount on such armor.
The Children of Dumathoin have always venerated the Silent Keeper and see him as the patron of their race. The Keeper of Secrets under the Mountain is revered by all urdunnirs, whose mythology holds (correctly) that he created their ancestors by transforming a small number of shield dwarves from ancient Shanatar. To the urdunnirs, Dumathoin’s “secrets” are literally gems buried within the strata. Their patron’s greatest gift was the ability to move through the earth, seeing the beauty of his creation that others can only experience through destructive mining.
Relations with Other Races
The deep-dwelling urdunnirs have little exposure to other races aside from those that dwell in the Underdark. They are deeply suspicious of elves and half-elves thanks to centuries of dealing with their dark cousins. They get along well with shield dwarves and gold dwarves, but dislike the gray dwarves. Halflings, humans, halforcs, and most planetouched are almost unknown to the urdunnirs. However, they have good relations with earth genasi, whom they sometimes encounter exploring the depths of the earth.
Urdunnirs encrust almost everything they make with gems and other treasures of the earth. They have almost no access to wood or other similar materials and find something as simple as a bow fascinating.
Arms and Armor
Urdunnirs favor a wide range of weapons, including battleaxes, gauntlets, halfspears, handaxes, heavy picks, light hammers, light picks, longswords, mauls, short swords, throwing axes, and warhammers. More unusual weapons include dwarven urgroshes and dwarven waraxes. Unlike races that live closer to the surface, orecutter dwarves use metal even for the hafts of their bladed weapons. This increases their durability in combat (increase the weapon’s hit points by 50%) but doubles the weight of the hafted weapon.
Typical forms of armor include breastplates, chainmail, halfplate, full plate, large steel shields, and small steel shields. More unusual forms of armor include dwarven plate, earthskin (see the appendix), and large mithral shields. Urdunnirs commonly employ equipment such as armor lubricant and thunderstones.
Animals and Pets
Urdunnirs generally eschew pets and familiars, since their subterranean homes are inaccessible to most creatures not of the Elemental Plane of Earth. Those very few urdunnirs who turn to arcane magic sometimes employ earth or magma mephits as familiars.
Most urdunnir characters take the urdunnir region as opposed to the regions of the surrounding human lands. Preferred Classes: Expert, cleric, fighter, paladin. A character of one of these classes may choose a regional feat and gain his choice of the bonus equipment below as a 1st-level character. An urdunnir character of any other class may not select one of the regional feats here and does not gain the bonus equipment at 1st level. Automatic Languages: Dwarven, Undercommon. Bonus Languages: Alzhedo, Beholder, Common, Draconic, Elven, Giant, Gnome, Terran. Regional Feats: Stoneblood, Stoneshaper, Stonewalker Fist. Bonus Equipment: (A) heavy pick* or heavy mace*; (B) chainmail*; or (C) dwarven urgrosh, large steel shield*, and 3 thunderstones.
Post by Former DM Dark Herald on May 20, 2012 19:59:27 GMT -5
Surface-world dwarves sometimes impinge on the Underdark in their excavations, but their deep cousins, the derro and the duergar, are the true dwarvenkind inheritors of the Realms Below. Encampments and communities of these two races are found in almost every type of cave system or tunnel complex of the deep earth.
The derro are a degenerate chaotic evil race, least like the other dwarven races and subraces. They are short and stocky, with skin the color of an iced-over lake. Their sickly, pale yellow hair hangs straight over staring, pupilless eyes. Derro facial features have both human and dwarven characteristics, and their rough skin is spotted with short, coarse tufts of hair. Derro never willingly expose themselves to direct sunlight. It nauseates them and can kill them within a matter of days. The primary deities of the derro are the twins Diinkarazan and Diirinka. Created from dwarf and human stock by the experimentation and breeding programs of mind flayers, the derro appear historically at roughly the same time as the duergar subrace. Incredibly cruel and murderously insane, they enjoy taking slaves and torturing surface dwellers (especially humans) to death.
Derro dwell primarily in the middle and lower reaches of the Underdark, although small war bands sometimes climb to the upper reaches or even raid surface communities. Although most of the Stout Folk are inherently nonmagical, the derro are ruled by savants, powerful spellcasters with sagelike knowledge in many areas.
Derro are afflicted by a form of racial madness, which most often manifests as delusions of grandeur coupled with an overpowering urge to inflict torment on other creatures. Derro are capable of holding their murderous impulses in check for short periods of time in order to cooperate with creatures of other races, but such arrangements rarely last more than a few weeks. Of course, no derro is capable of recognizing that he is out of his mind.
Derro are widespread and likely to be found in small bands almost anywhere. Derro warrens exist in the middle of many drow and duergar cities, and independent derro holds fester in the darkest reaches of the Realms Below. Scouts and marauders of this race scour the tunnels near their settlements in search of unwary victims to enslave and torment. The true cities and strongholds of the derro are buried deep in the Lowerdark. Every twenty years or so, the derro mount an all-out war against other creatures of the Underdark. These Uniting Wars winnow out the weakest members of the race, create a focal point for racial identity, and induce general terror. During these conflicts the derro muster their strength to fight all other creatures in the Underdark, swarming up from their hidden realms to plunder any realm unfortunate enough to lie in their path.
Clever, stealthy, and murderously insane, derro are not likely to take up adventuring for its own sake. However, it is not uncommon for a solitary derro to devote herself to some strange quest, such as collecting particular sorts of gemstones for some fanciful magic device or slaying as many creatures of a particular race as possible. Other derro are assigned to specific missions by the powerful savants of their race. Such mission-driven derro might attach themselves to any convenient band of comrades to accomplish their irrational goals.
Derro can live on a diet of underground fungi, but use it only for spice. They seek out other sustenance whenever possible. A derro hunting party usually pursues large, dangerous prey that will feed an entire lair, rather than smaller, simpler food. The derro tendency to torment prey also holds when for hunting food. They also raid other races for food.
Most derro revere Diirinka, a chaotic deity of magic and cruelty. Very few derro are clerics, but those who follow this path can choose two of the following domains: Chaos, Destruction, Evil, or Trickery.
The leaders of the derro are spellcasters called savants, whom other derro follow fanatically. Derro savants are at least 5thlevel sorcerers; they have one to three Knowledge skills (usually arcana and other esoteric fields). A savant is accompanied by two lower-level students. Savants use their spells to confuse and frustrate rather than kill, preferring to make slaves of defeated foes.
Derro are stealthy and bloodthirsty. They like to carefully arrange cruel traps and deadly ambushes, and strike savagely from hiding. They delight in taking captives who can be tortured to death later, and favor traps and poisons that disable without killing.
Madness (Ex): Derro use their Charisma modifier on Will saves instead of their Wisdom modifier, and have immunity to confusion and insanity effects. A derro cannot be restored to sanity by any means short of a miracle or wish spell. *The racial madness of the derro provides a +6 bonus to their Charisma scores and a –6 penalty to their Wisdom scores. A derro restored to sanity gains 6 points of Wisdom and loses 6 points of Charisma.
Poison Use (Ex): Derro typically carry 2d4 doses of greenblood oil or Medium monstrous spider venom (see Poison, page 296 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide), applying it to their crossbow bolts. Derro are not at risk of poisoning themselves when handling poison.
Sneak Attack (Ex): Any time a derro’s opponent is denied his Dexterity bonus to AC, or if a derro flanks his opponent, he deals an extra 1d6 points of damage. This ability is just like the rogue’s sneak attack and subject to the same limitations.
Spell-Like Abilities: At will—darkness, ghost sound; 1/day— daze (DC 13), sound burst (DC 15). Caster level 3rd. The save DCs are Charisma-based.
Vulnerability to Sunlight (Ex): A derro takes 1 point of Constitution damage for every hour it is exposed to sunlight, and it dies if its Constitution score reaches 0. Lost Constitution points are recovered at the rate of 1 per every 24-hour period spent underground or otherwise sheltered from the sun.
The drow entered the Underdark after the Crown Wars, roughly –10000 DR, with evidence of the first drow cities built around –9600 DR. A vigorous and aggressive race, they seized a great deal of territory before falling into endless internal wars. Dwarves, always present on and below the surface, battled the drow and other Underdark races, losing the entirety of clan Duergar to the mind flayers only to see them emerge generations later as the duergar subrace, imprinted with the cruelty of their psionic masters. The derro also emerged during this time, bred from captured dwarves and humans by the illithids. In later millennia, races such as the svirfneblin, goblinoids, orcs, and grimlocks were brought or found their way into the Underdark. The most recent arrivals are the cloakers, which have been present only for the last few centuries.
972 DR Year of the Cairngorm Crown The scattered derro tribes of the Northdark launch a Uniting War against the duergar of Gracklstugh and succeed in slaying King Barthorn V. The newly crowned King Tarngardt VII launches a crusade to exterminate the scattered derro clans of the Northdark, and several hundred derro are brought back to Gracklstugh as slaves. 
1063 DR Year of the Deluded Tyrant King Tarngardt VII of Gracklstugh orders the city’s derro slaves freed and grants them all the rights and privileges of the city’s duergar inhabitants. The derro form the Council of Savants. 
