Dark Magic in the Bright Sun
Born of stone, carved from the bones of the world, wanderers from depths unimagined, the Dwarves claim to be all these things. The truth, like most creation myths is hard to determine, but for the short, bearded, hairy beings there is more truth than myth to their claims.
Dwarves don’t die as humans, or even elves, they slowly ossify, turning to stone as they age, eventually becoming statues of themselves. This is a slow process, one that doesn’t start until their later years, but the effects are noticeable when it sets on.
This bond to the earth shades their every ritual, every courtesy, and invades every facet of life. Other races see them as greedy, covetous, and obsessed with gem and coin, the dwarves see it as refining the gifts of their mother.
Dwarves are master smiths, jewelers, and stone workers, they find peace in such activities. They rule two kingdoms of the empire, one a vast range of mountains, tall and forbidding, deeply mined, connected underground with intricate tunnels and machines of rapid transport, while the other is a forbidding stony desert, flat, baren, waterless, but rich below with the fruits of the earth.