Dwarves (or Hamo Cop'lli by the Second Human Empire) are short and stout creatures. They are shorter than humans but taller than gnomes, taking advantage of their size when possible and relying on their robustness and strength when not. The average dwarf is steady, observant and composed both during work and combat, yet able to rage with fierce zeal and persistence when the situation calls for it. While a dwarf prefers to plan forward to overcome challenges, many of them easily lose their temperament and self-restraint when exposed to conditions stirring their feelings and concerns. Most Dwarves are aligned with the Alliance of Nations. There are 5 types of sub-species of dwarves from Azeroth, Thedas, Norrath, The Old World and Rivellon
Society and Culture Edit
Dwarves on Azeroth, in nature are masters in the arts of blacksmithing, metalwork and mining. They are also superb at developing and constructing machinery, and they have developed several different types of Siege weapons, such as Siege engines and Steam tanks and flying machines, such as Gyrocopters and Dwarven flying machines. As for blacksmithing, the Dwarves are masters at creating new weaponry and armor. There are some who believe that Dwarves have the capability of imparting their emotions directly into the weapons and armor they craft. With the example of Magni Bronzebeard, who did not believe much in the notion that his race could possess such an incredible capability, but when he was creating the Ashbringer at the The Great Anvil, he held so much pain for the loss of his brother, and when he struck down his hammer on the blade he harnessed all of his fury and vengeance and imbued it into the weapon.
The dwarven social hierarchy on Thedas is ruled by complex, interrelated, and rigid castes. The casteless, commonly known as "dusters" after their ghetto of Dust Town, are the lowest rung of dwarven society: outcasts in their own city, unable to take up work among the higher castes, nor to defend their honor in the Provings or fight the darkspawn to protect the city, dwarves rejected by the Stone itself. Dwarves who are exiled or born on the surface are also officially casteless - but with an increase in the number of higher-caste dwarves choosing to live on the surface, it is becoming difficult for some surface dwarves to be considered permanent exiles. The average dwarf will never see the surface, and often will have superstitious beliefs concerning surface-life (such as falling into the sky, or the sun falling to the ground).
Above the casteless are servants, miners, smiths, merchants, deshyrs and nobles. Nobles are the nobility of dwarven society, while the deshyrs are a group of dwarves who participate in the Assembly on behalf of their noble houses. While it is possible for some dwarves to better their family's station by performing great deeds and/or siring children with higher-caste dwarves, these remain rare and difficult circumstances. Lower-caste dwarves who rise in caste are generally considered "upjumped" by the highest castes. In dwarven society, children inherit the cast of their same-sex parent; should a son be born, he would inherit his father's caste, or castelessnes, should that be the case.
It should be mentioned that slavery existed in the times of the ancient dwarven empire.
Monarchy is the dwarven standard of government, but heredity tends to be a weak factor in determining who sits on the throne when the time comes for a new ruler. While a king may propose his heir to the throne, the next ruler is ultimately determined in the Assembly by a vote of the deshyrs.
It has been mentioned that most of the wealth of the dwarves comes from selling processed lyrium to the mages of Thedas. The Chantry holds a monopoly on lyrium trade with the dwarves (in order to maintain control over templars and mages), but there remains a flourishing black market of the substance, dominated on the dwarven end by the carta in Dust Town.
Dwarves on Norrath are short, stocky folk with tremendous passions for brewing, mining, and brawling. The bonds of friendship and family run deep within the dwarves, and they will fight relentlessly for the sake of kith and kin. While sometimes loyal to a fault to friends and clan-mates, they have been known to stubbornly cling to grudges—sometimes for generations. Dwarves take tremendous pride in their long beards and even longer bloodlines. Many a war has been fought over an ill-advised jape about a dwarf’s heritage or ability to hold one’s brew.
The northern mountains of Faydwer hold the cradle of dwarven culture, a land rich in precious ores and gemstones. They are renowned metalworkers and crafters, purveyors of the finest arms and armor on Norrath. Dwarves feel most at home in the earth, where their massive underground cities afford wealth as well as nigh-impenetrable defenses. When circumstances force them to build on the surface, dwarves surround themselves with thick walls of hard stone.
It is said that the spirits of fallen dwarves are called to Brell’s Forge for judgment. Past sins are burned away in purifying fire, while noble deeds are tempered in cooling waters. Through this process, the dwarven spirit is re-forged to be born again in a new body. Legend claims that orcs try to steal dwarven spirits before they can reach the Forge, so by defeating the orcish hordes, dwarves believe they are freeing the captive spirits of their ancestors.
