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Arkuth - races - dwarves

DWARVES OF ARKUTH

 

There are two major races of Dwarves within Arkuth as detailed below. All of which have many common traits, but each race undoubtedly having their own unique qualities. These races of Dwarves include the Guardian (véurr) Dwarves and the Hill (Hallr) Dwarves.

 

[ Guardian Dwarves ] - [ Hill Dwarves ]


Guardian Dwarves

Overview:

These amazing beings once lived in the grandest of halls miles beneath the surface, deep within the underdark of Arkuth. Their entire civilization encased in rock during the centuries of the "Great Rebellion". It was here these Dwarves carved their very existence within this mighty realm. This ancient, abandoned kingdom of the Guardian Dwarves is now shrouded in mystery as the current generations no longer live within these long forgotten chambers. Now much closer to the surface, yet still buried in darkness, these people thrive a short distance below their Dwarven kin, sharing commodities and trading with them in regular intervals.

All Guardian Dwarves have decent constitution scores and gain a +1 bonus to their initial Con scores. They can be exceptionally hard to get along with depending on their immediate company. A few races within Arkuth detest all dwarves these being the "Orcs and Goblins". Other races believe dwarves to be greedy treasure hoarder's and do not want them anywhere near them. Guardian Dwarves view this as totally preposterous and believe their hard working lifestyles and eager attitudes make them worthy of these riches and view those who disagree are just lazy and outright useless. Amongst their own people Guardian Dwarves consider tedious labor and opulent wealth to be two of life's greatest erotica's. Although dwarves are not greedy, they do enjoy the comfort of fine furnishings. "A firm bed may always be there but not necessarily your closest companion", says one old Dwarven proverb.

With a life span that runs into multiple centuries, Guardian Dwarves tend to be collectors of ornament's, tapestries, carvings and statues and decorate their dwellings accordingly. They do not wear jewelry with the exception of heirlooms or medals of honor. Food and drink, legends, song and miraculous tales are some of these Dwarves greatest passions.

Around other races, especially Halflings (often referred to as "the little folk") Guardian Dwarves conceal their passions, and therefore seem inscrutable, abrasive, and oddly peculiar. This behavior is largely due to the ideal that Halflings came before them and that Dwarves were created to better them. Showing one's true self in front of a Halfling might show oneself as unworthy or simply a waste. Where in reality, Halfings couldn't care less why the Gods made them.

Dwarves dislike stealth, trickery and dishonesty, thus the number of thieves and other rogue classes within Dwarven communities is usually very low. When dwarves do turn to thievery, they often do it openly under the watchful eye of Vergadain. Dwarven rogues often take what they want through sheer force rather than stealth, however some enjoy the art of coin snatching.

General Traits, Life Expectancy:

The Guardian Dwarves are a short, robust race of dwarves. They are almost as wide as they are tall. Males have full beards, taking more pride the longer they grow. Females and youths also have small whiskers that do form, but not as full or as long as the males. On the whole, Guardian Dwarves have tough skin, and most males begin going bald while still quite young, around the youthful age of 50. Their stubby legs sometimes have trouble keeping pace with the other, more lanky, taller party members.

Due to their permanent underground existence, Guardian Dwarves have developed the ability to see outside the normal range of visible light. When using their infravision they can see up to 60' into the darkness. The Guardian Dwarves usually have black, brown or gray hair and have dark brown or green eyes. They stand between 3'7 to 4' in height and weigh anywhere from 134 lbs - 180 lbs.

They live up to ages of not more than 375 years.

Social Structure, Government, Laws, Religion:

Social structure is strict but in the same time quite tolerable. Laws are made according to necessity. Criminal behavior is rare but still occurs. When found guilty of a major crime, the guilty party is usually sentenced to life imprisonment or exiled to the surface for the remainder of their lives (A truly embarrassing punishment).

Religious believes are very common, but not a must. Most Guardian Dwarves make sacrifices to various norse Gods, still most pay homage to Moradin "Soul Forger", the first Dwarven God and father to all Dwarf kind.

