Drape walls with sheets painted like rock walls and pillars. Attach large paper “gems”, and paper maché stalactites and stalagmites. Set a rough hewn trestle table or bench in the room. Decorate it with pine boughs, collections of interesting rocks, hammers and chisels. Display a “Beware the rock changes” banner, written in
dwarvish (Az knurl demn lanok) and English.
“Hall of the Mountain King,” Edvard Grieg, Russian basso profundo liturgical music
Dwarven Crafts: Invite local members of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) or other artists to demonstrate how to make chain mail and/or any metalworking, glass sculpting, wood carving, or jewelry crafts. Offer opportunities for party guests to try their hand at these skills.
Stick Throw: Dwarves hone their fighting skills with lots of practice. Test your throwing accuracy by tossing sticks or pebbles into a series of baskets placed at increasing distances.
Dwarven Songfest: Dwarves love to celebrate with good food and drink. When eating in a group, it is not uncommon for one to begin singing a ballad, not unlike those sung in taverns of yore, and to have the other dwarves join in with hearty voices. Collect a few such songs from your friends, or find them online, and try singing them as a group with
Friendship Letter: The dwarves respect their ancestors and treasure friendships. Once you have earned a dwarf’s trust, he or she will not forget you. In that spirit of camaraderie, write and send a letter to someone you respect and tell them how much you appreciate them. Sample:
From the time you rescued me from the waterfall at Kóstha Mérna and defended me from the Twins, you have been a steadfast friend. Even when forced to ride on dragonback, you have always been a faithful companion.
Rock Family: King Hrothgar was very old. But he still liked to take a break from his responsibilities as king to watch the children of his clan, Dûrgrimst Ingeitum, play. Dwarf children make their own toys out of rocks, fashioning them after their gods, clan-chiefs, famous warriors, artists, family members and animals. Collect some smooth rocks and wash them. Glue two or three atop each other, paint them, and then add felt hats or clothes to make a dwarf person or family group.
Soap Carving: The dwarves delight in carving both rock, gems, and wood. Using wooden tools or blunt knives, carve bars of Ivory soap into designs of your choice.
Trivet: Hot cups of tea and soup fortify the dwarves in the cool caverns under Tronjheim. Dwarf girls and boys make these trivets to place under mugs of steaming liquid. Glue mosaic pieces onto tiles to make trivets with a mushroom motif.
Dwarven Jewelry: Although most dwarves now live underground, they are fond of bold colors and this is reflected in their jewelry. String colorful beads onto wire to make simple necklaces.
Hrothgar’s Crown: The crown worn by King Hrothgar, made of gold and studded with precious gems, was passed down to him from dwarven kings of yore. Make your own paper crown and the decorate it with rhinestones.
Mushroom Hot Pad: The dwarves are clever and love working with their hands. The youngsters enjoy making kitchen hot pads for their families. Stitch a mushroom design onto a 9–inch square of fabric. Then cut another 9–inch square of fabric for the back. Layer a square of batting in the middle. Stitch together inside out, leaving part of one edge unstitched, and then turn right side out and finish. Search online for “how to make a hot pad” if you need detailed instructions.
Dwarven Scroll: When Eragon visited the library in Tronjheim, he noticed that many books were written using the dwarves’ rune alphabet. Make a scroll with the dwarf phrase, “Beware the rock changes”. (Az knurl demn lanok.).
Orik’s Walking Stick: Sand a wooden stick or branch to make your own walking stick.
Rock Soap: When Eragon entered the cave in Tronjheim to bathe, he found a bar of dwarf soap. He couldn’t see the soap in the dark, but when he later had the opportunity to examine a bar in the light, he was astonished to see that it looked just like a rock! Grate Ivory soap with bits of crayon to make it rock colored. Put the mixture in a can set over boiling water to melt. Let it partially cool, and then beat the mixture with a hand mixer. When cool enough, shape the soap into balls with your hands. Set the soap balls on waxed paper to dry.
Since the dwarves live much of the time underground, mushrooms—which don’t need light to grow and only dim light to reproduce—make up a large part of their diet.
Mushroom Soup: This favorite soup is filled with hearty broth and chunks of whatever mushrooms are in season. The dwarves are fond of adding cream to the soup whenever they have some from their herds of feldûnost. Make some mushroom soup of your own and think of the dwarves while you eat it.
Stuffed Mushroom Caps: This is one of the most common dishes served in dwarf families. There are always some variety of mushroom popping up in clusters or troops, so whenever ones with large caps appear, cooks fill them with meat, fish, potatoes, wild rice—or whatever is at hand—and bake them. Use your favorite recipe to make a batch.
Crusty Hearth Bread: Dwarf cooks bake dense sourdough bread, drawing from starter that bubbles continually in earthen crocks. They let the dough rise slowly overnight, and then bake it fresh in the morning. Each housewife prides herself on the taste of her bread and the skill with which she bakes it. The cooks who prepare bread for communal meals are likewise judged by its quality. Bake or buy traditional whole grain sourdough bread to get a taste of an authentic dwarven meal.
Nagra (Sliced Ham): Huge animals are hidden in the towering Beor Mountains, such as the Shrron (giant wolves), Urzhadn (cave bears), and Nagran (giant boar). Only the bravest dwarves hunt Nagran. And those heroic hunters proudly bear the meat to royal feasts. Serve slices of roasted pork or ham, ideally layered with country mustard on slices of Crusty Hearth Bread (see above).
Mushroom Snacks: For dessert, make individual “mushroom” snacks. Tear a marshmallow in half to make a mushroom stem. Smash and pull another marshmallow into a cap shape. Run a toothpick through the two and dip the top into cocoa powder or press in bits of dried cranberry. Eat immediately.
Smokey Tea: While dwarves are fond of drinking mead, another favorite is something similar to Lapsang Souchan tea, which they make by drying the leaves of a local shrub over smoldering coals. Brew a pot of Lapsang Souchan tea. Experience this potent drink in small cups.