Dwarves average four feet in height, with squat, broad bodies. Male dwarves grow thick facial hair. The potential for female dwarven facial hair sees much variation:
Dwarves tend to be more useful for combat-oriented than scholars. Dwarves are also resistant to poison and magic, can see in the dark, and can detect different types of mining-related features underground, such as sloping tunnels.10 The dwarven ability to detect a sloping passage underground is also taken directly.
Dwarves usually worship Moradin, whom they believe is their creator. According to their legends, Moradin fashioned the dwarves into a likeness of himself using gems and metal. He then breathed life into them. In many worlds, the dwarven pantheon of gods consists of the leader Moradin, as well as Abbathor, Berronar Truesilver, Clanggedin Silverbeard, Dugmaren Brightmantle, Dumathoin, Muamman Duathal, and Vergadain. Other dwarven gods may be present in different worlds.
Dwarves get along well with gnomes, who are often regarded as close cousins of the dwarven race. Dwarves are accepting of humans, half-elves and halflings. Dwarves often do not get to know humans well as they live longer than the average human, and prefer to become friendly with the human’s family in general. Dwarves do not trust half-orcs, and fail to appreciate elves, with whom they only ally in their many battles against orcs, goblins, evil giants and trolls.
Over the history of Portal interaction and Magical rifts/circles, more than a dozen subraces of dwarf have been described. Hill dwarves are the closest to a Standard dwarven race. Mountain dwarves live deeper underground and have fairer skin than hill dwarves. Badlands dwarves have adapted to life in the inhospitable wastes, developing a natural knack for finding water and tolerance to heat and thirst. Deep dwarves dwell underground and have a greater ability to see in the dark, but are sensitive to light. They are more resistant to magic and poison than standard dwarves. The duergar are an “evil and avaricious” subrace that live in the Underdark. Glacier dwarves reside in cold glaciers, mining a special material known as blue ice. These dwarves have great skill at crafting with ice and magical ice, and are tolerant to cold weather. Seacliff dwarves make their home in high seaside cliffs and are excellent swimmers, something other dwarves are rarely.
Dwarves are a race of short, powerfully built, subterranean people who once built fabulous underground cities, held the secrets of rune and summoning magic, and co-ruled the Palladium world in the shadow of the elves. For thousands of years they suffered what was first the biting wit and sarcasm of the elves. For thousands more they endured numerous forms of humiliation and degradation at the hands of the arrogant elves. Eventually, a senseless feud erupted into an insane war that would crush both elf and dwarf in a blood bath that would span centuries. Toward the end, the dwarves, desperate to turn the tied of
a battle they were finally losing, turned to supernatural and demonic forces of magic. Forces that, in the end, would see the greatest dwarven kingdoms annihilated through their own folly.
Today, in the Palladium world, there is said to be little over a million dwarves and even a few of the last, great subterranean kingdoms, nestled in the mountains of the Old Kingdom. But since their glory days of long ago, the dwarves have lost the secrets of rune magic and have abandoned the pursuit of all magic so that they will never again unleash its terrible forces. Instead, they have turned to perfecting their art as the world’s greatest weapon and armor smiths and the arts of combat.
“Old World” [Warhammer]
It was written in the Great Book of Grudges that a time of great calamity fell when the storms of Chaos erupted across the Old World from the far north, colouring the sky, splitting the earth and tearing apart the mountains themselves. It was also in this period that the great Ancestor Gods emerged – Grungni, Grimnir and Valaya – who helped lead the Dwarfs to safety by leading them to dig deep under the mountains to escape the storm ravaging the world above. After the catastrophe of the Coming of Chaos, the Dwarfs emerged to find their world changed and warped. Mutated Beastmen roamed freely throughout the land, slaying everyone in their path. Warriors of the Chaos Gods murdered and pillaged at will, and Daemons created nightmare realms, enslaving entire tribes and peoples. The sheer power of Chaos threatened the entire world with eventual destruction.
