Dwarfs are stocky, hardy folk, that like being in the thick of the action. Whilst they revel in the front line of combat they also have a spiritual side with a natural sense of what is wrong and right.
During the early history of Athien the dwarf race was a kingdom that spanned Raspier and they held the most metallurgical knowledge of any of the races. This kingdom was shattered during the wars of the gods and the royal line was forced to seek refuge in 'the spray', a huge arcing archipelago of islands that stretch far from the Wellinward coast of Raspier. The majority of dwarfs remained on the mainland, assimilating within the newly forming fiefdoms and forgetting the old kingdom.
Those who had fled to the spray spent hundreds of years maintaining the royal line and tradition in exile. The greatly changed environment meant that traditional food sources changed dramatically and they directed the same determination towards fishing and seafaring that had once been directed towards metalworking and mining.
After the fall of Edarr, with Athien shaken and previously strong empires on the verge of failure, the dwarven royal line at last stepped back out of the shadows and onto the mainland. Their reception among the dwarfs that had remained was mixed. Many were eager to join the cause of resurrecting the old Kingdom, particularly those who had struggled to leave behind old racial enmities and longed for a genuine dwarven society. Against those though were equally many who found the old ways backwards and had no desire to become subjects of a royal line that had spent several hundred years ruling fishing villages.
This internal conflict sours the relations of dwarfs across Athien and the desire to create (or restore depending upon your viewpoint) a kingdom has understandably led to friction with those who control existing cities and territories on the mainland near the spray. Dwarfs in cosmopolitan cities now find themselves under suspicion as potential rogue agents working to re-establish the kingdom and this suspicion impacts their daily lives dramatically, feeding new life into racial tensions that had largely been washed away hundreds of years ago by the wars of the gods.