By Reorx's beard!
- Dwarven Oath
The dwarves of Krynn are an industrious people, known throughout Ansalon as skilled builders and master artisans. Preferring to live below ground, many clans dwell under the mountains in mighty halls hewn out of the rock. Some dwarves, however, have moved into the foothills, choosing to interact with other races rather than shutting themselves off from the world.
All dwarves share the following characteristics, with variations by sub-race as noted below.
To outsiders, dwarves can seem dour and taciturn, but that is their way with strangers. In truth, the dwarves are outgoing and gregarious when comfortable when among friends, quick to roar with laughter at a good joke. Even the more softhearted dwarves make an effort to maintain a gruff exterior, since tender emotions are rarely shared with others. Dwarves take tremendous pride in their beards, wearing them long and keeping them well groomed. Dwarves have an innate love of precious metals and gemstones, regarding their look and feel as important as monetary value.
Dwarves stand between 4 and 4'5 feet tall, with rare specimens approaching nearly 5 feet in height. Their bones and muscles are so dense, however, that they are much heavier than one would guess by appearance. They have light brown skin (though exact shades vary from clan to clan and family to family). Their hair ranges from brown to black to gray and (rarely) white. Dwarves have a wide vocal range, and even females vary from deep to high ranges. Dwarven rhythmic chants and songs use all ranges to create amazing effects.
Males have long, full beards, of which they are very proud and take great care. Female grow tufts of hair on their cheeks.
Dwarves do not get along with other races, having at least one objection to each. Gnomes are hard working, underground folk like dwarves, but their excitability and fast speech grate on a dwarf's nerves. Dwarves admire elves for their craft skills, but disdain them as arrogant, puny forest-dwellers. Human may be productive, but dwarves consider them inconstant and untrustworthy. Kender have no redeeming qualities in the opinion of most dwarves. Dwarves believe that ogres, minotaurs, and draconians and evil creatures who should be destroyed.
Dwarves are lawful and tend toward a neutral alignment. Adventuring dwarves are often good, and neutral toward law and chaos.
The primary dwarves kingdoms are the mountain dwarven kingdoms of Thoradin and Thorbardin, though there are scattered dwarven communities across Krynn. Thoradin, in particular, has passed hands many times, from one dwarven race to another, and is currently in possession of the Daewar clan. Thorbardin's history is much more stable, since for centuries it was closed off to the outside world though it too has recently seen troubles. Hill dwarves have established their own kingdoms, still harboring bitterness at the perceived betrayal of the mountain dwarves, who shut them out of the mountains so long ago.
All dwarves revere Reorx, the Forge, and believe they are a chosen people created in the god's image. Some dwarves turned completely from the deity after the Summer of Chaos, but theses individuals are rare. The halls of the dwarves often ring with the oath, “By Reorx's beard!”
Dwarven is a tongue that has remained quite consistent throughout the ages, with little variation. Hill dwarves and those from the dark kingdom of Thoradin have distinct accents, but are easily understood by other dwarves. Dwarves learn Common, as well as the language of their enemies (Goblin or Ogre). Many dwarves also learn Hammertalk, a method of communicating by a series of taps on stone walls.
Dwarves all have a
family name of which they are very proud, each family being part of a
larger clan. Children are given individual names at birth, often in
honor of a relative or ancestor. This creates confusion among
outsiders when they encounter several dwarves with the same of
similar names. Dwarves themselves have a passion for genealogy and
can sort everyone our without difficulty.