The Age of Arcana
Elven mythology claims that the Dwarven race was born of an alchemical union of stone and a prehistoric Elven race. Deep Elven scholars support this theory, though they add that the union was the result of a cosmic accident of mana-laden ley lines shifting in the wrong direction when the sneeze of a cave dragon coincided with an earthquake.. Dwarves are short, sturdy, and deadlier than short stature would suggest as they saunter through the ranks of a well-groomed battlefield. They are similar to Elves in their territorial separation, having acclimatized to whatever geographical region they chose to settle.
Dwarves found in towns and cities, like their kin, are not particularly fond of mana and its manipulation, though they understand its crucial place in the balance of the world. When they do meddle with mana it tends to be alchemical meddling. They use mana in conjunction with natural elements that the land provides.
Dwarven alchemists can be found running from explosions, swimming out instantly flooded canyons, or chopping their way out of forests that have grown in minutes. Regardless of their failures ir successes all Dwarven alchemists agree on one simple fact: the safest place to be is always between a rock and a hard place.
The most common Dwarves are the Redbeards. Thick, husky Dwarves with beards thicker than ice-bear’s coat keep them warm in the frigid north. They carve castles and strongholds out of mountains and stone to defend their lands. Over years of forging and sculpting they have developed a love hammers, axes, and clubs over swords and other flimsy wastes of steel.
Readbeards are strong and hardy, though their constant work with stone has made them gruff towards others and are often known for their short tempers . They love granite and practically worship marble as building materials for their castles, coves, and keeps. Constantly slaving over a hot forge has given them some control over fire they deal with on a daily basis.
Mounkin Dwarves are often found in underground caves mining for precious metals. They guard the entrances to the underworld of Thal’Nandria and mountain passes, not because it is dangerous, but because they covet the metals hidden within. They are known to be excellent weaponsmiths and armorers. They often use their specialized skills to extract rare treasures from other races that need to add an ‘edge’ to their political negotiations.
Mountainkin, like their Redbeard cousins, are strong and hardy but abrasive to other races. While Redbeards are skilled with stonework they lack the connection to the earth that the Mountainkin possess. Their years in the darkness of the underground has given them excellent vision and amazing skills traversing rocky terrain in unexpected ways.
The rarest breed of Dwarf is the seafaring Shallowskin. While most Dwarves took the the mountains and dark stone caverns the Shallowskins prefer life out on the open seas. Many of the other Dwarves question if the Shallowskin are actually Dwarves, but their doubts were silenced when the Shallowskin replied with a very dwarven temper.
Shallowskin Dwarves defy the stereotypes of typical Dwarves. These seafaring Dwarves are quick on their feet and prefer finesse weapons to the strong armed ways of their cousins. They prefer cleanliness and open waterways for travel and leisure and the years on the seas have made them stalwart while giving them a stereotypical Dwarven demeanor.