Characters
Dwarves

Dwarves

The precise origins of the dwarves of the Scarred Lands are generally unknown, though many scholars say that dwarves were originally crafted by Golthagga to aid him at his forge - though this is said of many creatures.

The years following the Divine War have not been kind to the dwarves, and as a result they commonly come across as a defiant, tenacious and bitter lot, doing their best to hold onto what few possessions they have left to them reduced to city states and underground fortresses.

Ghelspad and Termana are home to three dwarven subraces. The most prominent of the three matter-of-factly refer to themselves as the dwarven race, while other races often call them "mountain dwarves" to distinguish them from the other dwarven subraces. Mountain dwarves are located primarily in the city-state of Burok Torn, though quite a few have managed lo emigrate to other lands throughout the whole of the Ghelspad continent.

The second dwarven race stands in stark contrast to the nobility of the mountain dwarves of Burok Torn, existing as a festering shadow that reaches out to corrupt everything it touches. These are the black-skinned charduni, who worship the tyrannical god Chardun and seek to recreate their empire on Ghelspad. Though their heavy losses in the Divine War dismantled their influence within Ghelspad, the charduni yet rule a mighty empire in the eastern reaches of Termana, inspiring fear in those who know of them.

The last of the dwarven races, an offshoot of the mountain dwarves now known only as the forsaken dwarves, dwells deep within the Kelder mountains, inside the living rock of their fortress kingdom of Krakadom. All but the most foolish of travelers avoid the home of this brutal and territorial race.

Charduni

The origins of these dwarves are hidden from the races of Ghelspad. One day centuries ago, the first charduni scout frigate appeared on the shores of southwestern Ghelspad. The charduni presence on Ghelspad changed quickly from ships raiding the coastal towns for fresh slaves to invasion fleets that proved to be the vanguard of the charduni forces that would force all of southwestern Ghelspad to submit to their tyrannical rule.

Then came the Divine War. The charduni - once a scourge upon the other divine races of Ghelspad - proved to be one of the continent's saviors from the titanspawn forces, fitted immediately against the forces of the titans at the outset of the war, the Charduni Empire on Ghelspad crumbled.

The charduni encountered now in Ghelspad are a bitter but no less tyrannical lot. Raised in a strict society, charduni expect everyone to know their social station. Superiors are obeyed, respected and feared; inferiors are scorned, mistrusted and brutally punished for any failing. Charduni pride leads them to consider almost any Stranger to be beneath the charduni in station; outsiders will be treated as inferiors, or even made into slaves, depending on the circumstances. This is not to say that the charduni are without social graces toward those who might be useful to them, but who cannot be put into slavery... yet.

Charduni are a militaristic race first and foremost, so warriors earn great station in charduni society. The respect afforded the race's warriors is surpassed only by the honor given those who are priests to the race's namesake god Chardun, Many high-ranking charduni began their careers as warriors and later turned to the priestly path. Like other dwarven races, the charduni also have some affinity for arcane magic, but for these dwarves that affinity is expressed through darkest necromancy.

Charduni are taller and thinner than the dwarves of Burok Torn, bur their bodies are considerably denser, making them quite a bit heavier than their more approachable cousins. Their skin is a sickly shade of grey at birth, darkening with age until it becomes black as pitch. They dress in simple hides and furs, but adorn themselves with trinkets of iron and bone or, among the nobility, silver and gemstones. These latter items are often quite exquisite in workmanship, and serve as one of the charduni's few legitimate sources of commerce.

Regions: The charduni capitol of Chorach lies on the continent of Termana; presumably, the dwarves are rebuilding their empire on that continent first and foremost. Their sphere of influence on Ghelspad remains limited to the southwestern portion of the continent and they are most often encountered there - though, like any race, they may be found anywhere.

Despite their hunger for power and their history of conquest, by outward appearances the charduni seem resigned to advancing their goals in sly and cunning ways instead of military domination by force. Where charduni are found on Ghelspad, they continue their traditions of slavery and necromancy even as Vesh's Vigils try desperately to uncover the extent of the charduni plots. Further, the recent overtures of diplomacy between King Virduk of Calastia and First Minister Asrixthic of Dunahnae lead some to wonder if the charduni are not also involved in these negotiations. Some even postulate that Dunahnae itself is but a puppet state whose strings stretch back to Chorach.

Racial Abilities: Charduni have the following racial traits:

  • -2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma. Charduni are resilient and cunning, hut known for their rock-like slowness and surly demeanors. 'Medium: As Medium creatures, charduni have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.

  • Charduni base speed is 20 feet. However, charduni can move at this speed even when wearing medium or heavy armor or when carrying a medium or heavy load (unlike other creatures, whose speed is reduced in such situations).

