No Soul Stirring Melodies
Industry and Grit
When one thinks of the dwarf, the immediate image that comes to mind is the anvil. In this aspect, one would be sorely mistaken to believe any other race could rival the dwarf in terms of sheer quality of metal work and creation.
A noble race of artisans, that which is crafted by the dwarf is almost guaranteed to survive the test of time and outlive he who created it for centuries. Many a stone temple and carved mountain sculpture comes from the passion of the dwarven artist who threw himself into his work in a fit of inspiration.
Although dwarven adventurers are rare compared to humans, they can be found in most regions of the world. Dwarves often leave the confines of their redoubts to seek glory for their clans, to find wealth with which to enrich the fortress-homes of their birth, or to reclaim fallen dwarven citadels from racial enemies. Dwarven warfare is often characterized by seige fighting and melee combat, as well as use of the fabled Arms Fortress, and as such most dwarves tend toward classes such as fighters and barbarians, or technology inclined classes such as Alchemist.
The Madness of Creation
Every so often, a dwarven craftsman will be struck with the sudden possessive need to create. The cause of this phenomena is generally unknown and many scholars have listed reasons as far as a sudden activation of instinct to a possession by the spirit of an ancestor. Regardless of the source of this madness, however, the result is always the same: The dwarf will shut himself within a workshop and slave away for as long as years until the masterpiece is complete.
The term workshop is used lightly, of course. There are cases of dwarves simply secluding themselves in a cave with no tools and crafting sculptures with their bare hands. The body functions almost seem to shut down, as thoughts of food and drink and safety are disregarded to the point where bodily harm could result from the actions.
The greatest example of Creation Madness is The Spiral Pillar of Morgrym, a tower stretching hundreds of meters skyward containing the known history of the world carved in to it’s surface. To this day, Morgrym’s ancestors are struck with the madness for brief periods of time and travel to carve new events into the pillar.
The Technology of War
When sweeping innovations are made on the warfront, the dwarves are usually responsible.
Early Dwarven war chariots and siege weapons can be found dating as early as centuries before the elven Two Thousand Year Kingdom, largely still intact. But the sheer testament to the greater war machine is the structures known as Arms Fortresses.
A Dwarven Arms Fortress consists of several miles of iron and stone, worked into a mobile platform capable of traversing the continents and housing thousands of soldiers and civilians. The Arms Fortress very quickly replaced the concept of a standard, mountain based fortress, as it’s mobility allows it to pack up and begin transportation to and from combat. The tremendous power requirements of such fortresses require access to vast reserves of energy, however, leading to the decreased use of them over the centuries and retiring many into standard cities.
However, those which are still mobile burn with the power of volcanoes, often harvested in their creation. Alternatively, fortresses may contain a massive drill capable of reaching into the magma core of the planet to draw forth and refuel the platform.
Dwarves and orcs share a history of violence as old as both races. Dwarves generally distrust and shun half-orcs. They find elves and halflings to be too frail, flighty, or “pretty” to be worthy of proper respect. A strong relationship with gnomes exists, sharing their love of ironwork and war machine development with the gnome knowledge of science and alchemy to provide power for these machines. It is with humans that dwarves share the strongest link, for humans’ industrious nature and hearty appetites come closest to matching those of the dwarven ideal.
Standard Racial Traits
- Ability Score Racial Traits: Dwarves are both tough and wise, but also a bit gruff. They gain +2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom, and –2 Charisma.
- Size: Dwarves are Medium creatures and thus receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- Type: Dwarves are humanoids with the dwarf subtype.
- Base Speed: (Slow and Steady) Dwarves have a base speed of 20 feet, but their speed is never modified by armor or encumbrance.
- Languages: Dwarves begin play speaking Common and Dwarven. Dwarves with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Giant, Gnome, Goblin, Orc, Terran, and Undercommon. See the Linguistics skill page for more information about these languages.