Even in the swamp, these dwarves maintain their relationship with the earth. Their homes are shored up burrows similar to the halfling sod homes of Istrouma village. Mud dwarves mine black diamonds for a living — albeit a venture of dubious success, having producing only a handful of diamonds each decade. Their most interesting environmental adaptation is a smithing mill, a water-powered reciprocator for the casting of iron agricultural implements and weapons. Smelters and casters use the rushing of water under a waterwheel to operate their metallurgical bellows.
Mud Dwarves do not travel on boats, even after several generations inside the swamp, relying instead on Girthworms. They can often be heard to say, "We’re off like a herd of turtles!", at the beginning of even a short journey, because overland worm travel is muddy and slow at best. Hence, the name Mud Dwarves is not so much a derisive term as a literal description. This is not to say a boatlike conveyance or two are not on hand for life threatening emergencies, or that no dwarf has ever been fishing… it is just very rare. On those rare occasions, the dwarves use a gufa. Even the few brave enough to become waterborne are not brave enough to ride in an unstable pirogue or canoe!
Their food is bland. They eat meals of unspiced meats and tasteless vegetables. Mud dwarves have a modicum of trade established with both Creeps and Bayou Halflings. They prize oyster shells, trading their diamonds for the highest quality shells, polishing them to decorate the handles of their weapons and tools. Oddly, Mud Dwarves are the only known humanoid race that has been known to have limited contact with the Arachane (Father Longlegs to the dwarves). Mud Dwarf music is environmentally clever, consisting of turtle shell drums, conch shell horns, oak clappers, single-stringed bow harps, bullroarers (twisted wood waved through the air), ankle rattles, click-sticks, reed whistles, and cypress flutes.
The dwarves entertain themselves with dread grog, music, and pottery. The dread grog, sometimes referred to as swamp rum, is toxic. Non-dwarves that imbibe more than a few swigs of the green liquid are often left catatonic (Fortitude, DC 15, 3d20 hours) for hours, or even days. The recipe, consisting of wormwood, mandrake, henbane, aromatic herbs, tree resin and 80% alcohol, is not a secret — because no one wants it! Even Mud Dwarves can only drink it diluted and in small quantities, using wooden noggins to sip the grog.
Theodemere (thorp): Conventional; AL N; 300 gp limit; Population 191; Demographic isolated (Mud Dwarves 100%). Theodemere is located along Mudsnake Bayou.
Authority Figure: Zoghby Rustbucket, male Ftr7/Rgr5; AL CG; Survival 14, Survival 9; Track. All Mud Dwarves are distinct in appearance from other dwarves, possessing white eyelashes from birth. The odd color is a family trait of the surviving clan, not because of their environment.