Known as people of the earth, dwarves are short, stocky humanoids who often specialize in metalworking and smithing as well as prospecting and mining rare minerals and gems. Perhaps even moreso, they are known for the thick, flowing beards on the men. Contrary to popular stereotypes and myth, the females are beardless.
Average Lifespan:: 500 years
Average Height:: 3'5 feet
Average Weight:: 100 pounds
Location Found:: Mountainous areas, caverns and hills.
*all statistics based on averages; extremes in any direction, or found in odd locations, are always allowed.
Gnome Living Most gnomes live alongside or beneath the cities of the dwarves, helping with crafting, and otherwise offering their services. As long as they are granted freedom within both their own society and that of the dwarves, these smaller creatures will remain content. Their golems can be found in most dwarven settlements, and dwarf criminals are often used to power these golems' Soulgems.
Language Dwarves have their own language, and are unique in that they often slip into it, or use words of their language without meaning to, when already speaking Common. Most will switch when taken by powerful emotion, while others forgo learning Common at all.
Species info credited to JPG, Blazeh/Verridith, Aehryn, and Fyfergrund.
Appearance Dwarves have a tendency to stand between four and five feet, although they are much wider in girth in relation to their height. As most of this consists of solid muscle, this accounts for their hearty amount of strength and constitution. The men’s bushy beards come in a variety of colors, most commonly brown and red – on occasion, blonde or black or others in between. Rarer, unusual colors have been noted in the past, as well as odd markings and streaks, most commonly thought to be a side effect of interclan breeding.
Dwarven women often wear their hair long, and may braid it around their heads or beneath their chins in a variety of different styles; however, winding their hair to cover their chin is frowned upon, as it implies the illusion of a fake beard.
All dwarves have specific traits per clan, and their physical differences can be noted below.
Alikhort Clan: Those of the Alikhort Clan most resemble Murali dwarves in stature, though are shorter by a fair margin and more often than not have dark skin and bright eyes. Their beards are often worn in intricate braids with much adornment, and may be dyed or extended according to the mood of the day.
Arbekkor Clan: Shortest of the dwarven clans, Arbekkor dwarves are palest of skin and have light colored hair and eyes, often speculated to be due to their time spent underground and away from light. These dwarves may wear their beards and hair braided behind them, or twisted up to the top of their heads, though few trim their beards to avoid bad luck.
Dyr’kor Clan: Broadest of the dwarves, it is known that those that hail from the Dyr'kor Clan have the longest hair and fullest beards, and often pride themselves on 'lionlike' attributes. These dwarves often wear their hair and beards untamed and wild, and may be found in any shade beneath the sky.
Murali Clan: The strongest of the clans physically, Murali dwarves are thick set and muscular, with hard features and deep-set eyes. Their skin color is often pale compared to their fellows, and they often have dark hair. The beards of the Murali Clan are kept in tightly-woven braids as to not get caught up in their tools, or set on fire by their forges.
Stre’kida Clan: Most varied of the clans, Stre'kida dwarves are often mistaken by other clans or to be of mixed blood. Their height and build varies, as does their skin and hair color - but most are gifted with unusually luminescent eyes, and wear the trinket that symbolizes their dragonbond proudly.
Tilandic Clan: Average of stature for dwarves, those of the Tilandic Clan are neither tall nor muscular; some may even consider Tilandic dwarves thin. They trend towards medium skin tones, and light-colored hair. The members of this clan often keep their beards trimmed and wear an assortment of robes instead of armor, and are very fond of jewelry.
Verli'gur Clan: Tallest among the clans, the warriors of the Verli'gur are perhaps the most physically adept. They have an assortment of different skin colors, and often wear their hair and beards in ways that accent their armor and favored weapons.
Culture Dwarves are mostly a solitary people as far as other races. While they have an alliance with the elves, it is a strained relationship, and the two races often get into heated arguments. In terms of temperament, the dwarves tend to be a tenacious, warm-hearted people with a love of fighting, working with stone and metal, and especially drink. Dwarves cannot ride most horses due to their hefty weight, and thus they favor boars, specially bred riding goats, and similar creatures.
