February 03, 2012

Dwarves in Ig

Dwarves live in scattered groups across the plains of Ig. They live in small communes not more than three dozen strong and are always found in even numbers. They build small underground complexes into hills so that they can mine in safety. There are few rich seams in the lowlands of Ig but dwarves manage to pull small amounts of ore up from the earth, far more than the clumsy attempts of man. Most of this is traded to communities across the plains, along with their strong pottery. The steady encroaching of monsters into the tunnels forces these mining communities to move every few decades. This has left hundreds of small warrens spread beneath the plains.

Long ago they built their mountain fastnesses into an empire called Mak. It spread southward into the plains, coming in contact with the human tribes that lived in the lowlands. A large part of the common tongue's vocabulary are loan words from the dwarf language, in fact Ig is a dwarf word for “The Land.” Their downfall came, as the human tales go, when they delved too deep. From their deepest mines crawled hordes of monstrous insects that devoured everything in their path. The dwarven people were driven into the lands below, and have lived among man ever since.

Dwarves have discovered how to create a special ceramic which they use for nearly all their tools. Created in vast kilns in the bowels of their warrens, it is almost as dense as steel. Covered in mathematically precise designs etched and painted into the ceramic, each piece, from simplest pot to most ornate war club, tells a story of the history of the dwarves. They even craft armor from this pottery, heavy but ornately baroque and as effective as plate armor. Each complete suit tells a story of one of the heroes of Mak. To be given dwarf armor is an incredible honor, it cannot be purchased.

Visually, dwarf ceramic work looks like a cross between North American southwest native pottery with its intricate patterns, and the intricate flame filigree of ancient Japanese Jōmon work. The armor looks like Dogū figurines, rounded and stylized.
Dogū Figurine

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