The Dwarves of Highkeep
The oldest race in all of Alm, the Dwarves are also the second largest and third most powerful racial class. They occupy the lofty Highkeep, a Dwarven citadel that has been under constant construction since the original Dwarves began tunneling into the Halvgram Mountains. A faction of isolationist inventors, the Dwarves were content to leave the other races of the world alone until the Mountain Clan Humans began treading into their territory and hunting down the ancient Grawlbeasts with their Grawlbear companions. While the Dwarves had no real connection to these creatures, they saw the advancement onto their territory as a direct threat and took their first steps into the world
History In Summary:
- First Days
- Y??-E0 - The Dwarves are created after full sentience is granted to ancient Stone Golems, through interbreeding a lot of the traits associated with Stone Golems eventually faded away and they became closer in appearance to what they resemble today.
- Y??-E0 - The Bullgrim Mine Riots occur, and the Dwarves are responsible for murdering a number of the First People and freeing themselves from their power. They flee from the mines that they were forced into into the surrounding countryside, learning to live off of the Grawlbeasts they could take down together before eventually returning to hunt the First People to the brink of extinction.
- Y??-E0 - The First Catastrophe occurs, and the Dwarves remain afterward as the sole survivors of the event through currently undisclosed means. Those that do survive are a fraction of their original size and strength, appearing fleshier and much more intelligent.
- First Era
- Y32-E1 - The Dwarves retreat from the lands surrounding Hrothreg and begin construction of Highkeep Citadel. They spend most of the First Era attempting to recreate their society from the ground up after facing heavy casualties from The First Catastrophe. The Iron Council and High Stonescribe safeguard the truth of the First days from the Dwarves in an attempt to protect the new generation.
- Y33-E1 - After the events of the First Catastrophe the Iron Council would decide to place a permanent embargo on the development of magic, machinery, or any other progression in Dwarven society to prevent another catastrophe from happening.
- Second Era
- Y56-E2 - The first Dwarves to descend down from the mountains in several centuries, the Traders of Mhyrrdin were released from the newly finished Highkeep in an effort to establish contact with any other races that may have survived the Scattering. The Traders of Mhyrrdin established a port city on the island of Darroway in what would be modern-day Monterrin. The memoryless Dalgar were the first to make contact with the Dwarven Traders. The Orcs, who had been engaged in seafaring expeditions since well before the Sundering, would make contact with the Traders next.
- Y60-E2 - Following the arrival of the Orcish Tribes on the shores of Darroway, the two clashed in several small skirmishes that would be the first major military battle fought between any two races. Neither side gained any territory over the weeks to come and only resulted in minor casualties. Dalgar were sent to negotiate with the Orcs after the Dwarves saw little point in continuing the war. The Orcs would leave the treaty table with the opinion they would face less resistance back on the shores of Southbreach and returned home.
- Y78-E2 - After retrieving one of the watercrafts the Orcs had employed to travel thousand of miles across the Yawling Sea to modern day Monterrin, the Iron Council decided to partially lift the Dwarven Intellectual Embargo to invent for the first time in two centuries. The Scholotechs pieced together multi-level dinghies that worked like very unusual pendulums and were able to quickly propel teams of eight through even the roughest of waters. Through these expeditions they made contact with the Ikyrian Elves to the Southwest, the Luvahrin Elves to the Far North, and the Faefolke of the Palecoast to the West.
- Y126-E2 - The Dwarven-Elven Wars were a series of one-sided battles where the Dwarves hunted down the magically inclined Elves and forced them into even harsher territories than the ones they were banished to by The Lady. For the Ikyrians this was the White Forests outside the Machahallah Desert, the Luvahrin Elves were forced into the Wellspring of the Bleakfjord, and the Fae, despite no obvious connection to the Elves, were forced into the densely jungle miles from their home on the Palecoast. The Sephyrran Elves had yet to emerge from the Garden of Te’fil, and the Riffari only consisted of a handful of elves so they remained relatively unaffected by the conflict. The Dwarven-Elven wars brought the Second Era to a close, as the time afterwards had set the world stage for relationships between the races, and the development of Naval travel had opened Alm to exploration.
- Third Era
- Y42-E3 - Although the Mountain Clans were small in number and the first of the humans to really form their own society, they quickly got into spats with Dwarven patrols that were meant to keep their enemies from finding the Highkeep. A series of wars lasting about one hundred and thirty days eventually resulted in an armistice and a military alliance which would eventually become the Oldtepact which set the stage for the creation of the modern Dwarven-Human military alliance known as the Old Guard.