1370 DR Year of the Tankard The Underdark city of Fluvenilstra  is attacked and razed by a derro horde.
Small Monstrous Humanoid Hit Dice: 3d8+3 (16 hp) Initiative: +6 Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares) Armor Class: 19 (+1 size, +2 Dex, +2 natural, +3 studded leather armor, +1 buckler), touch 13, flat-footed 17 Base Attack/Grapple: +3/–1 Attack: Short sword +4 melee (1d4/19–20) or repeating light crossbow +6 ranged (1d6/19–20 plus poison) Full Attack: Short sword +4 melee (1d4/19–20) or repeating light crossbow +6 ranged (1d6/19–20 plus poison) Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft. Special Attacks: Poison use, spell-like abilities, sneak attack +1d6 Special Qualities: Madness, spell resistance 15 vulnerability to sunlight Saves: Fort +2, Ref +5, Will +6 Abilities: Str 11, Dex 14, Con 13, Int 10, Wis 5*, Cha 16* Skills: Bluff +5, Hide +10, Listen +1, Move Silently +8 Feats: Blind-Fight, Improved Initiative Environment: Underground Organization: Team (2–4), squad (5–8 plus 1 3rd-level sorcerer), or band (11–20 plus 30% noncombatants plus 3 3rd-level sorcerers and 1 sorcerer of 5th–8th level) Challenge Rating: 3 Treasure: Standard coins; double goods; standard items Alignment: Usually chaotic evil Advancement: By character class Level Adjustment: — (+2 if sane)
Sources: Monster Manual 3.5, The Hypertext SRD, Drizzt Do'Urdens Guide to the Underdark, Underdark, Grand History of the Realms, FRCS, Monstrous Manual.
Wild dwarves, who call themselves “dur Authalar” (the People), are the primitive inhabitants of the Jungles of Chult and the Mhair and Black Jungles. They have largely rejected the clanbased craft- and smith-oriented culture of their gold, gray, and shield dwarf cousins, choosing instead to live in hunting bands with ever-shifting memberships. Eschewing all trappings of civilization, wild dwarves live like beasts, engaged in an endless hunt for survival. Only those who dare the shadowy depths of Faerûn’s southern jungles are even aware of the existence of this barbaric dwarven subrace, for these elusive hunters keep to the depths of their woodland homes.
Wild dwarves are dark-skinned, short, and stout, with dark brown eyes. Their heavily tattooed bodies are covered with grease to ward off insects and make them hard to hold. Wild dwarves wear little except their long, woven hair, which serves as adequate clothing. They plaster their hair and skin with mud to form a crude armor when going to war.
Dur Authalar have more in common with the beasts of the jungle than they do with their dwarven kin, viewing life as an endless hunt and each day a struggle to kill or be killed. Wild dwarves distrust all intruders into their jungle domain and, if confronted, are apt to attack first without question. Much like the beasts they strive to emulate, wild dwarves care little about goings-on in the world at large, the doings of those who are not wild dwarves, or material possessions.
Wild dwarves have the life expectancy and age categories defined for dwarves in Tables 6–4 and 6–5 of the Player’s Handbook, but use the following random height and weight characteristics instead of those described on Table 6–6:
The drow conquest of Bhaerynden sometime around the year –9000 DR forced the Stout Folk of that realm to scatter to isolated holdings across the South. One of the largest groups of dwarves to flee the destruction made their way overland to the Chultan peninsula before splintering into small tribal groups. There they emerged as a distinct subrace known as wild dwarves. Dur Authalar have never reversed their rapid descent into barbarism and have largely forgone the strictures of clan life.
Although several great empires have claimed their territory from time to time, including the Chultan realm based in Mezro, the yuan-ti empire of Serpentes that arose after the fall of Netheril, and the Cities of the Seabreeze that came together to form the kingdom of Tashtan, the wild dwarves have never been conquered. Instead, they have chosen to simply melt into the depths of the jungle until such time as they could peaceably reclaim their old hunting grounds.
Wild dwarves see the world in terms of hunter and prey. In the minds of the dur Authalar, civilization is but a veneer that obscures the endless cycle of prey and predation. Wild dwarves care only about securing their next meal and surviving the everpresent dangers of the natural world. From a young age, wild dwarves join in the hunt, and the lack of strong family or clan ties ensures that each wild dwarf understands just how alone he or she is in the world.
Those few wild dwarves who have chosen a life of adventure usually found it thrust upon them. Many were once captives of Calishite slavers who escaped and must now make their own way in the world. Lacking the support of the pack in which they were raised, many see the close camaraderie of adventuring bands as a close approximation of their traditional huntingbands and thus seek out such groups.
Wild Dwarf Characters
The primitive way of life led by wild dwarves ensures that the skills of the barbarian are highly prized. Rangers and fighters who are capable of defeating potential predators and hunting for food survive longer than those who must rely on the beneficence of the pack. Clerics and druids of Thard Harr spread the teaching needed to survive in the harsh jungle environment, while rogues skilled in making and setting traps bring much needed bounty to the nightly feast. Common multiclass combinations include barbarian/fighter, barbarian/ranger, barbarian/druid, and ranger/druid.
Favored Class: A wild dwarf’s favored class is barbarian. Unlike their more civilized kin, the dur Authalar have retreated into barbarism beneath the thick jungle canopy of Chult. In the face of the many dangers that stalk their homeland, survival demands the heightened senses, fast movement, and battle rages of a barbarian.
Wild Dwarf Society
Wild dwarves organize themselves into loose, ever-changing hunting bands and pay little heed to distinctions of family or clan. They live nomadic lives that revolve around the hunt and escaping from more powerful predators. Material wealth and goods mean very little, with weapons being the only objects to which they evince any real attachment. Wild dwarven children are raised communally, with only faint familial bonds ever acknowledged. Book learning is nonexistent, and the young are taught to hunt as soon as they can keep up with the pack. All adults are expected to contribute to the communal life, whether it be watching over the young or leading the hunt.
While the wild dwarves respect the wisdom of elders, those who grow too weak to keep up through persistent sickness or age are eventually left behind by their kin. A few choose their own deaths, suicidally attacking a great beast single-handedly. They are remembered for their bravery in nightly tales that gradually grow into myths.
Few wild dwarves ever leave their traditional way of life in the southern jungles. Wild dwarves encountered beyond the jungle are usually loners who have either been captured and enslaved or voluntarily chosen exile. Most such wild dwarves eventually find their niche alongside rangers, hunters, or druids, although a few join packs of lycanthropes and other sentient beasts in an attempt to recreate their traditional way of life.
Language and Literacy
Wild dwarves speak a dialect of Dwarven, as well as Common. Those rare individuals who are literate employ the Dethek rune alphabet. The wild dwarf dialect, Authalan, is distantly related to the dialect of the gold dwarves, and betrays a subtle Chultan and Tashalan influence.
Common secondary languages reflect the dominant languages of the Chultan peninsula and include Chultan, Draconic, Goblin, Shaaran, Tashalan, and Yuan-Ti. No wild dwarves are literate, except for those who select a Player’s Handbook character class other than barbarian.
Abilities and Racial Features
Wild dwarves have all the dwarven racial traits listed in the Player’s Handbook except as follows:
• Small: As Small creatures, wild dwarves gain a +1 size bonus to Armor Class, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, and a +4 size bonus on Hide checks, but they must use smaller weapons than humans use, and their lifting and carrying limits are threequarters of those of Medium-size characters.
• Wild dwarf land speed is 20 feet.
• Proficient with the handaxe and blowgun (described on Table 6–2 in the DUNGEONMASTER’s Guide). The blowgun is such an integral part of wild dwarf life that all wild dwarves learn to use the weapon. This replaces the normal weapon familiarity.
• Poison Use. Wild dwarves work with poisons from an early age, and they never risk accidentally poisoning themselves when applying poison to a weapon.
• Fire resistance 5. Wild dwarves are inured to the oppressive heat of Chult.
• +3 racial bonus on saving throws against poison. This replaces the standard dwarven bonus against poison. Wild dwarves are immune to wild dwarf knockout poison.
• +4 racial bonus on saving throws against disease. Wild dwarves have developed a strong resistance to disease of all types.
• Wild dwarves are not nearly as capable or familiar with stone and metal as their more civilized kin. They do not receive the dwarven stonecunning trait or the bonus on Appraise and Craft checks related to stone or metal.
Wild dwarves take what magic they know for granted. The blessings of Thard Harr, transmitted through the tribe’s cleric, are no more unusual than the chieftain’s prowess in warfare or the healer’s ability to find beneficial herbs in the jungle. Conversely, wild dwarves are often anxious around magic they’ve never seen before, which includes most arcane magic and any magic items based on manufactured goods.
Spells and Spellcasting
Wild dwarves have a strong divine spellcasting tradition, with many of the Stout Folk called to serve Thard Harr as clerics, druids, or rangers. Arcane spellcasters are almost unknown.
Spellcasting Tradition: Wild dwarves favor spells that that interact with the natural world and aid in the hunt, such as barkskin, calm animals, commune with nature, dominate animal, entangle, hold animal, repel vermin, and wall of thorns. Wild dwarves do not appear to create many spells, or, if they do, they are not widely known and disseminated.
Wild dwarves often augment their magic with extra grunts, gesticulations, and herbs gathered from their jungle home. Many take the Primitive Caster feat (see the appendix).
Wild Dwarf Magic Items
Wild dwarves favor magic items that aid in combat, facilitate fast movement, or provide personal protection. Common examples of such include amulets of natural armor, anklets of springing and striding (identical to the boots of the same name), anklets of speed (identical to the boots of the same name), and all manner of magical oils.
Iconic Magic Items: Wild dwarves have fabricated many unique magic items as well, such as anklets of freedom of movement (as the ring, but worn on the feet), ointment of barkskin, and tanglepatches (see the appendix).
