|Naming Customs||Old Norse|
|Distinctions||Stout, mountain-dwelling people who show unerring perseverance and skill with crafting|
|Maximum Age||200 years|
|Eye Colors||brown, gray, green, and blue.|
|Hair Colors||Blond, brown, black, red, and (when older) gray or white.|
The Dwarves are a mysterious Race hailing from the subterranean depth of Ellador. Before the arrival of the Dregodarians or Allorn Empire to the region, the Dwarves lived below the Elladorian mountains in a grand empire, ruled over by the High Kings of the Great Holds. Eventually, contact was made between Dwarves and Altalar, but these relationships would eventually spell doom to the Great Holds. Tricked into going to war over vast riches, the Dwarven Empire was shaken to its core when the Isldar came to be, turning Ellador into a frozen wasteland and forcing the Dwarves underground once more. In their isolation, the Dwarves unleashed a terror from the depths, the Dakkar, which resulted in the fall of half of their Great Holds, and the collapse of the Dwarven Empire. Since then, the Dwarves have spread out across wider Aloria in the Dwarven Diaspora, with pockets of them settling in the various nations of others, offering their skills to benefit the societies they live in. While many are quick to declare the Dwarves a dying Race whose golden age has decayed beyond repair, others have seen the Dwarves for who they truly are: a proud people forged in hardship, and tempered to resist even the greatest of challenges, always persevering to live another day and ensure the legacy of their ancestors does not fade away into obscurity.
To be a Dwarf is to be resilient in the face of adversity, persevering where others would falter, and looking ever forwards when the past has taken everything. The Dwarves are master smiths, miners, mathematicians, and general craftsmen, having a knack for making the most mundane of creations appear like a work of art. With an unmatched ethos of integrity and hard work, the Dwarves have proven to wider Aloria that their kinsmen are not one to be discounted, even with its population lower than any other Race, even that of the Maraya. Dwarves are aware that they are seen by many as a dying Race whose glory days have frozen over, and now suffer a low decline. Yet to the Dwarves, this present reality is one hardly given passive thought or consideration. They have learned to make do with their lot in life and finding the proverbial diamonds in the rough.
So long as there are at least two Dwarves in a population, they will never feel lonely. Whereas Races such as the Ailor have a history of internal strife and bloodshed, Dwarves have never found strife among each other. Instead, Dwarves have a natural affinity for seeking out other Dwarves to form communities with, even if they are complete strangers. These communities are known as Clans, which can best be described as an extended family of friends and acquaintances. Whereas another Race may be more hesitant to let a stranger enter their home and eat dinner with them, this is completely natural for Dwarves, who are known to be hospitable to their guests and treat each other as if they were blood relatives. Clans can be as small as two Dwarves or as large as an entire neighborhood. It is even possible for two Clans to come together as one, or remain separate entities, yet intermingling as if they are one. Ultimately, the central focus of Clans is to ensure that no Dwarf is left alone or abandoned, as their Race cannot afford to be so careless with each other. This also means that homelessness does not exist in Dwarven communities, as a Clan will immediately offer shelter to a Dwarf they see in need. While there are instances of hermit Dwarves that do avoid Clans altogether, they still feel a sense of belonging to the wider Dwarven identity, as all they need to do is knock on a door to be welcomed in for a brief meal or chat with their people.
Dwarves are resilient yet adaptable, stubborn yet empathetic, and hardworking yet playful. These contradictions all come together to create the Dwarven mentality of life. Having suffered betrayals and warfare against an assortment of enemies, even to the point where their once-great empire has crumbled to a few remaining Great Holds, Dwarves have an uncanny ability to take whatever is being thrown at them and launch it right back with greater ferocity. Dwarves as such have a very strong survival instinct and look to find ways to maintain their footing in Aloria, lest their Race slip into irrelevance and squander what their ancestors had accomplished. Dwarves are known to stick to their plans and see them carried out, but also know when a plan needs to change for the greater good and can abandon them with a sense of accomplishment and understanding. With this sense of perseverance, many would expect the Dwarves to be as cold and hard as the stones they mine under. However, the Dwarves are often hearty and inviting, as well as are known to be the bringers of merriment to any social event. Even while working in their trades, Dwarves are known to jest with one another or sing a communal song, all while ensuring that their labor is being carried out competently.
