(Obsolete) Shield Dwarf

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Time-worn and world-wise, the Sons of the Earth stand proudly as one of the oldest races in Cobrin'Seil. Time has been kind to the dwarven race; while they have not had nearly the same evolution that has distorted and changed the other common races of Cobrin'Seil, they have instead been able to endure from strength to strength. The Dwarves of Cobrin'Seil tend to fade out of history at times – indeed, during the Second Age, dwarves were uncommon enough to be considered myth in many lands. However, while they may not have had a great presence world-wide, they were always there, day to day, working in the great underground kingdoms of their homelands.

Dwarves in Cobrin'Seil are much more clan-based than other races – and, thanks to their slow breeding, generally less mercurial deities, and solid, successful genetic design, this selective breeding hasn't actually lead to much in the way of dwarven subraces. The major clans of the dwarves, however, use heraldry to distinguish themselves from their brethren – and in doing so, have earned their common title, that of the Shield Dwarves.

Personality

Shield Dwarves are a varied lot. Depending on their clan heritage, they may see themselves as brave pioneers in a new era, as warriors stalwartly defending their proud nation, or even as explorers of some great mystery. Clan and family are very important to the dwarven nation, and as a byproduct of their language and work ethic, they seem bluff and uncommunicative to other races. Shield Dwarves are a deeply emotional people, but they societally fight this emotional tide with a tendency towards stoicism and reservedness. However, once their social boundaries are relaxed, they are gregarious, loud, and highly emotional. One of the more common boundary relaxants is stout alcohol.

Physical Description

Shield Dwarves stand only 4 to 4 1/2 feet tall, but they are so broad and compact that they are, on average, almost as heavy as humans. Shield Dwarves are hardly differentiated between the genders, and their men and women both grow beards. Shield Dwarves typically have skin that's a hale colour, ranging from walnut brown to a tanned fleshtone. Despite minimal exposure to the sun, dark colouration engenders survival under the ground, where avoiding discovery can be the difference between life and death. Dwarven hair is most often brown, black, or red, and tends to being bristly and harsh. Some clans make a deliberate point of tending well to beards and hair, and even go so far as to weave beads and totems into them to serve as reminders of one's life. Shield Dwarves are considered adults at about age 50, and they can live to be over 500 years old, though there is talk amongst some clans of dwarves who have simply not the knack for dying, and live indefinitely.

Relations

Shield Dwarves, unlike their more cordial brethren, are heavily opinionated and very territorial. This means that there are a number of races with whom they do not have stable relations. Significantly, Shield Dwarves dislike most races of elves (excepting for Sun Elves, who often hire Shield Dwarves as mercenaries). This animosity seem to be born out of something more than simple racial discomfort.

Shield Dwarves are renowned for their dislike and warring state with most giant races. Barring for those with whom the Shield Dwarves have absolutely no contact, most are just as territorial as Shield Dwarves themselves. Also, Shield Dwarves tend to get into border disputes with Felbraug – though the rat-men are usually careful to claim territory unwanted by dwarves, occasionally an area is considered of equal importance by both Shield Dwarves and Felbraug, and in those situations, it is usually warfare that determines the victor. Shield Dwarves most often are victorious in these conflicts, and that has led the Shield Dwarf mindset to be a little inclined to being bullying and overbearing towards their subterranean neighbours.

Alignment

Shield Dwarves are usually lawful, in the extremes. Their heritage, their societies, their lifestyles that are focused almost entirely around a solid work ethic, all direct one towards a lawful predisposition. The clan system doesn't hurt this either – families are regimented, and Shield Dwarves are taught to be proud of their heritage.

Religion

Shield Dwarves, as representatives of most Dwarven races, follow the dwarven pantheon, headed by the great Father of Earth, the Deep Mountain King. While the majority of Shield Dwarf clans – and dwarven societies – pay heed to the Deep Mountain King (or one of his demigods), individual Shield Dwarves also find themselves drawn towards the ideals of Palescai (whose structured attitude to war often finds appeal), and Tan'Tarock (whose lawful perspective on the universe as a whole, and whose impressive personal power, draws the dwarven mindset). Most often, Dwarves want gods they can respect as warriors as well as leaders.

Language

Shield Dwarves speak Dwarven, which is a runic language that lacks a lot in subtle turns of phrases and emotive script, but makes up for it in its staggeringly precise technical language. Dwarven phraseology is so perfectly tuned to technical documentation and precise blueprint schematics that it has become to technologists and tinkerers what Draconic was to mages.

Names

Shield Dwarf names lack gender distinction except when written (and even then, the subtleties are often missed by those not perfectly fluent in the language). Family names often also have some tailoring to mark one as a member of a greater clan (as each clan contains many, large families), but personal names still come first and foremost. Particularly impressive dwarves often have their personal names made into family names, that their descendants – whether biological or conceptual – are named for them. For this reason, family names often tend towards describing a deed or trait of the family, and often are translated into common parlance, to better advertise the trait the dwarf in question identifies with.

  • Personal Names: Tacklin, Byrdeth, Cardiff, Warghen, Thoren, Rigby.
  • Family Names: Laughland, Deepaire, Cairnforth, Purevein, Fellmany.
  • Clan Names: O'Reighland, Morarthan, Tyrbardin, Dragoost, Sha'Taggin.

Adventurers

Shield Dwarf society is a regimented, dependable place. Shield Dwarf characters usually fall into one of two broad categories – those that fit in, and those that don't. Those that don't are often asked, quite politely, to either integrate themselves, or find their fortunes elsewhere. It is this contingent that composes a large quantity of Shield Dwarf adventurers.

Also, some Clans – specifically the Morarthan and Sha'Taggin – have what they view as duties to adventure. The Morarthan are entrusted with the long-term defense of the dwarven nature, and often send out adventuring dwarves to seek out potential threats that lurk on the horizon, and the Sha'Taggin are observors and technologists, upon whom usually falls the mantle of discovery.

Game Information

Shield Dwarven Racial Traits

Shield Dwarves are mechanically identical to the Dwarf race presented in the Player's Handbook.


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