Westerners is the colloquial name of people belonging to the western (Dwarves dominated) group of cultures of which only that of Prosenial officially remains.
While the Lands south-west of Prosenial (centered around Szilhirnu) also belonged to Westerners for most of the shattered History of Island Inquest, the Occupation by Drusseodia replaced most of it.
Because of this, talking about Westerners is almost (but not quite) synonym for talking about Prosenial Inhabitants and Brussals Population specifically.
Major language groups and dialects
The language of Prosenial and the Dwarves has not stayed the same but was always in a flux. As such, it is usually only by selecting arbitrary flags in the shattered History that one might find Versions that are different enough to appear as if they are different languages.
As it takes a long while to complete these changes, usually most important texts were adapted, translated, or told anew.
Currently, the official language is the Prosenial language.
Common Dress code
All clothing is centered around framing the Beard as epitome of each Dwarves Identity and in some cases hiding behind protruding costumes might even be considered as creating a Canvas for the same.
Traditionally many Dwarves like to wear clothing that is either indicative of great dexterity or a display of prowess in a skill, often black- or silversmithing.
On less intimidating clothing, the interlocked ring pattern of chain mail is still very common and a finely woven or embroidered robe is often considered even greater handiwork than the finest armor.
While many like to joke that they have never seen a Dwarves in her Mother-phase, most have, but without taking notice, as their clothing is cut perfectly for both phases without needing to change a stitch.
Art & Architecture
Visiting the Halls of Brussal makes many doubt their eyes. The architecture of the Westerners is dominated by straight lines, large pillars, high ceilings, and many cleanly shaven and often naked Avres.
However, it needs to be pointed out that these are in Reality portraits of beardless Dwarves, and perhaps most fitting, the Word for these Figures, translated from the Prosenial language means simply: Pillar.
These Pillars are often employed to draw attention towards specific buildings or intricacies of the surrounding design. The lack of Beard (and generally Hair) is made equal to indicate being unimportant.
Foreign Visitors sometimes can't stop to gawk at this abundant show of opulent curves, chiseled muscles, and especially on more historic works, blank faithfully detailed genitals.
But, to point this out to a Dwarves, is to state that a Person does not understand Dwarves Art. A Body is a Tool, made for a Purpose, usually to present a Beard, to bear Children, to mine the Ore or to drink Ale.
Even a Figure needs to be complete and, in a lack of better explanation, be built for purpose. Opening your mind to this observation quickly creates a bridge to the Artist's mind.
From this new perspective, the selection of what figure does what is suddenly an expression of purpose.
They told me what I would see, and still, turning around to gaze into the anatomical correct behind of a kneeling Dwarves statue the size of my House, was...
Some Pillars seem misplaced today, but were once used as a form of Navigational Aids. The statuette of a young male Individual pointing towards the west might indicate where the Quarters for such individuals might be found, whereas the lounging Figure of an old well-crinkled Lady might have once shown the way to the Diplomats Quarters.
Cutting a Beard, especially of someone else, is considered a crime worse than murder, and Dwarves folktales are full of occasions where a slaphappy villain demanded that such a thing was done to another Dwarves, dooming the villain instead.
It is hard to understand for Outsiders that the loss of a Beard is equivalent to being robbed from ones Identity, and in Situations where an Accident damaged or removed the Beard, sent many Dwarves into Depression.
A Beard is the Juwel of a Dwarves
The Beard is the ultimate source of Beauty for any Dwarves, in any Phase of their life. It is also often stated that a Dwarves is only an easel for the Beard, made necessary because the Beard alone could not move around and groom itself.
Because it is one of the few things not changed by their sequentially hermaphroditic nature, it also functions as a type of unique Identifier and way of personal expression.
Coloring Beards with different Stone-Powders or finely sieved Earths is quite common, as is braiding all or parts of the Beard. If a Dwarves Personal wealth allows it, Braids can be decorated with Metal Rings or Jewels, in some Cases even structures similar to chained together Tiaras.
A Beard is never cut and seldom trimmed, but kempt and often brushed.
A Dwarves in their Mother-phase is expected to return from their Journey or Work Endeavours to the Cities to either Help with the Upbringing of the next Generation or to find a Partner.
While many traditional Dwarves see no reason to change this behavior, more pragmatic Humans increasingly follow their own life plans.
While the old folk like to think about it as a command, us modern people think of it like an opportunity.
Can't have all those males around when they have no business being here.
What is politics if not a fancy word for nurturing a young nation?
I don't mind the old ways, and neither does my partner. It's more like a vacation.
