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Thread: Dwarven Wedding

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    Default Dwarven Wedding

    My Lawful neutral dwarf charater is going to get married on one of the sessions to come, we are all very excited about it, and almost every NPC that we have met is invited.

    What sort of traditions would happen on a dwarven wedding? What kind of games would be celebrated on it?

    We just finished our adventure on Undermountain, so we got a lot of money and my dwarf has his own fortress (with a little army of griffon-riders), so money and that sort of things should not be a problem.
    Last edited by zinycor; 2017-03-07 at 08:29 PM.
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    Wait, there are two genders of Dwarfs? Or does the one gender intermarry?

    Whatever the case, I think that metalwork would play a role. Rings might be replaced with intricate armbands or similar. Family/house might play a role, as a formal occasion names will probably be followed by a list of ancestors' names up to your great-grandparents, further if they are of particular note. House gifts and so on will probably be similar, if slightly more dwarfish. Dancing should be replaced with something... not sure what though. Most representations of dwarf celebrations are post battle which is a very different feel. More to life than battle though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cluedrew View Post
    Wait, there are two genders of Dwarfs? Or does the one gender intermarry?

    Whatever the case, I think that metalwork would play a role. Rings might be replaced with intricate armbands or similar. Family/house might play a role, as a formal occasion names will probably be followed by a list of ancestors' names up to your great-grandparents, further if they are of particular note. House gifts and so on will probably be similar, if slightly more dwarfish. Dancing should be replaced with something... not sure what though. Most representations of dwarf celebrations are post battle which is a very different feel. More to life than battle though.
    To continue on this. A dwarf with probably be expected to craft the ring/wedding jewelry themselves. Also, similar to how some western cultures keep the top of the wedding cake to eat on the first anniversary, a dwarf couple might have a special drink brewed for the occasion and save a bottle or two for significant milestones later on.

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    Default Re: Dwarven Wedding

    yeah, 2 genders for dwarves. the bride to my character has a very feminine beard.

    Edit: As for metalworks, my character is not really a smith, is a very good miner and an excellent brewer. In fact he is part of brewer clan, and the bride is part of a Miner clan.
    Last edited by zinycor; 2017-03-07 at 09:25 PM.
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    It's pretty common across human cultures for weddings to involve big expensive parties (where all three words in this description are relative to the daily life of those being wed) tied to solemn ceremonies which usually involve some sort of religious official. These are extremely broad categories, and could easily be applied to dwarven cultures. A few ideas, in both categories:

    Big Expensive Parties
    • Light. Dwarves generally either have darkvision of some sort or operate with torches and other limited light underground. Light is a luxury, and having weddings be almost a festival of lights could be interesting. There's a central fire where dwarves throw in strange ores that burn in strange colors, there's a release of irridescent lightbugs, there's a tradition of drinking strong alcohol lit with pebbles of the bonfire.
    • Music. Unless there's a specific reason to think otherwise I generally assume that cultures have music. Tunnels tend to have lousy acoustics though, and that's without getting into how cramped they are for large instruments. Weddings are likely to be in bigger spaces, and among those wealthy enough music is played on several huge instruments that barely fit through most tunnels, all together at once. Picture taiko drumming with the biggest drums, and then throw in a few other oversized instruments.
    • Alcohol. It's not unusual for human weddings across several continents to feature alcohol heavily, and dwarves are usually depicted as making alcohol a much more central part of their culture. Lots of alcohol and nicer alcohol than that for daily consumption is likely.
    • The Toolgifting. Dwarves are usually portrayed as having a practical focused culture which also has an appreciation of wealth. The toolgifting is a part of this, at a wedding it is traditional for the engaged to buy a new and well made set of plain tools for their crafts. These are then handed out to the wedding guests, who work to make them ornate and beautiful. For poorer dwarves unlikely to have an older set from before they were wed, they instead present the old set and the toolgifting is done during the wedding with simpler designs that take less time to make.
    • The Wedding Week. Historical human weddings could easily last multiple days, particularly for those wealthy enough to have far away visitors. For a species that lives hundreds of years, a wedding could be yet longer. This gives enough time for other wedding aspects.


    Solemn Religious Ceremonies
    • The Pantheon Rites. A bunch of dwarven priests of a whole host of dwarven gods gather, and each gives a short rite for the god(s) they represent. This generally includes the various incredibly minor deities that only the most devout are likely to acknowledge with any frequency on a day to day basis.
    • The Runecarving. There is a tradition among the dwarves of carving a new house rune at a wedding. Overseen by chanting priests, with one dwarf to be married using a two handed chisel while the other uses a two handed hammer, the dwarves to be wed carve a rune signifiying their marriage in stone on the clan wall.
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    Default Re: Dwarven Wedding

    Great ideas, the lights and tools as gifts are specially amazing ideas that I hadn't thought about.
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    I feel like there'd also be a certain amount of ritual warrior-culture type tests that are now mostly festive and semi-staged, but show clear roots to back when clans were less civilized and these marriages mattered a great deal.

