1. Welcome to the Fantasy Writing Forums. Register Now to join us.

Your Dwarves

Discussion in 'World Building' started by S.T. Ockenner, Jun 9, 2021.

Tags:
  1. S.T. Ockenner

    S.T. Ockenner Auror

    1,988
    387
    83
    Oh, makes sense now. I see what you mean
     
  2. Saigonnus

    Saigonnus Auror

    1,699
    585
    113
    I have been culture-building on a diminutive race called the Ruaka. They are short like a Dwarf, but their ears are triangular and on the side of their heads, the points kind of curled downward. They don't wear beards unless they want to, but most don't because they consider them to be dirty. They are somewhat xenophobic, and "remove" anyone who wanders into their territory, usually without them even knowing (by disorienting them, and using illusions to change the position of landmarks etc.) If they persist, are immune to illusions, or they are large in number, they will usually just kill them outright after a single warning. Like every other race on the planet, they are born with magic, and the only race with natural access to shadow magic. For this they are believed to be "evil", though their alignment runs more towards neutral than anything.

    The Ruaka live in burrows (yes, like a Hobbit) under the root systems of the massive trees that occupy the forests, some three or four levels deep since families all live together. The top floor (the only level with windows) is often the "communal" space and kitchen, leaving the other floors for sleeping, storage etc.

    They are credible craftsmen (mainly centered around masonry, architecture and stonecutting) they also have blended talent of golem-crafting. Every year, there is competition between the various families of the village. Each family builds and enchants a golem and they are judged on three categories: Appeal, Utility and Magical ability. Often these Golems take the form of a creature rather than a person; ones small enough that they can enter the burrows if needed, and are often wildly fanciful in material, design and ability. The Golems voted the best are given a limited intelligence and a permanance charm and they serve to protect the family and the community as a whole.
     
    S.T. Ockenner and Avery Moore like this.
  3. S.T. Ockenner

    S.T. Ockenner Auror

    1,988
    387
    83
    Mustaches, at least?!
     
  4. Saigonnus

    Saigonnus Auror

    1,699
    585
    113
    Only if they want, but generally not.

    Their hair is typically kept short as well, but they cannot grow a full head of hair anyway, it is a thick strip from front to back, like a mohawk and some young people have recently started growing it long and keeping it in a braid.
     
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  5. S.T. Ockenner

    S.T. Ockenner Auror

    1,988
    387
    83
    I meant do they find mustaches more socially acceptable then beards? Or just as much?
     
  6. Ignis

    Ignis Dreamer

    24
    21
    3
    My fantasy world doesn't have any Dwarves in it, but it does have a Gnome though (which is pretty much the closest thing in fiction to Dwarves). His name is Landorus (yes, I'm well aware of the fact that this is the name of a Pokémon, I honestly couldn't think of a better male name that has the word land in it then this), and he's the God of Quakes who gifted the people of the Lagoowa region with powerful Geokinetic magic thousands of years ago. He has light brown boots, a light brown shirt, a dark brown pair of trousers, a green cape, a brown leather belt with a metal strap, medium skin, and a beard and hairstyle that looks like Hagrid from Harry Potter. He takes his job as a deity very seriously and although he tries to avoid violence as much as possible, won't hesitate to pummel his enemies into dust. He's friends with the other three deities of Water, Air and Fire: Sealia (an Undine with mermaid-like traits), Skylar (a Sylph with angel wings as opposed to pixie wings) and Infernus (a fire Demon inspired by Ifrits). He resonates with Infernus the best due to both of them sharing the same drive and level of passion for maintaining peace throughout the land, but still gets along with Sealia very well due to her kind and calm nature. Skylar however, tends to get on his nerves a lot due to her hyperactive, tomboyish personality, and the fact that she likes to pull pranks on him whenever possible (these pranks include electrocuting him with decently powerful bolts of electricity, pushing him off a cliff and saving him just before he hits the ground and blowing him away with a localized stream of wind). His abilities include earth manipulation (can control stones, rocks, boulders, dirt/soil, sand and even lava/magma), super strength and super durability.
     
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  7. Saigonnus

    Saigonnus Auror

    1,699
    585
    113
    It's the same... I suppose if they are kept clean and tidy, no one would object too much, but that guy (no, women can't grow beards/moustaches) probably wouldn't get too many dates.
     