Wild Dwarf Deities
Although the wild dwarves occasionally make offerings to the other dwarven deities, they truly worship only Thard Harr, Lord of the Jungle Deeps. In the folklore of the dur Authalar, the Morndinsamman are reduced to little more than powerful spirits, often associated with specific landmarks or natural phenomena. The Lord of the Jungle Deeps is the protector of wild dwarves, aiding them against marauding beasts and intruders into the jungle fastness. Nearly all wild dwarves venerate Thard Harr, viewing him not only as patron of their kind but also as a source of great wisdom and experience. He teaches the wild dwarves to both respect and emulate the ways of beasts, particularly great jungle cats, and live in harmony with nature.
Relations with Other Races
Hidden away in their vast jungle, wild dwarves have little exposure to races that do not dwell in significant numbers on the Chultan peninsula. Wild dwarves have good relations with other dwarven subraces after centuries of peaceful contact with a small number of shield dwarves who have emigrated to Chult. Wild dwarves have almost no knowledge of elves, half-elves, gnomes, halflings, half-orcs, or planetouched, although they get along well with the ghostwise halflings on the rare occasions they meet.
Wild dwarves have mixed feelings about humans. While they get along well with Chultans, they see Calishites and Lantanna as cruel exploiters and view most Tashalans as servants of the yuan-ti. Wil dwarves reserve their greatest hatred for the goblins of Chult.
Wild Dwarf Equipment
Wild dwarves generally eschew any form of clothing, choosing instead to wear their hair long and cover their bodies with tattoos and grease. In times of war, they plaster their bodies with mud, forming effective but crude mud armor. When defending their home caves, they like to use all manner of pits, snares, deadfalls, and other traps.
Unique Item: Wild dwarf knockout poison (see the appendix).
Arms and Armor
Wild dwarves commonly employ weapons such as halfspears, handaxes, and the ubiquitous blowguns with barbed darts coated with knockout poison.
Animals and Pets
Wild dwarves favor bats, ocelots (lynxes), snakes, and toads as familiars; they prefer hunting cats, such as leopards and tigers, as pets or animal companions. The wild dwarves’ reverence for the great felines of the jungle is so great that most refuse to hunt them.
Wild dwarves eschew the use of pack or riding animals, although from time to time those who dwell in the Jungles of Chult attempt to harness triceratops for the latter role.
Wild Dwarf Region
Wild dwarves typically select either the Chult or the wild dwarf character region.
Preferred Classes: Barbarian, druid, fighter, ranger. A character of one of these classes may choose a regional feat and gain her choice of the bonus equipment below as a 1st-level character. A wild dwarf character of any other class may not select one of the regional feats here and does not gain the bonus equipment at 1st level.
Automatic Languages: Common, Chultan, Dwarven. Bonus Languages: Draconic, Goblin, Ignan, Shaaran, Tashalan, and Yuan-Ti. Regional Feats: Disentangler, Jungle Stamina, Survivor. Bonus Equipment: (A) hand axe* or halfspear*; or (B) ointment of barkskin and 3 doses of wild dwarf knockout venom.
Post by Former DM Dark Herald on May 20, 2012 20:00:45 GMT -5
Dwarves are known for their skill in warfare, their ability to withstand physical and magical punishment, their knowledge of the earth’s secrets, their hard work, and their capacity for drinking ale. Their mysterious kingdoms, carved out from the insides of mountains, are renowned for the marvelous treasures that they produce as gifts or for trade.
Personality: Dwarves are slow to laugh or jest and suspicious of strangers, but they are generous to those few who earn their trust. Dwarves value gold, gems, jewelry, and art objects made with these precious materials, and they have been known to succumb to greed. They fight neither recklessly nor timidly, but with a careful courage and tenacity. Their sense of justice is strong, but at its worst it can turn into a thirst for vengeance. Among gnomes, who get along famously with dwarves, a mild oath is “If I’m lying, may I cross a dwarf.”
Physical Description: Dwarves stand only 4 to 4-1/2 feet tall, but they are so broad and compact that they are, on average, almost as heavy as humans. Dwarf men are slightly taller and noticeably heavier than dwarf women. Dwarves’ skin is typically deep tan or light brown, and their eyes are dark. Their hair is usually black, gray, or brown, and worn long. Dwarf men value their beards highly and groom them very carefully. Dwarves favor simple styles for their hair, beards, and clothes. Dwarves are considered adults at about age 40, and they can live to be more than 400 years old.
Relations: Dwarves get along fine with gnomes, and passably with humans, half-elves, and halflings. Dwarves say, “The difference between an acquaintance and a friend is about a hundred years.” Humans, with their short life spans, have a hard time forging truly strong bonds with dwarves. The best dwarf-human friendships are between a human and a dwarf who liked the human’s parents and grandparents. Dwarves fail to appreciate elves’ subtlety and art, regarding elves as unpredictable, fickle, and flighty. Still, elves and dwarves have, through the ages, found common cause in battles against orcs, goblins, and gnolls. Through many such joint campaigns, the elves have earned the dwarves’ grudging respect. Dwarves mistrust half-orcs in general, and the feeling is mutual. Luckily, dwarves are fair-minded, and they grant individual half-orcs the opportunity to prove themselves.
Alignment: Dwarves are usually lawful, and they tend toward good. Adventuring dwarves are less likely to fit the common mold, however, since they’re more likely to be those who did not fit perfectly into dwarven society.
Dwarven Lands: Dwarven kingdoms usually lie deep beneath the stony faces of mountains, where the dwarves mine gems and precious metals and forge items of wonder. Trustworthy members of other races are welcome in such settlements, though some parts of these lands are off limits even to them. Whatever wealth the dwarves can’t find in their mountains, they gain through trade. Dwarves dislike water travel, so enterprising humans frequently handle trade in dwarven goods when travel is along a water route. Dwarves in human lands are typically mercenaries, weaponsmiths, armorsmiths, jewelers, and artisans. Dwarf bodyguards are renowned for their courage and loyalty, and they are well rewarded for their virtues.
Religion: The chief deity of the dwarves is Moradin, the Soul Forger. He is the creator of the dwarves, and he expects his followers to work for the betterment of the dwarf race.
Language: Dwarves speak Dwarven, which has its own runic script. Dwarven literature is marked by comprehensive histories of kingdoms and wars through the millennia. The Dwarven alphabet is also used (with minor variations) for the Gnome, Giant, Goblin, Orc, and Terran languages. Dwarves often speak the languages of their friends (humans and gnomes) and enemies. Some also learn Terran, the strange language of earth-based creatures such as xorn.
Names: A dwarf’s name is granted to him by his clan elder, in accordance with tradition. Every proper dwarven name has been used and reused down through the generations. A dwarf’s name is not his own. It belongs to his clan. If he misuses it or brings shame to it, his clan will strip him of it. A dwarf stripped of his name is forbidden by dwarven law to use any dwarven name in its place.
Adventurers: A dwarven adventurer may be motivated by crusading zeal, a love of excitement, or simple greed. As long as his accomplishments bring honor to his clan, his deeds earn him respect and status. Defeating giants and claiming powerful magic weapons are sure ways for a dwarf to earn the respect of other dwarves.
+2 Constitution, –2 Charisma: Dwarves are stout and tough but tend to be gruff and reserved.
Medium: As Medium creatures, dwarves have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Dwarf base land speed is 20 feet. However, dwarves can move at this speed even when wearing medium or heavy armor or whose speed is reduced in such conditions).
Darkvision: Dwarves can see in the dark up to 60 feet. Darkvisionis black and white only, but it is otherwise like normal sight, and dwarves can function just fine with no light at all.
Stonecunning: This ability grants a dwarf a +2 racial bonus on Search checks to notice unusual stonework, such as sliding walls, stonework traps, new construction (even when built to match the old), unsafe stone surfaces, shaky stone ceilings, and the like. Something that isn’t stone but that is disguised as stone also counts as unusual stonework. A dwarf who merely comes within 10 feet of unusual stonework can make a Search check as if he were actively searching, and a dwarf can use the Search skill to find stonework traps as a rogue can. A dwarf can also intuit depth, sensing his approximate depth underground as naturally as a human can sense which way is up. Dwarves have a sixth sense about stonework, an innate ability that they get plenty of opportunity to practice and hone in their underground homes.
Weapon Familiarity: Dwarves may treat dwarven waraxes and dwarven urgroshes (see Chapter 7:Equipment) as martial weapons, rather than exotic weapons.
Stability: Dwarves are exceptionally stable on their feet. A dwarf gains a +4 bonus on ability checks made to resist being bull rushed or tripped when standing on the ground (but not when climbing, flying, riding, or otherwise not standing firmly on the ground).
+2 racial bonus on saving throws against poison: Dwarves are hardy and resistant to toxins.
+2 racial bonus on saving throws against spells and spell-like effects: dwarves have an innate resistance to magic spells.
+1 racial bonus to attack rolls against orcs (including half-orcs) and goblinoids (including goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears): Dwarves are trained in the special combat techniques that allow them to fight their common enemies more effectively.
+4 dodge bonus to Armor Class against monsters of the giant type (such as ogres, trolls, and hill giants): This bonus represents special training that dwarves undergo, during which they learn tricks that previous generations developed in their battles with giants. Any time a creature loses its Dexterity bonus (if any) to Armor Class, such as when it’s caught flat-footed, it loses its dodge bonus, too. The Monster Manual has information on which creatures are of the giant type.
+2 racial bonus on Appraise checks that are related to stone or metal items: Dwarves are familiar with valuable items of all kinds, especially those made of stone or metal.
+2 racial bonus on Craft checks that are related to stone or metal: Dwarves are especially capable with stonework and metalwork.
Automatic Languages: Common and Dwarven. Bonus Languages: Giant, Gnome, Goblin, Orc, Terran, and Undercommon. Dwarves are familiar with the languages of their enemies and of their subterranean allies.
