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Author Topic: Black Dwarves  (Read 13939 times)
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John Silvercryst
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« Reply #15 on: 15 November 2001, 16:29:00 »

To answer some of your earlier questions (which I unexcusably forgot about) No.1  I'm thinking that as a group, they got sick of how muleheaded (no offense!) regular dwarves are.  No.2  They do live underground, only because it is easier to avoid curious eyes that way.  No.3  They are related to regular dwarves, but regular dwarves think of them "strange" and normally give a wink with this "strange".  No.4  They trade with Dwarves, elves, brownies (even though they think brownies are way too hyper), and humans.  They only trade with a few people of each race, and these people guard their wearabouts well.

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Greybark
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« Reply #16 on: 15 November 2001, 21:55:00 »

LOL
re: (even though they think brownies are way too hyper)

Looking forward to seeing how the Dark Dwarves develop. Looks interesting. Which places on the map do they live?

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Bard Judith
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« Reply #17 on: 16 November 2001, 03:11:00 »

Capher:  yes, of course, just please check the Thergerim dictionary for ideas and appropriate sound combinations.  For example, there is no F sound in Dwarven, so don't spell anything with that letter! Or Q, come to think of it...

Also - Dwarves don't like to fight, but they are a sturdy race equipped with picks and axes, and would defend their home caverns literally to the death - so how DID those orcs take an entire tribe prisoner?  

Brainstorming Suggestions:  perhaps during one of these annual festivals?  A traitor dwarf (very unusual concept, I know) who sells the time and place information to the orc leader (why?  would have to be plausible reason) Or... orc leader kidnaps a dwarven child, extracts info from unwitting kid..... and so on.  Then ambushes dwarves as they are travelling through tunnels or aboveground...

Anyhow, use what you like from those ideas, and I'm looking forward to the result!

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"Give me a land of boughs in leaf /  a land of trees that stand; / where trees are fallen there is grief; /  I love no leafless land."   --A.E. Housman
 
Bard Judith
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« Reply #18 on: 16 November 2001, 03:43:00 »

Dear John:  Sorry for taking so long to respond to your ideas.

First, I have to say that I'm somewhat uncomfortable with the concept of different eye colours denoting profession.

It's a fairly elaborate concept, and even for a larger race would still be rather artificial.  In a sci-fi universe, perhaps this would be workable, but in high fantasy, I'm not sure it is.  Also, the Black Dwarves are, by your own description, a minor offshoot (1 in 40) of a reclusive race.  Why give them such a distinctive and defining physical characteristic to sort them into occupations?

Thergerim already divide labour based on gender:  Males mine and forge, females grow crops, hunt, and provide food.  Both sexes serve as teachers, healers, and leaders.  Unlike many human societies, there is no implied value inequality in this labour division:  all work is seen as valuable and contributing to the overall wellbeing of the community.    Thus your divisions, while useful and a good elaboration on the Dwarven society, would need to be made by gender primarily.

I'm also unsure about the physical aspect of eyecolour - red and pink for example, are usually associated with albinoism - and while dwarves certainly have light-sensitive eyes and a high rod-cone proportion allowing them to see very fine contrasts between light and dark, I doubt there would be any albino dwarves.  

Have a look at the text below for further information:

"Eye colour is not a substance but an effect produced by reflection of light on different materials. Melanin accounts for the colour differences by determining the concentration, granule shape and deposti. Eye colour is determined by the melanin or lack of melanin in the front or back of the iris.

"Blue eyes result from an absence of pigment in front of the iris and brownish melanin scattered in the back of the iris; the optical effect of blue occurs through reflection and dispersion of light rays.

"Green eyes result from a dilute brown or yellow pigment in front of the iris and brownish melanin scattered in back; yello pigment is superimposed on a "blue" background, producing a green effect. The shade of green depends on the amount and kind of melanin laid down in front.

"Hazel eyes result from the addition of a little more pigment in front and rear of the iris, creating a grayish yellow, or yellow-flecked-with-green effect.