True to their name, Dwarves are known to be the shortest Race in Aloria, with all of their members being shorter than five feet tall. Often mistaken for shorter Ailor, Dwarves tend to have wider frames if they were scaled up to the size of an Ailor, and also have greater development of muscle mass in comparison. Their skin is known to be tougher than others, with their hands and feet often remarked to have a leathery texture to them, almost as if they are callused, yet lacking the hardness that is associated with them in Ailor. Dwarves are also known to have strong skeletons, allowing them to carry heavier loads which can appear somewhat amusing to others, yet is completely normal to Dwarves.
Many Dwarves often have semi-exaggerated facial features, such as more pronounced noses, brows, ears, and jaws, though it is also just as common to have very Ailor-like features. Dwarves also grow their hair faster than other Races, with the men often fastening various ornaments to them as a cultural fashion. Besides these differences, Dwarves can be compared to Ailor quite accurately. Dwarves feature the same sets of hair, eye, and skin color as the Ailor, with the same sort of diversity found across all populations (meaning an African-coded Dwarf can be the blood-related sibling of an East-Asian-coded Dwarf, who has a blood-relative nephew that is Caucasian-coded).
Half-Dwarves often retain the height of their Dwarven parent, while appearing like a stockier version of their non-Dwarf parent. For example, a Qadir-Dwarf child would appear like a short, stocky Qadir while still having sandstone-colored eyes and mandalas.
Racial Abilities & Specials
Racial Abilities are generally a set of unique powers and effects that all peoples of that race all innately have, while Specials are more passive, aesthetic focused capabilities. Specials are defined per-page, while Abilities can be searched on the Ability List page to determine their generic function. Dwarves have a mix of Abilities and Specials themed around stones, gems, and the earth. Half Dwarves also get access to the Racial Abilities, but none of the Racial Specials.
|Ability Name||Ability Type||Ability Range||Ability Description||Modifiers|
|Weapon Summon||Summon Power||Self||Grants the user Weapon Summon||Dwarf Modifier|
|Control Immune||Constant Passive||Self||Grants the user Control Immune||Dwarf Modifier|
Masters of the Anvil
Dwarves have a natural and cultural inclination towards metals and are the undisputed masters of the forge. All Dwarves may choose one Crafting Point Buy Pack for free without Proficiency Point investment. Additionally, a Dwarf can identify by sight and touch alone what metals an object is made of, even if it is just small engravings or plating, and even without that Point Buy Pack.
Crafting and the material arts are generational and communal for Dwarves, with each family having tips and tricks of the trade that they pass down and share. Dwarves are usually perpetually honing their craft, and skills, eager to learn and improve from others to make it better, and then some past that. Anything a Dwarf makes with Metallurgy will always be of a higher quality. Weapons and Armor are more resistant to natural degradation, sharper, and more expertly crafted. In addition, nothing a Dwarf makes is ever truly broken, as long as it was made by their hands and returned to them for repairs.
A Dwarf is never without tools and can, with any nearby materials, compile them into a small non-combat tool in their hands, like a hammer, pencil, chisel, etc. This ‘crafting’ is almost instantaneous, and while the tool looks cobbled together, they are completely functional and made of the equivalent of steel. The Dwarf can make as many of these tools as they would like, or as many as their surroundings would reasonably allow. The Dwarf can also hand these off to others, but 5 minutes after leaving Emote Distance of the Dwarf who created it, these tools will break instantly.
The Dwarven Race is naturally resistant to unwanted Planar infection, being an exceptionally hardy peoples. While the Dwarf is not Aberrant or Occult, they are completely Immune to Blood Sickness, Soul Sickness, or any Sickness inflicted from failed affliction infection. If the Dwarf is an Aberrant or Occult instead, they gain no bonus from this Special at all.
The Dwarf has a naturally strong body and an even stronger stomach. The Dwarf is immune to any negative or detrimental effects from ingested poisons, rotten or out of date food, or otherwise corrupted and inedible materials. This includes alcohol, but only to the point that the Dwarf cannot pass out or become sick from excessive intoxication (they can still get drunk normally). In addition, the Dwarf can lift objects their strength may not usually allow, able to hold up fallen structures, or lift massive boulders. This cannot be used in any Combat RP or competitive RP. They are also resistant to naturally occurring extreme temperatures, both hot and cold.