Favored Class: Fighter. A multiclass dwarf’s fighter class does not count when determining whether he takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing. (see XP for Multiclass Characters, page 60). Dwarven culture extols the virtues of battle, and the vocation comes easily to dwarves.
Post by sandcastles on May 20, 2012 20:25:29 GMT -5
Quick tables for dwarven statistics (note that not all of these are available to play on frc - most are included for the sake of completeness)
Random Starting Ages
¹ The simple classes are barbarian, rogue, and sorcerer. ² The moderate classes are bard, fighter, paladin, and ranger. ³ The complex classes are cleric, druid, monk, and wizard.
¹ -1 to Str, Con, and Dex; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha ² -2 to Str, Con, and Dex; +1 to Int, Wis and Cha. ³ -3 to Str, Con, and Dex; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
Random Height and Weight
Base Male Height
Base Female Height
Base Height Mod
Base Male Weight
Base Female Weight
Base Weight Mod
x (1d4) lb.
x (2d6) lb.
x (2d4) lb.
x (2d6) lb. (m)| x (2d4) lb. (f)
x (2d8) lb.
x (1d4) lb.
Source: Player's Guide to Faerûn. / Races of Faerûn.
Sugar + Spice + [everything]Nice Illusionist.Waitress.Scholar.Student
"The fine line between valuing traditions and social slavery is marked by an individuals right for freedom of choice without prejudice."
Post by The Tallest Dwarf on Jan 26, 2013 22:52:58 GMT -5
Much of this is from Dwarves Deep, a 2E FR sourcebook.
What it is to be a dwarf
"A grudging, suspicious race." - Alaundo the Sage
Grim mystery, laced with sadness and pride - these are the images that come to mind when one thinks of dwarves. They are the images that should come to players' minds when dwarves come onstage during play in the Realms.
Dwarves are dour, proud, taciturn, and markedly inflexible. They hold grudges and desire gold. Dwarves have a deepseated, morbid dislike and mistrust of all strangers, nondwarves in particular. More than simply wanting to greedily amass all the wealth they can, which is the common human and halfling view of dwarves, the Deep Folk love worked beauty. They prefer beauty through skill, somehow improving on nature, rather than the beauty of nature "as is," the beauty prized by "lazy" elves.
Dwarves are also a devout folk, a race that looks often to its gods who, in turn, serve their steadfast worshippers diligently. Dwarven traits such as grim defiance and greed are not implanted or forced upon the dwarves by their deities, but are things inherent in a dwarf that the gods recognise and play upon.
Dwarves are usually pessimists, as is revealed by their common sayings "every fair sky hides a lurking cloud" and "the gold you have yet to win gleams the brightest". As such they always prepare for the worst, preparing back-up weapons, food caches, escape routes, and 'booby traps' for potential enemies.
Some even see the hand of fate as a real, powerful force that acts upon their lives. Some dwarves have been known to feel their own deaths approach. Others have glimpsed tantalising images of important scenes in their lives to come. These images are given, it is said, by the gods, to ensure that each dwarf knows when an encounter, decision, or deed is especially important to the Folk as a whole, so he might act accordingly. These fateful images make the dwarves respectful and obedient to the gods, willing to obey their laws and rules.
Dwarves therefore tend to keep their word, whatever the cost. By way of example, the village of Maskyr's Eye, in the Vast, is named for a wizard who asked the dwarven king Tuir for land. The king, not wanting to give up any land to humans, but also not wanting to face the attacks of an angered wizard, said the land would be Maskyr's only if the wizard plucked out his right eye on the spot, and gave it to Tuir. Maskyr, to the astonishment of the court, did so, and Tuir then respectfully kept his end of the bargain.
The dwarves have always had close relations with gnomes, and workable relations with halflings. They have always harboured a special hatred for ores and other goblin-kin, and they have never gotten along with their own deep-dwelling kin, the duergar.
Dwarven Manners In Brief
To call someone a 'longbeard' means that he or she is wise, experienced, a dependable veteran, and is a compliment. To call someone a 'no-beard' or 'shorthair' is an insult. All dwarves grow beards, male and female, but some dwarves, usually females, shave.
To call a dwarf 'little' or 'human' (or to combine the two, as in 'little man') is to issue a nasty insult. Conversely, 'standing tall,' as in 'You stand tall among us, Thorgar,' is a term of admiration and respect. Strangely, the actual height of a dwarf does not influence his or her treatment by, and relationships with, other dwarves in any way.
A dwarf may introduce himself to a stranger of another race, as 'Narnden, of the dwarves.' If Narnden is his real name, this is only a subtle insult, reflecting that the dwarf doesn't trust the stranger well enough to give his clan (last) name. If the stranger is a dwarf, it is an unfriendly greeting. If the dwarf gives the name 'Narnden' falsely, it is meant as an insult.
Festivals and Moots
Moots are meetings between dwarven clans or professions, or between dwarves and nondwarven traders or allies. Current known moots in the Realms include periodic hadesmoots near Baldur's Gate, the annual High Moot northeast of Waterdeep, and the Deep Moot in the Great Rift, held every ten years and open to every dwarf.
Dragonmoots are a proud but vanishing tradition, in which bands of adventuring dwarves are called together to fight specific dragons, and plunder their hoards. They were once something of a ritual of passage for young dwarves aspiring to be warriors.
Festivals are annual celebratory feasts which tend to involve lots of drinking and dancing. The most famous festivals include the Festival of the Forging (in honor of the great smithies), the Night of the Thirsty Axe (in honor of great warriors), and the Remembering (in honor of dead dwarven ancestors).
All dwarves, regardless of sub-race, hold moots and festivals.
Professions This mostly applies to Shield and Gold Dwarves:
Dwarves have professions not unlike those of other races, so visitors from human or even elven communities will not be completely lost in the dwarven realms. However, several honoured dwarven professions are unique to their culture. These include loremasters, diplomats, and smiths.
Loremasters are the Keepers of the High History of the Dwarves. Their task is to remember dwarven genealogies, history, and decisions down the ages. In the Deep Realm the most sacred, central part of Underhome is the Vault of Mutterings, where old dwarves endlessly tell each other the lore they know, in a sort of endless chanting and drinking party.
Diplomats are also honoured professionals among the dwarves. Skilled diplomats are either negotiators or messengers. The latter memorise messages exactly and can deliver them in precisely the voice and tone in which they were first enunciated. They can't deliver spells this way, but can impart command words. Messengers are used throughout the Deep Realm as a matter of course, and on the surface when matters of import must be communicated (i.e. news of the death of a dwarf to his or her kin). Dwarven messengers carry small iron bucklers as badges of their office, and may also bear a circle inside-a circle tattoo at the base of their throat.
Far and away the most important profession among the dwarves is, of course, the smith. Smiths vary widely in skills and specialities, and not all of them can fashion magical items.
There is a dwarven saying: "Smiths die rich, but warriors die with only what they've managed to seize and hold onto." It vividly illustrates the relative lack of profit in being an adventurer, compared to the sure gains of being a dwarven smith.
Most human fighters in the Realms know the basics ol forging weapons and armour; the favoured and necessary metals, what tools are commonly used, and so on. They can tell when someone is trying to deceive them over the making of a blade, but would probably produce a brittle, unbalanced weapon unable to hold an edge if they tried to make a sword themselves.Most dwarves can do a little better than that. They can tell you exactly what metals and tempering substances their local smiths used, and know when a forge or blade-in-progress is hot enough simply by its hue.
As the dwarven sage Holoengor of Eartheart has said, "Adventuring is one grand career and craftwork is another. It's a rare dwarf that's tall enough to manage both."
LOVE AND MARRIAGE
Dwarven courtship is a mystery to most other races. Others see dwarves as a hard, grim, largely humorless race.
These misconceptions only substantiate how intensely dwarves value their privacy, and how well they guard it. Dwarves are slow to strong emotion, but their feelings run deep. When moved to anger, hatred, love, or friendship, they hold steadfast throughout their lives. In fact, their low birthrate and dwindling numbers makes dwarves pursue love more fiercely now than in elder days.
Dwarves were once more carefree. Though they lived in danger, beset by enemies in the Deep Realm, they were far more numerous. No dwarf thought of his Folk as a people in decline, or that someday there might be no dwarves. Clan rule was stronger, and females were kept busy in the home, all the while guarded by males who mined and fought.
Some say the heat of the forges and the strange metals dwarves have experimented with over the years have made many of them barren. Others scoff at this notion. Whatever the truth, dwarven fertility has steadily declined.
The rule of clan elders over everyday dwarven lives has also waned, particularly in the north, where once proud dwarven kingdoms are gone, the Folk scattered in lands now held by men.
Females, who from a cold-blooded view of breeding to preserve the race should now be guarded more than ever, have taken advantage of failing clan power to achieve equality with their malefolk. Shedwarves today fiercely hold roles as warriors and adventurers, often paying with their lives. As fertile mothers grow fewer, dwarven power continues to fade.
Today, male and female dwarves are identical in rights. Strong personalities of either sex dominate family and clan life.
Post by The Tallest Dwarf on Jan 26, 2013 22:54:12 GMT -5
The clan was once all-powerful in dwarven life in Faerun, but over the last thousand winters, the power and influence of all clans, particularly in the North, has dwindled. 1. Clan Organization
All dwarven clans have chiefs. In the north, dwarven chieftains are sometimes known as"clanmasters" or"lairds." Their southern counterparts are often known as "ardukes." These ranks give us "the word of the laird shalt be the whole of the law," "for the arduke,' "all honour to the chief," and other sayings. The term "house" refers to the ruling family in a clan, or the ruling clan of a land. This term is most used when there is no single monarch, the ruler uses a lesser title (such as Iron Duke), or when a king is elected rather than inheriting the title.
