Roll vs. Role: Dwarves

Dwarves are a stubborn, fierce and skilled race of subterranean warriors with wills of iron and hearts of stone. They have resisted all attempts at conversion by the empire and hold fast in their mountainous homes in the Granite Curtain. However, like all people, there are many walks of life among the dwarves. Some dwarves embrace change and have decided to forego the ways of their people to walk a different path. Thus are dwarves still a very active part of the daily world in the Empire.

Dwarves in the curtain and those that still favor the old ways keep to a barbaric appearance and lifestyle. Outlandish and frightening hairstyles, piercings, and tattoos are worn to frightening enemies with a monstrous appearance, while an intricately styled and immaculately kept beard designate status, power, and wisdom. Overall, dwarf culture is surprisingly complex with many social cues to be read on immediate sight, if you are a dwarf. Overall, however, the culture maintains that freedom and strength are the most important things in a dwarf’s life and anyone trespassing on their land is there to take something.

Some dwarves veer away from this philosophy to the point of outright rebelling against it. The ‘Mordaki’ or ‘Beardless’ in dwarven are a group of dwarves that have left the ancestral mountains of their forefathers and have forsaken the complexity of dwarf culture. They are most known by their shaven heads and tight cropped goatees; a far cry from the massive manes of hair seen in most dwarves. They tend to favor cunning and insight over traditional wisdom and are even removed from the stones and bones of their ancestors that most dwarves view as sacred. As with all races, their is middle ground; dwarves that live in villages or cities, or even in the mountains, that while they forego the tribal lifestyle of their kin have also not forgotten the importance of their ancestors and maintain a startlingly well kept beard.

Dwarves have a tragic history that makes them so violent. They were pawns in the war between Arkhosia and Bael Turath. Whilst the demons of Bael Turath enslaved the orcs as extra warriors, the dragons “conscripted” the dwarven people, forcing the young race into endentured servitude. The Dwarves at this point were little more than cavemen, as they had spent centuries, even millennia embroiled in war with derro & duergar in the depths of the world, constant war and combat along with defense against drow raids making it impossible for them to develop as a true society. But when the dragons came, they offered the dwarves steel and gold and magic, and the dwarves took to it eagerly. But the price was steep, in some cases too steep.

Entire clans were wiped out, and any dwarf that wished to be released from the agreement was stripped and dumped back in the mountains; sure death at the time. The Duergar people even forged pacts with the demons, hoping for an edge against the steel wielded by the dwarves. So the dwarves had to continue to serve to keep that edge. The toll it took on the dwarvish people was high. So high, that when Metroniel smote the dragons and demons, the dwarves retreated, swearing to never pay heed to another again. And so it has been.

The only people that the dwarves worship really, are their own ancestors. They believe that when a dwarf dies his spirit goes into the rock and the stone and the earth, becoming one with the spirits of all of his clansmen there. Therefore, it is extremely important to dwarves that they be buried on the hollowed ground of their ancestors, so that they may join the collective spirit of their ancestors. The dwarves have worshipped their ancestors since the beginning of their history and the Ancestral Guardians are a sacred cast in dwarven society, the only dwarves immune to the constant feuding and infighting of the dwarvish people.

While they are skilled craftsman, learned from centuries of practice to honor their ancestors, overall dwarf-kind refuses to be controlled by any other source. They will fight the imperium bitterly to the last dwarf. But at the same time, the only land the dwarves want is under the mountains of the curtain, so the Empire is content to let them be…for now.

New Feats:

Live Free or Die
Prerequisite: Dwarf
Benefit: Whenever you are subjected to an effect with
the charm keyword that stuns, dazes, or dominates you,
you may spend a healing surge and make a saving throw
with a +2 bonus. If you succeed, you are not dazed,
stunned, or dominated.

Channel Divinity: Ancestral Guidance
Prerequisite: Any Divine Class, Dwarf
Benefit: You gain access to the Ancestral Guidance
channel divinity power.

Ancestral Guidance
Your ancestors guide your hand in skill that have
been passed down to your people for generations.
Encounter # Divine
Free Action
Trigger: you make a class skill roll or a skill roll
for a skill which you have a racial bonus for.
Effect: you may add your wisdom modifier to the
result of the triggering roll.

Channel Divinity: Ancestral Wrath
Prerequisite: Any Divine Class, Dwarf
Benefit: You gain access to the Ancestral Wrath
channel divinity power.

Ancestral Wrath
The fury and skill of your ancestors makes a your
blows all the more dangerous.
Encounter # Divine
Free Action
Trigger: you score a critical hit.
Effect: you may deal an extra 1[W] damage on your
critical hit.

Mordaki
Prerequisite: Dwarf
Benefit: You gain a +2 racial bonus in Streetwise
and Insight, but all other racial bonuses you would
normally receive suffer a -2 penalty.

Roll vs. Role: Dwarves

Rise of the Ashen Crown Dark_Knight_Jack