The Dwarf language is known simply as Dwarvish which has a real-life equivalent to Old Norse. Dwarven is a difficult language to learn for many, as it lacks the more familiar Altalar alphabet, instead using its own runic letters instead (based on IRL Younger Furthark). These runes are featured in everything made by Dwarves, such as the heads of axes, the stone columns of buildings, or engravings on jewelry. Dwarven names feature a personal first name, a middle name to honor an ancestor, and a last name.
Example list of Dwarven First Names: Male: Arni, Danr, Gunni, Hrolfr, Magni, Steinn, Vigi Female: Asta, Dagny, Edda, Hildr, Katla, Unnr Non-Gendered: Audr, Kanan, Thea, Pavi, Rudra, Navi
As well as a first, middle, and last name, Dwarves also have a Hold Name from which they trace their ancestral lineage to. Each of the Hold Names is named after a Founder God, and are summarized below:
- Dwarves from Ølovhamm have the Hold Name Ølovhammin
- Dwarves from Ruin-Khuuramman have the Hold Name Ruin-Khuur
- Dwarves from Grebor have the Hold Name Greborrin
- Dwarves from Aldruin have the Hold Name Aldor
Dwarves follow the Faith of the Founder Gods, or the Dogma of Duindin. This religion is focused only on the Dwarves, and the other Races are completely ignored in their religious beliefs. This does not bother the Dwarves, who at one time never knew other Races existed, as they believe that they only need to know what Duindin has revealed to them and anything else does not require them to focus too much effort on. As a result, Dwarves are very indifferent about the creation of Aloria or other Races, viewing other faiths as a means for non-Dwarves to find their way in the world. Most curious of all is that Dwarves do not fully deny the possibility of Duindin being a sub-diety to some other divine being, though accept that such a question does not need to be answered unless Duindin reveals it himself.
According to the Dwarves, Duindin was the creator of the Dwarves, who took the materials of the earth and molded them into the shape of a Dwarf, before breathing life into them. In the beginning, the first Dwarves were completely helpless, as they lacked the understanding to survive in a subterranean environment. Having pity for his creation, Duindin chose to reveal himself to the Dwarves by taking on their form, instructing them whenever they met a hardship they could not overcome. As such, Duindin is known as a god that reincarnates into a mortal body every time the Dwarven people required his divine intervention, before dying and waiting for the next time he was needed. Each of Duindin’s incarnations is known as a Founder God, who created one of the Great Holds of Ellador. Below is a summary of each Founder God:
- Ølovhamm was the first time Duindin took on mortal form, and thus gave the Dwarves a physical representation to note for future incarnations. Ølovhamm taught the Dwarves how to survive in a subterranean environment by teaching them how to mine, build, farm, forage, and develop families. Together with his creation, Ølovhamm created the first Great Hold, with himself as High King. When he saw his creation succeed in surviving, Ølovhamm died, and Duindin returned to watch over the Dwarves from beyond.
- Ruin-Kuuramman was the second time Duindin took on mortal form after he saw Ølovhamm Hold stagnate and grow overpopulated, causing strife among the Dwarves. Ruin-Khuuramman taught the Dwarves how to build a civilization, such as setting up government, bureaucracies, mathematics, schooling, and Clans. A second Great Hold was constructed with help from Ruin-Khuramman, creating the Dwarven Empire in the process. Communication networks were created between Ruin Kurhamman and Ølovhamm, and the Dwarves entered their golden age under the mountains of Ellador, where the Halls of the High King were lined with Gold and gems of all varieties, and technological advancements such as the creation of mining explosives were made. When he saw his creation succeed in empire-building, Ruin-Khuuramman died, and Duindin returned once more to watch the Dwarves from beyond.
- Grebor was the third time Duindin took on mortal form, after a group of Dwarves tunneled to the surface of Ellador, and found an unknown wilderness waiting for them, alongside strange beings of notable height (which would later be revealed to be the Dregodarian Altalar). Grebor taught the Dwarves how to conduct diplomacy with strangers, how to trade with foreigners, and how to wage war against enemies. A third Great Hold was constructed with help from Grebor, which became the first Great Hold to have an entrance on the surface of Ellador, serving as a trading station, but also a vanguard outpost for the Dwarven military. Grebor was High King when the Allorn Empire first contacted the Dwarven Empire, and established good relations with the Nelfin. When he saw his creation succeed in establishing first contact, Grebor died, and Duindin returned once more to watch the Dwarves from beyond.
