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ID: 1817

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November 27, 2005, 4:56 pm

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Michael Jotne Slayer (2x)
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The Duerga - A New Look At Dwarves

By:

I’m bored of dwarves. So, I’m trying to create my own dwarves. I’ve decided to call them the Duerga. Here’s my basic ideas, and I’ll flesh them out later, hopefully with your help.

-They are short and stocky, as usual. However, they are encased in armor. No man has ever seen a Duerga’s flesh, and it is a good question as to whether they actually have flesh. The visors of their helms reveal only darkness. Unlike usual fantasy dwarves, beards are not important to them. They may not even have body hair.

-They are supernatural beings, not just stunted, surly mountain dwellers. They are the sons (maybe daughters, though I was thinking that they were all male) of the god Durgi, or a similar earth god. As such, they have semidivine powers over metal and, to a lesser extent, stone. They are still mortal though, and are in many other ways deficient to Men.

-The element for Duerga is metal, not earth. It goes better with the whole “encased in armor” thing.

-The Duerga have a very verbose, heavy language.

-The Duerga dwell in the heart of Mount Thunderclap, a great volcano in which they have built a massive metal stronghold. The Duerga name for Mount Thunderclap (and by extension, the stronghold) is Szahrnevarbenarch, meaning “Mountain of the Wise”.

-The traditional Duerga weapon is the hammer. When they must fight, the Duerga arm themselves in round shields and carry hammers.

-The oldest Duerga, who are also the leaders, are called Bcharnegstenevarhn, “The Wisest Of All”. They rule Szahrnevarbenarch.

-I don’t envision the Duerga as the surly, grunting, beer-guzzlers, I envision them more as very quiet, contemplative, slow to act, almost Zen-like in their calm, meditative, spiritual, etc.

Can anybody help me out here? I know I have a lot already, but I’m sure there’s some way that you can aid me.



Additional Ideas (24)

black metal dwarves

just call them a different name, for the Forgotten Realms dark dwarves are called the Duergar - but yours, compared to the TSR ones seem realistic, even though supernatural (the TSR sort is just a variation on the Drow - evil dwarves)

Some thoughts of mine:
their city (cities) will not be pleasant spots - with disregard for comfort of other, less enduring species, there will be industrial fumes, pounding noise or searing heat and chilling cold in some areas. Their gardens, or places of contemplation, could have wells of molten metal and trees (or art objects) of living steel. There might not even be beds - do they sleep at all? Or do they stand while sleeping?

What about the food? Do they need sustenance? Perhaps they need to work to sustain themselves - each time a weapon they forged or a tool they made is used, or a piece of art adored, they are fed a little. Of course, a full-scale war might make some of them rather bloated...
What are their prime valued virtues? Honor? Wisdom? Age? Serenity? Judgment?

About procreation - perhaps their god made the first few, but they must forge the body of every new-born and the god picks the best-crafted ones to imbue with souls...
This allows every dwarf to take a special sort of pride when his child succeeds...

Being so alien, they will be enigmatic - as other, more fleshy and chaotic races will not understand their way of life and depth of contemplation.

The classical adventurer would meet with queer looks, and disrespect when asking his childish and irrelevant questions... but yes, he cannot comprehend the beaty of a rare quicksilver phosphide crystal... or its meaning to the universal truth...

They could amass all their knowledge, the sayings of the elders and the wise, prophecies and memories of great deeds in a temple-like structure, where it will be inscribed on metal cylinders, these stacked and lit with an inner fire, the runes glowing as the cylinders slowly spin...

Let's say that before a new city can be founded, the records of the old one must be copied so that the new city will not be without history....

What are their plights? Their conflicts? do they have celebrations? funerary custom (is a dead body just molten down to make a very special set of tools or armor? or are the dead simply displayed as statues?)
If they make music- what is it like? Organs powered by steam? Drums? Or metal? (very appropriate:)

They certainly willdeal with the spirits of the earth - you should devise some more besides the common elemental.

Well? how does it sound?
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2005-11-27 04:58 PM » Link: [1817#8505|text]
Excellent ideas...

Things they value: Age, knowledge, wisdom, detachment (from the "transient" world; probably better termed your "serenity"). "Respect thine elders, young brass!"


About procreation - perhaps their god made the first few, but they must forge the body of every new-born and the god picks the best-crafted ones to imbue with souls...
This allows every dwarf to take a special sort of pride when his child succeeds...

I like that. I'm gonna' go with that!



their city (cities) will not be pleasant spots - with disregard for comfort of other, less enduring species, there will be industrial fumes, pounding noise or searing heat and chilling cold in some areas. Their gardens, or places of contemplation, could have wells of molten metal and trees (or art objects) of living steel.
I'm gonna' use that too.


What about the food? Do they need sustenance? Perhaps they need to work to sustain themselves - each time a weapon they forged or a tool they made is used, or a piece of art adored, they are fed a little. Of course, a full-scale war might make some of them rather bloated...

