The first dwarves were forged deep in the mountains by the god Grovsmed for the purpose of slaying the dragons and taking their place as rulers of the world. They excelled at the first task, slaying many wyrms and driving them from their mountain homes and the tunnels of the Underdark. Taking their rightful place as rulers and stewards of the world was more of a challenge, as their rise was matched with the ascendancy of another race with the same goals. For centuries dwarves of Nomrigoth (the Kingdom of the Godforged) and elves of the Eternal Empire fought increasingly bloody wars for supremacy. Feeling the sting of their mounting casualties, the dwarves enslaved a fast breeding tribe of primitive Goblins and bred them as arrow fodder and raiders. Later in the war, to counter the superior strength of the elves’ human slaves, the dwarves committed an atrocity by breeding goblin slaves with elvish captives, birthing the hobgoblin race. The dwarves eventually gained the upper hand in the wars, in part due to contributions of their gnomish allies, and moved in on the beleaguered elves. In desperation, the elves unleashed their most powerful magic, which blasted the dwarven heartland into a crater, and split the continent asunder.
Since the Cataclysm, the dwarves have been slow to regroup and rebuild, being constantly under attack from goblins and others who would seize their halls. Many small Dwarven enclaves are scattered across the old territory of Nomrigoth, and dwarven craftsmen and mercenaries can be found in most cities, especially in Airda Minor.
The largest modern dwarven realm is the Confederation of the Holy Mountains. This large realm occupies much of the Western Horn of Airda Major. In truth, the Confederation is a loosely associated collection of dwarven clans prone to bickering and infighting. although feuds and battles are the normative state of affairs, the clans will put aside their differences and band together to fight external threats.