Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain

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“There now Dain son of Nain took up his abode, and he became King under the Mountain, and in time many other Dwarves gathered to his throne in the ancient halls.”


When the Dwarves first settled on Erebor, the Lonely Mountain, they dug deep and far, carving a kingdom of stone and jewels beneath its slopes. Lamps and candles burned ceaselessly to illuminate their busy hands, and their treasure grew along with their fame in the Northern world. One day, the Dragon came on the wings of greed; Smaug the Golden burnt the Kingdom under the Mountain to ashes, smashing its pride with a lash of its tail. But Dwarves can hold a grudge that outlasts a Dragon’s life, and at the end of an incredible adventure, Thorin Oakenshield and thirteen fellow conspirators lived to see the death of Smaug. Today, the halls of the Dwarves resound again with the din of hammer and anvil, and their masons craft the roads and buildings of Dale and Erebor with stones of many colours. The Men of Dale, now also called ‘Bardings’ in honour of their lord, the Dragon-slayer, provide the busy Dwarves with everything they need to sustain themselves, in exchange of the fruits of their exceptional stone and metalworking.

Since the killing of the Dragon, the Dwarves have ceased to be a wandering folk of exiles, and have undertaken great labours to restore the Kingdom under the Mountain. Its wealth and renown are rapidly growing, and seem destined to grow greater than before: new halls are dug, cavernous streets under the earth are adorned with pillars as numerous as trees in a forest, while superior armour and keen swords leave their smiths’ workshops in ever greater number. More Dwarves arrive every year from distant lands and join King Dáin’s underground court.

Description

Dwarves are an ancient and secretive race, whose customs and traditions are mostly unknown to outsiders. At the end of the Third Age, they are a proud but dwindling people, survivors from a distant past. Almost all Dwarves that can be encountered speak of themselves as belonging to ‘Durin’s folk’. They are probably the most redoubtable warriors in Middle-earth, hard to break or corrupt, but often at odds with other Free Peoples over old quarrels or new slights.

Dwarves are short and stocky, with robust limbs and heads crowned with long hair and longer beards that give them their typically elderly appearance. They are long-lived, known to reach 250 years of age.

Standard of Living

With the fabulous Dragon-hoard of Erebor reclaimed and their Kingdom restored, the Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain rank as a Rich culture.

Dwarven Adventurers

To most denizens of the Lonely Mountain, taking part in the making of future splendours is enough to fill their life with purpose. To some, the memory of even greater halls still lost to the enemy fills their heart with longing and bitterness, driving out any interest in the concerns of other folks. These restless spirits become emissaries and adventurers, and their wandering carries the name of Erebor to many foreign realms.

Suggested Callings: Slayer, Treasure-hunter. Few have been as wronged as the Dwarves of Erebor, who now strive to rid the world of the Shadow. Many, though, seek only to reclaim the lost marvels of Durin’s folk.

Unusual Calling: Warden. As mindful as they are of their own settlements, the Dwarves rarely concern themselves with the well-being of outsiders.

What King Dain Says…

  • Bardings: “If it wasn’t for Bard the Bowman, there would be no King under the Mountain. We will always do whatever is in our power to help him and his people.”
  • Beornings: “Beorn is unfortunately not overly fond of Dwarves, and his followers appear, if anything, to be of a grimmer sort than him! Nonetheless, they have our trust, as they hate Orcs and Wargs as much as we do.”
  • Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain: “Since the day of the Awakening, we have delved deep, travelled far, and toiled hard. The fruits of the labour of our ancestors have outlasted the lives of their makers, to the enrichment of their descendants. In these halls of stone, we will endure any storm, and here our kin will find refuge in this and the next age of the world.”
  • Elves of Mirkwood: “Once we fought together in battle and prevailed. But these days the emissaries of the Elvenking never say either yea nor nay, and their fair words cannot conceal his reluctance to ever leave his halls again.”
  • Hobbits of the Shire: “If there is something I learnt about Hobbits, it is that there is much more about them than anyone expects.”
  • Woodmen of Wilderland: “I hear they are skilful hunters and trackers, and that’s all. We are not concerned with their ways.”

Cultural Blessing

Redoubtable
Dwarves too can go swiftly, and they do not tire sooner than Orcs.

The legendary stubborness of Dwarves lets them endure burdens that would break the back of the sturdiest of Men.

  • Dwarf characters calculate their Fatigue threshold by adding up the Encumbrance ratings of all the items they are carrying, and then subtracting their favoured Heart score from the total.

Starting Skill Scores

Common Skills
Copy the following skill ranks onto the character sheet and underline the favoured skill:

Awe 0 Inspire 2 Persuade 0
Athletics 0 Travel 3 Stealth 0
Awareness 0 Insight 0 Search 3
Explore 2 Healing 0 Hunting 0
Song 1 Courtesy 0 Riddle 2
Craft 3 Battle 1 Lore 0

Weapon Skills
Choose one of the following two Weapon skill sets, and record it on the character sheet:

  • (Axes) 2, Short Sword 1, Dagger 1
  • Mattock 2, Short Sword 1, Dagger 1

Specialties
Choose two Traits from: Fire-making, Smith-craft, Smoking, Stone-craft, Trading, Tunnelling.

