|“||The Earth exhaled great warmth, and the procession responded with a hundred breaths through the Songsteel trumpets. Call responded, the tunnelers set off with their picks. The newest path starts here, may it lead us to the great Song of the Earth.||”|
–A Dwarfen Trumpeter
The Dwarfs are a people with a mission, they are a people seeking. They know this to be true, for the songs of their history which are passed down the generations tell them so. In the songs Men and Gods alike offended the Most High and it passed into the depths of the earth so the sight of its children would not renew its sorrow. The mothers and fathers of the Dwarfen race were the Most Devout, and they tried to follow and appease the Most High. But the Dwarfs found a thousand twisting passages in the earth, all alike, and soon they were lost in darkness. They fumbled in the depths for an age, surviving on glowing lichens, and eyeless fish from underground streams. Eventually their children heard a mysterious tune in the earth that their mothers and fathers could not, a primeval and inhuman song that directed them back to the surface. The children led their parents back up to see the sun and they all realized that a change had occurred. The children were physically different from their parents and they understood what this meant: the Most Devout were unworthy of the task they had set before them, but their children were blameless and would continue The Mission. The children bade their weeping parents farewell and returned into the earth, this time they would not get lost, this time they would find the source of the Earth Song and reconcile with the Most High.
Dwarfs resemble the race of Men, their height bridging the gap between the Small and the Tall. They are stockier in their builds though, almost as broad as they are all. Their ears and facial features are quite large and well suited to perceiving in the typically dark, quiet caverns they call home. Consequently, most Dwarfs find forests and Human cities to be far too smelly and noisy an direct sunlight can be painful. Other than these differences, their coloration spans the same spectrum as Men. They reliably live to see a hundred years, with some specimens making it to 120 or so. Dwarfs who grow up underground have the ability to hear Harmonic Hematite, the ore necessary to smelt Songsteel. Those who work with the metal are loathe to spend time above ground as they temporarily lose this sense and must spend weeks back underground before it is required.
The Dwarfs are of the Shining South, with perhaps one in a hundred having migrated to the other Known Lands. They're mostly found in great delves under the Arpaks, their greatest delve has transformed the Mountain of Song into a gorgeous but eerily underpopulated city. Most Dwarfs are skilled diggers and tunnel makers, and the abundance of stone and ores that passes through their hands has produced a great number of talented stone and gem cutters as well as smiths and other metalworkers. The Dwarfen culture places great importance on music, their digging songs fill their domains with cheer and their orchestras featuring Songsteel instruments can coax tears of joy from even the most bitter listener.
- Common Male Names: Baal, Daan, Dooz, Dorr, Dunn, Gorr, Kaar, Laam, Qaal, Raam.
- Common Female Names: Bellarae, Delcima, Farrahmae, Erramrae, Katrina, Lamia, Shumira, Talia, Valia, Zuzima