Interesting...


There might not even be beds - do they sleep at all? Or do they stand while sleeping?
I was thinking that they don't sleep, but I also like the sleeping standing up.


Being so alien, they will be enigmatic - as other, more fleshy and chaotic races will not understand their way of life and depth of contemplation.
The classical adventurer would meet with queer looks, and disrespect when asking his childish and irrelevant questions... but yes, he cannot comprehend the beaty of a rare quicksilver phosphide crystal... or its meaning to the universal truth...

Yeah. Exactly.


They could amass all their knowledge, the sayings of the elders and the wise, prophecies and memories of great deeds in a temple-like structure, where it will be inscribed on metal cylinders, these stacked and lit with an inner fire, the runes glowing as the cylinders slowly spin...
Let's say that before a new city can be founded, the records of the old one must be copied so that the new city will not be without history....

Hmm....Needs more discussion. Shall we?


Funerary custom (is a dead body just molten down to make a very special set of tools or armor? or are the dead simply displayed as statues?)
I can't decide between melted down or statues...


If they make music- what is it like? Organs powered by seam? Drums? Or metal? (very appropriate:)
Actually, I was thinking that they would sing. I know that doesn't sound very dwarven, but imagine it: Deep droning voices, reverberating through metal bodies, echoing together against the metal walls of their fortresses, making this very strange, organ-like noise.

Excellent ideas, Echo! Let's build off of those.
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2005-11-27 05:01 PM » Link: [1817#8506|text]
Maybe most dead bodies are melted down,and then used to forge not weapons or tools but new Duerga-making a wheel of life-forged-lives-dies-reforged but not the monarchs, who become statues.
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2006-12-10 08:45 AM » Link: [1817#22577|text]
The Duerga language

The Duerga language and alphabet consists of these noises:

A- pronounced "ah"
AH- also pronounced "ah". Differentiated by tone.
B- prounounced "buh"
BCH- a glottal sound, as in the German "ch" (achtung). Something like "buhk".
C- pronounced "k".
CH- a glottle sound, just like the German "ch" ("kuh")
D- pronounced as normal.
E- pronounced "eh".
F- pronounced as normal.
G- pronounced as normal.
H- not pronounced unless added to another letter.
I- pronounced "ee".
K- pronounced as normal.
M- pronounced as normal.
N- pronounced as normal.
O- pronounced as "ou".
R- pronounced as normal, but always rolled.
RH- same pronunciation, tonally different.
S- pronounced as normal.
SZ- pronounced as "siz" or "sh".
T- pronounced as normal.
U- pronounced as "oo".
V- pronounced as normal.
Y- pronounced as normal.
Z- pronounced as normal.

Examples of Verbs:
To forge - Bchuresz (Buhk-oo-rrr-ehsh)
To melt- Raduresz (Rrr-ah-doo-rrr-ehsh)
To temper- Bcharnemesz (Buhk-ahrrr-nehm-ehsh)
To hammer- Erhdegesz (Ehrrr-deh-gehsh)
To make- Uzovesz (Oo-zoh-vehsh)
To carve (literally, to stonecut)- Szahrbuchesz (Siz-ahrrr-buhk-esh)

Examples of Nouns:
The Wisest Of All- Bcharnegstenevarhn (Buhk-ahrrrn-ehg-stehn-eh-vahrrrn)
Mountain of the Wise- Szahrnevarbenarch (Siz-ahrrr-neh-vahrrr-behn-arrrk)
Carver (literally, stonecutter)- Szahrbuchi; plural- Szahrbucha (Siz-ahrrr-buhk-ee/ siz-ahrrr-buhk-ah)
Blacksmith (literally, forger)- Bchuri; plural- Bchura (Buhk-oo-rrree/ buhk-oo-rrrah)
Warrior (literally, wielder of hammer)- Ehrdegovarchi; plural- Ehrdegovarcha (Ehrrr-deh-gou-vahrrr-khee/ Ehrrr-deh-gou-vahrrr-khah)
Iron- Bchur (Buhk-oorrr)
Steel (literally, great iron)- Korbchur (Kohrrr-buhk-oorrr)
Gold- Achangstzur (Ahkh-ahng-sst-zoorrr)
Silver- Siortur (See-ouhrrrt-oorrr)
Adamantium- Karnstenvaszurhur (Kahrrrn-stehn-vahsh-oorrr-hoorrr)
Stone- Szahr (Siz-ahrrr)
Great Hall- Korzsamschund (Kohrrrz-sahm-shoond)
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2005-11-27 05:37 PM » Link: [1817#8507|text]
Echo hit a few of my thoughts right on the head, so now instead of being orgininal, I will expand.


Quote from: "Cap'n
I don't envision the Duerga as the surly, grunting, beer-guzzlers, I envision them more as very quiet, contemplative, slow to act, almost Zen-like in their calm, meditative, spiritual, etc.


