Dwarves are common non-humans on Tellene, living either in well-fortified underground complexes or in sturdy stone buildings above ground. Relations with other races vary, but dwarves are reliable allies, skilled fighters and expert craftsmen. Dwarves often refer to themselves not as dwarves, or by their regional name, but by clan or nation (such as “Draskan” or “Karastan”).
The dwarven races include the lowland or Hill Dwarf (“adurek”), highland or Mountain Dwarf (“rurok”), and Stone Dwarf (“durvalk”). Most dwarves are distrustful of outsiders and have a fierce racial pride. Whether this developed over years of isolation, or forced them into isolation in the first place, is debatable. Dwarves are capable mountaineers and knowledgeable guides and trackers.
40 yrs 125 yrs 188 yrs 250 yrs +2d100 yrs
Both written and oral Dwarven revolve around the use of verbs. When conjugated, all verbs end in a vowel, with the stress usually being placed on that last vowel. The vowel used will indicate the subject of the verb. For example, the dwarven word for “to run” is dorom. An ‘i’ on the end (doromi) means “She (or it, female) runs;” an “o” (doromo) means “He (or it, male) runs;” an “e” (dorome) reflects first person (I run). Plurality (they, male and female, and we) is reflected in the length of time the final vowel sound is held. For example, an “o” held for longer than three seconds would indicate a large number of people or items (they); an “e” held for a full second would indicate two or three people (we). Plurality in the written language is expressed by a series of backslashes (\) after the vowel. The number of backslashes also indicates the length of time the final vowel is to be held. The dwarven language uses the following letters: A, B, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, R, S, T, TH, U, W, X, Y and Z. Dwarven is written from right to left or up to down. Even though dwarven writers know how to use ink, they chiseled dwarven characters for centuries, and still scribe often in stone. A right-handed scribe needs to chisel the letters from right to left, thus the language is written in that fashion.
Dwarves are clannish and reluctant to break a family tradition by brazenly claiming to start their own dynasty. Therefore, they have retained only a handful of family names for centuries. They typically name their children after deceased relatives. The full name of a dwarf includes his entire bloodline and is very sacred. Thus, dwarves reveal their full name only to a trusted few, if anyone, and to a non-dwarf in only extremely rare circumstances. Dwarves mingling among other races will typically choose first and last names based either on a personal trait, a stone, a metal, an element or an occupation. These names might be in Dwarven, but more often they will choose names in Merchant’s Tongue or the local human language. Examples include Bromide, Ironheart, Steelhead, Silverbeard the Axe, Borli the Smith, Plumb, Cesium Stonecraft and Ferrous.