Armor, Weapons and Advancements:

The Guardian Dwarves make crude plate mail called "Dwarven plate" and heavy chainmail or scale mail armors. Leather and other light armor types are not readily used.

Guardian Dwarves prefer weapons of great bulk when involved in combat. Some of the more preferred weapons are war hammer's, battle axes, orc brain picks, two-handed maces, war axes, mauls and shortened halberds.

The Guardian Dwarves most famed contribution to the realm is the use of mining carts and great labyrinth's of mining tracks. They have developed perhaps the fastest and most efficient mining techniques of all the races, even better than their distant cousins the Hill Dwarves. The infamous Dwarven Far Tunneler's (a particular group of Guardian Dwarf miners) are known to be the best deep core engineer's in all Arkuth.

Hunting Strategies, Tactics, Local Game:

This is not the Guardian Dwarves greatest feat. In fact they almost never hunt for wild meat. Instead they eat mushrooms, potatoes, figs, beets, poultry, cray fish, treant roots, rot pigs, shrieker, grubs and other natural products of the underworld. If a great festival is to be held, the Guardian Dwarves will hunt down and kill a bothersome umberhulk, or perhaps a small sized purple worm to cook up for the festivities. Occasionally the Far Tunneler's will present the colony with a healthy portion of dragon meat or a creature of similar ilk.

Trading Habits, Routes:

The only trade amongst these people is with their closest neighbors, the Hill Dwarves. Between the the two races a great trade agreement has transpired. "We give you precious metals and you give us wood, surface food and other above ground delicacies". So far the agreement has stood, and both races have thus prospered throughout the passing centuries.

Use of Animals/Mounts:

Many animals are used by the Guardian Dwarves including oxen, large dogs, miniature horses, boring beetles and well contained rust monsters. Most of which are used to pull carts, but some are used as transportation. Rust monsters are strictly used to pull mining carts and are readily captured to avoid having them devour the precious metals which the Dwarves work so hard to collect.

Goals, Passions, Perseverance:

Guardian Dwarves praise their delves (communities), along with the members within it and their achievements rather than glorifying or even mentioning the outer world.

Guardian Dwarves recognize their own sheltered lifestyle and now cherish past memories of a once happier world gone by. Although passionate about their own labors, they see the passing of history as something beyond their control. When faced with certain death, a Guardian Dwarf often says "well, it looks like a good day to visit the gods". They take personal defeat as valued lessons, making them tenacious survivors. Guardian Dwarves see themselves as Arkuth's underworld protectors, striving to maintain the past in the present.

Dwarven tempers can flare like throwing a Greek fire vial into a blazing forge. Despite their nattered clothing and rugged features, the Guardian Dwarves are passionate people. They live life to the fullest, with little patience for hesitation. To them work is glory and play is serious. They take great enjoyment in earthly music, played in deep harmonic-bellied horns. But a soft flute, harp or pipe can bring tears to their beady little eyes. Dwarven music, whether on battlefield or in a great hall, is played at maximum volume, for which they always show great self pride.

Education, Alphabet, Languages:

Dwarven children learn about responsibility at a young age. These lessons in self-discipline takes years, with responsibility building according to age. The Guardian Dwarves use the same alphabet as their ancient ancestors before them. They speak the common language of Dwarves and use a complex set of symbols to describe their intentions, feelings and warnings to others who may travel through the depths of their mountains.

Magical Expectancy, Usage:

Magic is used by only the clerical members of the society. Sometimes magic will be used to move or support major construction stones, during final placement. However magic using Guardian Dwarves are very rare, perhaps one in a thousand will have divine ability.

Racial Customs, Burial Ceremonies, Celebrated Holidays:

Guardian Dwarves tend to be suspicious of races other than their own, thus it's customary to pack a good weapon on their sides at all times. A trusty weapon is a Dwarf's best friend and they spend a good part of their time making sure that the weapon carried is in top notch condition.