- Aldruin was the fourth and last time Duindin has taken on mortal form, after two notable events destroyed the Dwarven Empire. First, the Battle of Udillin’s Foot plunged the surface of Ellador into a frozen hellscape, cutting off the Dwarven Empire from contact with the outside world, alongside a hostile Isldar force on their doorstep. Secondly, and more damning, the Dwarves of Ølovhamm Hold dug too deep in pursuit of riches and unleashed the Dakkar. Within months, Ølovhamm was overrun and the Dwarven population eradicated, with Ruin-Khuuramman soon to fall, signaling the end of the Dwarven Empire. Aldruin taught the Dwarves to persevere, and to venture out into wider Aloria in order to prevent the fall of Duindin’s creation. Aldruin as such is the Founder God of the Dwarven Diaspora, which saw large communities of Dwarves spread out around Aloria, settling into new settlements and serving under the local states as master craftsmen. Aldruin also taught the Dwarves to find hope even in the most desperate hour, and that they know all they need to weather the storm. Aldruin aided in the construction of the fourth Great Hold, which replaced Grebor as the communication line between the Dwarven remnants and the Diaspora across Aloria. When he received word that the first settlements of the Diaspora has been established, Aldruin went to Ruin-Khuuramman to wage war against the Dakkar, where he died in combat against an innumerable host of Dakkar, and Duindin returned once more to watch the Dwarves from beyond.
Like Unionism, Dwarves can pray to Duindin directly or through one of his Founder God incarnations. As the Founder Gods represent aspects found in everyday life, they are often prayed to the most and are often the patron deity of a certain trade (Ølovhamm for farmers and miners, Ruin-Khuuramman for teachers and scribes, Grebor for soldiers and diplomats, and Aldruin for sailors and doctors, to name a few associations). Prayers to Duindin or the Founder Gods are often a more personal experience, except for one communal show of worship which takes place during the night of a New Moon. During this time, Dwarves will come together to offer up some of their belongings to a massive open fire pit, while chanting the Song of Duindin. It is believed that these offerings are given directly to Dundin, who will distribute them to the Dwarves who exist in the afterlife.
In regards to death and the afterlife, Dwarves believe that when they die, their spirits travel to the Halls of Duindin, where they are reunited with all the Dwarves that have ever died, alongside Duindin in his full glory as High King of the Eternal Hold. The offerings given during the New Moon are used to provide the dead with the resources needed to thrive in the afterlife, such as hammers to work in the Halls of Duindin, or food to hold great feasts for all Dwarven-kind.
The Dwarves also have a prophecy that describes what happens when every Dwarf in Aloria dies off and the Race goes extinct. When the final Dwarf enters the Halls of Duindin, all the Dwarves will return once more to Aloria, where they shall defeat all who have ever made an enemy against the Dwarven Race, before establishing the Eternal Hold under Ellador, where all Alorians shall find a realm which has never occurred before. Due to this prophecy, the Dwarves are not as worried about recovering the fallen Holds of Ølovhomm and Ruin-Khuuramman, as Duindin will eventually re-establish them upon the return of the Dwarves. However, Dwarves also believe that continuing these efforts helps buy time for their ancestors in the afterlife, as more offerings are able to be delivered during the New Moon, as well as allowing more Dwarves to be born and die, in order to increase their numbers for the final conquest.
Dwarven childhood is fairly comparable to other Races such as the Ailor, with children growing up in a nuclear household of two parents and a few siblings. For the first few years of life, Dwarves often stay at home where they play with handcrafted toys and help around the house with chores to build up working skills. Around the age of 10, Dwarves enter into schooling, where they focus on learning fundamental skills, with a strong focus on mathematics. It is said that Dwarves are some of the greatest mathematical minds in all of Aloria, with many other societies hiring a few Dwarves to handle the keeping of numerical records, or to double check the results of their non-Dwarf co-workers. Following their education at age 20, Dwarves tend to enter apprenticeships with whatever trade they desire to pursue in their life, which they do for another decade.
