The dwarves are a hard-working, hard-playing people. Like the elves, they feel a deep connection to the earth, and they believe theirs to be the truer. They work with it: mine it to unearth its riches, sculpt the clay and shape the rock. They feel they truly understand it.

And, by the look of their sculptures, perhaps they do. They don't consider themselves artists; the word is too "high-falutin'" for them. They reveal the material's inner beauty. Most of their work is very abstract, but the majority of their concrete images are strong trees, mountains - the images of the earth's majestic strength.

Still, more dwarves mine for gold, silver, and precious gems than take part in the arts. They don't fiddle around with making jewelry, though they are great smelters and smiths. Their gold works are large and heavy; "delicate" might as well mean "weak" to a dwarf.

They are also stubborn traders. They know well the value of their raw materials, and won't take a cent less than it's worth from those interested in procuring them. They don't haggle, though if you're silly enough to offer them more than the worth of the goods, they'll gladly take you up on it. Still to deal with a dwarf takes more than your fresh-off-the-street hawker: offer them less than the material's value, and they'll take great offense, and may just increase the acceptable price for their goods.

Playing a Dwarf

Dwarves are shorter than most humans, as well as stockier and generally stronger. The men sport long, thick beards, and they generally live in and near the mountains. As a dwarf, you feel very connected to the earth. You also are not prone to doubt or flights of fancy. You want solid dirt and rock beneath your feet, and don't mind it above your head either.

Your family is important to you, as is the community you live in. Dwarven communities function as a sort of extended family, where everyone knows everyone else's business, and things are very tight-knit. Thus the pressure to stay strong and maintain your family's good name is high. It is not unheard of for families that have brought shame upon themselves to be cast out of their villages, for fear the shame would extend to them all.

Thus you likely won't find dwarven thieves. Even if you were quick or stealthy enough for such things, the shame of it on your family would discourage you from trying it. There is the rare dwarven assassin or mercenary, but likely their families have already disowned them and stricken their names from the family's linebooks: meticulous records of each family member and a summary of their lives, deeds, and their own families.

Almost rarer still are dwarven adventurers. They dislike leaving their mountain homes, their familes and communities. Generally traders and merchants come to them to make their purchases, though the dwarves might venture to nearby settlements if it's no more than a day or two away. They aren't afraid of the outside world (and charging them with such a crime is likely to start a fight), they are merely content where they are.

There is a commonly held belief among humans (and some elves) that dwarves are belligerent, looking for any reason to start a fight. This is untrue. Dwarves are quick to anger - if the right insult is made. Basically anything that smacks of weakness or cowardice, or shame on you or your family should set you off. But a good solid tussle later (where you will, of course, emerge victorious or knock yourself unconscious trying), and all is right as dirt again.

And as for the elves, well, they're a poncy, stuck-up lot, but they at least understand the deep value of the earth. They don't understand it the same way you do, but at least it's better than the humans, who see it as lifeless dirt to be claimed and exploited. Dwarves don't consider the mountains their own. They live in harmony with the mountains themselves.

The current ruler of the Dwarves is King Saurog the Fourteenth, his wife Magda, and their children, Saurog (the Fifteenth), Dregtha, and Fendug. They live, along with most of the higher ranking Dwarf officials and their families, in the Mountain Deeps - deep, deep underground, beneath the Stronghold Mountains, where they are hard to get at. They can often be found up and about in the higher levels though; they don't just hide away in the Deeps. Dwarven government is a monarchy (with rule of primogeniture unlimited by gender; Saurog XIV's mother was the last ruler) with an advising council: the Minister of Nature (who is always an Elemental Mage), the Minister of Defense (as Dwarves haven't gone on the offensive in centuries), and the Minister of the Treasury. These are positions usually held by men, but women are not forbidden from them. They simply don't pursue them. Most "council meetings" end in brawls, followed by the winner buying drinks for the three of them before they vote. It may seem a violent, drunken way to run a government, but the Dwarves' economy is strong, their defense is strong & sound, and they are still working in concert with Nature. The people are generally peace-loving and happy, so they're clearly doing SOMETHING right in the Mountain Deeps.

Dwarven Template

This is the baseline Dwarven template.

There is no cost for the baseline of 15 HP and 10 Focus; however, you can lower your HP to get points (2 character creation points returned per point of HP reduced) back during character creation if you wish. This will put you below the "average" Dwarf however, so think carefully on whether or not you wish to do that. You may split your basic stat points as you see fit, but the "average" for Dwarves is 5 in Speed/Dexterity, 10 in Strength and 5 each in Logic and Creativity. MP will, of course, depend upon the schools you take and how high you buy them, as outlined here.

As far as your baseline Advantages/Disadvantages go, you would technically be buying them, but you'll find that the Advantages and Disadvantages cancel each other out. It is your starting point, and the cost of the entire package is considered 0.

Dwarves are shorter and stouter in nature than Humans. Within a Dwarven community, this isn't a big deal, but most of the rest of the continent has been colonized by the...taller races. This may sometimes present a problem. As for the Advantages, Dwarves are a tight-knit community. Should you ever need a place to stay, for however long you need it, you have it in the home of a Dwarf (so long as you are not a known shame to your family/village/race). You can also get a discount with Dwarven traders, artisans, and other such craftsmen, including smiths. Dwarves are not likely to have horses, but most Special Gear, if you can plausibly get it from a Dwarf (*coughblunderbusscough*) will be 10% cheaper than it would be for anyone else. And, of course, Dwarves understand rock and dirt more than any other elements. If you are a Holy or Unholy Magician, there is no benefit, nor is there one for the Fire, Air, or Water schools of Elemental Magic. But the Earth school you have DOWN, and you learn it twice as fast as non-Dwarves. Even a Dwarf with NO magical training can recognize when Earth Magic has been done to something. It would take study to pick up any other Elemental signature though.

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