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The Dwarves

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The Dwarves

Post  Queen Bit-chan on Mon May 17, 2010 8:41 am

Physical characteristics: The defining characteristic of the Dwarven race is their short stature; few dwarves of legend have ever surpassed five feet, and even then, the average dwarf stands more around 4'4". Both male and female dwarves tend to be stocky, with a strong build, but female dwarves have distinctive curves and round, smooth faces, while the men seem to pride themselves on bulk (in muscle or otherwise) and elaborately braided beards and mustaches, though a few dwarves have chosen closer shaves when it is more practical for their profession (for example, blacksmiths keep a closer cut to avoid burning their hair in their fires). Dwarven skin is thicker than human skin, and has a naturally tanned look, though it seems to tan darker in even short exposures to the sun. Eyes and hair color range almost as widely as those of humans, but dwarves have much sharper eyes than humans (though not as sharp as Elven eyes), used for seeing in their dark tunnels, and for appreciating gems and fine craftsmanship. Dwarves live an average of 120 years, with the oldest dwarf living to 214 years old. As such, they age at a slightly slower rate than humans do.

Abilities: As above, dwarves have a very sharp eye for detail, and for seeing in the almost pitch-darkness of their tunnel homes. They also have a very sensitive ability for touch, despite their thick skin, which serves to help them with their various endeavors, in everything from invention to jewelry-making. Of the races, they are the sturdiest, able to take hits and falls that would break the bones of the almost fragile-in-comparison elves. They also have a natural resistance to many poisons and magicks, most probably because of their long-time wars with the Drow, who excel in those fields.

Culture: Dwarven culture has been almost as unchanging as their stone-made homes in all of their centuries of existing. They do not stubbornly cling to old ways as the Orobai do, they simply see no reason for change. Things have always worked for them in the past, and so, should continue to work for them in the future. Because they largely keep to themselves, very few outsiders know the more intricate details of their culture, and the few human visitors they get (for they rarely see elves in their rock-halls) will inevitably need a dwarven guide, simple to ensure they they do not inadvertently insult someone of this highly proud race. Whenever a decision or law is made (a process that is rather long and violent in its own right), it is usually, both literally and figuratively, 'carved in stone'.

History: The dwarves have been the way they are for what seems like forever. They toil in their tunnels, doing what they will in whatever way the wish to do it. There are two main dwarven cities, but they are really two parts of the same city- sister cities, if you will. The dwarven king rules from Byzerea, the main city deep in the northern mountains, and a specially appointed advisor- someone who has the king's utmost trust, hand picked by the king himself- rules in Thosion, which is to the south-east of Byzerea. Between the two cities- which are massive, beautiful constructs, carved out of what used to be natural caverns in the tunnels below the mountains- are an almost countless number of tunnels and passageways, littered throughout with smaller, less ornate 'villages' (which are little more than cleaned up caves and caverns). Some of these villages have grown into important cities of their own right, whether through wealth or time and natural expansion, though they're ruled usually by town-appointed mayors, little more than figure-heads who keep morale up, as dwarves are very skilled in running things perfectly on their own. There has always been intense in-fighting for the thrones of Byzerea and Thosion, but aside from the nobles who continually squabble for it, very few dwarven citizens care who they're ruled by. As far as they care, as long as they can continue at their lives as they always have, they wouldn't mind if an ox took the throne.

Presently: Unfortunately, much- if not all- of the dwarven cities have been taken over by the ruthless Drow. Nearly half of the dwarven race has been obliterate by the Drown invasion, and the rest have had to flee, seeking shelter in the wholly unfamiliar world above ground. The human cities of Thern and Salena have taken many of the refugees in, but the dwarves have found it hard to adapt to life above ground, and wish for nothing more then the total obliteration of the Drow so that they may return to their home, and try to recuperate as a race.

Religion: The dwarves have never had a very organized religion, though they greatly respect the deities that they do have (the gods of Stone, and of Sturdy Tunnels are some of the dwarven favorites, as well as the goddess of Craft), and often invoke them in name and deed. They are a very superstitious people, but somehow, they never let superstition get in the way of their professional work. Besides their gods, dwarves also revere their ancestors, and the dwarves who originally crafted the splendid cities of Byzerea and Thosion.

Technology: Of all the races, the dwarves are the most technologically advanced. Almost all dwarves find passion in some craft or another, whether in invention, jewel-craft, blacksmithy, or mining. They are constantly creating new devices with which to more easily dig tunnels, or in devising ways to make existing tunnels more sturdy. As such, though they seem to be the most base of the races (they rarely come off as eloquent, unless a high-bred noble), they are also prone to keen and quick thinking, and often come up with ingenious fixes, especially in dire circumstances.
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