|Old Norse with permutations
|Stout, mountain-dwelling people who show unerring perseverance and skill with crafting
|brown, gray, green, and blue.
|Blond, brown, black, red, and (when older) gray or white.
Secretive and proud, the Dwarves are the only known civilization to live underground in the world of Aloria, building their grand holds with vast tunnel networks that run like highways across the various continents. The Dwarves are equally a very ancient Race, predating many of the modern races in the world, and potentially even the Allorn Empire in having a civilized state structure, though keeping themselves distinctly isolated from the rest of the world. While ignoring most of the woes of the surface world, the Dwarves faced calamity after calamity in the last 1000 years, resulting in a staggering loss of life and a decline of their Empire. In present times, the Dwarves constantly struggle against extinction and the world forgetting about them, too proud to accept being consigned to a footnote in history, but equally pushed into a corner by forces beyond their control.
Playing a Dwarf
To play a Dwarf, is to specifically choose for the backstory of belonging to a race which seems to be facing extinction, but tries to spit into the face of fate and go down kicking and screaming. Dwarven history is full of catastrophe, but far from becoming depressed about it, the Dwarves continue to battle against what most Ailor scholars have already consigned them to, and should the unthinkable become true, they will at least fight to make sure the world does not forget them. To be a Dwarf is to struggle with the constant realization that there are perhaps only an estimated 150,000 Dwarves left in the world, but to also not give room for self pity or just being mad at everyone around them. Being a Dwarf, is not to endlessly complain about the misery that has befallen the Race, but salvaging what can be found out of a bad situation, that which the Dwarves are known for.
The Dwarves once had a vast underground Empire that spanned several continents and could in total sphere of influence even be compared as a rival to the Allorn Empire in its height. Dwarven holds were built primarily on Ellador before it froze over, but also on Northbelt, with partially still existing tunnels connecting all of them, showing Dwarven engineering prowess as they built through solid stone and even under oceans, something even modern civilizations can only dream of. While many surfacers (Dwarves born and living mostly on the surface world) have gotten used to the open air, many of those who once lived underground (or continue to do so in Regalia) are uncomfortable lacking a clear ceiling above them.
Possible extinction or Racial integration among Ailor is a constant concern for the Dwarves, and one that has led to many disastrous attempts to reclaim the old homeland, as well as the creation of fringe terrorist groups of Dwarves who inflict their rage on the world. The majority of the Dwarves however are far more focused on attempting to salvage what they can, and mostly finding wealth in what others consider scrap. Dwarves are the perfect salvagers, able to fix up broken and discarded weapons and tools in no time, and even repairing technology mid-combat. Their ingenuity especially shines in moments where odds for them look bleak, giving rise to their sturdy reputation.
The Dwarves have a great deal of grudges, and are commonly known as people who do not forgive, and do not forget. There is a great deal of racial animosity that they have towards the Nelfin Races, with varying degrees for the different types. Dwarves do not care for Suvial, Fin'ullen, or Solvaan, and have a moderate to high distaste for the Isldar, because they frequently clashed with their re-conquest plans. The group the Dwarves hate the most are the Teledden, because of their scheming and backstabbing nature, and because they are largely the reason why the decline of the Dwarven Empire was set in motion. Only the most supreme of hatred among Dwarves is reserved for the Bene Rexit, the Death Isldar, who worship the Glacial, the mother of all genocide on the Dwarves. Dwarves in general try to avoid being backstabbers, traitors, or swindlers, the truth and honor to their word is immensely important, as are bonds of alliance and friendship. Dwarves can even on a personal level, declare some action as a grudge, meaning that they declare a vendetta against a persona until their crime has been settled. This is sometimes where a Dwarf’s pettiness will shine through, declaring a grudge over a spilled drink, only to retaliate by burning someone’s house down.
The Dwarves are, despite all the attempts of various other Races, unbeaten in the heat of a forge. They have the most skilful hands, the quickest grasp, and the easiest execution of complex forging techniques passed down through the generations. While Ailor and Nelfin may make more aesthetically pleasing items in a forge, Dwarves build to last and endure, and also forge with a purity of metals not quickly equaled by other Races. Nearly all Dwarves have a complex cultural understanding of geology, engineering, architecture, and knowledge of metals and ores that makes them excellent prospectors and explorers of soil riches.
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.
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, especially in their arms and torso. Their skin is known to be tougher than others, with their hands and feet often remarked to have a leathery texture, as if they are callused, yet lacking the hardness that is associated with them in Ailor. Many Dwarves often have semi-exaggerated facial features, such as more pronounced 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. Dwarves are capable of the full range of skin tone complexions. Dwarven hair colors equally have a large range, from black to blonde and anything in between, while eye colors can be green, brown, blue, or gray. Half-Dwarves are an average height between both parents, but retaining the Dwarven bodily proportions, thus appearing like a stocky short Ailor with more pronounced arms and facial features and body hair. Women Dwarves can grow beards, but many also don’t (or shave).
