Dwarves on/in Terramar
Dwarves are the most common (or least-rare) “traditional” fantasy race on Terramar.
Dwarves are short, sturdy and brawny. They average 1.5 feet shorter than an average human, but weigh 100 pounds more. Gnomes are two feet shorter, and 50 pounds heavier than an average human. Dwarvish features are broad and coarse, and their bodies are thickly muscled. Their legs are short, but their heads and torsos are nearly the size of a Human’s. Their hair is thick and can be any color found in humanity, though it usually turns gray or silver in midlife (baldness is also common). All male Dwarves wear thick, full beards which they like to grow down below their waists. They wear practical, sturdy clothing, and are often in armor when above ground.
Their religion, like so much else, is secret. It is known, however, to be polytheistic. The Dwarven pantheon includes gods of the Forge, the Mountains, War, Prosperity, Fertility, Magic and many more. Dwarvish priests are also the keepers of the sacred chronicles and records of names. Many a departing adventurer will whisper his true name to a priest at his departure, hedging against the possibility that he won’t return. The Dwarves do not make images of their gods, or at least do not show them to non-Dwarves.
The overwhelming majority of Dwarves are blacksmiths, weaponsmiths, armorsmiths, jewelsmiths, metalsmiths, mechanicians, alchemists, miners, engineers, architects, and other skilled craftsmen such as brewers, weavers, plumbers, and carpenters. Some of them are “growers” of mushrooms and other things that can be grown underground, including giant beetles and spiders, as well as goats, rothe’, and pack lizards. Also many Dwarves are Traders, who transport Dwarf-crafted goods from one settlement to another.
Many Dwarven cities have populations of Kobolds as servants. Most of the Kobolds work in unpleasant jobs that don’t require creativity, such as transporting sewage to the mushroom caverns, or clearing debris out from tunnels. However, the most intelligent, creative, or skillful of the Kobolds can gain employment in more productive — and better-paying — jobs.
Dwarves also get along well with Delvers, Denzelians, Earth Mephits, and other creatures connected to the element of Earth, including Stone Golems.
Their connection to the Insect Men is mysterious. It is believed that the two races trade, making deals across deep, secret borders sealed off with strong Dwarven-made doors of iron. But if such interactions do exist, they are kept secret by the close-mouthed Dwarves and the mute Insect Men.
About 1% of the population of a typical human settlement will be Dwarves.
It is not known whether the total population of Dwarves living above-ground is greater or less than the total population living below-ground.
Dwarves on Terramar have the following subspecies:
Hill Dwarves: The generic D&D dwarf.
Mountain Dwarves: Stronger, tougher, more grumpy and reclusive — i.e. more Dwarven —than the average Dwarf.
Urban “Red” Dwarves. They have ruddy, brickish-red skin. They prefer living either in Dwarven cities that have an entrance on the surface, or in above-ground cities; and are usually Traders or Rogues.
Arctic Dwarves: They live in tunnels either in arctic mountains, or within the actual glaciers.
Deep Dwarves: These dislike open (i.e. unroofed) spaces even more than the average Dwarf. They refuse to go near the surface of the planet, and instead stay safe underground.
Gray Dwarves: These are closely related to Deep Dwarves, have gray skin, are often bald, and often have psionic powers.
Forest Gnomes: Gnomes are descended from Dwarves who lived near the surface and tended crops and herds to feed the miners and craftsmen below — some still live this way. Over the millennia the races have diverged (they are probably still close enough to interbreed, but such practices are abhorrent to the Dwarves). The Gnomes are a dynamic and resourceful race, excelling at the softer crafts — woodworking, leatherworking, weaving and so on. Their magic is less powerful, but more versatile, than the Dwarves’.
Tinker Gnomes: These are clockpunk/steampunk mad scientists.
How Dwarven Mines Really Are: