View Full Version : Dwarves of the Shattered World

2007-07-09, 08:31 AM
Dwarves: The dwarves of Oramis are similar in most respects to the dwarves of other worlds, yet vastly different in others. As a result of the Shattering which resulted in the destruction of their underground kingdoms, the dwarves have been forced to live on the surface for the past 100 years. This has taken a toll on the stout folk. The dwarves have become a very dark, somber, and brooding folk who spend much of their time drinking and telling sad tales of the glories of their lost kingdoms, especially Ostoria which was considered to be the crown jewel of the dwarven race. Today the dwarves have taken to other means of finding their place in the world. Many have become prospectors, traveling the Wind Ways in windskiffs, searching the shards for traces of gold and other metals. Others have turned to commerce, and many have become members of the Sky Merchants’ Guild. (A popular Oramian saying is, “If you want the best, buy dwarven.”)

The life of an Oramian dwarf is very much tied up with the concept of honor. A dwarf must try to live as honorably as possible, and insults to a dwarf’s honor can have dire consequences to the offending party. If a dwarf somehow manages to dishonor himself, he becomes suicidal. Such dwarves often seek out their own deaths by hunting down and trying to slay powerful creatures. Their honor demands that they try to win such a fight, but in their hearts they are hoping to die. Such dwarves become Troll-Sayers. A dwarf who kills another dwarf without just cause is branded nithingr, a dwarven term implying shaming and disgrace, that is often associated with traitors. Such criminals can be slain on sight by any dwarf.

The tragic ‘secret’ of the dwarves is their low birthrate. The low dwarven birthrate is thought to be due to low fertility among dwarven women. To complicate matters even further, a devastating plague ran through the dwarven clans a few decades ago. Unfortunately the disease proved fatal. Even worse, it only affected females. Today only 1/4 of all dwarves are female. Males are VERY protective of their females (perhaps overly so). All dwarven adventurers will be male except in VERY rare cases (DM’s approval). Rumor among non-dwarves has it that female dwarves have “harems” of husbands, in the belief that the more husbands a female has, the better her chances of getting pregnant, and bolstering the waning number of dwarves. (DM’S NOTE: This rumor is true. Should a female get pregnant, all the males in a female’s “harem” of husbands act as fathers to the newborn child. The birth of a female child is especially celebrated.

Female dwarves are slender and ALWAYS wear veils. No non-dwarven male has ever seen a female dwarf unveiled. Rumor has it that dwarven females are bearded, but this has yet to be proven. And the males will neither deny nor confirm this rumor. (DM’S NOTE: This rumor is false. Female dwarves of Oramis have no beards despite persistent rumors to the contrary. It is common among other settings to have bearded female dwarves, but here such a thing is unheard of. Legends do tell of distant lands where the women have beards, but such a thought seems strange to the dwarves here.) Male dwarves consider it rude to discuss a female dwarf’s appearance, especially among non-dwarves.

Fear of clan extinction sometimes drives dwarves to raid human settlements for mates, or even to deal with slavers. The dwarves are usually in search of human women. The offspring of a human and a dwarf is usually (95%) dwarven enough to pass for a true dwarf (although it may be a foot taller than other dwarves). Any offspring it may in turn have with a dwarven mate will be fully dwarven reverting to usual dwarven height. A small percentage of human-dwarf pairings (5%) will result in a Mul, a sterile half-dwarf which inherits some traits from both parents. (See Mul in the Player's Rulebook the DM has prepared.) The taking of human mates is the “secret salvation of the race” referred to by some dwarven elders.

Dwarves of Oramis do not cut their beards. They find the mere thought of doing so to be repulsive. Tradition within the dwarven community states that the length of the beard is the measure of the dwarf. A dwarf with a short beard is either shunned or pitied.

(A Note: I am also considering using the Dwarven Foci from the Dark Sun setting.)

So, what do you think?

2007-07-09, 03:50 PM
Also, does anyone kow if the Mul race has been written up with 3e stats and where I could find it?

2007-07-09, 03:54 PM
ask and ye shall receive (http://athas.org/releases/)

2007-07-13, 09:41 PM
Thanks TheThan!

What do you guys think?

2007-07-21, 12:43 PM
You might want to rethink the names of the slayers. Troll slayer is copyright of Games workshop and anybody who knows warhammer will conceive this part of the idea as stolen.

2007-07-25, 12:12 PM
Why wouldn't the Dwarves burrow into the shards?

In fact, you could have Dwarves living from the bottom up -- burrowing into the bottom side of the shard, and building landing areas there.

This would make them culturally distinct and distant from Humans, who would find living in the sunless lands psychologically crushing. Plus, think of the visuals. :)

It also leads to a conflict between Dragons and Dwarves, as both like the bottoms of the shards.

If the Dwarves are still LG in tendency, the idea of raiding humans seems more on the evil or chaotic side. What if Dwarves instead purchased human mates? A perfectly equitable exchange -- X resources for one child from a willing, healthy mother. This could lead to Dwarves attacking slavers and letting the slaves free.

2007-07-31, 09:33 PM
As with the Elves, have you considered putting this into the usual D&D format? It would also be helpful to have a few 'example' NPC Dwarves.