The dwarves are a stocky race of humanoids that vaguely resemble humans, but have an affinity for stone and metals, a tendency to live underground, and an abundance of body hair.
The documented history of the dwarves begins (according to ancient tablets deep in the Great Rift) around -16000 DR when the dwarves were supposedly led through a portal to the mountain range now known as the Yehimals.
Where the dwarves originated from is a great unknown, although tablets scattered around the Yehimals (and taken to cities in Zakhara), that are written in an alphabet that closely resembles Jotun, describes how Mordinnam (meaning brother of Annam) led his children away from the centuries of warfare to seek out a new home. Mordinnam, like the other dwarvish gods is depicted as being of great stature to rival giants in size.
Upon arriving in the Yehimals the dwarves spread out across the three continents. Those moving into Faerun skirted around the mountains of Raurin before heading south through Mulhorand and into the Shaar, establishing dwarf holds and settlements along the way.
The Gold Dwarves: The founding of Great Bhaerynden secured the supremacy of dwarves in the Shaar and marks the beginning of the Gold Dwarf subrace. A secure homeland allowed for further migrations west and north by Taark Shanat to found Shanatar.
Great Bhaerynden itself was brought low by the deceptions of the Drow around -9000 DR, forcing the gold dwarves of the Great Rift to migrate north (and in all other directions) to ancient holds around the Shaar, such as those in the lands north of Raurin. The sudden influx of dwarves into these smaller holds caused much strife among the dwarves and ultimately led to the unleashing of the power of the Elder Rune of Destruction beneath the plains of Semphar and the collapse of the dwarven nation of xxxx.
Some dwarves migrated west and north of Semphar and ultimately founded Sarphil, while others returned south and turned their minds to reclaiming Great Bhaerynden, which they did so in -7600 DR.
The Arctic Dwarves: After millennia of prosperity and expansion, around -3000 DR, a number of dwarves began to leave the Great Bhaerynden and return north to re-establish long abandoned holds. These holds included those in and around the Teyla Shan, but the mines of those holds soon played out and the dwarves continued north and east into the Hordelands, or headed north and west into Thay, Thesk, and eventually on to found Dareth.