When designing a Character, Proficiency Points allow for a limited Ability selection with Point Buy Packs. Heritage Traits adds free Packs and Mechanics on top of that to help with cultural themes. Free Packs grant Abilities usually, while Mechanics change the way a character functions in Roleplay through subtle, and usually out of Combat ways. In essence, Mechanics just add aesthetic flair that invest in the niche of each culture. Free Packs never raise Proficiency Points, but the character must be able to purchase them normally. (ex. if a character is a certain Affinity that locks them out of a category, they cannot take that specific free pack and must choose the alternative option.) If a Free Pack grants Magic of some type, that Magic can be of any Alignment the character can normally choose, or limited to a select alignment, which will always be written in the Free Pack description.
Mixed Heritage characters (i.e. characters born from two parents of different Cultures) may take one parent's 'Free Packs' and mix and match up to 5 Mechanics from both parents, although some Peoples cannot produce Mixed Heritage children (due to Magical/Fantasy reasons).
- Dwarves can choose one Pack from either the Training or Athletic Point Buy categories.
- Dwarves can choose one Pack from either Tech or Athletic Point Buy categories.
- Dwarves gain +1 Main Defense Stat while another Dwarf is within a 5 block range, which can break Cap up to 11. This mechanic can stack up to a +2 bonus.
- Dwarves are barely affected by Alcohol that gets other people drunk, needing insanely high proof, and always being able to keep their drinks down.
- Dwarves have perfect vision (night vision) underground and in dark surroundings, needing no light.
- Dwarves are masters of the forge, able to perform feats of metallurgy in half the time of other craftsmen. Additionally, any metal item that a Dwarf produces is considered master class when compared to others.
- Due to their vast understanding of architecture and metallurgy, Dwarves may gain additional insight from event items that may not be obvious to others (inquire with DM/Event Hoster for opportunities).
The Dwarves speak a fantasy language called Barrudh, which is not comparable to any real life language. The base for its design is taken from old Norse, but distinct norse sounds are replaced by much harsher tones. For example, the Norse word for War is Krig (pronounced as Kreeg), which is then changed to the Dwarven Kraag (close to the word Crag). This produces a more guttural language with a somewhat norse base, but with a more fantasy like spelling. Most Dwarven Fantasy name generators are good to generate a name, however a couple of gendered names are provided as examples below.
- Male Coded Names: Fokuth, Fignam, Khemrul, Affroul, Throdin, Hammoir, Thamrug, Kirem, Barivoc, Girfak, Fovrim, Gotmolin, Dvorun.
- Female Coded Names: Thirrsu, Dwothal, Kathil, Barridora, Kursbaer, Gimmora, Krozza, Ranthea, Lodi, Strosshil, Vosdrine.
- Dwarven naming customs does not officially support a Unisex or Non binary naming style, but both male and female can technically be unisex.
The Dwarves have a dubious attitude towards the Occult, notably because there is no real historical context to Magic usage in their Empire. They are not incapable of using Magic, but Magic has a difficult place in their society due to Magic being involved with their greatest collective traumas. Mages simply did not exist for 21,000 years among the Dwarves, until the Allorn agents first used it to convince them to turn on the Dregodar. Somehow, Magic started appearing among their people after it was first used on them by the Allorn agents, causing Mages to be born, and Magic to also be taught to some of them. As the Empire collapsed, Dwarves became hostile to the concept of Magic, and started persecuting their own magically inclined population. As time progressed however, simply killing magically inclined Dwarves became more impractical as their population sharply declined. Instead, since then, the Dwarven elders have agreed to the Magic Chaining policy, where Dwarves who use Magic are tolerated, but only while they have a non-Magic using Dwarf retainer. The Magic using Dwarf is clad in ceremonial robes, and finally has a heavy anti-Magic collar and shoulder guard piece installed kept in place by chains that blocks their usage of any kind of Magic (this cannot be reproduced on other Races, it somehow only works on Dwarves). The retainer is then given a key, which they can use to unleash the chains, which allows the Dwarf to cast Magic freely. The retainer is always trained and drilled into ensuring that the Mage-Dwarf only ever uses Magic in the interest of Dwarven society, or for assistance in the forge, for example by casting fire magic to heat up a furnace. Regalia adopted part of this policy of Mage-collaring in the latter half of the 3rd century AC, but did away with it when Regalians overwhelmingly voted that it was cruel, while the Dwarves continue to maintain their policy to this day. They generally believe that independent and freely operating Magic users are a danger, and that they are in part at risk of being seduced and controlled by the Elven Evil, and other evil Magicness (as they call it).
