Dwarves on the average, stand four to four and half feet tall with wide shoulders. They typically weigh in at 150 to 170 pounds and sport muscular shoulders on a stout frame. Male dwarves tend to wear their hair long and sport long braided or trimmed beards. Female dwarves are normally quite buxom and wear their hair long as well, though lack any beards, despite legends to the contrary. Hair color varies between black, brown and red. Eye color is normally either blue, gray or green.
Dwarves, like many, can choose to follow any of the known faiths. Most however follow the precepts and teachings of Augustin the Forgemaker.
Typical dwarven names are composed of a personal name, a given name and a clan name. A personal name is the name the dwarf is given when they are born. A given name is just that, its a name given by the clan when the dwarf reaches adulthood. The clan name is just that, the surname or family name of the dwarf.
Of these the most unique is the given name. Since it is given by the clan, it truly does not belong to the dwarf, it belongs to the dwarf’s clan, therefore being something closer to a title. If a dwarf brings shame to the clan, he or she can be stripped of their given name. If a given name is stripped from a dwarf, it is forbidden by dwarven law for any dwarf to write or speak that given name.
The above is what typically comprises a “personal name”. In addition to a personal name, a dwarf often has what is called a “local name”.
A local name for a dwarf is a name – which may or may not have elements taken from his personal name – that the dwarf uses locally in formal or business arrangements. Under dwarven law, this name is no less legally binding than their personal name with regards to debts, contracts or agreements.
Last of all is a the dwarven “travel name”. Dwarves are very protective of their home and clan. To avoid accidentally putting their friends and family in danger after angering a necromancer or bandit leader, a dwarf will use a travel name when they are away from home. It’s common practice for a dwarf’s travel name to have as little in common with their personal name or local name.
Examples of Clan names: Stonehewer, Kalheim, Birken, Ironshieldm, Loder, Gravett
Examples of Dwarven male names (can be used for personal or given names): Domini, Varro, Oskar, Emil, Wulfgar, Kol, Leif
Examples of Dwarven female names (can be used for personal or given names): Ana, Cami, Helga, Ingrid, Svanna
+2 Constitution, -2 Charisma, +2 Wisdom: Dwarves tend to be a very hardy folk but can be blunt and hard to deal with at times.
Medium: Dwarves are Medium creatures and receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Slow and Steady: Dwarves have a base speed of 20 feet, but their speed is never modified by armor or encumbrance.
Darkvision: Dwarves can see in the dark up to 60 feet. Aside from being black and white, it functions like normal sight.
Defensive Training: Dwarves gain a +4 dodge bonus to AC against monsters of the giant subtype.
Artisans: Dwarves gain a +2 racial bonus on Appraise checks made to determine the price of non-magical goods that contain precious metals or gemstones.
Hardy: Dwarves gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against poison, spells, and spell-like abilities.
Stability: Dwarves gain a +4 racial bonus to their Combat Maneuver Defense when resisting a bull rush or trip attempt while standing on the ground.
Stonecunning: Dwarves gain a +2 bonus on Perception checks to notice unusual stonework, such as traps and hidden doors located in stone walls or floors. They receive a check to notice such features whenever they pass within 10 feet of them, whether or not they are actively looking.
Weapon Familiarity: Dwarves are proficient with battleaxes, heavy picks, and warhammers, and treat any weapon with the word “dwarven” in its name as a martial weapon.
Bonus Languages: Orcish, Harpin (Harpy) , Fa’lain (Elven) , Minosh (Easterling human). Overall, because dwarves tend to be a practical people it’s not uncommon for a dwarf to learn a secondary language besides Common or Grundel (Dwarven).
The dwarves of the Feron Arad, or Northiron Mountains, are a hardy folk, proud and resilient. As a race, they lack an ability to shape and alter magic, though are renown as craftsmen and engineers throughout Elohey. Their cities reflect this, being lofty, stone carved places with stout columns and walls often covered with intricate runes. Inside each city is a busy center of commerce, trade and engineering. Dwarven cities are unique in that they often build down as well as up, with immense carved caverns that rest below ground beneath the visible part of a city. Its said the most spectacular of all is the Grand Bazaar under the city of Remol, the capital city of their Geldar Republic.
Besides their great craft skills, dwarves are also known for their skill in battle and the cunning by which they apply their engineering and craft talents to the art of war. This particular skill has been tested time and again against conflicts with their human and elven neighbors to the south and the occasional Orcish armies that manage to push in from Dublinshire. Dwarves are not reckless in a fight, but calculating opponents who display great courage and a great sense of justice. Despite this, when wronged, this fervor can easily become a sense of vengeance.
Dwarves tend to be fairly serious in nature, slow to jest and careful in their dealings. Despite this, they are a people full of rough humor and bluster, and despite their cautious dealings, when they form an alliance, its kept with the same strength of iron resolve that dwarves apply to most any situation they find themselves in. An oath given by a dwarf is one of honor. Something most dwarves will be loathe to break willingly.
Such tenacity is reflected in the stability of the Geldar Republic, which was founded not long after the Last War of the Clans and has lasted for twenty dwarven generations, expanding slowly as more dwarven outposts and towns grow to the point where they are allowed to elect a member to the Republic Senate.