Writing Every Day in February: Day 16

More about the folk costume of Realmgard’s Dwarves than you’ve ever wanted to know.

I decided pretty early on in writing Realmgard that my Dwarves were going to be German, or at least Germanic, so the whole united Dwarf-Goblin monarchy sort of comes across as Realmgard’s Austria-Hungary, to the point that I’m working under the assumption that Goblins should have Hungarian names.

Of course, that doesn’t quite fit with how Realmgard is supposed to relate to real-world history. Realmgard is circa the 1600s, Austria-Hungary didn’t existed until 1867. So, if anything, that means that the Dwarf-Goblin alliance (proper name pending) is probably closer to Poland-Lithuania than Austria-Hungary, but that may be splitting hairs.

Realmgard is, of course, a fictional Fantasy world, so it doesn’t need to be a 1:1 fit with the real world.

Anyway, today was a good chance to do a little worldbuilding.

“What’s that thing on your face?” Matilda asks Pela.

“Are you making a joke about my nose?” Pela asks defensively. People always seem to have mean jokes ready about Goblin noses.

“Wh-what? No! We’re friends, aren’t we? I meant the thing you’re wearing on your face,” Matilda says.

“Oh, you like my make-up?” Pela asks. “No offence, but I don’t think you have the skin tone for it. Green make-up really only works on people who are already green.”

“No. Your scarf. I’m asking about your scarf,” Matilda says.

“Oh. The scarf Duh,” Pela replies. “Why didn’t you just say so?”

Matilda awkwardly clears her throat and glances away. “You didn’t give me a chance,” she mutters. She turns back to Pela. “So, uh, what’s the deal with the scarf?”

“My Oma — my Grandma, Dads’ Mom — knit it for me. It’s the traditional Dwarven style of scarf,” Pela explains. “I’ve got a bunch. It feels like she knits a new one every Tuesday, or so.”

“I didn’t even know there was a traditional Dwarven style of scarf,” Matilda says.

Pela nods. “Dwarves come from up in the mountains. It can get pretty cold up there, so they’ve been making scarves like this for generations,” she says.

“Ah,” Matilda says.

“It’s kind of a funny story,” Pela continues. “Foreigners writing about them talked about the Dwarves wearing these scarves, but they must not have explained it very well, because before too long, everyone was talking about how every Dwarf had a beard, even the women and the kids.”

“Well, it looks good,” Matilda offers.

“Warm, too,” Pela asks. “Depending on what they’re made of, they can get a little itchy, though.”

“Are there many other Half-Goblins?” Matilda asks.

“Well, yeah,” Pela answers. “The Dwarf Kingdom and the Goblin Kingdom united a couple hundred years ago, so Dwarves and Goblins live together in the same communities.”

“But I thought Dwarves and Goblins don’t like each other,” Matilda notes.

Pela shrugs.

“Sure, maybe back a long time ago. There’s the legends about the Ten Thousand Year War, and all — even though none of them are true, by the way. Nobody actually believes there was really a war that really lasted ten thousand years,” she says. “I mean, sure, the Dwarves and Goblins did fight wars, but not any more than any other two neighbouring kingdoms anywhere else in Realmgard have.”

“So how they’d end up uniting?” Matilda asks.

“When other kingdoms started trying to conquer the Dwarf Kingdom and the Goblin Kingdom, the kings realised it made more sense to stop fighting each other and start fighting off them,” Pela explains. “Makes sense, Dwarves and Goblins both believe in strength in numbers. The kingdoms eventually realised they’d be at least twice as strong together than alone. And it’s mostly worked out so far.”

Pela pulls down her scarf and smiles broadly.

“I mean, hey, if it’d never happened, I wouldn’t have a Dwarf grandmother, and then how would I keep my face warm in the winter?” she asks.

I think this was also a pretty novel way to address the whole ‘female Dwarves have beardsthing. Incidentally, that the female Dwarves in the upcoming Amazon Lord of the Rings show do not apparently have beards has made a not insubstantial portion of the fanbase go absolutely ballistic.

I present this information without comment. Because, hey, Internet gonna Internet.


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