Good Afternoon Ladies, Gentlemen and Sentient Creatures,
Today’s post will be about the Dur, or how they are known in the human lands, the Dwarves. The rulebook begins to scratch the surface on each of the major Dur lineages, but what I’m going to give a little more information on what life is like in each of these cultures.
We’ll start with the Vrachos. Most Deep Dwarf settlements have very limited space within their cities. Homes tend to be stacked into buildings that are between three and four stories high. Most of the space is taken by trade warehouses, pubs, musical halls, and government buildings. The poor and homeless are rarely seen within the city proper because they are typically driven out into the Sunless Roads by the Merchant and Ruling class. This makes the underground routes near Vrachos cities dangerous to travel alone unless one is connected with the various criminal gangs that spring up. Mercenaries from all over the world can typically find work with the Vrachos trade caravans. Steam Technology is also uncommon in smaller cities and settlements, not because the Vrachos do not have access to steam technology, but because an abundance of steam tech within a city requires a greater deal of ventilation caves and tunnels. The Vrachos, being generally xenophobic, tend to keep outsiders, even those in Vrachos employ, to the outer ring sections of their cities, typically near the city gates.
Vuono Dur settlements, in turn, are the opposite. They tend to sprawl across the side of a mountain or along the hilltops of the surrounding countryside. Buildings can range from single stories to as high as six stories, though most of these tend have half the building underground. With the constant trade that happens with the Vrachos, the Nisse, and the Humans, the Vuono cities are quite cosmopolitan. The poor tend to live further away from the rich manses on the mountains, settling instead near industrialized areas or in rural suburbs. Vuono have less of a utilitarian view of the world than Vrachos do, and their cities house some of the greatest artists and sculptors of the Forged Kingdoms. In fact, King Ivannar Stoneforge the First is known for his love of music, and is patron to several court musicians and bards. His people seems to have taken a cue from their leader, and it is not uncommon to see music halls and piano bars in even the seediest parts of a Vuono city.
All major Ouranos Dur cities are technically twin cities. The large floating cities that ring the tops of mountains are accompanied by a smaller settlement on the ground. These settlements are typically trading post, warehouses, and cheaper inns for travelers and merchants. They also house Aethership Hangars for the smaller ships that taxi people and goods from the ground up to the city proper in the sky. Ouranos cities take some getting used to as the clank of machines and bellows is a near constant. Most of the poor and criminal element lives in the network of pipes and machines in the recesses of the floating cities. Despite the Ouranos being even less xenophobic than both their Vuono and Vrachos cousins, their cities tend to be populated by mostly other Ouranos, as very few among the other races feel comfortable living in a constant high altitude.