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The Dwarves

Dwarves do nothing by halves. The easiest way to get a grip on a Dwarf character is to pick a single word and apply it to everything. The dour Dwarf is the most cliched sort, but jolly Dwarves, pensive Dwarves, sentimental Dwarves, vicious Dwarves and many other sorts are also possible.

Dwarves carry grudges. This is best illustrated by their attitude toward Elves -- they're not sure what the Elves did, exactly, all those millennia ago . . . but they know the Dwarves were wronged, and they're not about to let it drop just because it happened a few measly thousand years ago!

Dwarves are most at home underground. They are a private and moody race, not given to display around strangers. The Dwarves can be merry -- frequently their halls ring with song and laughter when no outsiders are present.

Their language, runes and religion, like so much else, are kept secret. Homes and families are regarded as sacred.

Although most Dwarves can trace their roots (and therefore social status) back to their very first ancestor, dwarvin society is remarkably egalitarian. The Dwarfish lord who wants to keep the respect of his subjects will dirty his hands in the shafts or forges whenever possible. Most high-born Dwarves welcome such interludes of hard work as a break from the pressures of statecraft.

Dwarves tend to pick one thing and do it well. They will master a single career rather than dabble in many fields. They glory in work. Hereditary status is important to Dwarves, but less so than competence. They are the preeminent craftsmen of the world. Particularly brave or talented individuals can rise far.

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