Almost all positions of clan leadership are obtained today by election from among, and by, the clan's elders. In olden days, dwarves had kings who could trace lineage through generations of previous hereditary rulers. A few kingships survive today, but all rely on the monarch's personal popularity and fitness to rule, not on an automatically-acknowledged blood-right to rule.
Every clan has its elders; dwarves of influence, wealth, and personal might and almost always, distinguished age. Their thoughts and plans aim and shape the lives of clan members; their votes determine clan policy, laws, and justice. Clan elders once held the right to approve or deny marriages in a clan, renouncing the membership of any who married against their will, or married out of the clan. However, the dwindling birthrate of the Deep Folk has put a stop to such influence by the elders.
Most clans have clan champions, who offer themselves in tests of personal combat in the clan's name. They also maintain the clan's militia, gathered clan warriors, often called "the fists of the clan," or"the hammers of the clan."
Outcast dwarves remain, however, outcast to this day. "The memory of a dwarf is long and strong," as the old saying goes.
Dwarves value law and order above all else; usually content with their place, they see an iron maintenance of the status quo as the best way to preserve the Folk. In the eyes of a dwarf, clan rules and law must prevail. Local dwarven laws are often rigid and harsh and are often built on the following principles:
* A dwarf shall not speak falsely to another dwarf * A dwarf shall not steal from another dwarf, nor keep from another dwarf that which is his or hers by right, whether through force or deceit. * A dwarf shall not conceal personal injury or illness from fellows of the same clan. * A dwarf shall never act against any other dwarf, of any clan, by aiding or using the aid of nondwarven creatures. * A dwarf shall not refuse to aid another dwarf of the clan, when the life or health of the needy dwarf is in danger.
Clan justice is done through trial by at clan elders, none of whom can have a blood-interest (direct relationship to either the accused or injured parties). Verdicts are limited to "innocent," "not proved" and "guilty." Obtaining "not proved" verdicts is far from an acquittal, however; they are a black mark against a dwarf's name - those who collect more than six such verdicts are cast out of a clan. Punishments for a "guilty" verdict range from service to injured families to death, and are at the whim of the elders - there are no set sentences for given crimes.
3. Clan Professions
Clans usually specialise in particular crafts or skills hut dwarves skilled in almost anything can be found in the ranks of every large clan. Specialities include blacksmithing, silversmithing, gold smithing, armour-making , weapon- making, gemcutting, soldiery, and diplomacy (negotiators and messengers).
Post by The Tallest Dwarf on Jan 26, 2013 22:55:46 GMT -5
Delving more deeply still...
Clans and Society A sick or injured dwarf will be fed and cared for by his clan. Those in good health are expected to work in order to maintain the welfare and reputation of the clan. No dwarf would ever do otherwise. Someone who cheats or doesn't pull his own weight earns the disapproval of his fellow clansmen. He will be warned and pressure will be brought to bear to ensure that he does not bring the name of the clan into disrepute. If he does not heed the warnings, he will be ostracized.An ostracized dwarf loses all benefits provided by the clan. The clan's guild will prevent him from working and confiscate his tools if it can. If he shows a desire to mend his ways, he will be allowed back into the clan, and the guild will lift the ban. If not, he will be left to himself and even his family will shun him.
Loyalties To an outsider, dwarf clans appear very complex, and the relationships between them highly convoluted, because they are. Dwarves would not organize their lives any other way. They know where their loyalties lie: first to the family, then to the clan, the guild, the stronghold, and then to any other strongholds to which the clan is allied. Dwarves are a proud race and maintain their loyalties. They are willing to defend each other, often to the death. An insult against one dwarf is considered to be an insult against all dwarves.
Love of Stability Life underground has had a lasting effect on dwarf personalities. They have developed an instinctive love of earth and rock that represent stability and permanence. Earth and rock may be tunneled and carved, arched and buttressed, yet they remain always solid and reliable. The sea, however, is ever changing, with no stability, and prone to tempestuous storms. It represents the force of chaos prevalent in the world above, and is the antithesis of the safe, womblike caverns that are home to the dwarves. Themes of solidity and reliability recur continually in the dwarvish world view. The world is solid and constant, so life should be conducted in the same manner. This is closely allied to their predominantly lawful good alignment. Dwarves value law and order, and see these as part of the natural order of the world. Society should be as solid and reliable as the stone of the earth. Dwarves live 350 years on average, during which time trees grow and die, axe hafts are made and replaced many times, and wooden structures decay and rot away. Compared to the strength and durability of metal and rock, other things seem very transitory. Building to last means building well.
Dwarven Crafts Dwarves are expert craftsmen not out of some god-given ability, but because they serve long, exacting apprenticeships. Dwarves traditionally serve a 25-year apprenticeship. To dwarves this is part of life. "A job worth doing, is worth doing well." This attitude is deeply ingrained and explains why dwarves love to create beautiful objects and lavish so much time on them. They seek to create that which will last until time's end, and they have difficulty comprehending why other races consider work a chore rather than an act of artistic expression to be savored and enjoyed. Dwarf craftsmen, because of their skills, produce weapons, armor, and other goods more quickly than other races, yet of superior quality.
Dwarves and Humor Dwarves are viewed as humorless, if not downright grumpy, by other races. This is a fair assessment. They do not often tell jokes, and have no appreciation of practical jokes. Society is based on law, order, and a respect for one's fellows. A dwarf does not abuse that respect by ridiculing another's dignity. Dwarves love to work and find pleasure in it. This pleasure is so spiritually uplifting that any attempt at humor appears facile. Those not content with work or their position in life may need such diversion, but humor is seen as insult. That's not to say that dwarves are humorless, they have a very black humor concerning their racial enemies, but their sense of humor is very different from that of humans, for example. They do not find jokes about personal suffering or failure funny. They do find those based upon clever stories entertaining. The problem is that dwarven jokes tend to follow a standard narrative pattern. Because of their great length, endless genealogies, and catalogs of dwarven concerns, it is difficult for other races to maintain any interest in them. Dwarf comedians, telling jokes to other races, are frequently annoyed when audience attention slips after 15 minutes or so, or when the audience has no concept of the importance of lineage in the joke's 'punch paragraph!' Races who have been subjected to dwarven humor fail to realize that it does not rely on the delivery of one liners, but on the slow presentation of a chapter, if not an entire book.
Wealth The dwarven concept of wealth is different, as well. Dwarves are attracted to objects for their intrinsic beauty, not for any commercial value. They prize fine workmanship, but know that craftsmen only augment what the earth has provided. Gold has the greatest significance to them, not for its value, but for its natural beauty and pliability. In the hands of a master craftsman, gold can be heated and poured into molds, beaten with a hammer, drawn into wires, or carefully filigreed with a chisel. Well made golden objects are treasured for workmanship and beauty. Poorly made objects are melted down to be remade as coins or other objects. Dwarves are aware of the scarcity of gold, and of its value. No dwarf has ever sold gold at less than its current value, a fact that has led other races to see them as mean and avaricious. The dwarves' passion for gold is well known, as is their love of gemstones. They love to possess these treasures of the earth, polishing and cutting them into brilliant shapes that catch the light perfectly. Each stone is seen as a shining example of the beauty of the earth. To those who have left their underground homes, they are reminders that true beauty comes from within the earth. Dwarves are well aware of the value of gems. Where others value stones by weight and scarcity, dwarves value them according to their beauty. They have, however, no desire to own or collect pearls. As products of the sea and shellfish, they are not considered to be gems. Dwarves find them unattractive. Pearls lack the deep lustre of natural stones. Still, it is a foolish dwarf who does not realize that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. While pearls are worthless, dwarves are aware of their trade value. Gold and gems are their greatest loves, but other metals are important to them too. Platinum has many of the attributes of gold and is even rarer. Silver is easy to work and holds its shape better than gold. Its color is not as desirable, but it has its own appeal. Copper and other metals are also considered beautiful. While other metals are more common than gold, their comparative rarity lends them value.Iron ore is crucial to the dwarves. With it they make weapons, armor, forges, and tools.Iron ore veins are seen as the bones of the earth; bones bequeathed to the dwarves to be used for their own purposes. When forged with carbon, dwarves transform iron into steel that is durable and hard without being brittle.
Crafts Though they would love to work exclusively with gold and gems, dwarves are a practical folk. They know that iron and steel wear hard and are infinitely more practical as tools.Therefore they work extensively in iron and steel. Dwarf craftsmen produce some of the finest weapons, armor, and tools in any world. These goods, because of their quality, bring higher prices that are gladly paid for dwarven craftsmanship. All crafts necessary to ensure the strongholds are places of beauty are also worked.
Individualism Dwarves willingly live under lawful institutions, respecting privacy and personal space. Law induces order, organization, and a stable society. The society reflects the natural order of the world, with everything in its proper place. Laws exist to be obeyed, not to be broken. Society exists so that dwarves may be free from unnecessary intrusions.Even though law is important, dwarves are fairly individualistic. They have personal views that they rarely make known to others, one reason they are seen as a taciturn race. However,when a dwarf thinks that his own views are not being heard, he will become grumpy, silent, and bear his distress stoically. This stoicism, and the desire not to grieve others, is evident in the way they view wealth as a private matter. Only powerful and respected dwarves are expected to display wealth openly, and even then ostentatious displays are frowned upon. All dwarves are expected to, and prefer to, keep their wealth hidden. It is considered bad manners to flaunt accumulated wealth. Such behavior is offensive and has caused dwarves who travel in the surface world to be deeply insulted. Wealth, particularly gems and precious metals, are for personal delight. They should be carefully hoarded and displayed for one's closest family or cherished friends. It is a mark of acceptance and friendship among dwarves for one to reveal his wealth. By doing so, he is not only sharing the joy of his possessions, but is saying, "You are my friend, whom I trust not to steal from me." (The exception to this, of course, is wealth displayed through excellent craftsmanship in utilitarian items. A beautifully crafted and gilded axe with an inlaid gem or two is not ostentatious if it is functional. Dwarves claim this is not a subjective distinction, but most other races find it hard to follow the reasoning.)It's no surprise that dwarves are considered mean and greedy by races who cannot understand their motivation.
