The Lord of the Rings: Shadow of the East
The Dwarves, or “Naugrim,” are descendants of the Seven Fathers of the Khazâd, who were created by the Vala Aulë (The Smith) out of stone. Their seven lineages (or houses) settled in separate areas, but always in or by the mountains. All Dwarves consider mountains sacred. They also worship Aulë, whom they call “Mahal.”
Dwarves are rather short, stocky, and have a ruddy complexion. Males average about 4 to 5 feet in height. They have deep-set eyes, dark hair, and beards (which grow slowly but continuously throughout their lives). Resistant to diseases and extremely strong, they live an average of 150-250 years. Some reach the age of 400. Dwarves are great metalworkers, smiths and stoneworkers. Fierce in battle, their main weapons are axes, but they also use bows, swords, shields and mattocks.
The Naugrim have superior sight underground and in places of near total darkness. Their crafts are superb, and they are unsurpassed workers of stone. Like Orcs, they are masters of metalwork, although Dwarven works embody a sense of beauty as well as strength and utility. No race mines as well as Dwarves.
Since they live underground, Dwarves do not grow their own food supplies if they can help it, and usually obtain food through trade with Elves and Men. Dwarven and human communities often form relationships where the Men were the prime suppliers of food, farmers and herdsmen, while the Dwarves supply tools and weapons, road-building and construction work. This was especially common in the Second Age, but the perils of the Third Age has fostered mistrust and many of these ancient alliances have faltered.
Dwarves breed slowly, for no more than a third of them are female, and not all marry; also, female Dwarves look and sound (and dress, if journeying—which is rare) so alike to Dwarf-males that other folk cannot distinguish them, and thus others wrongly believe Dwarves grow out of stone.
From their creation, the Dwarves spoke Khuzdul, a constructed language made for them by Aulë. Because it was a constructed (though living) language, it was not descended from any form of Elvish, as most of the languages of Men were, although it has been suggested that the language may have had influence on the early languages of Men. Khuzdul is a closely guarded tongue, however, and the Dwarves never revealed their Khuzdul names to outsiders, going so far as to omit them from even their tombs. Khuzdul was written in Cirth, a runic alphabet developed by the Elves.
The seven Dwarven houses are the Longbeards, Firebeards, Broadbeams, Ironfists, Stiffbeards, Blacklocks, and Stonefoots.
Aulë and the Creation of the Dwarves
Aulë the Smith is a Vala and one of the Ainur. Aulë is given lordship over the matter that composes Arda and is a master of all the crafts that shape it. Desperate for pupils onto whom he could pass his knowledge and unwilling to wait for the emergence of the Children of Ilúvatar, Aulë created his own race of beings, the Dwarves. However, he did not have a clear idea of what the Children of Ilúvatar would be like, and because of the presence of the chaos caused by Melkor, Aulë made the Dwarves strong and unyielding, and not willing to endure the domination of others, as well as embodying some of his values and desires for Middle-earth. However Aulë did not have the power to give independent life to his creations. They could act only when his thought was on them.
When Aulë had completed his work he began to instruct the Dwarves in the language he had made for them, Khuzdul. Then Ilúvatar spoke to him, asking why he would seek to exceed his power and authority by attempting to make new life. Aulë repented, answering that the drive to create was kindled in him by Ilúvatar, and that he only wished for other beings to love and teach, with whom to share in the beauty of the world. He admitted that his impatience had driven him to folly and submitted his creations to Ilúvatar. Assuming that they should be destroyed, he made to smite the seven Fathers of the Dwarves with a great hammer, weeping as he did so. But as the Dwarves shrank from the blow, Ilúvatar stayed Aulë’s hand and showed that he had already accepted his offer by gifting the Dwarves with spirits of their own, else they could not have been afraid.
Ilúvatar accepted them as his adopted children, however as it was ordained that the Elves were to be the firstborn race, he set the Dwarves to sleep until after the Awakening of the Elves. He told Aulë that while both were his children, their creation was outside the scope of the Music of the Ainur, and often strife would arise between the Dwarven race and the Elven race as the events of the world unfolded.
The Dwarves believe that after they die their spirits remove to halls Aulë has set aside for them, and their role will be to rebuild Arda after the Final Battle that is yet to come.