Forest dwarves are truly the most unique of the dwarfs, often not even living in their lands but rather living in solitude in forests or even with other races and groups such as elves and druids. This has made some of then highly dislike the other dwed, which is sometimes mutual, but more often they have at least some friendly connections with the Grand Kingdom of Urguan. Seeing a forest dwarf in the dwarven legion is not as rare as one may thing, and tales speak of heroes of forest dwarf origins.
They are often travelers, roaming forests months upon months, meaning they have learned the ways of the forest can can navigate through them with more ease than any other dwarven sub-race, even better than some of the main races as well. This of course, may seem brutish, but their dwarven honor and dignity still shine as an example, although their greed sometimes goes other directions that are not gold related.
Much like their mountain and cave brothers, forest dwarves are short in stature but unsurprisingly, forest dwarfs tend to be less stocky than mountain and cave dwarves. They seem to be slimmer and more athletically built, but their beards stop growing quite quickly, with some forest dwarves not even growing beards. This though is still quite rare and often shunned in dwarven culture. Their hair however, tends to be much longer than usual. There is one more attribute forest dwarves have that is unlike to their brothers. In the past, those with the blood of the forest dwarves noticed that their skin darkens much more easily compared to other dwarves. Over time, their skin has became brown as dark oak bark, even darker than Southern skin.
Much like with other dwarfs, forest dwarf accent is often an for other races to understand, even if they are talking in common, though it's more blended between Mountain and Cave. They are usually unable to fully say the letter -h in words and tend to sound like a person with a Scottish accent. It may seem difficult to understand a dwarf at first, but it is just slightly modified Common tongue. This accent sometimes becomes softer due to their time spent with other races, but that is usually not the case. They are also known as dwed of the forest, knowing it unlike any other dwarf or human. This also means their diet has heavily started revolting around fish and berries, which is most likely the reason of their physical change.
Forest dwarfs develop in the same rate as humans do, but they tend to live up to 900 years more than humans, sometimes even longer than that depending on the dwarf. Before dwarfs live through their first 100 years, they are often referred to as Beardlings, though this may differ from the achievements of a dwarf in young age or if the dwarf is new to the community (In which case, a dwarf may be 300 years old but he could still be referred to as a beardling by some dwarfs that may be even younger than him) Although they live for centuries, you can’t find a elder dwarf in every corner. Many dwarfs die due to mining accidents or during his work, but this is a less common case with the Forest dwarves due to their area of living. It is also important to note that after 600 years, a dwarf may start feeling weak under the pressure of his years, making him less capable with physical work. This of course, does not weaken his mind, but rather makes it sharper.
— Ibless, before he was banished.
Ibless had not only cursed sons of Urguan by turning them into a short, stout, and an ugly race, but has also enhanced their greed, which has costed them many precious lives and relics. Luckily, the Creator has blessed the dwed with a strong heart, and a sturdy body, and a sharp mind. This blessing has turned dwarfs into a proud and a resistant race that has lasted centuries.
Among the Forest Dwarves, the curse can be a little different; they have not outgrown it, but the greed centers to better the community they're in more than it does to better the self. This can seem altruistic, however, this also can create fierce competition between communities.
The forest dwarves, being that the clan remaining for them is the Treebeards, tend to follow the clan leader as is the case with any clan. Even so, they can be rather different in their outlooks. As many dwarves, they still have a high sense of honor, believing that if you help them in their time of need that they should be grateful their entire lives (and, similarly, if you did not when you could have, you may find yourself hated for as long). They also have a high amount of respect for others, pushed by Gloin, it's said, to discourage the jeers of his clansmates when some would find their skin darken and their beards short.
The art of the forest dwarves finds itself highly within woodworking. Furniture and housing made by their hands is sturdy, well-designed, and have their own elegance that might even overtake that of the Wood Elves. They also have come to be some of the best brewers, for they've learned to till the land and have a steady supply of ingredients to experiment with different alcohols.
As with all dwarves, there is a high importance placed in stories to the Forest Dwarves to be passed down, and though they might write them out in books made from the paper they produced themselves, they also enjoy travelling to tell them, very often putting it to a rhyme and rhythm as poetry or song to be told over and over again.
It is said that one knows they are in the forests of the Forest Dwarves by the soft sound of drumbeats. Though they may branch out to reeded and various string instruments, its the drumming which they are most known for, finding comfort in solid rhythms from a strong forte to a soft pianissimo, and understand that great courage and inspiration can be rallied from even the gentlest of strikes upon the skin. As such, many forest dwarves have found themselves to be excellent bards.
There is no official religion, however, they do have common beliefs. Many, as loyal dwarves who honor Urguan, worship Yemekar and follow The Brathmordakin as any other dwed. Others are more drawn to worship of the Aspects and may even follow the path to become Druids themselves.
