Under Feet of Clay
Skilled jewelers and mechanists, dwarves are famous for their role in business and trade among between metropolises. Best with stone and precious metals, dwarves favor mining and fine smith work to the more common duties employed by the blacksmith. Many families of dwarves have deep pockets and patience like the stone they cherish, meaning they will gladly invest in something that might not pay off for decades.
In the dwarven halls of Solonos, merchants and craftsmen are the greatest number of providers for the city. With a great mint hidden underground, the dwarves strike the coin the flows across the seas and provides wages for all. Some tales of the origin of the dwarves say they were originally kept as slaves by the wicked dragons of the far north, keepers of their treasure and diggers to expand their lairs. These legends further state that the dwarves were liberated when the god Purosphuros made advance on the dragons to break their halls of metal and stone. For this reason, most dwarves keep sacrifices to the god of the forge near the top of their religious obligations.
Notoriously greedy and cunning, the dwarves are kept in check only by a sense of honor and fairness to competition. Rare is the dwarf who would stab an opponent in the back rather than face them in an honor-duel. In battle, dwarves prefer their trusted picks, hammers, and axes. If forced to fight at a distance beyond what they can throw, dwarves turn to the crossbows first built by the gnomes, to which they have added their own expertise. Dwarves are loyal to family and those who earn their place at their side.
Classes: Dwarves make exceptional paladins, putting their funds toward equipping these paragons of virtue. Fighters and rogues are also common, though a dwarvish rogue will rarely partake in stealth. Arcane magic is rare among dwarves, and for those who do practice it, it is usually as a magus or wizard. Fighters are prized among dwarves, but clerics hold special stature. The mines are maintained and protected by dwarven rangers and druids, while more dangerous arts such as alchemy and witchcraft are shunned.
Common Male Names: Hekbar, Valik, Brom, Qildaf, Ozman, Erikk, Undar
Common Female Names: Hilda, Ragna, Valkie, Sarat, Nikkan, Brani, Swala
Example Adventure Hooks:
Erikk is a dwarf who has never fit in among his own kind. Being a self-admitted coward, he considers himself a shame upon his family until he can prove himself a real man. He purchased an axe with his savings, and began trying to train with it, but quickly learned his real skills were in magical studies. Now he tries to pass as a common fighter, while practicing magic quietly in hopes none will notice his arcane augmentation.
Valkie trained her whole life to become a champion of order and righteous action. She was delighted when she was chosen to swear an oath as a paladin, and gladly took on the mantle. Her promise came with difficulty, however, as she learned her brother was skimming personal profits from his employer. Forced to turn him in, she realized life as a paladin among those who already knew you was not something she was ready for, and instead took sail to serve in a foreign city.
Sarat was, by all measures, an ordinary dwarven girl for most of her childhood. It wasn’t until she wandered into the mines late night that her real powers manifested. As she moved through the dark and salty caves, vermin of all kinds swarmed to her and played with her like a pet dog would. Nightly, she would return to be with her deep-friends, but daily she would come back. When a druid saw her natural abilities with the creatures, he took her under his wing and nurtured her growing powers. After a cave in, Sarat was cut off from her mentor, and forced to venture back to the surface with only her spider pet Marone as company until she can find her way back.