RALURŐ (Dwarves)


Ralurž means "born of the earth" and is the AraŤlikž term for the dwarven race. There are two subraces: The KuanÚvod and the Lazyol. While the AraŤlikž ethnologists recognize the kinship of the KuanÚvod and Lazyol , neither of those races does so, they see each as unrelated.

KUAN“VOD (Arctic Dwarf)

[ku-AH-noh-vod]KuanÚvod lands

The KuanÚvod have a great love for nature. As a result of this love, KuanÚvod s have a strong love and empathy for wild animals. KuanÚvods generally live in clans similar to those of other dwarven races.

The skin of the KuanÚvod is fairly colorless, as indicated by its whitish-yellow complexion. KuanÚvods have grey or white hair, and their eyes are most often gray. KuanÚvods also usually wear drab, gray clothing. The average KuanÚvod lives for 900 years.

KuanÚvods have most of the aspects of their gnomish and dwarven cousins, although KuanÚvods are somewhat more cheerful than dwarves, but still less cheerful than gnomes. KuanÚvods enjoy eating, drinking, and telling stories around campfires Ė especially if they are about some famous ancestor of the teller or one of their great racial heroes. KuanÚvods love precious metals and gems, and are consequently excellent miners and gem cutters; they are also good woodworkers. KuanÚvods are highly courageous, and friends or foes are never forgotten.

They are semi-nomadic hunters and herders of caribou (the name KuanÚvod is derived from a root meaning Herder). Their society is tribal, with each tribe being made up of a number of independent clans. Each tribe has a specific territory within which the various clans roam freely, following the herds. There is, however, no formal government or social organization above the clan level, but they do have mechanisms for resolving intra-tribal disputes that involve having a disinterested third party (some other clan chief) acting as judge /arbitrator. For this reason, the relationships between the various clans are very important.

KuanÚvod s are 70% likely to have tame animals accompanying them. These animals are as follows: 5-30 giant badgers (01-30%), 2-8 brown bears (31-50%), or 5-20 wolves (51-00%).

KuanÚvod characters have the following game-specific (3.5) characteristics:

Based on the Uldra article in Dragon Magazine # 119 and the Arctic Gnome entry on the Hypertext SRD.

Source for Image.

LAZYOL (Hill Dwarves)

[LAHZ-yawl]Lazyol lands

Lazyols live in areas of rolling hillsand low mountains. Their strongholds are primarily located underground, though they frequently have outposts on the surface.

A typical Lazyol stands 4 feet tall and weighs about 150 pounds. He is stocky and muscular. His skin is a deep tan or light brown in color and he has ruddy cheeks and bright eyes. His hair could be black, gray, or brown. He favors dark, somber, earth-toned clothes, and wears little jewelry.

Lazyol clans are family groups that are all related to one another. All the members of a clan trace their lineage back to a common ancestor. This could be the founder of a stronghold, but it may go back only as far as the previous generation. Each clan specializes in a particular craft or skill: blacksmithing, mining, and weaponsmithing are examples of the sorts of trades preferred.

Different clans usually live close to each other so that they can trade skills among themselves. The relationships between clans are complicated and interdependent. The blacksmith clan needs to eat, so they trade with bakers and butchers. Most clans are concerned with the manufacture of goods and services. They love to create things from raw material, and delight in the working of stone and metal. There are clans that specialize in military and political activities. A political clan is usually responsible for governing the stronghold and comprises the ruler's own family, plus other high born Lazyols. These Lazyols have undergone long apprenticeships in their chosen trade and are experts. Like other Lazyols, they are convinced that they are always right. They tend to be argumentative with outsiders, even with political families from other strongholds.

In major strongholds, each clan practices its own craft. In smaller ones, a clan may practice a number of crafts. Out of preference, Lazyols practice one craft only, and that one skill may be honed to a higher level than would be possible if two, three or four skills were practiced.

Lazyol priests are drawn from all the clans in a stronghold and may be the only Lazyols who are not tied closely to their clans.

