Guide Art Direction – Mostali

Here is the recent art direction for Gloranthan Dwarves.

The picture is a full page black and white depicting three to five different Mostali (Gloranthan dwarfs). All are humanoid, in that they have two arms, two legs, a torso, and a head. Beyond that, they have very little in common with humans, being biological constructs manufactured to maintain and repair the World Machine. Dwarfs range from about 24 to 55 inches in height and between 22 and 165 pounds in weight. They are grotesque-looking to humans (but not hideous or repulsive) with disporoportionately short limbs, often hunchbacked or otherwise distorted. Their deformities are deliberate to aid them in carrying out their tasks, which they perform without aging. Many have beards, long eyebrows, and wirery hair that serve as sensory organs in the dark. They are cold, shrewd immortals whose every action is predicated upon careful calculation.

Possible Dwarf Types: I think we should have 3-5 dwarfs. At least one should be an Iron Dwarf, but the rest can be whatever you think looks good.

Iron Dwarf: These are the blacksmiths of dwarfdom, devoted to the science of war. They forge and use the weapons of dwarfdom. They literally are their armor, think Dürer’s Rhinoceros (, with impassive iron masks for faces. I imagine something like a more ferocious version of this: Arcane Runes (especially Death, Law, and Stasis) are engraved on their armor. Iron Dwarfs are nightmarish combat monsters; less Gimli than the Terminator. They are armed with wicked axes, and a brace ornate of wheel-lock pistols (

Gold Dwarf: These are the mind of Mostal. They are teachers, and maintain the continuity of dwarf society through correct project management and indoctrination. This dwarf is wise, cruel, and versed in secret lore. He is ugly and grotesque, but still presentable to humans, and wears ornate gold talismans, rings, bracelets, as well as clothes designed to impress inferior species such as humans.

Rock Dwarf: These dwarfs mine, quarry, dress, and build with stone. They are the architects and sculptures of dwarf society. They are the least human looking of the dwarfs, with stunted limbs, large shovel-like hands. Think of a cross between a Mole-man and a maggot – they have no skills or inclination to interact with inferior mortal races. This dwarf carries stone mason tools on belts (something like a bandolier) – mallets, chisels, straight edges, punch hammers, and so forth. The Rock Dwarf might be attaching a Lewis to a block of stone or similar masonic work.

Silver Dwarf: These dwarfs are the enchanters and sorcerers. This dwarf has blue-black corpse-like skin, black, rimless eyes, black hair, and a wild beard like Alan Moore ( It ugly and grotesque, with disproportionately short limbs, and hunchbacked. It carries a small iron cage enscribed with arcane symbols, within which it has trapped some powerful energy source (perhaps the souls of mortals, or even a small god).

Quicksilver Dwarf: These dwarfs know the arts of transmutation and the science of alchemy. They brew terrible compounds in their fuming labs. This dwarf wears some strange respirator device, and protective clothing, perhaps like a bizarre plague doctor costume:( The “beak” of the respirator is covered in fine runes and emits fumes, and the dwarf’s eyes are protected by goggles. It has extremely long fingers which make it easier to mix and weigh compounds.

Related Pages