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Dwarves in the Realms

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1 Dwarves in the Realms on Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:04 am

Dwarves are dour, proud, taciturn, and markedly inflexible. They hold grudges and lust after gold. Dwarves have a deepseated, morbid dislike and mistrust of all strangers, nondwarves in particular. More than simply wanting to greedily amass all the wealth they can, which is the common human and halfling view of dwarves, the Deep Folk love worked beauty. They prefer beauty through skill, somehow improving on nature, rather than the beauty of nature "as is," the beauty prized by "lazy" elves.

Dwarves are also a devout folk, a race that looks often to its gods who, in turn, serve their steadfast worshippers diligently. Dwarven traits such as grim defiance and greed are not implanted or forced upon the dwarves by their deities, but are things inherent in a dwarf that the gods recognise and play upon.

Dwarves are usually pessimists, as is revealed by their common sayings "every fair sky hides a lurking cloud" and "the gold you have yet to win gleams the brightest". As such they always prepare for the worst, preparing back-up weapons, food caches, escape routes, and 'booby traps' for potential enemies.

Some even see the hand of fate as a real, powerful force that acts upon their lives. Some dwarves have been known to feel their own deaths approach. Others have glimpsed tantalising images of important scenes in their lives to come. These images are given, it is said, by the gods, to ensure that each dwarf knows when an encounter, decision, or deed is especially important to the Folk as a whole, so he might act accordingly. These fateful images make the dwarves respectful and obedient to the gods, willing to obey their laws and rules.

Dwarves therefore tend to keep their word, whatever the cost. By way of example, the village of Maskyr's Eye, in the Vast, is named for a wizard who asked the dwarven king Tuir for land. The king, not wanting to give up any land to humans, but also not wanting to face the attacks of an angered wizard, said the land would be Maskyr's only if the wizard plucked out his right eye on the spot, and gave it to Tuir. Maskyr, to the astonishment of the court, did so, and Tuir then respectfully kept his end of the bargain.

The dwarves have always had close relations with gnomes, and workable relations with ha!flings. They have always harboured a special hatred for ores and other goblin-kin, and they have never gotten along with their own deep-dwelling kin, the duergar.

The deep religious beliefs of the dwarves - that their gods are real beings who will aid them if they have performed acceptably, and who want them to do thus and so - are not dealt with in this chapter. For religious topics, see instead The Gods of the Dwarves and The Priests of the Dwarves. Rather, we look here at things that most dwarves believe to be true about life and Daerun, whether these beliefs are true or not.

All giants, orcs, and halflings are liars.
Humans and ores both mate constantly, whenever they have opportunity and with any partner. That's why they are so numerous, where we are so few.
Elves secretly lust after beautiful things fashioned of metal as much as dwarves do. They only pretend they don't, so as to get the best price - or opportunity to steal - such things in their dealings with other races.
Elves can steal magic out. of items simply by touching them.
Humans can tarnish some metals merely by touching them.
Drinking the blood of a dragon heals wounds, banishes disease and poison, and may add a year or four to a dwarf's life. Hot dragon blood, freshly taken from the dragon, is best.
Somewhere deep beneath the earth is a river of pure, molten gold. Those dwarves who find the River of Gold can simply dip out all they can carry, but they must use stone containers, for the molten gold is so hot it will melt all other metals. The river is dangerous; it seems to take dwarven lives in payment if too much gold is taken. It will never be found in the same deep caverns twice, but must be hunted anew in the deepest and most remote delves and cracks.
Some dragons excrete gems, and these fall about the dragon's lair and the terrain under which the dragon flies. The gems can usually be found on mountain pinnacles.

To call someone a 'longbeard' means that he or she is wise, experienced, a dependable veteran, and is a compliment. To call someone a 'no-beard' or 'shorthair' is an insult. All dwarves grow beards, male and female, but some dwarves, usually females, shave.

