The history of the dwarves is a rich and full story of their creation of not only the magnificent items but also of a lasting civilization. From their initial creation of the legendary Kal-Thax, to the Great Halls of Thorbardin this is a civilization that has fought against countless foes and for endless causes. Dwarven history is history that begins back during the Century of Tide (3200 PC).
During the Century of Tide the dwarves began to establish a new civilization at Kal-Thax (which means Cold Forge). The original location of this place has been lost through time but it was located in the northeastern part of Ansalon. A great number of dwarves lived in caves along the coast.
During the next two centuries the dwarves labored intensely to create a new homeland out of Kal-Thax. The word Kal-Thax is also used to describe other locations the dwarves traveled to create other settlements on Ansalon. It is a common word and other Kal-Thax’s should not be confused with the original Kal-Thax.
Following the Graystone War (2900 PC) the dwarven warrior-lord Agate Thorwallen created a new colony for the dwarves in the Khalkist Mountains. At first he named the settlement Hiel-Thax (which means Hot Forge) but quickly the name was replaced by Thorin. Dwarven dwellers also soon after the founding of the settlement discovered a natural fissure that contained a firewell. The firewell contained the source of natural heat that the dwarves used to make raw materials into finished goods.
Every spring the dwarves of Thorin would celebrate Balladine, a festival marked by trading with human settlements in the area. It would be this festival that would cause the downfall of Thorin. During the Last Balladine (2160 PC) humans infiltrated the keep and caused mass chaos. Only through the efforts of Handil the Drum did the Calnar survive. After the attack the dwarves of Thorin split into two groups, the Calnar (who remain behind) and the Hylar who searched for Everbardin.
Ten years (2150 PC) after the Last Balladine the Hylar came to Kal-Thax (not the original but one of the settlements) and met the dwarven clans of the Daergar, Daewar, Theiwar, Klar, and Aghar. Together the clans come together and formed Thorbardin (Best Hope). Also during the building of Thorbardin some dwarves preferred to live outside and the Neidar was established.
By 2000 PC the dwarves have finished their delving in Thorbardin. Though it will expand some in the future Thorbardin remains unchanged for nearly the next 2300 years. In 1900 PC the dwarves of Thorbardin and the elves of Qualinost signed a treaty known as the Swordsheath Scroll. To complete the pact the two races constructed the fortress of Pax Tharkas.
In 1000 PC the dwarves returned to the Khalkist Mountains searching for Thorin (Thoradin, which means Lost Hope) but are unable to locate it. The dwarves then found a new colony called Thoradin. The colony opens trade with Solamnia and grows quickly in size.
Around the same time as Thoradin is built the Hylar dwarves sent an expedition to the Kharolis Mountains. The dwarves build a mining outpost (980 PC ) here that will eventually expand into a self-supporting outpost. Thorbardin will then grant independence to the colony in 760 PC creating the Kingdom of Kayolin. It doesn’t grow much beyond this point but continues to trade to outside countries increasing its wealth and power.
A few centuries after Kayolin receives its independence the dwarven nation of Thoradin reaches the height of its power (500 PC). It becomes a major trading power with Solamnia and Istar. This trading partnership does not protect this nation from the ever-scrutinizing eye of Istar (117 PC). Faced by an increasingly bigoted Istar the dwarves close Thoradin to humans. Even this move will not prevent Istar from invading (7 PC) into the Khalkist Mountains causing the dwarves to abandon the surface and move underground.
The Cataclysm (0) marked a period of unrest and change for the dwarves. The dwarves of Thoradin lived too close to where the mountain struck the land. Most of their nation is destroyed and the pockets that remain are isolated from each other. Eventually the survivors become the Zhakar Dwarves and slide further into a degenerate state.
The realms of Thorbardin and Kayolin survive the impact of the mountain relatively unscathed. Even though the Northgate of Thorbardin is useless from a landslide and the Newsea separates the two countries from one another.
Following the Cataclysm, the Mountain Dwarves of Thorbardin clash with their Hill Dwarf cousins. This rift causes the Dwarfgate Wars (39 AC) in which both sides clash and the Hill Dwarves are denied entrance to Thorbardin. The Mountain Dwarves succeed in defeating the Hill Dwarves but the scars of this time will take centuries to heal.
In 100 AC the Zhakar Dwarves appear and reestablish Thoradin. Creating trade networks with Sanction and Blöten the dwarves return to some normal semblance. The tie with Sanction would only be strengthening in 350 AC in which the Zhakar ally them with the Dark Queen.
During the War of the Lance (350 AC) Thorbardin and Kayolin renewed their alliance with Solamnia. During this time Thorbardin was again under a single ruler and came out of the war relatively unscathed. A time of peace and prosperity comes to Thorbardin until the summer of Chaos (383 AC). During this time Thorbardin is attacked from within and through the timely actions of Baker Whitegranite it was saved though largely damaged.
Thorbardin over the course of the next few years attempts to rebuild. During this time Severus Stonehand led a group of Daewar to Thoradin and cures the mold disease that was affecting the Zhakar. As the mold disease was cured Stonehand issued an ultimatum that all Zhakar must join with him or perish.
Thorbardin would have had an uneasy peace following the Chaos War, which would last until the War of Souls (421 AC). During the War of Souls the dwarves experienced rebellion and treachery. Following the War of Souls the dwarves of Thorbardin splinter with some following the rightful heir Tarn Bellowgranite and others under the leadership of Jungor Stonesinger.
Habitat and Society
A dwarf of Ansalon is an industrious person. They are known throughout the continent for their building and metalworking skills. Most dwarves prefer to live below ground but some still prefer the outside world to the subterranean world.
Most dwarves seem sour and reserved to outsiders but this is not the truth. Dwarves for the most part are outgoing and friendly among people with whom they have grown comfortable with. Even a kind-hearted dwarf takes liberties to maintain his gruff exterior, since emotions of love are rarely shared with others. A great source of pride for any dwarf is his beard in which he grooms meticulously.
Dwarves are usually around 4 ½ feet but some have been known to reach the height of 5 feet. Their body build is so dense that it is often difficult to tell their weight. Both male and females can grow facial hair but only males can grow a full beard.
Most dwarves worship Reorx. They believe that they are the chosen people of him and were created in the god’s image. A few dwarves though, following the Summer of Chaos, have abandoned Reorx but these individuals are rare.
The society of the dwarves is clannish. Often living in groups either below or above ground dwarves often live in structures made of stone. These communities are often in some way tied into mining. Leading a dwarven community is often the oldest male dwarf but some societies have adopted a matriarchal society.
Types of Dwarves
- Aghar Dwarf
- Calnar Dwarf
- Daergar Dwarf
- Daewar Dwarf
- Dewar Dwarf
- Einar Dwarf
- Fianawar Dwarf
- Hylar Dwarf
- Kayolin Dwarf
- Klar Dwarf
- Lokhar Dwarf
- Neidar Dwarf
- Nylgai Hadirnoe Dwarf
- Theiwar Dwarf
- Vrakar Dwarf
- Zhakar Dwarf
- Dwarven Kingdoms of Krynn 'A World in Stone' (sourcebook), p. 6,7,10,21,41,69,76,104
- Dragonlance Campaign Setting pg. 12