Deep-Dwarves; "Khurylan"

The Deep-Dwarves; or "Khurylan," in the dwarven tongue, are the Mountain-Dwarves of Corwyn.

These dwarves are the most common on Corwyn, and inhabit the three northern mountain ranges of the Dwarf-realm of Orrek. The Mountain-Dwarves have gray, brown, or black hair, gray, brown or hazel eyes, and ruddy tan skin. Mountain-Dwarves prefer to wear drab clothing in earth tones, and wear their meticulously trimmed beards quite long. The Mountain-Dwarves make up about 80% of the dwarvish population on Corwyn, and are the most prevalent type seen in other cultures. Khurylan also refers to the native tongue of the Mountain Dwarves of Corwyn.


Dwarves are a short race, standing from 4'3" – 4'9" on average. What Dwarves lack in height they make up for in bulk; they are, on average, about as heavy as humans. A dwarf can weigh anywhere from about 160 – 220 lbs. Dwarven males are slightly taller and heavier than their female counterparts. Like humans, dwarves have a wide variety of skin, eye, and hair colors; most common are pale skin and black brown or gray hair, and bright eyes of blue, brown, or grey. Male dwarves often grow thick facial hair in the form of long braided beards; sometimes used to display social status.

Dwarves are a long-lived race. A dwarf is traditionally considered an adult once he or she reaches age fifty. Dwarves age much like humans but over a longer period of time, remaining vigorous well past 150 years. Most dwarves live to see their bicentennial, but a few live to be over 300.

The Deep-Dwarves make up about 80% of the dwarvish population on Corwyn, and are the type most commonly seen to outsiders. Deep-dwarves speak their own language; called Khurlish (humans sometimes call this tongue; "Hill-speak"). It is the official language of the realms of both Orrek and Kharos-Thûngol.


Dwarves are unusually tough, in more ways than one. Dwarven stomachs, for instance, are resistant to virtually all poisons and it takes less effort for a dwarf to recover from illness than other races. Dwarves also have dense bodies and are difficult to push around as a result, as well as having the capacity to bear loads that other races might find hindering with little ill effect. Dwarves also have a keen a sense of their surroundings; with a preternatural awareness of threats. This trait is quite useful for a subterranean race as well as good judgment in general.

Many dwarves are gruff and difficult to like. They lack the charm of many other smaller races, such as halflings or gnomes, though this was not a trait common to all dwarves. Furthermore, dwarves are not entirely un-social and more than a few had a natural knack for bartering or judging the value of an offer, something that has long sat well with their legendary crafting abilities.

It was occasionally believed that dwarves possessed the ability to see in the blackest darkness, like a drow, and there was evidence that this might be true though it was also possible that the tales were misheard. However, dwarves do have an affinity in other ways for the caverns in which they lived possessing a natural affinity for recognizing unusual patterns in stonework that could seem almost supernatural at times


Whether or not the dwarven claim that they were carved from the world’s stone is indeed true; dwarves share many qualities considered similar to the stone they constantly live with. Strong, hardy, and dependable; dwarves are polite and many possess wisdom beyond that of many other races. Dwarves value their traditions and look for inspiration from ancestral heroes. Dwarves are also known for their stubborn nature, their cynicism and their greed; traits widespread among the dwarves but which contributed to and were commonly offset by their bravery and tenacity.

Dwarven friendship is hard to earn, but is strong once won. Naturally dour and suspicious, the stout folk are reluctant to trust others, specifically those outside their family, suspecting the worst of an individual until the outsider proved many times their good will. Once this trust was gained, dwarves hold their friends to it and view betrayals, even minor ones, with a vicious propensity for vengeance.

For dwarves, loyalty is more than a word and believe it should be both valued and rewarded. Dwarves believe it is a mark of respect to stand beside a friend in combat, and an even deeper one to protect that ally from harm. Many dwarven tales subsequently revolve around sacrifices of dwarves for their friends and family. Just as dwarves are known for their dependability as friends and allies, dwarves also famously harbor grudges far longer than any other race. This may have been on an individual basis between a dwarf and one who had wronged him or against entire races, even if warfare with the enemy had long since ceased.