Will have to find a balance between the industrious stint of them and their zen nature. Although zen for them may not be what we think it should be. For them (although I really like the lava rivers and metal tree idea) to reach a meditative calm perhaps the repetitive sound of the anvil or a huge steam machine is the environment they need to find their center.

Their nature might thrive in bustling confusion like war and machinery the way others thrive in a calm green surrounding. So the louder and busy, the more at peace they feel. Now, there has to be order to what is happening, a discernable pattern if only to them, but when they find that pattern to their surroundings then they are at ease.

To us it would like like complete confusion and turmoil but to them the harmonic rythms of the sites and sounds are as pleasant to them as a bird chirping is to us.

Statues or melting...hmmmm.

Maybe that is how offspring come about. Melting down the deads armor and using it to create new. Since the armor is the cradle of life it would be right to assume that some knowledge or skill could be passed on through the armor to the next to wear it.

There needs to be set tradition on how the armor's metal is passed on then. The person alive could give it to somebody or there is a bidding war on it or a guild thing or even passed through a maze of relatives.

So if a great craftsman died, who would get the armor to start a new life that will be preinstalled with skill. It would still have to be nurtured and there are those that reject the given trade that was expected with the armor.

It cannot be reworn ever, although there is always the great legend of one who shedded his original armor and took that on of a king and brough them out of darkness. So I think that only the kings armor is saved in a statue state in case of future need of a hero. To further justify that, kings cannot be forced, they are always chosen out of the ranks of the masses. When a new king is needed, ritual helps choose. So once a king dies, his armor cannot be worn since nobody is ever created to be king. Yet another chance for legend/myth. Stolen armor melted down....who has it?
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2005-11-27 05:38 PM » Link: [1817#8508|text]
Language
Concerning the language - you will need words every language needs - agreement/disapproval, passage of time, and basic actions, also exclamations to make them lively.

yes, no, basic time units, walk, run, work, *laughter*, help!, to the arms!

To comment on Strolen's note about how thundering noise and chaos could be their vision of harmony, I'd say only as long as all the machines work right...one out-of-tune beat, or missed action would spoil it, for their vision of order will not tolerate such entropic elements - thus they will be able to detect a defective machine very fast, as it does not SOUND right, and an unwanted visitior running along their metal walkways would certainly cause such disharmonic notes too - what is he but a grain of sand in the gears of a perfect city?
With the notes being carried around the city - perhaps that could replace phone lines - pipes condutive to sound being beaten with a hammer, morse-code like. Replaces war drums quite well.

Music
concerning their music - even the 'fleshy' dwarves in my campaign like to use the naturally resonating metal and stone structures of their homes to enhance the effect of their song - on one of their feasts, they entered the town square, paved with metal, all in their metal boots, stomping to the rhythm of the song.
The whole city could actually be constructed to carry the song from a certain place, of feast or worship, to the farthest reaches of the caverns, as to enhance the prayer (or it could be a warning to others: when you can hear the song, you have come too close!) They could have weapons based on sound actually - war horns to shatter city walls, or smaller versions to turn knights in full plate into nothing but strawberry jelly...not that it would be a problem for them to use their power over metal to strip him of his arms and armour and have him naked and humbled go home! The other alternative could be fire-based armament - two dwarves, one carrying a barrel and the other one holding a pipe? Let's smash them, shall we? (in a tunnel, there is nowhere to run to from a flame-thrower!)

Knowledge/ Lore
I wanted to elaborate the knowledge storing bit - it is both fitting for the race and good for the game.
It will give them something to care about besides work, and improve on the idea that they treasure wisdom and knowledge - so, when a youngster fumbles up, he might be taken to the 'library', and shown a set of glowing runes, forever spinning "do you see what great Dhuwwyrtzeranh has written two millenia ago? And it still hold true! So remember it lad, and err no more!
Respect where respect is due - each great deed will earn a note, and one of the greatest rewards might be to have one's life philosophy and sayings recorded, for all to see, forever. The saying hold true that one who does not have a past does not have a future...
On a metagaming level, it will give the players another reason to deal with the mysterious dwellers from the deep - knowledge. The dangerous overland transport of the records to a new locale could provide a nice plot: twenty tons of purest meteoric iron? This can make quite a few greedy eyes glow.
Another way to remember history could be to have an oral tradition, apprentice learning history word by word, three thousand years of it. The old historians would pick a successor - yet this method is too accident-prone, and I guess they would like to place their history in something more durable than a head.

Cosmology
they will need a cosmology too - what does the world look like, what's the point to this existence thing, and most of all - is there place for other races in this philosophy, or are they seen as more of a nuisiance?
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2005-11-27 05:40 PM » Link: [1817#8509|text]
Their weakness and utter fear would be to exist in a state of silence. For since it is within noise that they find solitude, then silence would be torturous if not deadly. And what about water and rust. Perhaps the rusting of their armor results in not only their death, but the inability to reuse it for future generations.

