City of Splendors & Horrors
Gold dwarves see themselves as the founders of the dwarven race, their society able to trace an unbroken line back nearly to the world’s creation. It should be no surprise, then, that gold dwarves have a chip on their shoulders-and a heavy one at that. Gold dwarves get along well with others, but they come from a culture where tradition reigns and codes of honor are strict. Each dwarf has a predestined role and a place in society that stems from birth order and bloodline. Gold dwarves who stray from such strictures bring great dishonor on themselves and shame to their clans.
The largely isolated kingdoms of the gold dwarves had begun to expand before the Spellplague hit. Many adventurous gold dwarves left the Great Rift and their other traditional lands to explore distant parts of the surface world. This emigration served them well when their homeland was destroyed by the plague. Much of the Great Rift and the surrounding surface was obliterated, leaving in its wake the massive Underchasm and the realm of Great Bhaerynden. The gold dwarves who were spread across Faenln returned to the area to help rebuild their homeland, and the realm known as the East Rift was built on and in the ruins of the Great Rift. The disaster and the disruption of those dark times caused numerous gold dwarf clans to accept new ideas and new peoples, while some others retreated into xenophobia as a means of holding onto the traditions of the past.
Physical Description: The gold dwarves of East Rift and elsewhere in the South are a stocky and muscular people. They stand about 4 feet tall and weigh as much as other dwarves. Unlike their northern kin, gold dwarves have dark skin, deeply tanned to dark brown. They wear their black to dark brown hair long, and males (and rarely females) sport long beards, carefully oiled and groomed. Gold dwarves usually have hazel or brown eyes, and green eyes are considered lucky.
Expert craftsfolk, gold dwarves take pride in their personal equipment and often wield weapons featuring intricate engravings, scrollwork, and acid etchings, all of which depict scenes from dwarven history and creatures their ancestors defeated. The attention to detail extends farther than their weapons, of course; the most innocuous items—combs, brushes, backpacks— feature lovingly wrought scenes and images on their surfaces. Their armor is exceptional, and each piece is a work of peerless art, making gold dwarf armor some of the most coveted in the world.
Roleplaying a Gold Dwarf: When creating a gold dwarf character, here are a few points to consider.
Tradition preserves us. Your people have survived for eons by adhering to the ways of their ancestors back to the All-Father. Tradition must be respected, and those who go against it dishonor themselves and cannot be trusted.
Wisdom comes with age. Those who have witnessed the passage of decades deserve respect. Those who have seen centuries come and go deserve more. Any society that does not respect its elders is dangerous, for it ignores the wisdom those elders represent.
Blood bears truth. You were born into a society where everything was decided for you, from your profession to whom you would marry when the time comes. These decisions were not the whim of an elder, but the dictates of your bloodline in relation to others. Among gold dwarves, who you become is a direct result of who your parents were and all your ancestors before them. Even far from the East Rift, you understand that getting to know someone means getting to know their past as well.