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 Krynnish Dwarves

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PostSubject: Krynnish Dwarves   Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:02 pm

While the human nations of Ansalon suffered terribly, perhaps no other race was affected by the Cataclysm as much as the dwarves. The Fall of Istar separated one dwarven realm from another and ignited a civil war that killed thousands. In Kayolin, the creation of the New Sea separated the northern clans of the Hylar and Daewar from their brethren in the south, leaving the dwarves
there to rebuild without assistance from the kingdom of Thorbardin. They eventually renamed the mountains the Garnet Mountain range, and severed ties to their kindred of the south.

In the Kharolis Mountains, the dwarves fell into a bloody feud when fear of invasion and starvation forced the mountain dwarves to close their doors to the outside world—which also meant shutting out the hill dwarves who wanted entry for access to the valuable food stores located deep beneath the mountains. The escalating dispute turned dwarf against dwarf, and hundreds of dwarves died on both sides of the conflict.

The most damage was inflicted on the kingdom of Thoradin. Thousands of dwarves were crushed to death when the continent was violently reshaped into new forms. Earthquakes, eruptions, and other disasters swept the underground nation, leaving only one city intact. The city of the Theiwar survived, but a horrible mold plague took root in their city, altering every Theiwar citizen until the dwarves looked unlike any known to Ansalon. Insatiably evil, this race survived and crawled from the ashes.
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PostSubject: Hill Dwarves   Tue Feb 23, 2010 4:32 pm

To the other races of Ansalon, when referring to a dwarf, the dwarf in question is mostly likely of the Neidar clan.

The term Neidar was first coined in Thorbardin to describe a clan of dwarves who dwelt above ground. Since that time, the term has been used to refer to nearly all dwarves who prefer to live on the surface of Krynn rather than beneath it. They are the most well known of all dwarves, because
they interact with the outside world more than their mountain dwelling brethren. Known to most races simply as hill dwarves, the Neidar are sturdy fighters, shrewd merchants, and master craftsmen.

More curious about the world around them than their mountain-dwelling cousins, hill dwarves have traveled far and wide, spreading their culture and plying their trade in every nation of Ansalon. Nearly every mountain in Ansalon has a settlement of hill dwarves somewhere along its base. Dwarven adventurers will most often be Neidar, as they are usually the only dwarves willing to leave their homes in search of greater fortune. In their dealings,

Neidar tend to be fair and honest, but will haggle for every last copper. Hill dwarves are loyal friends if one can penetrate their grumbling manners and gruff exterior.

Physical Appearance

Hill dwarves tend to be short and stocky. They stand between 4 and 4 ½ feet tall. While not tall, their girth still makes them physically imposing. Male hill dwarves tend to weigh anywhere between 150 and 200 pounds; females usually weigh slightly less. They have a dense bone
structure that lends to this added weight and makes them less buoyant than other creatures. As such, dwarves sink, rather than float, in deep waters. Of course, this only adds to their natural aversion of large bodies of water.

The Neidar often have darkly tanned skin from years spent outdoors working fields, harvesting lumber, and traveling to and from nearby settlements for trade. Wrinkles are common, beginning around the early age of forty, making hill dwarves appear older than they truly are. Neidar eye colors are predominantly dark brown with the occassional exception of green or hazel.
Many hill dwarves tend to be nearsighted. Their heavy eyebrows hang over their eyes, giving them a natural scowl when tired or preoccupied. This is a large reason why non-dwarves believe they are always cross.

A dwarf ’s hair is a source of pride and occasionally a sign of their social status. Dwarven males love
their facial hair. “You can tell a lot about a dwarf by the way he keeps his beard,” is a common dwarven saying. It is common practice for a dwarf to keep his beard tucked into his belt, provided it’s long enough; this way, the beard stays out of the way while he are working. Beards are occassionally braided and tied. While this is functional, additional ornamentation
is considered gaudy for males. Keeping a beard clean and healthy is the general accepted practice.
Hair color ranges from family to family. As a rule, hill dwarves have the widest spectrum of hair
color, ranging from blonde to black and everything in between. Their hair will begin to turn a silver-grey as they reach adulthood and white as they reach old age. Many male hill dwarves tend to go bald while they are still young. Females, however, often enjoy thick heads of hair their whole life. They take as much pride in their hair as their men. While they do not have beards, they do have long hair, often tied up in a bun to keep it out of the way when performing the day-to-day tasks; they let down it at night and for special occasions. Ornamental hairnets, jeweled pins, and fashionable hair clips are brought out during festivals or community get-togethers.
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PostSubject: Mountain Dwarves   Tue Feb 23, 2010 4:37 pm

While hill dwarves are most commonly encountered by other races, they are only a small percentage of the entire dwarven race. The mountain dwarves of Ansalon consider themselves the true dwarves of Krynn. Among the mountain dwarves are the noble clans that were established
thousands of years ago. In the depths of Thorbardin dwell the royal clan of the Hylar, the spiritual Daewar, the erratic Klar, the treacherous Theiwar, and the ruthless Daergar.

At the height of their glory, mountain dwarves controlled three kingdoms and were considered a major force of trade on the continent, forging trade agreements with the nations of Solamnia, Ergoth, Qualinesti, and Istar. It wasn’t until the Kingpriests of Istar began to impose their laws
upon all the people of Ansalon that the dwarves closed their doors to the world. However, nothing could save them from the Cataclysm.

