Appearances of Dwarves
The Appearances of Dwarves
By Kraggur Kveldcharn
In my many travels across Kermoria, I have run into much confusion as to which dwarf may have come from where, such as if a Stone Clan dwarf is the same as a dwarf from High Hold. To this end, I seek to provide a guide to the Dwarves of Kermoria, their manner of dress and coloring, and a bit of history about each of the Dwarven Kingdoms. For those who lack knowledge of Dwarven history, there have been a number of Kingdoms throughout history. Chief amongst these that still are remembered in the common tongue are: Adamantia, in the south; Kwarlog in the west; and Stone Clan in the north. The Iron Kingdom is long fallen and now the dwelling of the Mountain Elves, Rendstaan forgotten but reincarnated as Stone Clan, and the Greystar Commune long-destroyed by the Dragon Priests.
Adamantia long stood astride the Hiimarhand Shel, centered at the fortress of High Hold. For thousands of years they practiced their craft while the Dwarves expanded farther into the west and north. The Adamantian Dwarves served as a barrier between the Albarian races and the native inhabitants of Kermoria, with army after army of Gorbesh breaking itself upon the walls of High Hold. Yet eventually the creation of the Dark Hand forced the Dwarves from High Hold and Adamantia by 158BL, where they left and joined the remaining Dwarven kingdoms. Some pureblooded Adamantians may yet be held prisoner in Albaria. Many records were lost during the years of war and plague, with many Adamantian traits becoming blended with the other Kingdoms.
Iron Kingdom Dwarves
No readily traceable differences between Iron Kingdom Dwarves and those in other kingdoms can be told. With the fall of Garnedhren in 2557 BL, the line was scattered, turned into Necromantic creations, or absorbed into the other kingdoms. However, the elba darvager in the caves of Aesry have dark eyes, a potential indicator of the remnants of the Dwarven heritage.
Kwarlog is the youngest of the original Dwarven nations, having been founded in 1859 BL. Sheltered within the Arncharn Shel and Himineldar Shel, they have prospered greatly from trade while embracing a mix of traditions: the Haakish spoken there is considered the most traditional, while they also are home to the first Dwarven Bardic academy, and for centuries colonists from Kwarlog settled the Gemfire Mountains. Kwarlogian Dwarves are broken into two subgroups: Gemfire Dwarves and Forfedhdarian Dwarves.
Dwarves from Kwarlogs northern areas, particularly the Gemfire Mountains, tend to be fair in appearance. Some joke that the exposure to the desert heat and sands baked and scoured their coloring lighter than most other Dwarves. Hair color ranges from platinum blonde to fiery red, while their eyes tend toward lighter colors such as blue. In spite of this, their skin coloring remains lighter than most other Dwarves. Their preferred manner of dress is in earthy tones of green, red, and lighter brown shades.
The Himineldar Shel is the seat of the Dwarves of Forfedhdar. Hibarnhvidar is the major Dwarven city in the Himineldar Shel, with Ravens Point in the southeast guarding its approaches from the ever-present threat of the Dragon Priests. With the collapse of Rendstaan, and the small size of Lairocott Brach, Forfedhdar has become the best known Dwarven land. Forfedhdaran Dwarves enjoy close alliance with the GorTogs of Boar Clan, who were allowed to settle with the Dwarves after their freedom from slavery under the S'Kra Mur. Forfedhdaran Dwarves tend to be darker of feature and skin than those from northern Kwarlog, with hair and eyes ranging from light browns to black. Their garb is somewhat more somber and rich than their northern kin, with crimsons, browns, and metal (typically bronze, copper, or gold) embellishments.
Rendstaan / Lairocott Brach Dwarves
The Dwarves descended from Rendstaan tend to be more open to outsiders than virtually any other group of Dwarves. With a proud lineage extending back before even the Elven-Human War, the Dwarves of Rendstaan were known for their "odd behavior" and willingness to trade and deal with outsiders. When Rendstaan collapsed, many survivors left for the other Kingdoms, Kwarlog in particular, but a portion of the population inhabited Lairocott Brach and formed Staan Stok, or Stone Clan.
Dwarves from Rendstaan tend toward lighter eyes, such as green or grey, with darker hair colors, tending towards brown. Their skin tone tends toward the dusky, similar to their cousins from Forfedhdar. In garb, they tend towards brighter colors, with an emphasis placed upon silver for decoration.
As I hope you now understand, there are many differences and similarities amongst the Dwarven Kingdoms. Some of this has been fuelled by the expansion and collapse of the various kingdoms under threats internal or external. Others, some say, are driven by differences in climate. At the least, it is my intention that you are now more educated about the differences between Dwarves, and next time a dwarf yells "TovMeod!" at least you might have a guess that they are from Kwarlog.