The Sanguine Harvest
These stout, mountain-dwelling folk have a long, proud history of isolationism. In the distant past, dwarves had cities and towns along the entire Kakadromin Mountain Range. Eventually, constant warring with the orcs drove them from the surface, all they have left are great underground cities, the largest of which is Khaz Baruk, the seat of the High King.
Physically dwarves are short but sturdy, with a broad physique and heavy musculature. Their low centre of gravity combined with their mighty weight and wide-set legs make them a very sturdy, if inelegant people.
Dwarven warfare is typically defensive in nature since they have historically had few reasons for conquest – content in their mountain homes with the plentiful resources available. The shield is an important symbol for dwarves, as it is an important tool for their warriors and a symbol of dwarven resilience. The industrious nature of dwarves gives them a wide arsenal of advanced weaponry, siege equipment, tools and even rune magic.
Dwarf society is said to be built on two things: stone and respect. Disrespecting a dwarf is a dangerous thing to do, if you’re not immediately attacked don’t expect the dwarf to forget the slight, they hold a grudge for a very long time.
Unfortunately for the other races it is very difficult not to show disrespect to dwarves if you haven’t extensively studied their culture. Early trade between humans and dwarves was difficult for a number of reasons: Human currency is generally not accepted within the land of Dwarves and to offer such useless metal in exchange for quality dwarven wares is deeply insulting. Additionally not knowing the value of a dwarven product creates many awkward situations, offer a dwarf too little for their wares and they will be insulted and take it that you think it is cheaply made; offer too much and they will assume you’re taking pity on them and giving them charity because you perceive them as a bad merchant. Either mistake will cause a grudge that won’t be forgotten.
Grudges between dwarves are mostly settled through sport (if the grudge isn’t severe), duels (if the grudge is more severe), or mediation through the dwarven grudge adjudication system if a third party believes the grudge requires settling but neither party has made attempts to settle it.