Dwarves are often lauded for their impeccable engineering, but this extends far past intricate stone work and into the realm of science and artifice. They delve into the Ironcrags to glean resources needed to create mechanical inventions unlike anything else seen in Midgard. Don’t be fooled by the boisterous dwarf; these are nimble-handed folks who can construct the smallest of innerworkings of clocks and the most powerful of engines.
Not all dwarves are drawn to the depths. It is the cantonal dwarves, residing in the Ironcrags, who are unique among other dwarven communities. The cantons are scarred with various mountain ranges that form a ring around the region. Cantonal dwarves have a saying: “The colder the peak, the stronger the ore.” As such, they’ll brave the dangers of the kobold-occupied depths to collect whatever they can. Those who are successful often find acclaim and wealth. And all those unique substances found pique further interest with many of these resource-seeking dwarves continuing their studies in laboratories and workspaces.
It’s nearly possible to separate the culture of mining from science, artifice, and construction. Many dwarves consider it part of the process—if you want to create something from scratch, you must first source your materials yourself. One can only call themself a maker if they bring something to life with their own hands.
Two notable inventions have arisen from this culture: firearms and airships. Although these developments differ greatly in their purpose, the processes of building them share many similarities. It’s inarguable that these have changed Midgard irrevocably—for better or worse.
Cult of the Gear Maiden
For dwarves of Zobeck, passion for devices and constructs is more than just a lucrative endeavor. These dwarves revere the Gear Maiden, Rava, and those who worship Rava see artifice as an extension of the natural world. They do not see nature and science as incompatible but rather as a way to cultivate and process materials sourced from the wild. It is a mutually respective relationship: Rava provides, and the dwarves reap, process, and build.
Dwarves who mine, forge, and craft often include a maker’s mark on their inventions, whether it’s engraved on the back of a pocket watch or on the butt of a firearm. The mark is determined by the dwarf’s family and the metals they employ in their creations. Thus a mark is comprised of three components:
- First letter of the dwarf’s surname.
- A symbol that represents their house. Dwarves from ancient and noble houses often have a sigil, but dwarves without such lineage typically create their own based on their personality or values.
- A shape or symbol that designates their specialty. These mirror symbols that alchemists use, and there’s quite a bit of crossover between alchemists and artificers. For example, a goldsmith’s mark displays a circle with a dot in the center.
More experienced dwarves may specialize in more than one material, and this is reflected in the mark. Dwarf PCs who are artificers, crafters, miners, and forgers can create a maker’s mark using the same system. However, there is a prerequisite: they must create at least one item in the material they consider their “specialty.” Once this item has been crafted, it must be used and stress tested. If it can suitably accomplish the purpose it was intended for, the creator is permitted to design a maker’s mark. Some dwarves specialize in this design and offer this service to others…
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