Dwarves love to create things from the Earth. Stone, brick, glass, and clay they love it all. I met Ai, a sculptor of clay. He was creating a mold of one of the previous Thanes of the realm. After firing the clay he would use this as a mold for a statue to be cast in gold. The mold would be broken and the melted gold would fill the void of his carving.
When invited to a concert by a Dwarven bard, think carefully. You might think of epic poetry or heroic eddas from ancient times. You would be wrong. Dolgbrasi, was a fan of Ska music and heavy metal. Loud drum pounding and screaming of lyrics in a Scottish or Norwegian dialect was what I heard. Don’t forget that the Dwarven halls echo as well.
When I was told that the Dwarves farmed mushrooms and fungus as a part of their diet, had no idea the scope of what they were talking about. They farmed mushrooms the size of apple trees! They appeared to be the spotted red capped mushrooms I ate in college only incredibly bigger. Sudri, another bearded female dwarf, told me they bred these mushrooms to grow to this size in order to provide food for their entire realm.
Then I learned one of the purposes of the bat guano that was collected. Brokkr, was a member of the Dwarven defense force. He protected the underground farms. Only those with special permission could pass through the halls. Luckily I had already been given free passage by the King.
The Dwarven city is a large complex that has been developed over many centuries. They have tunneled across and through the Earth according to Andvari. He also referenced other lands that they have created doorways and secret paths. He gave me a map as a gift that would take me to these places.
I took pause to listen to a religious ceremony of the Dwarves. Hepti, their priestess began by giving thanks to the Earth Mother for all she provides. An interesting difference is that instead of passing a collection plate, they distributed golden coins to their audience to share the blessings of their bounty.
Radspakr, was a community elder. He told me he had been watching me and had been impressed with my interactions with the many people of the city. He gave me a gift of Dwarven magic, an oath stone. He promised that I would see things in a different manner after this.
Some jobs are more desirable than others. I met Iri who collected and mined the bat guano. He collected it for later processing for the gun powder and explosives the dwarves made for mining through stone. The stench was horrendous but the caverns were beautiful. Apparently, as the guano decays it forms crystals of potassium. Great chandeliers of crystal ornament the ceiling while the floors were deep in guano.
Another dwarf was in the hall working on a new design with pieces of colored tiles. He was creating a design of a castle and nearby terrain. He shared a story with me about a queen who married a widowed king. Over time the queen grew jealous of the King’s daughter, the Princess. When the King died, she tried to kill the Princess. The Princess fled into the wood, and she ordered a huntsman to kill her and bring back her heart.
I met other Dwarves obsessed with their careers. Nyr was a jeweler who worked intensely at his craft. He carved detailed patterns into gold and silver arm bands and rings.