Combat/ Warfare



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October 17, 2012, 9:17 pm

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Dwarven Heraldry


In the dark underground realms where Dwarves dwell, the colourful heraldy of humans is of less value.  Dwarven heraldry focuses more on the silhouette of the warrior, the shape of his shield, and in some cases, sound.

One may wish that the Dwarves would not know war among themselves, making battlefield identification less important, but this is but a myth.  In comparison to humans, Dwarven strife is less frequent, but given the passions and pride of the Dwarves, strive is inevitable.

The primary means used for differentiation in battle (at least, among the Dwarves themselves) is the shapes of the dwarven's soldier's Shield, Helm and weapon.   The well-known preference of dwarves to hammers and axes is due largely to the ascendency of the clans that used those weapons as part of their signature. 

Beards are used primarily as personal identification and while may follow along with clan-traditions, has a much wider variance and is little used on the battlefield except among clans-mates.

Some common variances, in order of significance.


Basic shape - Conical, round-top, flat top

Adornments Top-knots, Horns, Crests (front to back, side-to-side),Wings, Brims


Basic Shapes - Rectangle, Oval, Roman, Round



Single/double headed

Flat, concave or convex striking surfaces. 

Top Spikes.


Shoulder adornments have been used by some clans, such as long spikes on the Epaulette.  Armor is less frequently used due to little interest in providing grips for ones enemies or impeding fellow soldiers.


There have some instances where clans use such expedients as specially shod boots to provide a distinctive marching noise.  Typically only the most confident of clans uses this method, as it can greatly reduce their success at ambush.

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Comments ( 7 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

October 19, 2012, 11:54
Update: I think I may convert this to a full sub at some future date.
October 19, 2012, 12:45
you should, because it is yet another awesome dwarven idea.

Would love to see the various nuances of dwarven heraldry.
October 20, 2012, 6:22
I think it would be interesting for Dwarven heraldry to be just as 'colorful' as human and elfin heraldry, but in a totally different way. Dwarves traditionally 'see' fine in the dark and are also typically granted infravision or some other low level sight. Well, rather than using pigments and dyes for their shields and devices, what if they used different metals, alloys or stone inlays? To something that lives underground and would have a greater visual depth for stone and metals this would be obvious to them. A human or elf looking at dwarven work would likely miss a great deal of it as their experience with the material is limited, and in the case of humans, are simply not able to see on that wavelength.

Thus, a steel shield might have several iron inlays. To us, its a piece of metal on a shield,big deal. To a dwarf, the difference between iron and steel,even at hundreds of feet could be the difference between Black and White. This could be more pronounced when stone inlays are used, a diagonal strip of granite on a steel background will look completely different from that same strip of granite on iron, or jasper on steel.
March 17, 2013, 22:55
Maybe, but I have never really liked giving night vision to any but the most evil or magic creature. Mortals should fear the dark.
March 17, 2013, 13:29
I really like this idea
September 19, 2013, 10:44
This needs to emerge from the ranks of stubiness, and grow into an all-encompassing master-work of Dwarven Heraldry lore and detail!! I have spoken :P
March 1, 2014, 14:00
What Muro said! :P

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Perhaps the PCs have finally found the ley-line of mana energy that they have been searching for! The party's wizard gets excited.

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