To battle against such enemies, Grungni forged the first weapons and armour, while teaching the Dwarfs the skills of metalworking, smelting and mining. He also forged the first magical runes, capturing the wild winds of magic and harnessing their power into them, creating even more potent weapons, axes and hammers, as well as runes that gave runic protection into armour and talismans. He armed Grimnir with two mighty axes and armour harder than the bones of mountains, and he and his first Runesmiths armed the rest of the Dwarf race. Soon after, they marched forth from their stronghold and battled against Chaos, where Grimnir slew many deamons and Valaya protected them from the dark magics of their foes. Though they could not fully destroy the forces against them, they drove them from their mountain homes and defended them from further onslaught.
Soon after their re-emergence and battles with Chaos, the Dwarfs encountered the High Elves of Ulthuan. An army led by Grimnir, as they were chasing a marauder warband into the lowlands, met a fleet of Elven warships led by the mage Caledor Dragontamer, who had been blown off course while searching the Old World for clues as to the source of Chaos. Though uncertain of each other, the armies combined to defeat a fresh onslaught by Chaos forces, the spells of Caledor working in conjunction with the axe-work of Grimnir. During the aftermath, the Dwarves learnt from the Elves of the wars in their homeland and their vast struggle against the magic of Chaos, while the Elves learnt of the great storm that erupted from north. Realising that a Chaos Gate had opened at the polar north, Caledor began to devise a plan to trap the power of Chaos in a vast vortex, and returned to Ulthuan to plan his endeavour. Grimnir, upon learning of the Chaos Gate from Caledor, decided to journey northwards and close the gate himself. Though Grungni and Valaya warned him such an endeavour might not succeed and he would surely die, Grimnir replied it was worth the risk. Shaving his hair and beard except for a mohawk, he gave one of his mighty axes to his son Morgrim and journeyed northwards to close the Gate. He was never seen again and his fate remains unknown, even as Caledor’s plan succeeded in trapping the power of Chaos and banishing it to the dark corners of the world.
Soon after this victory, Grungni and Valaya vanished, with many saying they had returned to the mountains awaiting the day the dwarf race would need them most. With the defeat of Chaos, the Dwarfs prospered and expanded all across the World Edge Mountains, establishing mighty strongholds and vast passageways beneath the earth. As the Elves returned to the Old World and established their colonies along the coast and in the forests, trade flowed between the two races and strong bonds of friendship grew between them.
The War of Vengeance
The War of Vengeance was the Dwarf name given to cataclysmic war that erupted between the Dwarfs and the High Elves. Though the two races had enjoyed peace and prosperity with each other for over a thousand years, the elves increasing colonisation of the Old World, in conjunction with apprehensions and mistrust amongst several of the dwarf kings and leaders, began to create tensions between the two civilisations, though many endeavoured to maintain the alliance. The first sparks of the war were begun when Dark Elves, under the orders of Malekith, began attacking Dwarf colonies and trading parties in disguise as High Elves, culminating in the slaughter of Agrin Fireheart, one of the most ancient Runelords of the Dwarf race and the Runelord of Barak Varr. High King Gotrek Starbreaker, though a strong proponent of continuing friendship with the Elves, soon exhausted all attempts at peace and reconciliation both with the elves and amongst the more warlike of his fellow kings (including his own son Snorri Halfhand). As a final act to prevent conflict, he sent his most skilled ambassadors to demand recompenses from the High Elves for the attacks and losses the dwarfs had suffered, but the arrogant Phoenix King Caledor II, after hearing news of the destruction of the city of Kor Vanaeth by Snorri Halfhand (acting against his father Gotrek and in conjunction with the kings of Barak Varr and Zhufbar) seized the ambassadors and shaved off their beards in anger. To lose one’s beard is the ultimate insult and shame to a Dwarf – thus the war that followed was known as the War of the Beard to the Elves while the Dwarves, not to take such things lightly, called it the War of Vengeance.
After 437 years of continuous battle, the war culminated in the seventeenth and final siege of the Elf city of Tor Alessi. After several hours of fighting in single combat, High King Gotrek Starbreaker killed Caledor II, thus ending the war. He took the Phoenix Crown as recompense, where it remains in Karaz-a-Karak. As the remaining High Elves prepared to launch a suicidal attack on the Karaz Ankor, news reached them that the Dark Elves had attacked their homeland, thus forcing them to withdraw and shattering the Elven empire in the Old World. Those elves who chose to remain became the Wood Elves.
