Scales of War
Masters of stone and iron, dauntless and unyielding in the face of adversity
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.
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.