A gold dwarf rogue rarely gets the honor of traveling with one such as Illydia Maethellyn, and Larethar will never take that honor for granted. A Luskan resident with a penchant for drink and debauchery, Larethar rarely goes without a snide word or a sharp insult… except when it comes to Illydia. Without her, Larethar is a cutpurse, a brawler, and an occasional second-story-man. With her, however, he gets to be a hero—a snide, wisecracking, and somewhat greedy hero, but a hero, nonetheless.
Gold dwarves dwell primarily in the Great Rift, a huge series of
staggeringly deep canyons in the hot south, and they live in the Underdark tunnels that fan out from the Great Rift beneath the Shaar for many thousands of miles. They are seen little outside these areas unless as traders or outcasts.
Appearance: Gold dwarves are dusky-skinned and dark-haired—their hair is usually black. Many have
mahogany-hued or cinnamon-brown skin. They tend to be both shorter and more heavyset than shield dwarves, and most are fatter through good eating and a more indolent lifestyle. A typical gold dwarf will have long, luxuriantly curled hair, and males have beard that drape down in silky ringlets. Their beards are often strung with a net of dangling teardrop pearls or other gems, and they will wear gold armor enameled with fantastic curlicued designs and a clan marking or personal totems.
Drenched in Gold: Their collective name comes from their habit of wearing lots of gold—bracers, gorgets, pectorals, belts, beard and hair rings, multiple rings on the fingers, toes, and ears, and all manner of other accoutrements—as everyday clothing. Such apparel is always intricately chased and fluted, and adorned with gems and inlays of other precious metals. Even their warhammers tend to be plated with gold. Almost all gold dwarves are rich beyond the wildest dreams of most humans, but one can’t eat gold. Gold Dwarves of the Deeps have grown accustomed to many foods that cannot be grown below the surface (especially fruit), and spend money constantly on such produce.
Attitudes: Gold dwarves are powerful, proud, and xenophobic, shunning even shield dwarves, and traveling little in the surface world. They hold grudges longer than shield dwarves, and know (and care) much less about happenings in the world around them. They empire has remained intact (and wealthy), and they intend to keep it that way.
Intolerant: Gold dwarves are the most proud (no help needed, thank you) and inflexible (the dwarves’ way or no way) of dwarves. Their elders, called the Loremasters, preserve the lore of the race in deep caverns, collectively known as the Vault of Muttering, continually instructing junior scribes as to the dwarven decrees-most importantly, who the dwarves are beholden to, and who they hate and will never aid or deal with. They see themselves as the oldest and wisest culture in the world, ages advanced beyond the barbaric humans, effete elves, weakling gnomes and halflings, and their degenerate shield dwarf cousins. They treat all non-dwarves coldly, especially those of proud pretentions or manners, such as the men of Calimshan. Men, particularly proud men who rely overmuch on magic, are thought of as overblown, tasteless lack-wits. Halflings (who are, of course, all brigands or thieves) are regarded with suspicion. Even visitors of their poor-cousin race, the shield dwarves, are suspect—why come to the rich realms of the south, if not to steal? Gnomes are the exception to this general contempt. Gold dwarves regard gnomes as useful hirelings for dirty work, and well-meaning if inferior folk. A human analogy would be how some human nobles think of their trained war-dogs. Their usefulness earns them polite, if distant, treatment.
Long-Lived: Gold Dwarves generally live far safer lives than their northern cousins, and so live longer. However, careful scrutiny of dwarven records indicate that the race as a whole seems only a little more long-lived (350 years) than shield dwarves. Such a careful scrutiny is possible because gold dwarves are very concerned with social status, which is linked to personal wealth, influence, and birth. They keep careful genealogies that reach back thousands of years. A typical gold dwarf knows the full name of his great-great-grandmother, and her social standing.