Dwarves are the squat, hairless people of Athas. Their origins are a mystery to most.
Some say they’re the experiment of a long-forgotten Sorcerer-King attempting to produce a superior type of human. If so, the experiment only half succeeded as while being stronger and living longer than humans, are also short statured and prone to OCD.
Others have surmised that dwarves are the product of natural mutation in humans to survive Athas’ harsh environment with a high resilience to defiling magic, although they generally lack the ability to wield magic themselves.
The rare, and often outlawed archaeologists suggest that a form of the Dwarven race pre-date the Sorcerer-King Era with there being evidence of dwarf kingdoms existing inside mountains, ruled by bearded dwarves clad in steel. Although the link between those being and current-day Dwarves is tenuous at best.