Urdunnir

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The dwarfiest dwarf that ever dwarfed!

Urdunnir (Orecutters), also known as Sonsannans (Stonefriends), are a magical or planetouched branch of the dwarf race native to the Forgotten Realms and Nentir Vale settings of Dungeons & Dragons, characterized by their innate affinity for earth elementalism. They resemble normal dwarves (specifically, mountain dwarves), but are distinguished by their gray skin & hair colors, and their metallic silver eyes. Female urdunnir do not have beards, but the males do, and take a typically dwarfish pride in their grooming. Their elfin counterparts are the Rockseer Elves.

Forgotten Realms[edit]

The Urdunnir of Faerun first appeared in the 3rd Monstrous Compendium Annual and the Fiend Folio, which presented them as a Neutral aligned "monster" race. According to the lore presented in this sourcebook, the Urdunnir were originally mountain dwarves, but during the early days of their creation, the god Dumathoin grew angry at the way that the dwarves burrowed into his caves and mountains in pursuit of gems and ore. Though his initial rage cooled quickly, he took a number of dwarf clans and magically reshaped them, granting them the ability to manipulate earth, stone and metal to their will without needing to destroy it. He also mutated them so that they required gemstones to feed upon, and gave each clan an "orchard" of self-replenishing gemstones. Obviously, the urdunnir guard these with their lives, and it has made them bitter enemies of the xorns.

Urdunnir can walk through solid stone as if it were air, and manipulate stone at will - a common tactic is to drag an attacker partially or wholly into stone with them and then leave them there, which can imprison them or even kill them, depending on how they use this trait. By concentrating, they can also affect metal; they can use this to destroy an opponent's armor, or twist a metal weapon into uselessness as it hits them, which has the added effect of cushioning them from the blow. Like dwarves, urdunnirin have a clan-based society, with each clan specializing in finding and shaping a certain substance. Known clans include Marble, Gold, and Ruby. Each clan is lead by an Alird, or "Gold Lord", who can shape metal as intuitively as other urdunnir can shape stone.

They were subsequently updated to Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition in two splatbooks; "Monsters of Faerun" covered them as monsters, whilst Races of Faerun presented them as a playable race, expanding significantly upon their lore in the process. According to 3e, Urdunnir believe themselves to have been chosen by Dumathoin, and have a strangely druidic (or elfin) perspective; unlike other dwarves, they have no real martial traditions, but instead seek to live in harmony with their environment. They see Dumathoin’s vast creation as a great sea of earth and stone, ever-changing and always beautiful. They view their role in the world as that of both observer and artisan, working in harmony with Dumathoin’s creation to unlock the secrets the Silent Keeper has hidden within. Their culture is extremely conservative, and defined by their pursuit of ever-greater skill in crafting stone, gems and metal. Adventuring urdinnir are extremely rare... but, they do exist.

To play an urdunnir in 3rd edition, use the Dwarf statblock, but with the following changes:

4 racial bonus on saving throws against poison: Urdunnirs are even more resistant to toxins than other dwarves.
Stone Walk (Su): Urdunnirs can pass through stone and earth as if it were air. They can carry up to twice their own body weight with them in this manner. Urdunnirs (and anyone carried with them) cannot breathe while within stone or earth and must hold their breath while traveling in this manner.
Stone Shape (Sp): At will as an 8th-level sorcerer.
Shape Metal (Sp): At will as an 8th-level sorcerer once per round. This power works just like the shape metal spell, except that urdunnirs can only affect 5 cubic feet of metal. Using this ability is a full-round action.
Automatic Languages: Dwarven, Undercommon. Bonus Languages: By region.
Favored Class: Expert.
Level Adjustment: +4.

Nentir Vale[edit]

The existence of uirdunnir in the Nentir Vale setting comes from the Essentials splatbook "Heroes of the Elemental Chaos", and consists of a single short sidebar. Urdunnir dwarves are a culture of Underdark-dwelling dwarves who have been blessed by Dumathoin (described here as an elementall lord) with earth elemental powers, which is mechanically handled by the entire race having the Earthforger character theme. They are described as the best metalworkers and artisans of all the dwarven peoples, using their elemental powers to reach weird veins of metal that no ordinary dwarf can access - a peaceful people by preference, but also willing to battle against the evil races of the Underdark.

Mechanically, playing an Urdunnir in 4e is just "play a Dwarf with the Earthforger theme". What this means mechanically is simple:

Your Origin is Elemental.
You can speak, read & write the Primordial language.
You gain a +1 bonus to all defenses when you use your Second Wind.
You have the Racial Encounter Attack power Stone Panoply, which can be used as a standard action. It requires you to be on the ground, but then makes an attack with your highest ability modifier vs. the AC of all creatures in a close burst 1, dealing 1[W]/tier + highest ability modifier damage on a hit. As a side effect, you also gain Damage Resistance (All) 1 + 1/2 your level at the cost of being Slowed, with both traits lasting until the end of your next turn.
At level 5, you gain a +2 power bonus to Endurance and using Stone Panoply turns the target area into a zone of difficult terrain for creatures without Earth Walk until the end of the encounter.
At level 10, you can reduce the distance of Pull, Push and Slide effects on you by 1 square.

You also gain access to three optional utility powers; Earthforger's Might (Daily, must be on the ground to use, as a minor action you gain a +2/tier power bonus to melee damage rolls & Strength checks until encounter's end or you are no longer on the ground) at level 2, Earthforger's Passage (Encounter, you can move your speed with the Earth Walk trait, phasing through earth and stone) at level 6, and Tremor Step (Daily, can't be used if you're not on the ground, as a minor action, sustain minor, gain an aura 2 that is difficult terrain for enemies without earth walk, lasts as long as you sustain it or until you lose contact with the ground) at level 10.