From the Library of the Tiershland Monastery
excerpt from the History of Races of the Mortal Planes, by Androsirrat Kriolus with critique by RB
Dwarves are most prominent on the various mountain ranges of the mortal plane. While they live in many more place than just the mountains, their tough bodies and innate ties to the stone make them most at home in and atop even the highest mountains. As a race, the dwarves are practical and stubborn, and they often do not budge in their beliefs on even the most important of issues. Who is writing this? Probably a high elf. Who’s never met a dwarf before, in all likelihood. Maybe we should have the people who aren’t racist writing the descriptions of dwarves?
Dwarves tend to be a little shorter than humans, and stout. Both the male and female dwarves are bearded, making it often difficult to distinguish between the sexes. Only if they don’t shave, imbecile. Seriously, where is this guy getting his information? Dwarves have found themselves little compelled to expand beyond the wretched mountain ranges which they call “kingdoms”, and therefore do not tend to encroach on the territory on some of the more outward-looking races. Because the dwarves have much shorter life-spans the farther they go from the mountains due to their relationship with their god Moradin, there are very few dwarven establishments larger than small towns in what they call the “lowlands”. That’s…not why there are very few large dwarven cities in the lowlands. It’s because that’s what dwarves are used to, and also because people like you were racist. Dwarves tend to be deeply faithful, and are much more likely to be clerics or druids than wizards or sorcerers. They do not appear to be an innovative people, for they will attempt to get every ounce of effectiveness out of existing technology before attempting to invent anything new, but when needed, dwarves can be the source of surprising amounts of ingenuity.
I will start discussing modern dwarves by discussing their myth of creation, because it is pertinent to both their history and to how they are in modern times.
The dwarven creation legend can be summarized as follows: Before there were dwarves, there were the Manatees. How and why did you translate the word Mantatiiss to be Manatees? You could have at least translated it as The Ones Before—that would have made sense, but noooo. That is such a silly transcription…arrrggh. The Manatees physically much weaker than modern dwarves, but otherwise were very similar in demeanor. Two villages were separated by a mountain range, and all people passing between these villages went by the same roads through the mountains, for the Manatees could not survive the harsh mountain climates. At some point, two Manatees from opposite sides of the mountain range fell in love and would meet each other in the mountains. Unfortunately for them, a war eventually started between these villages. To escape the fighting, the two lovers fled into the mountains. Because Manatees cannot survive in the mountains, they soon weakened and started to die. However, before they could completely die, the god Moradin took pity on them and thrust them into the stone, turning them into dwarves. To this day, according to this legend, Moradin looks after the dwarves and gives them his favor. This is not a story! Come on, where’s the romance? The story of Kata and Lishi’s first meeting? Mordin’s initial distrust of Mantatiis, especially the young lovers? I’m going to have to write this myself if I want this story told, won’t I?
There is some historical evidence to back up the existence of Manatees: evidence of ancient villages have been found in places that would make sense considering the creation myth, and there are ancient elven writings that date back to the time of the Manatees indicate the existence of lesser beings. Whether these elven writings merely refer to humans or truly refer to Manatees (or indeed, whether or not Manatees really were just men) is a subject that is up to intense debate.
While it is unclear whether Mordin really pushed the dwarves into the mountain, or indeed what that actually means, the dwarves’ connection to Mordin is obvious and absolute. All dwarves revere Mordin as the Father, and will worship Mordin above all other gods. Sigh. Why do people always say this? We don’t worship Mordin. We honor Mordin, because he is our father and we love him and he loves us back. It wouldn’t make any sense to worship the Father—would you worship your father? However, they do not see this as mutually exclusive with worshiping other gods. In fact, they often say that their love for Mordin makes it easier for them to put all their heart and soul into another God, and so are very often clerics and priests for various gods, such as Dunatis and Goibhniu.
The location a dwarf lives is incredibly important to how they think and live. In fact, if a dwarf’s personality does not match the place they live, they are strongly encouraged to leave their home and find a place that fits them, and this is the reason so many dwarves seem to be adventuring all the time. Because each type of dwarf is so different, I will not go into detail about dwarven culture here and will instead write more in the following places in this treatise:
Inner-Mountain Dwarves: pg 225
Mountaintop Dwarves: pg 235
Hill Dwarves: pg 241
Wow, he finally got something right about dwarves! I’m actually fairly impressed that he did this instead of just using silly generalizations about all dwarves. Note: If you are looking for information on city dwarves, he has it as a section under hill dwarves, which is an…interesting decision and I think an unfair one but that’s a surprise to absolutely no one at this point. I really don’t want to write a treatise describing dwarves, but I may have to so that uninformed people who want to learn don’t have to get all the racist, ignorant garbage that this guy spouts.