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Darius
4th of November, 2009, 04:09
Dvergar (Dwarves)
[Draft]

One of the Old Races, the Dvergar never established the same kind of empires that the Yuan-ti, the Caelmathoni, Sheissrin, or the Janni did, but at the same time, they also did not suffer the same kind of set-backs as a result once the cataclysm occurred.

The Dvergar are a magic dead race, unable to channel or make use of magic naturally. Instead, they rely exclusively on such magic artifacts as the other Old Races produced. The Dvergar aggressively pursue the acquisition of such artifacts, regardless of the type, and this has often put them into conflict with the other Old Races.

The lack of magic might have put the Dvergar at a serious disadvantage when confronting the other races, but they made up for their lack of magic ability with mechanical and metallurgical ingenuity. Scholars who have studied the race surmise that the Dvergar’s inability to use magic resulted in their discovery of smelting, their advanced achievements in architecture and engineering, and their highly organized approach to military matters.

Dvergar as a race are highly xenophobic, convinced that they are superior to other races in any way. Dvergar have no compulsion with lying, cheating or otherwise deceiving members of other races. The one chink in their armor is as related to magic use. They actually believe that magic was stolen from them by one of the other Old Races, though which one was responsible often changes with the telling (usually it is the Caelmathoni or Sheissrin).

Physically, the Dvergar as a race are diminuitive in stature, rarely topping five feet tall, though certain exemplary members of the race have been known to reach five and half feet tall. They tend to be stockier than their human counterparts, often being fifty pounds heavier or more than a human of like weight (for instance, a full grown adult male dwarf who stands five feet tall will weigh around 180 to 200 lbs). Those scholars who have made a habit of studying dvergar corpses have discovered that dvergar muscle mass is significantly denser than human, resulting in extremely powerful bodies. Dvergar as a whole are pale or grey skinned, though those rare Dvergar who make a living as traders or scouts have been seen with darker skin, so it is likely that their skin color is a result of lack of exposure to natural light. Dvergar males are bearded, while the females rarely have any facial hair.

Dvergar culture is paternalistic with the females relegated to household roles and the males taking on leadership, military and cultural roles. Females do play one important role in dvergar military in that they form a home guard, defending dvergar enclaves. This is especially important in that the dvergar typically do not have enough adult males to both stage attacks on the other Old Races as well as defend their own enclaves from retribution.

There is no central Dvergar government, though each enclave keeps in close communication with the others, and intermarriage between the enclaves is not uncommon. Enclaves are also known to establish colonies near new mining opportunities or as military outposts, with the home enclave ruling through a governor system. All enclaves follow a guild system, with the highest ranking members in the guilds (Iron Smith, Mining, Jeweler, Architecture, Military, etc) ruling through a council. In times of direct conflict, rule defaults to the head of the Military Guild.

Dvergar enclaves typically are built into the sides and under mountains, though surface enclaves are not unheard of, if atypical. The typical Dvergar enclave is constructed almost wholly of stone, though there are rumors of enclaves where wood was used when suitable stone could not be procured.

Dvergar artifacts are highly prized by the humans of Valeria, though their weapons and armor tends to be unusable, due to the smaller size of the armor and the shift in balance of the weapons. Any such Dvergar artifacts are generally the result of conflict between Dvergar and humans, as there is no established trade between any enclave and any of the Dvergar cities.

The Dvergar view the recent (to them) incursion of humans into the plain of Valeria as little more than a recent event that has yet to show any sort of real significance as far as the ongoing conflict between the Old Races.