Backgrounds

1 – A Life of Toil
You and your family have laboured hard in the mines of the Iron Hills, dreaming that one day you will be able to delve deeper once again for far more precious ore. Unfortunately, to this day most ancient Dwarf-holds are no more than Dragon’s lairs or Orc-infested pits. You toil patiently, peering into the gloom with eyes hungry for the gleaming of gems and gold.

Basic Attributes
Body 6, Heart 2, Wits 6

Favoured Skill
Explore

Distinctive Features
(choose two Traits from those listed)
Energetic, Fierce, Hardened, Proud, Stern, Vengeful, Wary, Willful

2 – Far Trader
By the reckoning of the Dwarves, you were only a stripling when you left your home in the Blue Mountains to follow your kinsmen along the trading roads. You have since seen many places and met different folks eager to trade goods for the product of dwarven handiwork. You remember little of the roads you took, as you were led by your more experienced kin, but those journeys have awoken in you a desire to see the world.

Basic Attributes
Body 7, Heart 2, Wits 5

Favoured Skill
Courtesy

Distinctive Features
(choose two Traits from those listed)
Cautious, Cunning, Eager, Hardy, Honourable, Secretive, Steadfast, Willful

3 – Bitter Exile
Long ago, your ancestors were driven out of their underground halls in the far North. Since you were born, you have assisted your ailing father as he suffered from his enforced exile. His malady proved infectious, and over the long years, your longing for the lost home of your forefathers consumed you day after day. You tried to quench your spite in forgetfulness, but the embers of your anger never died completely.

Basic Attributes
Body 7, Heart 3, Wits 4

Favoured Skill
Healing

Distinctive Features
(choose two Traits from those listed)
Fierce, Gruff, Hardened, Robust, Secretive, Stern, Willful, Wrathful

4 – Eloquent Orator
The hardships endured by your folk during two ages of the world have inspired many songs. But the words that come easier to your lips are those recounting deeds of courage and valour or, even better, those exalting the craft of your forefathers in works of cunning and skill. Your tales are testimony that your people has suffered much, but can still see beauty in the Northern World.

Basic Attributes
Body 5, Heart 4, Wits 5

Favoured Skill
Persuade

Distinctive Features
(choose two Traits from those listed)
Cautious, Determined, Energetic, Honourable, Proud, Steadfast, Wary, Willful

5 – A Lesson in Revenge
Your grandfather never relented in his hunt for the Orc-chief from Mount Gundabad who killed his wife. Leading you along dim underground passages, he told you much about the cruel ways of the servants of the Shadow, and how to fight them. His words scared you when you were young and haunted your dreams, but now that you have started down the road to adventure you begin to see the value of his advice.

Basic Attributes
Body 6, Heart 3, Wits 5

Favoured Skill
Battle

Distinctive Features
(choose two Traits from those listed)
Bold, Cunning, Determined, Hardy, Lordly, Suspicious, Vengeful, Willful

6 – A Penetrating Gaze
Your elder brother instructed you to judge others by their deeds, not their words, especially when dealing with the fair-spoken Elves. But in time you have come to trust your instinct above all else, as your heart is not easily swayed. Thieves and liars do not dare to meet your eyes, as you seem able to lay bare their plots.

Basic Attributes
Body 6, Heart 4, Wits 4

Favoured Skill
Insight

Distinctive Features
(choose two Traits from those listed)
Bold, Eager, Gruff, Lordly, Robust, Suspicious, Willful, Wrathful

Lonely Mountain Dwarf Names

All Dwarves of Durin’s Folk receive a true name at birth that they do not reveal to members of other races. In their dealings with other people, they adopt personal names in the language of other friendly cultures. The Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain are no exception, and commonly use names after the fashion of the Men of the North. This custom has been in use for so long that a number of names have become traditionally associated with Dwarves, and are used almost exclusively by them. Dwarves of renown are sometimes given a byname, usually an honorific title celebrating an exceptional deed or distinctive quality (eg. Thorin Oakenshield, Dáin Ironfoot).

Male Names: Ai, Anar, Balin, Beli, Bifur, Bláin, Bofur, Bombur, Borin, Burin, Bruni, Dáin, Dori, Durin, Dwalin, Farin, Fíli, Flói, Frár, Frerin, Frór, Fundin, Gimli, Ginar, Glóin, Gróin, Grór, Hanar, Hepti, Iari, Kíli, Lófar, Lóni, Náin, Náli, Nár, Narvi, Niping, Nói, Nori, Núr, Nýrád, Óin, Ónar, Óri, Póri, Regin, Svior, Thorin, Thráin, Thrór, Veig, Vidar.
Female Names: Dís, Hón, Kóna, Már.

Adventuring Age: 50-100
Dwarves generally start their life on the road in their fifties, and do not usually consider retiring before their nineties. Around that time, they feel they can no longer stay away from their family, or want to dedicate themselves solely to the perfection of their crafts. But Dwarves can remain active until they are more than two hundred years old, and may return to adventuring if a great need arises, like the opportunity to avenge an old insult or injury, or to recover a treasure or reclaim a long-lost dwarf-hold.

Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain

Leaf and Land MichaelPerry