  • Darkvision: Charduni can sec in the dark up to 90 feet. Darkvision is black and white only, but it is otherwise like normal sight and charduni can function without penalty with no light at all.

  • Stonecunning: This ability grants charduni a +2 racial bonus on Search checks to notice unusual stonework, such as sliding walls, stonework traps, new construction (even when built to match the old), unsafe stone surfaces, shaky stone ceilings, and the like. Something that isn't stone but that is disguised as stone also counts as unusual stonework. A charduni who merely comes within 10 feet of unusual stonework can make a Search check as if he were actively searching, and a charduni can use the Search skill to find stonework traps as a rogue can. A charduni can also intuit depth, sensing his approximate depth underground as naturally as a human can sense which way is up. Charduni have a sixth sense about stonework, an innate ability that they get plenty of opportunity to practice and hone in their under ground homes.

  • Weapon Familiarity: Charduni may treat spiked chains and warscepters as martial weapons, rather than exotic weapons.

  • Stability: Charduni are exceptionally stable on their feet. A charduni gains a +4 bonus on ability checks made to resist being bull rushed or tripped when standing on the ground (but nor when climbing, flying, riding or otherwise not standing firmly on the ground).

  • +2 racial bonus on saving throws against poison and disease. Charduni show remarkable resistance to sickness, whether caused by pestilence, venom or plant toxin.

  • +1 racial bonus on saving throws against spells and spell-like effects. Some theorize that the charduni resistance to magic, inherent in all dwarves, has been weakened by their near constant exposure to necromantic energies.

  • +2 bonus to Profession (mining) checks. Charduni mining practices are as brutal as their institution of slavery - but also effective.

  • +2 racial bonus all Appraise checks that are related to stone or metal items. The charduni have a natural eye for these materials that are dearest to them, worked or unworked.

  • +2 racial bonus on Craft checks that are related to stone or metal. A thorough understanding of these materials improves the quality of charduni craftsmanship.

  • Skin of Rock: Charduni skin becomes harder and denser as the dwarf ages, granting a natural armor bonus of +0 to +6 depending on age. Generally, every 40 years of life adds +1 to the bonus, beginning at birth with +0 and culminating at +6 when the dwarf reaches 240 years of age.

  • Automatic Languages: Common (Ledean or Termanan) and Dwarven. Bonus Languages: Any non-secret languages.

  • Favored Class: Cleric or Fighter. A multiclass charduni's cleric or fighter class does not count when determining whether she suffers an XP penalty for multiclassing (see PHB, Chapter 3, "Multiclass Characters"). The ties between the charduni and their patron deity are strong, and necromantic cleric/fighters are especially common among their ranks. The choice of cleric or fighter as a character's preferred class must be selected as soon as the character acquires a level in either the cleric or fighter class, and it cannot be changed thereafter.

Forsaken Dwarves

Long ago, before the Divine War, a race of dwarves lived in the wintry peaks of the World's End mountains, along the northern coasts of Ghelspad. The opening volleys of the war annihilated the dwarves' cities and forced them to undertake an arduous trek in search of a new homeland. Unwilling to once again endure the fate handed to them in (he Divine War, the dwarves chose to settle in the most remote, forbidding area they could find. The name of this place was Krakadom, the tallest and most treacherous mountain in all of Ghelspad, and perhaps the entire world. The dwarves have been there ever since, savagely repulsing any who dare to trespass on their lands.

While considered evil by most people of the world, the forsaken dwarves still possess a strong sense of honor and duty, and tend to remember slights and kindness in equal measure. Their paranoia and despair are amplified by the living mountain which now serves as their home, however; they are rapidly descending into a realm of dementia and madness that few people in the Scarred Lands could comprehend or endure.

To an even greater extent than other dwarves of the Scarred Lands, the people of Krakadom appear primitive and lost. They have lost the smithing techniques that give the other dwarves of the Scarred Lands an edge in relations with other races, and rely on weapons inherited from their ancestors to ward off intruders. They are otherwise identical to normal dwarves.

Regions: Forsaken dwarves are found only in the depths of Krakadom. They are extremely territorial, and quite self-sufficient. Thus, they see no need to travel anywhere, and violently repulse any and all intruders in their territory.

Racial Abilities: Forsaken dwarves have the following racial traits:

  • +2 Constitution, -2 Charisma. Forsaken dwarves are sturdy folk known for their hatred of outsiders.

  • Medium: As Medium creatures, forsaken dwarves have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.

  • Forsaken dwarf base speed is 20 feet. However, forsaken dwarves can move at this speed even when wearing medium or heavy armor or when carrying a medium or heavy load (unlike other creatures, whose speed is reduced in such situations).

  • Darkvision: Forsaken dwarves can sec in the dark up to 120 feet. Darkvision is black and white only, but it is otherwise like normal sight and forsaken dwarves can function with out penalty with no light at all.

