Dwarves (called duarin in their own language) are a stoic but stern race, ensconced in cities carved from the hearts of mountains and fiercely determined to repel the depredations of savage races like orcs and goblins. Citadel dwarves are the mainstay of the dwarven population on Therafim, and the generally-held stereotypes of dwarves comes from them. More than any other race, the dwarves have acquired a reputation as dour and humorless craftsmen of the earth, hardworking and honorable. It could be said that dwarven history shapes the dark disposition of many dwarves, for they reside in high mountains and dangerous realms below the earth, constantly at war with giants, goblins, and other such horrors. In the face of such near-constant assaults from all sides, dwarves have developed a sense of military discipline that is a deep part of their culture, and reaches to every aspect of their society.
Dwarves are driven by honor and tradition, and while they are often satirized as standoffish, they have a strong sense of friendship and justice, leading most citadel dwarves to be Lawful Good by nature, though many of them, less benevolent than others, can be Lawful Neutral. Those who win their trust understand that, while they work hard, they play even harder, especially when good ale is involved. Once one can get past the tough outer shell of dwarves, most of them tend to be great lovers of the arts, while still retaining an approachable, honest earthiness and a love for the best of company.
Despite their seeming preference for isolation from others, citadel dwarves actually hate to be truly alone. While they dislike being interrupted while in the middle of a project, being highly goal-oriented, most citadel dwarves also love best to spend time with others when they are not engaged in their daily tasks, maintaining a balance between their passion for their work and their love of life. They generally do not allow themselves much unstructured time, but when they have it, citadel dwarves love best to let their beards down and enjoy themselves in simple pastimes.
Citadel dwarves are a typically short and stocky race with swarthy skin and hair that has as much variableness as that of humans, with a greater tendency towards hair of gold, silver, and coppery red. They stand on average about a foot shorter than most humans, with wide, compact bodies that account for their burly appearance. Male and female dwarves pride themselves on the length of their hair, and men often decorate their beards with a variety of clasps and intricate braids. A clean-shaven male dwarf is a sure sign of madness or worse (shaving the beard of a dwarven male is a sign of public dishonor), and no one familiar with their race trusts a beardless dwarf.
About Citadel Dwarves
The great distances between their mountain citadels account for many of the cultural differences that exist within dwarven society. Despite these schisms, dwarves throughout the world are characterized by their love of stonework, their passion for stone- and metal-based craftsmanship and architecture, and a fierce hatred of giants, orcs, and goblinoids.
Citadel Dwarves are the true children of the mountains, dating their first days of being to the time when the titans were first divided between the minority who supported the gods and were elevated to divine status themselves, and those who rejected the gods and were left on Therafim. Those lesser giants who followed the latter camp of titans became the giants presently found on Therafim. Meanwhile, the lesser giants who followed the former class of titans, especially Moradin who these lesser giants revered for his craftwork, strength, wisdom, and love of beauty, were changed into a form to teach them the humility, patience, and ability to endure that most giants lack. These were the first dwarves, and from these origins, the dwarves have spread across the land, seeking out the mineral riches of Therafim in their quest to create beauty sufficient to present to Moradin, and elevate their people once more to their long-lost stature.
On average, citadel dwarves do not stray far from their mountain strongholds and holdings in the hills. However, sometimes dwarves will be sent out into the surface world, among the other races, on special assignment to gain experience working with other races and exploring the world. These dwarves generally return after an extended period (which might last centuries) to their mountain homes to share their learning and experiences with their fellow dwarves, which helps to build relations between citadel dwarves and other races, and also keeps their culture from becoming too insular and stagnant.
- +2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom, –2 Charisma: Dwarves are both tough and wise, but also a bit gruff.
- Medium: Dwarves are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- Slow and Steady: Dwarves have a base speed of 20 feet, but their speed is never modified by armor or encumbrance.
- Darkvision: Dwarves can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
- Defensive Training: Dwarves get a +4 dodge bonus to AC against monsters of the giant type.
- Easy Appraisals: Dwarves receive a +2 racial bonus on Appraise skill checks made to determine the price of nonmagical goods that contain precious metals or gemstones.
- Hatred: Dwarves receive a +1 bonus on attack rolls against humanoid creatures of the orc and goblinoid subtypes due to special training against these hated foes.
- Hardy: Dwarves receive a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against poison, spells, and spell-like abilities.
- Stability: Dwarves receive a +4 racial bonus when resisting a bull rush or trip attempt while standing on the ground.
- Stonecunning: Dwarves receive a +2 bonus on Perception checks to potentially notice unusual stonework, such as traps and hidden doors located in stone walls or floors. They receive a check to notice such features whenever they pass within 10 feet of them, whether or not they are actively looking.
- Weapon Familiarity: Dwarves are proficient with battleaxes, heavy picks, and warhammers, and treat any weapon with the word “dwarven” in its name as a martial weapon.
- Languages: Dwarves begin play speaking Common and Giant. Dwarves with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Sylvan, Goblin, Wildlander, Terran, and Undercommon.