Dwarf, Aquatic

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Climate/Terrain: Temperate/Salt waterDiet
Frequency: Very rare
Organization: Clan
Activity Cycle: Any
Diet: Omnivorous
Intelligence: Very (11-12)
Treasure: M, Q (Y, Q x20, Ux2)
Alignment: Lawful Good
No. Appearing: 20-200
Armor Class: 5 (10)
Movement: Sw 6
Hit Dice: 1+1
THAC0: 19
No. of Attacks: 1
Damage/Attack: By weapon
Special Attacks: See below
Special Defenses: See below
Magic Resistance: See below
Size: S to M (4' and taller)
Morale: Elite (13-14)
XP Value: 270

Aquatic dwarves, sometimes humorously referred to as artesians, are a race of dwarves magically altered to live beneath the water. Like some of their air-breathing cousins, they are hard and unyielding enemies of chaos and evil.

They are muscular, but somewhat more slender than regular dwarves, standing 4 to 4½ feet tall and weighing 120 to 150 pounds. Their long hair is black or gray-green and their skin is typically a greenish brown. Aquatic dwarves favor long beards, to hide their gills, but they groom them little. They have webbed fingers and toes. Their clothing is simple and sparse.

Aquatic dwarves have the same racial ability modifiers as their land-dwelling brethren (see the Monstrous Compendium). Besides their own language, they often speak koalinth and merrow. These dwarves, however, cannot breathe air, and therefore can last only a few minutes out of the water.

Combat: Courageous fighters, aquatic dwarves dislike magic though they often train as priests. They receive the standard dwarven bonus to saving throws, as well as the penalties for using non-military magical items

These dwarves have carried over some of their racial hatreds and have acquired new ones as well. They add 1 to their attack rolls to hit koalinth, sahuagin, and merrow. Their size and training present problems for merrow and scrags, who must always subtract 4 from their attack rolls against the dwarves.

Aquatic dwarven armies are well organized and very well disciplined. They usually wear armor composed of shells or skins of various sea creatures (equivalent to scale mail). In addition to their shell mail, they also carry shields carved from the shells of large mollusks. A typical group of aquatic dwarves carry the following weapons: trident and short sword (30%), short sword and light crossbow (20%), harpoon and heavy crossbow (15%), harpoon and weighted net (15%), trident and light crossbow (10%), or short sword and shield (10%). These weapons may be composed of stones or bones, but are usually of metal which has been protected from deterioration by water dwarven priests.

For every 40 dwarves encountered, there will be a 2nd- to 5th- level fighter leading (roll 1d4 + 1 for level). An army or 160 or more will be led by a fighter/priest of 3rd- to 6th-level fighting ability and 4th- to 7th-level priest ability. The leaders have a 10% chance per fighter level of having magical armor and/or weapons, and a 10% chance per priest level of having a magical item specific to priests (so not subject to malfunction).

If encountered in their home, a water dwarven clan will have an additional 2d4 fighters of 2nd- to 5th-level, 1d6 fighter/ priests of 2nd- to 4th-level (in each class), females equal to 50% of the adult males, and children equal to 25% of the adult males. Water dwarven women are equal in armament and ability to males.

Habitat/Society: The origins of the aquatic dwarves have been lost. The few land-dwelling dwarves who know of them shun the aquatic dwarves, considering them to be horribly cursed. The aquatic dwarves have adapted well to their relatively new environment.

They can detect grade and slope of the ocean floor (1-5 on 1d6), determine approximate depth underwater (1-3 on 1d6), and detect items concealed by silt on the ocean floor (1-3 on 1d6 when actively searching, 1-2 on 1d6 when passing within 10')

Aquatic dwarves live on the floors of oceans and seas, usually seeking out singular habitations such as ravines, caverns, and mountains. They will often construct cities in the bases of islands. Water dwarven cities are guarded by troops at all times, and they sometimes (40%) use sea lions as guards.

The society of the water-dwelling dwarves is organized in clans like those of land dwarves. Clans gather together to form cities, settling near sources of raw materials for their crafts. Individual clans often specialize in certain skills or crafts

Aquatic dwarves strive for stability and continuity, building lasting structures and toiling to make beautiful, long-lived crafts. They do not prize material wealth as much as their brethren because of its more transitory nature in their environment. Gems, including pearls, and art treasures are very highly regarded, but metals are considered good only for quick trade.

These dwarves sometimes ally with other, non-evil aquatic races, particularly tritons. The dwarves have become a major element in the aquatic balance of power as great foes of evil races such as sahuagin, ixitxachitl, koalinth, kopoacinth, merrow, and scrags.

Ecology: Aquatic dwarves are skilled miners, engineers, and craftsmen, and will often trade their fine work for goods from other races. They are talented in creating art from shells, coral, and gems. Waterdwelling dwarves also work as smiths, though most such duties must be handled by priests and their spells (they are the only underwater manufacturers of finished metal tools and weapons). Water dwarven shell mail is also highly valued.