Carved from the bedrock of the universe, dwarves endured an age of servitude to giants before winning their freedom. Their mighty mountain fortress-cities testify to the power of their ancient empires. Even those who live in human cities are counted among the staunchest defenders against the darkness that threatens to engulf the world.
Play a dwarf if you want . . .
✦ to be tough, gruff, and strong as bedrock.
✦ to bring glory to your ancestors or serve as your god’s right hand.
✦ to be able to take as much punishment as you dish out.
✦ to be a member of a race that favors the paladin, cleric, and fighter classes.
Dwarves average about 4½ feet in height and are very broad, weighing as much as an adult human. Dwarves have the same variety of skin, eye, and hair colors as humans, although dwarf skin is sometimes gray or sandstone red and red hair is more common among them. Male dwarves are often bald and braid their long beards into elaborate patterns. Female dwarves
braid their hair to show clan and ancestry. Dwarven attire and equipment, including weapons and shields, are decorated with bold geometric shapes, natural gems, and ancestral faces.
Although they reach physical maturity at roughly the same age as humans, dwarves age more slowly and remain vigorous well past 150 years of age, often living to see 200.
Playing a Dwarf
Proudly proclaiming they were made from the earth itself, dwarves share many qualities with the rock they love. They are strong, hardy, and dependable. They value their ancestral traditions, which they preserve through the ages as fiercely as they defend the carved structures of their mountain homes. Dwarves believe in the importance of clan ties and ancestry. They deeply respect their elders, and they honor long-dead clan founders and ancestral heroes. They place great value on wisdom and the experience of years, and most are polite to elders of any race.
More so than most other races, dwarves seek guidance and protection from the gods. They look to the divine for strength, hope, and inspiration, or they seek to propitiate cruel or destructive gods. Individual dwarves might be impious or openly heretical, but temples and shrines of some sort are found in almost every dwarven community. Dwarves revere Moradin
as their creator, but individual dwarves honor those deities who hold sway over their vocations; warriors pray to Bahamut or Kord, architects to Erathis, and merchants to Avandra—or even to Tiamat, if a dwarf is consumed by the dwarven taste for wealth.
Dwarves never forget their enemies, either individuals who have wronged them or entire races of monsters who have done ill to their kind. Dwarves harbor a fierce hatred for orcs, which often inhabit the same mountainous areas that dwarves favor and which wreak periodic devastation on dwarf communities. Dwarves also despise giants and titans, because the dwarf race once labored as the giants’ slaves. They feel a mixture of pity and disgust toward those corrupted dwarves who still have not freed themselves from the giants’ yoke—azers and galeb duhrs among them.
To a dwarf, it is a gift and a mark of deep respect to stand beside an ally in battle, and a sign of deepest loyalty to shield that ally from enemy attack. Dwarven legends honor many heroes who gave their lives to save their clans or their friends.
Dwarf Characteristics: Acquisitive, brave, hardworking, loyal, organized, stern, stubborn, tenacious, vengeful
Male Names: Adrik, Baern, Berend, Darrak, Eberk, Fargrim, Gardain, Harbek, Kildrak, Morgran, Orsik, Rangrim, Thoradin, Thorfin, Tordek, Travok, Vondal
Female Names: Artin, Bardryn, Diesa, Eldeth, Falkrunn, Gurdis, Helja, Kathra, Kristryd, Mardred, Riswynn, Torbera, Vistra
Three sample dwarf adventurers are described below.
- Travok is a dwarf paladin committed to the service of Kord. Wearing shining plate armor crafted and proudly worn by his great-grandfather, Travok presents an impenetrable line of defense, defying his enemies to get past him to reach his allies. True to his god and the honor of his ancestors, Travok relishes his physical strength and endurance, vowing that nothing will move him from his place. He is fiercely loyal to his friends, and if the need arises, he will lay down his life to ensure that they live.
- Kathra is a dwarf cleric devoted to Moradin, the Great Carver who formed the dwarves out of stone and liberated them from their servitude to the giants. Swinging a warhammer engraved with the hammerand-anvil symbol of her god, Kathra stands next to her fighter companion, trusting in divine power, the chainmail she made herself, and her own natural resilience to protect her from her enemies. Her dearest hope is to craft a legacy that will last through the ages, as beautiful and enduring as the finest dwarven jewelry—a legacy of peace and justice in this troubled world.
- Tordek is a dwarf fighter, last in a long line of noble warriors. Three generations ago, his family’s ancestral fortress was overrun by orcs and laid to waste, leaving Tordek with nothing but a signet ring and tales of ancient glory as his birthright. He has sworn that he will rebuild the fortress one day, and that oath drives his every action. In the meantime, his adventuring companions know they can rely on him completely, and someday he will rely on them to help him reclaim his kingdom.