"Copper, gold or orange eyes occur when the front of the iris is filled with pigment; no reflection can be seen as the iris is partialy or completely opaque.

"White spotting and pointed genes produce a blue effect; the mink gene prevents full pigmentation and scatters granules, producing a blue-green effect; the sepia gene prevents full pigmentation, resulting in a gold effect.

Very interesting, eh?  If you still would like to distinguish the Dark Dwarves in some way, why not try just one eye colour - for example Thuja's offering of the 'ice-eyed' babies.  Since 'normal ' Theregerim are black/bronze/gold irised for the most part, but all babies begin with blue eyes, it would be an effective contrast.  As the baby grew older it would begin to be obvious that he/she was going to keep the blue eye colour, and thus was actually a Dark Dwarf.  By this time the child would probably be weaned, and could be sent for fostering with the nearest Dark Dwarf Clan.  This could also lead to some interesting customs, such as not naming a new baby until it was certain that the child was 'Thergerim' and not "Morgerim" - and then holding a festday to  give the child its new dwarf name - while the dark dwarves, of course, would have their celebration when a new child arrived.  Workable?  Can you live with any of those concepts?

At any rate, I hope my opinion has been clear, coherent, and consistent, and that it has not offended you.  I know you have put a lot of work into these ideas, and if you would like to defend them, please give me your further feedback in this thread.  

Sincerely,   Bard Judith





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Bard Judith

"If you will listen to this lay but a little while now,
I will tell it at once as in town I have heard it told,
as it is fixed and fettered
in story brave and bold,
thus linked and truly lettered,
as was loved in this land of old."

J.R.R.Tolkien, 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight'

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Bard Judith
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« Reply #19 on: 16 November 2001, 03:52:00 »

Everyone ignore this post.

It's only here because I want to get to Dwarven Miner as soon as possible!

(um...really it's cause I don't know how to delete a post.  Sowwwy!)

Edited by: Bard Judith at: 11/15/01 9:54:51 am
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Capher
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« Reply #20 on: 16 November 2001, 10:42:00 »

Thanks Bard for your advise and encouragement. The orcs found them through the use of Ma'asherom's magic by the way in the story and he uses the orcs to keep them mining away.

On another thought though. I want to be able to get somesort of messsage from these slaved dwarfs to their free cousins. The typical way would be to have a dwarf escape, but I was wondering if there may be a like underground message system that the dwarves use?

Anyway it is just an Idea. I will probably use the escaped dwarf idea. Unless... Bard you come up with something really neat.;)  

With deepest regards,Capher

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John Silvercryst
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« Reply #21 on: 16 November 2001, 12:54:00 »

I was thinking that Black Dwarves were more flexible with their assigning jobs by gender.  If a male wanted to farm, then they let him.  If a women wanted to weild a warhammer, then they let her.  Though these are uncommon, it can still happen.  If you want, we can chuck the whole eye color thing out the window and leave their eye color at green. As to where they live, they live in small groups (25 to 50 Dwarves) throughout all the mountain ranges, but they hide their entrances better than regular dwarves.  

(P.S. Tell me when you think I have enough about about these guys. Please ask of any questions that you have, because I'm not good at details.)

Edited by: John Silvercryst at: 11/16/01 9:12:22 pm
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Bard Judith
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« Reply #22 on: 18 November 2001, 03:56:00 »

John:  Yeah, that might be a good distinction... so they would actually be more 'liberal' in some ways than 'traditional' Thergerim.  "They allow men to prepare food...hmmph, sacrilegious!"  (Urtengor, or as they say, TollBarol, is the only 'male' in history who would be allowed to cook, being as he is the God of both Forging and Cooking....grin)

As for eye colour, green is fine, though we lose the story-telling potential and drama of the eye-colour change (somewhere in the depths of my last post, so I won't defend it again).

I like that they are more reclusive.  As for communication between them...well, Capher mentioned that he needed some info there, too, so here goes.

