Commonly considered the “least dwarf-like” of all dwarves, hill dwarves (or haudergar) are a relatively peaceful people who live in grottoes dug into the dirt of small hills, rather than deep tunnels under stone. Although one might expect them to be more commonly seen than mountain dwarves as a result, the opposite is actually true, as hill dwarves are experts at remaining hidden.
Hill dwarves are one of the shortest race of dwarves, averaging around three and a half feet tall. Their hair is usually earth-toned, ranging from light "dirty blond" to dark brown, and like mountain dwarves, grey or white hair is only found in the very oldest of their kind. Their eyes are usually earthy shades of green and brown, but blue is not uncommon, and their skin color is light to ruddy depending on sun exposure.
Hill dwarves are not a warlike people, preferring to remain well-hidden in their camouflaged hill-homes and ignore the plights of other people. Their communities tend to be closely-knit, and hill dwarves share freely with each other while refusing to share – only to trade – with anyone outside the community, often creating mistrust. They are expert farmers, and often times hill dwarf communal farming villages are much more efficient and productive than human farms. The least dwarf-like aspect of their culture is that males sometimes crop their beards short or shave them off entirely. In other aspects, however, they are like most other dwarves, with great respect for their elders and to the traditions of their people. Since they seldom leave the home, hill dwarf adventurers are rare, although those that do seek a more wandering and intrepid life than most of their kin are found to be quite good at it, due to their natural familiarity with the land and skills at stealth and bartering. Their communities, however, may shun them for leaving their home.
Also, their preference of farming over craftsmanship leaves them with less to trade with humans, although they do sometimes trade food for tools and weapons with the mountain dwarves. Humans still see them as greedy for hoarding their plentiful stocks of grain. Some of their baked goods are the most durable in the world and can last for years without spoiling (but are rather hard to eat).
Due to their less warlike nature, hill dwarves most often worship fertility gods and goddesses related to farming and production, such as Friga or Demeter. Hill dwarf villages occur more frequently in the Empire than those of other dwarves, and thus they sometimes worship Imperial gods as well as Nordic ones. Although they respect their elders and ancestors, this is not taken to the point of outright worship as with other dwarves.