The Sands of Faith
The Dwarven Kingdoms line the mountain ranges on the west coast of the western continent of Hawkdel. There are eleven great dwarven cities in these cities, and numerous smaller settlements and outposts. Many dwarves spend their entire lives underground, though after the fall of the Second Empire some have settled on the surface of their kingdom. Surface dwarves have become traders, moving needed goods from the mountains to the cities of the Thirteen Kingdoms and the Colonies. There are two kingdoms of dwarves, but they are friendly to each other. The Kingdom of the Iron Throne occupies the southern reaches of the mountains; they are more traditional and is descended from the earliest known dwarven settlements. The Kingdom of the Dragonscale Throne occupies the northern reaches of the mountains, this much newer kingdom was founded by escaped slaves and refugees from the Imperiam and is less traditional than the Iron Throne.
Dwarves are separated into clans; there are nearly a hundred clans but only twenty which are considered large (and powerful). These clans are also separated between the new and the old clans: old clans have histories that they have tracked since the beginning of the memories; new clans have been formed or accepted since the fall of the Second Empire. Each clan is represented in the Grey Iron Assembly who debate and occasionally rule on issues that affect the race as a whole (such as the acceptance of a new clan or mediation between the kingdoms). To be without a clan is disgraceful, and most dwarves do not associate with them; though thankfully these are very few as you are born within a clan and the only way to lose that status is to be convicted of a grievous crime. While most dwarves take their clan seriously; giving tithes and working towards improving the image of their clan, there are just as many who do little. It is rare to find a dwarf that does not care about their clan.
Long ago, when the Dwarves started to record their memories, three dwarven clans were exiled from the kingdom and into the desert. Their names were removed from all written records and their names were lost. Two of these clans settled to the desert and joined with the elves in their clans. The third clan traveled through the desert, but ended up in the Crescent Valley where they became the Deep Water Clan, which eventually became a recognized clan.