Norse Dwarves

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Personality: The Norse dwarves are a race apart from the ones that worship the traditional Dwarven Pantheon (mountain, hill, duergar, derro, etc.). What their origins are and where they came from originally is still dark, and if they know they ain't about to tell. The Norse pantheon can't take (or won't) take responsibility, and for obvious reasons the standard dwarf pantheon doesn't either.

Mostly, it is the cultures and societies that are the greatest difference. Both races are renowned craftsmen and metalworkers of the highest order, but the greatest difference is the type of magic they employ. While standard dwarves have priests and gods of their own, Norse dwarves rarely, if ever, turn to the worship of a god. While they may respect the might of a Power, not too mention their jink, worship is out of the question.

Unlike the 'normal' dwarves, Norse dwarves are very fond of arcane magic and many are sorcerers, wizards or multiclass with these. Otherwise they are often fighters, with a select few barbarians. Monks and rangers are rare, but not unheard of. Rogues are usually those with an interest in mechanical devices and concentrate their talents to such things rather than sneaking and hiding and pick pocketing. Few are bards, since their nature doesn't lend itself well to such aesthetic pursuits. Still, the occasional Norse dwarf bard is found, specializing in the ancient lore of the Norse dwarves, and the Norse pantheon and their allies and enemies. Paladins, clerics and druids because of their religions ties are probably even less common than nordic bards.

One puzzling aspect is that few, if any, Norse dwarf females have been heard of. They are never encountered in their halls (by outsiders), never seen, or spoken of. Why? Only the Norse dwarves know, and they aren't telling.

The Norse dwarves have a history of creating the biggest and most powerful weapons around. Just where did Thor get Mjølnir? Where did Odin get his spear? The Norse Dwarves, of course. Sure, they can't create things like this on a whim. These are major artifacts that even other gods fear. They haven't created such items in a very long time, leading some to believe that they have lost their ability. Others think that it is because they can't be bothered to make weapons for every berk that comes along, Power or not.

Despite this, they are still sought after as master smiths for 'lesser' weapons. If you are fortunate to get hold of a piece of their work, you know that it is worth the price you paid and then some. It will never let you down, and there is often some little extra ability that makes it a truly unique piece. The Norse dwarves are a lot more like the stereotypical standard dwarf than most standard dwarves. On the whole, they are greedy, materialistic, canny and cunning. They are often wicked and unpleasant, caring only for the gleam of gold. They are not so clannish as other dwarves and readily betray their own kind if there is profit is involved. On the other hand, Norse dwarves avenge any wrong done to a member of their family by any outsider. And they use any means necessary to get even. They are close-mouthed and frankly few Norse dwarves have much love for each other, much less outsiders.

There are two factions or clans of dwarves, the Modsogne and the Durin. Named after the two first Norse dwarves created. Modsogne was first, and most powerful, but Durin was the one whom most Norse dwarves followed. The Durin are the ones who make most of the weapons and other items. They sell their work to anyone who has the gold to buy it, regardless of purpose to which it is put. The Modsogne are slightly more cautious and tend more towards non-violent items. Even so, there is little or no disagreement between the two 'clans'.

By: Bjørn William RøyrvikImported from a previous version of
Physical Description: Physically, they look much the same as 'normal' dwarves, but are less inclined to stoutness, and their heights vary more. They often have brown, black or red beards and hair. They live slightly longer than standard dwarves, and can reach ages of up to 500 years, even 600 in some very few cases!

To people who don't know much about dwarves, a Norse dwarf is indistinguishable from a standard dwarf. The dwarves, on the other hand, instantly spot the difference. The relationship between the two races is polite, but cold and distant. They would just as soon never see each other. Still, the two races can mate and bear offspring, but this is unheard of.

Relations: Being very insular and little inclined to socialize with any aliens except in business, the Norse dwarves are disliked or ignored by most other races. With standard dwarves, they share a mutual contempt and while they rarely come to blows over this, they rarely linger in each other's company.
Alignment: Lawful Good
Lands: The Norse dwarves have their biggest concentration on Ysgard, but are found on occasional Prime worlds where the local culture is predominantly Norse.
Religion: Norse dwarves have little use for religion, some few might enter the service of a member of the Norse pantheon, usually Sif (goddess of excellence in craft), Loki, Thrym (jotun of frost and cold) or Surt (also called Sutr, jotun of fire and flame). Under no circumstances will any Norse dwarf worship the traditional dwarven pantheon, nor will any of those deities take a Norse dwarf as a priest
Language: The Norse dwarves have their own language that is closely related to Norse. It sounds a bit like standard Dwarven, but has a very different grammar and uses different runes. They also learn Norse (and the various Norse dialects) used by any of their trading partners, usually humans and jotner (Norse giants)
Names: Most of the names that standard dwarves have are also used by the Norse dwarves. Unlike other dwarves, they don't have clans as such. Therefore they are usually known only by one name, or a last name they have chosen or been given, like Gianttricker, Hammersmith, Lightningaxe or similar names. In addition to the names in the Players Handbook, they have more common Norse dwarf names, like:Altjov, Dwalin, No, Nain, Niping, Bivur, Bovur, Oin, Onar, Oe, Mjødvitne, Vigg, Gandalv, Vindalv, Torin, Troh, Troin, Tekk, Fili, Kili, Fundin, Aurvang, Jare, Eikinskjalde. Nye, Nide, Nodre, Sudre, Austre, VestreBombur, Nore, , Lit, Vit, Ny, Nyrod, Regin, Rodsvinn, Nole, Hepte, Vili, Hanar, Sviur, Billing, Brune, Bild, Bure, Froh, Hornbore, Fraegg and Lone.
Male Names: See above
Female Names: See above
Family Names: See above
Adventurers: Most Norse dwarves don't bother with adventuring. Those who do are usually outcasts. They have little knowledge of the Multiverse beyond their own home areas (usually Ysgard and the Norse pantheon, but also certain Prime worlds that are under heavy Norse influence).
Racial Traits:
  • +2 bonus to Con, -2 to Wisdom.
  • Low-light vision - 60ft
  • +1 racial bonus to attack traditional nordic monsters (trolls, etc)
  • +4 bonus on Appraise checks whenver dealing with a piece of metalwork or an item bearing an arcane enchantment
  • +4 bonus on Craft checks when they are related to metalwork.
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