The dwarves of Hammerfast are probably the most misunderstood people of Nava. They are sometimes described as dour, sober workers who are reserved in behavior and wanting only to be left alone. Others say they are really a fun-loving, social people, who are great drinkers and stout fighters, and who can be very loud and obnoxious. All of these descriptions might apply, but only superficially. The inhabitants of Hammerfast value hard work and serious effort, but when they relax from their labor, they are very exuberant in their celebrations.

These dwarves do like strong drink. Hammerfast is renowned for their brewing and distilling skills. No other people have developed the art of distilling liqueurs to the same degree except maybe Vineyard. On the other hand, they have an immense metabolic tolerance for alcohol that other races do not, and are thus rarely incapacitated by alcohol. For them, an all-night drinking feast does not end with the revelers lying comatose on the floor, but often continues until dawn, with many songs and stories told, all sensible and understandable.

While they do enjoy life, those in Hammerfast do not possess “passions” in the sense that many other people do. These dwarves do not have a “spirit” inherent in them, as almost every other community does. Their consciousness is a mystery to those of other people, and the dwarves themselves seem not to have the concept in the same sense at all. Nevertheless, an observer would likely ascribe a consciousness to any dwarf he met.

Hammerfast is often considered by others to be warlike and violent. This is probably due more to their history. Hammerfast considers itself to be a peaceful community. They are slow to anger but once roused, they are fierce. They are not the greatest warriors, but they are the most stubborn. They are stout fighters, and hardy soldiers. They train from an early age to use their hammers and picks as both tools and weapons.

The dwarven tenacity which makes them such stubborn fighters springs from the earth which is their essence. More than any other people, the Hammerfast dwarves are claimed by and cling to earth. Specifically, they are most at home in the rocky northeastern mountains of Nava, where Hammerfast was established. This affinity with earth is why many believe them to be shy and retiring. But they seek out this remote area not to avoid other peoples, but because they were drawn to the living rock.

There is one aspect of Hammerfast society that many outsiders do understand: they are renowned craftsmen. Anything that a craftsman can create, a master in Hammerfast can craft better. They possess a keen insight into the essence of things, and can bring out that essence in items of great beauty and function. The crafts of Hammerfast are always aesthetically pleasing, whether it is a result of clean simplicity or intricate construction and design.

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The Eldest Journal mannyman33