The clans are regulated by guilds that legislate all matters of trade. Guilds specify weights and measures, quality, and the pricing of items. For example, the Guild of Bakers establishes the weight, price, and ingredients of loaves of bread. All clans conform to these strictures. Those of other strongholds will have different strictures imposed by their guilds. This leads to situations where Lazyols from one baker's clan will get into heated arguments with a baker's clan from another stronghold over which one's loaf is of the correct weight. This, combined with their stubborn nature and inability to compromise, is why Lazyols are so wary of each other. One view is always right, and all others always wrong. (Note, however, that this does not mean that Lazyols slavishly adhere to narrow production standards. Within the limits established by the guilds is tremendous room for individual expression. In fact, two loaves of bread that conform to the same guidelines may appear completely different to the uninitiated. And each guild typically has a bewildering array of accepted standards to choose from for any specific type of item).Lazyol carpenter

Even though the guilds control the business of the clans, they may not control the clan politically. This is left to elders who handle marriage arrangements, housing, and political dealings with other clans. The elders are the oldest Lazyols in the clan. They are frequently also the richest, having amassed large fortunes over the centuries. Some may be guild masters, but this is not a requirement. When this does occur, differences between clan and guild become even more blurred.

New clans are formed when a Lazyol decides to take up a different profession from that of his own clan. He may learn a new profession by apprenticing himself to another clan with the understanding that he will either become a member of the clan through marriage, or that he will practice his new trade at a different site. In both cases, he relinquishes membership in his original clan and swears never to reveal the secrets of its guild to others.

If he has served his apprenticeship and does not marry into the new clan, he is obliged to move to a different stronghold or found a new one. His descendants follow his profession. Although still related by blood to his original clan, he is no longer considered to be part of that clan. Ties to his immediate family remain strong, and he may call upon them for aid if he needs assistance. If he is attacked or insulted, his brothers and sisters will quickly come to his aid, as will others of their clan, but he cannot expect their help in matters of trade and daily life.

A sick or injured Lazyol will be fed and cared for by his clan. Those in good health are expected to work in order to maintain the welfare and reputation of the clan. No Lazyol would ever do otherwise.

Someone who cheats or doesn't pull his own weight earns the disapproval of his fellow clansmen. He will be warned and pressure will be brought to bear to ensure that he does not bring the name of the clan into disrepute. If he does not heed the warnings, he will be ostracized. An ostracized Lazyol loses all benefits provided by the clan. The clan's guild will prevent him from working and confiscate his tools if it can. If he shows a desire to mend his ways, he will be allowed back into the clan, and the guild will lift the ban. If not, he will be left to himself and even his family will shun him.

To an outsider, Lazyol clans appear very complex, and the relationships between them highly convoluted, because they are. Lazyols would not organize their lives any other way. They know where their loyalties lie: first to the family, then to the clan, the guild, the stronghold, and then to any other strongholds to which the clan is allied. Lazyols are a proud race and maintain their loyalties. They are willing to defend each other, often to the death. An insult against one Lazyol is considered to be an insult against all Lazyols.

Most Lazyols choose life underground. It is unusual for them to live in a surface settlement unless events force them up. Living underground for thousands of years has affected the world view of Lazyols dramatically. They believe themselves to be the dominant race in the world, the primary force of civilization and culture. This attitude applies even in campaigns where other races are actually predominant. Lazyols who live below ground don't care who controls the land above as long as they are left alone. The surface races may as well be on another plane of existence as far as the average Lazyol is concerned. Lazyols see little reason to communicate with other races unless an overpowering common cause exists.

This Lazyolicentric view is deeply rooted in all Lazyols, regardless of where they live, even when among other races. Lazyols in such places may grudgingly admit that humans or elves have achieved some level of civilization and political power, but these are inferior to their own achievements.

Life underground has had a lasting effect on Lazyol personalities. They have developed an instinctive love of earth and rock that represent stability and permanence. Earth and rock may be tunneled and carved, arched and buttressed, yet they remain always solid and reliable.

The sea, however, is ever changing, with no stability, and prone to tempestuous storms. It represents the force of chaos prevalent in the world above, and is the antithesis of the safe, womb-like caverns that are home to the Lazyols.

Themes of solidity and reliability recur continually in the Lazyolish world view. The world is solid and constant, so life should be conducted in the same manner. This is closely allied to their predominantly lawful good alignment.

