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Durgheil, Born of Stone, were once beings of stone and iron; created by the Archon, Golmath, as warriors and labourers for his personal army during the War of Eternity. They were then known as the Durghs, but later developed skin and flesh long after the end of the war was over. The Durgheil dwarves have throughout known history built empires above and beneath the earth, and they have seen them fall against foes such as the Pacts, creatures from the depths and the cold, cruel winds themselves.

The dwarven cities that remain are few but powerful, and many more dwarves live in human towns and cities. Six dwarven kingdoms remain in this world; The Iron Kingdom of Barador in Norrhan, the Kingdom of the Anvil (Denbor) in Aesudarh, the Kingdom of the Shield (Karbor) also in Aesudarh, and the Under-kingdoms of Tonbarad, Orthazzar and Kazh-Barok in Avanor. A typical dwarf is described as stout and resilient, as well as crafty, but also brutally honest and rude. Dwarves commonly mingle amongst other races in human cities almost as much as they do with their own kind.
 
Dwarves of the majority of clans commonly share most of the same physicality. They are shorter in height than the average human and also more muscular and wide. They possess powerful bone structures, which leads to some oversized features such as large noses, fingers, toes and general physique. Dwarven skin is typically also ‘harder’ than the skin of other races, able to withstand minor to medium cuts, though not fully resistant towards sufficient force and piercing.

Many male dwarves pride themselves with magnificent, long beards; often braided and well groomed. Runes belonging to their clans or their castes tend to be tattooed to their skin. Female dwarves also decorate their skin with tattoos, and they often have long, full hair that they braid in various fashions. A side note is that dwarves who dwell underground appear to have pale or grey skin, whilst those above ground possess warmer shades of skin colour.

Dwarves have been known to live up to 150 years of age.

ANVILBORN DWARVES

The Anvilborn typically have warm yet pale skin. They exhibit grey to dark-blue eyes with hair-colours of dark red and shades of brown. Like with many dwarven cultures, Anvilborn sometimes tattoo markings into their skin, most commonly symbols or runes related to their families, occupations or similar. Anvilborn dwarves tend to wear extravagant jewelry made of anything from bronze to iron to silver.

Having lived in Aesudarh's colder regions for the majority of their existence, the Anvilborn are usually more strongly built in comparison to others of their race.

SHIELDBORN DWARVES

The Shieldborn commonly have pale to sometimes snow-white skin. They feature eyes in the shade of sky- to steel-blue, and typically exhibit golden to light yellow hair. Tattoos of family markings are often engraved upon their skin, though they avoid marking their faces and instead tattoo their arms, chests or legs. Shieldborn tend not to wear exquisite jewelry, though this is more a case of them not being a wealthy dwarven clanfolk.

Much like the Anvilborn, the Shieldborn have lived in Aesudarh for most of their existence, yet they have had to contend with living in a much more inhospitable, cold region, and are, as a result, much more muscular and hardened than even the Anvilborn.

IRONBORN DWARVES

The Ironborn have tanned to sometimes slightly paler skin with iron-red eyes, as well as featuring darker hair-colours of brown, black and sometimes darker grey. Ironborn exhibit runic tattoos on their face more commonly than other dwarven clanfolk, and they tend to have extensive markings on their arms and chests as well. If they wear jewelry, it will be made of iron or steel, and not of gold or silver.

The Ironborn are trained from a young age to become fighters, and so the majority of their kind are usually quite muscular.

STONEBORN DWARVES

The Stoneborn, due to their living conditions underground, feature a faded, dark skin-colour, sometimes in the colours of grey to lighter soot. They have grey to brown eyes and almost exclusively dark hair with some variations of darker grey persisting from time to time. Stoneborn enjoy wearing jewelry made of silver and will wear rings fitted with precious stones. Stoneborn don't typically tattoo their skin for vanity, but rather to represent what caste they belong to.

PLAINSBORN DWARVES

The Plainsborn dwarves exhibit dark, sometimes reddish skin colours. They have brown eyes and faded, brown to dark hair. They are the only dwarven clanfolk who decorate their skin in tribal paint, and the variations of such are endless due to the fact that each painted symbol can have a specific, individual meaning, or be the symbol of the tribe the Plainsborn belongs to. Only a rare few tribes are known to make use of permanent tattoos. Instead of jewelry made of precious stones or metals, Plainsborn make theirs out of bones and animal leathers.

