Monday 28 July 2014

Dwarves part 2

It would seem I have Dwarves on the brain now. More info on the Rock and Stone Dwarves.
**Semi-Spoilers for LotFP players in my campaign, could well never come up**

Rock Dwarves are given to drinking and brawling when they are surrounded by their own kind, but when non-dwarves are present they seem incredibly serious. They just can't get their drink on with strangers around.

By contrast, Stone Dwarves are serious, grim and humourless. Their lives are given up to the collective good of the Burrow, and are occupied with work for the vast majority. Despite this, there is still wealth in their lives, but Stone Dwarven economics is nigh incomprehensible to anyone but a Stone Dwarf.

In terms of agriculture, Rock dwarves are very similar to hill-dwelling humans whereas the Stone Dwarves have to adapt for their subterranean existence. A principle crop is mushrooms, which are often grown on compost made from the dead - including Rock Dwarven dead. For more variety, they trade worked stone and metal goods to their Rock Dwarven cousins. For every Burrow there are roughly 3-4 Rock Dwarf villages.

Rock Dwarves have a requirement for every member of age within the village to be trained in organised combat, the most common weapons being heavy crossbows (imported) and using a shield and spear when distances close. They fight incredibly defensively, owing to their slowed movement due to their short stature, forming a solid wedge of Dwarf, reminiscent of a Hoplite Phalanx. Individual Dwarven fighters, whilst rarer than the human equivalent, are just as likely to use any given weapon.

Stone Dwarven military endeavours are far more involved and complex. The Dream Wardens generally fight with pole-arms, though they mimic the Dwarven Phalanx formation. They use extensive use of traps and hidden tunnels to fall back and ambush invading Nightmares. The Dream Wardens do not have an organised missile element, instead using a militia of those who live close to the dream armed with crossbows and utilizing murder-holes. The lower reaches of the Burrows are guarded by two main elements - a strictly defensive force of cross-trained Sapper-Spearmen, who block up tunnels with their formations whilst others collapse tunnels on the invaders. The final, offensive element of the Dwarven military are the incredibly highly trained Delvers.

Roughly equivalent to special forces in today's forces, they are extensively trained in individual combat, fighting in smaller groups, survival in the caverns and tunnels, stealth, ambushing and scouting. They are mostly used to disrupt enemies forces whilst the slower Sapper-Spearmen move to set up favourable defensive lines. Delvers are either actively scouting below the Burrow or re-equipping. They Delve until they are eventually killed. They generally operate in sevens, but this is not a hard rule, the number being tweaked as needed. Delvers are equipped with whatever the job requires, though many of them choose to specialise in particular weapons. Spears are very rare amongst the Delvers, though light crossbows are ubiquitous.

Rock Dwarves give praise to gods of merriment and partying, and give the bodies of their dead to the Stone Dwarves for what they believe to be proper burial. (see agriculture section) Their culture suffers from some serious guilt about not being as Dwarven as the Stone Dwarves, but also poking fun at their seriousness with all the partying they do.

Stone Dwarven religion is as complex and confusing as their underground tunnels, within a complex network of deities, spirits and ancestors all balancing and counteracting each other. Worship is an incredibly private affair - asking a fellow Stone Dwarf about his religious practices is enough to be exiled. Burial is to be Given Back to the Stone - a tiny stone cell is cut out, the body is interred and then the cell is sealed. No possessions are stored bar the simple black robe of Stone Dwarven society.

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