The Origin of the Dwarves
The way the Dwarves tell it, there was once only one mountain in Dominos, Mother Mountain, and she had three sons: Fearn, Muin and Tinne. Mother Mountain and her sons were happy and they spent their days enjoying the warmth of the sun on Mother Mountain’s back, the cold snow on her head and the trickle of water at her feet. But one day Mother Mountain’s sister, Uath, called from the darkness and beckoned Fearn, Muin and Tinne to the caves beneath the earth and the riches to be found there. Mother Mountain warned them that if they went with Uath, they would no longer enjoy the sun and the snow and the water. Tinne, the youngest, listened to Mother Mountain and stayed with her. Fearn, the eldest, left Mother Mountain but did not follow Uath down into the depths of the earth, instead choosing to live on his own. But the middle son, Muin, followed Uath into the darkness and was lost.
Descendants of Tinne became the Mountain Dwarves and they still live closest to Mother Mountain, reaping her bounty and creating great cities in the mountains.
Descendants of Fearn became the hill Dwarves. They are the most independent of the Dwarves and the most likely to meet with and live among other races.
Descendents of Muin became the Duergar or dark Dwarves. They are selfish and seek wealth above all else.
Dwarves as a race tend towards single-mindedness and focus. When they begin a task, it’s hard for them to accomplish or in fact think about anything else.
Male and Female dwarfs look identical and gender doesn’t really factor into the Dwarf mindset. Having children is seen as a duty and is undertaken only after much negotiation and ceremony. The closest Dwarves get to the traditional binary gender roles is in the difference between Craftsdwarf and Miningdwarf. Miningdwarves are the gatherers and delvers among the people and they are the ones who provide raw materials to the Craftsdwarves. Craftsdwarves tend to stay closer to home and adorn themselves with their creations. These distinctions are important to Dwarves and come with their own set of stereotypes and assumptions. In his life a Dwarf may move back and forth between Crafting and Mining.
They are prone to celebrations lasting weeks or even months. The dwarves love to throw grand parties and invite all the local clans. Doing this cements the race and the culture since few children are born.
Dwarves spend much of their free time, if in fact they have any, designing, digging and decorating their own tombs. Having an elaborate tomb is a thing of great peace for a Dwarf. Dwarves who take up adventuring often do so in part to look for more exotic materials with which to adorn their tombs. As Dwarves age, they turn back into the element they came from, growing less flexible and hardening until they are a statue in the perfect likeness of themselves.
Dwarves also love rules and bureaucracy and the courts are as much of a public spectacle as a sporting event or play would be for humans. Dwarves often enter into contracts with other Dwarves just to have a chance to debate the minutia. Trials can last for decades.
In regards to religion, they worship their ancestors and clerics choose a direct ancestor to revere. The greatest clerics of the time are descendants of previous clerics. There aren’t Dwarven temples like the human temples because there are such a broad variety of ancestors worshipped but instead, older clerics and non-adventuring types set up way-houses for all dwarves in the outside world to gather and gain help. Any dwarf who is related to the patron of a way-house may find aid there.