Small in stature but possessed of a strength disproportionate to their size, the dwarves are comfortable living anywhere on Remnas. Even underground. The great dwarvish kingdoms are located in and around mountains. They build farms on the fertile land above ground, but the true economic heart of dwarf society lives below ground. A naturally industrious people with a healthy respect for working up a sweat, dwarves build great cities underground to be closer to the fires of the earth and the metals and minerals they mine. Jotta’s Hearth, the largest of their kingdoms, has an above ground settlement nestled at the base of the God’s Back Mountains’ southern tip, but the below ground settlement there, including all mining tunnels, is boasted to run all the way to the northern end of that great range.
Dwarves have an excellent sense of direction and a natural affinity for finding precious metals, as if drawn to them like a magnet. Their eyes do not naturally see in the dark, but they compensate for this by using solarium, a crystal that stores sunlight, to create a special glass. They call this material Luminaglass and it allows them to see as if the tunnels were full of sunlight. The manufacturing technique to create it is a well-guarded secret. All members of the mining community wear goggled fitted with Luminaglass lenses.
The riches of the dwarvish kingdoms come from three sources. They have a monopoly on the salt trade. They sell the gems, metal ore and minerals they mine throughout Remnas and are the most celebrated metalsmiths on Remnas. Be it delicate jewelry or weapons, the craftsmanship of the dwarvish forge masters has no equal. They developed a smelting process, which takes advantage of the natural heat of the earth’s core, to make blades that are resistant to damage. Possessing an esthetic eye and careful touch that seems at odds with their stocky frames, a smith may work for months or even years to craft items with intricate designs and patterns.
As metals that would fetch a king’s ransom are as plentiful as grains of sand in the dwarvish kingdoms, it is said that the key to determining a person’s social importance is to look at a man’s beard. Even the dwarvish kings are said to get sweaty and sooty in the mines and the forges, but the true way to tell a dwarf’s rank is to look at the number of braids in his beard. A common miner or farmer wears no braids, an apprentice smith is allowed one, a master smith two, a noble three and four for a royal. The women show their rank by the number of plaits in their hair.
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