How about a type of sound pulse/vibration drum - a kind of Morse code that travels through veins of certain types of rock?  "Senders" as the drummers could be called, spend time in front of special stalagmites with silver hammers, tapping out their messages from cavern to cavern.  They receive a message and pass it along if it needs to go further.  Messages would begin with the intended recipient cavern's name, or a "General" heading if every dwarf needs to know.  The messages are decoded, written down in aleterons (dwarf runes) and then read aloud at the main meal or the Restday meeting.  Any dwarf can send a personal message if the lines are free, at no cost.  The Senders, like every one else in the community, put their work into a communal pool and receive food, shelter, clothing, etc. back.

Alternatively;  dwarves have managed to domesticate most types of rock-lizard (as food, rarely as pets) and bats.  Bats could be used as a 'distrans' system (thank Frank Herbert for this idea!).  Dwarves being highly sensitive to vibrations to begin with, it might be possible that every once in a while a dwarf child is born who is extrasensitive and can 'hear' bat radar pulses.  That child is placed immediately into training with the current SingSpeaker and will spend his/her entire life in the Morjualoon (Bat Mews - a special aerie for the trained bats).  

Using low-level magic, patience, positive reinforcement, and some carefully guarded technology of Brownie manufacture (talk to you about this later, Greybark!  I'm SURE Brownies will have invented a way to speak to bats, if you haven't already!)  the Singspeakers train their Morjualerons to 'memorize' and 'replay' short sequences of pulses (the same as the Drum Code above, I expect)  The bats are then released at sunset to flutter to other caverns and pulse their messages to the Singspeakers there - the news is received, decoded, and transcribed for reading to the cavern later.


Work for you guys?  Let's have some feedback (and of course, compliments will always be gratefully received!)

Bard Judith

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"Give me a land of boughs in leaf /  a land of trees that stand; / where trees are fallen there is grief; /  I love no leafless land."   --A.E. Housman
 
John Silvercryst
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« Reply #23 on: 18 November 2001, 14:03:00 »

Wow, just wow.  I couldn't come up with somthing like that in a lifetime.  (Walks away muttering under his breath, Wow.)

"He's got big balls, she's got big balls, but we've got the biggest, balls of them all!"  AC/DC,  Big Balls

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Capher
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« Reply #24 on: 18 November 2001, 14:28:00 »

I like the bat idea and the sender idea. Problem is:)  Which one to choose;)  I think both. depending upon where and how deep the messages are coming from.

With deepest regards,Capher

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« Reply #25 on: 19 November 2001, 02:29:00 »

(bows deeply) Glad to have been of service.  By all means use both.  They are appropriate for different kinds of messages - obviously the drum code could be 'intercepted' or read, if another race knew the code, while the bats are more secret but less direct (takes longer).

Regards from the Bard

(anything you want to know about the Dwarves is either right here in my head, or it will be within minutes of your question!)

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John Silvercryst
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« Reply #26 on: 27 November 2001, 12:04:00 »

The Morgerim are what you would call a sub-species of the Thergerim (Dwarves).  They look like normal ThergerimErons except for a few siginifcant diffrences.  Their skin is ebony black, their hair is a pure white color, and their eyes can be any color from a light blue to a dark green.  Other than that, they are the average height, weight, and bone structure as regular Dwarves.  There are some major diffrences in between these races also.  

One of them is their skill level.  Their work is very sought after by other races because they are the best at what their specific jobs are.  Smiths of this race guarantee that all their weapons will never break, and so far, none has.  When the hunters go out to catch food, they have yet to not come back with some meat.  This rule applies to all of the jobs, but a Morgerim can't cross over to other jobs very well.  For example, most smiths of this race are         very  bad at haggling about their prices.  And most farmers can't smith very well, but they can make         very crude farm tools.

Another diffrence is the rarity of indivuals of this race. the Morgerim have a ratio to the Thergerim of 1:25.  This is directly affected by the fertility of the male.  With Morgerim males, about 50% of the sperm are infertile.  Also, they are a bit more sexually active than ThergerimErons.  Their ratio for male/female is 1:2, more like the other races(?).  

