The dwarf people, known as the Golenti, are a race of short, stocky humanoids hailing traditionally from the hills and mountains of Omath. They are seen by the rest of the world as stoic, stern craftsmen and warriors, without humor and paranoid, distrustful of outsiders.
In the early years, there existed only the humans and the Nuia. The humans were still a primitive, tribal people, though they were showing signs of rapid evolution. Those humans in the mountainous Golen Steppes of what is now Dunmaerik were the first to show signs of evolving to fit their surroundings. As they progressed further into the caves of their homeland , in search of the precious metals sought after by the Nuia, they began to take on shorter stature, growing thick-limbed and coarse, thick hair to warm them in the bowels of the earth. Within ten generations, the Golenti had become something else completely: dwarves.
Over time, their evolution continued: their eyes grew accustomed to the dark and narrow tunnels of their caves, their bodies grew hardier and stronger, and even their language evolved into something all their own, taking on a cadence and solid structure, just like the stone around them.
The surface world continued around them, but the Golenti continued turning inward. Even as the Nuia retreated and the Ezirandi pushed outward to seize every piece of land they set their eyes upon, as the horse nomads of Haladra grew a nation at the base of their mountains, the Golenti continued into the stone, toward greater treasures and greater understanding.
Creation Myth Edit
The Golenti tell of their creation differently than the surface races. In the beginning, there was only the stone upon the land. From this stone was carved the First Dwarf, a proud specimen and the quintessential paragon of the Golenti way. Among the factions of the dwarven people, there is little common ground regarding the First Dwarf, as each of the races claims they are the true descendants and the others are but weaker offshoots of the bloodline. This theological debate has been at the center of numerous civil wars within the Stonelands, leaving the a proud people divided and scattered.
From the stone, the First Dwarf carved a husband (or wife; by some accounts the First Dwarf was a man). The First Dwarf and the Second Dwarf were said to have labored for one-hundred times one-hundred years, sculpting the first generation of the Golenti, instilling in them the traits that have come to represent their race. From the first generation, all the dwarven peoples spawned, falling into blood hearths and clan homes that eventually gave rise to the kingdoms and nations that would be called the Stonelands.
Racial Variants Edit
Golenti races are named from the original clan they are descended from. The most common Golenti in Omath are the Stonedelve, a member of the mountainous, stone-working race. These are the stereotypical dwarves who have provided the dour, cynical image known to the other denizens of the world. Other races of Golenti include the Hillwalker, Riverhand, and Blackmind.
- Main article: Stonedelve (Dwarf)
Stonedelve Golenti are a tunnel-dwelling race who live within great halls and fortresses carved into the mountains; smaller settlements are often stone villages sheltered beneath rock outcroppings, underneath which tunnels connect the town to storerooms and common areas.
Stonedelve Golenti are a short, stocky people. Men wear long beards, while women wear their hair in length according to their rank and position among the settlement. The longer the hair a woman has, the higher her status within her community. Both genders wear ornamental braids, each woven pattern representing their achievements.Hair colors run the darker shades of black, brown, auburn, or red. Eye colors likewise tend to be dark, typically brown or black. Rare occasions have shown blue or green eyes in some Stonedelve.
- Main article: Hillwalker (Dwarf)
Hillwalker Golenti are a surface-dwelling race who, as their name suggests, make their home among the hills of Haladra and other hilly areas outside of the Dunmaerik plateau. Their cities are typically made of stone and incorporate the terrain of their homeland in their design, broken into districts by elevation.
A typical Hillwalker is darker-skinned than the Stonedelve, with lighter hair and eye coloration. Like their mountainous cousins, Hillwalker Golenti are quite capable underground and share the same racial traits and abilities. Unlike the Stonedelve, the Hillwalker tend toward a more communal sense of government and society.
- Main article: Riverhand (Dwarf)
Riverhand Golenti are known for settling riparian or coastal environments. Equally likely to settle above ground as below, the Riverhand are always found along the banks of rivers or lakes. Some settlements can be found on ocean shores. Regardless of where they are found, the common trait among the Riverhand is their propensity to use the water in their settlements: a riverside city might dam the river for powering industry or divert the water to crops, while a lakeside village tend to be fishmongers or ply the waters as merchants. Regardless of where they live, the Riverhand life revolves around the water. Riverhand sttlements tend to be meritocracies, where rule is by the most successful. This often results in frequent and sudden shifts in political dynamics, making the Riverhand a canny, cunning people.
A typical Riverhand has a complexion complimentary to their home; unlike the other Golenti, the Riverhand tend to be more slender and athletic than stout or stocky.
- Main article: Blackmind (Dwarf)
The Blackmind are Golenti who delved too deep into Solia and went mad at the horrors they witnessed there. Their cities are always found in the deep dark and are carved into cavern walls, rarely showing any semblance of orderly design. Blackmind society is one step above anarchy; theirs is a society based on might. The strong take, the strong rule, and continue doing so until someone stronger takes from them.
Blackmind Golenti are built much like their Stonedelve cousins, but their skin is pale or ashen and their hair is either naturally black or white.