To call a dwarf 'little' or 'human' (or to combine the two, as in 'little man') is to issue a nasty insult. Conversely, 'standing tall,' as in 'You stand tall among us, Thorgar,' is a term of admiration and respect. Strangely, the actual height of a dwarf does not influence his or her treatment by, and relationships with, other dwarves in any way.

A dwarf may introduce himself to a stranger of another race, as 'Narnden, of the dwarves.' If Narnden is his real name, this is only a subtle insult, reflecting that the dwarf doesn't trust the stranger well enough to give his clan (last) name. If the stranger is a dwarf, it is an unfriendly greeting. If the dwarf gives the name 'Narnden' falsely, it is meant as an insult.
Dwarves have many customs that appear strange to humans. Those immediately apparent to any visitor to dwarven habitations is that dwarves prefer to live underground or, if aboveground, they prefer dark, massive stone structures that mimic conditions underground. Dwarves seem to hate and fear the sea. Dwarves also speak as little as possible, and tend to be surly or sarcastic. Dwarves tend to like games even gambling, of all sorts. They enjoy rhythmic drumming in music, disliking flutes and other wind instruments. Dwarves enjoy dancing, either among themselves or watching others when in human dominated communities.

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2 Re: Dwarves in the Realms on Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:05 am

The Doom of the Dwarves
The tragic 'secret' of the dwarves is their low birthrate. Fear of clan extinction sometimes drives dwarves to raid human settlements for mates, or even to deal with slavers. The dwarves are usually in search of human women, because the low dwarven birthrate is thought to be due to low fertility among dwarven women. The offspring of a human and a dwarf is always dwarven enough to pass for a true dwarf (although it may be a foot taller than other dwarves). Any offspring it may in turn have with a dwarven mate will be fully dwarven, reverting to usual dwarven height The taking of human mates is '`the secret salvation of the race" referred to by some dwarven elders.

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3 Re: Dwarves in the Realms on Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:05 am

Festivals and Moots

Moots are business meetings between dwarven clans or professions, or between dwarves and nondwarven traders. Current known moots in the Realms include periodic hadesmoots near Baldur's Gate, the annual High Moot northeast of Waterdeep, and the Deep Moot in the Great Rift, held every ten years and open to every dwarf.

Dragonmoots are a proud but vanishing tradition, in which bands of adventuring dwarves are called together to fight specific dragons, and plunder their hoards. They were once something of a ritual of passage for young dwarves aspiring to be warriors.

Festivals are annual celebratory feasts which tend to involve lots of drinking and dancing. The most famous festivals include the Festival of the Forging (in honor of the great smithies), the Night of the Thirsty Axe (in honor of great warriors), and the Remembering (in honor of dead dwarven ancestors)

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4 Re: Dwarves in the Realms on Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:07 am

Professions

Dwarves have professions not unlike those of other races, so visitors from human or even elven communities will not be completely lost in the dwarven realms. However, several honoured dwarven professions are unique to their culture. These include loremasters, diplomats, and smiths.

Loremasters are the Keepers of the High History of the Dwarves. Their task is to remember dwarven genealogies, history, and decisions down the ages. In the Deep Realm, the most sacred, central part of Underhome is the Vault of Mutterings, where old dwarves endlessly tell each other the lore they know, in a sort of endless chanting and drinking party.

Diplomats are also honoured professionals among the dwarves. Skilled diplomats are either negotiators or messengers. The latter memorise messages exactly and can deliver them in precisely the voice and tone in which they were first enunciated. They can't deliver spells this way, but can impart command words. Messengers are used throughout the Deep Realm as a matter of course, and on the surface when matters of import must be communicated (i.e. news of the death of a dwarf to his or her kin). Dwarven messengers carry small iron bucklers as badges of their office, and may also bear a circle inside-a circle tattoo at the base of their throat.

Far and away the most important profession among the dwarves is, of course, the smith. Smiths vary widely in skills and specialities, and not all of them can fashion magical items. These skills are not detailed in this sourcebook, because it is recommended that smiths not be player characters.

