Scales of Apho
Dwarves are a stout and sturdy people, renowned for their outstanding craftsmanship and firm resolution.
The average dwarf stands at around four feet in height and their builds are broad and squat compared to humans and elves. Both male and female dwarves grow beards but in many dwarven cultures it is traditional for females to shave. Male dwarves on the other hand often grow their beards long and sometimes braid them or adorn them with jewelry. Dwarves tend to live, on average, about 350 years.
Mountain Dwarves, also called iron Dwarves
Hill Dwarves, also called copper Dwarves
Durgar, also called gray Dwarves
Dwarven societies tend to be highly regimented, with loyalty the clan held to the utmost importance. Dwarven communities are broken up clans that are typically all related by blood. In large settlements each clan will often specialize in a specific trade, in this way clans are a blend of a guild and a cohabitating extended family. In smaller settlements a single clan may have members who specialize in various trades. Dwarves are known for their fine smithing, metalworking, and architecture,
Dwarves typically start an apprenticeship under a trade master around the age of 15, which can last between ten and fifty years depending on the complexity of the trade. Dwarves also usually undergo a period of mandatory service in the local militia or army.
Family history is extremely important in dwarven culture, to the point where the average dwarf will know the complex histories of his clan’s expanses, mergers with other clans, members of note, and relationships to other clans stretching back dozens of generations.
Dwarves are often monogamous and arranged marriages are fairly common. Once married it is the norm for female dwarves to bear children and be their primary caretakers until they are fully grown.
Religion plays a central role in dwarven culture. The only duty that dwarves hold higher than that of loyalty to family is loyalty to the gods. The dwarven church is the only institution that now binds all the dwarven peoples after the War of the Axe and the end of the high kings.
Priests hold significant sway in dwarven settlements, and the church is usually the centre of the community.
For much of their history the dwarven people were united under a single ruler. A high king who, according to myth, was bestowed the right to rule by the god Moradin at the creation of the planet. To signify this right the first dwarven High King was bestowed an axe made of pure mythril. For hundreds of generations this axe was passed down from ruler to ruler.
However, there came a time when the throne was disputed, a civil war erupted among the dwarven peoples and in the chaos the Axe was lost. Since this time the dwarves have been a fractured people, with multiple factions spread across the lands who claim right the the title of High King.