Typically, Plainsborn are a lot leaner than the common dwarf, and as such more agile and dextrous. Male Plainsborn also commonly shave their beards in a majority of tribes.

HILLBORN DWARVES

The Hillborn dwarves are the most varied of all the dwarven clanfolk, since they don't truly belong to any one clan, and are instead based on the different clanfolk they originally hail from. Hillborn can be found throughout all of the world, though their largest populations are found in Arganorh, where they are most similar in appearance to Stoneborn, or at least so in physicality. Their skin is typically a warm, slightly tanned hue with eyes ranging from blue to brown, and hair-colours in the shade of dark to brown. In other parts of the world the variation of colours go from pale to dark without any defining pattern.

 

During the War of Eternity, the Archon, Golmath created the first Durghs, also known then as the Molten Clans, as beings of iron, rock and magma. Under his command, they constructed mighty fortresses and terrible weapons and artifacts; most of which have been lost in time. When the war ended and Golmath returned to the High Halls, the Durghs were left behind on Tariel, where they wandered the wastelands which were a result of the War of Eternity. They wandered until the barren lands grew green once more and their skins lost all the fires of magma, and instead remained only of iron and stone.


Eventually the Durghan tribes split into two peoples; the Kha’gazur and the Durgheil; the latter of which we are most familiar with in our time. The Durgheil were subject to the Kha'gazur's foul magical artifacts, the Runestones, which turned the Durgheil's skin from iron to flesh. However, the Durgheil prevailed against the Kha'gazur, and found a way to draw strength from the Runestones to empower their own people. The Durgheil united over time and expanded to sprawling empires across the lands of Avanor Norrhan and Aesudarh. Less civilized tribes sprung up to live on the vast plains of Korasha, who have since lived following a nomadic, tribal society.

ANVILBORN DWARVES

The Anvilborn were the refugees of the northern lands in Aesudarh, hailing from the regions of former Mar-Khagar. Following the rise of the frozen dead and the necromantic Frozen Kings they served, the dwarves of Mar-Khagar were faced with endless hordes of undead humans, as well as the risen dwarves who, in death, served the Frozen Kings. In addition to the undead, Frost Giants approached from the west with their Vettin servants to lay waste to the dwarven empire.


Those who abandoned Mar-Khagar and fled south were to become the Anvilborn, who ended up founding the kingdom of Denbor in the Anvil Lands. Being relatively safe, the Anvilborn built a powerful kingdom based on trade, of which there was much of thanks to the vicinity of the human kingdoms further south. To this day the Anvilborn remain wealthy and strong, staying boastful about their skilled craftsmanship and inventive nature.

SHIELDBORN DWARVES

When the dwarves of Mar-Khagar were beset by the attacks of the Frozen Kings in the north and the Frost Giants from the west, many of those dwarves abandoned their home and fled south to what is today known as the Kingdom of Denbor, found in the Anvil Lands on Aesudarh. However, those who refused to see their lands fall stubbornly remained behind to defend their homes. These dwarves were to become the Shieldborn, who would stand firm against their enemies and hold their ground at any cost.


Although much of Mar-Khagar has been lost to the frozen winds of the north, a small stretch of land has remained free and still stands to this day. The Shieldborn would name this land the Kingdom of Karbor in the Shieldlands, where they have stood vigilant and steadfast against the cold winds and its beasts for many centuries.

IRONBORN DWARVES

During its time, the empire of Barador was the only dwarven nation in Norrhan. Its people, the Ironborn dwarves, held territories all along the continents western lands, and they thrived. However, shortly after the arrival of Man from the north and the later arrival of further Men from the south, Barador became weak. Attacks by orcish Mountain Clans, which had come to Norrhan after the fall of the Stone Empires in Avanor, destroyed several outposts and border cities. Remaining cities fell after Runeking Kaedgir was slain in battle when the various Thanes of Barador attempted to seize the throne for themselves. 


Eventually the empire became a kingdom as only its capital remained standing. Most of the refugees of that time abandoned their homes and fled to the Underhalls in Avanor, where they were welcomed by the Stoneborn dwarves. What remains of Barador has since managed to maintain its territories in the Iron Lands, but it has also grown distrusting towards outsiders, almost to the point of isolating itself from the outside world.

