In Waincraft, there are recognized many levels of beings with corresponding power and influence over the world. Previous posts have discussed some of the details concerning the biggest of these – those spirits and beings usually considered deities by various cultures, who embody and exemplify various overarching realities and concepts typically common across existence.
The second largest level of beings are the Tribes of our kin, both in the Otherworld and in the flesh-and-blood that share this earth with us, who appear often in the form of animals, whether in dreams, in walking between worlds, or in physical encounters. These are the totems, the power animals, the plant allies, and also the beings who dwell in the Tribal structure of the Otherworld, who share their essence and shapes with the animal of their Tribe.
The third level is that of the Fair Folk, spirits of creation and nature, who rule over the lesser wights, and are generally of the same power/influence as humanity. These are broken up into two distinct groups, which for ease of communication and lack of better alternatives, I have termed Dwarves and Elves. The group we will discuss here are the Dwarves, masters of craft, skill and making.
The Lords of Making are not, unlike their elven counterparts, associated with a particular place or type of the nature that surrounds us (though they may certainly prefer specific places and types of environment and congregate there – e.g., Stone Dwarves may tend to be more easily found in mountains, caves and quarries). Instead, they deal with the fabric and essences behind the easily visible, leading to their typical dwelling in the under-earth or even Underworld, where essences and materials are at their purest and most malleable. They can be loosely categorized into five different “clans” or specialties, each focused on a particular raw material – stone, metal, clay, wood, and fabric/thread (these Dwarves also deal with non-physical materials, as many of them specialize in working with the threads of wyrd and the Web of existence.)
As a general rule, they don’t desire to have dealings with the majority of the rest of the cosmos, preferring to stay behind the scenes. But those who do gain their attention may have the opportunity to learn the secrets of creation, particularly if they themselves work with one of the Dwarven mastercrafts – sculptors, masons, smiths, jewelers, potters, carvers, carpenters, spinners, weavers, tailors and wyrd-workers, among others. And those who do have the blessing of the Dwarves may find their projects easier, more profitable, and of increasing complexity and quality under their tutelage and good favor.
They most love a challenge, though if you make a deal with them, they will hold you to the letter of the agreement, and do not ever think to cheat them in payment for their services, for they have long memories and a great capacity for grudge and malice. And since they work behind the scenes, you may not even realize what’s going on – luck changes, previously sure things fall apart, relationships implode or explode, behaviors and moods may be affected, nightmares and other bad dreams abound.
The best way to have contact with these spirits is in darkness, for they tend to shun the light. Outside at nighttime is best, though dark caves, dark rooms and shadowy places are also good. Be sure to have offerings of value, though remember that they don’t really fuss about things like food as other spirits do. They do appreciate a good drink, and metals, precious stones and handmade objects are generally a good idea.
Probably the most important thing to remember is that, with the exception of the Powers, who are vast and abstract enough that they can take on several faces, so to speak, as we move down the line to the “smaller” beings, their individuality and personality solidifies. Thus, while the Lord of the Mountain may be the same Power by two different names in two places, those Dwarves (and Elves, and other, lesser beings) who inhabit a particular mountain are unique to that mountain, and its essence is a part of them though they may travel throughout the Worlds. For example, then, a Stone Dwarf (we’ll name him Fred) from Mount St. Helens will still be that same dwarf if it traveled to the Sierra Nevada or Mount Wachusett. Should Fred meet a Stone Dwarf from Wachusett (named Peter), that does not mean they are the same Dwarf at all, even if they look similar, for they are of different essences. So, when dealing with spirits other than the Powers, do account for the fact that, as a general rule, these are individuals first and foremost, though they may share things in common with the rest of their kind.