    Ideas:

    Test of Discernment: The bride is given a dozen stones and must crack one with a hammer, revealing it to be a geode, valuable ore, etc. Naturally, the test is rigged, and every option is precious in its own way, leading many to use the test as an augury of sorts.

    Test of Strength: The groom wrestles his father to prove that he's a capable adult now. Regardless of their actual fighting ability, the groom is eventually allowed to win, but despite this, gambling on the match is traditional. (The gold goes towards helping recoup the cost of the festivities, so not betting is like not tipping)

    Test of Fortitude: Must drink a large flagon of a very potent, spicy beverage. If anyone in the crowd has a complaint about the marriage, they can step up to the table and drink a flagon themselves to force the couple to drink a second portion, meaning it's theoretically a drinking contest between the couple and anyone with any sort of grudge. Practically speaking, however, it's just a form of hazing, and the objectors are invariably the bride and grooms friends just looking to force additional drinks.

    Test of Axes: Must throw an ax at a target. This is very difficult and exciting because it's always after the test of fortitude. It's mostly entertainment for the guests.
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    HAHAHA I love the idea of rigged funny tests.
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    For some reason I'm picturing a mass combat with all of the people in the wedding, with each person headbutting other people with a very heavily reinforced helmet, and the first person to break their helmet is considered to have effectively won, much like catching a bouquet at a human wedding.
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    Default Re: Dwarven Wedding

    The ceremony starts with both dwarves walking in together, followed by the cleric, followed by the groom's mother, & the bride's father. The two parents barter for an exchange or favors/resources/mining rights, etc until they both agree on a fair trade. More disadvantaged or romantic dwarves "barter" a loaf of bread for a loaf of bread, while nobles deal with larger resources. After the agreement oaths & vows are said & the cleric noterizes them. The groom braids a lock of hair of the bride into his beard (if the women have beards too then they both do it) & the woman wears a circlet or hair band gifted by the man. The ceremony is a quiet affair in which both parties bring earth from their home, & after oaths & vows are made they pour a handful of dirt each into a vessel, mixing it together of which they will then spread at the threshold of their new home together. After filling the Marriage Vessel, the dwarves consumate, while the guests eat & celebrate. Afterwhich they are given marriage robes to wear for the rest of the celebration.

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    If they are from different calns, the wedding should represent both clans. Maeby each one should create something that is most of the time the territory of the other clan (the not miner will have to find some kind of a rare crystal or somethig like that.

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    Default Re: Dwarven Wedding

    Rather than cutting the cake, there's a traditional unsealing of a very good barrel of ale.

    Also, it is tradition to place large rocks, gravel, or other obstructions in front of the married couple's door. To get in, they need to clear it away. Their success at this is thought to show how successful their marriage will be.
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    A dwarven wedding is a very solemn and serious occasion with many formal roles and traditions.

    The Forge:
    Rather than an alter, a complete, functional, forge is the ceterpiece of the cerimony.

    The Rings:
    Dwarven wedding rings are not purchased prior to the wedding, instead each partner, during the exchange of vows forges a ring in full view of the guests, taking the time to carve in sacred runes, each wedding vow.

    Braiding:
    It is a little known fact that one can tell the marital status of dwarves by how their beard is braided. A braid on the left indicates being single, one on the right indicates a relationship, and one on both sides indicates marriage (Unbraided indicates a widow or widower). The couple, as part of the cerimony applies the correct beard braid to their spouse.
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    Default Re: Dwarven Wedding

    The braiding is a great idea, absolutely love it.
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    I envision a crier of some sort announcing each clan and reciting the lineage of those clans all the way back to the First Dwarf(s) or Dwarf deity. I don't think there would be any tests involved - that would be taken care of long before with each family scrutinizing the would-be new member. There should also be bargaining about which family/clan the newlyweds are a member of. After all, if your character is going to spend time doing favors for the mother-in-law, that will take time away from helping your own father. Drinking would make sense given common dwarven tropes and might be accompanied by singing and dancing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thinker View Post
    I envision a crier of some sort announcing each clan and reciting the lineage of those clans all the way back to the First Dwarf(s) or Dwarf deity. I don't think there would be any tests involved - that would be taken care of long before with each family scrutinizing the would-be new member. There should also be bargaining about which family/clan the newlyweds are a member of. After all, if your character is going to spend time doing favors for the mother-in-law, that will take time away from helping your own father. Drinking would make sense given common dwarven tropes and might be accompanied by singing and dancing.
    Looking for something more festive here.
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    Default Re: Dwarven Wedding

    I think it might do to draw some inspiration from the real world here, if only because there are so many different ways to get married all over the world.