STONEBORN DWARVES

During the First Era, the Stoneborn dwarves were the first to establish dominance on the Avanorian continent. They created great empires (the Stone Empires) that spanned across the entire continent, and ruins of those empires remain to this day as a legacy. The Stoneborn in Avanor maintained their empires until the sudden arrival of the orcish clans from Korasha. As tensions grew and conflicts escalated, the orcish Pacts chipped away at the Stoneborn empires for centuries until they inevitably fell. The empire of Kar-Kairdain in the south was the first to fall, and, a few centuries later, after the arrival of the Aerthali elves, the empire of Don-Bazrad in the northern mountains was also eventually destroyed by the Pacts.


Survivors of the Stone Empires fled underground, into what would later be known as the Underhalls. These vast tunnels allowed the Stoneborn to escape the onslaught of the orcs, and granted them a second chance to rebuild their empires. However, the bickering of the various Underhalls cities never saw the dwarves unite, and in turn many of these cities succumbed to war against each other. Additionally, the Black Blood Curse had been unleashed in the deeper city of Orthavir, which corrupted many dwarves and turned them into bloodthirsty savages, ensured the fall of the majority of the Underhalls' cities. Now only three cities, the Under-kingdoms, remain; Tonbarad, Orthazzar and Kazh-Barok, who fight over what remains of the once great and expansive Underhalls.

PLAINSBORN DWARVES

In Korasha, the tribal clans of the Plainsborn dwarves had slowly spread across the many plains, hills and woodlands of the continent since the Time of Stones and Iron. Little is known of their actual history, as they themselves have recorded only some of it, and what they did record is spread throughout the continent, written on ancient stones that are not only difficult to find, but considered sacred territory. The known stones that still stand to this day are guarded by Plainsborn elders and druids, and most of their whereabouts are maintained in riddles and secrecy. There is no true evidence that the Plainsborn were ever part of a great dwarven empire at any point in history.

The Plainsborn tumbled frequently with the native orcs and humans, and only recently met with the civilized races of the west, resulting in tensions as cultures clash.
Many Plainsborn now venture further towards the western coasts; eager, afraid and curious in what the westerners bring and what they might offer.

HILLBORN DWARVES

The Hillborn dwarves have no common ancestral ties or history. Their kind is one that comes from all the other clanfolk. The first references to Hillborn began in Avanor, when dwarves who were born in or exiled into human nations established small settlements of their own. These dwarves were commonly banished from the Underhalls or they had simply just abandoned their own people, striking their ties with their former dwarven culture.
 

Dwarven society has some notable variation to it. There is an astute difference between dwarves who live above ground and those who live below it. although, granted only the Stoneborn dwarves choose to live underground, counting out those dwarven cities that are carved within mountains. As a general rule, surface dwarves are less hostile and distrusting when compared to subterranean dwarves.


A common similarity between all dwarven cultures save for the Plainsborn and Hillborn is the particular societal division they maintain in their cities. This is more commonly known as the Caste System, where dwarves are branded upon birth to fit a role in society, typically to fulfill the needs of a city. This is likely a result of the desperation most dwarven cultures have faced in history, where the need to specialize their citizens following much hardship against destructive foes, forced their people to maintain a functioning, mostly industrial and military society to survive. This is especially true in Stoneborn society.

Dwarven societies in general depend on the strength and cooperation of those who live in their communities. Every man and woman must do theirs to aid those around them, as is their duties to their people and their honour. When a dispute is made clear, or a criminal action is brought to light, dwarves favour justice through battle rather than imprisonment or talking things through for an agreement. A debt is paid when there is blood spilled or punches thrown. As such, dwarven society is often considered brutal when compared to some of the other races.

Of the dwarven cultures that build cities, it is known that the dwarven people are masterful builders and architects. Few can match the impressive building skills of the dwarves, who, in their time in this world, have built towering structures and statues (often carved from the mountains themselves), and expansive, seemingly endless tunnel and mine networks. Dwarves are also typically skilled craftsmen, in particular in the field of blacksmithing and general metallurgy, which is likely a remnant gift from the time when the dwarves served Golmath. This doesn't necessarily mean that absolutely all dwarves are skilled at forging metal, only that a considerable amount of them can. A common trait amongst dwarves is their effective and productive nature, which normally makes them excellent workers, fit for maintaining a busy, precise society which prides itself on efficiency.

