Dwarves in Jovia

Dwarven Creation Myth

Most Dwarven clans subscribe to a common creation myth which involves the "Groffenkar" (literally "dead siblings"). Each character in the Dwarven alphabet is named for a member of the Groffenkar pantheon except the silent thirty-fourth character which represents the nameless mother.

The myth begins with the nameless mother giving birth to thirty-three children. The birth is violent and her bodily fluids flood the void (becoming the seas). The children begin to drown and one decides to kill a sibling so they'll all have a place to stand. This starts a cycle; four more siblings die, each avenging the death of the previous child. Their bodies are piled up, forming the land and the mountains. One child, Ig, climbs to the highest point and makes a speech which shows the others their foolishness.

Some time passes and the siblings pair off into fourteen couples, each giving birth to twins (one of each gender). Each of the male twins becomes the head of a clan. By the thousandth year, the clans are large but face new problems: each generation has been born weaker than the previous one. The latest generation needs warmth and food, something the older generations didn't. The clans band together and kill the remaining Groffenkar, except Ig, who they imprison underground. Most of the Groffenkar are buried in the mountains, where their bodies become different minerals and ores. Three are chopped up and spread across the land, each of their body parts becoming a new animal or plant. (Hence the unusual Dwarven naming scheme for flora and fauna. E.g. "Kohdeklaartifron," the Low Dwarven name for spruce trees, literally translates as "first index finger bone of Koh." Marine creatures, on the other hand, are named for organs of the nameless mother.)

Over the course of the next thousand years, the seas (i.e. the nameless mother's blood) cool. As a result, the entire world begins to freeze. The Dwarven clans retreat into the tunnel complex they dug as a prison for Ig. They realize, however, that eventually the world will freeze solid and everyone will die. Ig's rage has been building for a millenia though, and he's now white-hot. Some of the clans decide to bind Ig in chains and toss him into the void. Three clans dissent, and are forced to leave the complex. (These later become known as the "Tarksot," or "toeless," clans from the years they spent wandering the frozen wastelands.)

Hours before he's to be cast into the void, the clans find Ig has committed suicide. He's cool to the touch, but they tear open his belly and remove his liver, which is still hot. (In Dwarven culture, the liver is associated with anger.) They throw it into the void where it bursts into flame and warms the world, thawing the seas.

Dwarven Ethnic Groups

There are two major classes of Dwarves which have an actual physiological difference: the Groffentalf and the Tarksot. Because of their rigid clan system and geographical separation, there's been relatively little interbreeding. The Tarksot possess 1 level of Temperature Tolerance (extending their "comfort zone" by HT degrees below 35°) while the Groffentalf have Magic Resistance 1 (Only above ground, -20%) [2].