Age of Ascension
Favored Regions: Bronze dwarves normally hail from Eastiron Territory, their largest settlement; Valcora, if their parents lived in the city; or the small town of Narrows in the Skyhall Mountains. Iron Dwarves come exclusively from their fortified mountain hall, Krein.
Favored Deity: Arkath (Arcalinte), Moraine (Mara), Taudoc, Kargoth (Sargonne), Hel the Runecarver (Halco), any number of ancestors and heroes. The Iron Dwarves added Gorund (Gorath) to their pantheon while sealed in the Underworld.
Favored Languages: Dwarven, Goblin, and a distant tradition of Giant. Iron dwarves rarely bother with Avencian unless needed.
In the age of ruin, years 2140-2532, untold destruction was wrought upon the world. History suggests that it came from below; from the untold and unfathomable depths of caverns beneath Azuyra’s crust. Between the source of destruction and the surface world lay the grand kingdoms of the dwarves; wonders of stonework and engineering hoarded below the surface like treasure, and never shared with the surface world.
The return of many dwarves who ventured to the surface was a clue that something had gone wrong in their halls, and for years, nothing was heard.
Out of the blackness stumbled battered refugees in droves, carrying their dead and scant few possessions. It was obvious that this was a minority; most of the dwarves were dead or trapped below.
The refugees who fled to the surface banded together into settlements in the foothills. They are the bronze dwarves, and though they mourn the glory of their ruined civilization, centuries later, the bronze dwarves have built new homes and widened their horizons. Many live among humans, or trade with them regularly.
The Bronze dwarves were named for the color of their skin, as exposure to the sun took effect on the first generation of settlers in the foothills. Their eyes range in color from amber, to emerald, to stormy blue, and hair is between orange, brown, and iron grey. Current fashions favor shorter beards with intricate braiding and beading, but away from home, most travelling dwarves leave them unbound.
The bronze dwarves believe that life is a journey, and your actions come back to you, even in the afterlife. By living a full, worthy life, you can ensure a place with your honored ancestors, and have a good time along the way. In this case, worth in bronze dwarven society is a measure of skill, friendship, and material wealth, all of which in turn give the clan strength.
Four centuries passed before the emergence of the Deep Dwarves… a name now given to the scarred remnants of the old kingdoms who had spent generations in the deep caverns, subject to unknown taints and evils. Heroism and a lust for vengeance allowed these desperate people to retake a few of the old dwarven clan holds from what infestations had settled there, and after hundreds of years, life has returned to something resembling order.
Deep dwarves are excessively pale, with beards of pale gold to charcoal. Their eyes hold the reflective quality of a nocturnal beast; a cloudy iris of blue, purple, or grey with a reflective surface behind. The stature of the deep dwarves is surprisingly different for the amount of time they were shut away from the surface, in comparison to the bronze dwarves. The average deep dwarf stands a few inches taller than a bronze, with long, muscular arms and broader shoulders. Steadfast in their traditions, they retain an appearance that denotes their place in society. Longer beard, bigger hammer.
Calling themselves the Iron Dwarves again does not erase the stain of their entombment; they are a grim people, stoic in temperament until pushed too far. It is said the anger of the deep dwarves is like the eruption of a volcano, fiery and uncontrollable. There are still many deep dwarves born who are prone to fits of insatiable rage, and these are exiled to seek their death in glorious, bloody battle with the beasts of the mountains. Highly political, they remain almost completely shut away in the ancient city of Krein.