Dwarves of Aythia

There are many varieties of dwarves in Aythia, each with their own unique cultural quirks of fate and design, but broadly speaking they all fall under two classifications of dwarves: mountain dwarves and surface dwarves. 

Mountain Dwarves

Mountain Dwarves are named such as most make their home in or under mountainous landscapes. 

They are a proud and stubborn creed of stout folk who are deeply religious and worship their ancestors, who by all accounts give them powers when they call upon them for guidance and support. 

They are steeped in history and most mountain dwarves will be able to tell you a tale of dwarven battles, engineering feats, and many more tales. 

Most live in large to huge city-states (or clan-holds, as they are better understood) and each clan-hold worships a particular ancestor above all others. 

Some, for example, worship Klavast Heldenhammer, in the clan-hold of Helden Halls, which is one of the larger settlements and resides deep under the Dragonspine Mountains to the north of the Freelands. 

There is an honour with mountain dwarves, which is never broken. A mountain dwarf would rather die than fail in their duty and go back on their word. 

And for this reason, they give their word to non-dwarves very rarely. 

Appearance: Mountain Dwarves tend to grow their beards long and braiding them is not uncommon. They also grow their hair long (at least shoulder-length) and decorate that with pins and other hair accessories. 

They stand 5 feet tall on average but their physique is much wider than a human of equivalent size. Shoulders measuring four feet wide are not uncommon, especially in warriors.

Surface Dwarves

Surface Dwarves have integrated with humans for over thousands of years and they, along with the Lightfoot Hin, share their (recent) past, present, and future with the humans. 

You can find surface dwarves almost anywhere you can find humans, and the race has given up many of the ways mountain dwarves assume are natural. 

While mountain dwarves are deeply religious and worship their ancestors, the surface dwarves tend to have the same outlook as humans when it comes to religions (giving lip service to many gods), and can worship either human deities or those ancestors who share their unique dwarven perspective. 

Surface dwarves have also lost their ability to see in darkness and so are just as blind as humans when it comes to navigating their way underground. 

They can, however, see better than humans in low light environments. 

Surface Dwarves are not as dogmatic or as stubborn as the mountain dwarves, but they generally still share their sense of honour. 

Most humans see surface dwarves as honest and trustworthy as that is their reputation, but the reality is that they can be just as devious and evil as any human can be. 

Appearance: Surface Dwarves, unlike their mountainous cousins, keep their hair and beards short and trimmed. Or, at the very least, orderly. 

There is an old saying that you can tell the type of dwarf you are talking to by the neatness of his beard, and that saying is as accurate today as it was when it was first spoken.