Their religion is very similar to the ThergerimErons belief except for one story.  This story goes roughly like this:   The Un'SthommErons created the ThergerimErons out of granite to help them become strong and dependent.  when [insert the name of the Un'SthommErons that this concept would match here] saw how inflexible they were, and didn't want to destroy somthing that him and his brothers already created.  So [he] desided to make another people(?) out of obsidian so that they can be more flexible and open to ideas.  He created the MorgerimErons[is that how you would say/spell the plural form?], but saw after he created them that they have the  disadvantage of being very select in their abilities. (Like an obsidian tool.)


Another major diffrence is their atitudes in general.  Unlike ThergerimErons, the Morgerim are a lot more flexible with their job assignment than other ThergerimErons.  Almost all jobs are shared, from cooking (Which is a big taboo for males in other dwarves lives) to senders to teachers. They also have a class of warriors because none of the other classes are very good at handling weapons, so they need this class in order to defend their homes and lands.

They also concern themselves with what is going on "topside" more then the Thergerim does, because they have more land up there.  Also, they dislike having Orks, Ogres, Goblins, etc. in/on their mountain(s), so they go hunting these regularly.  

The MorgerimErons have topside farms in secluded valleys that the only entrance is through          they're tunnels or through the skies, and of anything tries to fly into their valleys withought permission, they have about 5-10 (depending on the size of the valley) crack shot crossbowman surrounding the perimeter of each valley.  

The MorgerimErons trade with only select merchants that they know won't give they're entrances away because they want their homes to be secure from attacks and unwanted guests.  They're anger is vey meurcuridal [meurcury like?] which can be a hindrance if you happen to stumble upon one of they're entrances to their homes.  

The MorgerimErons live in communities ranging from 10 people to (Mining) to 100 (largest city) throughout the Northern Sarvonian mountains.  The reason for these small groups is because of two reasons:  So that they don't put a drain on the local resources and so that they don't attract attention with sounds, smoke and light.

(More later! )

Edited by: John Silvercryst at: 12/14/01 5:14:13 pm
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John Silvercryst
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« Reply #27 on: 29 November 2001, 11:14:00 »

FEEDBACK? PLEASE? (on knees begging patheticaly) Please, I need some feed back about these guys otherwise I will be sent back to my cement room in my "special" jacket!

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Bard Judith
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« Reply #28 on: 29 November 2001, 22:02:00 »

(meets the puppy eyes with dispassionate gaze...)

Hmmm.....I suppose I COULD take the time to look this over...

(holds up the parchment by one corner, sweeps a look across it...)

Well, the ideas are all sound in concept - you need to detail a bit more exactly HOW they are different, such as the religion and so on.  Basically the Morgerim will be considered a different TRIBE, not a different RACE.  Make sense?  Regular dwarves will be a bit resentful of their reputed abilities, and scorn their 'loose' and 'liberal' ways with job assignments, but then again, Thergerim are traditionalists!

(softening a bit as the puppy eyes begin to sink in)

I will be sending Art a massive Dwarven Compendium entry in the next week or so.  I'll also email it to you so that you can get the 'final word' on dwarven culture (grin) before then and make sure your guys fit into it - or tell me what I need to adapt.  

I think the words you wanted were 'more sexually active' and 'less fertile'.  But I can edit the post later if you like so that the style matches??

(smiles and hands back the parchment)

Regards from the Bard

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John Silvercryst
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« Reply #29 on: 30 November 2001, 11:49:00 »

Thanks for giving me some feedback!  Can these guys be just another tribe when they're biologically diffrent? (I'm assuming that ThergerimErons are not black of skin and white of hair.)  I'm also just picing it together because the computer that I'm using decides not to let me just type for a while because it says that it's an inactive connection.

Edited by: John Silvercryst at: 11/29/01 8:38:43 pm
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