ANVILBORN DWARVES

Of all the dwarven clanfolk, the Anvilborn are one of the most sociable and diplomatic when it comes to interacting with outsiders. Since their kingdom of Denbor in the Anvil Lands depends a great deal on trade with other kingdoms, many Anvilborn dwarves venture out on various expeditions and diplomatic missions to engage in mercantile business or to accumulate political influence on an international level. Mining expeditions are also frequently sent out by larger merchant families to establish mining outposts outside of Denbor's borders.

Most Anvilborn will traverse the lands of Aesudarh, where their people dominantly do their business. Though, admittedly, a few expeditions have been sent to the other continents to establish trade there, though only in a starting capacity, so no real influential trade power has been established yet beyond Aesudarh.

Anvilborn Castes are heavily focused on crafting and trade, and as such the Anvilborn are considerably industrial in their society. There is a stereotype which says that all Anvilborn are wealthy and influential, though in truth only a small percentage of Anvilborn families can say that they are. It is true, however, that generally the Anvilborn live with greater luxury than most of the other dwarven clanfolk, much thanks to their economically strong kingdom.

In terms of cultural strength, the Anvilborn are the most diverse and outgoing with their representations. Unlike some of the other dwarven clanfolk, who, while cultured, focus on their military or industry moreso than anything else and are thus very reserved in their cultural aspects, the Anvilborn feature a rich culture which they happily share with outsiders in the form of colourful clothing, music, tableware and other such things.

SHIELDBORN DWARVES

The Shieldborn dwarves heavily focus on establishing entrenched settlements and outposts, choosing defensive locations over comfortable or supportive ones. This is because of the fact that they reside in Aesudarh's Shieldlands, which is a cold and treacherous region frequently beset by all sorts of hostile armies and monsters. The Shieldborn have for a very long time maintained their borders against their enemies from the north, and as such their society is almost fully devoted to supporting a sizable and strong defensive military. All structures are built to last against harsh weather and sieges alike.

The majority of the Shieldborn populace is clustered and they rarely leave their home territories. The Shieldborn are bound by an age-old duty of honour to defend what remains of Mar-Khagar, and so those who leave are branded exiles and cowards. To the Shieldborn, duty is above all else, and it comes before love and comforts. As such they are a hardy people who have endured the cold and hostile lands of northern Aesudarh, and much of their society reflects this perfectly. While they maintain various Castes, all Shieldborn are expected to train in warfare, or at least aid in some way to support the maintenance of their northern border-keeps.

IRONBORN DWARVES

Ironborn dwarves are dominantly mountain-dwellers who prefer to construct their settlements along the safety of high peaks. They reside in the Iron Lands, the kingdom of Barador, in western Norrhan, where they share some of their land with Iron elf tribes from the Ironvale.

The Ironborn rarely venture outside their own territories and as such they are isolationists. The majority of their people keep to their settlements in the mountains, where they casually bicker amongst themselves over often mundane topics, carefree to the happenings of the rest of the world outside. Outsiders are often ignored or looked upon with hostility. Very few Ironborn dwarves ever venture outside their kingdom's borders.

Of all the dwarven clanfolk, the Ironborn are the most war-like, having fought the orcish Mountain Clans and repelled them for well over a thousand years. Additionally, the Ironborn have on some occasions  wandered into human lands with the intent to attack, most commonly because of both intentional and unintentional incursions by humans into their own lands, or to reclaim old lands that were previously of dwarven ownership.

As such the Ironborn are what one would call an almost purely warrior society which is strengthened by their greater focus on maintaining a sizable Warrior Caste. They train their young early and constantly seek fights with one another to improve themselves and test their strength. The Ironborn have one of the most impressive and best disciplined military forces in the world, which reflects well on their iron resolve and steel-like demeanor.


Architecturally, most Ironborn structures heavily feature iron and steel, which further enhances the cold yet stalwart outlook the Ironborn have on both themselves and their surroundings.

STONEBORN DWARVES

The Stoneborn dominantly reside underground, within the vast tunnels of the Underhalls that stretch across the majority of the Avanor continent. There they inhabit the remaining dwarven cities that still stand, otherwise referred to as the the Under-Kingdoms, of which there are three. Stoneborn show considerably little trust and hospitality towards outsiders, as many centuries living underground, losing more and more of their territories as the ages passed, has turned them grim and cold. Stoneborn society is brutal as disputes are often settled with the spilling of blood.

