Dwarven legend places the creation of the race at the time of the Age of Gods, when Dwarves are said to have been created by Brobbet, the god of Honor and Justice, to serve as enforcers of justice upon the prime. In reality it is far more likely that Dwarves arrived on the Prime or attained a level of conscious thought at some period during the Age of the Dragon.

DwarvesThe first record of any contact with Dwarves is from the Annals of Nelthorr, an ancient document that chronicles a series of explorations from Dralk into the east. Though the exact date of the Annals are hard to place, many scholars believe that it dates from around 2000 to 2500 B.R.

It is in one of these journals that Nelthorr mentions contact with "naka of such small stature that I nearly overlooked their presence".

He goes on to describe how they fled before him, abandoning their work and dropping their tools behind as they ran. Nelthorr described how the naka appeared to have been carving stone and building some sort of structure.

Though the location is vague, it is likely that this may have been among the earliest structures in Aughundell and that these "naka" were in fact the earliest Dwarves in Istaria.

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Dwarven society and culture is one of the richest in tradition and history. It is also one of the most closed societies amongst all the Living Races. Dwarven society is structured around the principles of justice and honor above all things... even at what some might consider the cost of being compassionate and forgiving.

The Dwarven clans, though often fractured and argumentative amongst their own political machinations, rally around a single credo they refer to as Brobbet’s Divine Mandate: "Without honor, there is no justice; without justice, there is no future." The Dwarves consider the other Living Races to not have the same desire to adhere to Brobbet’s Divine Mandate as they themselves continually strive for.

This makes relations with the other Living Races merely cordial, at best; of notable exception are the Gnomes, whom they consider to be kindred spirits who are merely errant and who have lost their way.Since the onset of the Lament (and ending only recently), Dwarven society had been cut off from the majority of the other Living Races. In fact, the Dwarves were one of the first of the Living Races to have been sundered... or so the assumption went.

No communication with the Dwarven state was ever successful, and their capital of Aughundell was eventually deep within the Withered Aegis’ sphere of influence. The truth of the matter is that the Dwarves had been under siege by the Withered Aegis to one degree or another for almost one-hundred years. Only with the defeat of the Withered Aegis at the Battle of Tazoon was the true fate of the Dwarves discovered; though the very walls of their capital had been breached, the Dwarves held out, barricaded within their tunnels, against the Undead Horde.

This is a fact they vehemently remind any and all.For all their small size, Dwarves are known for their superior strength and resilience. They gravitate markedly toward the roles of Chaos Warriors and Crossbowmen, though - confounding a false stereotype - there are several highly adept Dwarven mages in Istaria. Dwarven males are known to keep meticulously groomed beards throughout most of their lives.

A Dwarf’s station within his clan may be identified by beard length and grooming. A clean-shaven chin, while not unheard of, is generally a sign that a Dwarf is either changing his station within the clan, or perhaps trying to change his luck in life. They are a notably superstitious folk, adhering religiously to rituals believed to bring good fortune to themselves and their kin. It’s very hard for a Dwarf to admit there’s something he doesn’t know, or can’t do.

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If there is a single city anywhere in Istaria designed to withstand every imaginable form of siege, invasion, or raid, it is the Dwarven mountain fortress of Aughundell. Nestled deep within the Northern Black Mountain Range, Aughundell is built directly into the foothills and slopes of Mt. Grenaden. The city's natural barriers as well as superbly-crafted Dwarven architecture have allowed the Dwarves to successfully defend their city against any foe.

The Iron Guard and the defenses of Aughundell have been tested by the Withered Aegis three times during The Lament. Each of the Sieges lasted for years while the Dwarves held firm behind their walls and within their mountain tunnels. Even though Aughundell was designed for defense and security, this does not mean that the city is devoid of grace and beauty.

Dwarven sculptors have perfected their working of the natural stone of Mt. Grenaden to an art form; using the mountain as a canvas, many of Aughundell’s statues and architecture comes directly from the stone of the mountain itself. Dwarven artistry and architecture is influences strongly by one’s clan affiliation, and Aughundell is a myriad of subtle variances in art and architecture. Metal and stone are the preferred paints that such artistry is made, though Dwarves by and large prefer simplicity and utility in their art.

The heart of Aughundell, however, is the closest thing a Dwarf will permit for the presence of fanciful and ostentatious architecture. It is here where the eldest of the Dwarves rule over their society, and much care and detail has gone into crafting the finest (and still practical) halls of leadership one would find anywhere in Istaria.

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