To advance in smith-craft, a dwarf cannot spare the time for adventuring. Nor would a smith voluntarily risk his skilled hands and other faculties to the dangers of battle - they are simply too valuable to the smith and to his people.

There is a dwarven saying: "Smiths die rich, but warriors die with only what they've managed to seize and hold onto." It vividly illustrates the relative lack of profit in being an adventurer, compared to the sure gains of being a dwarven smith.

Most human fighters in the Realms know the basics ol forging weapons and armour; the favoured and necessary metals, what tools are commonly used, and so on. They can tell when someone is trying to deceive them over the making of a blade, but would probably produce a brittle, unbalanced weapon unable to hold an edge if they tried to make a sword themselves.

Most dwarves can do a little better than that. They can tell you exactly what metals and tempering substances their local smiths used, and know when a forge or blade-in-progress is hot enough simply by its hue.

A player character dwarf may not be able to turn out a fine, tempered sword if he is not a smith However, virtually any dwarf can, if given time and the right materials, produce a serviceable blade, of the proper weight, size and balance for a given user, that can be sharpened to a cutting edge. It may not, however, hold an edge or take the battering a good weapon could without shattering. The DM must adjudicate such situations on a case-by-case basis.

Magical forging is also a matter for the dungeon master to rule on, to match conditions in a particular campaign. Dwarves are intensely secretive when it comes to smithy-work; no player character dwarf will be able to learn how to make and enchant a weapon from any dwarven tutor. A few hints may he picked up from crumbling texts, examination of magical items, and the last gasped words of dying dwarves indebted to the PC, but by and large PCs of any race wanting to learn the dwarven ways of creating magical things are going to have to experiment for themselves.

The player character must prepare a process, with ingredients and conditions, and submit it to the DM. The DM will rule on what occurs. While creating a magical item under such conditions is a thing to be proud of in itself, it will, if properly run, eat up so much time and wealth that the character effectively retires from adventuring, even if only temporarily.

As the dwarven sage Holoengor of Eartheart has said, "Adventuring is one grand career and craftwork is another. It's a rare dwarf that's tall enough to manage both.

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5 Re: Dwarves in the Realms on Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:07 am

DWARVEN CLANS

The clan was once all-powerful in dwarven life in Faerun, but over the last thousand winters, the power and influence of all clans, particularly in the North, has dwindled. Many are now little more than drinking societies or clubs, with virtually no influence over their member dwarves' lives, though clans do not allow members to also belong to another clan. Many isolated dwarven communities, particularly in the North, are now clanless, or have only the weakest clan affiliations.

Clan Organisation

All dwarven clans have chiefs. In the north, dwarven chieftains are sometimes known as"clanmasters" or"lairds." Their southern counterparts are often known as "ardukes." These ranks give us "the word of the laird shalt be the whole of the law," "for the arduke,' "all honour to the chief," and other sayings. The term "house" refers to the ruling family in a clan, or the ruling clan of a land. This term is most used when there is no single monarch, the ruler uses a lesser title (such as Iron Duke), or when a king is elected rather than inheriting the title.

Almost all positions of clan leadership are obtained today hy election from among, and by, the clan's elders. In olden days, dwarves had kings who could trace lineage through generations of previous hereditary rulers. A few kingships survive today, but all rely on the monarch's personal popularity and fitness to rule, not on an automatically-acknowledged blood-right to rule.

Every clan has its elders; dwarves of influence, wealth, and personal mightÑand almost always, distinguished age. Their thoughts and plans aim and shape the lives of clan members; their votes determine clan policy, laws, and justice. Clan elders once held the right to approve or deny marriages in a clan, renouncing the membership of any who married against their will, or married out of the clan. However, the dwindling birthrate of the Deep Folk has put a stop to such influence by the elders.

Most clans have clan champions, who offer themselves in tests of personal combat in the clan's name. They also maintain the clan's police-forces, gathered clan warriors, often called "the fists of the clan," or"the hammers of the clan."

Outcast dwarves remain, however, outcast to this day. "The memory of a dwarf is long and strong," as the old saying goes.