Comparatively to their other dwarven kin, the Stoneborn are extremely proven and skilled architects and builders. Having built the great Underhalls they now reside in, they have more than enough shown that their building techniques are more or less unchallenged. Stoneborn cities are carved out of the stones and caverns they mine, which have been adapted over the centuries to support basic comforts after all local minerals have been sufficiently retrieved.

The Stoneborn cities are ruled by Thane Councils rather than kings, as no one king has managed to unite their people since their last king fell some time before the corruption of the Dark Blood Curse spread. And despite holding so few of the remaining cities left in the Underhalls, Stoneborn cities are as divided as they come, since none of the three Under-Kingdoms can set aside their differences to unite.

Unlike other dwarven clans, the Stoneborn are the only ones who have a Slave Caste. These slaves mostly consist of their own people, often those who have been captured in war, or those who have been sold off as children by their parents in return for food.

Stoneborn society relives heavily on trade with surfacers to survive, though any Stoneborn dwarf who leaves his people is immediately branded a traitor and is thus forever exiled.

PLAINSBORN DWARVES

The only dwarven society which is purely tribal in nature. Plainsborn live a nomadic life wandering across the great plains of Korasha. They are born into tribes which they stay with for the majority of their lives; hunting, gathering and fighting for the honour of their fellow tribesmen. Although inherently savage in appearance, especially to westerners, the Plainsborn have rich, varied cultures that change depending on the tribe. Their society is also entirely devoid of a Caste system, as there was never ever a need for them to make use of Castes.


Unlike other dwarves, the Plainsborn fear the seas and are likely to never go anywhere near the coasts. Instead they stay in the central lands of Korasha, where they hunt and establish temporary encampments which are as easily uprooted as they are raised. Plainsborn tribes move on to new territories when local prey migrate or when on the warpath. It is quite common for Plainsborn to set out on wars against other Plainsborn tribes, since the various tribes are more or less fractured from each other, and thus they are not what some would call a united peoples. And since they more or less compete with human plainstribes and orcs for territory, members of most Plainsborn tribes are firstly raised to become warriors.

HILLBORN DWARVES

The Hillborn are typically dwarven descendants who live on the surface or in settlements of other races, although most such communities are culturally mixed. Only a few purely Hillborn settlements exist, with the majority of them residing in Arganorh. The first Hillborn were originally outcasts of the Stoneborn of the Underhalls. They had abandoned their cities, kings and castes for the sake of finding new lives on the surface. Similar situations sprung up amongst other dwarven clanfolk, resulting in other Hillborn coming to be on the other dwarven populated continents. Dwarves who abandon their original homes (if they already belong to a specific clanfolk) are branded Hillborn, otherwise also referred to as Clanless.

Hillborn have no castes to speak of, since they are so culturally diverse depending on the local society they adapt to. While they do have their dwarven-like ways, they do not technically belong to any dwarven culture, and instead adopt the culture of the nation or city that they reside in. Hillborn are quite numerous around the world and are frequently seen in Arganorh, Aesudarh and Korasha. Though this is likely because they are more likely to wander the world when compared to their other clanfolk brethren.
 

Dwarves are generally a rude and boisterous people, but they respect and cherish those who treat them as equals or prove themselves worthy in battle or general company. Dwarves are typically honest and straightforward, and thus they may find some difficulties finding acceptance from the other races. Loyalty is a trait which most dwarves will stand by, and so the value of a dwarven friend is almost immeasurable. The dwarf, of course, will be too stout and stubborn to admit his or her feelings in such a manner, which is just typical dwarven behavior, since, as a race, most of their clanfolk have been fairly isolated from other races.


Most races don't typically despise dwarves, but the behavior and typical social conducts of dwarves can be very off-putting, sometimes to the point where one might mistake a dwarf's comment for an insult, when it was meant as nothing more but a jest or goodhearted outburst of honesty. Most non-dwarven kingdoms that interact with dwarves retain mostly neutral relations with them, and have never undergone lasting wars against them.

ANVILBORN DWARVES

Anvilborn are more outstanding in their relations with other races, as they have built a kingdom of trade that requires diplomatic interactions with their neighboring races for its survival. As such most Anvilborn are considerably more friendly than their other clanfolk, and enjoy mingling in the cities of other races. The human kingdoms that they interact with have retained good relations with the Anvilborn through trade and diplomatic endeavors, which in turn has made the Anvilborn friends of the Aesudarhi people. However, to outsiders the Anvilborn are often looked upon as somewhat vain and carefree, and the Anvilborn's typical refusal to involve themselves in serious matters of war have put a slight dent to the trust people might put in them.