Dwarven adulthood revolves around contributing to Dwarven society as a whole, both in the defense of the remaining two Great Holds, but also in supporting the Dwarven Diaspora across wider Aloria. Dwarves live about twice as long as Ailor, which has allowed various Dwarven Clans to become well-known across several generations, thus making their reputation well-known in the areas they populate. As a result, many industrial areas across Aloria have notable Dwarven populations which ensure the continued operations of machinery, content in using their race’s abilities to benefit civilizations.
Romance & Gender Norms
Dwarves are considered to be committed lovers in relationships, as to be with another in Dwarven society is considered a sign of deep commitment and one which is not easily forgotten. Due to this emphasis on commitment, Dwarves are often hesitant to enter relationships until they get to know the other person, not wishing to commit to something which may not work out in the end. However, if two Dwarves do eventually end up together, their bond is one of the closest and most caring of any in Aloria, as Dwarves will go out of their way to ensure that their partner is provided for. In terms of gender norms, Dwarven society is egalitarian, believing that every Dwarf, regardless of gender identity, has the means to contribute to society. While Dwarves still recognize biological sense, and many Dwarves still identify as male or female, there is no societal pressure for Dwarves to accept a gender binary, and are free to live their lives as they wish. Ultimately, Dwarven society is focused on strengthening the whole of society, and causing grief to others based on their identity runs contrary to such goals.
Despite the collapse of the Dwarven Empire, the political hierarchy of the Dwarves has remained practically the same. At the top of society are the High Kings of Grebor and Aldruin, who are elected by the Holds upon the previous ruler’s death. The High Kings are responsible for cross-Hold communication and receiving word from the Diaspora communities abroad. Below the High Kings are various bureaucratic and administrative offices, all held by the most competent of Dwarves in society. Due to their emphasis on meritocracy and importance on aiding their fellow Dwarves, the concept of nobility is hard to grasp in Dwarven society. Even the Clan leaders who oversee various families in a Clan are not considered higher than anyone else, and mostly exist as a representative for the Clan as a whole, rather than its leader.
Outside of the Holds, the Dwarven Diaspora still acknowledges the importance of the High Kings, though most day-to-day politics are run by the Clan leaders, who often form small councils in the Diaspora communities to ensure the wellbeing of the Dwarves. These councils interface with the local governments to obtain contracts for mining or construction projects, providing aid to the Great Holds, or any other assortment of interfacing between the Dwarves and others.
In all foreign diplomacy, however, Dwarves tend to be seen as incredibly self-centered and unwilling to compromise. While initially, the Dwarves were far warmer in the negotiations with foreign powers, the betrayals by the Allorn Empire and the immense destruction inflicted by the Isldar has made Dwarves far more suspicious of open gestures of goodwill. This doesn’t mean that Dwarves are unwilling to enter negotiations with others; they just assume that they will be betrayed again, and so keep their cards close at hand until they can truly trust others.
One of the most notable concepts of Dwarven politics to outsiders is the concept of the Grudge. Grudges can be compared to blood feuds, where a Dwarf will write down the name of someone who has immensely wronged them and then seek to avenge that wrong at a later point in time. Grudges are often held on an individual level, but it is possible for a Grudge to be shared by an entire Clan, or even the entire Race. This last instance is known as an Eternal Grudge, and it has only been declared twice in history: once against the Isldar, and the second against the Altalar. The Eternal Grudge against the Isldar was declared after the Battle of Udillin’s Foot when Elador froze over. Dwarves blame the Isldar for destroying their people’s way of life, and avenge the grudge by treating the Isldar as perpetual enemies by denying them respite whenever they encounter them and engaging in violent acts against Isldar businesses and communities wherever they are found. The Eternal Grudge against the Altalar is less severe, but is still shared among all Dwarves. As the Allorn Empire failed to assist the Dwarves against their war against the Dregodarians when it mattered most, the Dwarves believe that the ancestors of the Altalar deserve to be belittled and insured, something which never fails to irritate the lineage-obsessed Altalar.
When a Dwarf has a Grudge, they will seek out other like-minded Dwarves to help fill that Grudge with them. This can be seen as somewhat immature for outsiders when they see a band of Dwarves seeking to resolve Grudge over something which seems fairly trivial. However, those on the receiving end of a Grudge often learn quickly to seek amends with the Dwarf they slighted, lest they end up with their body bruised or broken, property damaged, or worse. Most Grudges can be solved by apologizing and making amends to the Dwarf who declared the Grudge, while some more serious Grudges can only be paid in blood (not necessarily resulting in death, however). Despite the potential for Grudges getting out of hand, they do demonstrate the unparalleled ability for Dwarves to unify against a common foe with immense dedication and commitment to their kinsmen.