The Dwarf homeland is primarily the World Edge Mountains of the “Old World”, which they inhabited since the earliest days of their recorded history. Their original homeland was located in the mountains of the Southlands, but they migrated northwards in search of new veins and minerals to mine, gradually settling in the World Edge Mountains. At their peak, their lands encompassed nearly the entirety of the World Edge Mountains, in addition to settlements in the Grey and Black Mountains and many smaller hill settlements in the lands of what would become the Empire. However, their pyrrhic victory in the War of Vengeance, combined with the vast destruction of the Time of Woes and the onslaught of the Goblin Wars, caused the loss of several holds along with hundreds of smaller settlements and mines. The Dwarf name for their homeland is the Karaz Ankor – the everlasting realm.
Faerûn has several major dwarven subraces. Shield dwarves, also known as mountain dwarves, are the dominant dwarves in the northern parts of Faerûn. These dwarves tend to be fatalistic due to generations of declining numbers. Gold dwarves, also known as hill dwarves, are the dominant dwarves in southern Faerûn. They are generally a more upbeat group than their northern cousins. They primarily reside in and around the Deep Realm, an underground realm surrounding a Grand Canyon-like gorge called The Great Rift. Arctic dwarves (also known as the Inugaakalikurit), found in the northernmost reaches of Faerûn, are smaller and stronger than most other dwarves, and immune to cold. Urdunnir, also known as orecutter dwarves, have the magical ability to shape metal and stone, and can walk through the latter. Wild dwarves are short, primitive dwarves found in the deep jungles of Faerûn. Gray dwarves, or duergar, are mainly found in the Underdark, and have an aversion to light.
the group of humans known as Flan call dwarves dwur. They are found throughout the Flanaess, and are particularly numerous in the Lortmils, Principality of Ulek, Glorioles, Iron Hills, Crystalmists, and Ratik.
Perhaps to no one’s surprise, dwarves, in the modern world, are attracted to warrior occupations, high-tech weapons, and the craft of building and modifying weapons.
Attributes: The number of six-sided dice rolled is as designated: I.Q.
3D6, M.E. 3D6, M.A. 2D6, P.S. 4D6 + 2, P.P. 3D6, P.E. 4D6, P.B.
2D5, Spd 2D6
Hit Points: P.E. + 1D6 per level of experience.
S.D.C.: 20 plus those gained from O.C.C.s and physical skills.
Natural Armor Rating: None
Horror Factor: None, P.P.E.: 3D6
Natural Abilities: Superior physical strength and endurance, generally high to average intelligence. Nightvision 30 m; can see in total "darkness). Natural aptitude for weapon design, mechanics and manufacturing,providing a bonus of + 5% to all mechanical, military, electrical, and computer skills.
Combat: Two without any combat training, or those gained from hand to hand combat and/or boxing.
Bonuses: Only those gained from attributes, O.C.C., and skill bonuses.
Psionics: Standard, same as humans.
Average Life Span: 250 + years
Skills of Note: 70% speak and read the Dwarf languages at 98% and Dragonese/Elven ( + 30%) in addition to skills
Habitat: Can be found anywhere.
Enemies: Traditionally, elves, wolfen, ogres, trolls, kobolds, goblins and hob-goblins. Most dwarves still exhibit great animosity toward elves, giants and changelings.
Allies: Traditionally, humans, kobolds, and troglodytes. Surprisingly, dwarves, like elves, like humans and frequently work with them and ally themselves with them against the so-called monster races, like giants, ores, and wolfen.
Size: Three (0.9 m) plus 3D4 + 2 inches tall.
Weight: 150 to 200 pounds (67.5 to 90 kg). Dwarves are a husky, muscular people with broad shoulders and bronze or ruddy complexion.
Notes: Dwarves are very disciplined in the ways of combat, iron working, smithing, weapon and mechanical design and physical training. They are generally gruff and short tempered, especially toward elves, who they treat with disdain.