SHIELDBORN DWARVES

As a somewhat isolated people, the Shieldborn dwarves have not had any real chances to interact with other races beyond their dwarven brethren of the Anvilborn. Shieldborn have certain trust-issues towards outsiders and put more stock towards relying on their own people for social interaction. Their wars against the northern menaces have transformed the Shieldborn into a cold, resolved people who more or less refuse to involve themselves with the happenings of other kingdoms, and instead they worry more about the constant threats they face from their northern enemies rather than trying to rely on help from outside forces.

IRONBORN DWARVES

The Ironborn dwarves have never really gotten along with other races, and they are particularly hostile towards orcs, which is much credited to the fact that the Ironborn have fought the orcish Mountain Clans for several ages. The Ironborn have a mostly neutral yet cold stance towards outsiders such as humans, elves and other dwarven clanfolk, yet they share some respect towards a local elven folk; the Iron Elves of the Ironvale. 


Other than that the Ironborn's interactions with outside races is kept at a bare minimum, and they only endure meeting with outsiders when it involves trade. There was a time when the Ironborn allied with the elves and humans to stand against the Long Winter, but that time has long since been forgotten, and the Ironborn have since grown more isolated in their conducts.

STONEBORN DWARVES

The Stoneborn consider many races their enemies. They despise orcs, still clinging on to the fact that it were the orcs who forced them underground so many ages ago. They also dislike those who were and would now call themselves allies of the orcish people, such as the half-trolls, half-giants and goblins. Stoneborn dwarves also don't get along too well with elves either, having contributed their former empires' fall to the idleness of the elven Sun Kingdoms, and the elves' refusal to send aid during that time. It is well known that Stoneborn know how to hold onto old grudges.

However, as much as the Stoneborn are more or less hostile and don't trust most other races, they enjoy the company of halflings and gnomes, who have remained their allies and friends for as long as they can remember. Stoneborn often interact with the Littlefolk as if they were one of their own, and openly welcome them to their cities in the Underhalls. This bond between their peoples has remained unshaken since the days of the old Stone Empires.

PLAINSBORN DWARVES

Plainsborn dwarves in Korasha are generally quite hostile, though not necessarily to the degree of attacking everyone who come from outside of their circles. Plainsborn are aggressive, but mostly in a distrusting manner which is much credited to their frequent conflicts with local human and orcish tribes, as well as their their vastly different cultural society when compared to western races. Outsiders, particularly westerners, view the Plainsborn as savages and will more often than not assume hostility when interacting with them, which has frequently led to unnecessary skirmishes that could otherwise have been avoided through simple, friendly communication.

HILLBORN DWARVES

Hillborn generally don't have any particular opinion of other races outside of what they individually think. Since Hillborn generally live either in a community of dominantly other races, or in the nearby presence of such a community, they don't hold any ill-feelings towards their fellow neighbors. The same is not necessarily mutual when it comes to other races' opinions of the Hillborn, since, after all, they are still dwarves, and thus typically straightforwardly honest, rude and profane to those around them. Though admittedly, of the majority of dwarven clanfolk, the Hillborn are the most likely to get along with others, which is why they easily mingle amongst other races in human-centric settlements.
 

Dwarves are commonly very rude in the way they speak, thus they’ve built up a reputation for being overly direct and generally unwanted. Their rather strange habits are considered crude and uncivilized by other races.


In general, dwarves are described as being somewhat greedy, stoic and stubborn. Dwarves also appear rather distrusting, though the majority of their kind has proven themselves to have warm hearts of gold, as well as an abundance of honour and respect. Dwarven friendship is a very valuable asset to have, but can also be a difficult thing to gain. 


Religiously, dwarves in general, or more specifically those who live in dwarven-centric cities and settlements, do not worship many deities. Most dwarves are found to be very agnostic in the way they think of the world. The closest entity to a deity that the dwarves have in common is Mother Stone; an ancient being which they believe was the first to birth them into this world at the behest of Golmath.

In the same vein, dwarves revere the Stones, which can be directed at the stones surrounding them or the Runestones of which they drew power from in the past. In traditional dwarven funerals, deceased dwarves are passed on and committed to return to the Stones that made them; often through tombs or simple stone burials. Cremation is only done when it is very necessary, as burning the dead more or less robs them of ever returning to the Stones properly. Kings are often immortalized by carving out towering statues in their likeness.