Clan Law

Dwarves value law and order above all else; usually content with their place, they see an iron maintenance of the status quo as the best way to preserve the Folk. In the eyes of a dwarf, clan rules and law must prevail.

A dwarf shall not speak falsely to another dwarf
A dwarf shall not steal from another dwarf, nor keep from another dwarf that which is his or hers by right, whether through force or deceit.
A dwarf shall not conceal personal injury or illness from fellows of the same clan.
A dwarf shall never act against any other dwarf, of any clan, by aiding or using the aid of nondwarven creatures.
A dwarf shall not refuse to aid another dwarf of the clan, when the life or health of the needy dwarf is in danger.
Clan justice is done through trial by at least twelve dwarven elders, none of whom can have a blood-interest (direct relationship to either the accused or injured parties). Verdicts are limited to "innocent," "not proved" and "guilty." Obtaining "not proved" verdicts is far from an acquittal, however; they are a black mark against a dwarf's name - those who collect more than six such verdicts are cast out of a clan. Punishments for a "guilty" verdict range from service to injured families to death, and are at the whim of the elders - there are no set sentences for given crimes.

Clan Professions

Clans usually specialise in particular crafts or skills hut dwarves skilled in almost anything can be found in the ranks of every large clan. Specialities include blacksmithing, silversmithing, gold smithing, armour-making , weapon- making, gemcutting, soldiery, and diplomacy (negotiators and messengers).

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6 Re: Dwarves in the Realms on Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:44 am

Arctic Dwarf

Arctic dwarves, who call themselves the Inugaakalikurit, are the isolated inhabitants of Faerun's northernmost reaches. Native to the mountains at the heart of the great Glacier and other northerly regions, arctic dwarves are little known to the outside world. Many arctic dwarves are rangers, barbarians, or fighters, for they hold little interest in the spell casting arts or godly worship. Their eyes are bright blue, their cheeks are ruddy as apples. Their skin is white, almost bluish, but because of their fondness for basking under the bright sun, many of them are sunburned red from head to toe, a condition that cause them no discomfort or other ill effects.


Racial Traits:

- Ability Adjustments: +4 Strength, -2 Dexterity, +2 Consitution, -2 Charisma.

- Darkvision: Arctic dwarves can see in the dark up to 60 feet.

- Weapon Familiarity: Dwarven waraxes are treated as martial weapons rather than exotic weapons.

- Stonecunning: +2 bonus to Search checks when inside.

- Small: As a Small creature, a arctic dwarf gains a +1 size bonus to Armor Class, a +1 size bonus to attack rolls, and a +4 size bonus to Hide checks, but he uses smaller weapons than humans use, and his lifting and carrying limits are three-quarters of those of a Medium character.

- Immunity to Cold: Arctic dwarves are immune to cold.

- Hardiness vs. Spells: +2 racial bonus to saving throws against spells and spell-like effects.

- Hardiness
vs. Poison: +2 racial bonus to saving throws against poisons.

- Natural Blacksmith: +3 racial bonus on Craft (Armor), Craft (Weapon) and Appraise checks.

- Battle Training vs. Giants: +4 dodge bonus to Armor Class against monsters of the giant type (such as ogres, trolls, and hill giants).

- Battle Training vs. Orcs and Goblinoids: +1 racial bonus on attack rolls against orcs (including half-orcs) and goblinoids (including goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears).

- Favored Class: Ranger. A multiclass arctic dwarves's ranger class does not count when determining whether he takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing. Dwarven culture extols the virtues of battle, and the vocation comes easily to dwarves.

- Level Adjustment +2: Arctic dwarves are slightly more powerful and gain levels more slowly than other races. It will take more experience for a arctic dwarf to reach level 2 than it would for normal races, for example.

