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Physical Appearances:
Delvers are short, squat creatures covered in hair. their frames are often bulky and muscular. Delver’s hair is incredibly thick and it is said that an axe blow would dull the axe, rather than cut a single strand. This is because the hair is actually made of densely compacted stone. Delvers hair, both men and women, are covered in gems. Many believe this to be because they hoard wealth, but the truth is far from that. Delvers often braid their hair in order to increase its density – this helps with the creation of the valuable stones that can be seen extruding from the heavy mass.

Delver hair colour range from a dull brown to a bright orange, with bright red being the most rare. Male delvers often sport heavy beards that they “braid” into a style, often chosen by their wives. Female Delvers are beardless, but are nonetheless as muscular as their male counterparts.

Society:
Delvers live ‘sheltered’ lives. That is to say, they don’t often step out from under the ground of Alteria. They dig around the insides of Dershan’s barren plane, finding hidden secrets that they refuse to share with anyone outside of the Delver Circles. The families of the Delvers are free to do whatever they wish, so long as they produce research, knowledge books and never stop delving into the secrets of Alteria. Most of the other races believe the Delvers to be called such because of their digging habits, but the Delvers are more than happy to let others believe this lie – after all, their true trade is secrets.

Failure to produce results will often lower the reputation of the family that the Delver is from. Worse yet, provided unfounded information would result in the Delver responsible undergoing the Ritual of the Depths. This is why most Delvers only truly bring forward knowledge when they have spent proper time evaluating it. Trying to rush to be the first to claim a discovery have sent many a foolish Delver to the Ritual of the Depths.

The Ritual of the Depths is a closely guarded secret among the Delvers. As most other races are unaware of what lies beneath Alteria’s surface. The Ritual of the Depths is a ceremony in which a Delver descends into ershan’s tunnels, often to never be seen again. This ritual is both a ritual of shame and a ritual of retirement. In order to ensure the ritual’s completion, a watcher is placed outside of the Depths, awaiting the return. Return too soon with no secrets and a Delver is forced back below, or attacked outright for turning their back on the tradition.

For the Delvers sent out of shame, they are told to go into the depths and return with never before uncovered secrets. If they return empty handed, they are shamed, turned to stone and forced to watch the Depths, and thereby their failure, until Alteria erodes. For the Delvers who set out for Retirement, they descend into the Depths to retrieve a secret. They are seasoned, gruff and have many secrets braided in their brains. If they think
they’re body is failing them, rather than die among those that would pilfer their knowledge, a Delver descends into the tunnels, fighting the dark creatures found below. If they return without knowledge, they are deemed not ready for retirement, as they somehow pulled themselves from the pits of the dark abyss.

If they return with a secret, not only are they deemed unfit for retirement, but they are revered as heroes and their names are carved into the Lorekeeper’s wall.

The Legend of Dershan:
Dershan did not step forth on the planes, for her saw what it was that they were built atop of. Rather than show himself curious, like the other Gods, Dershan struck his mighty arm into the underneath and climbed into the Plane’s underbelly. There he routed around in the darkness, trying to find the source of the land. He found such secrets of the Planes and he knew he could not tell the other Gods of what it is he found. During one quiet day, Dershan struck too hard a blow below the surface, causing a part of Alteria to fall into his chamber. With the rock and dirt he found some tiny white creatures.

They scrambled about and hurled in loud sounds. So mournful were the sounds that Dershan stopped mining to examine the small creatures. They were frail and had no knowledge. They wandered about, grabbing rocks and trying to eat them. So strange were these things with no knowledge that Dershan took pity upon them and bound a hair of his knowledge around their bald heads. From this bound hair, their own knowledge began to sprout. Great beards, so heavy with thoughts that it forced them to shrink in size. As they shrunk in size, however, they began to grow in ability.

Dershan left the now recovered creatures to their own as he went searching for more secrets of the Alteria. He searched for so many things and found such mundane information. He dug and dug and twisted within the bowels of Alteria until he finally found a new chasm. He entered this chasm and was shocked to see small creatures with large beards roaming about his creation. They used tools, had buildings and even spoke to one another in crude words. So surprised was he that he took one aside and unraveled the creature, only to reveal that outside of the creature’s essence was a single, solitary strand of hair – his hair.

These creatures had dug out their own room, found their own knowledge, yet they had started with none. So enthralled was Dershan that he let his essence flow freely to them. Knowledge came and many of the shortfolk began to scribe his secrets into their walls.

The God of Secrets and Knowledge walked among his proclaimed people and saw them discovering such mundane things that were like revelations to them. This ignorance was beautiful – for by lacking knowledge and yet,wanting knowledge, true discovery was born. Dershan lived among his people for a long while until Godswar began.

Unique Traits:
Delvers are immune to poisons or any other ailments of flesh. This is because they are, in fact, made of stone. Dershan’s essence made them hearty and strong. Any waste that is produced by their stone bodies is often extruded in the form of a crystallized gem. Originally, Delvers tossed their gems into the abyss – they saw no need for them.

As they came into contact with other races, they were surprised to see that the other races were not only fascinated with their excrement, but that they would do almost anything to get their hands on them. This is one of the reasons why almost all Delvers are financially stable. They don’t mind not telling people that they’re selling them their waste – if others are happy to pay for it, the Delvers are happy to sell.