The Deep Dwarves form the second half of the dwarf clan that inhabit and work the Ironbeak Mountains but unlike their close cousins the Sky Dwarves, they choose to live under the mountain. Deep beneath the Ironbeak Mountains are a broad network of worked and unworked caverns, many of them developed by the Iron Gnomes who have worked the undermountain for many years. The Deep Dwarves have a deep rooted veneration for the earth and the metals they find within and have learned and refined many of the smelting and smithing skills from the Iron Gnomes. A large majority of the worked metal goods in the region originate from the Deep Dwarf keeps and forges.
Because of the strong ties they still maintain to the Iron Gnomes, the Deep Dwarves are deeply religious, sharing the same beliefs in the primordial elemental spirits that supposedly created the world. The Deep Dwarves feel a particular affinity with the elements of earth and fire as those are the two elements they benefit from the most directly.
Deep Dwarf government structure is almost identical to Sky Dwarf government following the lead of a single clan leader who is elected for life. The Clan leader has the authority to grant power to subordinates to oversee remote outposts and fortresses when needed, though the Deep Dwarves tend to be less expansionist than their above ground relatives. The clan leader of the Deep Dwarf clan shares responsibility with the Sky Dwarf Clan leader and is required to spend two months of each year above ground overseeing Sky Dwarf activities. If at any point the clans feel the current clan leader is not capable of effectively leading, a vote can be called. if 3/4 of the combined clans vote against the clan leader, a fight to the death is had between both clan leaders. Upon the completion of this fight, the survivor assumes control of both clans until a new leader is appointed.
The Deep Dwarves live in a massive undercity that was once the sole domain of the Iron Gnomes. The City is self-contained with sections dedicated to mushrooms and other underground plants, as well as large pens for livestock that thrive in the subterranean caverns. The city is organized by utilitarian means, with each part of Deep Dwarf Industry having it’s own section. The Deep Dwarves will occasionally set up remote outposts, similar to the Sky Dwarves, although suitable locations are especially precious and sought after by the other beings who live underground, so they are few and far between. Outposts that are successfully held do eventually have smaller support communities spring up within them, though these tend to be even rarer as there are constant threats to the inhabitants.
The Deep Dwarves have a considerable amount of exports including raw and worked metals, precious stones and expertly crafted arms and armors. If not for the reliance of the Sky Dwarves to transport the goods, the Deep Dwarves would be far and away the wealthiest and most important trade group in the region. As it is, they are entirely dependent on their counterparts to trade their goods on their behalf and bring in resources that are otherwise unavailable to them.
The Deep Dwarves closest allies are the Iron Gnomes who continue to share their undercity with them. The Iron Gnomes have maintained their role as benefactor to the the Deep Dwarves and taught them most of their racial knowledge of working the earth and the metals taken from within. The Deep Dwarves have taken that knowledge and with their own innate drive and commitment have perfected it. In addition the Deep Dwarves still have strong ties to the Sky Dwarves to whom they share a common ancestry. While rare, couplings between Sky Dwarves and Deep Dwarves occur and are not actively discouraged. Aside from these two groups, the Deep Dwarves tend to be deeply xenophobic towards anyone else.
Due to the limited space and food resources available underground, the deep dwarves are constantly faced with numerous attacks. Many of these attacks are led by the kobolds who also live within the Elder Depths and are the primary competition with the Deep Dwarves. In addition, there are numerous aberrations that make their home deep below the earth. These creatures are rumored to be controlled or allied with the creatures that threaten the Deep Refuge though they are not nearly as dangerous.
The Deep Dwarves are trained from birth to handle a weapon due to the constant and numerous threats facing their homes. Martial prowess is something that holds great prestige in Deep Dwarf society which leads to a constant drive to be the best warrior in the Elder Depths. At the top of the Deep Dwarf society are the Slime Callers, the epitome of underground survival. Tracking and training oozes and slimes of all types and turning them on their foes, the Slime Callers are feared by all the enemies of the Deep Dwarves.
Deep Dwarf Racial Traits
+2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom, –2 Charisma: Dwarves are both tough and wise, but also a bit gruff.
Medium: Dwarves are Medium creatures and receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Slow and Steady: Dwarves have a base speed of 20 feet, but their speed is never modified by armor or encumbrance.
Minesight: Dwarves with this racial trait increase the range of their darkvision to 90 feet; however, they are automatically dazzled in bright light and take a –2 penalty on saving throws against effects with the light descriptor.
Deep Warrior: Dwarves with this racial trait grew up facing the abominations that live deep beneath the surface. They receive a +2 dodge bonus to AC against monsters of the aberration type and a +2 racial bonus on combat maneuver checks made to grapple such creatures (or to continue a grapple).
Craftsman: Dwarves are known for their superior craftsmanship when it comes to metallurgy and stonework. Dwarves with this racial trait receive a +2 racial bonus on all Craft or Profession checks related to metal or stone.
Hatred: Dwarves gain a +1 racial bonus on attack rolls against humanoid creatures of the kobolds and aberration subtypes because of their special training against these hated foes.
Stubborn: Dwarves are renowned for their stubbornness. Dwarves with this racial trait receive a +2 racial bonus on Will saves to resist spells and spell-like abilities of the enchantment (charm) and enchantment (compulsion) schools. In addition, if they fail such a save, they receive another save 1 round later to prematurely end the effect (assuming it has a duration greater than 1 round). This second save is made at the same DC as the first. If the dwarf has a similar ability from another source (such as a rogue’s slippery mind), he can only use one of these abilities per round, but he can try the other on the second round if the first reroll ability fails.
Stability: Dwarves gain a +4 racial bonus to their Combat Maneuver Defense when resisting a bull rush or trip attempt while standing on the ground.
Stonesinger: Some dwarves’ affinity for the earth grants them greater powers. Dwarves with this racial trait are treated as one level higher when casting spells with the earth descriptor or using granted powers of the Earth domain, the bloodline powers of the deep earth bloodline or earth elemental bloodline, and revelations of the oracle’s stone mystery. This ability does not give them early access to level-based powers; it only affects the powers they could use without this ability.
Weapon Familiarity: Dwarves are proficient with battleaxes, heavy picks, and warhammers, and treat any weapon with the word “dwarven” in its name as a martial weapon.
Xenophobic: Isolationist dwarves despise non-dwarven humanoids. They speak only Dwarven and do not gain any bonus languages from possessing a high Intelligence score. In addition, they learn only one language per 2 ranks of Linguistics they possess. However, their untrusting nature gives them a +1 bonus against mind-affecting effects, except for fear affects.