    The one common trait with them though is a wedding is an opportunity to throw a party. What that party is depends on culture, but its is a chance to celebrate.

    For example, Hindu weddings are usually done before a bonfire and taking steps while reciting vows are common. So for dwarves why don't we make that a forge or anvil instead, and the vows are vaguely martial, or craft related. It might be the ceremony itself is very close, only the bride and groom along with the officiant and parents. The reception and party after is massive and involves extended family and friends and might go on for several days.

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    I like PTerry's idea of a Dwarf symbolically buying their partner from their in-laws by paying them the cost of raising their child to adulthood (which would also show the in-laws they should be able to support their family), with the in-laws then gifting the couple much more than that amount as wedding presents.

    You could have part of the ceremony being each partner having done something in their soon to be in-laws trade - eg, if the son of a smith married the daughter of a brewer, he might have to brew a fine ale for the toast to the couple, while she does something like make the tankards the guests will drink that ale from, or forging the cutlery they'll use in the feast (which will then be gifts to the attendees). Which would again prove they can support their family by not being reliant on one trade.

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    Given their attunement to stone and metal I imagine dwarven wedding rings would be more elaborate than typical for humans

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    Rather than exchanging rings, each of the partners gifts the other with a practical item they crafted themselves. Anything from an elaborate set of smithy's tools to a simple carved wooden ale mug, the important thing is that they invested time and effort in making it themselves. The skill involved is unimportant, its the dedication that shows the love. In some clans its even traditional to make something outside of your skillset, so as to challenge yourself and prove that this is special.
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    Do you know the entire family of your character and the bride? If not, have the DM or yourself write up about a dozen very different extended family members per family, about 1/3 of those being elderly, and one or two younger relatives. The way I see it dwarves care a lot about family and thus you can expect to see even the most distant relatives attend, even any possibly estranged ones. Also, think about how said family would react knowing your character owns a fortress and a small army. Would they be really proud? Would they be extremely jealous? Would that one cousin ask to come over for a drink sometime? If there is any time to introduce relatives that might make some good connections/hooks for later, it would be here.
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    You could have some more superstitions. For example, in some cultures, the groom is not allowed to see the bride in the wedding dress before the actual marriage. Or it is a bad omen if the groom fails to carry the bride over the threshold to the house, that kinda thing.

    (Probably not relevant to your case, but how do dwarf weddings deal with the bride already being pregnant? Is it a good omen because it shows the marriage will be fruitful? Is it bad? Do they just not particularly care at all?)

    For that matter, think about what those to be wed wear. Are those ceremonial robes as has been suggested? Are they wearing their most practical clothes, to show that they are ready for their craft at any time? Are they wearing their most ceremonial ones, including items particularly of note for the family (the axe of the clan founder, the chalice of the most famous warrior of the clan, etc)? [This is an option that invites thieves (=plot hooks) from outside the dwarf community.] In this case, your pick of item may be significant in the wedding vows. ("I bring my grandmother's sword to show I will protect our family from any harm." "I carry the mug of my great-granduncle, so that our marriage may be plentiful.") Hell, maybe they are even naked to signify a new beginning? Maybe their bodies or parts thereof are ceremonially painted with special minerals reserved for the occasion?

    How do dwarf weddings deal with non-dwarf guests? Are they allowed to be and do everything the dwarves can? Are there certain parts of the ceremony they are banned from? Do they have their own special area (kinda like the kids' table)? Do they have to somehow prove themselves worthy to be there to begin with? Will whoever invited them be held responsible for any missteps of theirs?

    Oh, and there is going to be plenty of food. Who makes it? Do the families just order what amounts to a catering service? Is everyone expected to bring food, making it a large potluck dinner? Are certain people expected to bring certain stuff? E.g. the mother of the groom (or closest female relative) has to make the traditional Cake of Mining, which takes several days and also conveniently keeps her occupied so she cannot mess with the wedding preparations.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samzat View Post
    Do you know the entire family of your character and the bride? If not, have the DM or yourself write up about a dozen very different extended family members per family, about 1/3 of those being elderly, and one or two younger relatives. The way I see it dwarves care a lot about family and thus you can expect to see even the most distant relatives attend, even any possibly estranged ones. Also, think about how said family would react knowing your character owns a fortress and a small army. Would they be really proud? Would they be extremely jealous? Would that one cousin ask to come over for a drink sometime? If there is any time to introduce relatives that might make some good connections/hooks for later, it would be here.
    I expect to have a lot of troubles on the wedding, with jealous relatives and some enemies that we made that are also invited to the wedding.

