The Heroes of Tolmurr
Then the Emperor looked upon his second son and commanded him, “We come from a world above. We spent an eternity believing that there was nothing higher than us and nothing lower then us, and on this day we learnt that we were wrong. I command you to dig! Dig deep into this earth and continue digging until you learn what is at the bottom of this world. My light must shine down into the bottom of all existence! Only then will your task be done.”
The Scroll of Tasks 1:17
It is said that the Dwarves started digging on the spot where the emperor first placed them, and in 50 years they hit bedrock, the impenetrable, black Vis Crystal that lines the bottom of the world. Some thought that this was it, their task was finished, and they would be rewarded; but when the Emperor did not return for them, they realized this was not the case. Since that day bedrock has been the bane of all Dwarves existence and forced a major split in the Dwarven culture.
Some dwarves stayed; they believed that there task was not yet done. They became what are now known as the Mountain Dwarves, pounding on the bedrock uselessly until there pickaxes gave out. Following this, they spread to the other parts of the world, setting up new Thaigs in each of the humans’ seven kingdoms, hoping that perhaps the bedrock wasn’t as thick in other parts of the world and they might break through.
Others believe that bedrock truly was the bottom of the world and that the Emperor had not returned for another reason: because their brothers, humanity, have yet to finish their task. These dwarves became known as the Hill or Surface Dwarves. They helped the humans and the elves build grand roads and cities to connect and grow the Empire. Working as traders and diplomats, these dwarves maintained a strong bond between the Empire’s races. With the help of Gnomes – and later, the Avian – they helped to develop and push the bounds of modern technology.
Dwarves live in republican city states known as Thaigs. Each Thaig has a King and a representative in the Shining Capital. The Thaigs and the roads that connect them are the veins and arteries that keep the Empire connected.