Head Hunters of Eberron
From a history of barbarism and warfare, the dwarves have risen to a position of enormous economic might. For eight centuries, dwarves have dominated banking and finance in the burgeoning mercantile industries of Khorvaire, leaving their brutal past behind them. They remain a race of proud warriors, and they present an appearance of elegant sophistication – beards cut close, armor trimmed with fur and brocade, and the fury of an ancient barbarian warrior simmering deep beneath the fair facade.
The dwarf clans of the Mror Holds have never had the strong national identity typical of other races. As the great clans strive to unite the holdings into a secure empire based on finance, they continue to fight this legacy. The feuding dwaf clans were too weak to resist being annexed into Karrnath in the early years of the kingdom of Galifar but turned their subjugation to good use. Karrnath’s rule forced the clans to cease fighting each other, allowing them to focus on building a civilization from the tremendous mineral wealth of the Ironroot Mountains. Twenty years after the outbreak of the Last War, the Mror Holds declared their independence from Karrnath and emerged as a new nation – the first true dwarf nation ever in the world.
The dwarves of the Mror Holds remain a loose confederation of clans rather than a unified nation. The great clans rule through a body called the Iron Council, a group of lords made up of representatives from various clans. Each clan, however, continues to govern its own holds and acts, in many ways, as an independent city-state in negotiations with the other nations of Khorvaire. Other powerful groups, particularly House Kundara, the holders of the Mark of Warding, influence the council and the nation from the periphery. Although House Kundarak does not have a seat on the Iron Council, many of the council’s decisions seem to hint at Kundarak influence.
Physical Description: Dwarves are a short and stocky race, and stand about a foot shorter than most humans, with wide, compact bodies that account for their burly appearance. Male and female dwarves pride themselves on the length of their hair, and men often decorate their beards with a variety of clasps and intricate braids. A clean shaven male dwarf is a sure sign of madness, or worse—no one familiar with their race trusts a beardless dwarf.
Relations: With a wealth of natural resources, forbidding natural defenses, and a long history of bloodshed, dwarves present an impressive image to the outside world. It is easy to see why the other nations of Khorvaire find it more prudent to call the dwarves friends than to raise their weapons in an attempt at conquest. Dwarves, for their part ever the mercantile agents, are not unknown to give in to paranoia. A saying can be found in the other nations of Khorvaire; Trust a dwarf to trust his father even less than his best friend.
Dwarf Lands: The Mror Holds stretch throughout the Ironroot Mountains, a dangerous and forbidding range at the northeastern edge of Khorvaire. The dwarves live in a hard and hostile climate. Over the last nine hundreed years, the Mror Holds have used the incredible riches of their homeland to build themselves into an economic powerhouse. Still, int heir own lands they are faced with ever-present danger, not just from savage orcs, trolls, and other monsters, but from the cold, barren land itself. Dwarf settlements focus on defense and protection of the natural resources that generate wealth. Built into the sides of mountains and deep underground, each can lays claim to one or more holdfasts.
Dragonmarks: The dwarven House Kundarak carries the Mark of Warding, enabling the house to protect its vast stores of wealth and provide security for businesses and precious goods. House Kundarak works closely with the gnomes of House Sivis in the production and verification of important documents and the like.
Religion: Many dwarves pay homage to the Sovereign Host, and worship of the Host has grown steadily in recent generations. The deity most favored among he dwarves is Kol Korran, god of trade and wealth. Other deities are popular as well, including Boldrei, Olladar, Onatar, and Dol Dorn. Many far-seeing dwarves hope that devotion to the Sovereign Host might serve as a unifying force within dwarf culture, but such religious influence is unlikely given the independent nature of dwarves and the growing influence of mercantile interests among dwarf clans.
Language: The dwarves remain a grim an survival-minded race. They are slow to reveal emotion or information, and stoic around anyone not of their immediate family. Dwarves choose their words deliberately, careful to avoid giving away information that could be used against them. They speak Dwarven among themselves, though they are literate in the languages of those races with which they trade.
Adventurers: Dwarf characters have much to be proud of. Their race has grown from a collection of feuding barbaric clans to a mighty economic force in Khorvaire in just a thousand years’ time – a handful of generations to the long-lived dwarves. Even so, the bloody past of those barbaric clans has left the dwarves with a brutal and direct sense of honor and the physical skills to back their views. Most dwarves adventure to increase their own wealth and prestige, carving a life and fame out of the world the same way the barbaric clans of their ancestors carved space for themselves in their mountain holds.
The increasingly mercantile culture of the Mror Holds also breeds adventurers, merchants, and traders who travel the world in the name of commerce. These sturdy crafters must be adept at both the social activities of trading and bartering and the physical demands of travel throughout Khorvaire. Many a dwarf adventurer builds his skills at the side of a trading caravan in the name of one of the great clans. Dwarves have a long and violent history, and they respect the independence and personal power required to become entwined with human culture, more and more dwarves are drawn to exploration and adventure as a way to make name for themselves. As a growing and vital culture, the allied clans of the Ironroot Mountains view these explorers as an increasingly important way of staying in communication with the human kingdoms of Khorvaire.
Dwarf Racial Traits
+2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom, –2 Charisma: Dwarves are both tough and wise, but also a bit gruff.
Medium: Dwarves are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Slow and Steady: Dwarves have a base speed of 20 feet, but their speed is never modified by armor or encumbrance.
Darkvision: Dwarves can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
Defensive Training: Dwarves get a +4 dodge bonus to AC against monsters of the giant subtype.
Greed: Dwarves receive a +2 racial bonus on Appraise skill checks made to determine the price of nonmagical goods that contain precious metals or gemstones.
Hatred: Dwarves receive a +1 bonus on attack rolls against humanoid creatures of the orc and goblinoid subtypes due to special training against these hated foes.
Hardy: Dwarves receive a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against poison, spells, and spell-like abilities.
Stability: Dwarves receive a +4 racial bonus to their Combat Maneuver Defense when resisting a bull rush or trip attempt while standing on the ground.
Stonecunning: Dwarves receive a +2 bonus on Perception checks to potentially notice unusual stonework, such as traps and hidden doors located in stone walls or floors. They receive a check to notice such features whenever they pass within 10 feet of them, whether or not they are actively looking.
Weapon Familiarity: Dwarves are proficient with battleaxes, heavy picks, and warhammers, and treat any weapon with the word “dwarven” in its name as a martial weapon.