Base Cost: 14 points
Dwarves are humanoid beings of extraplanar origin. Legend has it that they originated in the plane of Nidavellir, but have since spread across the various planes of existence. Though their origins are subject to debate, some dwarves have nonetheless made their home on our own earth.
Infravision: dwarves have the ability to see in the dark - and quite well, in fact. Even in complete darkness underground, dwarves have the rank value 20 ability to pierce the black veil, though they cannot perceive colors while doing so.
Longevity: in addition to their affinity with the earth, dwarves are possessed of exceptional longevity, having a lifespan that is much longer than that of mere humans. They possess this power at rank value 2, giving them a 560 year eventual lifespan, as determined by this formula:
normal human lifespan (70) times power rank value cubed (8) = eventual dwarven lifespan (560 years)
Nature Sense / Earth: in tune with any earth around them, dwarves can tell how far below the surface they are, no matter how deep they may be. This extremely limited, rank value 20 ability can usually also tell them if they are standing on an incline or a flat surface.
Limitations / Enhancements:
Personal Weapon: most dwarves carry at least one personal weapon with them at all times. They often prefer axes, maces or cudgels, though most aren't above using more esoteric weapons like a chain saw or an Uzi 9mm, given the opportunity. Such weapons vary from dwarf to dwarf.
Alien Customs: being from realms far removed from the human experience, dwarves tend to suffer from culture shock upon entering human society. While not so far removed that they can't get by with some effort, dwarves (especially new arrivals) often stick out like a sore thumb.
Dwarfism: mythical dwarves, unlike humans with this condition, naturally suffer the effects of this quirk - if only because of their diminutive size. Human clothing generally does not fit them well, and most of their equipment needs to be built with their stature in mind.
Natural Talent: their affinity for elemental earth allows dwarves a bonus when making something out of stone, whether it be an axe blade or a palace. This +1 RS bonus applies whether or not the dwarf in question has actual skills (like engineering) to enhance such actions further.
Languages: dwarves are intelligent beings, and often develop the ability to converse in a multitude of languages. They always know how to speak with their own language, as well as the common tongue(s) of their adopted home, if not many, many more.
Weapon Skill: a complement to their personal weapon, dwarves will usually work with their implement of choice until they can wield it instinctually. As such, they should at least spend one skill 'slot' on their personal weapon, as this is a cultural dwarven trait.
Naturally, dwarves are just like people, and will not necessarily help a body simply because he's a dwarf - unless said dwarf is in trouble caused by people specifically opposed to dwarves, that is. For the most part, simply determine a dwarf's contacts as you would for any other character.
Dwarves are almost universally thought of as industrious, hard working sorts. They tend to mind their own business when going about their affairs, and usually pursue such with considerable dedication. One might use the expression 'Salt of the Earth' concerning dwarves.
These beings also have a reputation for being stern, or even taciturn, though most such opinions come from those who tend to misunderstand them. It's not that they're surly, per se, so much as dwarves tend to be as slow to change (or just as stubborn) as the earth from which they came.
Dwarves appear rather similar to humans in aspect, though are shorter and thicker overall. They average from four to five foot tall overall, though their stocky builds allow them the same physical prowess as a human of normal size and capability.
Males are often a bit more hirsute than humans, and are in fact renowned for their rather long beards and moustaches. Female dwarves are rumored to be just as hairy by rabble-rousers or the ignorant - though they're rather quick to set such rumormongers straight.
The sons and daughters of Nidavellir are well known for their mountainous and subterranean realms, filled with stone works of seemingly impossible quality. They trade what they take from beneath the surface, in a raw or refined state, for that which they cannot acquire underground.
The actual origins of the extraplanar humanoids known as dwarves are somewhat unclear. Some myths hold that they were fashioned from the flesh and blood of the dead giant Ymir, while others state that dwarves were maggots dwelling in its corpse, until given intellect by the gods.
Whether either of these myths are the truth or some other, more likely story is responsible, dwarves are nonetheless heavily tied to Norse mythology. They originally hail from the subterranean realm of Nidavellir, one of the Nine Worlds (planes) overseen by the Norse gods.
Dwarves themselves play little direct role in the history of these deities, though what little is known of them often involved the creation of artifacts of great power for both the Aesir and the Vanir, two distinct groups of gods that dwell within the Nine Worlds.
Of course, many dwarves have proven unable or unwilling to remain solely within the plane of their birth (or creation), or simply aren't content to spend their days building fantastic objects for others. As such, one can readily find dwarves, either alone or in groups, across the multiverse.
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