Communication should go beyond mere words (in noise they find harmony right?). Such things as snapping fingers, clapping hands, rubbing their forearms, stomping their feet could be ways to speak. Also, quick and sudden movements would show anger, while slower rhythmic gestures convey a more calm attitude. Hey. . . they could even have special tools they have developed for carrying on conversations.

Perhaps after making a new armor the Duerga must give a portion of himself to breath life in it's "child". That which is given is lost forever.
Also, as monkeys socially pick fleas and ticks from their kin, so too do the Duerga, but instead of bugs they polish and oil oneanother.

Imagine the noise a full army would create as it gloriously marched into battle. The approach of thousands of armored ghost-like men on strange, large and loud war machines would shake fear in the most hardened veteran. Would they hurl themselves with catapults? Maybe they have specially designed impliments that are worn: blades that they pull off and throw, spiked helmets for charging. Do they have special machines designed with magnets to retrieve the fallen off of the battlefield.
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2005-11-27 05:41 PM » Link: [1817#8510|text]
As for communication, they exist in a subterranian environment. I would think they would be communicating via a vibration/ or code system.. like morse code. Thus their speaking to each other would be like a moan to most people, and their normal speach (to other races) would be looooonnnnngg annnnnnnddddd diiissssstinnnnnnctiiiiivvvee. Such a method would allow for verbal communication and for communication through rock.

Perhaps they have several forms of communication, each used as appropriate. So you might have a humanesk tongue, a vibrational language, a click/ tic/tat code language, and so on.

Maybe their music would be more like Whale songs, each clan has a basic tune, with each family having a subtune, and maybe an individual a sequence. A community's song, would be a symphony... with each clan's song harmonized and adding to the whole.

I would also give them a passive sonar like ability. Why use light under the earth when sound is a much better medium for the environment. This allows them to "know" the area they are in.

Clans and families would be distinguished by styles of "armor" and helms.

In death, their people would be recycled. Their funeral pyre would be a forge's heat. (If their is an organic body there, it is just another impurity to burn off from the purity of iron).

Perhaps everything except the helmet. These would be kept in the hall of wisdom for each clan. A huge wall filled with helmets as far as you can see in the dim lights. The helmet would store the being's knowledged, so with appropriate skills (and the helmet's preparation), the wisdom of the elders could be consulted. (And if organics are present, I am sure the skull is inside that helmet). The summoning of ancestoral spirits through their helmet may be the only clerical magic they perform...

Traitors have their helms melted into ingots, and placed in a vault of shame... never to be used again.
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2005-11-27 05:42 PM » Link: [1817#8511|text]
More Duerga Language

Yes- Bech (Beh-kh)
No- Uhrn (Oo-rrrn)

To walk/move- Kvurndesz (Kvoorrrn-desh)
To run- Dormvenesz (Dourrrm-vehn-ehsh)
To see- Durmszesz (Doorrrm-shesh)
To speak- Vahrbenechesz (Vahrrr-behnehkh-esh)
To hear/listen- Rundechesz (Rrroon-dekh-esh)
Laughter- A tinny, rattling noise. Best written as "Tang-tang-tang" or something like that. (To laugh- Turhngentesz {Toorrrn-gehn-tesh})
To help- Arbchuerachesz (Ahrrr-bukh-ware-ahkh-esh)/ "Help!"- Arbchueracheszun! (Ahrrr-bukh-ware-ahkh-esh-oon)
To be- Buesz (Bwesh)

Time: I'm thinking something very regulated, maybe, since we're going with a theme of sound here, shifts marked by some sort of community clock, like a churchbell that rings at noon.
So...Individual units? Maybe by the time it takes to create something, like the smallest unit is an ingot, the next largest a sheet, et cetera...

I like the helmet wall idea. It fits better with the importance placed on armor.

Since they're pretty much sheathed in metal, water would be their enemy. I mean, they would rust, first of all, which would be very unharmonious, and, eventually, deadly. Second, they're denser than water. It would be like a knight in platemail trying to swim. They would sink strait to the bottom.
But that brings up another question: Would they drown? Do they even breath air?
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2005-11-27 05:52 PM » Link: [1817#8513|text]
You- furi (foorrr-ee)
Me/I- kuri (koorrr-ee)
He/she/it- arni (ahrrrn-ee)
We/us- kurna (koorrrn-ah)
They/them- arna (ahrrrn-ah)
You (formal)- urnzfuri (oohrrrnz-foorrr-ee)
He/she/it (formal)- urnzarni (oohrrrnz-ahrrrn-ee)
We/us (formal)- urnzkurna (oohrrrnz-koorrrn-ah)
They/them (formal)- urnzarna (oohrrrnz-ahrrrn-ah)

The formal pronouns are used to refer to people of greater age, rank, or those unfamiliar to you. It is considered impolite to use the formal pronouns when referring to those younger, of lesser rank, or familiar people.
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2005-11-27 05:52 PM » Link: [1817#8514|text]
Quote
Maybe that is how offspring come about. Melting down the deads armor and using it to create new. Since the armor is the cradle of life it would be right to assume that some knowledge or skill could be passed on through the armor to the next to wear it.