While many dwarves might be religiously minded, they don't necessarily spend a lot of time on worship or performing rituals, as it is not typically their focus. Other matters such as family, war or simply just tradition are seen as being more important, and thus garner more attention. This observation deserves a slight exception, as Plainsborn dwarves are considerably religious in their views of the spiritual world.

ANVILBORN DWARVES

While the Anvilborn put some faith in the Stones, they are the only one dwarven clanfolk who fully worship a single deity, Helm. As such the Anvilborn are the most religious amongst the dwarven peoples, having erected temples and an organized religious church to worship Helm. However, they still welcome other religions and deities in their territories, and normally respect the religious views of those they interact with. It is not required for an Anvilborn to worship Helm, though most families will prefer if their children set their faith in His name.

SHIELDBORN DWARVES

The Shieldborn worship no deities and pay little heed in revering the Stones. Their views are always more centered towards the duties they must uphold, and they put small attention to prayer. To the Shieldborn, survival is far more important, and the best way to survive is to look to their united community and depend on their own strengths, rather than depending on what they would generally call useless faith.

IRONBORN DWARVES

Tradition stands out more than any religious tendencies in Ironborn culture. Religious beliefs are accepted, but not normally practiced amongst the Ironborn dwarves, as they themselves focus more on the mortal world than anything else. The Ironborn practice the ideals of a warrior, diverting their attention towards becoming strong and disciplined fighters. The nearest religious aspect in their culture is in how they "worship" memories of great dwarves before them, where each deceased Ironborn is commemorated by having a statue built in his or her name. The size of the statue depicts the valued greatness of the deceased.

STONEBORN DWARVES

Of all the dwarven clanfolk, the Stoneborn are the ones who most revere the Stones. This is much in due to the reality that they, unlike other dwarves, live closest amongst the stones in the underground, and the fact that they believe themselves to be the closest descendants of the Durghan Tribes. It is mostly a show of tradition rather than religious worship, where they incorporate their beliefs of the Runestones and their people's origins into their daily lives. Stoneborn believe that Mother Stone is somewhere to be found in the depths of the world, where she has remained dormant since the days of the Molten Clans during the aftermath of the War of Eternity.

PLAINSBORN DWARVES

Plainsborn dwarves are the most spiritual amongst the dwarven clanfolk, since their beliefs are more closely tied to the spiritual world and their ancestral spirits. Shamans are the elders and sometimes leaders of their people, who communicate with the land and its spirits for guidance and safety. The Plainsborn revere the Stones differently from other dwarven clanfolk, in a way where they often speak of the Spiritstone relics, which were created and empowered by the spirits as gifts for the original Plainsborn tribes. The Spiritstones have since been handed down for countless generations to the largest and most powerful of the Plainsborn tribes. Unlike the other dwarven clanfolk, Plainsborn cremate their dead and bury the ashes in the soil before it can scatter in the air.

HILLBORN DWARVES

The Hillborn are the most diverse in their religious beliefs. Since they are such a mixed people, hailing from various other clanfolk, they are known to hold a large variety of different religious views. They do, however, all more or less revere the Stones from which they all came from. Having mingled with other races more frequently than their other clanfolk, the Hillborn typically adopt the deities that the local populace worship, or the Hillborn simply just refrain from worshiping any deities at all. If they do worship deities, they commonly choose human ones, since Hillborn generally choose to live in human-centric communities.

 
While dwarves aren't entirely magically sterile, their high resistance towards magical energies has ensured that they are not particularly skilled magicians, and as such there are generally very few dwarven mages in the world. In general, most dwarves don't much care for magical learning either. They prefer to rely on physical strength over magic. Even so, the dwarves were the first to adapt and make use of Sigil Magic, which was taught to the Stoneborn when they made contact with the Aerthali elves in Avanor. The Stoneborn adapted the elven magic to what is today more commonly known as Runology. Unlike other magical schools, Runology doesn't require one to be magically powerful, thus it is fitting for a dwarf's use to bend magical energies. This is what allows many dwarven smiths to imbue their crafts in magical enchantments.