It's not like she finds me attractive in those days anyway
While other Humans are quick to point out the Matriachal Nature of Dwarves/Westerner Society, it has to be pointed out that, while this might be correct at first glance, it is also not the complete Truth and frequently debated matter.
The Dwarves are unique in their view on what makes a Member of their Culture, in that they are the only Group that does not "award" this State during Birth but, usually, only after a Human has passed Pubescental Affirmation and has developed into a Dwarves.
While exceptions exist, they are usually of honorary nature or due to exceptional circumstances, such as Dop the Elves who famously fell in Love with an Elves Mother tree in Sacross and became an Elves instead of returning to their Father-phase. As there is no provision for depriving an Dwarves of their Attribution, it was simply declared a Non-Issue.
What shame can there be in something that only results in more Dwarves?
In contrast, someone trying to talk an uninterested Dwarves into some hanky-panky might as well trying to convince a brick wall or a cloud.
Dwarves Families are wholly different in that regard. Love is something earned by being faithfull and committed for a long time. It is not unheard of that Lovers spend decades with wooing each other.
As Partnership (and in extension Kinship) is hard fought for but also strictly detached from intimacy, Outsiders might easily get confused by practices that seem to contradict each other.
Family bounds are perhaps the most precious Commodity one might find in Dwarves Society, and the most guarded as well. Getting invited to join a Family is for many a lifetime goal.
These strong tie's are also the explanation for why Dwarves are dominant in most Partnerships. Every Dwarves has trained and educated themselves to join a Dwarves Family and has spent a good amount of their Lifespan working towards that Goal.
Only after being admitted into a Family, one might be considered a real Dwarves, not only biological, but also emotional.
This special combination of societal pressure and nearly religious zeal in controlling and establishing their Identity, also is the cornerstone to explaining why Avres (and other Variants even more so) are so rare even if there is no, strictly magical, reason to be that way.
The World's best Shears
As anyone knows, Inquests best Shears originate from Brussal.
To ensure that no Beard-trimming Accidents happen, they were sealed in wax-jars, making them doubly useful for any Purchaser as they could reuse the Container as a Candle.
Modern Iterations are fashioned in a Way that allows for easier removal of the Shears and has a wick already included on the other side.
To quaff is Dwarves
Defined as "to drink an intoxicating beverage copiously and with hearty enjoyment" is the default way of consumption of said beverages for any Dwarves worth their Ale.
This practice is said to have directly lead to the invention of internal plumbing and specifically the Floor drain, as giddy quaffing means equal amounts are spilled as are drunk.
Queen Leonfrid is said to have drowned a Elves Delegation in Communos, when celebrating the signing of a Peace Treaty, rendering the same Meaningless and causing the second Neighbors-War until a second Truce and subsequent Peace-Treaty could be arranged by employing special Couriers to make a Meeting in Person unnecessary.
Why the Drinking?
Old Legends explain that the first Dwarves were born from Stone Eggs that were formed by tectonic Activity of the early Island.
There they lived for many thousand years, enjoying being left alone, until the Elves invented the Mine-shaft and disturbed the Peaceful Beard-Carriers.
As they now had a Way to the surface, they found they couldn't stomach the Food of it, as they had to subside on Sediments, Metals, and Crystals, and weren't accustomed to even the slightest seasoning.
But, the Food was so mesmerizing that they had to find a way to enjoy it. This is where they learned that they could drink the Elves mead to stop their stomachs from hurting.
Thus, they traded the Secret of Brewing Alcohol for the Secret of shoring Mine shafts, and were forever able to enjoy the Surface-Food as long as they only drank enough Booze.
Why the Axe instead of the Pick?
A common question of visitors in Brussal is why the large Statue of the supposed first Dwarf sports a sizeable Axe instead of a, perhaps, more fitting Pickaxe.
After all, the main Interest of any Dwarves beside quaffing, is to extend the Mine and rob the Island of its riches. The observant Guest can find the Answer to the Statue's feet, where three large Beams lay.
For everyone else, the quick and dirty explanation is that, while the Pickaxe is the Implement to extend the Mines, it was the Invention of Shoring a Mineshaft that made Expansion possible. A Dwarves can't fell a Tree with a Pickaxe, it would take forever, also, there is nothing to Fear for a Dwarves inside the Mine that couldn't be strangled with bare Hands (such as other Dwarves).
An Axe, usually depicted as a double-bearded Waraxe (for obvious reasons), is the Implement to cut wood and fashion shoring timbers and to strike down the many foes that lurk on the Surface or the occasional ancestral Elves that fell from the freshly hewn tree.