Emotions A private people, dwarves often have difficulty expressing emotion. Their society is structured to make displays of anger, envy, jealousy, and hatred unnecessary. They are capable of harboring grudges and hatreds, but these are usually directed outside of the stronghold.Dwarves rarely insult or distress each other, but other races distress them greatly. Not giving them the respect they demand, enquiring casually about wealth, or making them the butts of jokes, are guaranteed to make dwarves angry. But this anger will normally only show itself as a scowl or a contraction of the brows. Other races have concluded, therefore, that dwarves are humorless, not realizing that dwarves do not release their anger. They allow it to simmer and increase until they explode, becoming their own stereotypes:grumpy, taciturn, stubborn, and unyielding. Dwarves often despair at the extremely poor manners of other races.
Attitudes Toward Other Races Dwarves are basically good people. They seek to harm no one, merely to coexist with them, or even better, to be left alone. Because of their good nature, dwarves have been known to persevere in the face of insults and inexplicable behavior. They have banded together with men and elves in times of crisis, and have entered long term trade agreements of mutual benefit.They have little patience for the ways of humans who simply do things wrong. Humans either waste time in petty pursuits or are so keen to achieve their goals, they are willing, almost eager, to be forceful and rude. They have no conception of the proper rhythm of the world, which is hardly surprising since they allow their lives to be dominated by the changes of night and day and the seasons. No sooner do they achieve something, than their children want to change it, replace it, or worse, lose interest in it entirely. Elves should know better, but they lack the simplest virtues of patience, diligence, and consistency. They are renowned for wasting their lives enjoying themselves instead of producing lasting goods. The differences between elves and dwarves have led to many disagreements. This usually occurred because dwarves considered agreements to be binding until the end of time, while the elves thought they were to last as long as they were useful. Entire strongholds may have been threatened or destroyed because elves failed to honor a pledge. Perhaps some minor slight elves have forgotten, has been harbored and nurtured and passed on to the next generation. As fellow underground dwellers, gnomes are looked upon more favorably by dwarves, though the gnomes' delight in black humor and practical jokes has caused friction.
War to the Death Dwarves do not compromise when dealing with evil races, particularly when competing with them for living space or when their welfare is threatened. Dwarves detest drow, orcs, goblins, hobgoblins, and evil giants, eradicating them whenever found.Their hatred of evil races is as ancient as the dwarves themselves. Originally, wars were fought to determine who had the right to live underground, but the conflict has spread to the surface. They now bear a burning and eternal hatred for them. Dwarves have no doubt that they are involved in a war of massive proportions. It is known as the "War to the Death," for the dwarves have sworn to fight until their enemies are destroyed.
Dwarves' Diet Dwarves enjoy a wide variety of food, with a preference for meat.Dwarves keep cattle, goats, sheep, pigs, and fowl. These animals are grazed above ground on upland meadows or plateaus. In high ranges, mountain dwarves keep animals more suited to subterranean existence: giant lizards and beetles.They also take advantage of fish in underground lakes and rivers. Although meat is a staple of their diet, large quantities of grains are also consumed. When possible wheat, rye and barley are grown close to the stronghold. They are harvested and kept in underground granaries.They also plant vegetables and fruit, whatever will grow in the soil but especially potatoes, radishes, and other hearty vegetables. Many who live close to humans or halflings buy large quantities of grain to supplement their own production.Dwarves who live in the deep earth substitute various types of fungi for grains. Like the giant lizards and beetles, many of these fungi have been carefully bred to produce a wide variety of flavors to excite the palate. Most are very careful about the kinds of fungi they eat.Dwarven cooking also makes use of vegetables for flavor and variety. The food is wholesome, largely consisting of thick stews and soups served on broad slices of bread. While they are not voracious eaters like halflings, few humans or elves can eat as much as a dwarf in a single meal.
Clothing Dwarven clothing tends to be heavy, somber in color, and serviceable. Made from thick wool or spun strands of fungi, it is designed to keep the dwarves warm in the unheated places in their strongholds. To the untrained eye, colors are uniformly drab grays and browns. Dwarven languages have over 500 words for rock, and almost as many to describe different rock hues. Particular shades of gray and brown reveal much about the clan and status of dwarves, if one has the eye to see.Boots, belts, and hats are usually made by the leather guilds of tanned leather from the hides of cattle or giant lizards.
Music and Singing Dwarves love to sing. Many have rich baritone voices that echo splendidly about their chambered halls. Numerous great halls are specially constructed around natural acoustic properties. Except for solo performances by entertainers, singing is a group activity. On formal occasions songs written to display their vocal ranges are sung by massed choirs. On less formal occasions, any dwarf may sing within a hall or around the hearth.Their songs speak of the beauty of the earth, commemorate famous deeds of valor, or sing of the construction of a magnificent bridge or other edifice. Some are laments that tell of the death of a loved one or great hero, or the loss of a stronghold to monsters. The songs tend to be long and very well written. Most races would lose patience with a spoken story, but even elves have sat entranced for hours by the story songs of dwarves. Dwarves also enjoy playing instruments; flutes, horns, bagpipes, drums, and percussion instruments especially. Their music is either martial or mournful. Rarely will musicians accompany singers: music dampens the true resonance of the voice. However, special songs have been written, and are performed, for voice and instrument.
Post by The Tallest Dwarf on Jan 27, 2013 15:48:31 GMT -5
Grooming (from Races of Stone, 3E Supplement)
While dwarven clothing options might seem staid and homogeneous when compared to those of the elves or humans, it is only because clothing has little value in their culture. Instead, the dwarves prize their hair, whether it is on their scalps (for both genders) or on their faces (for males). The dwarven love of textures and patterns is applied to hairstyles as much as anything else, with intricate braids worn by both males and females. A regular three-part braid might be sufficient for daily life, but an important occasion might see particularly old or revered dwarves sporting up to a twenty-part braid, or multiple smaller ones braided together. Metal fasteners or ornaments are common additions to both hair and beard braids, but again, these are preferred as accenting touches, and most dwarves wear no more than two or three on a particularly festive occasion. While many picture dwarves as dusty, dirty smiths and miners, the truth is quite the opposite. The dwarves’ familiarity with their underground habitats lets them find and harness underground hot springs, pools, and rivers,providing dwarf settlements of all sizes with fresh water and bathing areas. Dwarven baths are public, though segregated by gender into separate areas, and attendance is considered an important social function. As a result, dwarves are typically far cleaner and better groomed than most surface races.
Post by The Tallest Dwarf on Jan 27, 2013 16:00:12 GMT -5
Some Dwarvish words:
(This is from the FR module Dwarves Deep. While this differs from the alphabet used in nwn, it is still a good insight into how Dwarves think and what they consider important.)
