Dwarves are short but extremely powerful. Athasian dwarves average 4½ to 5 feet in height and have a very large muscle mass – a full grown Dwarf weighs in the neighbourhood of 200 pounds. Lives of hard work in the hot sun leave them with a rich tan and rugged, calloused hands and feet. Dwarves are hairless, and find the very idea of hair repulsive.
A dwarf’s chief love is toil. A dwarf is never happier than when there is a cause to work or fight for, something he can approach with stoic single–mindedness for weeks, months, years, or even decades at a time. Once a dwarf’s mind is committed to a certain task, he’ll only set it aside after a great deal of grumbling and coercion. The fulfilment he achieves upon completion of a lengthy, difficult task is what he strives for. The task to which a dwarf is presently committed is referred to as his focus. A dwarf’s focus must be a feat requiring at least one week to complete. Shorter term goals cannot be considered a focus.
A dwarf’s commitment to his focus is based in his physiology. Those who die before they complete their foci live out their afterlives as banshees, haunting their unfinished works! An Athasian dwarf treats other beings based upon his focus. If the other being is also committed to the dwarf’s focus, the dwarf will consider him a sensible and dependable companion. If, however, the other being is opposed to the dwarf’s focus, the two will be at odds until one or the other is dead. There is very little room for compromise in the mind of a dwarf.
Dwarves have a very strong racial affinity. They rarely share their history with non–dwarves; it can take years for a stranger to gain enough trust to be admitted into a dwarven family circle. Dwarven communities are ruled by their elders; dwarves are particularly devoted to their community leader, the urhnomous. There are three main dwarven settlements in the Tablelands: Kled, located near the city–state of Tyr, and the twin villages of North and South Ledopolus located in the southwestern edge of the Tablelands. Some dwarven communities have developed in the city–states and in some small villages, while other dwarves have taken up residence with the slave tribes of the wastes.
Dwarves have a long and proud oral history. They have an old written language, but this is mostly used for writing histories. Dwarves will not teach their ancient language to outsiders, they prefer to keep that knowledge to themselves.
See the game statistics for playing a dwarf.