  • Stonecunning: This ability grants forsaken dwarves a +2 racial bonus on Search checks to notice unusual stonework, such as sliding walls, stonework traps, new construction (even when built to match the old), unsafe stone surfaces, shaky stone ceilings, and the like. Something that isn't stone but that is disguised as stone also counts as unusual stonework. A forsaken dwarf who merely comes within 10 feet of unusual stonework can make a Search check as if he were actively searching, and a forsaken dwarf can use the Search skill to find stonework traps as a rogue can. A forsaken dwarf can also intuit depth, sensing his approximate depth underground as naturally as a human can sense which way is up. Forsaken dwarves have a sixth sense about stonework, an innate ability that they get plenty of opportunity to practice and hone in their underground homes. Weapon Familiarity: Forsaken dwarves may treat heavy and light repeating crossbows as martial weapons, rather than exotic weapons.

  • Stability: Forsaken dwarves are exceptionally stable on their feet. A forsaken dwarf gains a +4 bonus on ability checks made to resist being bull rushed or tripped when standing on the ground (bur not when climbing, flying, riding or other wise not standing firmly on the ground).

  • +2 racial bonus on saving throws against poison and disease. Forsaken dwarves show remarkable resistance to sickness, whether caused by pestilence, venom or plant toxin.

  • +1 racial bonus on saving throws against spells and spell-like effects. The living energy of Krakadom erodes the normal dwarven resistance to magical energy.

  • +1 racial bonus on any non-forsaken dwarf that they fight while on or in Krakadom. The forsaken dwarves fight interlopers tenaciously.

  • +4 dodge bonus to Armor Class against creatures of the giant type: This bonus represents special training that dwarves undergo, during which they learn tricks that previous generations developed in their battles with giants.

  • +2 racial bonus to Intimidate checks. Forsaken dwarves are territorial in the extreme, and this makes them frightening to even hardened adventurers.

  • +1 racial bonus on Appraise checks that are related to stone or metal items. The loss of smithing technology has diminished the expertise of the forsaken dwarves, but an appreciation for what has been lost remains with them.

  • +1 racial bonus on Craft checks that are related to stone or metal. Some fraction of traditional dwarven techniques is still known to the forsaken dwarves.

  • Trap-mastery: +2 racial bonus to Craft (trapmaking). Note this bonus stacks with the racial bonus for craft checks involving stone or metal. Forsaken dwarves may attempt Disable Device skill checks even if they are not trained in this skill (normally this skill may not be used without training).

  • Automatic Languages: Common (Ledean) and Dwarven.

  • Bonus Languages: Terran, any non-secret languages.

  • Favored Class: Fighter or Rogue. A multiclass forsaken dwarfs fighter or rogue class does not count when determining whether he suffers an XP penalty for multiclassing (see PHB, Chapter V Multiclass Characters"). Forsaken dwarves excel in the arts of war; they have also learned the methods of stealth and trap-construction necessary to ensure that their seclusion remains uninterrupted. The choice of fighter or rogue as a character's preferred class must be selected as soon as the character acquires a level in either the fighter or rogue class, and it cannot be changed thereafter.

Mountain Dwarves

Ghelspad's dwarves favor subterranean homes built below mountainous areas, particularly the Kelder mountain range. They have a deep and divine connection to the earth, and are known for their serious demeanors, impressive tactical skills and superior craftsmanship- particularly metalworking such as armor and weaponsmithing. Mountain dwarves also have a rich magical tradition, and count many wizards among their ranks. Dwarven wizards have expanded their formidable powers since the Divine War through research into the runic magic that they acquired during the conflict. In addition, mountain dwarves have a strong bond to their demi-god Goran, and dwarven society respects their priests as much as their warriors. Their mastery of all forms of magic, coupled with their raw tenacity and superior equipment, has allowed the dwarves to survive in Ghelspad despite decades of war with both the Calastian Hegemony and the dark elves of Dier Drendal.

Mountain dwarves tend to be short and stocky, weighing roughly the same as an average human but substituting girth and muscle mass for height. Beards are socially important to male dwarves, but they rarely adorn them or tend to them beyond the requirements of good grooming. Female dwarves have clear complexions and no facial hair until they reach old age, at which time they usually have slight facial hair growth. Dwarves prefer to dress in hides and furs to keep themselves warm; only wealthier dwarves possess finer clothing, typically bought from humans. Dwarves have little skill with tailoring and loom work, nor do they raise the animals or plants necessary for producing thread. They do have a long and highly respected craft tradition, which they demonstrate via ornamentation such as finely made jewelry. They also have a tradition that predates the Divine War of using their runic language for ornamentation. Calligraphy, sculpture, and metal crafting tend to be among the most (though hardly the only) respected art forms among mountain dwarves.

