Sunday 24 September 2017

New dwarves

The dwarves only came into being by accident. It happened when Thren, the god of dark places, was slain by his treacherous brother Fiyal, god of hidden things, for rule over the darkness below. In the battle, the blood of Thren and Fiyal mingled in the flames of volcanic magma, cooling and solidifying. This shimmering rock became known as the Dwarrimstone, the birth mineral of the dwarves. One by one they clambered out of the cracked stone, squat, grey beings with lava in their blood. Fiyal, looking upon his creation, realised that he had an army at his disposal who could help him take on his final target of dark domains - Pella, goddess of the underworld.

Fiyal gave them the gift of the everforge, allowing them to craft metals into things unimaginable to the brightworlders above. They wrought cities from iron, great temples of steel and even clockwork beings to become their servants. It would be a millennia before they were truly ready to descend into the underworld and fight the groaning dead, but it would happen for Fiyal imbued it in their holy text - The Writings of Descent.

The dwarves (or dwarrim in their tongue) have a fiery temperament to go with the fire running in their veins. In fact, it's common for a dwarf to rage for hours, their eyes glowing yellow while they destroy structures and tear limbs from their own. This Molten Rage has become a problem in dwarf society, with those prone to it being locked in The Shell - a huge iron maximum security prison.

Dwarves do not have magic. Fiyal ever had a distrust for magical things as it tends to reveal hidden things. It is the domain of the brightworlders, so he taught his people the ways of craft and engineering instead.

Because they are literally made partially of lava, dwarves do bleed it. A decapitation causes a small volcanic eruption, and although it does little to harm the dwarves, brightworlders should stay clear unless they wish to be burned.

While dwarves are hairless beings, Fiyal's beard is iconic and holy to them. As holy garb they clad their faces in iron masks moulded with great beards in honour of their god.

Dwarves cannot and do not eat. They instead must inhale ash on a daily basis to maintain energy levels. Many use a special smoking pipe for this called a longshallow (describing the structure of the pipe).

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