Dwarven society is divided amongst the seven different clans fairly evenly, and multiple clans are often found in the various cities. These clans work together, though they are not without their rivalries, and politics between them can get exceptionally heated. Though a dwarf may be born with mixed clan heritage, they are commonly taken into whichever of the two parent clans their abilities most reflect.
Alikhort Clan: Some examine dwarven culture from the outside may find the brewmasters' clan to be a frivolous group. However, Alikhort brewmasters are regarded almost as highly as the Tilandic clan, as they contribute to the various festivities which foster fellowship and brotherhood among dwarves. There is an old dwarven saying: “Those who drink together fight together” - and its truth speaks volumes among the dwarves.
Arbekkor Clan: In order for the Murali to smith, there must be materials. Arbekkor dwarves are in charge of obtaining these materials, often using dwarven earthen magic in order to tell where to mine for variable materials and ores. The Arbekkor Clan's seemingly grunt labor status is highly regarded in the dwarven society, just as much as any of the others.
Dyr’kor Clan: Mine carts and wagons need hauling, and it takes sturdy beasts to haul everything the dwarves need hauled. Dwarven beastmasters of the Dyr'kor Clan are renowned for breeding strong, stocky draft animals that are short enough to live and work alongside their dwarf masters. Though most dwarves would rather walk than ride, some make use of the hardy riding beasts bred by this clan, and most settlements employ beasts of burden that are Dyr'kor-bred.
Murali Clan: The Murali Clan consists of the majority of dwarven smiths and architects, builders and craftsmen. They work with other clans to create tools, armor and weaponry, as well as designing and building much in the vast dwarven cities. In terms of planning, however, they often work with the Tilandic Clan closest, and have built some of the most incredible cathedrals of any race imaginable.
Stre’kida Clan: This clan has long held a close bond to dragons, and a good many tend to forge a rider's bond with the great creatures. Dwarves who become riders traditionally forge or commission a special piece of ornamental armor or jewelry to symbolize their bond, and wear it with extreme pride. As befits a race that spends so much time beneath the ground, most dwarves bond with groundrakes, who commonly help with mining and for those with mastery over fire and forging.
Tilandic Clan: The Tilandic Clan are the spiritual and political leaders of dwarven society, and also consist of a good chunk of the dwarven mages. Oftentimes, they act as clerics and healers and are renowned for their motivational fiery speeches, rallying dwarves to whatever cause is necessary.
Verli'gur Clan: The Verli’gur Clan are the guardians and military might of the various dwarven settlements – stalwart fighters who are notorious for fighting til their last breath and never retreating, any invaders wince at the mention of their infamous names. Many Verli'gur dwarves are known to live to their fullest as if every day is their last, and never back down from a challenge.
Abilities The hallmark of dwarven talents is the ability to manipulate metal and stone as if it were clay; dwarven handiwork is sought after throughout the Realms. All dwarves have some ability to create, though the skill of these varies by clan. Dwarves also have a knack for seeing in the dark, though not to the point of a nocturnal animal's.
Most dwarves have an affinity for traditional martial weapons such as maces, hammers, swords, and axes. some dwarves also can tap into magical abilities, tending to favor earth elemental magic, enchantments, and healing.
Alikhort Clan: Though often not gifted with skill in mining or smithery, Alikhort dwarves are blessed with sensory magic over all - they can detect poison in food, or bad air in a tunnel. Many are also great chefs and cooks, and are gifted with the ability to brew ale from a young age.
Arbekkor Clan: As miners and treasure seekers, Arbekkor dwarves are gifted with the element of earth - and a unique knack for sniffing out ores and metals other species would have missed.
Dyr’kor Clan: Known to be good with animals from the time they are very small, many Dyr'kor dwarves have magic that allows them to speak to creatures and understand animal languages. They form close bonds with their charges, and can often calm the most unruly beast; they are also known to have great patience.
