The Lost Tales
“There now Dain son of Nain took up his abode and he became King Under the Mountain, and in time many other Dwarves gathered to his throne in the ancient halls”
When the Dwarves first settled on Erebor, the Lonely Mountain, they dug deep and far, carving a kingdom of stone and jewels beneath its slopes. Lamps and candles burned ceaselessly to illuminate their busy hands, and their treasure grew along with their fame in the Northern world. One day, the Dragon came on the wings of greed; Smaug the Golden burnt the Kingdom under the Mountain to ashes, smashing its pride with a lash of its tail. But Dwarves can hold a grudge that outlasts a Dragon’s life, and at the end of an incredible adventure, Thorin Oakenshield and thirteen fellow conspirators lived to see the death of Smaug. Today, the halls of the Dwarves resound again with the din of hammer and anvil, and their masons craft the roads and buildings of Dale and Erebor with stones of many colours. The Men of Dale, now also called Bardings in honour of their lord, the Dragon-slayer, provide the busy Dwarves with everything they need to sustain themselves, in exchange of the fruits of their exceptional stone and metalworking.
Since the killing of the Dragon, the Dwarves have ceased to be a wandering folk of exiles, and have undertaken great labours to restore the Kingdom under the Mountain. Its wealth and renown are rapidly growing, and seem destined to grow greater than before: new halls are dug, cavernous streets under the earth are adorned with pillars as numerous as trees in a forest, while superior armor and keen swords leave their smiths’ workshops in ever greater number. More Dwarves arrive every year from distant lands and join King Dáin’s underground court.
Dwarves are an ancient and secretive race, whose customs and traditions are mostly unknown to outsiders. At the end of the Third Age, they are a proud but dwindling people, survivors from a distant past. Almost all Dwarves that can be encountered speak of themselves as belonging to ‘Durin’s folk’. They are probably the most redoubtable warriors in Middle-earth, hard to break or corrupt, but often at odds with other Free Peoples over old quarrels or new slights.
Dwarves are short and stocky, with robust limbs and heads crowned with long hair and longer beards that give them their typically elderly appearance. They are long-lived, known to reach 250 years of age.
STANDARD OF LIVING
With the fabulous Dragon-hoard of Erebor reclaimed and their Kingdom restored, the Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain rank as a Rich culture.
To most denizens of the Lonely Mountain, taking part in the making of future splendours is enough to fill their life with purpose. To some, the memory of even greater halls still lost to the enemy fills their heart with longing and bitterness, driving out any interest in the concerns of other folks. These restless spirits become emissaries and adventurers, and their wandering carries the name of Erebor to many foreign realms.
Suggested Callings: Slayer, Treasure-hunter.
Dwarf characters calculate their Fatigue threshold by adding up the Encumbrance ratings of all the items they are carrying, and then subtracting their favoured Heart score from the total.
A Life of Toil
You and your family have laboured hard in the mines of the Iron Hills, dreaming that one day you will be able to delve deeper once again for far more precious ore. Unfortunately, to this day most ancient Dwarf-holds are no more than Dragon’s lairs or Orc-infested pits. You toil patiently, peering into the gloom with eyes hungry for the gleaming of gems and gold.
Favoured Skill Explore
By the reckoning of the Dwarves, you were only a stripling when you left your home in the Blue Mountains to follow your kinsmen along the trading roads. You have since seen many places and met different folks eager to trade goods for the product of dwarven handiwork. You remember little of the roads you took, as you were led by your more experienced kin, but those journeys have awoken in you a desire to see the world.
Favoured Skill Courtesy
Long ago, your ancestors were driven out of their underground halls in the far North. Since you were born, you have assisted your ailing father as he suffered from his enforced exile. His malady proved infectious, and over the long years, your longing for the lost home of your forefathers consumed you day after day. You tried to quench your spite in forgetfulness, but the embers of your anger never died completely.
Favoured Skill Healing
The hardships endured by your folk during two ages of the world have inspired many songs. But the words that come easier to your lips are those recounting deeds of courage and valour or, even better, those exalting the craft of your forefathers in works of cunning and skill. Your tales are testimony that your people has suffered much, but can still see beauty in the Northern World.
Favoured Skill Persuade
A Lesson in Revenge
Your grandfather never relented in his hunt for the Orc- chief from Mount Gundabad who killed his wife. Leading you along dim underground passages, he told you much about the cruel ways of the servants of the Shadow, and how to fight them. His words scared you when you were young and haunted your dreams, but now that you have started down the road to adventure you begin to see the value of his advice.
Favoured Skill Battle
A Penetrating Gaze
Your elder brother instructed you to judge others by their deeds, not their words, especially when dealing with the fair-spoken Elves. But in time you have come to trust your instinct above all else, as your heart is not easily swayed. Thieves and liars do not dare to meet your eyes, as you seem able to lay bare their plots.
Favoured Skill Insight