Why Dwarves Shake in Fear
In the morning of the world, there was but one race of Dwarf-kind. Ruled by the laws of humorless gods who sired mortal offspring for the express purpose of granting to themselves unmerited praise and worship, the race was not-so-different from other near-surface folk; boring, reverent, and always willing to make a polite obedience and pour out an offering to their gods. But not all the members of this esteemed race were given over to blending in with others and eking out a pointless existence. There were those among us heard the call of the darkness beneath; who listened to the benevolent and dark godless patrons to whom we have given our souls and our lives. For a time we dwelt in the society of the great dwarf, our bodies still showing the raiment of the occasional burst of light from the lightstone.
But it was not a society which could contain that some of its members had learned a different way than blind submission to impotent gods. We became, in our eyes and the eyes of our patrons beneath, prisoners in our own lands and our own society. There was a war, it was indecisive and painful, as the divine magics of the subjugated were turned with full teeth on those who look elsewhere, but we responded with dark magics of our own. We had learned to fight fire with water, so to speak, and rather than face the ever-deeper role of pointless gods in Dwarf society, we turned our magics against tunnel ground, digging ourselves deep into the world.
There are folktales of our kind among the god-fearing, that our lust for metals led us to delve too deep and we were overcome with dark and evil powers. In truth, the order is opposite: we delved deeper than god-fearers would delve because our patrons beneath invited us. These godless beings of deep darkness have blessed us for our deep devotion, and now every day is both fulfilled and left wanting for only a single things: that we might someday return to the world above and exact our truths upon those among the god-fearing who have spurned us. Our patrons grow stronger with the devotion of our worship, and we ourselves have machines of war beyond the god-fearing’s comprehension.
The day is coming, god-fearing dwarf, when the pits of the deep open, and the dark dwarves return. On that day, let fear be your god. On that day, pray that your elfin foes are not besieging you, for our hatred of you exceeds our hatred of them. Let your human playthings, who are given rights to stand in places you would forbid us in your shining cities, be in full view that day as your homelands are swallowed, pulled back with us into the deep. Let your light from rock be dark on that day, for to see the horrors we bring to unleash would be the madness of your kind forever. For in the deeps, there is power and hope and abundant life for us, but for you there shall be only suffering.
—From the strange manuscript which surfaced recently in Deep River.