Dwarven to common
A ae: gold aelin: gold-work agland: sword alagh: battle-glory, valor ar: to cut, slash, or lay open arglar: to butcher; "a proper arglary" means a proper butchering, or a good fight, and is often used to describle vicious struggles with orcs arau: great, huge, gigantic auraglor: sea, ocean (literally, 'great lake')
B barak: backbone, strength, shield bedorn: disbelief, lies, mistakes, exaggeration, distortion beldarak: treachery (hence, "beldarakin" means treacherous beings) burakin: way through, passage
C calass: thief, miscreant, untrustworthy one caurak: cavern (large size, underground only) corl: to kill coral: killer
D daern: familiar, known (place, feature, or being) dauble: treasure or valuable (plural "daubles") deladar: to descend, go down (hence, "deladaraugh" means to die in battle, literally, 'to go down to the death') delvar: to dig (hence, "delve" means a digging; mine; tunnel; or underhome) donnar: metal ore dunglor: underground lake dunlur: underground river
E endar: cave (surface world; one not linked to extensive underways)
F faern: home findar: good luck, good fortune, favorable chances
G glor: lake gordul: gods forfend, or gods, look at this! (an oath of amazement or dis-pair) glander: gems, including uncut natural stones
H halaur: gift hurnden: payment
I ilith: deal, agreement, trust of one's word of honor
J jargh: jokester, idiot (often applied to halflings)
K kuldjargh: a berserker, or one who is reckless in any battle (literally, "axe-idiot") kuld: axe kuldar: warrior (literally, "axe-cutter")
L levasst: passage linking surface to underground lhar: gap, (mountain) pass llargh: loose stone, bad to work or unsafe lur: river, creek, stream llur: large (wide) river lurgh: marsh, fen lurmurk: bog, muskeg (concealed waters)
M morndin: peak, height (especially of mountains, but sometimes used to speaK of high ledges, ranks of individuals, or tall creatures) mrin: to climb (hence, "mrinding" means climbing) mur: to disagree (hence, "murmel" means to argue, debate) murmelings: arguments, criticism, words of dissention)
N norogh: monsters, evil or dangerous beings or forces (especially unknown or unidentified) noror: enemies (known) noroth: enemy land, area, or lair (plural is "norothin")
O ol: magic, magical power or items ("olara" refers to natural magic, not used or influenced by beings) olor: world, all lands, the entire territory of Toril seen by, and known to the dwarves
P parlyn: clothing, especially usual or expected (proper or fitting) adornment
R raugh: death, an ending, it's over (especially feuds or love-affairs) rrin: over, above rorn: destruction, devastation, war (thus, "rorntyn" means battlefield) rune: familiar, known runedar: home, familiar place, haven
S sabrak: crack, flaw samman: trusted friend, shield-brother (battle companion) samryn: trustworthy, honest, honorable, or favorable sargh: disgusting thing or occurrence; filth; orcs or orc-work sonn: good stone splendarr: bright, shining, beautiful, hopeful
T taerin: love (true love, 'deep' love) thalorn: kindness, caring, good deed tharn: love, lust (hence "aetharn" means gold-lust) thord: bone ("thorden" means bones) thork: death, excrement, decay, carrion thudul: fate, doom, ill luck, or (spoken in irony) everyday cheery tidings or good fortune tindul: clumsiness, clumsy work (especially smithcraft) tor: hill, knoll (especially if bare rock in places, smaller than a mountain or krag) torst: adventure, fun, welcomed danger tyn: field, open place (aboveground)
U ultok: meeting-place, coming together, rendezvous ultokrinlur: ford (literally 'meeting place over river') undivver: hope, future plan, strategy
V veltel: romance, courtship, social games and manners vallahir: mountain-meadow (high valley, especially a 'hanging valley' or alpine plateau) vudd: wood, forest vruden: wood (thus, "vrudenla" means wooden or of wood)
W wurgym: ugliness, uglu thing or being wurlur: current, racing water (danger) wurn: water (especially useful or drinking water)
X xoth: knowledge (especially dwarf-lore and secret or special knowledge) under: secrets, dark deeds, or treasure-talk
Y yaugh: a climb (thus: "yaughadar" means stairs or steps, "yauthlin" means rope, "yauthmair" means handholds or no clear way, and "yauthtil" means an elevator (if magical it is an "olyauthil")
Z zander: adventurer, rogue, foolish youth, happy-go-lucky or reckless being
Common to dwarven
A above (over): rrin adventure (fun, welcomed danger): torst adventurer (as in; rogue, foolish youth, happy-go-lucky or reckless being): zander arguments (criticism, words of dissention): murmelings axe: kuld
B backbone (strength, shield): barak battle-glory: alagh battlefield: rorntyn beautiful (shining, bright, hopeful): splendarr below (as in 'under'or underground): dun berserker (or one who is reckless in battle): kuldjargh (literally 'axe-idiot') bog (muskeg, concealed waters): lurmurk bone: thord; 'thorden' means bones. bright (shining, beautiful, hopeful): splendarr butcher (to butcher): arglar; "a proper arglary" means a proper butchering, or a good fight, and is often used to describle vicious struggles with orcs.
C cave: endar (surface world; one not linked to extensive underways) cavern (large size, underground only): caurak climb (as in 'a climb'): yaugh (thus: "yaughadar" means stairs or steps, "yauthlin" means rope, "yauthmair" means handholds or no clear way, and "yauthtil" means an elevator (if magical it is an "olyauthil")climb (as in 'to climb'): mrin; hence, "mrinding" means climbing. clothing (especially usual or expected (proper or fitting) adornment): parlyn clumsiness, clumsy work (especially smithcraft): tindul crack, flaw: sabrak creek (river, stream): lur criticism (arguments, words of dissention): murmelings current (racing water (danger)): wurlur cut (to cut or lay open): ar
D deal (agreement, trust of one's word of honor): ilith death (an ending, it's over (especially feuds or love-affairs)): raugh death (excrement, decay, carrion): thork descend (to go down): deladar; hence, "deladaraugh" means to die in battle, (literally, 'to go down to the death'). destruction (devastation, war): rorn; thus, 'rorntyn' means battlefield. dig (as in 'to dig'): delvar hence, "delve" means a digging; mine; tunnel; or underhome. disagree (as in 'to disagree'): mur; hence, "murmel" means to argue, debate. disbelief (lies, mistakes, exaggeration, distortion): bedorn disgusting thing or occurrence; filth; orcs or orc-work: sargh distrotion (disbelief, mistakes, exaggeration, lies): bedorn doom (fate, ill luck, or if spoken in irony, everyday cheery tidings or good fortune): thudul
E elevator: yauthtil enemies (as in known enimies): noror enemy land, area, or lair: noroth; (plural is "norothin") evil or dangerous beings or force: norogh exaggeration (disbelief, mistakes, lies, distortion): bedorn
F familiar (known place, feature, or being): daern familiar (known): rune fate (doom, ill luck, or if spoken in irony, everyday cheery tidings or good fortune): thudul fen (marsh): lurgh field (open place aboveground): tyn filth; orcs or orc-work: sargh flaw, crack: sabrak ford: rinlur; hence 'ultokrinlur' is literally 'meeting place over river'. forest (as in woods): vudd friend (trusted shield-brother or battle companion): samman from: ar fun (adventure, welcomed danger): torst
G gap (mountain pass): lhar gems (including uncut natural stones): glander gift: halaur gigantic (great, huge): arau gods forfend (or 'gods, look at this!'): gordul (an oath of amazement or despair) gold-work: aelin gold: ae good luck (good fortune, favorable chances): findar good stone: sonn great (huge, gigantic): arau
H handholds: yauthmair haven (familiar place): runedar hill, knoll (especially if bare rock in places, smaller than a mountain or krag): tor home (familiar place, haven): runedar home: faern honest (honorable, trustworty): samryn hope (future plan, strategy): undivver huge (great, gigantic): arau
J jokester, idiot (often applied to halflings): jargh
K kill (as in 'to kill'): corl killer: coral kin: samman kindness (caring, good deed): thalorn knowledge (especially dwarf-lore and secret or special knowledge): xoth known (familiar): rune
L lake: glor large (wide) river: llur lay open: ar lies (disbelief, mistakes, exaggeration, distortion): bedorn loose stone (bad to work or unsafe): llargh love (as in 'lust'): tharn; hence 'aetharn' means gold-lust love (true love, 'deep' love): taerin lust: tharn; hence 'aetharn' means gold-lust
M magic, magical power or items: ol; "olara" refers to natural magic, not used or influenced by beings. marsh (fen): lurgh meeting-place (coming together, rendezvous): ultok metal ore: donnar miscreant (untrustworthy one): calass mistakes (disbelief, lies, exaggeration, distortion): bedorn monsters (evil or dangerous beings or force): norogh (especially unknown or unidentified) mountain-meadow (high valley, especially a 'hanging valley' or alpine plateau): vallahir muskeg (bog, concealed waters): lurmurk
N over (above): rrin
P pass (mountain pass or gap): lhar passage linking surface to underground: levasst passageway (passage way through): burakin payment: hurnden peak, height: morndin; especially of mountains, but sometimes used to speak of high ledges, ranks of individuals, or tall creatures. plan (strategy, hope): undivver
R reckless (as in reckless being, foolish youth, rogue): zander reckless in battle(or a berserker): kuldjargh (literally 'axe-idiot') rendezvous (meeting-place): ultok river (creek, stream): lur (llur 'wide river') rogue (foolish youth, happy-go-lucky or reckless being): zander romance (courtship, social games and manners): veltel rope (as in climbing rope): yauthlin
S sea (ocean): auraglor (literally, 'great lake') secrets (dark deeds, or treasure-talk): xunder shield (backbone strength): barak shield-brother: samman; usually refering to another dwarf. shining (bright, beautiful, hopeful): splendarr slash, or lay open: ar stairs, steps: yaughadar strategy (future plan, hope): undivver stream (creek, river): lur strength (backbone, shield): barak sword: agland
T thief (miscreant, untrustworthy one): calass treachery: beldarak; hence, "beldarakin" means treacherous beings. treasure or valuable (plural "daubles"): dauble trustworthy (honest, honorable, or favorable): samryn
U ugliness (uglu thing or being): wurgym underground lake: dunglor underground river: dunlur untrustworthy (miscreant): calass
V valor: alagh
W warrior: kuldar (literally, 'axe-cutter') water (especially useful or drinking water): wurn wood (as in forest): vudd wood: vruden; thus, 'vrudenla' means wooden or of wood. world (all lands, all of Toril seen by, and known to the dwarves): olor
Example name: In Dwarvish, a Kuldrorn might introduce themselves as being of the "Clan of the Warrior's Axe".
Post by The Tallest Dwarf on Mar 10, 2013 2:05:40 GMT -5
Below is a list of Dwarven phrases and proverbs that I have compiled over the course of years roleplaying. Some are my own and a lot are (I believe) self-evident.
"Never injure your pride by substituting your axe for a smith's hammer." A dwarven proverb meaning "the right tool for the right job."
"People die for wealth and birds die for food." A dwarven proverb that speaks to what is truly of value.
"The Gods look after fools, children, and drunkards... humans usually count for two out of three." A Dwarven saying that expresses their general opinion of the human race.
"An elf’s tongue will talk the sundial 'round." Not always applicable since many Dwarves do not use sundials.
"Between the pickaxe and the rockface..."
"Certain as Mount Clangeddin is still standing."
"Discussion gathers no gems." Don't talk when there's work to be done.
"Give me a year and a hundred of my kin and I would make this a place that armies would break upon like water." (Gimli from LOTR, describing the Hornburg at Helm's Deep)
"It's no hair off my chin."
"Give me a row of orc necks and room to swing and all weariness will fall from me!" (Gimli again)
"When the mountain crumbles..."
