Dwarves are a short, often subterranean humanoid creatures common to Germanic and Norse mythology. Literature featuring the origins of dwarves is hard to determine. Some sources show Norse Dwarves predating Germanic Dwarves, but these sources are unreliable and scarce.
Norse Dwarves, also known as Dvergar, are very common creatures of Norse mythology. Often times they were used as symbols of the Earth, magic, technology, death, and forging. Dvergar were divided into three tribes, led by Motsognir, Durinn, and Dvallin. Dvergar have a similar backstory and symbolic meaning to Dwarves of other cultures mythology, however they were originally depicted differently. Up until the thirteenth century when Dvergar took on their short stature and humorous element, they were often shown at full human height. They often appeared with pale skin and dark hair. This is due to their link with death.
Svartalfar, or Dark Elves, were often used interchangeably with Dvergar in Norse mythology. They were also said to live underground, hence the term "Dark" Elves, as opposed to their counterpart, Ljosalfar, or Light Elves. They share much of the same properties as Dvergar, which is why they were so often used in the place of, or were replaced by the Dvergar.
The Germanic style Dwarves were depicted slightly more as they are seen today. Sharing many of the same properties of the Dvergar, such as their underground homes, love of forging and symbolic meaning, they are often seen as simply a mutation of the predating Dvergar mythology and appearances. Again, no early stories point to dwarves being small, it wasn't until later that they adopted the short stature. However Germanic Dwarves were used far more for humorous reasons and represented wisdom. They were shown with beards and had strong ties to the spirits. The Dwarves of Germanic mythology also shared a strong tie, appearance and property-wise, to elves as they did in Norse mythology.
Today Dwarves can often be seen as the happy-go-lucky, tall hatted, and long bearded cheery little guy. These modern day Dwarves seem to have been drawn more from the Germanic mythology as opposed to the older Norse. Retaining traits like wisdom, beards, living under ground, and their later adopted short stature, these Dwarves are still used mainly for comedic purposes in todays stories and films. An example of how the modern day Dwarf is related to the Germanic Dwarf would be Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. This film shows very clearly the traits that were often associated with the ancient Dwarves. Modern depictions of Dwarves draws heavily from the fantasy fiction that has been inspired by J. R. R. Tolkien's novels. The Lord of the Rings, and The Hobbit has established the German myth in popular imagination. Fantasy authors and artists work tends to be derivative or in reaction to Tolkien's depiction.
The Duke of Below, Brell Serilis, created the Dwarves in the depths of the Butcherblock Mountains, which is where they still reside. The city of Kaladim produces some of the fiercest warriors and paladins, but also some of the most skilled clerics and most dextrous rogues. As residents of Faydwer, the Dwarves are friendly with both the Elves and Gnomes, and also any other good-natured cities. They do not tolerate the likes of Dark Elves or Trolls, and have a long history of war with Ogres. Living daily life in the caves of Kaladim, Dwarves have infravision, enchancing their sight in the dark. They also have an innate sense of direction and begin with 5 resistance to both poison and magic. Dwarves can only wear small armor.