Hello there, and welcome to part two of the Dwarven role-playing articles! Similar to its Night Elven counterpart, this article will look at the characteristics and appearances of the Dwarves in World of Warcraft.
Although I touched on this briefly in my previous article, I did not go into much detail about the clans which make up the entirety of the Dwarven race. Although there are many sub-clans, the three I will go into most detail into are those which are most prevalent in the game, and the ones to which your Dwarf will most likely belong.
I will start with the recurring themes you will find among all Dwarves, no matter of clan. They are, stereotypically, fond of building and working with metal and this features largely in their culture, with the Great Anvil of Ironforge being a symbol of their clans passion for creation. Most dwarves, will quite likely carry an accent that is similar to the Scottish accent, and this can be a lot of fun to role-play. A smattering of lads and lasses throughout your speech will add a bit of spice, however it is by no means necessary. Another stereotype is that all Dwarves are drunk/alcoholics. This is not true, however in WoW Dwarves are one of the finest brewmasters in Azeroth and do enjoy a taste of their brew, or indeed any other brew! However, just because your Dwarf enjoys a nice drink, does not mean he or she is not a master craftsmen, swordsmen, tinkerer, mage or even politician! Dwarves take great pride in their work, whether crafting an intricate necklace or hewing their way through masses of Orc skulls, creating a political empire or designing new machinery for use against the Horde.
All of these characteristics are prevalent among the Bronzebeard clan and to a lesser extent the Wildhammer and Dark Iron clans. If you are playing a Wildhammer, your focus will be less on the great and fabled halls of Ironforge, with its constant sound of ringing hammers. The Wildhammers, forced by the War of the Three Hammers into the Hinterlands, adapted to their new climate by taming and becoming fast friends with local gryphons. A gryphon is not just a tool to a Wildhammer – the pairing between the two is closer to lifelong friends and allies. Wildhammers are less focused on creation and building, and care deeply for nature. Interestingly, it is impossible to create a druid Dwarf, however it is possible to create a shaman. Because of this fondness for nature, they are for the most part less arrogant than their Bronzebeard cousins, however they are more unpredictable and likely to make rash decisions with either brilliant or disastrous results. Wildhammers are fond of story telling, and a priest or shaman Wildhammer would be expected to have a few stories up his sleeve for the dark and bitter nights. Despite their love for stories, however, the Wildhammers only have three big festivals a year: one when all marriages are performed, one in which all the children born in that year celebrate their birthdays and one in which they honour the dead. Wildhammer children born in the same year usually grow up to be fast friends, and will often marry someone from that year. Due to their disinterest in the Titans, preferring to live in the present, they are unable to access abilities such as Stoneform, so make sure you don't slip up when in danger!
The third of the three clans is the infamous Dark Iron. As we can tell from years of crashed Brewfests, the Dark Irons are as fond of a good brew as any other Dwarf! However, there are some noticeable and quite frankly fun to role-play differences. As you will most probably know from my history article, the Dark Irons for a long time were renegades and evil, and it is only recently that they have been allowed back into Ironforge, because their queen Moira is part of the Council of the Three Hammers. The Dark Irons currently in Ironforge are separate from those still living in Blackrock Mountain, who belong to the Twilight Hammer. It may be interesting to play a Dark Iron who is struggling to return to 'normal' society after the death of Deathwing. The Dark Irons currently residing in Ironfrorge under Moira are responsible for teaching fledgling mages and, for those who delve deep into the darker arts, warlocks. They have a bitter and cynical personality, and often find it difficult to be in the Alliance after their lengthy time of servitude under Ragnaros. Relations are strained between Dark Irons and the other Dwarves, as in long lived races grudges last longer and so if you do decide to play a Dark Iron, which is possible, be prepared for other Dwarves at least to be wary around you until you have earned their trust.
Bronzebeard Dwarves are the typical Dwarves, being both short and stocky. Like all Dwarves, they are taller than Gnomes but far shorter than Humans. The average Dwarf male is between 3'9” and 4'5”, while the average female is between 3'7” and 4'3”. Males often have long, luxurious beards; in fact it is rare to find a male Dwarf without one and it is clear that they take great pride in them. It is impossible for female Dwarves to grow beards, however. Hair colours in Bronzbeard dwarves are usually brown, blond or ginger, and their skin colour is usually quite pale, but not sickly so. Many Dwarves will bear scars, as it is unlikely that in the professions favoured by Dwarves they will have managed to succeed without even the slightest injury.
Wildhammer Dwarves are leaner, taller and less stockier than their cousins, although still short. All Wildhammers will have some form of tattoos, similar to the woad ones of the ancient Celts. Due to living in the colder mountains, Wildhammers usually favour furs and pelts for clothing as the offer the best warmth and protection. They also have a fondness for feathers on their garments. Male Wildhammers cultivate beards as impressive as those of the Bronzebeards, however they often decorate their beards with beads and feathers for good luck. Common hair colours are the same as those of the Bronzebeard. They are more likely to have shaved heads. Once again because of the climate and open-airedness of where they live, their skin is darker and often tougher than both the Dark Irons and the Bronzebeards.
Dark Irons are the clan that most stands out as unusual. They are shorter than both other clans generally, although it is not this that makes then so distinguished. It is, in fact, their grey to black skin and the red, glowing eyes. Their eyes glow from the days when Ragnaros' power coursed through their bodies, and flames flickered within them. Now the flames are banked, but they still glow. Their ash-black skin is another mark of that infernal servitude. It is partly this that makes them a figure of distrust for other Dwarves.
Well, that's enough of me rambling on! With this and my history article you will have everything you need to know about role-playing any kind of Dwarf. Thanks for reading, and best of luck in Azeroth!