Dwarves are careful and deliberate, with a more serious disposition than elves, who they sometimes viewed as flighty or reckless. A dwarf does all things with care and a stubborn resolve, with brash or cowardly behavior unusual for the race. However, dwarves do succumb easily to wrath or greed, which are the most common vices of their race.

Dwarves who leave their homeland to become adventurers do so for a number of reasons. In part, a dwarf might have been motivated by simple avarice, given the dwarven love of beautiful things. As often, however, a dwarf might have been motivated by a drive to do what was right for others (particularly their clan) or a love of excitement for, as settled as dwarves are, they rarely tire of thrills. But even wayward dwarves retain the spirit of their brethren, hoping that their accomplishments abroad will bring honor to themselves, their clan, or both. Given that successful dwarven adventurers are likely to recover rare items or defeat enemies of the dwarven people during such challenges, this was a hope not entirely without merit.

Society & Culture

Dwarves highly value the ties between family members and friends, weaving tightly knit clans. Dwarves particularly respect their elders, from whom they expect sound leadership and the wisdom of experience, as well as ancestral heroes or clan founders. This idea even carries on to relations with other races; thus, dwarves can be quite deferential to the elders of other races.


Most dwarven societies are divided into clans built along family ties and political allegiances. These clans are usually led by hereditary rulers, often monarchs of a sort and descended from the founder of the clan. Dwarves strongly value loyalty to these rulers and to the clan as a whole. Most dwarves tend to side primarily with their kin, even over other dwarven communities.
These clan-structures have long promoted a tradition of inbreeding. This is so excessive, that it was considered the main reasons for the dwarves' low birth rate.

Most dwarven clans focus on one or two kinds of crafting, such as black-smithing, jewelry, engineering, or masonry. Dwarves strive to avoid overspecialization by sending some of their youth as apprentices to other clans, which also help to foster racial unity. Because of their long age, dwarven apprenticeships can last decades.


Most dwarves prefer living in underground cities near the surface and above the Underdark, built around mines that provided much of their livelihood. Carved into stone, these cities take centuries to complete but are practically ageless once finished. Although dwarves are typically a martial race by nature, these cities have civilian populations that compose about one fourth of the total population and which are made up primarily of the young, the elderly, or a few regular adults.

Even in their own homeland of Orrek, dwarves continue to carve out new living space, mining the riches of the Grey Mountains as they do so. Dwarves in general prefer the three mountain ranges of the Highlands, disliking travel, particularly along waterways, but those who lived near human lands could find themselves quite comfortable. Most dwarves who live outside dwarven realms make a living as mercenaries, smiths, or artisans of various kinds. Dwarves are also eagerly sought after as soldiers; as their reputation for courage and loyalty makies them an excellent choices.

Interracial Relations

Dwarves do not forgive past wrongs easily and the entire race has more or less declared war on goblins and orcs as a whole, wiping them out wherever they find them. Most dwarves view these races as a foul infestation of their mountain homes and see it as their duty to purge them. Because of this, dwarves generally view related races, such as half-orcs, with distrust.

Because of ancient grievances; dwarves tale an extremely dim view of elves; seeing them as aloof ans completely untrustworthy. It is rare for dwarf-elf friendships to arise, and rarer still for those friendships to be accepted by other dwarven folk.

Dwarves get along pretty well with gnomes, with whom they share a love of fine crafting, and passably with humans, half-elves and halflings. However, most dwarves commonly believe that true friendships can only be forged over long periods of time and a common saying was that “the difference between an acquaintance and a friend is about a hundred years,” meaning that few members of the shorter-lived races ever forge strong bonds with dwarves. There were exceptions, however, and some of the strongest friendships were those between a dwarf and a human whose grandparents and parents were also on good terms with the dwarf.