(Adapted from the Pathfinder SRD)
Red Dwarves are a stoic but stern race, ensconced in cities carved from the hearts of The Red Mountains.
Dwarves are lovers of history and tradition. If a thing is not broken, they do not fix it or change it; and if it is broken, they fix it rather than replace it. Thrifty as a rule, dwarves are loath to discard anything unless it is truly ruined. At the same time, dwarves’ meticulous attention to detail and durability in their craftsmanship makes that a rare occurrence. As a result, buildings, artwork, tools, housewares, garments, weapons, and virtually everything else made by dwarves still sees regular use at an age when such items would be relegated to museum pieces, dusty antique shelves, or junkyard fodder by other races.
Dwarves have achieved feats of metallurgy, stonework, and engineering that have consistently outpaced the technological advances of other races. Though not as inventive, red dwarves often improve upon the designs of human and halfling inventions.
Dwarves are typified by stubborn courage and dedication to seeing tasks through to the end. While it is said that dwarves are not venturesome, it would be more accurate to say that they maintain a focus on each task they undertake. Red Dwarves prefer tried and true methods to new ones, and vet changes thoroughly before adopting them.
Dwarves are a short and stocky race, standing about a foot shorter than most humans. Their wide, compact bodies account for their burly appearance. Male and female red dwarves pride themselves on the long length of their hair, and men often decorate their beards with a variety of clasps and intricate braids. Clean-shavenness on a male dwarf is a sure sign of madness — no one familiar with their race trusts a beardless dwarven man. Dwarven women may go beardless, but just as many flaunt their facial hair in a single long braid.
Dwarven society is matriarchal, with the oldest female dwarf in a family making decisions for that family. As such, male dwarves seldom come to power, preferring instead to pursue works of craftsmanship or engineering.
All Dwarven families belong to a clan — a collection of families tied together through blood and marriage. A clan is ruled by, and often named for, it’s most powerful branch. Members of this branch may sometimes be referred to as Lords or Ladies, a practice adopted after longstanding interaction with human kingdoms.
The Red Dwarves are united by Clan Stoneshod, whose women have ruled as Queen’s in Highstone since before the history of humankind. The current Queen is Maven Stoneshod, a girl of six. Her First Kinsman is her uncle Derval Stoneshod.
Dwarves lack the social divides common among human kingdoms. Dwarven social station is determined by profession. The red dwarves consider warrior, craftsman, engineer, and miner the most honorable trades. Farmer, Banker, Trawler, and Merchant are also well regarded. Dwarves think of ruling as a duty rather than a profession.
Dwarves have deep familial ties and revere their ancestors to the point of worship. Many famous Dwarven heroes are thought of as demigods; popularity among the clans is considered sufficient cause for canonization by the clergy.
Dwarven faith recognizes two deities. First of these is The Earth-Mother, whose name is considered too holy to be uttered and is a secret guarded closely from other races. The Earth-Mother is the goddess of nature, creation, and knowledge. The dwarves believe she created the universe from nothing and dwelled alone their for eons.
The second Dwarven deity is Moradin, Dwarf-father. It is said that The Earth-Mother discovered Moradin and took him for her husband. Moradin is the god of reshaping, law, and war. When The Earth-Mother created the universe it was empty, Moradin wrought the land and built the earth from materials his wife provided him. Dwarves believe they are descended from Moradin. The Dwarf-father resides in Dwarfhome, where the valiant go in the afterlife.
Many Dwarves of legend are revered for their deeds to the point of worship as demigods. Many are common to the red and White Dwarves. Others are favored by only one of the two peoples. Heroes worshipped by the red dwarves include:
Dessa the first born
Dwarves and orcs have long dwelt in proximity to one another, and share a history of violence as old as both races. Dwarves generally distrust and shun half-orcs. Though open warfare has been avoided for many years, the Red Dwarves recently marched against the wildlings of The West.
Elves and Halflings
Dwarves find elves and halflings to be too frail, flighty, or “pretty” to be worthy of proper respect. Their relationship is neutral. They benefit from little trade but have no history of conflict. Smidgeon caravans resent the toll charged for use of The Red Road and avoid it when possible.
It is with humans that dwarves share the strongest link, for humans’ industrious nature and hearty appetites come closest to matching those of the dwarven ideal. The Red Dwarves trade thoroughly with The Mark, Rill, and nations of The North. Windmark and Highstone even have an official alliance that calls each to aid the other in times of war.
Dwarves are antagonistic to other monstrous races such as goblins and kobolds, seeing them as inferior and prone to evil deeds. Giants are rare in Southern Amar, but Red Dwarves recall stories of their fights against fearsome giants and know the White Dwarves fight them still.
Relations between the two Dwarven kingdoms have declined since the White Dwarves were driven from their homeland by the humans of Prad. The White Dwarves detest humans and find fault with Highstone for dealing so openly with humans. Trading caravans cross The North so that the kingdoms can exchange goods, but caravans bound for Highstone shun human cities and those headed north leave the human goods behind when they enter Glacheim.
Although dwarven adventurers are rare compared to humans, they can be found in most regions of the world. Dwarves often leave the confines of their redoubts to seek glory for their clans, to find wealth with which to enrich the fortress-homes of their birth, or to reclaim fallen dwarven citadels from racial enemies. Many Dwarven warriors make a living escorting trade caravans and adventurers often start their career in that manner.