Lazyols value law and order, and see these as part of the natural order of the world. Society should be as solid and reliable as the stone of the earth. Lazyols live 350 years on average, during which time trees grow and die, axe hafts are made and replaced many times, and wooden structures decay and rot away. Compared to the strength and durability of metal and rock, other things seem very transitory. Building to last means building well.

Lazyols are expert craftsmen not out of some god-given ability, but because they serve long, exacting apprenticeships. Lazyols traditionally serve a 25-year apprenticeship, which begins at the age of 25. To Lazyols this is part of life. "A job worth doing is worth doing well." This attitude is deeply ingrained and explains why Lazyols love to create beautiful objects and lavish so much time on them. They seek to create that which will last until time's end, and they have difficulty comprehending why other races consider work a chore rather than an act of artistic expression to be savored and enjoyed. Lazyol craftsmen, because of their skills, produce weapons, armor, and other goods more quickly than other races, yet of superior quality.

Lazyols are viewed as humorless, if not downright grumpy, by other races. This is a fair assessment. They do not often tell jokes, and have no appreciation of practical jokes. Society is based on law, order, and a respect for one's fellows. A Lazyol does not abuse that respect by ridiculing another's dignity.

Lazyols love to work and find pleasure in it. This pleasure is so spiritually uplifting that any attempt at humor appears facile. Those not content with work or their position in life may need such diversion, but humor is seen as insult.

That's not to say that Lazyols are humorless, they have a very black humor concerning their racial enemies, but their sense of humor is very different from that of humans, for example. They do not find jokes about personal suffering or failure funny. They do find those based upon clever stories entertaining. The problem is that lazyolen jokes tend to follow a standard narrative pattern. Because of their great length, endless genealogies, and catalogs of lazyolen concerns, it is difficult for other races to maintain any interest in them. Lazyol comedians, telling jokes to other races, are frequently annoyed when audience attention slips after 15 minutes or so, or when the audience has no concept of the importance of lineage in the joke's 'punch paragraph!' Races who have been subjected to lazyolen humor fail to realize that it does not rely on the delivery of one liners, but on the slow presentation of a chapter, if not an entire book.

The lazyolen concept of wealth is different, as well. Lazyols are attracted to objects for their intrinsic beauty, not for any commercial value. They prize fine workmanship, but know that craftsmen only augment what the earth has provided.

Gold has the greatest significance to them, not for its value, but for its natural beauty and pliability. In the hands of a master craftsman, gold can be heated and poured into molds, beaten with a hammer, drawn into wires, or carefully filigreed with a chisel. Well made golden objects are treasured for workmanship and beauty. Poorly made objects are melted down to be remade as coins or other objects.

Lazyols are aware of the scarcity of gold, and of its value. No Lazyol has ever sold gold at less than its current value, a fact that has led other races to see them as mean and avaricious.

The Lazyols' passion for gold is well known, as is their love of gemstones. They love to possess these treasures of the earth, polishing and cutting them into brilliant shapes that catch the light perfectly. Each stone is seen as a shining example of the beauty of the earth. To those who have left their underground homes, they are reminders that true beauty comes from within the earth.

Lazyols are well aware of the value of gems. Where others value stones by weight and scarcity, Lazyols value them according to their beauty.

They have, however, no desire to own or collect pearls. As products of the sea and shellfish, they are not considered to be gems. Lazyols find them unattractive. Pearls lack the deep lustre of natural stones. Still, it is a foolish Lazyol who does not realize that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. While pearls are worthless, Lazyols are aware of their trade value.

Gold and gems are their greatest loves, but other metals are important to them too. Platinum has many of the attributes of gold and is even rarer. Silver is easy to work and holds its shape better than gold. Its color is not as desirable, but it has its own appeal. Copper and other metals are also considered beautiful. While other metals are more common than gold, their comparative rarity lends them value.

Iron ore is crucial to the Lazyols. With it they make weapons, armor, forges, and tools. Iron ore veins are seen as the bones of the earth; bones bequeathed to the Lazyols to be used for their own purposes. When forged with carbon, Lazyols transform iron into steel that is durable and hard without being brittle (the Lazyol were the first to do this, and for many years they managed to keep the proxess secret, which allowed them to throw off the DsÚkritan yoke.