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7 Re: Dwarves in the Realms on Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:45 am

Wild Dwarf

Wild dwarves, who call themselves "dur Authalar" (the People), are the primitive inhabitants of the Jungles of Chult and the Mhair and Black Jungles. They have largely rejected the clan-based craft and smith oriented culture of their Blue, gray, and shield dwarf cousins, choosing instead to live in hunting bands with ever-shifting memberships. Eschewing all trappings of civilization, wild dwarves live like beasts, engaged in an endless hunt for survival. Only those who dare the shadowy depths of Faerun's southern jungles are even aware of the existence of this barbaric dwarven sub race, for these elusive hunters keep to the depths of their woodland homes. Wild dwaves are dark-skinned, short, and stout, with dark brown eyes.


Racial Traits:

- Ability Adjustments: +2 Consitution, -2 Charisma.

- Darkvision: Wild dwarves can see in the dark up to 60 feet.

- Weapon Familiarity: Dwarven waraxes are treated as martial weapons rather than exotic weapons.

- Fire Resistance: Wild dwarves have a fire resistance of 5.

- Small: As a Small creature, a wild dwarf gains a +1 size bonus to Armor Class, a +1 size bonus to attack rolls, and a +4 size bonus to Hide checks, but he uses smaller weapons than humans use, and his lifting and carrying limits are three-quarters of those of a Medium character.

- Poison Resistance: Wild dwarves have a +4 racial bonus on Fortitude saves against poison.

- Disease Resistance: Wild dwarves have a +4 racial bonus on Fortitude saves against diseases.

- Hardiness vs. Spells: +2 racial bonus to saving throws against spells and spell-like effects.

- Battle Training vs. Giants: +4 dodge bonus to Armor Class against monsters of the giant type (such as ogres, trolls, and hill giants).

- Battle Training vs. Orcs and Goblinoids: +1 racial bonus on attack rolls against orcs (including half-orcs) and goblinoids (including goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears).

- Favored Class: Barbarian. A multiclass wild dwarf's barbarian class does not count when determining whether he takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing. Dwarven culture extols the virtues of battle, and the vocation comes easily to dwarves.

- Level Adjustment +0:

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8 Re: Dwarves in the Realms on Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:45 am

Korobokuru

Korobokuru are a primitive dwarven subrace native to the distant lands of Kara-Tur. Living in vast jungles, snowy mountain forests, or barren wilderness areas, they seldom come into contact with humans. Korobokuru prefer remote and forbidding sites of great natural beauty. There they live in simple villages or camps, moving only when forced to by the advance of human settlements. In appearance korobokuru are about four feet tall, with arms and legs slightly longer in proportion to their bodies than a dwarven's. Most are bowlegged and their arms and legs are hairy. Men grow wild sparse beards and even woman have small whiskers sprouding beneath their chins.

Culturally, korobokuru are much less advanced than most of their human neighbors. They hunt and tend
small farms in secluded areas, and create simple pieces of art and craft. They normally avoid human contact. Because of this (and the general conceit of humans), humans consider korobokuru to be backward primitives, and rarely accept them as full members of human society. They are typically seen as rude, pugnacious, boastful, and somewhat comical by the rest of the world.


Racial Traits:

- Ability Adjustments: +2 Strength, +2 Consitution, -4 Intelligence.

- Darkvision: Korobokuru can see in the dark up to 60 feet.

- Small: As a Small creature, a korobokuru gains a +1 size bonus to Armor Class, a +1 size bonus to attack rolls, and a +4 size bonus to Hide checks, but he uses smaller weapons than humans use, and his lifting and carrying limits are three-quarters of those of a Medium character.

- Hardiness vs. Spells: +2 racial bonus to saving throws against spells and spell-like effects.

- Hardiness vs. Poison: +2 racial bonus to saving throws against poisons.

- Battle Training vs. Giants: +4 dodge bonus to Armor Class against monsters of the giant type (such as ogres, trolls, and hill giants).

- Battle Training vs. Orcs and Goblinoids: +1 racial bonus on attack rolls against orcs (including half-orcs) and goblinoids (including batiri, goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears).

- Favored Class: Barbarian. A multiclass korobokuru's barbarian class does not count when determining whether he takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing.

- Level Adjustment +0:

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