The Dtorv: Origins, Physiology, and Birth

Not many know how the dtorv truly came into being. The stories of their now forsaken religion say the the Great Earth Wyrm T’Rid and the Great Water Behemoth Deti came together to create a race of golem-like people to counter the races created by the gods. A subset of that faith says that the various Elemental Elder Dragons came together to build the race, but with the same purpose. Other races have legends that claim that the dtorvs are simply the sons and daughters of the earth itself. No matter their beginnings, dtorvs have forsaken their old gods and now mine the depths and mountains to find treasures and the special clay that gives them life.

Dtorvs are not natural creatures as we understand them. Instead of bone, meat, and blood, the dtorvs are created from rock, dirt, and mud. They are as tough as stone, as strong as the earth, and as adaptive as clay. They can withstand flame longer than those made of flesh, and can continue marching without air or food. As long as they have a fresh supply of dirt and mud, a dtorv can maintain their pace.

When a dtorv wishes to create an offspring, he goes to a Birther, a sculptor specially trained to create more of themselves. The Birther takes Birthing Clay, a magically infused clay which provides the dtorvs with life, and creates their Heartstone which will eventually house the new dtorv’s soul. Taking some elements of the new dtorv’s parent or parents, of which a dtorv can have several, and creating a mixture of it with mud, dirt, and more Birthing Clay, the Birther takes close to a week sculpting the body of the child. When the sculpting is complete, a Birthing Ceremony involving the family is held and the Birther completes the process with a mystical ritual. At the very end, the child comes to life in the shape of a infant, mimicking the development process that the organic races experience.

Due to their unnatural physiology, the dtorv can be exceptionally long lived. The longest lived dtorv on record reached the age of 882, succumbing only to the blades of a goblin horde. The longest lived dtorv to have died of natural causes returned to the earth at the age of 785. Eventually, a dtorv will dry out or their soul will become too strong for their Heartstone to hold.

Despite their tough nature, dtorvs do have a number of weaknesses. While they can typically shrug off fire, extremely hot flame or desert temperatures can dry out the mud within their bodies. As beings of earth and clay, they will petrify if they dry out completely. On the opposite side of the spectrum, exposure to extreme amounts of water or similar fluids, such as falling into a vat of ale, can leave a dtorv overly moisturized and they begin to lose their form. However, if a Heartstone survives an ordeal, a complicated ritual similar to that performed at a Birthing Ceremony can bring the dtorv back in its entirety, though they need not appear the same. Such dtorvs also have a chance of losing a strong number of their memories.

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