When the God of All set about creating the first born (elves). She consulted Mith, the Star Forger, to understand how to bring something into being that can thrive and survive through the simple consumption of energy and redirection of it into life. Mith told her the secret of the stars and She set about creating elves. The discussion, however, got Mith thinking and he wondered about creating a creature of his own. He used clay as a model and forged energy into a form of a soul and infused the clay with this life giving energy. His efforts were a success.
But the God of All was upset. These clay beings were not what She envisioned. She believed soul and body should be one. So She limited the stature to which these creatures could grow so that they would always look up to the elves.
Thus, dwarves came into the World of Atlas. Dwarves conform to the Pathfinder Core Rulebook for stats and abilities except for a few differences.
When a dwarf dies a heart-shaped rock (beating heart not valentine) appears on the plane of earth tied to the location of his death. This is the dwarf’s soul stone. The body decomposes through time, but not like a human. The body gradually resorts back to clay. Most animals will not eat a dead dwarf. Stone Giants consider dwarf flesh a delicacy. So do Dao, Xorns, earth elementals, and many other earth rune creatures. Dwarf blood is brown and when wounded a dwarf can look like he just took a swim in a muddy river. Dwarf skeletons fossilize very quickly.
When a dwarf dies the clay with which the dwarf was forged is ruined. A soul stone remains, however. To raise the dead dwarf a new block of clay must be crafted. The clay then needs to be reanimated with the soul of the slain dwarf. This requires the soul stone of the dwarf and an earth rune focus. With these in hand, a cleric or other reanimating force can raise a dwarf. Theoretically dwarves never have to die. They can keep replacing their bodies with new clay molds. They then need to rehab for a long time. They start with 0 strength and dexterity and increase at 1 point per day plus will modifier. The adventurer can allocate the points as he sees fit.
Male and female dwarves mate in a sexual act very reminiscent of Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore in ghost. They shape a baby in clay and both and female infuse life force into the shape they create. The clay then becomes a baby. The baby’s life cycle then follows a human’s very closely with adolescents arrive around 13 and full adulthood by 21.
Dwarven skeletons, zombies, wights, shadows, vampires, liches, etc. do not exist. Dwarven ghosts can be controlled if the dwarf’s soul stone is stolen from the earth plane and commanded. After one year after a death, an earth spirit will collect a dwarf’s stone and the dwarf can no longer be raised.
Dead dwarf clay is a fundamental component to creating clay golems.
Dwarves arrived in Wheland a century before the Great Flood. There is great enmity between dwarves and goblins due to events related to this arrival. Goblins hate dwarves more than dwarves hate goblins. A DC 30 history check is required to know the backstory. A document called Whelish History – DC 30 is in the works to provide detail to adventurers seeking this level of knowledge. Dwarven PCs get a +5 racial bonus on this roll.