Dream Dwarves

Dream Dwarves are a cultural offshoot of dwarves that migrated out from Untergrund to the Starlight Mountains seeking religious and intellectual freedom. They formed the small nation of Sternhone where they live today. They have formed the order of Rivethun.

Dream dwarves feel the hills slumber beneath them. They see the world as a resting giant of inestimable power, and they are caught in the dreaming. While other dwarves shape metal and stone, dream dwarves contemplate and meditate. Wise and cautious, they understand nature in a way at once similar to and wholly alien to the understanding of druids and shamans of other races.

Dream dwarves share a sort of collective subconscious with the world around them, a phenomenon they call the earth dream. The earth dream shapes many aspects of a dream dwarf's life, and no discussion of dream dwarves can be complete without at least some understanding of the earth dream. The earth dream is a powerful force, and members of other races can occasionally feel its pull and become earth dreamers.

Dream dwarves get along well with other dwarves, who look up to them as shamans and prophets.

Description


Dream dwarves stand about 4 feet tall and weigh about 10 to 15 pounds less than a typical dwarf. Their skin color ranges from dark gray to deep brown, and their hair is dark brown or black. They have pale eyes, usually green or blue in color but with the occasional lavender or pale red. Dream dwarves usually decorate their clothing with abstract symbols that represent important personal experiences within the earth dream.

The Dream Dwarves, because of this fact, are fairly minimalist, in terms of artwork and similar things. Clothing, for example, is fairly basic, unisex, and is never flashy. Artwork- what little exists- is as well. Anything that is seen as worldly, by the Dream Dwarves, is allotted a much lesser deal of cultural importance than anything that is seen as having to do with the mind. They cover the clothing they wear in runes and other symbols that represent important personal experiences and aspirations. So, the saying is literally true concerning Dream Dwarves, that they wear their hopes and aspirations on their sleeves. They limited jewelry that they wear also has a similar function, with the belief that such trinkets and possessions aid an individual’s efforts to join with the essence of spirits and dreams.

Culture


Religion and spirituality is extremely important to the Dream Dwarves and has a strong influence over all aspects of their lives; ingrained deeply into their cultural heritage. Geistlehre is the traditional religion of Sternhone, but following the introduction of the Gnesis Traditions, these two religions began working in tandem.

Wuchtig Entzwei

The concept of Wuchtig Entzwei, or the nature of opposites, also deals heavily into Dream Dwarf thinking and culture. This concept is used to describe how seemingly disjunct or opposing forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world, giving rise to each other in turn. The concept lies at the heart of Dream Dwarven magic and philosophy, as well as being a primary guideline of medicine.

Everything has Wuchtig Entzwei aspects, which constantly interact, never existing in absolute stasis.

Architecture

Sternhone architecture contains Untergrund and Fainish influences, and reflects a deeply elementalist approach. The dwarven runes of the four elements are seen as frequent decorations.

The most distinctive feature of Sternhone architecture is that many of the houses and monasteries are built on elevated, sunny sites facing the south, and are often made out of a mixture of rocks, wood, cement and earth. Flat roofs are built to conserve heat, and multiple windows are constructed to let in sunlight. Walls are usually sloped inwards at 10 degrees as a precaution against frequent earthquakes in the mountainous area.

Music

Sternhone music often involves chanting in Dwarven or Primordial, as an integral part of the religion. These chants are complex, often recitations of sacred texts or in celebration of various festivals. Zerbrochen chanting, performed without metrical timing, is accompanied by resonant drums and low, sustained syllables.

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