The dwarves have been around longer than human history but have always remembered a time when there were elves. According to legend, Oltorim the great mountain was their birthplace and ancestral home as well as chief Diety. Eventually the dwarves spread to the other continents and established two other mountain kingdoms, Ostgard in the east and Nargothil in the North.
The tragic history of the dwarves is that they suffered heavily at the hands of the followers of Hate and Belphagor. Oltorim was claimed by the forces of darkness nearly 5,000 years prior to present, shortly after Ostgard fell. However the dwarves dealt a mighty blow in defeating Belphagor in the battle for Ostgard. The massive dragon’s bones can still be seen littering the field.. rising up like massive foothills before the mountains.
The dwarves of Nargothil managed to hold on for several millenia until a new dragon, Grummesh had managed to accumulate a great host of orcs under his control. The dwarves of Nargothil did not number greatly and could not match the sheer size of Grummesh’ forces.
Inevitably the last dwarven ‘home’ fell.
It is unclear why the dwarves have not built more underground cities. It is clear that it takes many generations of excavations and engineering to complete even one. And there are numerous functional and abandoned dwarven dwellings under mountains which do not compare in size or occupation to any of the original three dwarven cities.
Most dwarves now live rural lives in the fields, they maintain their crafts as families teach their children the old ways but many of them live in much smaller dwellings. In communities of burrows in foothills or in small under mountain communities. Perhaps this dispersion has left them less vulnerable to attack as there is nolonger a central dwarven military strongpoint.
Dwarves are generally good fighters, and they are nearly as ethnically diverse as humans as they have occupied various regions and spread across the globe long before humans. They possess some of the highest levels of craftsmanship, particularly in stone working and they are the only race to understand where mithril comes from and how to work it.