  8. S.T. Ockenner

    S.T. Ockenner Auror

    1,988
    387
    83
    weird
     
  9. Jdailey1991

    Jdailey1991 Troubadour

    194
    10
    18
    As with the majority of the alternate Earths studied by us, Great Lakes Earth would ultimately be ruled by humans. But because of the longer Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, the apes that live on Great Lakes Earth are not hominids. They belong to the xenosimian family Allopithecidae, literally "Different Apes". To reflect this, a name other than Homo must apply to the "humanity" of Great Lakes Earth. Many names have been considered—Pseudopithecus, Parahomo, even Ochialthiniopithecus, which literally means “Not a True Ape”. Ultimately, it was one of our scientists’ daughter who came up with a name for us. She called the humans of Great Lakes Earth Draculodon, meaning “Dracula’s Tooth”, because of the genus’s long, razor-sharp canines, which is something we see with baboons, not apes. Indeed, it is the teeth that mark one of the differences between Homo and Draculodon. Our teeth are smaller than a chimpanzee’s, yet the teeth of a chimpanzee aren’t as thick on the enamel. But the teeth of Draculodon are really the best of both worlds—big as a chimp’s and thick as a man’s.


    In the roughly three million years of the genus's existence, there have been more than 13 species, most of which had never left their traditional South American homes. But one eventually broke the mold and crossed the newly formed Panamanian Landbridge, moving northward and colonizing the colder, more temperate Laurasia. About 650,000 years ago, Draculodon freibergensis appeared in North America and eventually managed to colonize the ice-free lands of Asia and Europe. The common name for this species is "dwarf", and they had come up with numerous ways of adjusting to the cold, making them an ice age success story.

    Males averaged in at 48 inches in height and 200 pounds in weight, whereas the females averaged in at 43 inches in height and 168 pounds in weight. Being shorter but heavier than their Neandertal analogues may have been one of their methods of keeping warm, as a higher mass compressed into a smaller body means less heat can escape. But that may not be enough. Curiously, the dwarves grew their hairs with the seasons. In the summer, a dwarf could be as clean-shaven as a human baby. But during the winter, that same dwarf would now be wearing a dense combination of facial and androgenic hairs, as much as three inches in some places. So in dwarvish society, beards are just part of the annual winter fad. And both sexes could wear them!


    Contributing to their extra weight was their bone structure. Compared to us humans, dwarves had lower, more elongated craniums; larger brow ridges; larger noses; larger shoulder joints; larger, broader rib cages; broader hips; larger elbow joints; shorter forearms; larger hip joints; larger and thicker knees, shorter and more flattened calves and larger ankle joints. This could help add more resilience to the cold.


    Like all other xenosimians, dwarvish blood has such high concentrations of plasma that they could resist a certain number of deadly diseases. Indeed, there are no reports of dwarves or any Draculodon species suffering sexually transmitted infections similar to syphilis or even AIDS. But dwarvish blood had an extra twist to help them adapt to the cold. As well as high concentrations of plasma, dwarvish blood also possessed high concentrations of antifreezing compounds. They could also reduce the volume of circulation when the weather was cold enough, to reduce frostbite.


    However, whereas freezing was a seasonal threat, overheating was more perennial. How could the dwarves keep themselves warm but not too warm? Perhaps that is why their noses were so large--to release excess body heat. This may sound counterintuitive, but in a frigid ice age climate, sweating would actually be a far bigger detriment.


    One final method of staying warm may involve leptin, the hormone responsible for the sensation of hunger. Leptin production was at its lowest in the summer and autumn months, when food was readily abundant. In that span of time, an average dwarf would need as much as 100,000 calories of food per day. But what could they possibly eat?


    [​IMG]


    This portrait by ArchAngel23 may give us some hints. The male was holding a spear similar to the Mousterian spear wielded by the Neandertals. But being smaller and stockier would render them incapable of pursuing fast-moving prey, limiting them to ambushing larger, less maneuverable prey, like puaka or odontotyrannus. But he also seemed to be wearing a kind of rope similar to the wires used for snaring smaller prey. Indeed, the dwarvish body build might have forced them to make some compensations, like fishing and trapping and birding and even domesticating. Yes, it turns out that it was the dwarves who domesticated the golden warg and the gnoll into the dogs and hyenas that are still around today, and it was the dwarves who invented horticulture, the art of gardening for desirable fruits, berries and roots. (Leaves are so low on energy that all xenosimians tend to avoid them unless in a medical emergency.)


    Come the winter, the dwarves' caloric demands would drop to only 600 calories per day, far lower than the 1500-3000 calories we humans would need per day to survive. That was when leptin production was at its highest, most likely as a means of surviving scarcity. So the dwarves already had quite the rollercoaster of calories from season to season. But how would a pregnant female dwarf survive such a swing? Actually, she wouldn't. In her 448-day pregnancy, the rate would not change--at least 120,000 calories per day. How would she and her developing child survive that? Well, some populations lived entirely on seafood, which was very high on calories. Other populations were migratory, following the herds with the seasons. And when all else fails, the mom-to-be would simply drink the milk from her mates, which could be 28% fat.


