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Arth Lore

Gnow Your Gnomes: Dwerrow

Drawing of a Dwerrow man and woman

The Gnomes of Clan Erdin, or Hill Gnomes, are often mistaken for Dwarves. They’re just a head shorter than Dwarves, but otherwise have similar stocky builds, long beards, and muscular frames. Other key differences from Dwarves include narrower shoulders, rounder features, and (perhaps most significantly), the presence of female Dwerrow. Even with these key differences, Dwerrow have historically been called “Hill Dwarves” in some areas. The term is falling into disuse, however, as Dwerrow consider it insensitive, and Dwarves consider it grounds for violence.

Hill Gnomes have a reputation for loyalty and strong bonds of fealty, though this stereotype is often earnestly encouraged by the Dwerrow themselves. Regardless of loyalty, family bonds and allegiance are central to Dwerrow culture, and most of them are heavily tattooed with spiral patterns used to indicate heritage, standing, and fealty. Dwerrow tradition also places a high value on service and hospitality, and many work as tavern keepers, town guards, and civil servants.

Dwerrow like to form small villages of yurts near the outskirts of larger cities or Dwarven holds. They’re prolific and practical craftsmen, who value efficiency in production and sufficiency in quality. Their ‘shoddy’ work makes earns them the disdain of many craftsmen and trade guilds, and Hill Gnomes are often associated with low cost goods. Dwerrow who work in sales and marketing prefer it that way.

Legends hold that Clan Erdin were once the third most populous and powerful among the Gnomish Clans, but their homeland of Erdosher was burned to ash in the War of Betrayal. Those stories tell that the Dwerrow were shattered, and their remnants scattered across the Freedlands and Ruskan. Where Erdosher actually lay is a matter of some debate; many Hill Gnomes believe it was at the center of the desert now known as the White Sea, back when it was a verdant grassland. A few other scholars maintain that it was closer to Nagarok, or in the Highwall Mountains. A few maintain that Erdosher never existed at all, and that Dwerrow have always lived in yurts near more populous Gnome clans.

Perhaps the most famous Dwerrow are the descendants of Gold Nerbal. Mr. Nerbal founded the General Store early in the Seventh Age, and displayed both a genius for branding and a ruthless mind for cutting prices. His quick wits and acumen built a business empire that spans from Ruskan through the Freedlands into the Imperial City. Several hundred years later, the company is still operated by his grandchildren, who are also majority shareholders.

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