There needs to be set tradition on how the armor's metal is passed on then. The person alive could give it to somebody or there is a bidding war on it or a guild thing or even passed through a maze of relatives.

So if a great craftsman died, who would get the armor to start a new life that will be preinstalled with skill. It would still have to be nurtured and there are those that reject the given trade that was expected with the armor.


That's good. I like the idea of passing along certain skills through the melted down armor.
I don't know about the selling or auction part. They don't seem like that much of a money people, know what I mean?
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2005-11-27 05:53 PM » Link: [1817#8515|text]
Where does the rubble from all the digging go? Duerga holdfasts and fortresses and such might have great piles of slag and rubble lying outside. Or, perhaps, the Duerga use these piles as a defense mechanism of sorts, building low walls of rubble outside their fortress gates.
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2005-11-27 05:53 PM » Link: [1817#8516|text]
Simple - they toss it into the river, and it flows out like lava, which is naught but molten rock. Or: moon-like toxic wasteland. No use fer them tree thingies, except firewood, aye?
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2005-11-27 05:54 PM » Link: [1817#8517|text]
Here's the canon on the Duerga so far...

-Armor-encased dwarf-like folk, who live underground in metal strongholds.
-Zen-like, meditative approach to work, consider the greatest ideal to be complete harmony. Find harmony in constant work.
-Steel gardens with trees of metal and rivers of magma for when they need some time off.
-Their cities are very inhospitable to soft races.
-They reproduce by melting down the armor of the dead and forging a new armor from it, which also passes along valuable skills. The helmet, however, is kept, and placed in a temple of knowledge, where Duerga go to commune with their ancestors.
-Water is not their friend. They are denser than it, and it rusts them, making them squeak very unharmoniously.
-They have their humanlike tongue, which is communicated with voices, and language of vibrations for long range communication. Their voice tongue is spoken slowly, long, and distinctively. Their voice language also contains many claps, stomps, finger snaps, and armor clanks.
-Music is a sort of deep, droning, resonating, metal choir, sung in their metal chambers. Each clan/hold/family/whatever has their own basic song, which singers of those clans/holds/families/whatever expand upon.
-Their greatest fear is silence. Since they live in a world of vibrating communication, silence represents death and isolation.
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2005-11-27 05:54 PM » Link: [1817#8518|text]
BAM! Questions!

-Time? How do they measure it? What units?
-What enemies do they have? What allies?
-Gods? Do they worship Durgi, like I envisioned, or do they worship some impersonal Earth-force, or maybe an ideological concept?
-What are their clans? Communities? Rulers, other than the Wisest Of All?
-What is their history?
-What about their technology?
-More about their interactions with other races.

Let's see what answers we can come up with.
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2005-11-27 05:55 PM » Link: [1817#8519|text]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The rest of you should review the last two CP posts and formulate your own responses.

I am begining to see these people as the ultimate warriors/ artists/ sages. They strive for person perfection and are coming close to achieving it. Something like an Early Period Samurai.

They may have some form of cultural smuggness, as they know they are superior in all so many ways. And while it would be rude to gloat, they will just assume that everyone else is inferior.

If these people are nearly immortal, not having organic parts and are made of metal, how do they die? Does the spirit just go away if it is banged upon (as the spirit of the attacker would do damage to them, metaphysically rather than physically). Maybe their God keeps score, and collects those who are inferior enough to have taken X amount of damage.

Perhaps their spirits are initially bound to a crystal in the armor... break the crystal kill the Durga. This is unsatisfactory to me, but it is a thought to throw out there.


-Time? How do they measure it? What units?
Clockwork adaption of any time system the surface dwellers might have. They might not have a time system, they are nearly immortal... they could live in the constant now.
Their time could be a click, like a second. This comes from a clockwork mechanism used at bellows. Wind it up, and it clicks down and blows at the flames.


-What enemies do they have? What allies?
Dependent on game world.

-Gods? Do they worship Durgi, like I envisioned, or do they worship some impersonal Earth-force, or maybe an ideological concept?
I like the impersonal Earth-force, but that is just my taste. This can allow them to have a philosphical faith, rather than a religion based on power and reward (like most D20 clerics).

-What are their clans? Communities? Rulers, other than the Wisest Of All?
Hmmmm. Needs thought

-What is their history?
Long ago, these people must of been organic. Some archetypal figure, The First, took the steps to become the first one.... a spirit and mind embeded in Armor. Thus others since then have followed his example.

(As per his reason, perhaps just the quest to be perfect is enough).

He is their Christ, their Confussious, their Merlin, and their Miyamoto Musashi. He is the one they have based their existance on.

CP should legendize this, as he is much better at making things mythic than I.