The Guardian Dwarves bury their dead within giant stone tomes, constructed by themselves. If one is to far gone, or to mutilated to bring to the proper burial grounds, they will be buried deep within whatever earth can be located.

Guardian Dwarves celebrate only one major holiday "Year End" On this day all colony members partake in a huge social gathering and feast upon a what would seem to be unlimited banquet of common food and drink. This event is celebrated on the last day of the year. However, many other small festivities are also enjoyed.

Housing Materials, Architecture, Skills:

Guardian Dwarves always build the most intricate, high quality complexes, temples, tunnels and other stone structures. Stone is gathered and shaped from the many types of core rock found deep below the surface. Occasionally the Guardian Dwarves will visit the surface to break up a large boulder and use it below.


Hill Dwarves

Overview:

Like other Dwarves, Hill Dwarves gain the benefit of a +1 bonus to their initial Con scores. However, like their Guardian kin, they can be quite difficult to get along with and thus suffer a -1 penalty to their initial Charisma scores. Unlike their kin though, Hill Dwarves are not shunned by all races, in fact they get along quite well with their human counterparts. Hill Dwarves like jewels and gems as much as the next Dwarf, but are not intently greedy, they simply enjoy the better things in life (a tall mead is always on their minds).

Like that of the Guardian Dwarves, the Hill Dwarves still have the habit of collecting ornaments, statues and other tapestries to decorate their domicile. Unlike their cousins though, they always adorn some sort of jewelry, ornate armor or at a minimum cover their bodies with a few traditional tattoos. As always, food, drink and legendary tales are part of their closest passions in life.

As all Dwarves the distaste for stealth, trickery and dishonesty are ever present, however the number of thieves in Hill Dwarf communities tends to be greater then one might think. Due to the sponsorships of Vergadain many have choose this profession as their own. "There's more then one way to horde treasure"

General Traits, Life Expectancy:

Hill dwarves tend toward obstinacy, they remain above ground due to stubbornness rather than lack of suitable mountains to delve. Their coarse lifestyle, crude aspirations, and grumpy attitudes all but rival their underground kin. Even so, Hill Dwarves partake in united battles, seemingly impossible tasks and independent trade agreements with whom ever they choose. The constant complaining and bull headedness of Hill Dwarves is generally used to disguise their pleasant and kind hearted nature.

The Hill Dwarves are built much the same as their dwarven kin, being almost as stocky and having slightly smoother features. Males have well shaven, perhaps even groomed or braided beards, while the females and youths have small light whiskers, yet always visible. They also have short legs but not so short as the Guardian Dwarves. Even though they still live within the confines of darkness, Hill Dwarves still forage and farm in the outer world and thus over the centuries have lost some of their ability to see as adeptly in the dark. Their infravision still has an effective range of 30'. Hill Dwarves usually have dark brown, reddish or light gray hair and have dark blue, green or hazel eyes. They stand between 3'8 to 4'4 in height and weigh anywhere from 122 lbs - 155 lbs.

Hill Dwarves usually live upward of 450 years.

Social Structure, Government, Laws, Religion:

Social order is also strict, well organized and maintained throughout the colony.

Laws are existent, but citizens tend to take more liberty in breaking them within Hill Dwarf societies. Criminal activity however is punished much more severely. When found guilty of a crime, the guilty party can be sentenced to anything from having a hand removed, to being publicly humiliated, which usually works well considering that Dwarves hate to be embarrassed.

Religion is thought of as a must, Most Hill Dwarves pray to Moradin "Soul Forger" like their Guardian brethren, however many pray to Thor, Magni or other Gods of strength.

Armor, Weapons and Advancements:

Hill Dwarves also relish crude platemail ("Dwarven plate") and other heavy armors, although leather and other light armor types are much more common amongst these people.

