Arcane Dust (D&D 5E Homebrew)
Dwarves are a proud & industrious race. Most dwarves live in one of a few above-ground Forge-Cities ruled by an oligarchy known as the Iron Council which oversees and schedules daily life for the inhabitants.
Legends speak of the great undermountain holds of the ancient Dwarves, though no living dwarf would speak about them willingly in public. At some time during the 100 year Apocalypse with his last breath Morridin, the progenitor god of the dwarves, cursed his offspring with the Curse of Earth, seemingly dooming the dwarven race. Since that time the dwarves have moved above ground in great steel citadels.
Outside of the Forge-Cities, large communes of Dwarves travel in armed caravans, sometimes numbering as many as a small village, but often closer to 80-100. These caravans travel the world trading services and finished stealwork products for food. Occasionally they're hired en-mass to construct or repair some fortification or produce arms and armor for an upcoming campaign. These caravans allow some dwarves to live outside the Forge-City construct, though they aren't without some rulership; usually in the form of a lead wagoner or smith in charge of contracts, work distribution, and most importantly rationing.
<h2>The Curse of Earth</h2>
With Morridin's dying breath he cursed his progeny:
Strike the Earth
Single minded in your endeavors
Steal all the metal in the Earth, it shall provide nothing further
The curse dominates dwarven life: Any earth a dwarf tills becomes salted, any land a dwarven lord owns becomes barren. Dwarves are incapable of any agriculture, though they may hunt and forage without difficulty. This curse affects all dwarven offspring, no matter how diluted the blood. Most monarchs require their vassals to appear and prove they have no dwarven heritage prior to bestowing lands upon them. Note: A dwarf cannot simply declare land his own and cause it to be barren: it must be awarded through a legitimate source and recognized by the society living there.
Because of the Curse of Earth, dwarves are often mistrusted in any Urban or Rural communities. Still, dwarves aggressively trade, and are often hired as mercenaries. Dwarven adventurers are very common, though sometimes unwelcome around more rural areas.
<h2> Dwarven Adventurers </h2>
Dwarven Barbarians are rare: most dwarves are part of a dwarven Forge-City or other commune. Those that forgo all trappings of society may become solitary loners who live off the land.
Dwarven bards are uncommon: because of the Curse of the Earth most dwarves are distrusted abroad. Inside their communes, dwarven life is strictly regulated and those who don't work are seen as lazy parasites. Still, there are those who recognize the need for entertainment and the collection of history bards provide.
<h3> Cleric </h3>
It is unknown why Morridin forsake his progeny; was he betrayed by the greed of his people, or vengeful for their lack of total mobilization? In either case since his fall the dwarven pantheon is no more. Instead the Faith of the Forge has replaced any other religious bodies in dwarven communities.
note: I'll add what domains are appropriate to the Faith of the Forge later.
<h3> Druid </h3>
Dwarven druids are even rarer than barbarians for much the same reasons. Despite the Curse of the Earth, which still affects dwarven druids, Druids are not otherwise impacted; cultivation and agriculture are civilization's attempt to control nature. Living in harmony with it is an entirely different thing.
<h3> Fighter </h3>
Dwarven fighters are very common: Dwarven arms and armor are considered the best among non-magical equipment, and dwarves often produce the stock pieces for Magickt items.