Arctic dwarves, also known as Inugaakalikurit ( (pronounced: /ˈinʌˈgɑːkɑːˈlikʌrɪt/ EE-nu-GA-ka-LEE-ku-rit), were a race of dwarves located in the isolated reaches of the Great Glacier in Faerûn's northernmost reaches. Arctic dwarves had a different origin from most other dwarves in Faerûn and were significantly different physiologically and culturally from other members of the Stout Folk, so much that they might be considered their own race. Arctic dwarves were almost entirely unheard of until a group of them began settling the edges of Luruar around the mid–14th century DR.
Description[edit | edit source]
Arctic dwarves were a very small race, not only in general but in comparison with dwarves as well. The average arctic dwarf was even shorter than a gnome or halfling, standing at just over half the height of a shield dwarf. Physically, arctic dwarves were squat, with pinched faces and stubby legs, being nearly as wide as they were tall with their fingers and toes thick and blunt and their feet flat and wide. Their skin was typically quite pale, ranging from a pale shade of blue to white, except for their cheeks which were a ruddy red, although their frequent exposure to the sun meant many were frequently sunburned. Arctic dwarf eyes were bright blue and their curly hair, which they usually let flow freely grow long to their waists, was white. Unlike most dwarves, arctic dwarf females couldn't grow beards. Males often grew short beards with twisting mustaches. Arctic dwarf dress was typically simple, most often little more than tunics of polar bear fur.
Abilities[edit | edit source]
While ostensibly dwarves, arctic dwarves had many significant physical differences between themselves and other dwarves. For instance, while arctic dwarves were frequently sunburned because of their constant exposure to the sun, this caused them no harm. Arctic dwarves were also significantly stronger than most dwarves, despite their smaller size, whilst being less dexterous. Arctic dwarves were also completely immune to the effects of extreme cold.
Personality[edit | edit source]
In general, arctic dwarves were a gregarious people, open to the company of others. Unlike other dwarves, they cared little from what bloodline another dwarf came from and had next-to-no materialistic drive, believing instead in living life to the fullest. In part, this was derived from the primitive nature of arctic dwarven society, which relied on hunting and foraging to sustain themselves, restricting the accumulation of private property but at the same time allowing for a greater amount of free time than civilized cultures had.
While individualistic and open-minded, arctic dwarves rarely ventured beyond their own homelands to adventure. Those that did were usually driven by a spirit of curiosity, falling into the life of an adventurer more by default than by conscious decision. These individuals often became rangers or barbarians, which the self-sufficient lifestyle of an arctic dwarf was well-suited for and which drew upon the long history of their people's fight against the frost giants of the north.
Society[edit | edit source]
Given the scattered nature of their population, arctic dwarf society was surprisingly homogeneous, most likely the result of millennia spent in isolation from other races. Unlike most dwarves, the arctic dwarves did not divide themselves by clan lineage but neither was individualism highly valued among them, and they did not frequently remember individual deeds for more than a generation. Arctic dwarves also did not value hard work or craftsmanship to the same degree as other dwarves or indeed as most other races.
Instead, arctic dwarves focused themselves on contributing to the greater communal good, which itself demanded very little from them, meaning that most of the race were content to live in ease without concern for the future. Young children received a great deal of attention and were largely raised by the community as a whole. Elders were largely devoid of any responsibility at all in arctic dwarf society, which saw it as their right to live without worries for the remainder of their days before being buried beneath the snow and ice when they finally left the mortal world.
Arctic dwarves were few in number and only very rarely did they migrate from their northern homes to more temperate regions. As a result, they integrated poorly with other cultures and often exerted a great deal of effort looking for others of similar mind to replicate the casual lifestyle of their culture.
Culture[edit | edit source]
Arctic dwarves almost exclusively spoke Kurit, a rare dialect of Dwarvish that was significantly influenced by Uluik, though a few also spoke the Sossal dialect of Common. Other arctic dwarves learned Uluik, Giant, Damaran, or Draconic. Although nearly all arctic dwarves were illiterate, Kurit did use a version of the Dethek alphabet and many arctic dwarves who became adventurers were literate.
