Part 42: Regarding DwarvesRegarding Dwarves
The dwarves, our own people, were of ancient days one of the two great settled civilisations of Myrror, rivalled by the beastkin. Our kingdoms were powerful and free, and we enjoyed trade amongst our various kingdoms while suffering occasional wars against the beastkin or against the brutish trolls. We fared better after the coming of the dark elves than did the beastkin, and our kingdoms did resist their growing empire until came the time of the Confederation, which conquered both our kingdoms and the empire of the dark elves. We are shorter and of sturdier build than the other races of Myrror, with thick heavy bones and thick full hair upon our heads, and, amongst our males, upon our faces as well. Our flesh is the most pale of any race of Myrror.
In these latter days, we would appear to be the most successful of any of the races of Myrror after the fall of the Confederation, having forged a mighty kingdom and tamed our own land of Dvergursheim. In the crafts and trades we excel; none may match our skill with metalworking, engineering, stoneworking, and so forth. New inventions drawing upon steam power from charcoal boilers have helped place greater power in our hands where needed. Our dwellings are built of fitted stone with timber framing or of brick, in our towns, although sometimes newer dwellings in outlying countryside may be built entirely of timber. Knowledge of numbercraft is widespread amongst us as it is amongst no other people. Further, we are a people with a tradition of wealth and freedom- all dwarves are born free folk, neither thralls, nor serfs, nor members of a caste, nor even hereditary nobles. Our kings and queens we choose by Kingsmoot, and the practise has served us well. It seems that unique to us, also, is knowledge of proper commercial practise, and by the standards of other races practically every dwarf is in some respects a merchant. The universal use of coin in our trade, practises of standard accounting and bookkeeping, and the wise use of investment and moneylending have allowed us in our towns to develop wealth and comfort unmatched amongst other races. Still, although we have access to great learning and expertise, amongst us learning in the arts of magic is relatively rare. Bright magic is the most commonly taught amongst our people, and few are willing to make the pacts needed to practise these arts. Also, what crafts of shipbuilding we once had have been lost in the savage years as monsters roamed the land when the Confederation fell, and our ventures to regain these arts have not rediscovered the secrets of the fine vessels we built in ancient days.
Our religion is devoted to the Four Bright Gods, whose blessings and teachings are of profit to our folk. Nonetheless, although we love the gods, we are by many standards a secular people when compared against the devotion to their religion of other races and peoples. Even I, a pacted wizard of the Bright Gods, cannot deny that to live in Myrror is good and that the life before us holds many things, not all of which demand we think of the gods at all times. So long as we hold to their moral teachings, though, we may be assured of their blessing and protection.
We stand as inheritors of a proud history, and as the standard-bearers for a bright future. It is my sincere wish as Queen that each and every one of us shall enjoy prosperity and happiness in the years to come, and that our kingdom of Greater Dvergursheim shall never fail.