The Velheim Bond
The Velheim people are considered “Bonded” by the Dwarves, and them in return by the Velheim due to their close cooperation. Since the Dwarves lost most of their holds from the Dakkar invasions, and the spill-over of the Dregodar conflict, the Dwarves were in a near state of collapse, only to be pulled back from the edge by the Velheim in Ellador. The Velheim had been living and trading peacefully with the Dwarves for centuries, though both largely ignored each other, and the Velheim also didn’t take a side during the conflict between the Dwarves and the Nelfin who would eventually become the Isldar. However, when the Dakkar struck, the Velheim sent food and medicine into the Holds, asking for nothing in return (despite lacking food themselves). Then, when things got really bad and around Cataclysm, even while the Ailor towns were under attack by Vampires, they still found time to send soldiers into the mines with the Dwarves to help build defenses against further Dakkar attacks, teaching the Dwarves (who had never fought a war against anyone in pitched siege battles of their cities) how to build defensive structures. The Dwarves eventually answered in kind by sending squads to the surface to protect coastal villages from Vampire attacks, using their inherent immunity to Vampire powers to sniff out parasites and purge them. This shared trauma, but also alliance, was finally solidified when in the fires of chaos in Dwarven society, the god Dáuw was born, supposedly to mundane parents, and led the Dwarven people to unify religiously with the Velheim people, after convincing the remaining elders he was a god in his own right. The Velheim people were apprehensive to accept Dáuw as a god at first, but with the intervention of Halfvel, who approved, news of him spread, and he was adopted into the pantheon. This is the reason why Dwarves can (nowadays) always be found in Velheim cultural festivities, Velheim districts, or generally around Velheim people, and vice versa, because these people share a unique cross-racial bond of friendship and alliance. Many Dwarven cultural expressions have adopted Velheim norms, and vice versa, while many Dwarven children being born are also half-Dwarf half-Velheim. That being said, Dwarves are always sure to protect quintessentially Dwarven customs, so while the two are very strongly related, they are not the same, and never will be.
Dwarves nearly exclusively follow the Fornoss Religion, though a small minority has converted to Unionism also. Exact data on this is hard to track, because Dwarves in general are spread far and wide over the world. The majority still holds onto the remnants of their subterranean empire. Some have started communities above ground, others have joined Ailor communities, and others yet travel the world. Some of those traveling the world or joining Ailor communities in Regalia have joined Unionism, but Fornoss is still dominant. Dwarven religion was originally called Duindún, a faith in which it was believed that Dragons breathed the fire of life into the earth that birthed the Dwarves, and that those Dragons then turned into Dwarves and became the founders of the various Holds. With the calamities occurring, and the damage done to their society by a Dragon, the Dwarven Race collectively abandoned the faith of Duindún and mass converted to the Fornoss faith. This coincided with the sudden appearance of Dáuw, who proved his godhood, and then led the Dwarven people to join forces with the Fornoss Velheim in particular.
Dwarven families are fairly nuclear (meaning two parents and children) though Dwarves inherently dislike children and find any reason to ship them off to daycare. Dwarven society has a strong daycare system in place where (ironically) Velheim Ailor are paid to take care of the children until they grow old enough to behave in the household, and be taught Dwarven culture and traditions. Dwarves are the only race with a very strong communal elderly care system in place, where elders are moved to retirement and veteran homes where the elderly and war maimed convalesce together. Dwarves have no overt attitude towards same-sex relations or gender-identity, with exact gender identity being already somewhat fluid between Dwarven sexes as men and women and everything in between roughly looks the same.
Much of Dwarven fashion has been lost to Velheim fashion out of pure necessity. The Dwarven Empire was once set up in such a way that each great Hold produced something useful for the Empire, and the weaver’s hold was one of the first Holds to go down during the Dakkar invasion. As such, Dwarves had since then mostly used cured leather and hides which put a severe strain on the cattle ranching Hold which was still existing. When the Velheim sent supplies, clothes were some of the most well-used, as Dwarves wore much less cold-resistant clothes from Ellador being much warmer than it had gotten around Cataclysm. Their clothing industry lacked a design for heat resistance (as the tunnels themselves were often quite hot and prone to humidity) so the Velheim clothes became the new norm eventually due to the ease of trade. Dwarven elements still incorporated into the clothes are Dwarven patterns and an overabundance of jewelry and decorative rare-earth metals.
