Of all the children of the World, Dwarves may be the most remarkable, and they are certainly among the most recognizable. Whereas all the other races are made of flesh and blood, Dwarves are fashioned of the stone they love so well. Individual Dwarves are made of different stones, from ebon shale to gray granite to pale marble, expertly crafted into a form reminiscent of Humanity. Short of stature, Dwarves are the smallest of the World's races, yet also among the strongest. A Dwarf's stocky body seems nearly as broad as it is tall, covered in thick masses of carved muscle. While not quite as agile as the average Human, Dwarves are stronger and much more resilient by far. The fortitude of the earth is worked into them: Dwarves are blessed with incredible toughness and almost limitless endurance. Created for life underground, the glittering gemstone eyes of the Dwarves can see in the dark (though without detail: for fine work, Dwarves still kindle lights in their halls). Dwarves do not age: all of them were created at once, and no one Dwarf is significantly older than any other. While they never grow older, Dwarves do show signs of wear - many Dwarves have visible cracks that run across their bodies, or chips missing from their features. While this wear is almost always repairable, many Dwarves wear their cracks as a badge of honor, the way other Warriors cherish scars. Dwarves also show an uncanny uniformity of appearance. Though there are some variations and each Dwarf is unique in some small way, all Dwarves are short, heavily muscled, bearded men with long, thick hair.
When first encountered by the other peoples of the World, there were many who questioned whether or not Dwarves were truly living beings, or some kind of fabulous magical automata. The evidence was confusing and contradictory: while clearly made of stone, Dwarf limbs move without seams or joints. Furthermore, Dwarves require food and drink like other living things, and they sleep (albeit rarely, for only the greatest exertion seems to tire them). Dwarves are incapable of reproducing themselves, one criterion traditionally given to living things. No new Dwarves are born, and Dwarves who were destroyed in previous Ages can never be replaced. Many Elvish Magi considered Dwarves nothing more than complex constructs like the murgolems their Animators fashion, not truly living at all. Conclusive proof did not come until the Turning, when it was discovered that slain Dwarves rise anew from Trees of Life, just as all the other races do. Dwarves are still baffled by this phenomenon, but not nearly so baffled as the Magi and Loremasters who have tried to explain it and draw therefrom some conclusion about the nature of the living soul.