Dwarves (Dorf in their own tongue) are split into two subraces, Hill and Mountain, though in general their physical differences are minor. Generally, Dwarves look like short, stout humans. They often sport very long beards. Females are rather rare amongst Dwarves and look very similar to the male Dwarves, leading to the assumption by other races that there are no Dwarf woman. Dwarves tend to live for about 120-150 years.
Hair color tends to be shades of brown or black and turning white as they age. Both sexes tend to keep their hair long and braided. Popular fashion causes many Dwarves to braid jewelry into their beards as well. Among warriors, however, it is common to shave both hair and beard completely off, originally to keep from having them grabbed but now it is mostly tradition.
Dwarven society is governed by their Clans, Thanes and Tharkun. Every Dwarf belongs to a Clan, a grouping of Dwarves determined by that Dwarf’s Craft or Birthplace. Each Clan is headed by a Thane. All the Clans and Thanes are headed by the Tharkun. However each Thane and Tharkun must be elected by the clans.
There are certain contracts that are considered far more sacred than your everyday agreement among Dwarves. These are contracts literally written into an iron contract and placed upon the walls of a large hall within any Dwarven community called the Wall of Promises. There these ironclad contracts are watched over by the Exarch Diente. These contracts have no expiration date and only are declared over when a crack appears in the tablet. The two parties of the contract may ask Diente if the contract has ended, if a crack has not formed yet. A priestess will take the tablet off the wall and strike it with a hammer. If a crack appears, the contract is over and if it remains together, the deal continues.
Typical Dwarven sayings and slang include:
“Eyes high!” – A saying typically meaning to pay attention or look out.
“Sometimes a stone is just a rock.” Often used to warn others not to get their hopes up.
“Rust and Tarnish!” A curse, often muttered to express one’s dissatisfaction with something.