With the fall of the fiery mountain from the heavens, the kingdom of Thoradin was destroyed, leaving the Theiwar clan to suffer alone. Under Thorbardin, the mountain clans remained safe from the hazards of the Cataclysm, but they could not escape each other. Civil war erupted between the clans, lasting decades. Even the peace following the War of the Lance only lasted until the Chaos
War. Then the kingdom under the mountain erupted into a war that destroyed the ancient cities of the dwarves and reduced the population to a fraction of what it once was.

The only mountain dwarf kingdom to survive relatively unscathed is the kingdom of Kayolin beneath the Garnet Mountains of Solamnia.

Physical Appearance

Mountain dwarves typically stand between 4 and 4 ½ feet tall and nearly as wide. The dwarves of the Daewar clan are among the tallest, some even standing over 5 feet in height.

Daewar dwarves often have golden hair and lustrous braided beards. Of all the dwarves, they are the most vain and prefer to wear fine clothes of bright colors.

The Hylar also prefer to where fine clothes to demonstrate their noble status among their people, but
colors are muted compared to the flashy Daewar. Typically, Hylar hair color ranges from sandy-blonde to dark brown. They often style their hair into complex patterns and keep
it clean and brushed. This is in stark contrast to the Klar clan that prefers to let their hair rest where it may in wild tufts.

The Klar have been known to tie trinkets into their beards, such as beads or even the bones of enemies. The dwarves of the Klar clan wear tough, simple wool clothing that can resist the wear
and tear of the physical labor they often perform.
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PostSubject: Mountain Dwarf Clans   Tue Feb 23, 2010 4:46 pm

A mountain dwarf ’s life revolves around his clan and his place within it. Each clan is led by a Thane who represents his clan’s interests on the Council of Thanes. The original Council was established to be the ruling body of all dwarves upon Ansalon, but now each dwarven kingdom has its own
Council.

In Thobardin, there are nine chairs on the Council of Thanes, one for each clan of seven clans, a chair for the Kingdom of the Dead—a nation of honored ancestors who have passed on before and the adopted clan of all dwarven clerics—and a chair for the High King of the dwarves.

The High King of Thorbardin is the dwarf who rightfully claims the Hammer of Kharas. Without it, a dwarf may claim sovereignty, but he will never be accepted by all the clans as the true ruler.

Hylar (“Highest”): The Hylar clan has long been considered the ruling clan of the dwarves. They are noble in stature and commanding in nature. Hylar dwarves are expert architects and engineers, and are responsible for many of the great wonders found in the underground dwarven kingdoms.

Daewar (“Dearest”): The mountain dwarves of the Daewar clan have long been allies with the Hylar
clan. They are a zealous clan with a love of religion. Unfortunately, their frevent nature has often led to conflicts within the clan.

Daewar warriors are often hailed for their wisdom and respect for the law. Daewar can often be found in positions of public safety and public works, and as healers. They are also instrumental in keeping safe a number of traditional dwarven ceremonies and sacred texts.

Klar (“Crazed”): The Klar clan has long existed to serve the Hylar. They are the most unpredictable of the dwarven clans. Since the arrival of the Hylar to Thorbardin thousands of years ago, the Klar have served both above and below the mountain. Some factions left Thorbardin after the Cataclysm and can be found in small enclaves across Ansalon.

Neidar (“Nearest”): The hill dwarf clan of the Neidar consists of any dwarf who chooses to dwell above ground rather than beneath it (see Hill Dwarves). It is the largest and most widespread of all clans. Neidar representation on Thorbardin’s Council of Thanes has been sparse, and Neidar Thanes have come and gone.

Theiwar (“Thankless”): The Theiwar are dark dwarves, a sadistic and cunning people. Unlike other mountain dwarves, they prefer secrecy and subterfuge to outright honesty. They are allergic to sunlight, and generations of inbreeding and isolation have given them distinct physical attributes that differ from other dwarves. They are also the only clan that has ever shown an interest in the arcane arts, which has set them apart from other clans.

Daergar (“Deepest”): The dark dwarf clan of the Daergar has always been composed of deep dwellers, or dwarves who prefer the depths of the earth to the light of day. They are a physically strong and brutal folk, many of them do nothing other than working at the forge their entire lives. In the past, the Daergar supported the Hylar, but generations of bitterness about the Hylar hold of power in Thorbardin created a great resentment against the light-loving dwarves. The Daergar and Theiwar have often intermingled. Those dwarves known as Dewar represent parentage from both clans.

Aghar (“Anquished”): The Aghar clan, better known as gully dwarves, has been an embarrassment to the dwarven race for thousands of years. They are small, disgusting creatures who scurry about like rats, living off gods know what and producing nothing of real value. Now that Thorbardin has fallen, the gully dwarves have spread into many of the ruined cities, running from teams of feral Klar
and other more dangerous creatures that have made their lairs among the ruins. Gully dwarves can be found all over Ansalon.

Zhakar (“Accursed”): The only clan not currently represented on Thorbardin’s Council of Thanes, other than the Neidar, is the Zhakar. This clan was formerly a part of the Theiwar stranded within their city beneath Thoradin after the Cataclysm, where a mold plague took root in the city and nearly killed everyone. Yet enough folk fought off the disease and the clan remained. However, the disease afflicted the dwarves and all their descendents. Their bodies are disfigured, and sunlight burns their skin.
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