Dwarves are short with broad shoulders and thick, muscular arms and legs. They are well built for carrying massive loads and working long, hard hours carving out stone tunnels deep within the Western mountains. The mountain rock is thick and food is scarce underground. Dwarven life is harsh, not only because food is hard to grow but because they have to share the depths with the other inhabitants of the "underworld."
Dwarves value honor and loyalty above all else and consider most artistic pursuits to be frivolous and a waste of time. The dwarven sense of humor, if it can be called such, involves telling stories about how such-and-such a creature came to a nasty end at the hands of a dwarven warrior. Dwarves have a great fondness for ale, beer, and other stronger drinks; the ingredients of which are very rare and precious underground. Dwarves are not fond of elves, even though they have been trading together for many centuries; they consider the elves to be weak and unreliable.
Dwarves live in the underground tunnels and caverns of the Western mountains. They carve out huge citadels of amazing craftsmanship. The largest of these, the Byrnka Holm, is home to tens of thousands of dwarves. Within the dwarf homeland, one could travel from the Southern-most holm to the Northern-most without ever leaving the embrace of the mountains.
Wheat and barely do not grow underground; so the dwarves have adapted to eating what is available. In the homeland dwarves cultivate large mushrooms and thick lichen near underground waterways. Dwarves like to eat their food raw, dried, or as Bakko, a thick stew which they drink out of huge mugs. Outside the homeland dwarves prefer tough, chewy foods like dried meat, stale bread and thick beer, often mixed together.
To most outsiders dwarves seem humorless and slow-witted; but they are fiercely loyal and hard-working. Perhaps it is their famous stubbornness that makes them seem slow-witted to some other races but dwarves are actually very logical and careful planners. Dwarves carefully consider all options before deciding on an action, and once they decide it is almost impossible to convince them otherwise.
Dwarves are also very serious folk. Their harsh life underground does not cultivate frivolousness behavior. That is not to say they are entirely without humor, but their humor is very dry.
The dwarves of Asmythe have no strong hatred of goblins and orcs but the ancient war between the drawves and elves is still remembered in lore and history and taints relations between the two races. Dwarves blame the elves for letting the goblins dominate the world in the third age.
Dwarves have brown or brownish-grey skin with thick black or reddish-brown hair and dark brown or black eyes. Dwarves are best known for their huge beards. Dwarves wear sturdy grey clothes with little regard for flash or fashion.
The confined spaces underground make ranged fighting extremely difficult, so dwarves have adapted to using picks and hammers combined with pugilism and wrestling to engage opponents.
Each dwarven clan has a matriarch who who settles disputes and makes decisions for the entire clan. Usually this is the eldest mother in the clan who is still of sound mind. But other than this exalted role, the clan-mother is indistinguishable from other clan members. Her position does not confer any special treatment.
Dwarf names begin with the clan name, then the given name, and then any honorifics. Dwarven names are similar to Slavic (Geman, Russian) and Scandinavian names.
Example: Ironhelm Grum, son of Ironhelm Khan, slayer of Trogs.