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Dwarven Beards in Lore

    • 1 posts
    April 23, 2020 8:08 PM PDT

    Please tell me this is part of the lore...










    So you know how dwarves have that thing with beards? What if that’s not just a cultural standard or mere coincidence? What if there’s a reason?

    See, dwarves like to dig a lot. They build underground homes, and there’s nothing more rewarding to them than digging up some gems or valuable metals. But chipping away at all that rock and disturbing all that earth kicks up a lot of dust and dirt. If you do that every day without proper breathing protection (which Ancient Dwarves probably didn’t have much access to) all those particles are going to build up in your lungs. It’s a phenomenon we see with real miners too; eventually, they develop a host of respiratory-related problems and even lung cancer.

    Now, if only dwarves had some sort of natural protection against all that fine dust. If only they had some sort of filter in front of their mouth an nose…

    My theory states that, through natural selection, dwarves developed more and more dense facial hair as a defense mechanism.

    It should be noted that this interpretation also supports the “female dwarves have beards too” line of thought. It makes very little sense for half the population not to have that intrinsic protection, after all…

    This world-building has me legit grinning.

    like this one.

    This suggests that the micro-structures of dwarf beard hair are a lot more complex than ordinary hair, possibly including skin oils or other compounds with antimicrobial properties.

    It also suggests that some of the dwarven durability reflected in their tabletop game Constitution bonuses are because they have built-in HEPA filters.

    And that in turn suggests that shaving a dwarf’s beard or causing magical hair loss would have negative health impacts for the individual in question, suddenly breathing unfiltered air for the first time. Asthma, allergies, bronchitis, even pneumonia.

    Now that you mention it, I’m imagining each dwarven hair having micro-barbules along the shaft, to form a fine mesh in more than one direction at once.

    Also, that their beards may be a microscopic ecosystem with unique species of lice, etc. living within their beards that would feed on the spores and microbes caught within it.

    Thus, making their beards ‘self cleaning’ – unlike a man-made HEPA filter, the beards don’t get clogged over time.

    And dwarves love and care and decorate their beards so much because like… it’s not just accessory, it’s a whole face terrarium. Just like anyone else with a plant or a fish, some people want to make it look extra pretty or minimalist or whatever style. Plus of course you may have exotic variations based on environment, because the air and rocks could be different. Touching a dwarf beard or heavens forbid tugging it is like running up to a fish tank in a stranger’s house and tapping the glass - you don’t do that. Dwarven beard care is like gardening and owning a pet rolled into one.

    This is the only truth I will accept about dwarven beards now.

    This post was edited by Kathor at April 23, 2020 8:08 PM PDT
    • 653 posts
    April 23, 2020 10:20 PM PDT

    That's just the most creative bit of Dwarven Lore I've ever heard!

    Just wait till Brasse reads it hehe.


    Good job!

    • 116 posts
    April 24, 2020 7:31 AM PDT

    I could get behind this for sure

    • 11 posts
    April 27, 2020 8:53 PM PDT