The Old World Edit
An enormously proud people, the Dwarfs are quick to react to any slight, real or imagined, and remember any such infraction for years, even passing on the responsibility of vengeance to their heirs through their Books of Grudges, the greatest of which is the Great Book of Grudges; written in the Dawi language of Khazalid and carried by the leader of all Dwarfs, the High King. Currently Thorgrimm Grudgebearer. The great motto of the dwarves that they cry before every battle "Never forgive! Never forget!" is a testament to their dedication to repaying every slight perpetrated against them personally or against their race. It is perhaps because of their obstinate pride that the Dwarfs refuse to openly admit that their culture has lost much to the mists of time.
It is not uncommon to hear a Dwarf wistfully recall the great glories of the past, observing bitterly that little the Dwarfs do in this day and age can compare to the majesty of what once was. The arrival of humans and the empires they created in the Old World triggered a proxy renaissance within the Dwarven realms. The humans with the aid of the Dwarfs pushed the orcs out of the Old world relieving the constant pressure on the Dwarf holds, freeing dwarf troops and resources up so that they could relieve the constant seiges that beset their holds, and opening trade routes with human cities. This has allowed the Dwarfs to consolidate thier reduced realm and even gave new motivation to take back old abandoned holds. As the Dwarfs have slowly rebuilt the great strength of their realms since the time of woes and the ensuing goblin wars they know that only the determination and stubborness of a Dwarf will allow them to return the glories of old.
The only thing that the Dwarfs love more than a good mug of ale is gold. A Dwarf in the throes of goldlust is a thing to behold. The race's legendary drive and stamina is brought into sharp relief when they are presented with the opportunity to acquire gold. Their lust for gold has often led them into much trouble. It has been known to cause a dwarf to sacrifice his own life rather then escape and leave their gold behind. The mines beneath their holds are the deepest and most exstensive in all the world a testment to the Dwarfs drive and determintation. Even the homes of the Dwarfs themselves began as simple mines expanded over tens of thousands of years into wonders of architecture and craftsminship hidden from the world beneath vast mountain realms. Their holds have endured even in the current lesser age when many have been lost to natural disasters or orc invasions. As miners and experts on ore and metals, the Dwarfs are without peer. Items of Dwarf craftsmanship and engineering are the most valuable in all the world, revered even by the Elves.
Dwarfs are defined by their reverence for their past. They carve out monumental tombs in order to worship and venerate their ancestors, their oldest treasures are highly valued in order to respect the craftsman who originally fashioned it and to preserve an element of the continuing Dwarf culture. It is said that when Dwarfs are in any doubt as to how to proceed they look to the Dwarf with the longest beard to tell them what to do. This is invariably the wisest solution, since he will be the oldest and most experienced among them and with a life span of centuries that is wise indeed.
Dwarfs have exceedingly good memories, and live to a very great age: usually upwards of 500 years, often living to 600 and in rare and exceptional cases 1000 - the latter is evident in the case of Rune Lord Kragg the Grim who is literally too stubborn to die and because of his age one of the wisest dwarves alive. This side of their character is epitomised by Dammaz Kron - the Great Book of Grudges – a massive tome written in the blood of the High Kings which recounts all the great wrongs, unpaid debts and deeds of treachery perpetrated against the Dwarf race. Although the grudges listed in the book are occasionally avenged (and in extremely rare cases, partially forgiven - more akin to recompense), Dwarfs on the whole tend to prefer to hold a grudge rather than let bygones be bygones, and certainly never forget a grudge. Indeed, the Dwarf language has no word for forgiveness, but many subtle variations on revenge, recompense and retribution.
Dwarf clans are made up of extended families that trace their lineage back to a founding ancestor that performed a great deed, founded a mine, built a hold, or settled a valley. Dwarfs have great pride in their clans and consider family to be the most important thing in existence there is nothing they will not do for family, and no lengths they will not go to in order to keep them safe. It is the job of every dwarf to memorize the name of every member of their family and extended clan back to the founding ancestor of the clan. Dwarf clans often fued with one another and grudges between them can streach on for milleniaa passed down from generation to generation until it is fulfilled. Before clans of a hold unite to wage war or defend the hold the heads of the clans gather before the king and have him make judgement on their grudges.
The religion of the Dwarfs revolves around three major ancestral deities: Grungni, who is said to have first taught to the Dwarfs the skills of stonecraft and smithing; Valaya, who protects the Dwarf race from harm; and Grimnir, the warrior god is worshipped mainly by Slayers and to a lesser extent other warriors.