    A pregnancy lasting 448 days would ultimately mean giving birth to a more developed baby. Indeed, from birth, a dwarf's brain would only be 35% the size of the adult's. (Which would be anywhere between 1.6 and 1.89 pounds.) By contrast, the human baby has a brain 28% the size of the adult's. It doesn't sound like much of a difference, but you'd be surprised. It would take the baby as much as six months to stand up without assistance. Because they wouldn't have the same degree of insulation, the children would be furry 24/7 until growing out of their "baby hairs" at the age of 12. At the age of 15, they would become sexually mature. At this point, a dwarf's growth stage started to become a bit peculiar. To adjust to the high-stress life they lived in, they seemed to forego the middle age phase and could reach old age with the body of a young adult. That is because, unique among xenosimians, dwarves lacked oxidising agents, the chemicals in the body that build up and break down to create the noticeable symptoms of old age, like arthritis and senility. As a result of this, the average dwarvish lifespan would be up to 220 years. (Ironically, the elves, long boasted to be immortal, do have oxidising agents and have an average lifespan of 150 years.)


    Because the majority of dwarvish fat was concentrated on both the buttocks beneath the skin and inside the mammary glands, dwarves were natural-born six-packs and even eight-packs.


    Dwarves had a limit of hair colors. They could be yellow, orange, white (probably due to leucism), yellow-white (not to be confused with yellow dwarves or white dwarves), brown and red. Red is the most common hair color, seen in 73% of the species. The white dwarves were just the recessive variants of the black dwarves. If the blue dwarves really existed beyond mere anecdote, then they'd be recessive variants of the red dwarves.


    In East Asia, Central Asia and Russia, 24 to 60 percent of the dwarvish genetics within those regions were revealed to come from an unknown species of Draculodon, an equivalent of the Denisovans of back home. Since we have found no bones of that mystery species, we have no idea as to what the Great Lakes Earth equivalents of the Denisovans would be. Goblins? Orcs? Giants? Trolls? Ogres? Cyclopes? ¿Klingons?


    What is better known is that the dwarves had coexisted with the elves far longer than we had with the Neandertals. Whereas the species that gestated the cliche of the caveman became extinct roughly 30,000 years ago back home, the dwarves held on all over the temperate portions of North America, Asia and Europe until as recently as 3,000 years ago. Since then, 90% of the dwarvish genome has survived in the elvish genome. East Asia, Central Asia and Russia has the highest concentration of dwarf genes, with 90% of the genome still alive in 44% of those regions' elvish populations.
     
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  10. D. Gray Warrior

    D. Gray Warrior Troubadour

    163
    70
    28
    This isn't canon, but I might still use this idea me day:

    I wanted to make my dwarves fresh and interesting while still sticking with the standard idea of dwarves.

    They bear a strong resemblance to humans, but have a shorter, stockier build. They also live underground as miners. However, the dwarves are also famed worldwide as deadly martial-artists, the most skilled among them can punch an entire tunnel into existence or make a boulder shatter.

    They believe there is a spiritual energy substance similar to chi.
     
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  11. ButlerianHeretic

    ButlerianHeretic Scribe

    29
    15
    3
    In many eras and region of earth's history there have those cultures that were more technologically, socially, and economically advanced than their peers, like China pumping oil and verging on industrialization in 1300, for example. In my fantasy world, those are the dwarves. The first dwarves were the albino Troglodytes, who can see heat itself. Trogodites were bred by the Celestials to work and survive in the harsh, often toxic conditions of the deep mines where exotic minerals were dug for Celestial weapons and jewelry - or so scholars with Kythonian sympathies claim. Though Trogs still dwell in the deepest reaches of the vast subterranean caverns under the earth, In the eons since first the Celestials and later their giant allies lost their grip on the world, many dwarves migrated to the surface and used biomacy to adapt themselves to the very different conditions there. Whatever land they inhabit or culture they form, dwarves on the surface live much longer lives thanks to the relatively milder conditions in which they live. Dwarf men are hardy, lean when young and growing stouter with age but with all but the most sedentary still maintaining their strength until they are crippled by senescence. Dwarf women are little less muscular but are famous for their curves. Most dwarves cherish their long lives and the wealth and knowledge they are able to collect. Their city-states prefer to use influence, diplomacy, economic pressure, and when necessary bribes or divide-and-conquer tactics to avoid war with their neighbors. When forced to fight they prefer fortifications and siege tactics when possible, being especially adept at mining, while also excelling in the use of all manner of siege engines. If forced into physical combat they use siege engines to support their forces and rely on various forms of superbly crafted plate armor and large shields to protect themselves in combat. Dwarves hold that the best offence is a strong defense, as a well protected fighter can focus more fully on attacking a less well-armored opponent. Dwarves seem to prefer symmetrical weapons, using strong spears or pikes as primary melee weapons. On the field they dominate push of pike contests, and small numbers are able to defend tunnels either in mines made to extract ore, or those constructed in battle. Similarly, their castles which are built with low ceilings in areas outsiders are not intended to enter to put the other peoples of the world at a disadvantage if they attempt to storm dwarf strongholds. For sidearms, most dwarf cultures use relatively short, agile, double edged swords that excel in close combat when used with a large shield.
     
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
Loading...

Share This Page