Dwarves are perceived as materialistic, hard-working and humourless. They tend to be dour and taciturn, keeping themselves seperate from other folk, but they are also strong and brave. In wartime they are united and willing to see victory at any cost but prone to avenge old slights and reject mercy. They jealously defend the honour of their clans and families, and greatly revere their ancestors, building elaborate monuments to them. Yet, their chief love is precious metal, particularly gold, which theywork with great mastery. Some dwarves suffer from an affliction called gold-fever, when their desire for the substance becomes so overwhelming that it consumes their souls. The tradition of dwarven honour demands that leaders dispense treasure to their loyal followers, and the inability to do this is a sure sign of gold-fever.
Dwarven elders hold the secrets of their race's magic, best exemplified by their magnificent armour, weapons and tools. They also oversee the construction of monuments and tombs, many of which have magical traps and curses of great cunning.
The dwarves do not speak of their origins to outsiders, so little of their ancient history is known. However, it is understood that they once had great underground halls in the northern Crystalmist Mountains that were destroyed by the Invoked Devastation. Their last High King perished in the aftermath, and the clans have ever since been sundered. Led by lords and princes of differing noble houses, the dwarf clans allied with elves and gnomes during the Suel and Oeridian migrations, and even joined humans of reliable disposition to defend their territories.
Dwarves favour rugged hills and mountains ever being a people of earth and stone. In ancient times they would dwell in vast cities carved from within the mountains themselves however since the Invoked Devastation many of these cities were destroyed or abandoned. Many now dwell on the surface in sturdy stone structures, usually conical in shape. Others still dwell within the hills and mountains but these subterranean settlements are rarely as grand as those of the past.
In the Flanaess today dwarves can particularly be found in the Lortmils, Glorioles, Crystalmists, Iron Hills, Cairn Hills, Principality of Ulek and Ratik.
The more common hill dwarves have complexions of deep tan to light brown, with hair of brown, black or grey. Eyes are of any colour save blue. They are solidly built, though seldom exceed four feet in height. Mountain dwarves are somewhat taller, with lighter colouration. All male dwarves are bearded and it is rumoured that female dwarves also sport beards. This is not the case but elderly female dwarves do grow more facial hair than is usual amongst female humans. Dwarves place great value on their long beards, often braiding them and twining them with jewels and gold wire. It is a terrible dishonour to be shorn.
The traditional garb of dwarves is woolen trousers and a belted linen tunic, with a hooded cloak or cape worn over all. Their boots are of heavy leather, with or without buckles. Colours are a mixture of earth tones and loud check-patterned hues and plaids. They also favour leather accoutrements, fitted with as many jewels and precious metals as they can hold. Females dress similarly to males however they usually replace the trousers for a wollen skirt.
During ceremonial occasions men often don their best embroidered work aprons whilst femals don a tabard-like overgarment.
Most dwarves are usually Lawful Good or Lawful Neutral.
Ulaa the Stonewife is regarded as the mother of the dwarven race and her husband Bleredd the father. Fortubo is the third major deity amongst the dwarves. Once a god of the Suloise humans, he abandoned his people when he discovered they were responsible for creating a great evil and found a common soul with the dwurfolk. Since then, in some regions, he has become even more popular amongst the dwarves than Ulaa and Bleredd. Amongst younger dwarves Joramy the Shrew is often worshipped as an innovater and inventor. Many older dwarves dislike her desire for change however there is little real animosity between the older faiths and the new.