race_dwarves.jpg Left to Right: Duergar, Shield Dwarf, Gold Dwarf
Type Humanoid
General Alignment Often Lawful
Typical Languages Dwarven, Regional, Ignan
Habitat Mountains, Underdark
Subraces None (Dwarven Subrace)
Deities The Morndinsamman
Groups Various

Gold Dwarves

Found largely in the South in the immediate vicinity of the Great Rift, gold dwarves are the dominant southern branch of the Stout Folk. Renowned for not only their smithworkd and craftsmanship but also for their military prowess and legendary wealth, gold dwarves have maintained their empire for millenia, unbowed by the passage of time.

Averaging 4 feet tall - shower than their shield dwarf kin - and weighing as much as an adult human, gold dwarves are stocky and muscular. The skin of a gold dwarf is light brown or deeply tanned, and her eyes are usually brown or hazel. Both genders wear their hair long, and males (and some females) have long, carefully groomed beards and moustaches. Hair color ranges from black to gray or brown, with all shades fading to light grey as time progresses.

Gold dwarves measure others by how much honor and wealth each individual garners as well as the status of his or her bloodline and clan. To gold dwarves, life is best lived through adherence to the ancient traditions of the Deep Realm. The very persistence of their own way of life indicates that other short-lived cultures are inherently flawed. As such, those who lack a meaningful cultural tradition or reject their elders' dictates are untrustworthy and possibly dangerous.

From birth, gold dwarves are taught to conform to the traditional strictures of their society. Every important decision, from choice of profession to their mate, is determined by the circumstances of their birth. Those who do not act honorably in their dealings are shunned from an early age, breeding a tremendous societal pressure to fit in.

Gold dwarves lack the longstanding tradition of adventuring found in their shield dwarf cousins in the north. However, population pressures induced by the Thunder Blessing have given birth to a new generation of gold dwarf adventurers. Most gold dwarves who wander beyond the familiar confines of the Deep Realm do so in order to found new strongholds of their own, but many find the lure of adventuring hard to ignore once it has entered into their blood.

Gold dwarf culture does not exhibit a great deal of variability, the result of generations of gold dwarfs insulated from outside influences. Class and clan divisions are strong among gold dwarves, and great importance is attributed to bloodlines when ascribing social status. However, the Deep Realm is so swamped with petty, decadent royals and nobles that little real power is invested in anyone but the governing council of clan elders.

Commerce and craftsmanship both play an important role in gold dwarf society, as does the never-satiated grasping for more riches. Pride and honor play an important role in all aspects of daily life, for disgrace applies not only to oneself, but also to kin, clan, and long-dead ancestors.

Gold dwarves are raised in tight family unites, but the clan elders play an important oversight role in the upbringing of every child. Book learning is common, as is an apprenticeship to learn a trade. All adults are expected to support themselves and their family as well as bring honor and riches to the clan. Ostentatious displays of wealth are important for maintaining one's prestige, so poorer gold dwarves often scrimp and save to keep up appearances. As gold dwarves age, they accorded increasing respect for their wisdom. Clan elders form a ruling gerontocracy that strongly enforces traditional practices. Families and clans are expected to honor their elders in death with elaborate funereal rites and tombs befitting the deceased's reputation.

Outside the Deep Realm, gold dwarves hold themselves apart, forming small, insular enclaves that attempt to replicate traditional clan life. Few gold dwarves have any interest in adopting local practices except where it furthers their ability to hawk their wares.

Main article: Dwarves - History

Gold dwarf merchant caravans sometimes pass through the dales. Gold dwarf travellers and adventurers find hospitality in the dwarven village of Glen in Mistledale, but there are no gold dwarf holdings founded in the region as yet.

Dwarves with Weapon Proficiency: Martial receive Weapon Proficiency: Dwarf for free, which allows them to use Dwarven Waraxes.