Dwarves believe they were Reorx’s last and best creations, made in the god’s image. Reorx, they say, learned from each creation until he achieved the perfect form — dwarves. Although others on Krynn foolishly believe that dwarves are deviations created by the Graystone, such folk don’t live in dwarvish skin. If they did, they would know how patently false this lie is. The notion that dwarves share blood with kender and gnomes is utter blasphemy. Such ideas start wars.
The first great dwarven kingdom lives now only in legend. Kal-Thax, or “Cold Forge,” was a land extending from Karthay into the plains of Istar. Dwarves fleeing the Graystone began delving Kal-Thax in 4100 PC and didn’t stop digging until 3900 PC. A century later, the dwarves abandoned their tunnels, moving south to lands richer in mineral wealth. The migration splintered, and during the next century, small colonies of dwarves delved underground villages in nearly every mountain of Ansalon.
The next great kingdom of the dwarves arose at Thoradin, “New Hope,” which was delved between 3150 and 3000 PC. As their tunnels deepened, the miners unearthed the magical dragonstones. Their careless disposal of these stones brought about the Second Dragon War. In 2640 PC, the dwarves closed Thoradin’s gates in shame.
The New Best Hope, Thorbardin, rose in the distant Kharolis mountains. The city had reached grand proportions by 2600 PC. Its influence spread northward until it clashed with Ergoth’s southward expansion in 2189 PC. Tensions between the dwarves and Ergoth led to the War of the Mountain from 2128 to 2073 PC.
Exhausted from the prolonged Kinslayer War with Silvanesti, Ergoth negotiated a peace. In 2073 PC, the Swordsheath Scroll set a buffer between Ergoth and Thorbardin by creating Qualinesti for the disaffected Silvanesti elves. Dwarves forged the hammer of Kharas in 2072 PC as a gift to Ergoth to reinforce the Swordsheath peace.
Much to everyone’s surprise, the Qualinesti elves became fast allies of Thorbardin. As a symbol of elven, human, and dwarven unity, the three races built the fortress of Pax Tharkas in the pass between Thorbardin and Qualinesti. With two centuries of international involvement drawing to a close, the dwarven kingdoms turned their attention inward. This isolation brought great suffering for dwarves in the Cataclysm. Thorbardin was nearly devastated.
Thorbardin had become heavily dependant upon Abanasinia, Pax Tharkas, Qualinesti, and Xak Tsaroth for food. In addition to numerous mountain dwarf cities below ground, Thorbardin had to feed many hill dwarf settlements above ground, outside the mountain gates.
The Cataclysm decimated Thorbardin’s trade routes and sources of food. Duncan, king of Thorbardin checked the granaries and food reserves. The kingdom could not hope to feed all its people. Reasoning that those above ground could scavenge while those below could not, Duncan reluctantly closed Thorbardin to the outside world. The hill dwarves had to fend for themselves.
The Cataclysm brought the hill dwarves flocking to Thorbardin for safety. But the gates were shut. None heeded their pleas. So came the Great Betrayal, which split the Neidar forever from the Hylar and sparked hatred between the hill and mountain dwarves. The Klar, hill dwarves trapped inside at the time of the Cataclysm, went insane trying to claw their way free. In 39 AC, Neidar allied themselves with humans to retake Thorbardin. This was the Dwarfgate War. It ended in failure.
The mountain dwarves blamed humans for the Cataclysm and severed all ties with the outside world. This isolation intensified the internal strife of Thorbardin. After shocks of the Cataclysm had caved in the highways that linked the cities. Dwarven families were further separated by class pride.
Common miners and laborers broke from the elite architects and engineers, turning their hands to dark and hateful deeds. Thorbardin quickly became a hollow city, where a once-great culture loomed larger than the present civilization. to this day, most dwarf kingdoms remain closed to the outside world. The hatred between the hill dwarves and the underground dwarves still remains high.