    It will be so much fun.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LokiRagnarok View Post
    You could have some more superstitions. For example, in some cultures, the groom is not allowed to see the bride in the wedding dress before the actual marriage. Or it is a bad omen if the groom fails to carry the bride over the threshold to the house, that kinda thing.

    (Probably not relevant to your case, but how do dwarf weddings deal with the bride already being pregnant? Is it a good omen because it shows the marriage will be fruitful? Is it bad? Do they just not particularly care at all?)

    For that matter, think about what those to be wed wear. Are those ceremonial robes as has been suggested? Are they wearing their most practical clothes, to show that they are ready for their craft at any time? Are they wearing their most ceremonial ones, including items particularly of note for the family (the axe of the clan founder, the chalice of the most famous warrior of the clan, etc)? [This is an option that invites thieves (=plot hooks) from outside the dwarf community.] In this case, your pick of item may be significant in the wedding vows. ("I bring my grandmother's sword to show I will protect our family from any harm." "I carry the mug of my great-granduncle, so that our marriage may be plentiful.") Hell, maybe they are even naked to signify a new beginning? Maybe their bodies or parts thereof are ceremonially painted with special minerals reserved for the occasion?

    How do dwarf weddings deal with non-dwarf guests? Are they allowed to be and do everything the dwarves can? Are there certain parts of the ceremony they are banned from? Do they have their own special area (kinda like the kids' table)? Do they have to somehow prove themselves worthy to be there to begin with? Will whoever invited them be held responsible for any missteps of theirs?

    Oh, and there is going to be plenty of food. Who makes it? Do the families just order what amounts to a catering service? Is everyone expected to bring food, making it a large potluck dinner? Are certain people expected to bring certain stuff? E.g. the mother of the groom (or closest female relative) has to make the traditional Cake of Mining, which takes several days and also conveniently keeps her occupied so she cannot mess with the wedding preparations.
    As for the clothing My character will be wearing a suit made from a Black dragon, and the bride will be wearing a dress made from a White Dragon (Fancy!!!).

    I like the idea of non-dwarf guests being on a "kids table".

    There will be lots of food, but the main dish will be red dragon meat.

    Damn... we have killed lots of dragons xDDD

    1 more thing, the king of my dwarven country has agreed to come to the wedding... that can only go wrong, so am very excited xD
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinycor View Post
    As for the clothing My character will be wearing a suit made from a Black dragon, and the bride will be wearing a dress made from a White Dragon (Fancy!!!).
    A... dress?

    Dare I ask what parts of the white dragon were used to make such a dress?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    A... dress?

    Dare I ask what parts of the white dragon were used to make such a dress?
    I don't know, am no leather worker xD

    EDIT: If I had to guess, I would say that most of the dress would pretty convencional except certain parts that would be covered with dragon scales, and maybe certain details would be made with dragon teeth.
    Last edited by zinycor; 2017-03-14 at 02:23 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinycor View Post
    yeah, 2 genders for dwarves. the bride to my character has a very feminine beard.
    Does she have a nice thick beard?

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    Non-dwarves in my head would be welcome, so long as they are capable of carrying out whatever cerimonial duties a dwarf of equivalent station would. "Oh Yes, you can be one of the groomsmen. Just make sure you are ready to carry your portion of the requisite giant rock"
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    Quote Originally Posted by eru001 View Post
    Non-dwarves in my head would be welcome, so long as they are capable of carrying out whatever cerimonial duties a dwarf of equivalent station would. "Oh Yes, you can be one of the groomsmen. Just make sure you are ready to carry your portion of the requisite giant rock"
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinycor View Post
    As for the clothing My character will be wearing a suit made from a Black dragon, and the bride will be wearing a dress made from a White Dragon (Fancy!!!).

    I like the idea of non-dwarf guests being on a "kids table".

    There will be lots of food, but the main dish will be red dragon meat.

    Damn... we have killed lots of dragons xDDD

    1 more thing, the king of my dwarven country has agreed to come to the wedding... that can only go wrong, so am very excited xD
    Oooh... A king in attendance? Sounds like some power hungry friends and family ought to be trying to gain favor with him during the event...

    Also, I feel like if you have a ceremonial armor set a suit really isnt necessary, because really why show up in a tux when you could wear engraved, gilded, etched, and decorated armor with pauldrons in the shape of and silk tabard decadently showing your heraldry that could be even more luxurious and showy. Or better yet use that dragonhide for the tabard
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