Though they would love to work exclusively with gold and gems, Lazyols are a practical folk. They know that iron and steel wear hard and are infinitely more practical as tools. Therefore they work extensively in iron and steel. Lazyol craftsmen produce some of the finest weapons, armor, and tools in any world. These goods, because of their quality, bring higher prices that are gladly paid for lazyolen craftsmanship. All crafts necessary to ensure the strongholds are places of beauty are also worked.

Lazyols willingly live under lawful institutions, respecting privacy and personal space. Law induces order, organization, and a stable society. The society reflects the natural order of the world, with everything in its proper place. Laws exist to be obeyed, not to be broken. Society exists so that Lazyols may be free from unnecessary intrusions.

Even though law is important, Lazyols are fairly individualistic. They have personal views that they rarely make known to others, one reason they are seen as a taciturn race. However, when a Lazyol thinks that his own views are not being heard, he will become grumpy, silent, and bear his distress stoically.

This stoicism, and the desire not to grieve others, is evident in the way they view wealth as a private matter. Only powerful and respected Lazyols are expected to display wealth openly, and even then ostentatious displays are frowned upon. All Lazyols are expected to, and prefer to, keep their wealth hidden.

It is considered bad manners to flaunt accumulated wealth. Such behavior is offensive and has caused Lazyols who travel in the surface world to be deeply insulted. Wealth, particularly gems and precious metals, are for personal delight. They should be carefully hoarded and displayed for one's closest family or cherished friends. It is a mark of acceptance and friendship among Lazyols for one to reveal his wealth. By doing so, he is not only sharing the joy of his possessions, but is saying, "You are my friend, whom I trust not to steal from me." (The exception to this, of course, is wealth displayed through excellent craftsmanship in utilitarian items. A beautifully crafted and gilded axe with an inlaid gem or two is not ostentatious if it is functional. Lazyols claim this is not a subjective distinction, but most other races find it hard to follow the reasoning.)

Other races, and elves in particular, find this attitude very strange. Humans and elves delight in the display of their wealth, allowing others to admire its beauty. No Lazyol would do such a thing. It's no surprise that Lazyols are considered mean and greedy by races who cannot understand their motivation.

A private people, Lazyols often have difficulty expressing emotion. Their society is structured to make displays of anger, envy, jealousy, and hatred unnecessary. They are capable of harboring grudges and hatreds, but these are usually directed outside of the stronghold.

Lazyols rarely insult or distress each other, but other races distress them greatly. Not giving them the respect they demand, enquiring casually about wealth, or making them the butts of jokes, are guaranteed to make Lazyols angry. But this anger will normally only show itself as a scowl or a contraction of the brows. Other races have concluded, therefore, that Lazyols are humorless, not realizing that Lazyols do not release their anger. They allow it to simmer and increase until they explode, becoming their own stereotypes grumpy, taciturn, stubborn, and unyielding. Lazyols often despair at the extremely poor manners of other races.

Lazyols are basically good people. They seek to harm no one, merely to coexist with them, or even better, to be left alone. Because of their good nature, Lazyols have been known to persevere in the face of insults and inexplicable behavior. They have banded together with men and elves in times of crisis, and have entered long term trade agreements of mutual benefit.

They have little patience for the ways of humans who simply do things wrong. Humans either waste time in petty pursuits or are so keen to achieve their goals, they are willing, almost eager, to be forceful and rude. They have no conception of the proper rhythm of the world, which is hardly surprising since they allow their lives to be dominated by the changes of night and day and the seasons. No sooner do they achieve something, than their children want to change it, replace it, or worse, lose interest in it entirely.

Elves should know better, but they lack the simplest virtues of patience, diligence, and consistency. They are renowned for wasting their lives enjoying themselves instead of producing lasting goods.

The differences between elves and Lazyols have led to many disagreements. This usually occurred because Lazyols considered agreements to be binding until the end of time, while the elves thought they were to last as long as they were useful. Entire strongholds may have been threatened or destroyed because elves failed to honor a pledge. Perhaps some minor slight elves have forgotten, has been harbored and nurtured and passed on to the next generation.

Lazyols do not compromise when dealing with evil people, particularly when competing with them for living space or when their welfare is threatened.

