Dragonlance - Age of Might
“Workers under the Mountain”
THE KINGDOMS OF THE DWARVES
The newly-created race of dwarves was drawn to the earth, where the wealth of metal and gems was most easily found. And so they became miners and craftsmen. Unlike the gnomes, they were not tinkerers and inventors (although dwarven technology is well respected). Like the race of man from which they are descended, they have equal measures of good, evil, and neutrality. All dwarves revere Reorx, and neutrality is a common dwarvish ideal.
The Kingdom of Thorbardin is one of the oldest nations in the world. In it, the dwarves fragmented yet again. One tribe of dwarves became the rulers of Thorbardin and held the throne for thousands of years. They became known as the highest, or Hylar.
Some dwarves chose to settle in the Kharolis Mountains rather than in the great underground cities. They had more dealings with men, who called them the Hill Dwarves to distinguish them from their cousins, the Mountain Dwarves. They became known as the nearest, or Neidar.
Some dwarves interbred with men, and became known as the degenerate, or derro. Shunned by men and dwarves, they became twisted and many turned to evil. They are rumored to be slavers and cannibals, and are allied with gargoyles and lamia. There are two tribes of derro. The first derro called themselves the thankless, or Theiwar. The derro them- selves split and the second derro kingdom called itself the deepest, or Daergar.
Among the mountain dwarves, one tribe became the best miners, and they called themselves the dearest, or Daewar, because of their abilities to find the most pre- cious and dearest gems.
Last of the dwarven races is the Aghar, the anguished, commonly known as gully dwarves. The Aghar are a crossbreed between dwarf and gnome, but neither side wishes to claim any credit for this disgusting and stupid race. For some reason, the interbreeding of gnome and dwarf led to a race possessing the good features of neither parentthey have the greed of the dwarves, the singleminded- ness of the gnomes, and the intelligence of neither. They are fit only for menial work, and even then require close supervision.
Other races accuse dwarves of miserly greed. Dwarves see themselves quite differently. Dwarves believe their hard work and drive make them worthy of riches. Those who would disagree are lazy and jealous. Among themselves, dwarves consider dogged work and opulent wealth to be two of life’s greatest pleasures. For these things, and for drink and history and song, dwarves harbour a passionate love. Around big folk (or elven folk), dwarves hide this passion, and therefore seem inscrutable, coarse, and oddly reticent.
Ansalonian dwarves are short and wide-shouldered, standing only four feet tall and weighing about 140 pounds. Males have full beards, and females and youths have wispy whiskers that do not form full beards. On the whole, dwarves have tough, wrinkled skin, and most males begin going bald while still young (50 years old).
Dwarves are usually lawful, and they tend towards good. Adventuring dwarves are less likely to fit the common mould however, since they’re more likely to be those who did not fit perfectly into dwarven society.
Dwarves have always been divided into clans. Each clan is led by a thane – the clan ruler and representative to the Council of Thanes. The Council of Thanes is the ruling body for all dwarves upon Ansalon. Traditionally, the council has had nine thanes.
Dwarves believe they were Reorx’s last and best creations, made in the god’s image. Reorx, they say, learned from each creation until he achieved the perfect form – dwarves. Dwarves see themselves as Reorx’s custodians: maintaining the past in the present. Though dwarves respect all of the gods (generally the good aligned ones), finding dwarven worshipers of other deities is quite rare.
The dwarven language is broken up into seven dialects each spoken by one of the clans. Aghar speak a slang-filled language, Gully Talk. Hammertalk is tapped out in caverns to communicate over long distances.
Theiwar: Shrewd and ambitious, selfish and malicious, deriving cruel pleasure from the sufferings of others. Cunning deal makers, will conceal trickery and deception in the midst of innocent appearing conversation and negotiation. When tables are turned a Their often seeks vengeance in blood for any kind of trick played upon him. They tend to be stocky and broad shouldered. Only clan of dwarves who claim any proficiency in magic use.
Daergar: Dark Dwellers, most well adapted to living underground. Most ambitious miners among the Dwarves. Quick to use violence, utterly ruthless in the manner in which brutality is employed. Dreamer males routinely slay each other in duels and brawls. Dreamer are brutal and intolerant of Aghar. Daergar have long cooperated with the Theirwar when confronted by the diplomacy and persuasive skills of the Hylar/Daewar. Dreamer make no effort to hide their loathing for the Hylar and Daewar.
Daewar: Skilled merchants and builders. Dear were the first of the clans to recognize the primacy of the Hylar. The two clans have often cooperated.
Klar: Wild dwarves rendered mad by their use of the false metal tame, or quick silver. Klara delight in tame and add it’s sheen to their works of art as well as keeping bowls of the stuff to play around with.
Klar are temperamental, unpredictable, and, when angered, immune to the effects of logic or pain. Other dwarves consider them rude and unkempt but the Klar are tolerated as a full-fledged Thane due to their skill in battle. Previous to Thorbardin’s founding the Klar lived like nomads.
Klar are not as productive in labour or as skilled as craftsmen as the other clans.
Hylar: Traditional ruling clan of Thorbardin. Their arrival first united the clans and it was Hylar pressure that forced the Daewar to open up the underground cavern to all the subcarriers of dwarves.
The Hylar are the most inventive of the dwarves, as evidenced by the technology for things such as aqueducts, pulleys, lifts, cart tracks, as well as superior steel made in a forge.
Hylar have been the force behind the two great colonizations in Thorbardin’s history, the journeys to Thoradin and Kayolin.
Aghar: Gully Dwarves.
Neidar: Hill Dwarves.