Dwarves are one of the five main Races depicted in Terry Brooks' Shannara series. Like the Trolls, the Gnomes, and the Race of Man, Dwarves are descended from humans who survived the Great Wars. Their natural home is the Eastland, particularly the dense forests of the Upper and Lower Anar.
During the time of the Great Wars, the human beings who would later become Dwarves hid underground to avoid the devastation above the ground. Centuries of living in caves before finally re-emerging made the Dwarves shorter than Men and gave them a great dislike of caves, as they vowed they would never live underground again. The Dwarves committed themselves to a life in the forested wilderness of the Anar forests, pursuing a reverence for nature reminiscent of the Elves.
The Dwarves contributed to the inauguration of the First Council of Paranor, and also supported the Druid Army against the Man separatists in the First War of the Races. The Dwarves stood steadfast in their loyalty to the Druid Council over the millennia in a manner surpassing any other Race. The Dwarves became embroiled in the Gnome Border Wars shortly after the conclusion of the war. The bitter rivalry between the two peoples resulted from their having to share the Eastland between them. King Raybur managed to drive the Gnome tribes East of the Cillidellan and North of the Central Anar. The Central Anar and the Wolfsktaag Mountains became contested border territory with the Dwarven people settling in the Southern Anar.
The Dwarves bore the full brunt of the Northland Army in the Second War of the Races. While Culhaven was sacked and many thousands were slain, a large portion of the Dwarven people managed to escape into the deep Eastland beyond the Ravenshorn Mountains. The casualty count of their enemies was phenomenal. The remainder of the Dwarven army later marched on the Northland Army after it had been weakened by the Elves, and they managed to drive it to rout. Raybur rebuilt Culhaven, as well as a heavily fortified castle called Capaal to guard the headwaters of the Silver River. The Dwarven monarchy was later ended, to be replaced by a Democracy.
In the Third War of the Races, the Gnome Wars flared up anew, and the Dwarves lent warriors to help defend the Border city of Varfleet against the Northern army. They later supported Arborlon in the War of the Forbidding. The Gnomes were soon after marshaled en-masse from the Ravenshorn by the Mord Wraiths. The Dwarves were drawn into a desperate struggle with this new evil, who sought to poison the Silver River and exterminate their people. Fortress Capaal fell before a summoned Kraken in this conflict. Despite support from both Arborlon and the Borderlands, the tide was turned only when Brin Ohmsford of the Shannara line destroyed the Ildatch grimoire which provided the Mord Wraiths with their dark powers.
Despite withstanding this evil, the Dwarven race would fall before the more insidious threat of the Shadowen taint, allowing the Federation to enslave them. The Dwarves fought the Federation shortly before the events of The Heritage of Shannara took place. The Federation was kept at bay by the Dwarves, as the latter employed guerrilla-style tactics. However, the Federation defeated the Dwarves by sending in Creepers. In months, the war was over. The Dwarves were then enslaved and put to work in mines for the Federation.
When the Federation armies were defeated at the battle of the Valley of Rhenn, the Coalition Council withdrew from the Eastland, prompted by a revolt of the Dwarves led by Morgan Leah of the Freeborn. The Dwarves remained staunch allies of the Freeborn against the Federation and lent troops and airships to their war.