Claws of the Dragon
King Varulus III was a wise ruler. Young King Neden seems a bit hasty in his policies. We need to trade with everyone in Barsaive; that much is true. But just because I trade with the t’skrang doesn’t mean I want one of their damned lizard tongues in my cask of ale.
—Counselor Holliz of Throal
A gift for building, large-scale organization, and unwavering loyalty has enabled Barsaive’s dwarfs to forge the greatest nation in the province, as well as found other towns, trade compacts, and a host of business enterprises. Dwarfs tend to lend their loyalty to families and clans, and large families are an important aspect of dwarf culture that often has four generations living under one roof, as dwarfs have an average lifespan of 100 years. Of short and stocky build, dwarfs have a connection to the earth and dislike traveling on airships, riverboats, and tall animals. Dwarfs have an average height of 4 feet and weight of 120 pounds. Their skin tone ranges from pinkish white to dark ebony. Some reports seem to indicate possible other skin colorations, but these variations are more likely the result of ritual tattoos begun during the time dwarf groups began to seal themselves off from the Horrors.
Dwarf hair grows in abundance, particularly the hair on their heads. Dwarfs are broad chested, tough, and strong for their size. They are slow runners, as their legs are disproportionately short for even their squat bodies. Dwarf ears usually come to a gentle point on the tip, though less pronounced than elven ears. Dwarfs reach physical maturity sometime after ten years of life.
Though their social instincts comfortably embrace the idea of kingdoms and nations, a dwarf ’s first loyalty is to family and tribe. While loyal and efficient, they are often aggressive, quick to latch onto a single solution, and quite stubborn. Even other dwarfs admit that members of their race often seem curt and lacking in social graces.
Dwarfs prefer to live underground or as close to the earth as possible. While not adverse to travel and life above ground, they sometimes develop a “home sickness” for subterranean life. Dwarfs generally dislike traveling on riding animals, as their short legs make them ungainly riders. Their short legs also make them poor swimmers, so they dislike traveling over open water.
Starting Attribute Values:
DEX 10, STR 12, TOU 13, PER 10, WIL 10, CHA 8
Movement Rate: 5 • Karma Modifier: 4
Dwarfs possess the following racial ability: Heat Sight
Special Rules and Other Considerations
In order to roleplay the dwarf affinity for craftsmanship and building, players creating dwarf characters may choose to give their characters a rank in some form of the Craftsman skill in place of one Knowledge skill.
The close relationship between crafts and artistry in dwarf workmanship means that a dwarf ’s Artisan skills will most likely complement his Craftsman skill. A dwarf who possesses the Woodworker specialization of the Craftsman skill, for example, might also have the Artisan skill of Wood Carving so that he can decorate the objects he fashions from wood.
Because of their short stature, most dwarf Cavalrymen prefer sturdy ponies, troajin, or huttawa to full-sized horses, or else they ride the ostrich-like huata.
Dwarfs usually have two Names. The first Name is chosen by the dwarf ’s parents, the second by the most significant grandparent. It is common for a young dwarf to share one of his Names with a grandparent or parent.
Agnar, Bariv, Dagnus, Egin, Fignus, Glorin, Hofur, Jaella, Kordur, Learka, Lognar, Maera, Noran, Ogus, Paranur, Renar, Riyla, Seadda, Sunar, Tusur, Ulrun, Vignor, Vunar, Ysilla, Zognar