Dwarves are the third most common race of Gae'ra. They are one of the few races that have a central government. They are most prominent on the continent Norwai, but have a strong presence on Austra. They are considered to be uncommon on Meido, with their fearsome reputation being taken by gnomes there.
Dwarves are bipedal humanoids characterized by short stature and impressive physical strength in both the male and female of the species. Beyond the obvious genital difference, the only difference between male and females is the females’ lack of facial hair. Adult dwarves have an average height of around four and a half feet, with the max height being five feet.
Hair color is variable and may come any variance of blond, brunet, black, or red. Older dwarves may have gained white, silver, or gray hair. Eye color is far more varying with any color appearing, though truly unusual colors such as purple or orange remain uncommon. Skin color tends to be well-tanned, with common variance into bronze and dark brown.
Dwarves are longer lived than most humanoids. Their average lifetime is roughly two hundred and fifty years. A dwarf does not reach physical adulthood until around forty years of age, though to qualify as an adult in their culture they must reach age fifty. A dwarf is middle-aged at a hundred and twenty years; old around the two hundred mark.
Dwarves, or as they call themselves: the Viroa, are a practical people with a strong sense of hierarchy. They pride themselves on being as steady as the stones of their halls and fierce as a mother bear in battle. Outside of dwarven cities, dwarves are known for their prowess on the battlefield and the quality of their crafts. Said crafts tend to be more on the practical side, with pulchritude being a secondary consideration.
Dwarves have their own language that is similar to the Earth language Old Norse with a few sprinklings of German. They call this language dwarven or viroani. Not all concepts translate exactly to the trade language.
The Viroa do not have a currency system so much as they have a favor system. Within a dwarven community, goods are bartered for with the return of other goods or services. Thievery is unheard of among the Viroa as they view such action as a devaluation of the goods or services and therefore dishonorable. All dwarves perform some service for community. The very idea of not doing so just doesn’t occur to them, just as the idea of letting a dwarf suffer from a lack of basic need fulfillment such as shelter or food. There is always something that a dwarf can do for another, if not now then later. Those who can no longer serve the community are granted mercy, a ceremony where a dwarf is sent on to the Gods.
Suicide is not a Viroa problem. Those who wish to die may ask to be granted mercy of any eskel of the deity Freya. To do so is not considered dishonorable, but there is a process that must be gone through to determine whether the Gods are ready to receive an applicant. Thus not all requests are granted. If one priest has denied an applicant for mercy, no other dwarf will grant it. However, the leaders of the armies and the guildhalls are all aware that there are plenty of risky tasks for volunteers.
Likewise, mental illness is uncommon and considered a Varrviroa problem. If a dwarf is so ill that they are considered a danger to themselves or the community, they are granted mercy and returned to the Gods. It is the way of the Viroa to be compassionate.
Honor is very important to dwarves. To a dwarf’s mind, all actions should uphold his personal honor and the honor of his Clan. Any honor he gains in service to his Adric, is an honor for the Viroa as a whole. To a dwarf, death is preferable to dishonor. Outside of the ritual of granting mercy, and acts of Folcvar, there is no greater dishonor than to kill another dwarf. Internal conflicts are usually settled in duels, usually to first blood or surrender. If a death should result from such a duel, a sanction is usually made, determinable by the Danr of the dead dwarf.
While dwarves are not xenophobic, they do place a greater importance upon members of their own race. The only races that they have problems with are elves, orcs, and any kind of undead. Dwarves often clash with orcs as the orcs often compete for resources in the same area as dwarven cities. The conflict with elves is mostly a cultural one as they have different views about key political issues. Due to the difference in areas, these two races rarely come into actual violent conflict. Dwarves see undead as abominations that should be destroyed for the good of all. To the Viroa, there are four kinds of people: the Viroa, the Alfir or elves, the orcs, and the Varrviroa—which basically are all the other races. Undead, even sentient ones such as vampires, are not considered people by their culture.
Magic for dwarves is different from what the outsiders (Varrviroa) use. Their magic is not typically the showy flash of a sorcerer. Instead it is earthy and primordial, better bound to creation of magical weapons, armors, and items than explosions. Mages are not common among the Viroa. But magical craftsmen and druids are commonplace, and highly respected. While mages are at the bottom of the hierarchy, druids are considered to be eskel and are placed near the bottom of that hierarchy, right above the priests of Varrviroa gods. Divine magic is far more common than arcane magic, and mages focusing upon the divine gain more respect than their arcane colleagues.
There are two titles that place a dwarf outside of the strict hierarchy in which they typically live. One is svikiavir, which means ‘betrayer’. These dwarves have betrayed the ideals of the Viroa or the very people themselves. Most often they are killed quickly and decisively. The other is Folcvar. The Folcvar is responsible for the protection of the People as a whole, against all enemies. He lives by one motto: Be Thou for the People. Typically, there is only one Folcvar at a time, and only during the darkest of times has there been none. This titleholder is the ultimate check on the Adric’s power, and holds much of the same political power.
