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Alter Aeon The Great Library



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Note - as with any topic, researchers should question the reliability
and veracity of these texts.  The library's aim is to preserve
documents, not verify accuracy.

AABN:  13150
Title: The Book of the Stonefolk

About a dozen slabs of slate are bound together with brass rings. Graven in
Dwarrow script on the outermost slab are the words, "The Book of the Stone
Folk".

Each slab contains a descriptions of a race of people, along with a bas
relief carving of a male and female representative of that race, in
cultural costume. The author is not named in the work, but was clearly a
dwarf:

Dwarf - Our race is industrious, bold, proud and fair. We are shorter than
humans and most elves, yet larger than halflings and most of the foul races
of goblin. Our men take pride in our luxurious beards, and the hair of both
our men and women can be red, blonde, black, brown or stone-grey. We are
generally not as swarthy as surface-dwelling folk. This varies from family
to family, but we are not prejudiced regarding our coloring, unlike the
drow and certain groups of human-folk. Our shoulders are broad, and our
height is well-suited for our ancient underground homes. Our people are
found in cities all over the mainland of Atmir, with the core of our
civilization located in and under the Ash Mountains. We have a sizeable
presence on the Island of Archais, particularly in the village of Dragon
Tooth. Dwarven smiths, crafters and traders frequent the settlements of our
human, gnome, naga and halfling allies. We occasionally have dealings with
elves and giants, though we exercise caution in either place.

Brimstone Dwarf - Rumors have reached our ears of a race of dwarves that
inhabit regions of volcanic activity. They have brick red skin, yellow eyes
and black hair, giving them a fiendish demeanor that may hint at some
infernal bloodline. They are said to be suspicious, greedy and petty. One
such colony is rumored to exist on the Westering Isle of Archais.

Frost Dwarf - Our kin of the northern Ash Mountains, this hardy folk have
adapted to the frigid conditions of their homelands. They have the broad,
handsome features of our race, though their skin is light blue and their
hair and beards are always white. They are a friendly, welcoming people,
though they get on a bit too well with the snowborn elves that live nearby.
Glacier dwarves are thought to be related to frost dwarves.

Swamp Dwarf - The only dwarves native to the continent of Suboria, swamp
dwarves dwell in clans on the surface. It is thought they fled the deeps
due to conflict with the drow. They are remarkably like others of our race,
though they tend to have odd skin tones like pale green and may even
develop deeply tanned skin. Their beards tend to be more sparse as well.

Duergar - Sometimes called 'deep dwarves', they are dwarves that dwell in
some of the vastest and most foreboding parts of the Underdark. They have
gray skin and pure black eyes. Their men are bald and have black beards,
while their women cut their dark hair short. They tend to be taller and
more slender that most dwarves. Duergar are typically suspicious of
outsiders, though some of them have begun to trade with our more far-flung
colonies.

Gnome - Our dear cousins the gnomes resemble us in many ways. They are
stocky and sturdy, though not as robust of build as true dwarves. They are
tougher than the more fragile and unwieldly elves and humans. Their men
sport fine beards. Like us, they admire gems and adore machinery, and are
somewhat more adroit with the latter. Typical gnomes have nut-brown skin,
though their hair may be any shade of brown, blonde or red, and their skin
may be degrees lighter or darker depending on their lineage. Unlike us,
they more readily trade and intermingle with bigger folk, and they build
cities on or near the surface. They are also more fond of magic than we,
and many are skilled illusionists or elementalists. It is thought they are
descended from ancient marriages between dwarven clans and the Fair Folk
from the Otherworld.

Svirfneblin - These underground-dwelling gnomes resemble their cousins from
nearer the surface. They have skin the color of stone, ranging from browns
to greys to almost black. Svirfneblin men are usually bald. They are
insular and do not mingle readily with other folk, though some have found
themselves enslaved by the drow.

Derro - Depraved descendants of inbred dwarf clans from long-fallen cities,
the derro have abandoned reason for madness. They are pale and sickly,
taller than most dwarves but lacking our breadth and stability. Their hair
and beards are thin and tangled. Derros make crude, oddly wrought tools,
weapons and armor, decorated with wild colors.
 

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