Dwarven fashion is often based on the environment they find themselves in, with flowing fabrics being worn in warmer areas such as Farah'deen, while pelts and thick tunics are worn in the Holds of Ellador. Regardless of climate, jewelry and decoration play a notable role in Dwarven fashion. Of special pride to the Dwarves are their ornately worked belts, often engraved with detailed metal embellishments meant to detail the achievements of the wearer’s ancestors and the symbolism of their lineage. Beard decorations are also a popular practice for men, who are known to grow their facial hair long in order to stylize it in various patterns with rings clasping the hair together. Other jewelry features necklaces, bracelets, and rings made of precious metals, with gemstones finishing off the look. Dwarves believe that these precious metals and stones are of immense importance to Duindin, and so make efforts to collect as much jewelry as possible, in order to offer it as an offering during the monthly ritual of the New Moon. This is where the stereotype of Dwarves being greedy comes from, as many outsiders just believe that the Dwarves are trying to hoard Aloria’s treasures from everyone else, without knowing the religious implications behind it (or even that said treasure is to be destroyed by fire).
World View is optional content that helps give Dwarves flavor and depth.
- Dwarves are approving of Magic, but mostly in a mundane, assisting role. For example, a Dwarven Fire-Mage is helpful for igniting the forges of a smithy or starting a boiler, but the internal heating systems found in Dwarven homes are completely mechanical in nature.
- Dwarves are extremely supportive of Engineering, especially Steamtech, which they invented. Many modern inventions found in the Regalian Empire, such as Airships and internal heating, were first invented by the Dwarves and have only recently been introduced to the Empire in recent decades.
- Dwarves have also contributed to the Regalian Military by improving cannon technology and siege architecture.
- Dwarves are mostly against slavery, as they are well aware that their own Race has been taken away by the Isldar to do harsh labor. Dwarves often go out of their way to liberate a Dwarf in slavery, even if it means the death of both the liberators and the slave, as the Dwarves believe that it is better to die free than in chains. However, this sympathy is not given to either Isldar or Altalar, who the Dwarves are likely to turn their backs on due to the Eternal Grudges against both of them.
- Dwarven warfare often involved heavily armored infantry equipped with heavy warhammers and axes. Their weapons are often seen as clunky and unwieldy by other Races, due to the fact that they are often sized to the Dwarf in question, and usually heavier than their larger counterparts used by other Races.
- Dwarves are heavily against Dragons and anything Dragon-related. It is not uncommon for a Dwarf to destroy the windows of a local Dragon Temple or attack those who are affiliated with the Dragons.
- Dwarves are against Mutations and Afflictions, especially Vampirism, given that the Great Holds are close to the Dorkarthi Desprinces in Ellador.
- Dwarves have a strong drinking culture, and often gather at taverns or pubs to celebrate the most arbitrary of occasions. It is said that Dwarves make the best drinking buddies, and are always eager to hear about the most mundane events over a mug of alcohol.
- Dwarven artwork is strongly linked to stonework and craftsmanship in tools and jewelry. While paintings are uncommon, Dwarven walls inside the Great Holds have ornately carved images on the walls with gems and metals adding color to them, with runic messages chiseled underneath to tell the story of whatever artwork is presented.
- Dwarves are very fond of stews, as they are great for communal dining and utilizing ingredients which can grow in subterranean environments, such as mushrooms.
- The Ailor inventions of modern slippers and bathrobes have struck a certain chord with Dwarves, and it is not out of place to see a rugged, burly-chested armorsmith donning a pair of innocent bunny slippers in the comfortable confines of his home, as comical as it sounds.
- The two largest Diaspora Clans are the Saendr Clan in the Qadir Confederated Hadrityas, and the Dredger Clan which sails around the Windward Seas.
- According to Altalar sources, it is said that High King Grebor has purple irises. Dwarves reject this claim, as the Dogma of Duindin does not describe Duindin other than the Dwarves being made in his likeness. Dwarven statues also lack any colors beyond the gem and metalcraft of the person’s jewelry, adding to the uncertainty.