Dragon Issue #278

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Beards and battleaxes! Forges and Anvils! Dragon Magazine #278 delves into the daring lives to of the ambitious and industrious dwarves. Discover what it’s like to be a dwarf—from solemn birth, through arduous apprenticeship, to heroic death in battle! Speak the Dwarven language and cry havoc with a dwarven battle-cry! Gain the ancient wisdom of dwarves by learning their proverbs, and understand their role in legend and literature. Inside you’ll also find new fiction from Paul Kidd, "Vs. Duergar," dwarven class combos, the heroes of Ravens Bluff, and "Countdown to the Forgotten Realms." Hoist your hammer, fill your flagon, and check out this issue to get the most from your game!

by Kenneth Hite

From Alberich of the Ring to Rumpelstilstkin to Thorin Oakenshield, the dwarves have a role in fantasy well out of proportion to their physical stature. However, they have almost become victims of their own recent success, burying much of their glorious past. To add inspiration, or at least understanding, to the dwarves in your fantasy game, it’s worth doing a little digging in the lost mines of lore and literature.

by Sean K Reynolds

Dwarven myths say that Moradin the Soul-Forger, head of the dwarf pantheon, created the first dwarves, forging them from metals and gems in the fires that lie at the heart of the world, breathing life—the dwarven soul—into their forms when he blew on them to cool them. It is no wonder that such an enduring race would create a language and script that would persist almost intact for thousands of years and be adapted by a wide variety of creatures. Check out this article to learn more about the Dwarven language.

by Owen K.C. Stephens

Each race has its own way of fighting. Most elves believe in subtle tactics and maneuvers. Many halflings prefer stealthy attacks. Virtually all half-orcs charge into battle swinging heavy weapons until nothing is left moving. Humans, if they believe in anything as a group, just want to get the job done. Dwarves are old hands at fighting and know it begins with a stirring battle-cry—the louder the better. A battle-cry is more than just an expression to a dwarf. It’s a declaration of war. Although it might seem bloodthirsty to other races, a rousing war-call lets a dwarf tell you who’s about to take you down and why. Dwarves invoke their ancestors, weapons, god, history, and even personal virtues in a good battle-cry. A loud battle-cry is also a sign of courage, proof that the dwarf need not resort to stealth or subtlety to defeat his enemies. Some battle-cries have been used by dwarves for generations, while others are born from the heat of combat. They range from the lyrical to the downright inarticulate. Check out this article to create a dwarven battle-cry of your own.

by Cory Herndon

Lee Arenberg is not a dwarf to be trifled with. Nearly everyone has seen Arenberg act, even if they can’t quite place his face. A veteran of dozens of films and numerous television shows, Arenberg’s roles have won him notoriety on Seinfeld, all three “next gen” Star Trek series, and the critically acclaimed (and sorely missed) Fox series Action to name but a few. Between appearances at the D&D movie booth at this year’s Gen Con, Lee was kind enough to take some time to speak with Dragon about crossbeams, video games, and the “dwarf walk.” Check out this article for the interview and detailed descriptions of the movie characters and the actors and actresses who play them.


Hallways flicker with lantern light; tunnels ring with the sound of steel on steel; smoky chambers shine with the red-hot glare of forge-light. Dwarves live in a world of fire and iron, of stone and darkness. But dwarves are more than smiths and warriors; they are also practiced merchants, carpenters, and priests; loving fathers and doting mothers; and pious sons and daughters. To dwarves, smoky underground caverns are familiar and comfortable. But hidden underground as they are, much of dwarven lives, rituals, and customs remain a mystery to outsiders. Read on, and discover a “typical” dwarven life from beginning to end. Enter a dwarven stronghold, and see how dwarven souls are shaped, live, and die.

Due to licensing restrictions, the PDF Download edition of this issue does not include Phil Foglio's What's New with Phil & Dixie or Keoland Blues by Paul Kidd.

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Scarab Sages Starfinder Design Lead

I ASSUME dwarven war-cry technology hasn't advanced too much in the 19 years since I wrote the article in this issue...

Not unless it has made it so dwarves can do it as sub-sonic.

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