Art & Leisure[edit | edit source]
Because of their hunter-gatherer lifestyle, arctic dwarves did not have a great degree of free time on their hands and as a result valued leisure. Among the activities enjoyed was dog riding and the arctic dwarves employed a large number of riding dogs as pets, mounts, hunting companions, and beasts of burden.
Arctic dwarf crafts were largely limited to practical items, such as hunting weapons or survival tools. Many arctic dwarfs wore hide armor, the pelts of polar bears being the most valued. Most arctic dwarfs went barefoot, in spite of the cold. For hunting tools, arctic dwarfs preferred the use of arctic harpoons, even though their size made this awkward, with the practice driven on by myths about arctic dwarfs felling improbably large quarries with similar harpoons.
Magic & Religion[edit | edit source]
For the most part, arctic dwarves lacked any significant magical traditions and largely view the Art as impractical. The magical items found among the race were mostly created by druids or the race's small number of arcane spellcasters, among the most common of which were amulets of natural armor and snowshoes of speed. One of the few magic items unique to arctic dwarves were kerrenderit or magically shaped ice crystals often used as arrowheads.
In addition to lacking an arcane spellcasting tradition, the arctic dwarves were not particularly religious and venerated neither the Morndinsamman nor any other gods. Instead, the arctic dwarves venerated the natural world, sometimes honoring Talos or Ulutiu in the process. Those few dwarves who practiced any magic of any kind were most frequently druids, adepts, or rangers. Arctic dwarf druids were somewhat notable for their reliance on fire-based magic, which they employed against frost giants, frost worms, and other foes to great effectiveness.
Relations[edit | edit source]
Arctic dwarves had very little contact with anyone besides themselves; frost giants, with whom they were deadly foes; and Ulutiun humans, with whom they had friendly relations. However, because arctic dwarves were a friendly and open-minded race they were usually very tolerant of outsiders. Gnomes and other dwarves were often considered amusing to arctic dwarves, owing to their mix of familiar appearance and alien customs, an attitude that also applied to a lesser extent to humans other than the Ulutuiuns. The most familiar of the elves to arctic dwarves were the flying avariel and as a consequence arctic dwarves typically treated all elves with a degree of awe. Most other humanoid races only rarely encountered the arctic dwarves and were considered quite exotic.
History[edit | edit source]
Unlike most dwarves, arctic dwarves did not claim descent from the ancient kingdom of Bhaerynden. Instead, they seemed to be an artifact from an even more ancient lineage, the origins of which little was known about save that they came from one branch of the first dwarves in Faerûn that migrated from beneath modern day Semphar.
The Innugaakalikurit dwelt upon the Great Glacier since about −2274 DR, but contact with the outside world was almost entirely absent until the mid–14th century DR, when small groups began to settle the shores of the Great Ice Sea and parts of Luruar's northern reaches.
Most scholars believed their initial migration to the north occurred about the same time as the founding of Bhaerynden. Others claimed that the arctic dwarves once ruled a mighty empire of their own. Other than the fact that the arctic dwarves, prior to the coming of the Ulutiuns, once covered most of the Great Glacier living in small villages, but were later limited to the peaks of Novularond, almost all theories about the race's origins and history were poorly supported speculation.
Appendix[edit | edit source]
Appearances[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 91. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
- James Wyatt and Rob Heinsoo (February 2001). Monster Compendium: Monsters of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 47. ISBN 0-7869-1832-2.
- Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 10. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
- Rick Swan (1992). The Great Glacier. (TSR, Inc), p. 92. ISBN 1-56076-324-8.
- Rick Swan (1992). The Great Glacier. (TSR, Inc), p. 5. ISBN 1-56076-324-8.
- Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 9. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
- Rick Swan (1992). The Great Glacier. (TSR, Inc), p. 60. ISBN 1-56076-324-8.
- Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 10–11. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
- Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 11. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
- Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 8. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.