The Dwarven Empire has existed for as much as perhaps 20,000 years, making it one of the longest living Empires in the world and also one of the most stable. Dwarves tell tales of the wealthy and massive holds, vast sprawling urban caves and underground cisterns housing millions of Dwarves and spanning continents. Each Hold had a specialty it delivered and Dwarven society lived in communal unity in their disregard for surface dwellers. A curious thing to note was the complete absence of Magic among Dwarves for the better part of history, until Cataclysm at the least. Scholars have speculated that because there was no magic underground and the Dwarves largely ignored surface situations, that the Demons who cyclically invaded during Void Invasions did so blind to their presence.
Dwarven Empire history comes to a quick, unexpected, and violent end during the Dregodar conflict. While the Nelfin who fled the Allorn Empire for Dragon Worship persecution had somewhat chilly relations with the Dwarves on the surface, open conflict was unthinkable because the Dwarves had no reason to go to the surface, and because the Dregodar loved building castles high up in the mountains, far away even from the surface ground. It was through the insidious infiltration, manipulation, and demagoguery of Allorn agents using magic and other foul tricks to deceive the Dwarves into thinking that the Dregodar were actually plotting their destruction. Eventually the Allorn agents succeeded, and three wars with the Dregodar over a timespan of about 100 years were the result. The first two wars were largely inconclusive, while the third war caused a calamity for the Dwarves.
At the apex of the third war, the Dwarves threw hundreds of thousands of soldiers into pitched battle in the Valley of the Long Song, where they faced the collective forces of the Dregodar in a pitched battle to protect Aurora, their Violet Dragon. The battle was disastrous for the Dregodar at first, who were unable to defend themselves with their feeble weapons and pacifist attitude against the Dwarves who came with vast engines of war.100 years of preparation had more than equipped the Dwarves for victory, all the while the Allorn agents sat back and wasted no Allorn lives on the destruction of the Dregodar heretics. In a pivotal moment of the battle, Aurora was supposedly slain by a Dwarven Wyvern-killer weapon, but unleashed a massive magical spell that warped Ellador into a hellish frozen wasteland.
The whole Dwarven army was killed by frost on the spot, while all the Dregodar became Isldar. The nearby hold of Rammtuunh which had its gates open to supply the battle also saw its forge die down in a near instant, and all inhabitants freeze to death in a matter of minutes. Recent historical review, following the outbreak of the Isldar Civil War and subsequent discoveries of the true fate of Aurora, have pointed out that it was not Aurora who committed this act of grand genocide, but the Glacial Ordial God who preyed on Aurora’s moment of doubt and weakness about her cause, and invaded her mind, using Dragon Magic to inflict death on the world while holding Aurora’s soul hostage in an undead Dragon’s rotting vessel. This was made worse by the awakening of the Dakkar; fanatical Power Arken worshipers who started a religious war against the Dwarves from the far deep, manipulating their tunnels and giving the Dwarves a rude awakening that they were not the only race living in the deep tunnels by flooding many of the holds with lava and armies of stone-scaled lizard-men. Hold after Hold fell with millions of Dwarves being killed in the process, and several million more afterwards dying of famine and isolation caused by the collapse of the vast network of tunnels.
When the dust of the conflict settled and the final defensive lines held, there were only two holds left: Grebor which was once a cattle farm for the Dwarven Empire, hastily converted to a defensive hold, and Anduin, which once acted as the bureaucratic capital of the Dwarven Empire, but now had ledgers upon ledgers and cabinets upon cabinets of data stored for an Empire that no longer existed, instead melting its desks and boxes into barricades and using the bureaucratic paper as fuel for the furnaces. Both of these Holds are on the southwestern tip of Ellador, and all other Holds, including the connections to them across the oceans, were lost. Some went silent without a word, some died in calamitous manners like volcanic submersion, or mass-slaughter by the Dakkar. The surviving holds are still routinely under attack by the Dakkar, and some even by Isldar who want to keep Dwarven reclaimers away from their territory, but are generally considered stable, even if both barely have 80,000 inhabitants between them left. Many Velheim have also moved in, supplementing both defenders and caretakers of the local economy so that there is a roughly stable position from which the Dwarves could consider reclaiming their empire, but there are still millions of Power seduced Dakkar living in their old collapsed holds, and the Isldar and Vampires also make expansion on the surface hellish.
- If there would be any type of person who hates the Ordial, it would be Dwarves. There was something so sickeningly evil (in the eyes of the Dwarves) for the Glacial to use Dragon Magic to cause death just to empower herself and for the glee of it, and then further to also lie about it and pretend to be a Dragon all along.
- Just because Dwarves and Velheim Ailor are closely allied, does not mean they are incapable of struggling with one another. Dwarves and Velheim both are somewhat ignorant and very stubborn people, so conflicts frequently arise over who has the best warriors and the most honor.
- Contrary to popular belief, you can always tell the difference between a short Ailor and a Dwarf, purely by looking at the length of their arms and the size of their feet and hands in comparison to the rest of their body.