Most humans view dwarves as short-tempered, stuffy, and stubborn, and these are common dwarf personality traits, but so are loyalty, honesty, and steadfast (even hard-headed) determination. Some humans also make the mistake of assuming that dwarves are “fat” because of their short and broad physique. If they make the mistake of mentioning this aloud, they might just learn the hard way that most dwarves are made almost entirely of muscle.
Dwarves are considered a magical race because of their innate connection to the elements of earth and fire, and their knowledge of ancient runes. Of all the magical races, the dwarves probably have the most dealings with humans, since they are craftsmen who must trade their wares… although they keep their finest craftsmanship and techniques secret from other races. Dwarves are masters at forging from the rarest of metals that they mine deep within the earth, such as Deepsilver, Deepgold, and Void Iron. Many types of dwarves share a close bond to the Khepridnir.
The most common type of dwarf, mountain dwarves (or feldergar) are so named because their clan-halls usually rest under the foot of a mountain. They are the most human-like of the dwarves in nature and appearance, and they trade with humans the most frequently, and thus can be found somewhat commonly in human towns, although they rarely actually live there. Many humans view them as greedy, however, because of their tendency to hoard great wealth in their mountain halls.
The Dwarves of the Far South, descended from dwarves who emerged from tunnels there long ago, are sometimes referred to as desert dwarves. The people of Kemhet have embraced them, for they ride on mounts that look like the sacred scarab beetle. Having lived long under the blazing sun, most have darker skin and hair than their northern cousins. They are often hired as household guards by the local Kemheti population, who have adopted the dwarven ancestor-god of their clan, Bes, into the Kemheti pantheon.
Dwelling in the far North, in glaciers or along the frozen peaks of the Jagged Edge, frost dwarves (or skadergar) seldom interact with other societies, save other dwarves on occasion. They are more magically-inclined than other dwarven races, with an innate power over cold, and their craftsmen are just as skilled at making weapons from magically-enchanted ice as from metal. It is thought that this race was created by Skadi after her marriage to Njord , blending her frost giant heritage with the sea dwarves who follow her Vanir husband.
Commonly considered the “least dwarf-like” of all dwarves, hill dwarves (or haudergar) are a relatively peaceful people who live in grottoes dug into the dirt of small hills, rather than deep tunnels under stone. Although one might expect them to be more commonly seen than mountain dwarves as a result, the opposite is actually true, as hill dwarves are experts at remaining hidden. Also, their preference of farming over craftsmanship leaves them with less to trade with humans, although they do sometimes trade food for tools and weapons with the mountain dwarves. Humans still see them as greedy for hoarding their plentiful stocks of grain. Some of their baked goods are the most durable in the world and can last for years without spoiling (but are rather hard to eat).
One of the rarer types of dwarf, sea dwarves (sjordergar) dwell in rocky coastline caverns and are at home where sea-mist and the smell of salt-water fills the air. They worship Njord, the Nordic god of the sea, and are rumored to build great armored ships that can submerge beneath the waves, appearing like giant, monstrous sea turtles. They are a little taller than most dwarves in general, and tend to be more nimble and dexterous.
The most mysterious of all dwarf races, magma dwarves (also known as fire dwarves or earth dwarves) live in volcanic caves deep underground, where the magma flows white-hot from the earth’s very core. They are so seldom seen that some believe them to be nothing more than a myth, especially since tales tell of how every item they forge is an absolute masterpiece, making them the greatest smiths besides the gods themselves. Such rumors talk of their dark, black skin, glowing red eyes, and fiery orange hair and beards – which are quite literally formed of fire. The dwarven legends say that the magma dwarves are their ancestors - a sort of prototype dwarf created by Thor when he first began exprimenting with creating his own race - hence their name of eldergar. These rumors may contain little or no truth, but every now and then a magically-forged item appears in the hands of some wandering adventurer that bears the strange runes of the magma dwarves, and which nothing but the hottest of flames – usable only by the eldergar due to their immunity to heat – can alter.