|Hi Vincent. Welcome to the party.
I'm reviewing for this activity.
As far as the fantasy genre, all the elements were here, a common theme in fantasy. Other than some rough parts, the story flowed. A dwarf with a mission, a secret place, an ancient map—all ingredients for this genre. You'll need an extreme twist to separate this fantasy plot from everything else written in this genre.
I like the way you've shown part of the world. It's an area where any vice is accepted, unless it interferes. Such a puzzle to be resolved as the plot progresses piques the interest. The reader will be looking for more.
The diet clued in the reader. The 'made-up' words created a strong sense of other-worldliness. One of my favorites [“bark of deadwood”.] The one problem, no one is speaking, so quotation marks wouldn't be used. In your story, it's fine just to write bark of deadwood with nothing to denote it as separate. The reader is in your story world, and expects odd words to pop up.
Weather impacts the story. A conflict was presented, in the form of the Yeti.
Sharp and defining words, I wonder what 'sausage in the High Gardens' indicates? And no one chased the vendor away from the place of peace? I had to laugh at the way this was presented. Calm, and then commerce. Hum. Establishment continued. The reader will look forward to see how the different aspects align.
And here, more diversity. Among the dwarfs, two distinct classes that were considered high society. Alchemists were bums, which hardly seemed fair to me.
Impression so far? A lax society.
*** Thoughts, suggestions.
Numbers are spelled, not written. (3) three
Notice all the sentences using the passive verb (was). Show activity.
Exclamation marks should be few or eliminated. After a while, the punctuation has no meaning.
Everyone else was referred to as a "bum".
If you want to show later that bum has a special meaning that will be of importance later in the story, remember all punctuation belongs inside the quotation marks. Use single quotation marks. Everyone else was referred to as a 'bum.'
Avoid using the same word in close proximity.
It was thought maybe they thought too highly of themselves...
Reword? This sounds like meat chunks are woven into scraps of lint
as well as people who collect meat chunks to scraps of lint woven into carpet
Farther is distance. Further is everything else, most commonly time.
squinting to see [further] > farther in the pitch blackness
Avoid the passive verb was.
It was faded and the color was a sort of dark bourbon color from age
Find a new word for [finally] (the word loses meaning)
“Finally!” he exclaimed.
“Finally,” he breathed in the frosty cave air,
Finally, he put down his writing instrument.
The dwarf can't both close the door at the same time as he's withdrawing the parchment. (unless he's closing it without using his hands.)
closed the door behind him while withdrawing the parchment
Close proximity ~ same sentence
reached for a book of ancient rune [translations] and began to [translate] the text.
He [reached] for a parchment, scribbled a note on it, and [reached] for the cat.
Where did he stop? What does [point] mean in this sentence
The Dwarf, who's name it seems, was Breedebecke, stopped on [point] and scratched his head.
If this looks overwhelming, it's not. Even I'm tired after spending an hour writing this review. The required edits are easy to correct.
At the conclusion, twist. A cat as a courier. Yes, the story diverged from others. Keep writing!