Saturday, October 2, 2021

On the Procreation of Dwarves

It is a little known fact outside of dwarf communities, but dwarven kind do not reproduce by anything as silly as mingling gametes.* 

When a community decides they need a new dwarf, they start the great chiseling. They find a rock worthy of dwarfiness, such as good marble, and begin to carve away until a statue of a dwarf is made.

You may have noticed there are no dwarf women, or heard speculation that their females are bearded. This is because there are also no dwarf men. There are just dwarves. It's a species designation, and gender is a somewhat alien concept to them. But most people use male pronouns because dwarves don't correct them.

So the statue looks a lot like any other dwarf. Many clans have developed tribal embellishments over the years. Mohawks are a popular "mutation" for example. But all dwarves have beards, and usually mustaches. The statue will not become a flesh and blood dwarf without treasure. Gems, silver, gold, et cetera are added. Runes are inlaid with diamonds. Ancient words are chanted, and blessings intoning the names of the fourteen dour dwarf gods are muttered. The dwarf statue glows brilliantly, and is transfigured into blood and sinew. The newly born dwarf blinks and is handed a hammer, battle ax, or ale. This is the way. 

There are times when a tribe will fill a great need by crafting specific traits into a dwarf. Genetic engineering by another name. Usually it is to fight a threat. Other times it is to fulfill a task. Such creations often turn out to not be dwarves at all. Some tribes call them mulls. Others might use the word golem. And many think them abominations that shouldn't be created even as a last resort. There are rumors that these creations sometimes escape and become monsters capable of reproducing somehow. Dwarves don't talk about it to outsiders though, and their runed walls don't ever record this shameful secret.

The need to gather treasure is instinctual--nay holy--and pleasing to dwarvenkind. But this desire gets perverted into greed all too easily, especially if the dwarf is not around his own kind. If dwarves don't reproduce and instead hoard their wealth, they start to undergo a blasphemous transformation. They grow scales, wings, horns. They turn ravenous and consume great quantities. They become ogres, giants, and even dragons. They all guard their hoard jealously. So if you see a dwarf muttering to his treasure and hissing at anyone that gets too close, beware! 

*: Now, non-dwarves that discover these things are mighty curious about certain facts of dwarf anatomy, but I'd rather not get into that. They eat and drink. They go to the bathroom. They don't like to peeped at in the bathroom. So don't. 


I need a preview image for this post, so I'm going with a pic of a drow take I did previously on the blog. If you want to read on what's up with the drow on my world, you can't, because the pic is all I really need to say on that topic (old post will tell you much the same).


Share good posts with good goblins. Claytonian at the gmails.


Adam Dickstein said...

Neat! I like this a lot.

My own Dwarves are somewhat similar. Sorta. Kind of.

True Dwarfs, called 'Mountain Dwarves' by non-Dwarves, are all already made. There are no 'new' Mountain Dwarves. All were carved out of rock by the gods from the stone bones of the giant Ymir. If they break (i.e. die), they may be reforged but there is no guarantee. Make sure to find and return all the pieces to the Dwarf homeland.

All Mountain Dwarves are male. If they mate with the females of any other people the resulting offspring may be male or female and are usually called 'Hill Dwarves' or 'Lesser Dwarves' by the True Dwarves.

Unknown said...

This is the way!

I do something similar, but it takes a pair of Dwarves, not an entire community.

Letting greed transform Dwarves into Ogres, Giants, and Dragons is an awesome twist that I might have to borrow.

Thank you!