Lazyols detest the DsÚkit, eradicating them whenever found. Some strongholds are not above ensalving such creatures and forcing them to work in labor camps. Their hatred of these races is as ancient as the Lazyols themselves, stemming from the centuries of warfare between these two peoples. Lazyols have no doubt that they are involved in a war of massive proportions. It is known as the "War to the Death," for the Lazyols have sworn to fight until their enemies are destroyed.

Lazyolen families are called hearths (LegiqerqŤ: abmegrudŤ [AB-meg-ruh-dee]; NidmolarqŤ: abmerudŤ [AB-meh-ruh-dee]; QataxorqŤ: abmerudŤda [ab-meh-ruh-DEE-dah; RudlÚkorqŤ: abmegrudŤ [ab-MEG-ruh-dee]). The hearth is the basic unit of Lazyol society. A clan may be composed of two to a hundred or more hearths, depending on its strength.

A hearth includes grandfather and grandmother, their children, and any offspring of their children. Family members share the same dwelling and are extremely close-knit. Unlike human or elf families, the lazyolen hearth is not an insular unit, but part of a larger clan. Hearths within a clan are united by blood, and this links the clan together, making it more than just a collection of individual families.

A hearth has a single line of descent. Cousins, aunts, and uncles are not part of the hearth but, as members of the clan, are close to the family.

In some ways the hearth is a convenient social organization rather than an important entity in its own right. Its primary purpose is to create a legal and social environment into which children may be born and to provide a stable environment in which children may be nurtured and educated in the rudiments of Lazyol beliefs and conduct. At the core of the hearth is the institution of marriage.

Lazyols are not romantics. The vast majority of marriages are arranged by clan elders. Their main concern is to secure the continuation of the clan by ensuring that children are properly raised. They select suitable males from eligible candidates and ensure that the family has a warm and secure place to live.

Lazyol society is about one-third female. Lazyols are monogamous, and marriages are entered into for life. That, along with the fact that males outnumber females about two to one, means that many males do not marry. A woman who loses her spouse will, after a year of mourning, remarry. Grandparents play as important a role in child rearing as do parents; elders find mates for widowed grandmothers.

Divorce does not exist in Lazyol society. Couples who have grown distant from one other will continue to share the hearth and the responsibilities of child rearing. Only death can end a marriage.

Lazyols reproduce very slowly compared to humans and orcs. The birth of twins is rare and triplets and quadruplets do not occur. The majority of families have only one or two children to care for. This is seen as a virtue because it allows them to lavish their time and care on one child, and give that child a better education than would be possible with several.

Until the age of 10, young Lazyols are cared for within the hearth. During these formative years, they learn to speak and are taught the traditions and history of their clan and stronghold. The children socialize with others daily, often in a special clan nursery, while their parents and grandparents are at work. In the nursery the children are taught the rudiments of their clan's craft. Children from an armourerís clan will play with miniature suits of armor, those from a baker's clan will play with scales and bread dough. They are allowed to follow their natural instincts and are provided toy tools and allowed to dig tunnels and "hidey-holes" in the nursery.

At the age of 10, more formal education begins. For eight hours every day the children learn runes and local history. Training in crafts begins with basic techniques and skills constantly drilled into them. Their education continues until their 25th year.

On their 25th birthday, great celebrations are held to mark the coming of age. The whole clan assembles to witness the event and join in the fun. The climax of the celebration arrives when parents deliver the youth to the clan's guild master and apprenticeship begins. Males and females both serve the same apprenticeship, with no differentiation based on sex.

Once the apprenticeship begins, the youth leaves his family hearth and goes to live in the apprentices' dormitories; if apprenticed to individual craftsmen, to the craftsman's hearth. They may return home for one day a week, otherwise they are busy learning their trade.

Lazyol apprenticeships are served for 25 years. At the end of the apprenticeship, celebrations are held to mark the Lazyolís entry into adulthood and the acceptance of adult responsibilities.

Once Lazyols have attained adulthood, they are eligible for marriage. Most female Lazyols are expected to marry at this time. Females from military clans, such as Hearth Guards, frequently delay marriage until later in life. Few young males have much hope of marrying soon, as the clan elders invariably choose suitors who have plied their craft for at least 10 years after apprenticeship. Males, achieving adult status, will spend their time honing their skills and amassing wealth. Those from military clans may leave their strongholds to go adventuring, in the hope of acquiring wealth and reputation enough to enhance their chances of marriage.

