Nope, not going to let the thread die (at least the part that I play). I have been having a few bad days
and so that is the petty excuse for my absence.
But I have been doing a lot of thinking on my dwarf story. To be completely honest the feminism aspect totally sidetracked my mind. I set out with this project to create the literary equivalent to comfort food (comfort reading), nice easy stuff to enjoy. To create a simple story (though just as BlueBandit mentioned to me on Skype, a simple idea never stays simple). Right now I am putting the dwarven feminism angle on the back burner and I'm going to return to it later. A few ideas did strike me and I am going to share them. I have two ways, currently, to spice up the dwarves in this setting. Firstly, it is the magic system. I don't have the nuts and bolts figured out yet but I do have the general framework. The dwarves are not magical in the setting (which is not original, that's how it works in Warhammer) but they have their own version of magic. How it works is that while out on the surface the dwarves have no magical abilities, but delving into the earth activates their magic. Superior night vision, the need for less oxygen, less food, less water, having an uncanny sense of direction, being physically stronger, tougher, and having better endurance are all given to the dwarves. In addition the further down the dwarves are from the surface the more these powers are amplified. This explains how dwarves can even function so deep underground, which even in modern times we struggle to do. At the moment the elves draw thier magic from the stars and have a fairly typical magic system (it is treated more like an artistic discipline by the society). And the human man will have his magic parred to dragons, a relationship that is very much love-hate (what are a few centuries of slavery and subjugation between friends
). The relationship between the dragons and the Nord in Skyrim could be analogous.
The second aspect that I am really hooked on is the religion/culture of the dwarves. I was thinking about what religion they should have. Obviously the elves are polytheistic. But would the dwarves follow suit? What if they were monotheistic? Monotheistic religions, by reputation, fairly intense and zealous? Like Ancient Judaism.
What if they were inspired by Judaism?! And that is how the thought process, as crude and messy as it is, worked in my head. Most of the tenets, concepts, and trappings of Judaism will inspire a lot of their thinking: the one true god, a fall from grace, original sin, the Holy Text, Judges, doctrines of cleanliness, an exodus, a promised land, giants protecting said promised land, the twelve tribes, the two kingdoms, the Ark (now an anvil because dwarves). That is not to say that these dwarves = Ancient Jews but will be the major inspiration. For instance the laws of Kosher will not be a dwarf thing because a dwarf not eating pork is like one a dwarf being tall, (and because the laws of Kosher, if I am correct on this, derive their use because the Ancient Jews lived in a semi-arid/desert environment and so did not want to compete with the hogs over clean drinking water). So other aspects will be drawn from dwarven tradition laid down by the genre and my own inspirations.
"Sojourn is never early, nor it is late-- it arrives precisely when it needs to." --Dan, ep. 334