Hierarchy of TitlesEdit
Adric (Ruler; may be male or female with no change in title) Haladric (Ruler of Austra) Priojadric (Ruler of Meido) ~Danr (Head of the 9 Great Clans; usually male)
~Halfdanr (Heir of the 9 Great Clans) ~Drottin (Head of a Clan) ~Haldrottin (Heir of a Clan Head)
~Einar (Battle Leader or General)3, 4, 6
~Folcvin (Troop Leader) ~Segg (Team Leader) ~Rekka (Experienced Warrior) ~Nyirekka (Green Warrior)
~Eskelgodha (High Priest2; may be male or female)
~Eskel (Priest) ~Helgar (Acolyte) ~Heilan Vardhisk or Heilangridh (Healer6)
~Snotromest(a) (Guild Masters1, 5 )
~Snotrom (Master) ~Soekjumest (Master Journeyman; usually shortened to Soekjum) ~Soekjumaor (First Ranked Journeymen; usually shortened to Soekjum) ~Soekjumaora (Second Ranked Journeymen; usually shortened to Soekjum) ~Soekjumprioja (Third Ranked Journeyman; usually shortened to Soekjum) ~Soekjumgakktu (Fourth Ranked Journeyman; usually shortened to Soekjum) ~Baudhest (Master Apprentice; usually shortened to Baudh) ~Baudhaor (First Ranked Apprentice; usually shortened to Baudh) ~Baudhaora (Second Ranked Apprentice; usually shortened to Baudh) ~Baudhprioja (Third Ranked Apprentice; usually shortened to Baudh) ~Baudhgakktu (Fourth Ranked Apprentice; usually shortened to Baudh)
~Soguaormest(a) (The Master Harper)
~Soguaor (Master) ~Soguaora (Senior Journeyman) ~Soguprioja (Mid-Level Journeyman) ~Sogugakktu (First Level Journeyman) ~Sogukann (Apprentice)
~Gandamest (Master Mage)7
~Gandagakktu (Apprentice Mage)
~Iarl (Free-Born Men and Women without Rank)8,9
Clans of the ViroaEdit
Hofdhingi (Ruler Clan)12
~Astgir ~Ymir ~Valtaeigs ~Throm
Lackarla (Blood Clash Clan)
~Allra ~Riddarenn ~Vapnumest13 ~Fehirdhir
Raudhanrauk (Red Smoke Clan)
~Badhu ~Aflithoir ~Skafith ~Fjalar
Svartasverdh (Black Sword Clan)
~Albryniadher ~Varvapn ~Tofu ~Egil ~Drawven (One Generation)11
Tremest (Great Tree Clan)
~Amatcar ~Raola ~Scipum
Malmatrua (Metal Trust Clan)
~Undarliga ~Kveldar ~Varifesti
Festireynisk (Proven Heart Clan)
~Djupum ~ Holderhek13 ~Unnavatn ~Brennila
Steinbla (Blue Stone Clan)
~Eikinscialdi (Oakenshield) ~Althiofr ~Thror ~Fagraeyrom (Beautiful Ear)
Blesottom (White Mark Clan)
(1) The Guilds are: Smithy, Armor-Crafting, Mining, Tannery, Clothiers, Cobblers, Stone-Carvers, Wood-Workers, Artisans, and Farming and Husbandry. The Guilds may be ranked in an individual city, but there is no true ranking among the Snotromest on the High Council.
(2) The Eskelgodha are ranked by their deity’s rank among the Aenir or Vanir. The Eskelgogha of Odin is considered to be Prestiest(a) and the only one with a position on the Highest Council, though it is not uncommon for individual High Councils to have multiple eskelgodha on it depending on the size of temples in the city.
(3) drengja refers to a warrior of great skill.
(4) Folcvar refers to a warrior who defends the People, sort of a knighthood. Those of this title are answerable to one person, the Adric, and may take any action, including regicide, so long as it is in the best interests of the Viroa. They speak first on the High Council and may interrupt any member of said council, including the Adric.
(5) finnr refers to an inventor or discoverer.
(6) vardhisk means to defend or protect. gridh likewise means protection. The title for Healer literally means protect(ion) of health. Very rarely do the Viroa produce healers who cannot also defend their charge or carry themselves in battle. A heilangridh is usually not a part of the front line in battle, partially because usually they are answerable to the Eskelgoha rather than the Einar.
(7) Magery (the Craft of Magic) is frowned upon in dwarven society and a ganda is usually an outcast. They have no organization inside of the Viroa, but may join or be affiliated guilds or schools set up in non-dwarven cities. The Adric usually has a ganda on the High Council, but unlike the other positions, this is not a norm, and if it occurs, the ganda speaks last.
(8) The Viroa do not believe in slavery of any kind, nor do they believe in not contributing to society in any way. All dwarves are iarl in addition to whatever other rank they hold. A dwarf referring to another dwarf as iarl implies that they hold no rank and have no skill. It is an insult that is often answered with bloodshed. A dwarf referring to a non-dwarf as iarl states that the dwarf considers them as one of the Viroa. (This is not to be confused with the title of viroavin, which is a proven ally of the Viroa or viroakindir, which is someone under the protection of the Viroa.) Dwarves will usually accept being called iarl by non-dwarves, but most are quick to correct those with whom they spend any length of time.
(9) Svikiavir do not actually hold any rank in dwarven society. A svikiavir (betrayer) is usually killed at the first opportunity, so there are very few alive at any given time. This is not to be confused with the insult of fritjov (“peace thief” or “war bringer”).
(10) Clans are ranked as they appear.
(11) There are only two Viroa in this clan. The rest of the clan is made up of non-dwarves that are related to a Changeling named Alexander Rimon. This clan has a unique position due to the fact that most of its members are not considered iarl. The only reason that it is ranked so high is because of Magdiline Svartasverdh, Alexander’s dwarven wife. Only Magdiline and her son Theodoric (Theodore) may be heard by the High Council.
(12) Every Adric and Haladric have come from this clan, either by birth or by adoption.
(13) There are currently three Folcvar on Gae’ra. Torolf Vapnumest stays in the dwarven capital in Norwai, acting as the Voice of the People on the Highest Council. Eira Reyniskla travels between the different dwarven cities of Austra, rendering aid to the communities and doing anything necessary to serve. She is the Light of the People. Korin Holderhek the Diamondhide travels among the non-dwarves, weeding out threats to the Viroa before they claim dwarven lives. He is the Sword of the People. Korin the Diamondhide has not been seen in a High Council for many years.