Regions: Following the Divine War, Ghelspad's dwarves had many holdings in the Kelder region; unfortunately, recent conflicts with the Calastian Hegemony have reduced that influence to the single city of Burok Torn. However, the dwarves' expertise in the arts of metalsmithing coupled with their need for linens and other items typically found above ground has resulted in strong trade relationships with the human nations of Ghelspad, and as a result dwarves can be found in nearly every civilized region on the continent.

Racial Abilities: Mountain dwarves have all of the following racial traits:

  • +2 Constitution, -2 Charisma. Mountain dwarves are rough and hearty, but territorial and reserved.

  • Medium: As Medium creatures, mountain dwarves have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.

  • Mountain dwarf base speed is 20 feet. However, mountain dwarves can move at this speed even when wearing medium or heavy armor or when carrying a medium or heavy load (unlike other creatures, whose speed is reduced in such situations).

  • Darkvision: Mountain dwarves can see in the dark up to 60 feet. Darkvision is black and white only, but it is otherwise like normal sight and forsaken dwarves can function with out penalty with no light at all.

  • Stonecunning: This ability grants mountain dwarves a +2 racial bonus on Search checks to notice unusual stonework, such as sliding walls, stonework traps, new construction (even when built to match the old), unsafe stone surfaces, shaky stone ceilings, and the like. Something that isn't stone but that is disguised as stone also counts as unusual stonework. A mountain dwarf who merely comes within 10 feet of unusual stonework can make a Search check as if he were actively searching, and a mountain dwarf can use the Search skill to find stonework traps as a rogue can. A mountain dwarf can also intuit depth, sensing his approximate depth underground as naturally as a human can sense which way is up. Mountain dwarves have a sixth sense about stonework, an innate ability that they get plenty of opportunity to practice and hone in their underground homes.

  • Weapon Familiarity: Mountain dwarves may treat dwarven waraxes and dwarven urgroshes as martial weapons, rather than exotic weapons.

  • Stability: Mountain dwarves are exceptionally stable on their feet. A mountain dwarf gains a +4 bonus on ability checks made to resist being bull rushed or tripped when standing on the ground (but not when climbing, flying, riding or otherwise not standing firmly on the ground).

  • Runic Heritage: The innate magical nature of mountain dwarves and (heir racial mastery of runic magic grants them the following spell-like abilities: 2/day - detect magic, arcane mark. These abilities are as the spells cast by a sorcerer of a level equal to the dwarfs character level. Dwarves use arcane marks for a variety of purposes, from invisible battle field instructions, to warnings left in deep tunnels, to marking possessions with their clan name. Dwarves also use such marks on themselves, their clothing and their armaments as decoration, inscribing baleful tidings in their enemy's own language before entering battle with their foe, or inscribing their clan name, clan history and prayers before religious and political ceremonies.

  • +2 racial bonus on saving throws against poison and disease. Mountain dwarves show remarkable resistance to sickness, whether caused by pestilence, venom or plant toxin.

  • +2 racial bonus on saving throws against spells and spell-like effects. Dwarves have an intrinsic toughness that allows them to shrug off the worst of most magical attacks.

  • +4 dodge bonus to Armor Class against creatures of the giant type: This bonus represents special training that dwarves undergo, during which they learn tricks that previous generations developed in their battles with giants.

  • +2 racial bonus to melee attack rolls if another dwarf is within 5 feet. Ages of tunnel lighting have made the dwarves masters of close-quarters teamwork tactics, and this knowledge is passed down to each generation.

  • +2 racial bonus on Appraise checks that are related to stone or metal items. The mountain dwarves have a natural eye for these materials that are dearest lo them, worked or unworked.

  • +2 racial bonus on Craft checks that are related to stone or metal. A thorough understanding of these materials improves the quality of dwarven craftsmanship.

  • +2 racial bonus on Handle Animal checks that are related to dwarf hounds (see the entry in this book). Mountain dwarves also gain a +4 bonus to their Will saves to resist the deafening bark of the dwarf hound (as noted in that entry).

  • Automatic Languages: Common (Ledean) and Dwarven.

  • Bonus Languages: Draconic, any non-secret language.

  • Favored Class: Fighter or wizard. A multiclass dwarf's fighter or wizard class does nor count when determining whether she suffers an XP penalty for multiclassing (see PHB, Chapter 3, "Multiclass Characters"). Dwarves are known for their heritage as a warlike folk, as well as their mastery of powerful runic magic. The choice of fighter or wizard as a character's preferred class must be selected as soon as the character acquires a level in either the fighter or wizard class, and it cannot be changed thereafter. Many mountain dwarves eventually become members of the dwarven defender prestige class - indeed, it might be said that the survival of Burok Torn is in part due to their might.