Most dwarves who perform magic are typically priests or Rune Mages, though the Plainsborn practice the magical elements differently, as they are largely spiritual and shamanistic in their practices. Their tie to the spiritual world and the spirits of the lands has grown strong over the many thousands of years of their existence. Even so, most of the Plainsborn are unable to fully wield spiritual magic, and it is only the elders and shamans of their people who have a lasting and close bond to the spirits.

As they are highly resistant to magic, dwarves are not as easily affected by magical spells.
 
Dwarven names usually follow a rule where their surnames are the same as their house, clan or caste names. All dwarves (save for the Hillborn) belong to some form of caste, and thus many dwarves will have the same surnames. As for first names, dwarves can be very varied. Their names are usually ‘heavy’ in tone, though there are slight exceptions.

Some dwarven clanfolk, such as the Hillborn and Plainsborn, don't generally take surnames. In the case of the Plainsborn, they earn titles through their lives which they eventually adopt as names. The Hillborn are typically stripped of their surnames when leaving their original clans or when they were exiled, and so those who were born Hillborn have only a first name to speak of, unless they independently register a new one, though most will refrain from doing so to commemorate their exiled names.
 
Anvilborn
Male: Magnir, Haldar, Bragnar
Female: Magna, Ida, Haldis
Surnames: Aganmour, Krabok, Kurak-Kar

Shieldborn
Male: Farin, Ragner, Thorin
Female: Thorun, Brina, Rhona
Surnames: Skalvar, Ken-Orak, Thaner

Ironborn
Male: Therin, Glorin, Barin
Female: Tora, Agra, Dagra
Surnames: Ironhelm, Greybeard, Longbeard
Stoneborn
Male: Varek, Brohm, Balgrim
Female: Dagna, Solda, Melna
Surnames: Stonefoot, Otam, Kurvek

Plainsborn
Male: Mokun, Zoltar, Voruk
Female: Sageha, Tagetha, Uma

Hillborn
Male: Fergun, Bern, Ogmund
Female: Magda, Moira, Igda
 

Dwarftongue is the spoken and written language of the Durgheil. This language is comprised of a gathering of runes and glyphs to form letters and meanings. Durghan has been known as a rather crude language to other races, which is an effect of dwarves in general being rather ‘rude’ in how they speak or express themselves.

All dwarves, save for the Plainsborn, have very similar runes and they speak the same tongue. It is likely because of the fact that the original Dwarftongue spoken by the Durghan Tribes has not undergone many alterations since the beginning, and so the dwarves' language hasn't changed between them. While there are slight differences, communication between the various dwarven clanfolk is quite doable, and the variations of language can be described as being nothing more but different kinds of accents of Dwarftongue. The only exception is the language the Plainsborn practice, which, while still similarly crude to normal Dwarftongue in its sound, is more reminiscent to the languages the Korashan tribes of humans and orcs speak.

Dwarves who reside in multicultural communities (the Hillborn) adopt the local languages spoken there. These languages are typically of human origin and can be found somewhere along the central continents, thus the majority of Hillborn speak the Common Tongue. Other dwarven clanfolk also adapt to learn the Common Tongue out of necessity to undergo trade with their non-dwarven neighbors, or to trade on a more global scale.
 
 
 
DWARFTONGUE
COMMON
Bar'kan
" Ironborn"
Ton'kan
" Stoneborn"
Den'kan
"Anvilborn"
Kar'kan
 "Shieldborn"
Svor'kan
"Darkborn"
Kha'gazur
  "Forgers/Artificers"
Braka
  "Clanless / Casteless / Hillborn"
Varka
"Tribal / Plainsborn"
 Shum
"Unwanted", can be anything from a casteless dwarf to an outsider, and is generally regarded as an insult
 Dhulshuk
  An insult, can be translated to mean either to "cock" or "stonefucker"
Boruk'khar
  "We Meet", a greeting
Faruk'khar
 "We Part", a farewell
Karok'bazaak, Ton'brokan
  "Die Well", "The Stones Come", typically a battlecry said before and after a battle
Thren
"King" or "Ruler"
Thairn
"City", generally refers to a dwarven town, but can also be used to describe a kingdom
Tharn
  "Hall", is also used to refer to one's home
Don
 "Holding" , refers to a fortress or outpost, typically in or near mountains
Barak
"Hard", can also mean "Strength"
Shakar
  "Elf", literally means "Earfolk"
 Bruhm
  "Human", literally means "Newborn"
 Gnom
"Gnome"
Gnit
"Halfling", also means "Child"