- Fourth Era
- Y???-E4 - The Thousand-Year Midnight: Named for the event that brought the end to the Third Era, the Thousand-Year Midnight was an event that actually occurred for an unknown amount of time. In Dwarven civilizations, they claim that the event lasted for well over a thousand years while some historians estimate up and towards the tens of thousands mark. However, the Ikyrians and the Humans remember it only as a few days of dark, bitter winter before they blinked and the sun emerged back over the horizon and thawed the world. The Fourth Era is considered to be an anomaly among history, because of differing historical accounts of events that can be neither confirmed or discredited. Humans that were alive during the Third Era were still alive during the end of the Fourth, but there were families of Dwarves that had gone through hundreds of new generations before the Fifth Era came. The Elves remember very little, except for the Luvahrin Elves that seem to be the only ones to have existed for an extended period of time above ground, unlike the Dwarves who retreated into the bowels of Hrothreg and relied on geothermal energy and underground farms to persist. Notably, the Luvahrins do recall a series of unusual celestial events, including a pair of star-like eyes gazing over them.
- Fifth Era
- Y489-E5 - Present Day: Only a few hundred years into the Fifth Era, there have been a number of global catastrophes that have caused people all over the world to exist in a state of restlessness. The Amyrians have unveiled a power that they had formerly kept to themselves and are in the process of waging war against the Dwarves and other human Princedoms. The Orcs are finding themselves on the losing end of the War of the Breaches, the Ikyrians are facing a pestilence on their livestock and crops, and global society is facing economic struggles that have driven every living civilization into a deep financial depression as the result of global warfare.
The Kraumdall are the only currently known Dwarven Subtype that leaves Highkeep. There are theorized to be a number of different ones within the Highkeep that have no desire or reason to leave, but since outsiders are rarely allowed within the halls of the massive stone structure no one currently knows anything about other potential subtypes beyond circulated rumors. The Kraumdall are anywhere between three to five feet tall and stout in structure, boasting a body type that may appear to be largely overweight but bears a lot of physical power and strength behind it. Dwarves are capable of incredible feats of strength and endurance, primarily because of their Stone Golem ancestry.
- [Iron Innards]
- Kraumdall Dwarves have the ability to consume just about anything, and have a special immunity to airborne and ingested poisons and hazards. Dwarves are immune to all forms of inhaled and ingested poisons and damage types. They are also immune to the debilitating feeling that comes with being intoxicated.
The Stonesense ability has followed the Dwarves since the time of their conception and is where the legend of Dwarves being born from Stone Golems is derived from. The Stonesense ability allowed the Dwarves to find their mineral-rich homeland during the First Era and has guided them since. For whatever reason, a Kraumdall Dwarf can taste any stone, mineral, or gem and discern revealing information about it.
- Height: Roughly 3' to 5'
- Weight: Varies according to diet and activity, generally stockier or broader builds.
- Skin Color: Pale to dark brown tones, sometimes with hints of grey or red.
- Eye Color: Blue, Grey, Green, Hazel, Brown, Purple.
- Hair Color: Red, blonde, brown, black, greys and turns white with age.
- Lifespan: Roughly 120-150 years.
- Naming Customs: Dwarves generally following Germanic/Russian/Eastern European naming conventions.
- Language: Dwarves speak a guttural and gravelly language known commonly as Dwarven but is referred to by Dwarves as Stonetongue. You can use <DW> in Roleplay to denote you are speaking Dwarven.
- Despite common caricatures of the Dwarves in the Highkeep protecting mountains of gold and hoarding everything around them, Dwarves actually look down very heavily upon greed and materialistic culture. Everything that the Dwarves own is often shared amongst each other in kind, and the general attitude is that the Dwarves work together as they always have for the preservation of their race and the progression of technology. Dwarves as a whole believe that Magic is at the core of the world's problems, and that technology is the ultimate goal in snuffing it out. Mage hunting techniques and weapons created by the Dwarves are very popular in the Amyrian military.
- Dwarves are always growing out their hair, both on their head and on their faces. Male and female Dwarves alike can grow beards and the adornment of one's beard can symbolize everything from how old they are, if they are married, their profession, and the adventures that they have been on. They often adorn their beards with golden rings covered in intricate Dwarven writing, and tend towards more functional and comfortable clothes rather than anything ornate or fanciful.
- Dwarves are all generally from the Highkeep, which includes:
- The Forge District, for most artisans.
- The High General’s District, for warriors.
- The Stone Circle, for scholars.
- While Dwarves may always be looked down upon in person due to height difference, most races respect them as formidable warriors and impassioned inventors.
- Dwarves have a long-standing rivalry with Orcs and Goblins, primarily because both have always been on the cutting edge of technological invention. As far as is known, anyway.
- Kraumdall Civilization is as mysterious as the whole race, with a number of informal rules that are harshly enforced by Dwarven Cultural Police.
- Writers: Percuriam
- Processors: Gochnipunchni