Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Twisted Demi-Humans - Dwarves

Dwarves; we all know them well: short, stout, bearded folk of the underground, excellent warriors and miners, oft with values strongly associated with those of the romanticised vikings. Although this is a picture we can all relate to and it bears the advantage of ease introducing the concept to newcomers, it gets old and boring with time.

There have been many excellent variants geared toward making them more interesting (e.g. ASERed TideDevil's in the Details, etc.); hopefully, the compilation of ideas below may be useful for some people and live up to the standards set forth by the aforementioned examples.
  1. Dwarves do not reproduce the conventional way other species do; instead, they carefully carve out statues in their image and breathe life into them. If done without diligence, precision, and healthy body and soul, the creature given life would become a sworn enemy of dwarves (i.e. orc, goblin, or some other mysterious horror).
  2. Dwarves have a rich culture of facial hair for it clearly shows where in the social hierarchy one stands. Traitors and persons with similar crimes, instead of execution, undergo a sacred ritual which culminates in their complete and irrevocable shaving; they become shunned, hairless pariahs wandering the endless tunnels of the underworld.
  3. Dwarves are not a proper race but warriors originally created by some (probably Lawful) gods so that when the time has come, their armies may clash to decide the ultimate fate of the universe. Most people claim their appearing in our world is the proof of the coming of the apocalypse.
  4. Dwarves have a strange metabolism that requires digesting gold (and/or gems) on a daily basis. The bodies of those who fall in battle and receive proper burial ceremony slowly turn into a marvellous hoard of gems and other valuable objects of art.
  5. Most artefact weaponry and sets of armour were crafted by dwarves, for they have true understanding of metal and magic. Ironically, their resistance to magic also results in their complete inability to use the items they crafted.
  6. It is said that dwarven culture used to be one of the most sophisticated ones and that their technology was most superior to others' - until they discovered beer and mead, which resulted in their utter downfall.
  7. Dwarves are capable of analysing and communing with the living rock by touching it and entering a pseudo-meditative state of mind. It only requires them to close their eyes and allow the tiny worms dwelling under their fingernails to crawl out and contact the elemental spirits of stone and earth.
  8. It is said that dwarves used to be a slave-race of some terrible alien intelligence dwelling in the darkest depths of the earth. Dwarves still have to consume at least a pint of beer or an equivalent amount of spirits to scramble a biological device that could be used to locate them by their former masters. There is no commonly known method for permanently disabling such devices.

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