dwarves

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Summary

After Odin, Vili, and Ve slew Ymir and began to work his body into Midgard, maggot-like creatures formed on the carcass of Ymir. These maggots were the original dwarves.

Dwarves are greedy, cruel, and malicious creatures. They possess keen intelligence, vast knowledge, and mastery of all kinds of smithcraft and masonry which they often turn to evil, corrupt, and selfish schemes. It is they who forged the weapons and artifacts for the Æsir. Dwarves cannot stand the touch of sunlight, which turns them immediately to stone and thus live their entire lives completely underground.

Sons of Dvalinn

The Sons of Dvalinn are the original dwarves who were born from and fed on the carcass of Ymir. Many of them have died – killed by their own cleverness or out of spite by an Æsir or Jotün. Those who are living are presented here.

Norðri, Suðri, Austri and Vestri (North, South, East, and West) were chained by Odin to hold up the sky.
The two brothers Brokkr and Eitri crafted Gungnir, Draupnir and Mjölnir – mighty weapons for the Æsir.
Galar and his brother Fjalar killed the Vanir Kvasir to get his wisdom, and turned his blood into the mead of poetry, which inspired poets.
Lofnheid and Lyndheid are masters of sorcery, daughters of Hreidmar, sisters to Regin, Fafnir, and Otr, and mothers of the Druergar and Hags.

The remaining dwarves are counted as thus: Thekk, Lit, Nyi, Nidi, Althjof, Mjodvitnir, Vig, Nyr, Nyrad, Rekk, Radsvid, Haur, Hledjolf, Andvari, Heptifili, Har Sviar, Skirfir, Virfir, Skavid, Ai, Ingi, Ekinskjaldi, Fal, Frosti, Fid, and Ginnar.

Druergar

Lofnheid is the mother of the Druergar. Unlike their mother, the Druergar, while harmed by the sun, are not destroyed by it and are very active in bringing pain and misery to the world of men.

Athach are large, brutish, ogre-like creatures who hunger for manflesh and ambush wary travelers by hiding under stones.
Kelpie are large horse-headed men who hide in rapidly moving bodies of water to kill passers-by.
Barrow Wight are misshapen creatures with long necks, oversized heads, horse teeth, and knees which bend backwards. They steal and hoard the treasures of the dead.
Buggane are dwarves who lack any skill in craft, and thus spend their miserable lives tearing down the work of others.
Fachan are misshapen creatures with one leg, one arm, one eye, one ear, one horn, and one tuft of hair growing on their heads who live alone in hard-to-reach places and kill anyone who lays eyes on them.
Nuckelavee are skinless centuar-like creatures who live in the sea. During bad storms, they come onto land to spread death, destruction, terror, and disease.
Redcap are small, evil creatures who live in ruined homes, castles, or towers. They are obsessed with the color of blood and hunt men to paint their clothing and dwellings with it.

Hags

Hags are the twisted offspring of Lyndheid who was cursed to only bear girl-children. They can change shape into a beautiful young woman and often do so to lure unsuspecting travelers to their deaths. They also have mastery over sorcery and some of them dabble in necromancy.

Mallt-y-Nos is a hag who follows the wild hunt, stealing corpses and souls where she can.
Cyhyraeth is a hag who follows fishing boats out to sea at night and drowns men.
Black Annis is a hag who is thoroughly evil, murderous, and prefers to eat small children.
Brollachan is a hag who malign, wicked, and survives on the terror they inflict on mortal men.
Cailleach Bheur is a hag who destroys crops and protects game from hunters.
Jenny Greenteeth is a hag who lives in a stagnant pools covered with scum or abandoned wells and enjoys repeatedly drowning her victims.
Kikimora is a bat-faced chicken-footed hag who loves to start, enlarge, and spread fires.
Batibat is a large, fat hag who hides in trees and crushes their victims by dropping on them or sitting on them while they sleep.

GM Notes

Historically, there were two castes of elves in Norse mythology that took names as “Dark Elves” or “Black Elves” and in some of the Eddas they appear to be synonymous with dwarves. I’m taking that route, in addition to adding in “Unseelie” Fey from Celtic mythology.

Dwarves, Druegar, and Hags do not make good player characters and are reserved for antagonists.

dwarves

Nyrgarðr Maethalion Maethalion