Hill Dwarves prefer the use of the following weapons in combat: war hammer's, hand-axes, battle-axes, war maces, broad axes and shortened halberds or bardiches. They even employ crossbows if need be, preferring the heavy sort and on occasion will use custom Human style swords fashioned more for impact rather then functionality.

Hill Dwarves were the first race to incorporate windmills and water wheels used for the grinding of wheat, barley and oats.

Hunting Strategies, Tactics, Local Game:

The Hill Dwarves have developed much greater talents than the Guardian Dwarves when it comes to hunting wild game. They use pitfall traps, log barriers, snares and many other methods to capture prey. Some of the local game include mountain goat, wild boar, rabbit, fox, wolves, black or cave bear and wild ape.

Trading Habits, Routes:

The Hill Dwarves trade between many local regions on a somewhat regular basis, including the Human Kingdoms of Jhul, Cyrkseiv, Jaarnariva and Valtarum, they also use a main trade route leading their underground cousins the Guardian Dwarves.

Use of Animals/Mounts:

All types of common animals are used by the Hill Dwarves. Mounts include small horses, mule and sometimes elephant. Some of the more readily slaughtered animals include, chicken, common sheep, cows, and pigs.

Goals, Passions, Perseverance:

Hill Dwarves praise much the same things as the Guardian Dwarves. Hill Dwarves lose themselves in their work for weeks on end until the task at hand is completed. Then they bask in their accomplishments for a few week or so and then again get back to work. When Hill Dwarves work, they work hard and never delay, they achieve this through constant focus and motion.

Hill Dwarves never retire, they only find simpler tasks to accomplish as they age.

Education, Alphabet, Languages:

Hill Dwarven children learn through local scholars, and other intellectual teachers about the world around them. The training of work is self-disciplined and taught through real life experiences The Hill Dwarves speak the same language as Guardian Dwarves "Dwarf Common" but add several different slurs and slang's to the languages entirety. They have a detailed scriptural language and use many glyphs to indicate common messages to other Dwarven folk.

Magical Expectancy, Usage:

Excepted as a general asset throughout the colony. Many Hill Dwarves take up divine casting as their primary profession. However, not all magic using Surface Dwarves are clerics, a select few even become magic users of superior talents. Magic is used to heal the injured, purify food and water, construct buildings, repair armor, and light fire cauldrons within the city core.

Racial Customs, Burial Ceremonies, Celebrated Holidays:

It is a custom for male Hill Dwarves to spend one full day a month with their families, above and beyond what might be their normal stay (unless it' a time of war, then they are excused). This day is spent playing with children, helping his mate with household tasks and sharing quality time in general with them. However this special day is not law and is simply a choice to be made by the males themselves.

In turn female Hill Dwarves are expected to provide their husband with a special meal which is not normally had during that one day in which the husband/mate is obligated to be home.

It is customary for a Hill Dwarf family to send a loved one into the next world by placing them within one of the few dedicated fire boxes (ovens) within the community, where they are cremated under ceremonial conditions. The ashes are then left to float up and out the smoke stack.

Hill Dwarves celebrate the Years End day as the Guardian Dwarves do. They also have a week in each year that is dedicated to a huge festival called "The Fest of Fires". Here thousands gather and watch acrobat's juggle flaming sticks, tongs and hand size balls that are also on fire (one wrong move and the acrobat will be burnt for sure). Minstrels play music and Bards tells the stories of the land. Local Magic user's show off their talents with flaming hands, electrical light shows and disappearing acts. This grand event usually takes place in mid summer.

Housing Materials, Architecture, Skills:

Hill Dwarves carve their homes within the many mountainsides of Ralstorhaest. Their great cities are captured in stone and leave a definite visual that none will soon forget. These impressive marvels of dwarven engineering are showcased by massive stone doors which stand between them and the outer world. Within these cities most buildings and other complexes are made of solid stone blocks, but some buildings such as their gigantic gathering halls are made from massive logs transported from within the many local forests. This oddly enough is done as tribute to the Norse Gods, showing their respect, might and ingenuity.

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