“Shale-spined lot ye are.” Shale is an exceptionally soft stone.
“It's nought but talc to me!” Talc is also a very soft mineral, akin to saying it means nothing.
"The water'll find its own way down." All things will come to pass.
"You have talent, boy, but no edge. You're unfired, impure, dross hangs on you like last night's ale. I'll have to smelt you something fierce before you'll be worthy."
“Better to delve too deep than never delve at all.”
"They who so shed dwarf blood, by dwarf shall their blood be shed!" General statement on Dwarven vengeance.
"Not every stone is a gem, not every rock holds value, but even the lowest rock can hide a geode." Even the unlikeliest person has worth.
"From this moment my kinsmen, we are dead. We march forth as a hammer striking an anvil to create something worth being alive for."
"May your beard grow long and your weapon stay true.” One traditional farewell.
"May your mug never empty, your friends be untrue, and your armor never break in case they do!" Another farewell.
"Stone guide ye." A particularly devout farewell.
"An ale in the hand is worth 2 in the keg."
“That's not fit for goblins!”
“Well aren't ye full o' bellows!” Full of hot air.
"Cold as a mind-flayer's kiss."
"A lone column supports nothing."
"You're just poking the troll."
"All ale and no steel." Full of bluster and braggadocio.
"A gold-digger ye are." To a Dwarf this is a compliment, meaning one who seeks the best in all endeavors.
"A goblin-nosed orc-kisser ye are!" A dire insult, especially if one Dwarf says it to another.
"Well shave my back and call me an elf!" (Admittedly stolen from Oghren in DA:O)
"Your mother is a goblin!" Enough said.
"My mother's beard is longer than yours!" Meaning the dwarf thinks you are too young or inexperienced.
"Tree miner" A quick reference to an elf said in mixed (non-dwarven) company when a straight insult would be less than prudent.
"I'd rather mine trees!" - Never
"When Grumush becomes my patron!" When Hell freezes over
"Goldnose"-Greedy, especially merchants.
"The Dwarves!The axes of the Dwarves are upon you!" Also "Baruk Khazâd! Khazâd ai-mênu!" One of the Khuzdul, or Dwarvish words, from the master J.R.R. Tolkien.
"Slag!Shards!Rust!" Dwarvish curses
"I've never met a human I couldn't ignore." Comment on the human lack of long term thinking.
"A gold nugget the size of your fist is less impressive when held up next to the vein." Don't count your chickens before they hatch.
"Humans and halflings are like overgrown children, unfortunately they are children that know how to swing weapons." Dwarven commentary on the younger races.
"Look to the left side of your tools." The tools of Dwarves were their first and remain their main weapons. A Dwarf should always be prepared to meet a foe. This idea is ingrained at a young age.
"Worse than a troll's breath!"
"Elves are like mold, they are soft and slagging everywhere!"
"The dead don't lie." Hold your tongue (with the implication that if you don't you won't need to.)
"As useful as a mud fortress!" Worthless
"Copper and gold both shine!" All that glitters is not gold.
"Even a pebble has it's place." Dwarvish moral to a child's parable - meaning size doesn't always matter.
"Even the smallest pebble in your boot can be troublesome." Don't discount minor setbacks, foes and concerns lest they become bigger ones.
"Puffballs or Stems" - Meaning either is fine or makes no matter, (refers to mushrooms).
"You hit like an elf" (Sorry elves)
"Fool's gold is still metal" Every cloud has a silver lining.
"Traded ore for Orcs" An extremely bad deal.
"Greased the handle of your axe (or hammer)" A bad situation is about to get worse.
"Has your forge gone cold?" Are you some kind of idiot? Can also mean "Are you heartless?" since many dwarves refer to their heart as a forge.
"Sand or Grit" It makes no real difference to me.
"A giant's wedding" A hullabaloo, a chaotic situation. Can be used to describe a tavern brawl, a disastrous melee, or a good party (or all three at once).
"A troll's gift" A white elephant, an unwanted responsibility.
"There's never just one goblin(orc, troll, wyvern,etc)" - can be used either in an exasperated, "when it rains, it pours" sense, or as a word of warning when less sensible folk are ready to let down their guard.
"Chant without drums" Empty talk, bluster, especially hollow saber-rattling.
"Gone over the mountain" Either literally far away or figuratively a little crazy, out there.
"A fellow with two clans" Someone untrustworthy, a double dealer.
Conversely: "a dwarf for all clans" A universally liked and trusted individual, a man for all seasons.
"Bread without beer" Something incomplete or insufficient.
"An ettin's secret" Common knowledge.
"An ettin's marriage" A situation in which too many people are involved; too many cooks spoiling the soup.
"You should get some sun." Take a long walk off a short pier. Go away.
"They are sun-touched." Same as touched in the head. Addlepated.
"You don't forge steel in the home fire." To encourage daring and heroism.
"I'd rather mine coal." Coal mining is sometimes seen as the province of poor dwarves and clans down on their luck.
"May you surpass the Beards of your Fathers." Build the kind of life that your ancestors would be proud of.
"The only good orc is a dead orc(troll,goblin, drow,etc)."
Post by The Tallest Dwarf on Oct 22, 2013 9:23:40 GMT -5
The Great Grudges of the Dwarves
The First Great Grudge: The greenskins. Orcs, goblins, bugbears, and all their ilk. They have stolen Dwarf-holds and eventually they will all pay. So it is that all Dwarves are trained from a young age to fight these creatures and learn how best to defend themselves.
The Second Great Grudge:Giant-kind.Ware the words of some who say that in ancient days, Dwarves were enslaved by giants. While no Dwarf should believe this, there has never been peace between Moradin and Golantor, so there shall be none between Dwarves and giants.
The Third Great Grudge: The Duergar were once true Dwarves. Let not yourself be sympathetic nor swayed by ancient blood. The Greys will fight and kill a Dwarf as quick as look at one. Dangerous foemen, they should not be taken lightly.
The Fourth Great Grudge: Drow, the so-called dark elves. As mighty a foe as any a Dwarf will face. They are cowards who depend on trickery and magic to slay, and will seldom stand and fight steel-to-steel. In ancient times their treachery brought low our Folk and ever since there has been eternal war.
Post by The Tallest Dwarf on Oct 22, 2013 9:26:16 GMT -5
A few Dwarven Traditions
Night of the Thirsty Axe
This tradition is held by both Shield and Gold Dwarf clans, and is a celebration held on the fall equinox to recount the deeds of honored warriors both recently and long dead. In many clanholds, the tradition is said to have begun when a sworn Alaghor of Clangeddin held his slain brother's axe and in front of his king and council, spoke of the warrior's many victories in over a century of battle. He then dipped the axeblade into an open barrel of bitter ale and thus each Dwarf who then drank of it was hopeful that they might attain some of this warrior's courage and ability. It falls to the highest ranking soldier to recount the tales of their clan's greatest warriors. In major strongholds clans gather together in the Great Halls and the tales are often accompanied by drums. One thing forges this all together; at the end of each story the warrior's weapon is dipped into an ale keg and this ale is then served to all sworn warriors of the clans.
The patron of Dwarven defenders, Gorm Gulthyn's eternal watchfulness has protected our kind since the First Forging. In many Gorm-worshipping clans, there is a group called Gorm's Nighstwatch. They ceaselessly patrol the hills and passes outside the Dwarf-holds at all hours of the night. One thing marks them as different from all others of Gorm's followers however. These Dwarves are often those who were guilty of a high crime against their fellow Dwarves. Rather than be cast out, they were given the choice to serve kin. Upon swearing the oath, which is known only to members of the order, they ritually shave their beards and head, and are tattooed all over their skulls. These tattoos bear the crime they committed. Regardless of their crimes, the Nightswatch gives them a chance to restore a small measure of their honor, knowing that they serve to keep kin safe. It is one more way in which Dwarves respect the lives of kin, rather than execute or cast them out.
Upon the reaching of adulthood, a clansdwarf is expected to participate in this tradition. The night before their ascent, the male or female imbibes great quantities of their clan's specialty brew. At the hour of fast-breaking, the youngbeard is hustled to a smithy and then must throw an anvil as far as they can. The distance thrown has significance, but if you are a non-Dwarf reading this, that is not for you to know unless a Dwarf wishes to tell you.
Avalanche: Originally, this celebration began as a slow, somber ceremony that many dwarves believed had the power to prevent avalanches, cave-ins, and similar natural disasters common to the mountains and underground regions that dwarves inhabit. As the tradition grew, however, it became more of a celebration and less of a warning, and the ceremonial aspects all but disappeared. Although it sill bears the name Avalanche, this one-day celebration has almost nothing in common with its origins.
The Days of the Forging: In the early days of the world, Moradin forged the dwarf race in his own image and placed them deep within the shelter of the earth that he had created. Each year, on the anniversary of Moradin’s forging, dwarves celebrate their many gifts by crafting items of exquisite value and beauty. Many smiths produce their greatest works during this short period, and some go so far as to schedule their most demanding projects during the celebration. The Days of Forging are a time of toil and craft, but the dwarves celebrate all the same, chanting as they work and crafting well into the night.
Fellhammer: Commemorating the days of the fallen and the anniversaries of famous battles is a strong and serious part of dwarf tradition, and many such minor holidays span a single clan or multiple nations. The most prominent of these is Fellhammer. Also known as the Days of Stone, Fellhammer commemorates the stand of three dwarf legions, led by the great Durek Fellhammer, against two hordes of orcs and goblinoids bent on the invasion of the civilized lands. Fellhammer is a two-day event that happens once per year.