Dwarves are a stoic but stern race, ensconced in cities carved from the hearts of mountains and fiercely determined to repel the depredations of savage races like goblins. More than any other race, the dwarves have acquired a reputation as dour and humorless craftsmen of the earth. It could be said that dwarven history shapes the dark disposition of many dwarves, for they reside in high mountains and dangerous realms below the earth, constantly at war with giants, goblins, and other such horrors.
Physical Description: Dwarves are a short and stocky race, and stand about a foot shorter than most humans, with wide, compact bodies that account for their burly appearance. Male and female dwarves pride themselves on the length of their hair, and men often decorate their beards with a variety of clasps and intricate braids. A clean-shaven male dwarf is a sure sign of madness, or worse—no one familiar with their race trusts a beardless dwarf.
Dwarves have a different variety of skin colors than humans. Most dwarves are pale, since they hail from beneath the earth. Some few have stranger skin colors, those of the earth and stone they make they’re homes within.
Society: The great distances between their mountain citadels account for many of the cultural differences that exist within dwarven society. Despite these schisms, dwarves throughout the world are characterized by their love of stonework and their passion for stone- and metal-based craftsdwarfship and architecture.
Deep within the earth lay the seven great homelands of the dwarves, which were originally the seven great mansions of the seven dwarven forefathers and they’re wives. These mansions expanded into cities, kingdoms and then empires, even stretching to the surface. However after millennia of time the homelands lost contact with they’re colonies, resulting in a great fragmentation of the dwarven empires. At least one of the original dwarven deephomes has fallen and another has fallen under the sway of devils.
Relations: Dwarves and goblins have long dwelt in proximity, leading either to violence of cooperation depending on the temperament of the dwarves and goblins involved. They find halflings, elves, and gnomes to be too frail, flighty, or “pretty” to be worthy of proper respect, though they do share a common kinship with the gnomes. It is with humans that dwarves share the strongest link, for humans’ industrious nature and hearty appetites come closest to matching those of the dwarven ideal.
Alignment and Religion: Dwarves are driven by honor and tradition, and while they are often satirized as standoffish, they have a strong sense of friendship and justice, and those who win their trust understand that, while they work hard, they play even harder—especially when good ale is involved. Most dwarves tend towards lawful good.
Virtually all dwarves believe in a creator deity, locally known as Moradin. The exact form of his worship varies from place to place. Some worship him as part of a pantheon, commonly considered to be the father of most of the other dwarven deities. Others hold him to be the only deity, or at least the only deity worthy of worship among the dwarves. Some few (usually considered primitive by they’re fellow dwarves and other races alike) have an animistic world view, but see him as the greatest spirit and creator of them and the world. Some dwarves when living among humans identify him with a human deity, like Hephaestus of the Imperial Pantheon, and worship him as part of the local pantheon.
Adventurers: Although dwarven adventurers are rare compared to humans, they can be found in most regions of the world. Dwarves often leave the confines of their redoubts to seek glory for their clans, to find wealth with which to enrich the fortress-homes of their birth, or to reclaim fallen dwarven citadels from racial enemies. Dwarven warfare is often characterized by tunnel fighting and melee combat, and as such most dwarves tend toward classes such as fighters and barbarians.