Dwarves
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Two races of Dwarves survived the tyrant attack - the deep dwelling Derro and Duregar. Where the proud mountain dwarves, with their indomitable warrior culture, were some of the first to give their lives against the death orbs the deep dwellers remained in their caves fathoms beneath the earth. And now they make their homes in the grand halls of the Dorondo Cities, built by their long lost kin. Though the capricious Azer of the North Wall appear to be dwarves, the duregar and derro maintin vehemently that they are something else entirely.

Self-Name: Dwarf (singular), Dwarves (plural), Dwarven (attributive)
Stereotypes: Gruff, Mean, Warlike, Stoic/Paranoid, Cruel.
Alignment: Any Chaotic (Derro) of Any Lawful (Duregar)

Physical


Duergar are typically stocky figures, though beyond this there are many differences. Both male and female duergar are typically bald, with females also lacking the capacity to grow facial hair. When they are not bald, the hair is coarse and white or pale grey. Many are also thinner than their dwarven brethren. Most obvious, however, is their dull grey skin and hair, often matched with an equally stolid expression. Because many duergar found on the surface world are exiles, a surface dweller who encounters one of the grey dwarves is likely to notice facial and arm tattoos that mark the duergar as a traitor to his or her people. Derro, meanwhile, appear to be some degenerate hybrid of dwarves and humans. Their rough skin is white with blue undertones and have sporadic tufts of coarse tan or pale blond hair. The eyes of the derro lack any visible pupils.

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Dwarves are unusually tough for humanoids, in more ways than one. Dwarven stomachs, for instance, are resistant to virtually all poisons and it takes less effort for a dwarf to get back on its feet than other races. Dwarves also have dense bodies and are difficult to push around as a result, as well as having the capacity to bear loads that other races might find hindering with little ill effect. Dwarves also have a sense about them that few races do, with a preternatural awareness of their surroundings useful for a subterranean race as well as good judgement all-around in general.

Many dwarves are difficult to like and lack the charm of many other races, though this is not a trait common to all dwarves and some possess a great deal of charismatic power. Furthermore, dwarves are not entirely unsocial and more than a few have a natural knack for bartering or judging the value of an offer, something that sits well with their legendary crafting abilities. It is occasionally believed that dwarves possess the ability to see in the blackest darkness, and there is evidence that this may be true. However, many dwarves do have an affinity in other ways for the caverns in which they live, possessing a natural affinity for recognizing unusual patterns in stonework that can seem almost supernatural at times.

Mental


Duergar are at their heart a grim and bitter race, pessimistic of their future and deeply cynical regarding the motives of others. In a dark inversion of the strong family bonds typical of their long-extinct dwarven kin, duergar view those not immediately related to them as adversaries set on holding them back, an expectation that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy since every duergar is taught to believe this from their early childhood. As a result, duergar are a dark and cynical race, who expect to be betrayed, and are willing to betray another before they are turned on.

Derro, meanwhile, are afflicted by a form of racial madness, which most often manifests as delusions of grandeur coupled with an overpowering urge to make sure that other creatures acknowledge their superiority and greatness. To make matters worse, they are prone to deranged and ridiculous paranoia, unable to trust even their closest family, and constantly plotting to thwart betrayals both real and imagined. Derro are capable of holding their demented impulses in check for short periods of time in order to cooperate with creatures of other races, but such arrangements rarely last more than a few weeks. Of course, no derro is capable of recognizing that he is out of his mind.

Social


Dwarves are, as a whole, generally grim and mistrustful creatures, but as in any survivor this is as much a cultural affliction as a psychological trait. In the past, before the invasion, the duergar and derro were the enemies of the other dwarves, driven deep under ground out of the light of the sun. Feeling betrayed and bitter, they emerged again into the light, cautiously, in the wake of the extinction of the mountain dwarves. The truly deep-dwelling derro, driven mad by their segregation from the outside world, were quick to take control of the abandoned and ruined mountain dwarf cities, revelling in what they perceived as their conquest of their greater cousins. The more dour and pragmatic Duregar, meanwhile, stayed firm in their shallow undermountain strongholds, watching the crazed derro frolic in the ruins of mountain dwarf civilization.

Civilization

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Duergar and Derro both once lived deep beneath the earth. Both races were driven underground in an ancient war with the mountain dwarves, and then in warring with one another the derro were driven even deeper. Duregar built great cities, that are marvels of dwarven architecture, with massive ornate columns supporting enormous caves filled with structures cut from the living stone under the mountains. These great halls are perpetually lit by luminescent worms bred to colonize the cave rooves, giving all duregar settlements a dim, blue radiance that is eerie and gloomy to human eyes.

Duregar meanwhile descended to dank, mushroom filled caves, where they lived in crude hide tents and suffered frequent collapses, while proclaiming themselves the overlords of the deep. Now the derro have occupied the cities of the mountain dwarves; massive open air cities of expert masonry carved into the slopes of towering mountains, filled with wonders of metalwork, stonework, mechanics and engineering. The derro are only now beginning to understand how the massive cranes that tower over their new homes work, and how the perfectly symmetrical towers and temples, and the great monuments carved from single, massive blocks of marble and basalt, were built. The derro have made cosmetic changes to their new homes, crudely changing statues and mosaics into derro, and painting frescoes with gay colours to make them more their own. Great plazas are now mushroom fields, and only the temples sacred to Zalhoon, where the derro go to worship, have remained reverently untouched.

Language

Places
names

Names
Male: Arikom, Baenn, Bharik, Bruthwol, Dodrak, Gwistra, Horgar, Ivar, Krigran, Migrim, Mirdis, Murghol, Ranis, Sadek, Thangardt, Thoregg, Zanndryn. Female: Ankra, Biza, Brilmara, Dorthis, Luuva, Matta, Narri, Olga, Quindal, Stalja, Ulara, Visine, Weltha.

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