Murali Clan: Strong physically, Murali dwarves are master smiths and builders - all have some talent with crafting things, and many have a magical affinity for metalweaving. Others have extreme elemental affinities for fire and heat, and often use these when smithing.
Stre’kida Clan: Gifted with slow aging and the strength of their bonded dragons, Stre'kida dwarves are able to master elements unknown to other clans, such as water and lightning. They are gifted in the enchanting of items, and are first in magical artifacts and weapon-magecraft.
Tilandic Clan: A clan of clerics, priests and healers, nearly every Tilandic dwarf is gifted with light magic of some kind. Others are Seers and shamans, and a rare few become Wards of sacred gods.
Verli'gur Clan: Among the clans, Verli'gur dwarves are among the fiercest fighters; they are gifted with extreme stamina and skill with an assortment of weapons, along with greater speed and strength than most members of other clans.
The one fell before Death’s onslaught, the Ten fled and hid themselves, and war began to consume the First Realm. Balion hid beneath the earth, in deep caverns, and mourned what was lost. But, as he passed through an underground chamber filled with gems that glistened in the darkness, he thought of a race that would help rebuild the broken world.
He took stone, metal, gems, and clay, and formed them into a robust humanoid form. The metal became bones, strong and sturdy. The stone became muscle, thick and powerful. The clay became flesh, tough but supple. The gems became organs, firm and enduring. The form was tall, strong, but still without life when Balion decided his new creation should be shorter than other races, to better pass through the deep tunnels beneath the earth.
He kept the robust shape, but shortened the figure before he ignited life within it. The first dwarf awoke in the depths of the earth, and gazed at his surroundings with awe. To thee I give the gift of knowledge concerning the forming of stone, and gem, and metal into tools, and weapons, for the arming of soldiers and making of stalwart strongholds against those who would do you harm.
The first dwarf was a smith and stone mason, and crafted many weapons and stoneworks to arm and shelter those who remained devoted to the Ten. In time, he became the patriarch of a mighty clan whose name is now lost to all, though many legends claim his line endures.
This Ancient First was a dwarf that looked like a short and robust human, with eyes that gleamed blue and his beard and hair deep red; he wore armor forged of mythril, and is considered to be one of the greatest smiths known in the Realms. He was fiery and stubborn, and had abilities over fire, lightning, earth, and metal.
Classification: small, intelligent dwarf. Location: primarily Evylon.
Small cousins to the dwarven race, what gnomes lack in brawn they more than make up for in brains. They are short and slender, they closely resemble dwarves, although they lack the width of shoulder and strong musculature of their cousins. Those that grow beards keep them well-trimmed and short, and the clothing they wear tends to be close-fitting and durable, but well-tailored and bright. Higher-ranking officials wear bright, flowing robes. Their fingers are long and nimble, but not abnormally so.
Highly inquisitive and inventive, they frequently travel the Realms, seeking out new bits of knowledge. They endlessly petition the dragon Royals for permission to study the study draconic language, undaunted by the unceasing denials. While generally warm and open, their actions and decisions are often based on cold logic.
Due to their small stature, gnomes rely on golems and magic to defend themselves from aggressors. Their magical talents tend towards earth and metal, as well as alchemy and rune-lore, and their approach to learning to control their power is extremely methodical. These golems range in size from small, gnomelike constructs, to large and heavy guardians.
To the gnomes, no knowledge is 'forbidden'. Some things might be more dangerous to study, or greater cautionary measures, but that won't stop them from proceeding. They make frequent forays into other realms in their search for knowledge, and they never cease experimenting with new devices, alloys, or alchemical processes. They have great mental capacity, and incredible magical prowess. Their rune-lore is spectacular, and they have more knowledge of kv'naer and the language of the dragons than most mages. With runes, they can cast layered spells, with runes intertwining to form still-larger runes, and their alchemical accomplishments are unrivaled.