-What about their technology?
While they could have superior technology, they probably need less in the way of technolgy. Fewer needs, fewer drives to create new technology. They are probably the best craftsmen on the planet, in the metals department.

-More about their interactions with other races.
The Elves/ Forrest Spirits are probably scared to heck of these people. They are the anti-elves- cold inhuman spirits bound in metal.

New- What do these people think about Golems? The Durga are practically freeborn Golems, rather than those made as slaves to mad wizards.
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2005-11-27 05:56 PM » Link: [1817#8520|text]
Despite MoonHunter's intent to make them worship an earth-force, I'd rather have them revere a more personnalized concept, perhaps the First One, or the being that gave life to the first one, or helped him make the transition from flesh to metal.

Ad life - their spirit is bound to the metal, and it is the force animating it, thus shattering their physical frames would either harm the spirit, or force it to abandon a body that has lost enough semblance to a humanoid.
The rust could be considered disharmonic because if their bodies are not perfectly in tune, so is the spirit - perhaps they could be killed not by doing a lot of overall damage, but by powerful blows struck in succession that overbear their personal harmony - this means that sticking him full of arrows would be pretty senseless, but striking a few blows with a maul in swift succession could prove fatal...

The would measure time precisely I think, because all technological processes must have an exact timing, then, to improfe effectivity and measure productivity, and because some things must be done at a certain time when it does not disturb the tapestry/symphony/tune of the earth - both music and machines need perfect timing.
They could hear the heartbeat and pulse of the earth itself, and measure their time by that.

Like the WoD Vampires, they could learn the lineage by heart, and those their true family - Bhrangwarst who was made by Thransivarst who was made by Broghold who was made by... I am Rangorodrun, 3725 hammers descended from the First One, the lord of crafters...
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2005-11-27 05:56 PM » Link: [1817#8521|text]
I want to keep Moon's Christ-like First One. It is revered as the first to make the transition from soft, unharmonious flesh to metal.
Maybe it was led by their god. Or perhaps it was merely searching for perfection.
It then led the rest of the Duerga on a journey through many trials and tribulations from the Source Cave (or something like that) to the Land, so that they might seek perfection.
The first, or one of the first, Duerga fortresses/holds/homes/cities was Szahrnevarbenarch, the Mountain of the Wise.
On their way, the Duerga were pursued by enemies. Maybe it is demons, or possibly Silence (their greatest fear).

An unrelated idea: Punishment for crimes (which are rare) is conducted by tossing the Duerga into a sealed, insulated place, blocking out all outside communication, including vibrations, putting them into silence. The length of silence is based on the crime. This is used for all crimes save those of traitors. Traitors are melted down, including the helmet, into ingots of slag.
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2005-11-27 05:56 PM » Link: [1817#8522|text]
Sounds good

What about personizing Silence into a more tangible form - a demon called Entropy?

So before the founding of the city, there was an Exodus-like flight from their enemies?
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2005-11-27 05:57 PM » Link: [1817#8523|text]
Quote from: "CaptainPenguin"
On their way, the Duerga were pursued by enemies. Maybe it is demons, or possibly Silence (their greatest fear).



Interesting thought: how can one be pursued by Silence? Simply make a noise, and silence is gone. I see two possiblities:

- An actual being/monster/demon, that creates an aura of silence around itself. Could be a friendly spirit, that wants you to feel the peace of nature, etc. But maybe it is a terrible creature, that can feed on your friends just in the next room, and you never hear them screaming... The monster may be still around.

- They were escaping some other kind of Silence, perhaps the silence in their hearts, or a buddhism-like quiet philosophy, their people were "falling prey" to. Or their ancestors have done something terrible in the past, and their way to forget has become their lifestyle (might be also the reason, why they don't show their faces...). Anyway, the Silence has firmly become a part of their legends.

---

Note: what would a spell called "Silence" do with these mighty warriors? I think they don't let others know of this weakness (not that they would speak at length with anyone of the lesser races).

---

As for their relation with golems, they might be quite suspicious of them, but might accept a rogue golem into their society (providing it is a high-quality one!). More problematic would be relations to a wizard, that creates such golems. If those are simple tools, then no problem. But someone seeking to create a similarly perfect being, as the Duerga want to become one day, may get into trouble fast...

On the other hand, the views on golems may be subject to their religion.
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2005-11-27 05:57 PM » Link: [1817#8524|text]
Quote
They were escaping some other kind of Silence, perhaps the silence in their hearts,

I like the "silence in their hearts" bit. It gives them an interesting spirituality.
"Do not give in to the silence in your heart, young Clangorangtzenbacher."
Their god could be the Universal Hum, a force so all-pervasive that it's almost not there, but constantly driving out the Silence with its sub-sound.

But the "silence monster" bit is also good, in it's own way. It gives them a sort of "Things man was not meant to know" feel. Like, if you go to them, you must beware of this horrible man-eating god, surrounded by silence, that follows them for whatever reason.


