Sunday, 29 July 2012

Genius Loci races: Dwarves

Dwarves are small, strong, sturdy, and a very colourful - and hairy - people. While only men have beards, the pelty soft hair has to be tamed, for dwarven hair never stops growing. If they don't just shave to save time,  dwarves like to wear elaborate fashions with multiple braids, combs, and needles. Colours can be changed with nutrition; eyes, hair, and the spots can all be changed. Unaffected, dwarves have maroon eyes, mauve hair, and light blue spots; since they require quite a lot of sustenance, though, that is a rare sight. Dwarven hands are sensitive and delicate, dwarves never lose their bearing, and - a source of many interesting building habits - can see through stone. This, of course, makes them expert miners; but dwarves also like to be cooks or surgeons, or singers, for dwarven voices carry far and wide.

"After Plokin was destroyed, it was mostly dwarves who rebuilt it. Within only a few years there was a new, thriving metropole. Conspiracy theorists say they also made it so that they can look through every wall. You can believe it or not, but the richest citizens of Plokin are dwarves."
— Bereban Djife, innkeeper

The dwarves' autophobia is legendary. They are deeply afraid of being alone, and the few that actually do live or travel by themselves are noticeably odd. Because of this, dwarves tend to live in cities rather than remote villages and have large families, and since they also live for up to four centuries, the clans have extensive family trees, often spread over many countries. Dwarves have a liking for parties and festivities, often take part in large-scale projects, and love to travel.

Artist's notes
I love how the dwarves turned out to be, and the exotic appeal of their colourfulness. Since I always wanted to have things a bit more different than your average fantasy settings, it was clear that my dwarves would not be silly drunkards, or be only miners and smiths. Artistically, it was the first race I decided would have different facial proportions, and spaced their eyes much wider than humans'; I like the effect of it, they look familiar, but definitely not human. And their hairdos are great fun to paint.

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