Although dwarves live predominantly in mountains, they always live above the snow line. A few tribes have carved vast complexes in the sides of glaciers, but the constant movement of the ice sheets requires them to forever create new tunnels. Still, the rewards of finding rare black ice can make it well worth the effort.
When the advancing ice and snow covered many of their more northern homes, frost dwarves built new realms closer to the Hearthlands. Where once there were only a few isolated tribes living in the high mountains, the increased snow and ice has enabled them to create new homes in what were once temperate mountains. A few tribes are even branching out into hilly terrain, searching for veins of gold and silver in lands previously considered unsuitable for long-term habitation.
Frost dwarves are often expert crafters and armorers, though their forges burn with coldfire, a fire which generates intense cold rather than heat. Although dwarves trade with the other races, they are mildly xenophobic. Their icy homes are vast fortresses, filled with hidden guardrooms and armories, not to mention lethal traps.
Frost dwarves have few clerics, and those clerics they have tend to follow Ertha, goddess of earth, or Tiw, lord of battle. However, they have long understood the power of runes, which rune mages shape to form focal points for magical energy.
Frost dwarves live for around 300 years. They have white hair and pale skin, though a few dye their hair darker colors (typically so they don’t stand out at a distance in non-wintry lands). Their eyes are black as pitch, and show no whites at all. Most average 5 feet in height, but they are stocky creatures.
Male dwarves sport beards. The length one is allowed to wear one’s beard is determined by social status, and the number of braids determines profession. Nobles, for instance, sport five long braids, priests and mages have four, warriors three, crafters two, and all other dwarves, just one.
Names: Frost dwarves are clannish and often reuse ancestral names. Surnames are always that of the dwarf ’s clan. Examples of male given names include Ari, Bardi, Geirstein, Hord, Ljot, and Olvir. Female names include Asleif, Herdis, Svala, and Thyra. Clan names are formed from a descriptor followed by an object, such as Brighthammer, Foeaxe, Goldbeard, or Steelhand.