Quote
So before the founding of the city, there was an Exodus-like flight from their enemies?

Yes. In their legends and ancient history, they were led by the First One in a great exodus, driven forth by the Silence, whatever it may be.
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2005-11-27 05:58 PM » Link: [1817#8526|text]
Have they dug too deep? heh heh heh

Actually, most mages who need to speak/sing to cast their spells would fear silence a LOT. What could have pissed him off this much? "Stop hammering my tooth, stoopid can-like things! That's not fer mining!"

Other than that, they are strongly technological, ordered and vibrant... thus, entities of chaos, life, entropy and silence all whould find them quite annoying...

One of their plights could be to discover the perfect harmony that will pervade all, merge with God - like some attribute he is missing (the perfect divine sound needing a perfect earthly sound), and drive silence away once and for all, bouncing back from the edges of the universe, and resonating with every soul...

Just an oddball thought - I was playing Battletech lately - want to give the Duerga 'Mechs to teach their enmies a lesson? Something between a steam automaton and a golem, with a buzzsaw attached for felling trees and knights, or a drill for digging up ore or crushing city walls...

who said all Duerga had to be THE SAME SIZE?
You could make a small one, an eternal child, or a huge one, six to twenty feet... "meet my big brother ... Brazgwyverach, would you come?" *THUMP THUMP THUMP* "YES?!"

heh. never dare to step on a dwarf again, for the next one might step on you...
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2005-11-27 05:58 PM » Link: [1817#8528|text]
Quote
They could hear the heartbeat and pulse of the earth itself, and measure their time by that.


I just reread that line, and it hit me. This is a great way to keep time for subterrestrial beings, who know little of day and night/ seasons. It also makes their time keeping very different. (Though maybe the year is exactly the same, as the heartbeast measures the cycle of spin)

My original click of a forge engine (a clockwork arrangement that pumps air to keep the heat) could be based on that (one click one heartbeat). Such clockwork devices would be available to these metal experts. However, their quest of personal perfection, will get them to focus inward. That quest, plus their near immortal age, should slow their technological growth. They have no real "needs". Every craft is an art to perfect, rather than a job to get down. While they should have a few cool gizmos (Chinese repeating crossbows and such), they should not be spending effort in making things, when there is their self to perfect.
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2005-11-27 05:59 PM » Link: [1817#8529|text]
The First One
There was once a time when the Duerga were as fleshy and soft as the other races who trod upon the face of the earth. Their crafts and skills were guided by the Great Architect. Their skill with metal, and the construction of automata, and machines grew many times beyond the ken of man or elf. It was the golden time of the race.

Then, inexplicably, the Great Architect and his guiding essence, vanished. The Duerga were bereft of purpose, of leadership. It became a terrible time as tribes and clans were born of the event. Each sought an answer to what had occured, others pointed fingers and made accusations. Civil war loomed as arguements escalated into fistfights and bloodshed.

It was during this time that the First rose up from the masses of Duerga. Seemingly guided by divine power, he assumed the mantle of the King of the Duerga to save his race from a potentially devastating civil war. His kind, having never been incredibly fertile, could be wiped out by a civil war, leaving a few to linger on until death finally took them.

The King laid out the great Reason. They had strayed away from the Greater Good of the Grand Architect, and as punishment, he had turned away from them. Was this in anger, or for shame? No matter the answer, the tribes and clans must unite, and the people be made a whole again. Then, perhaps through the perfection of the arts of the Great Architect, and meditation and inner enlightenment could the Duerga be redeemed and again be seen as worthy of the Great Architect's attention.

The Demon of Silence
The King's proclamation brought many of the clans and tribes into unity and harmony, but many remained dissident. On those fell a great and terrible scourge, the Demon of Silence. It's form is unknown, but it's avenue and invitation is silence. It would come into a hold, quiet in the evening, and slaughter every Duerga it could find. Many tried to fight but were defeated, their bodies rent and their metal defiled.

The King, distraught with the death of so many of his kin, sought out the beast to do battle with it, to defeat it or die in trying. The King was brought face to face with the terrible beast, and defeated it with little effort. He sang the Lay of the Duerga a deep and reverberating lament for the suffering of his people. He swung his hammer to keep the beat of the song alive in his heart. The steady ring of steel against steel and the sonorus voice of the king banished the Demon of Silence.

The King would later admonish those who were dissident, and propigated the use of sound to hold the beast at bay. Soon, the Deurga holds, fortified with great armoring rang with constant sound. Machines were devised to reduce the amount of manual labor required. Great steam driven pistons and wheel drove giant iron bells and hammers, creating the cacaphony of the Duerga.

The King eventually perished as is the way of mortal things. Amazingly, his essence was passed on through the great suit of boilerplate armor he wore. Did the King still live, or was he something else? Soon, the faces of the Duerga faded from memory, replaced with the intricately carved helmets and faceplates of their armor and the deep reverberation of their slow voices.

