This page contains specific links to resources for derro in the various editions of the Dragonlance setting over the years.
In the early days of dwarven society, the Magi of High Sorcery taught magic to the dwarves but it quickly became apparent that the magical powers had an unpleasant effect on them. Magic-using dwarves became twisted in mind and body, and were referred to by the other dwarves as “derro” -degenerate.
These derro formed their own caste within dwarven society, the Theiwar, or “thankless” since they felt that they had been betrayed by their own kind through no fault of their own. The Towers of High Sorcery stopped teaching the dwarves, but the Theiwar already knew much of their magical theory and it was passed down throughout the ages. Theiwar practice their magic without the controls placed on High Sorcerers, and there are rumours of dealings with demonic forces.
In Thorbardin, an offshoot of the Theiwar appeared, the Daergar (“deepest”). Whereas the Theiwar sought what they saw as their rightful place in dwarven society (many Theiwar were of Hylar stock), the Daergar turned their back on the others and delved deeper, forming their own society away from outside interference.
All the same, Theiwar and Daergar representatives were allowed on the Council of Thanes. The Hylar allowed them on the principle of “keep your friends close, but your enemies closer”, and the derro accepted for much the same reasons.
The secretive dwarves of Zhakar could be considered a caste unto themselves, and by all accounts they are derro too.
– Excerpt from the Dragonlance Nexus (Simon Lipscombe)
- DL4 Dragons of Desolation