Total IK Population: 2,200,000

The dwarves are the next most populous and influential of the races native to the Iron Kingdoms. Their civilization in Rhul is ancient by the measure of humanity, and the city of Ghord was counted a wonder of the age even four thousand years ago. By their own records, the dwarves were the first civilization of the region, and their clan-based society was well entrenched by the time the elves fled to Ios, while humanity was still wandering the nearby plains in savage hunter-gatherer tribes. Most of the old records have gone to dust or lost their reliability in translation and revision, but it seems likely Rhul was the beacon of western Immoren civilization when the great old elven empire controlled the east.

Despite the age of Rhul, the dwarves who dwell there seem little interested in expansion or exploration. They believe in building, one stone at a time, one building at a time, each castle or tower designed to last the ages. Unlike their warlike human neighbors, the dwarves have never attempted to conquer or subjugate others, but any attempts to invade their own lands have met with swift and merciless reprisals. The old human barbarian tribes and warlords soon learned the folly of meddling with these small yet stalwart people. It is worth noting that even the Orgoth did not invade Rhul when they subjugated the rest of the region, although some human scholars point fingers of blame at the dwarves and claim they enjoyed trade with a single empire of mankind. There was indeed some peaceful commerce between the Orgoth empire and Rhul, but the dwarves also played a crucial role in the successful rebellion, so most have forgiven them this earlier "collaboration."

The dwarves of Rhul have a very stable and complex social structure based on clans, and are arguably the most democratic society of the Iron Kingdoms. Despite an outward appearance of solidarity, dwarves fight frequently among themselves. However, while bloody, these battles are highly ritualized and controlled by rigid laws. Feuds and dueling are a perfectly legitimate and encouraged method to solve disputes among the dwarves, and even building contracts and construction rights are frequently decided by skirmish.

There are several hundred thousand dwarves currently living outside Rhul, with conclaves in all the Iron Kingdoms. They have become increasingly friendly with humanity in the last several centuries, particularly with the kingdom of Cygnar. Both races share a strong aptitude for mechanika, a similar work ethic, love of profit, and other values. Yet despite other friendships, the dwarves are loyal to their own kin before any others. The security and safety of Rhul is of primary importance even to those conclaves outside their kingdom.

Language Info: dwarves speak Rhulic, an ancient language itself derived from a now archaic language called Dol-Rhul. Most dwarves also speak Cyganaran if they have any contact with humanity, and may know other human tongues. Rhulic has a particularly complex written alphabet, actually composed of two distinct alphabets each used for different purposes.

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