About 1m30 to 1m40 when adults, they are stocky, strong, tough and generally very hairy, except for women who do have very thick and lustrous hair.
They live very long lives, up to 800 years, although most will die violently before they are 500. The average life expectancy is 350.
They are considered mature at the age of 15, but not old enough to run a business until they are 50. They usually find a union partner around 60 to 80. Dwarf still single at 150 is considered to be a strictly business person.
Women versus Men
Both tough as nails and about the same height, they do differ in physiology beyond sexual attributes. Women have wider hips, rounder face with softer and huskier voices, even though they have same baritone range.
Stubborn, greedy, suspicious and grumpy, as a lot they're good people. Soft hearted, caring protectors and steadfast friends, they are in through thick or thin, right to the end.
They are the worst ennemies you can have, but the very best of friends to conquer. They do not easily give their friendship, but it is well worth it.
Strong and Tough. If you aren't, you're not a dwarf. They never show weakness or fear, and will only shed a tear for the great occasions such as a departed loved one.
Stubbornness. This trait often turns into a problem. To them, it's extremely important to stand by what you believe. They are very loyal and will stick with their principles. They will argue you to exhaustion, but if you're right in the end, they come around in a day or two and admit it to you. You better not make a big fuss about it, because you might lose that argument.
Truth. Although you can catch an overly greedy dwarf in a lie, by far and large, they see truth as a primordial element, which is why they can be very suspicious. They see truth in steel, gold, gems, rock and fire. They almost venerate them, seeing them as foundation elements of society.
Each dwarven realm is governed by a queen or king, a hereditary position, but they do not have total authority. They are checked by the Council of Guilds.
Council of Guilds
The Council is composed of the headmasters of each guild. The most powerful headmasters are usually those from the Smithing Guild and Mining Guild.
Membership is for life, and unless deemed unanimously unfit by the other headmasters, a member cannot step down.
The Council can oppose any decision the current ruler makes if a notification is sent within a day and a decision made within a week.
What this means is that the ruler usually convene the Council before making any major decision or a decision that might be contentious.
Body of Laws
The Council represents the Body of Laws. They codify every law, can present new ones and modify old ones with the consent of the ruler.
The Council is also responsible for the royal succession. When the issue is contentious, they have the final say. They can also remove a ruler if they unanimously found her/him unfit to rule.
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