Dwarves believe in one God, Thurenir. He is the Hammer and the Fist, the Rock and the Anvil. They believe they were created from rock and metal, in the image of Thurenir. This is, they say, the reason they are so heavy. Thurenir, so dwarves believe, lives inside the Freistfell Mountains, specifically in the mountain known as Dhrasedec. The dwarves, in an effort to find their god that they might offer themselves in ultimate supplication, have hollowed out large portions of the entire range in their search. For many, it is enough to just live inside the mountains, but some continue to search, deep into the earth, tunneling a little farther every day.
Dwarven culture is sternly paternalistic and highly organized. Every dwarf identifies himself with three names: his given name, his family name, and his clan name. There are exactly thirteen clans, and the head of each is an elder male member of his clan, selected by all the adult male members of that clan to represent them. Every member of a given clan is related to every other member somehow, whether it be directly or by marriage.
Female dwarves are responsible for child rearing and serving their husbands. They are not allowed to own property or leave their clan holding unescorted. Arranged marriages are the norm, and women rarely have any say in their arrangements. A female dwarf with no male relatives and no husband has few options open to her, and will likely end up working in a menial job to survive. Actual schooling beyond the ability to do simple math and rudimentary reading and writing is extremely uncommon for women. Martial training is not allowed to them. It is a common misconception that dwarven women have beards just as men do, simply because they so rarely are seen outside clan holdings and outsiders are not particularly welcome. Many people just assume some of the male dwarves they have seen must have been females.
The majority of dwarves in the world live in the Freistfell mountains. Most live underground in the huge sprawling caverns of Dhrasedec, but there are villages here and there inside the other mountains. They are most comfortable living underground.
An average male dwarf stands about 5 feet tall and weighs 250lbs, with females slightly smaller. All dwarves can see with perfect clarity in darkness and have no difficulty seeing light, though bright light is problematic for them.
Most dwarves enjoy carving and etching stone and metals, and many have an uncanny knack for identifying such materials. The race on the whole is known for producing weapons and armor of the highest quality and best materials.