So for my book I kind of wanted things to be the same but different. So I've just done some work on my Dwarves and have taken that line with them. Here's the passage I've written. I want it to be refreshing from what people have previously seen of Dwarves but at the same time I want it to feel familiar. Does it achieve this: The Dwarves are a short race of fierce warriors and master craftsmen. Until recently The Dwarves dwelt in massive underground fortresses. However some 260 years ago (within a Dwarf’s lifetime.) They fought a war known as the Deepwar with creatures known as the deepspawn. During the Deepwar most of the Dwarven cities were lost, leaving only a few small settlements near the surface. Nowadays the defeated Dwarves mostly live in human settlements. Dwarves worship a great collective conscience of their deceased ancestors. However after losing the Deepwar many rejected the faith, many worshipping the human God Baelar. Drinking alchohol in Dwarven society is considered a sin, however many Dwarves have fallen into depression and apathy and have turned to drinking. Dwarves are also gifted with the art of Stoneshaping, which allows them to shape stone and metal using a secret language. Once all Dwarves were versed in the Stonetongue but over time the art became more exclusive and in the Deepwar most of the Stoneshapers were killed, leaving only a scant few left. Stoneshaping allows Dwarves to create weapons and structures unrivaled by other races. A stoneshaped tower for example could be made of a single piece of stone. The High Thane Kuzahk Hazun Zak’Zirigahn has ordered the creation of great war machines and is planning a campaign to regain the old Dwarven Empire. Well that's the passage. There are a few things I'd like to address from it. The first is the religion. In fantasy series the religions are usually all just Christianity stand-ins. So I wanted something a bit different. I'm not sure but would you say that's like Buddhism but without the reincarnation? I'm sure I've heard something about joining a higher conscience when you die. Secondly is Stoneshaping. Pretty much all fantasy series talk about Dwarves being master craftsmen but it's never said how or why humans can't learn these arts. I think that Stoneshaping is a reasonably good explanation. Next is drinking. I like the idea of a drunken Dwarf but I thought I turn it on it's head a bit without completely abolishing it. I think a lot of people would start drinking heavily if their race was almost wiped out. Finally is the war machines. Lots of series nowadays give Dwarves some steampunk vibes. I like a bit of steampunk but there's rarely an explanation given as to why the Dwarves are so technological. I think an attempt at regaining their empire is a good one though. But of course I want your opinions more than mine. What are your thoughts? Is it good? Sorry for the long post.