Some Duerga claim that the change was yet another punishment from the Great Architect, that they had thwarted their first pennance, and had been afflicted with another until they learned the nature of their folly. Others claimed that this was the will of the Architect, to become more like him, more metal and mind rather than flesh and impulse.

The Wisest of All reminded the Duerga, clan and tribe, that such answers could be found in contemplation of the Great Architect, and in the perfection of mind, body, and skill. Industry and progress, innovation and creation were the ways of the Architect, and thus each of his children must seek that perfection in all things. Perhaps some day, the truth will be made known to the Duerga, to the fate of their lone deity, and to their fate as well.

Applications of Time
Ancient methods of time would very likely resemble that of surface dwellers, but would be hopelessly, and uselessly antique to the Duerga.

The rhythems of the city, such as the steam driven hammers constantly ringing could be used to tell time. Perhaps within every so many strokes, an alternate stroke is added. The hamer rings once per second, the second, bronze hammer, with a deeper tone, rings every hundreth strike of the lead hammer. A third hammer rings once after every hundreth stroke of the bronze hammer. Two words come to mind, metric time.

Just some ideas I had.
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2005-11-27 06:00 PM » Link: [1817#8530|text]
I'm thinking about whether Silence should actually be a demon or not. I do like the applications of time, though. I'm not sure about the First legend, though.
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2005-11-27 06:01 PM » Link: [1817#8531|text]
Here is a direction that could work for them.

This is an ancestor worshiping culture. They're big thing was that when they were dieing they under went certain rites to ensure they became ghosts. These ghosts were then granted clockwork automata to 'wear'. Similar uninhabited automata were used as guardians, servitors and soldiers. The higher Status in life, the more complex and powerful the body they were granted to wear.

The greatest of their Holds (where the campaign was set) were massive, huge cities on hundreds of levels. They grow Mushrooms and other crops in massive hydroponic gardens, they had lifts and trains (more monorails.) Powered through harnessing a gate to the Positive Energy Plane to create free and plentiful energy.

Their aesthetics were very babylonian especially in their statuary.

However all their weapons of war Giant Clockwork robots, massive catapults, etc, availed them little when the Elves came, much of the countryside around was slagged and the hold was eventually cracked, which was when pumped in poison gas and killed every living thing inside.

Okay so you could take two options with this...
1) There are still living people supporting the Clockwork Duerga.

2) The last living Duerga died a while ago. It could of been a plague or something else. Now, only the best of them live on, as the clockworks.

This view sort of cleans up some of the issues we had with them, but it opens up other issues.
0xp

2010-08-22 11:27 PM » Link: [1817#74382|text]
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Comments ( 10 )
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MoonHunter
November 27, 2005, 17:42
0xp
It is almost a shame to even consider these being Dwarves or Dwarf substitutes. They are a totally different race that have some vauge echos with the psuedo-tolkien creatures we have come to call Dwarves. In fact, if you did not mention Dwarves, very few people would consider them such.
manfred
November 27, 2005, 17:57
0xp
A very inspiring thread, Captain! Keep up the good work. Now I just have to think of a Duerga as a Player Character...
CaptainPenguin
November 27, 2005, 20:26
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See, here's one of the reasons that I oppose moving some of these Idea Scroll threads to the main page-
It doesn't work like this.
It's clunky, hard to read... People are inclined to skip over the other comments rather than join an actual conversation. A thread is just that- a thread. It has flow. This... Does not. Somehow.
I dunno', nevermind.
MoonHunter
November 27, 2005, 23:00
0xp
Yet most people never read them in the forum either. This way they become useful and art of the record.

Except for the side comments, on the thread itself (like these), reading the scrolls are no harder than reading down the posts in a forum. (Okay, so this does not have the pretty picture for each member, but do we really need those?)

These side comments are for those comments on the thread itself. Normally these are the really short "Good jobs" and "this sucks" with a vote. They are quite skipable (hence the reason the comments thing collapses).

Sure this post is long. So where a number of posts in the forum. So is World Building 102. So are a number of really good item, location, and system posts. If size was a deterant, then we should chuck all the long ones and go back to writing one paragraph item descriptions.
CaptainPenguin
November 28, 2005, 15:33
0xp
As you will, then.
Voted KendraHeart
December 21, 2005, 8:51
0xp
These are almost not Dwarves. I guess they have Dwarfness (short underground craftsmen warriors), but you have to look for it.

Yet, that aside, they are quite cool. Tiny Acroyers.
Voted Wulfhere
December 9, 2006, 21:05
0xp
In the original myths, dwarves were often not the anthropomorphized creatures we remember from Snow White or The Hobbit. They were spirits of the earth, elementals.

The Duerga are as much dwarves as any other variations on the theme.

As a side note, "Duergr" (The last "r" is silent) was the Old Norse word for dwarf.
Voted valadaar
December 10, 2006, 6:31
0xp
A very good and complete submission, especially with the scroll entries. Another buried treasure brought to light!

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