The Forest Dwarves are the direct descendants of the seventh son of Urguan, Gloin, who was fascinated with nature, the outside world, and the creatures which reside it unlike his brothers, and, came to differentiate himself with the other clans with the clan name that popped to his mind: Treebeard, first of the forest dwarven clans. Though accounts differ, it is said that Gloin's brothers were worried--and then angered--by Gloin's study and interests and took his disassociation as disinterest in the betterment as the race of a whole, leading to the exhile of the Treebeards from the mountains. Other accounts simply imply that when they founded Outer Kal'Urguan, the city outside the gates of Kal'Urguan in Aegis, it was a natural progression from turning their sights outward from the mountains, but their proximity shows their loyalty towards the community still. The Treebeards, original clan from Gloin, is also perhaps the last. There had been six, but the others were wiped out in The Blood Age.
The tree beards have become to not feel the need of the mountain and its caverns for security, now living quite happily within buildings made of lumber. Their settlements may be small, but tend to have their own natural sprawl.
- Outer Kal'Urguan
The Forest Dwarves weren't really created, as many have thought. The Forest Dwarves came to be over many centuries in the time of Aegis. Evolution and natural selection can awarded, as they are truly responsible for how Forest Dwarves came to be.
Long ago, the seventh son of Urguan, Gloin as his father had named him, decided it was time to take on a proper a name for him and his clan. Unlike his Dwarven brethren, this son was particularly interested in nature - fascinated with the outside world and life of other beings and animals. Gloin had thought of how his brethren had named their clans, for example the Ironguts for being excellent drinkers, or the Grandaxes for being a phenomenal axe wielders. It was then when one named popped into his head - Treebeard.
Over the years, Gloin's brothers noticed his general lack of interest in life in the mountain. They were worried when he spent more time outside then in, when he chose to study an animal that was new to him rather than feast and drink with his family. His brothers mistook this for him being disinterested in the betterment of their race as a whole. Deeply angered, his brothers decided that exile was the only fitting punishment for his disloyalty.
The Treebeards were distraught with their punishment. They had nothing, and nowhere to go. Under their determined leader, they took to the forests. They learned that bows were the proper tools for hunting game. They learned that with a little effort, a wooden hut could easily be built with a few trees-worth of lumber. They learned that plants and berries are editable too, and that meat wasn't necessary for each and every meal. They learned they could survive on fresh spring water, and ale wasn't a necessary thing in their lives...
Gloin then decided on one more thing - the Treebeards were no longer Mountain or Cave Dwarves. They were to be proud of what they became - of what they are. They proved that not all Dwarves need a mountain to live in. They are the Forest Dwarves.
Then & Now - Traits & Appearance
The Forest Dwarves, in the beginning at least, resembled regular Cave and Mountain Dwarves. It wasn't until later on that they noticed their skin tanned from the sun. Over the centuries, their skin's pigments changed greatly. Their skin tone generally looked much darker, in the elders of the clan and children.
They also noticed that slowly, the males' beard growth seemed stunted, due to the lack of protein in their new diets that consisted of more fish and berries than meat. Their hair, however, continued to grow long and thick.
Lastly, they noticed that since they didn't consume nearly as much fat from the meats they used to eat and with extra exercise of living in the forest, they slimmed down a bit.
Throughout the years, many Forest Dwarf families have popped up, but only two Forest Dwarf families seem to actually be regarded as Forest Dwarven 'clans', these being the pure Treebeards who are direct descendants from the first Forest Dwarves, and the Dawnsworn, rumored to be created by the mingling of one Forest Dwarf and a Dwarf of clan Irongut.
Beliefs & Ideals
Although no official religion has been set for the Forest Dwarves, the most common beliefs seem to be those of the Druids - worshiping the Aspects, two god-like beings responsible for keeping a natural balance in the world, and those of the Dwarves - worshiping Yemekar who created their forefather Urguan and the entire Dwarven race.
When the first Forest Dwarves were exiled, they made a set of rules to live by that helped them prosper and survive. Over the years, these rules still seem to be known in most Forest Dwarf societies, them being: Honor The Forest Dwarves believe that if you help them in a time of need, they will be forever grateful to you, but at the same time if somebody didn't help them when they could have, that individual might be hated for the rest of the Dwarf's life, or until forgiven. Communal Greed Like all Dwarves, the Forest Dwarves never really outgrew their curse of greed, however they tend to deal with it better than most, often striving to make each individual's community or society better or richer than the next, also sometimes causing competition between communities. Respect The Forest Dwarves believe in treating each individual fairly unless given a reason not to. This helped them when natural selection was taking its toll on those with abnormally dark skin during their period of changes, some would get picked on or made fun of. Gloin made it clear that this would not be tolerated.
After taking to the forests, Forest Dwarves developed some key skills to help them survive.
Farming & Brewing
After living in the forests for so long, Forest Dwarves learnt how to sow crops into the earth, most commonly potatoes and wheat. They also have been regarded as some of the best brewers because of how fresh and crisp their ales taste from using only the finest grown ingredients.
Lumberjacking & Woodworking
After spending so much time felling, climbing and falling out of trees, the Forest Dwarves learnt how to be true lumberjacks and craftsmen. Some wooden furniture carved by Forest Dwarves has been regarded as the best in the land.
While walking through the forests, the Forest Dwarves took to the soft sound of beating drums. They found even the softest rhythm could become an inspiration, the reason why many Forest Dwarves are excellent bards.
Writers & Contributors
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