“The greatest monsters are within us.”
- - Durik
The Urnin (literally "skull-dwarves"), otherwise known as Harstag's Folk, are a race of dwarven deiwes who live within Urnithen, in the Eastern Plains of Koldenwelt. These Dwarves founded the Urnin Fraternity after being transformed in beings resembling Ocuglobi. They are powerful warriors, though many of their kind choose instead to study The Source.
In 5,000 BNA, Thunardormir - the Colossus of lightning - sparked a Dweorg rebellion against the tyrannical Cobalt Kingdom. In the aftermath of their liberation, several Dweorgs migrated from the Eastern plains into the valley of Urnithen, seeking the mineral wealth within the region's mountains. Instead, they found an alien land, infested with bizarre creatures that had been influenced by the presence of Ocuglobi. As they struggled to survive in this harsh environment, the Dweorgs found themselves changing to fit into it, due to the lingering magic of an ancient war. These Dwarves transformed into the Urnin, mastering their environment and constructing a Castle in which they began to gather knowledge and artifacts related to the Simulacrum Realms.
The Urnin are similar to most dwarves, with stout and broad proportions, and thick skin and musculature. However, they are unique in that thick eye-stalks grow in the place of their beards and digits. Like the eye-stalks of Ocuglobi, these are capable of emitting powerful beams of energy, though only the most skilled users of The Source can fully control this. Though they lack the single eye possessed by Ocuglobi, Urnin have powerful mouths - were they to use this as a weapon, they could easily tear off another creature's limb with a single bite. As they lack the history of mining shared by many other dwarves, Urnin are not as strong or tough as many of their kin. However, they are often more dexterous, though not as much as elves or humans. They possess slightly more colorful skin than most dwarves, due to their alien nature. Their Dweorg heritage has given them eyes which allow them to see in low-light conditions, large noses, rounded ears, and thick skulls. Like Ocuglobi, the Urnin are carnivorous, although they possess the innate ability to draw nutrition from ingesting rock, ore, and minerals due to their ancestry.
Urnin usually live up to 400 years, having reached sexual maturity between their 30s and 40s. They are sexually dimorphic, though between 40% and 45% of their entire population are female. Female Urnin lack facial hair, though otherwise possess the same strong physical features of their male counterparts. The gestation of Urnin usually lasts for an just over one Koldenweltian year, and it is very rare for more than one baby to develop in a single pregancy. Urnin often become infertile just before their third century of life, though this can sometimes happen earlier. Though they are less resistant to most things than other dwarves, Urnin have developed a very strong resistance to magical effects, and have been known to survive events that would have destroyed the bodies or minds of most other deiwes.
Like most dwarves, Urnin are stubborn and proud, with little patience for others that seek to insult them. However, their secretive and cunning nature allows them to tolerate this if it is in the interests if their cause. This has lead to them being labled as "Harstag's Folk". Their quests in the rest of Koldenwelt have encouraged the belief that they are hunters, and with their unusual interest in the Simulacrum Realms, several other suspicious dwarves have accused them of heresy, worshiping Harstag instead of Thunardormir, the Colossus that most dwarves follow. Though the Urnin do worship Thunardormir, they allow this rumor to persist as an explanation of their activities.
In a similar way to many other dwarves, Urnin value personal and familial dignity and honour. They never ignore loyalty, and are quick to return favors. The value that they put on company varies greatly, and even individuals can change to a great extent in this way over the course of their lifetimes. Despite their pride, Urnin prefer to live in societies where all are equal, working together towards a common goal rather than having faith in individual leaders to guide them. This inspires them to ignore the xenophobia that dominates societies in much of Koldenwelt, and therefore to stay out of most large towns and cities. Urnin are typically monogamous, though unlike most deiwes they place little value in gender roles.
Urnin can be slow at making decisions, but always put a lot of thought into their actions, rather than listening to their emotions. To make up for this slowness, they usually plan ahead, preparing themselves to act at the best possible moments. However, those that know them well will see that they are far from emotionless, and enjoy heavy drinking and friendly brawls with their close allies. Indeed, like many of their kin, Urnin are jovial and merry, though this may not be clear to strangers. They enjoy presenting their heavily decorated 'beards' to those that have accepted their alien nature, pointing out the various piercings, tattoos, and rings that represent important events, achievements, and people in their lives.
Due to their Dweorg ancestry, Urnin possess exceptional strength and durability, though not to the extent of other dwarves. To make up for this, they are reasonably dexterous, and have quick reflexes. They can quickly adapt to dark and low-light conditions, and are able to make use of raw materials for nutrition. Urnin rival many elves in magical potency, drawing upon their Simulacrum heritage. Like Ocuglobi, they are able to project energy from their many eye-stalks, and can sense many thing that would be invisible to other deiwes. Urnin are literally thick-skinned, while possessing a sturdy build that allows them to carry heavy loads without being slowed down.
Nevertheless, Urnin have several notable weaknesses and vulnerabilities - most obviously that despite being more agile than other dwarves, they do not match the mobility of deiwes such as elves and humans. Though they are resistant to damage, they are far from invincible, and can easily be overwhelmed by a sudden or sustained force. Their slow speed in making decisions makes them particularly vulnerable to surprise attacks such as ambushes, and they often do not see the wisdom in retreating before it is too late.
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