|This article is about an older version of DF.|
|This article or section has been rated D for Dwarf. It may include witty humour, not-so-witty humour, bad humour, in-jokes, and references to the Bay12 forums. Don't believe everything you read, and if you miss some of the references, don't worry. It was inevitable.|
 Qualities of a high intimidation skill
A dwarf's intimidation skill level is directly proportional to the length of that dwarf's beard. Beard length has long been used as a barometer of a dwarf's social status, and dwarven nobility derive their right to rule from the length and thickness of their beards. Successors to the dwarven throne are chosen at birth; the infantile sovereign is identified by having a beard longer than its own body. This quality also exempts nobles from working, as catching a beard in a an active gear assembly can snap the neck of the strongest dwarf. Among the upper class, beard decorations have become increasingly fashionable. Intricate braids, complex plaiting patterns, decorative knots, and even subtle perfumes are considered the height of dwarven chic. Weaving multi-colored silk ribbons into beards is common among the middle class, while peasants tend to stick with more utilitarian looks that can be quickly prepared, easily cleaned, and tucked into a belt.
Upon reaching legendary status, a dwarf's beard is granted the right to extend beneath that dwarf's knees; non-legendary dwarves attempting to short-circuit normal social rules of advancement are punished with shearing, imprisonment, and even the ministrations of a Hammerer in the most serious of cases.
Dwarves that act as brokers often cultivate facial hair that completely covers their heads, leaving only a nose and the suggestion of two beady dwarven eyes within a labyrinthine mass of hair. This is sometimes called an "eyebrow beard" by humans, as the beard appears to start above the eyes. It has a definite effect on human traders, and elves are particularly frightened by it, being a species completely devoid of facial hair. The beard has the effect of forcing a negotiator to focus solely on the dwarf's eyes, as no facial cues can be divined from within the beard. This unnerves the negotiator so thoroughly that practically any deal the dwarf names will be agreed upon. There are stories of dwarves convincing elven traders to swear off cannibalism, although these are generally considered to be hairy tales.
A broker's intimidation skill, therefore, is extremely important, and mastering said skill should be encouraged, even to the detriment of other skills. An intimidating dwarf garners respect from his peers, gets better deals at the trading table, and has a better chance of attracting the kind of mate a Fish Dissector can only dream about.