Chambers of Astinus
Dwarves are shorter and stockier than humans or elves, but as such they are more solid than either of the taller races. Dwarves live in underground dwellings for the most part, preferring to spend their days mining precious metals or shaping stone and metal to their will. They are exceptional blacksmiths and craftsmen. Dwarves live to be about 350 years old.
The most important feature of any dwarf is his beard. Even dwarven women have whiskers, but the men are able to grow a full beard, of which they are intensely proud. The only dwarf to shave his beard was Kharas, the dwarven hero, who shaved it to show his shame in killing his countrymen during the Dwarfgate War. In addition, dwarves have infravision, the ability to sense direction, depth and slope underground and are incredibly resistant to magic, distrusting its properties almost entirely.
Like the elves, the dwarves experienced a split in their unity when some of the dwarves who preferred to live outside left the underground dwellings for the freedom of the exterior. Originally these dwarves were known as the Einar (or Unclanned), however they later came to be known as the Neidar, or Hill Dwarves. The remaining clans of Mountain Dwarves are known as the Hylar, Daewar, Theiwar, Daergar, Dewar, Aghar, Klar and Zhakar.
The Hylar are generally considered to be the most noble of the dwarves. They also have had the most members of their clan hold the position of the High King, which requires the acquisition of the Hammer of Kharas, the most famous Hylar next to Derkin Lawgiver. The Hylar derive directly from the ancient clan of Calnar dwarves. Many other dwarves also hailed from this infamous clan.
Daewar are the dwarven craftsman. They excel at battle and at metalworking and are considered to be 'good' dwarves as well. Daewar are almost as 'noble' as the Hylar, but they are more concerned with the acquisition of wealth and are usually the merchants of dwarvenkind. The Daewar are almost always strongly allied to the Hylar dwarves. The Daewar thane often serves as advisor to the Hylar thane in times of need.
Theiwar are the dark dwarves. Conniving and scheming, Theiwar are always looking for ways to further their own evil self interest. Theiwar prefer the dark dwellings of Thorbardin, and are easily distinguishable from other dwarves because of their paler complexions, larger eyes and their ability to use magic. With almost any dark plot in Thorbardin, the Theiwar will generally be behind it, pulling the puppet strings of the other clans.
Daergar are the counterpart of the Theiwar in much the same way the Daewar are the counterpart of the Hylar—they are the brawn behind the Theiwar brains. However, they are not allies: the Daergar are even more murderous than their Theiwar cousins, and much more prone to physical violence rather than cunning to resolve any given situation. Their leaders are chosen as the most vicious fighter in their clan, and they are frequently murdered and replaced by their killers. Only the Theiwar deal with the Daergar to any great extent.
Not to be confused with their Daewar cousins, the Dewar are a third group of 'dark' dwarves. They live in caverns beneath Thorbardin where the other clans refuse to live. The Dewar were exiled because of their insanity; now after years of inbreeding, it has become that much more pronounced (in fact, those deemed 'sane' are shunned). The Dewar excel at killing and at cruelty, and are quick to anger.
The Aghar, or Gully Dwarves, are considered by many to be the most repulsive of races on Krynn. Gully dwarves are the diminutive cousins of true dwarves, though they still have a seat on the Council of Thanes in Thorbardin. Their leader, the Highbulp, is the Aghar who is most accomplished at grovelling his way out of any given situation. Terrified of any threat, Gully Dwarves are exceptionally hard-headed and stupid. They tend to dwell in garbage dumps and near refuse, they also delight in shiny things.
The Klar, a thanedom of hill dwarves, were subjugated by the Hylar following the Dwarfgate War, and many now act as servants to the Hylar, though they have their own underground city on the banks of the Urkhan Sea. The Klar are known to be aggressive and have to tendency to go berserk in battle. Many mountain dwarves try to avoid them when possible, since dealings with the Klar can be decidedly dangerous at times.
All hill dwarves are grouped into this thanedom. Defeated by the mountain dwarves in the Dwarfgate War, this clan of dwarves lives in the hills outside of Thorbardin. They dislike the confines of the underground fortress, but still seek representation on the Council of Thanes. Neidar are generally 'good' dwarves, albeit like most types of dwarves, they are often gruff and have a deep, abiding dislike to any mountain dwarf. One of the most famous Neidar dwarves is Flint Fireforge, Hero of the Lance.
Another clan of evil dwarves, the Zhakar were the inhabitants of Thoradin for a long period of time. However after their prolonged period underground, they suffered from a type of mold plague in the realm of Thoradin. This caused the Zhakar to be in a constant state of decay since almost after birth, and they are considered lepers by many. In the post-War of the Lance period, the cleric Severus Stonehand journeyed from Thorbardin to Thoradin and freed the Zhakar of the curse and established himself as their leader.
The Einar were the first true hill dwarves. In ancient times, just after Thorbardin had begun construction, some dwarves found that they much preferred dwelling in the hills, than living underground. These dwarves then setup settlements in the hills of Thorbardin and chose to not be directly linked to any mountain clan. The Einar became a loosely group 'clan' of sorts that communicated with the mountain dwarves as needed. Over time, eventually the Einar decided to form a proper clan, rather than being known as unclanned. A small portion of the Einar chose to return to the halls of Thorbardin and form various clans, the vast majority chose to join the newly forming Neidar clan, and solidify their stance officially as hill dwarves.
The Calnar were the first recognised dwarven clan who dwelt in the ancient city of Thorin. (later known as Thoradin) The Calnar were the descendants of the dwarves who built the first kingdom of Kal-Thax. The kingdom of Thorin was prosperous and well-liked in the region for several centuries until it was later decided, after a human betrayal to leave the land. Some of the Calnar chose to stay in the newly named Thoradin, however the majority of the Calnar chose to find a new homeland, which they eventually found in the Kharolis Mountains. The Calnar also discovered some other dwarven clans whom they quickly allied with. Shortly thereafter the unified dwarven clans built a great new city which they named Thorbardin. The Calnar also chose to form a new clan, since they believed they were no longer truly Calnar any longer. They chose the name of Hylar, and the clan has been one of the mightiest and prosperous ever since.
The Lokhar are a fairly new clan of dwarves. During the Summer of Chaos, shadow wights ravaged the dwarven realm of Thorbardin. Many dwarves were left without memories or kin. These dwarves could often not recall where they came from or what clan they hailed from. Those affected numbered in the thousands and after careful deliberation it was decided that a new clan needed to be formed to protect these victims of the war. The city of Lobardin was established for them, and the clan name of Lokhar was created. The Lokhar are a sad, quiet clan who currently do not have a seat on the Council of Thanes. This may change with more recent times however.
The Nylgai Hadirnoe are known as the 'Scorned Dwarves'. They are an ancient race of 20,000 dwarves whom are organised into strict clans based on trades and professions. This clan used to live in the central and northern mountains of Taladas, however have moved further underground since the events of Hiteh's Night. Most of the Nylgai Hadirnoe never leave their underground empire and have little-to-no dealings with above-world creatures during their lifetimes.
The Fiannawar are the dour, surface-dwelling dwarves who live in the northern ranges of the Steamwall Mountains in Taladas. Their settlements are based around ore sites, and they make their living digging ore out of mines and tending the fields. They have a loose alliance with the powerful League of Minotaurs, and predominantly keep to themselves as much as possible.
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