Epic of Serinor: Arcane Dawn
Shortly after the dwarves were seen by other races on Serinor, a rift began to develop between two factions within the race. One faction was bent on acquiring as much profit as possible and one faction was more interested in the wealth of the entire race. The imbalance between the dwarves seeking to have as much profit to themselves as possible and those who wanted to see the race prosper as a whole was obvious from the dwarves creation. The nature of the mining which is where most of the wealth came from, created a situation where most dwarves fell in the second category with only a few powerful families in the camp of personal wealth. It was only a short time after the first dwarf was seen by another race, when the first murmurs of dissent emerged. It came to a head soon after, but before the dwarven underclass of miners could strike and take the wealth of their aristrocratic cousins; they fled above ground. The great dreamer of the time warned his family, the Thetes, who in turn warned the other families(Epsis, Omeecs, Eltas, Otas, Zets, and Phas). They left the dark tunnels and fled for the safety of the mountain sides. Once above ground they decided to meet at Mount Firelgrin to decide how to proceed. The first Delian Summit spoke of how the miners were hard on each families tails. So the the great cheif of the Phas, Sparta Oro, convinced the families to lay a trap. The trap was successful and the mining masses were left in a position where they could be annihilated. The seven families decided to grant mercy to avoid likely destroying all dwarves in Serinor. They struck a bargain with the delvers. That the delvers would never again openly attack the aristocratic families and allow them back in the mines to use their wealth to buy the miners time. The delvers were not without their own great dreamer who advised them not surrender so cheaply. The seven families were smaller and had more to lose from an actual battle. He advised to over the families no such place back in the mines but rather safe passage in the mines to do their own mining, but they would remain on the surface. The delvers would not openly seek to destroy the families again. The seven families scoffed at this thought, but as the negotiations dragged on, word came that another dwarven miner army was on its way. The families had mistimed their trap. It had only caught half the army of the miners. So a treaty was needing to be completed to stop the slaughter that would ensue if both halves reached Mount Firelgrin The families went back to their cousins, but by now the miners knew the truth and demanded more of the families. The demanded also that the families separate, migrate across the lands in only single family clans. The families inserted into the text that the seven families could convene in a Delian Summit every 12 years on this same mountainside, which would remain untouched by delvers. The treaty was quickly agreed upon because all the dwarves knew that a battle would see too many dwarves dead and the delvers thought they could still destroy their cousins by more covert means. Thus ended the great dwarven rift.
The seven clans avoid their delver cousins. Each Delian Summit sees changes in the clans. They adhere to the bargain and pay the steep tolls for passage and delving rights. They do their best to avoid the delvers’ ire. These things have kept the outcasts alive, if but as a former shell of their dwarven roots.
The dwarves travel in one clan bands, from place to place never, staying long in anyone place for fear of reprisal from any that does not understand their ways, that focus on ceremonies about their muddled past and look to thier uncertain future. They do tend to find themselves in the same places year after year. Every so many years the clans all converge on Mount Firelgrin so they can return to their delving roots, if but for a short time. But the elders decide never to permenantly settle anywhere for fear of retribution. The clans find security in their isoation and wanderings, but still they try to delve like all dwarves when they can and sell themselves as caravans for travellers that cannot afford their cousins steep tolls.