“One strength, one people. Bearing all burdens together, enduring all hardships together, facing all enemies together. The plight of the least of us is the plight of all. The fortune of the best of us is the fortune of all. One warrior with a thousand swords. One craftsman with a thousand hands. One family with a thousand hearts. One strength, one people.” -The Charter of the Dwarven Union
For as long as anyone can remember, the Dwarves have kept to themselves. They trade with outsiders, but they make no wars and accept no outsiders into their ranks. Dwarves consider the health and safety of the community to be the paramount value, and they fear the corrupting influence that the outside world might have on their lockstep adherence to loyalty and service.
Traditionally a seafaring race, the Dwarves built their nation on a chain of islands to the east of the Imperium. They were renowned for their abilities as craftsmen and engineers, and soon dwarven-made ships were peddling dwarven-made goods in every port known to man. They were particularly adept at combining sorcery and invention to create artifacts unheard of even to the Imperium. Unfortunately, it was this proclivity that threatened their isolated lifestyle.
As the Sorcerer Wars began in earnest, the Imperium decided to sieze the Dwarves’ cache of powerful magical items. The First Imperial Fleet was dispatched to claim them, by force if necessary. However, they underestimated Dwarven ingenuity. The Dwarves knew that the human armies coveted their weapons, and they had been preparing for this day. Right before the eyes of the astonished human armada, the Dwarven cities rose skyward, disappearing into the clouds. The Dwarves weren’t heard from again until the war had ended.
With the human nations shattered and the Elven Empire a small fragment of what it had once been, the Dwarves found themselves more powerful than ever in the post-war world. While they continued to trade with the other races, they otherwise continued their policy of non-involvement, preferring the safety of their skycities. Only on one occasion did they involve themselves in the politics of the world below, when High Inquisitor Aust Amastacia approached them with a proposal to make the world safe for all races by doing away with the scourge of magic. Ever since, the Dwarves have lent their warships to the service of the Inquisition, and furnished it with their greatest feat of engineering yet, the Ark, a massive prison capable of holding and controlling every mage the Inquisition can capture.