Howdy!My name is Zamboni D’River and I’m a Dwarf – and damn proud of it.My cousins and I were sitting around the local tavern the other night (well, those of us who could maintain an upright position were sitting – some of us were leaning, lying or curled up, depending on how long we had been there) and conversation swung around to one of our three favourite topics – Dwarves (the other two being mining and professional hockey, of course).In our heightened state of awareness, we decided that it was time to set the world right as to what Dwarves are all about.Since I was the only Dwarf whose eyes could focus enough to write, I was elected spokesdwarf for the clan.
Dispelling Common Myths
For some reason, a lot of people have misconceptions about Dwarves.I’m going to go over each of those myths and let you in on how things really are.Most of these myths originated with the evil enchanter Disneyamous, who must have had a bad experience with a Dwarf as a child.
Myth 1 – Dwarves care only about gold
I have no idea how this rumour started.After polling over 1000 Dwarves (using the accounting firm of Goldson, Goldson and Golddaughter to tabulate the results), it’s clear that Dwarves also care about platinum, gems & minerals (just the expensive ones, no hematite for us), ale and facial hair.
Myth 2 – Dwarves have poor personal hygiene
I can see why the ignorant might believe this canard.After all, the public usually sees Dwarves after a long hard day in the mines or after a long hard night of carousing, when we’re not at our best.However, unlike the dirt-rutting, garbage chewing gnomes (not that there’s anything wrong with that – some of my best friends are gnomes), Dwarves are fastidious to a fault.In fact, most of our hard earned income is spent on personal care products, such as gold-plated beard trimmers, gold-plated beard combs, gold-plated mine-dust removers and gold-plated gold platers.
Myth 3 – Dwarves are small
This is perhaps the biggest (no pun intended) misunderstanding among the over-sized.Dwarves are, of course, the perfect size for sentient creatures.The logic leading to this conclusion is unassailable:
(1)Brell, the perfect one, created Dwarves.
(2)Brell, being perfect, couldn’t create something imperfect.
(3)Therefore, Dwarves are the perfect size.QED.
However, our very perfection makes us tolerant of the foibles of others – it’s not your fault that you’re either over-sized or under-sized and that you can’t understand the true nature of things.(We don’t blame you for being the progeny of imperfect deities – we demonstrate our compassion by pitying you instead.)
In fact, Dwarves share physical characteristics with many other races, showing that each race does, in some small part, share our perfection.Large races have proper-sized breadth, hands, feet and heads; small races have proper height – it is only in Dwarfdom that the proper proportions of each component is attained.
What is more confusing than the misconceptions of undwarves, however, is that the universe seems to share some of them.For example, certain gloves, boots and helms that are wearable by the slightly oversized (wood elves and dark elves, for example) and the extremely oversized (barbarians and humans, for example) are not wearable by Dwarves, even though our bits are as big as or bigger than theirs are.Similarly, items of the same type that are wearable by the undersized (gnomes) are wearable by Dwarves, even though our bits are considerably bigger than theirs are.Alas, it is almost as though some uber-creator of the universe couldn’t be bothered to make things more realistic and just settled for a nice, simple method of classification that ignores the subtleties of Dwarfdom.
Myth 4 – Dwarves have no fashion sense
I blame this myth on both Disneyamous and the gods who, it seems, do have a sense of humour.
Firstly, it is Disneyamous’s well-circulated children’s moving illusion of Slush Grey and the Six Dwarfs that has stereotyped Dwarves as poor dressers whose idea of haute couture is a big floppy hat and coloured slippers.
Secondly, there is Dwarvish armour, which the gods have decreed, for some incomprehensible reason, must be ugly.I come from a line of smiths (what Dwarf doesn’t?) and my clan has tried everything that we can think of to change the colour of our armour.We’ve tried different metals, different dyes, different tempering techniques and different smithing songs, all to no avail – no matter what we try, the finished product is always the same ugly hue: rust.
Now, anyone who knows Dwarves would agree that if there’s one thing that a Dwarf can’t abide it’s tarnish.We like our metals, both in pure and finished form, shiny – the shinier the better!Why anyone would think that we’d CHOOSE to colour our armour in some shade of rust is beyond our wisest sages’ capacity to reason.A nice earthy brown – possible; a highly polished gold – likely; an iridescent platinum – definitely; but a dirty shade of russet – never!
Therefore, I’m forced to conclude that the gods are having a chuckle at our expense.Somewhere in the distant past Brell must have been double-god-dared to put one over on the Dwarves and, to prove a point, hasn’t gotten around to ending the jest.
Contrary to the myth, Dwarves are the fashion icons of Norrath.In fact, “panache” comes from the Dwarvish phrase “p’an Ashe”.Dwarves were setting fashion trends long before the effete Erudites were strutting around in their fancy robes or the butch Barbarians were stalking around in their coarse kilts.It’s a little known fact that most well-known Elvish designers were, in fact, trained at the Maison d’Or in North Kaladim.
Myth 5 – Dwarves are stupid
Once again, Disneyamous is largely to blame for this misconception.Not only are Dwarves not dopey, we’re also not sneezy, bashful, sleepy or grumpy (well, the last two might apply, if we’ve had too much or too little Dwarven ale, respectively).
In fact, Dwarves are among the most intelligent of species.Even though we’re best known for our counting skills (Dwarves would make excellent bankers and financial advisers if we didn’t have a racial inability to give gold away – taking deposits is no trouble, it’s when people have the temerity to demand their gold back that brawls often break out), Dwarves are also proficient at chemistry, metallurgy, law, philosophy and debating.Our deliberation (we often take our time to make important decisions – the best known example of this phenomenon is the 186 Year War; the first 185 years and 364 days were devoted to polishing our armour, sharpening our weapons and planning our attack – the actual battle only lasted for 12 minutes, mainly because our human foes were long dead and their great-great-great grandchildren were a bit surprised when we showed up) should not be confused with stupidity.
Myth 6 – Female Dwarves all have beards
How this rumour ever got started boggles my mind.Only ADULT female Dwarves have beards.
Sadly, some of today’s younger generation practice the perversion of shaving.Human and Elvish advertising are largely to blame for this clean-face fetish that has rocked Dwarvish society to its roots.Our forest cousins, the Halflings, have encountered some of the same problems as their children have begun to shave their feet and to wear shoes.
Well, I hope the foregoing has illuminated you on the true nature of Dwarves.If you have any questions that haven’t been answered, feel free to send me a mystic message at firstname.lastname@example.org.If any of my cousins who read this scroll feel that I’ve left out any vital information, please let me know what it is and I’ll try to spread the word to the ignorant.
I leave you with the Word of the Almighty Brell, “Dwarves Rule”.
High Priest of Brell, Terris-Thule