The Duergar are a different linguistic / cultural branch of Dwarfs. They culturally evolved in Zarhuy, largely separated from the other dwarfs for a long time, particularly since the Age of Calamities from the First Century a.a.H., until new passages in Kazrrad were discovered and new trading routes established.
The differentiation between Dwarves and Duergar as said is mostly linguistic and cultural, and largely, geographic. Duergar are currently known to exist almost entirely in Zarhuy.
It is true that the two groups are somewhat at odds due to the language and cultural differences. The "dwarves" do paint the "duergar" as being faithless and untrustworthy as they go about 'un-dwarflike' ways, mainly being willing to trade, travel, and having non-rigid societies able to adapt to other, non-dwarven societies.
In the world of Aiers, the duergar might seem more open and friendly than the dwarves to human travelers and traders. But it is also true that while they might well be more friendly, they are certainly not more trustworthy than the more parochial and insular dwarves.
Albeit, most of the Duergar groups might be characterized as being isolated due to geography and opposing races, and so might be forced to be in isolation by circumstances. They might effectively be just as isolated as the Dwarfs of Aels but have a powerful need to trade to obtain goods in the greater, and sometimes more desolate, continent of Zarhuy relative to Aels.
The commonly seen, and sometimes amoral seeming, Farian Duergar color perceptions of the others by being the most northernmost Duergar and being the most seen.
Known Duergar PeoplesEdit
- Farian -- Physically, small duergar dwarfs. The duergar of Faria are those that exemplify and exaggerate the good and evil of the 'duergar' and the perception of the group more than the others. They are the most commonly seen and worldly of the dwarf traders. Great caravans travel about Zarhuy, particularly the length of the continent, up and down the Vanilion Road.
- Warfen -- Duergar who operate a major mine in the central mountains of Zarhuy, southeast of Faria. They have expertly carved facades in cliff faces, well engineered water usage, and trade with caravans along the Vanilion Road. Not much is yet known of them.
- Kaiehm -- This group lives somewhat isolated within the great Kaiehm Mountain. Despite their isolation in an underground world cut off from Kazrrad, they are reasonably well advanced. They seem to have some old connection to the Nortunk dwarfs, some question if they should be considered 'Duergars' at all or 'Dwarfs' instead.
- Speculation: It might be that the Kaiehm Duergar are the result of ethnic mixing between native Duergar peoples and Nortunk colonists before the First Century a.a.H.?
- Stiel -- The Stiel Duergar of the Stiel Mountains, large duergar dwarfs, the largest of Zarhuy, possibly of the world of Aiers. Much taller, and weighing as much or more than humans. They live in the Stiel Hills to the west of Lake Zher. They are rather likely to be found living and farming on the surface, and willing to become boatmen in trading and fishing on the great lake.
- Odenberg -- The duergar dwarfs that inhabit the central mountains of Zarhuy. They are surrounded by potential foes/ trading partners in the form of humans, kanovs, elves and dragons and Draak Harg.
- Zul -- A group of duergar dwarfs that live in the Zul Mountains. Little has been revealed of this group at this time.
Meta Differences from "Dungeons and Dragons"Edit
The "Duergar" are to be found in the various editions of the "Dungeons and Dragons" game system. In the context of the game, they are a 'monster' race of 'evil' dwarfs. Portrayed in some editions as an evil touched, magic 'porcupine-dwarf' race. In Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition, they are sort of the dwarf version of the human derived Tiefling race.
There are generally no fundamental differences between 'dwarfs' and 'duergar' on Aiers, other than perhaps some interbreeding in the case of the Stiel duergar, and the duergar peoples developing in some isolation. Otherwise, the only differences are cultural and linguistic.