Adult Lazyols usually work 8 to 12 hours a day. Those with children are limited to 8 hours a day and are expected to spend the rest of the time with their children. Female Lazyols work the same hours until a month before they are ready to give birth. Pregnancies are 12 months long, and tradition dictates that the month preceding the birth be spent preparing the hearth for its new member.

After working hours, the time of unmarried Lazyols is their own. For the first few hours, unmarried Lazyols usually seek their own solitude, and an opportunity to count their wealth. Then they will visit the hearths of married relatives. Around the hearths stories are told, songs are sung, and children play. Single Lazyols often congregate in one of the clan's great halls to feast and swap stories, and to be amused by entertainers with juggling, acrobatics, and other displays of skill. After an evening's amusement, they sleep 8 hours before rising to work.

Lazyols enjoy a wide variety of food, with a preference for meat. They keep cattle, goats, sheep, pigs, and fowl. These animals are grazed above ground on upland meadows or plateaus, where they are allowed to roam, a practice that leads to many DsÚrkit raids. Lazyols also keep animals more suited to subterranean existence: giant lizards and beetles. Although meat is a staple of their diet, large quantities of grains are also consumed. When possible wheat, rye and barley are grown close to the stronghold. They are harvested and kept in underground granaries. Many who live close to humans or halflings buy large quantities of grain to supplement their own production.

They also cultivate various types of fungi underground. Like the giant lizards and beetles, many of these fungi have been carefully bred to produce a wide variety of flavors to excite the palate. Most are very careful about the kinds of fungi they eat.

Lazyolen cooking also makes use of vegetables for flavor and variety. They do not eat spicy or heavily seasoned food, and consequently lazyolen cooking tastes bland to humans and elves, but the food is wholesome, consisting of thick stews served on broad slices of bread. While they are not voracious eaters like halflings, few humans or elves can eat as much as a Lazyol in a single meal.

Lazyolen clothing tends to be heavy, somber in color, and serviceable. Made from thick wool or spun strands of fungi, it is designed to keep the Lazyols warm in the unheated places in their strongholds. To the untrained eye, colors are uniformly drab grays and browns. Lazyolen languages have over 500 words for rock, and almost as many to describe different rock hues. Particular shades of gray and brown reveal much about the clan and status of Lazyols, if one has the eye to see.

Boots, belts, and hats are usually made by the leather guilds of tanned leather from the hides of cattle or giant lizards.

Lazyols love to sing. Many have rich baritone voices that echo splendidly about their chambered halls. Numerous great halls are specially constructed around natural acoustic properties. Except for solo performances by entertainers, singing is a group activity. On formal occasions songs written to display their vocal ranges are sung by massed choirs. On less formal occasions, any Lazyol may sing within a hall or around the hearth.

Their songs speak of the beauty of the earth; commemorate famous deeds of valor, or sing of the construction of a magnificent bridge or other edifice. Some are laments that tell of the death of a loved one or great hero, or the loss of a stronghold to monsters.

The songs tend to be long and very well written. Most races would lose patience with a spoken story, but even elves have sat entranced for hours by the story songs of Lazyols.

Lazyols also enjoy playing instruments; flutes, horns, bagpipes, drums, and percussion instruments especially. They rarely play stringed instruments because short fingers are ill suited to plucking strings and picking out chords. Their music is either martial or mournful. Rarely will musicians accompany singers: music dampens the true resonance of the voice. However, special songs have been written, and are performed, for voice and instrument.

Lazyol strongholds appear very bland to outsiders, with smooth walls, however, to the Lazyol, and those who can see infrared spectrum, the walls, floors and ceilings are covered with intricate patterns which the Lazyol create by building ducts behind the walls through which hot air is passed, which heats the stones, which appears to them as various subtle shades depending on the thickness of the stone.

Lazyol characters have the following game specific (3.5) characteristics.

Mostly taken from the Complete Book of Dwarves, with stats from the entries on Hill Dwarves and Mountain Dwarves on the D&D Wiki.

Source for image.