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While most dwarves moved to Golarion’s surface as part of the Quest for Sky, some doubted their god Torag’s warnings and remained behind, only to be driven further underground by the prophesied calamities awaiting those who didn’t leave their homelands in Nar-Voth. Facing defeat at the hands of other powerful forces in the Darklands, these holdouts accepted an offer of help from the outcast dwarven god Droskar, the Dark Smith. He helped them reclaim their former glory, and in return they bound themselves and their descendants into his service. As a reminder of their bargain, he turned their skin gray, after which they became known as the duergar. The duergar see themselves as the only true dwarves and seek to retake all their former holdings underground, coming to the surface only to kill their cowardly cousins and capture more slaves for the endless work of repaying their debt to Droskar.
Now the duergar are arriving in force throughout the Echo Woods area, taking slaves in an area heavily populated by escaped slaves and their families. One of the Six River Freedoms even explicitly declares slavery an abomination. Surely the Riverfolk and their growing population of heroes will rise up and drive the duergar back to Nar-Voth. But with the duergar sending up raid after raid, perhaps the old rumors that the Emerald Spire is connected to the Darklands are true. If so, other forces from below could soon make their way to the surface, to claim their own share of the River Kingdoms.
With duergar society built around the worship of Droskar, as well as the slavery required to perform the vast amounts of work Droskar demands, the duergar leadership primarily comes from the clergy. With help from Droskar, the overall duergar forces focus on stripping their opponents of buffs and turning the power of those buffs against them.
The forces commanded by the clergy are heavily armed, with some of their attacks meant to immobilize opponents for capture and servitude. The bombers throw AoE bombs that set opponents on fire and slow them, while the soldiers use their hammers to exhaust and immobilize their opponents.
In EE7, the duergar are appearing in the new Duergar Slavers Escalation, currently set up as a single-phase Escalation with 3 possible Events. In general, they’re just a bit less tough than the Mordant Spire elves and drop slightly less valuable loot, though still a fair amount of T2 stuff and even have some very occasional T3 drops.
This Escalation doesn’t spread very far, but if it’s allowed to grow close to full strength, a Fail Boss will appear and the duergar will take their new slaves and retreat into the Darklands if the Fail Boss isn’t defeated in time.
Up to 4 of these Escalations can be running at once, so they provide a reasonable increase to the likelihood that each new Escalation will be a T2 one.
Much like the Riverfolk, the duergar take their promises seriously. However, clever duergar choose their words carefully to leave themselves options, following the common duergar adage that “Dealings done within sight are slaves to law; deeds done in secret are slaves only to purpose. “ Players can now remind each other of that sage advice using a new chat emote: /slavestolaw.