While the Titans shaped Azeroth, they created several races to work on the more minute details of the planet and the structures that would be under the surface, such as the deep caverns of the underworld. These were created by the Earthen, constructs of the Titans (who can still be found in Ulduar, Uldaman, Deepholm and other parts of Azeroth), made of magical stone and given the “breath of life,” so to speak, and intelligence in order to perform the tasks given to them.
While there are many conflicting stories about their origins in relation to the troggs, there is no doubt that the dwarves bore the result of the Curse of the Flesh by the Old Gods in an attempt to destroy that which the Titans had created. The Titans created the Earthen to be used in low stress environments as they were deemed unstable when exposed to high stress situations. Instead of allowing their creation to be completely destroyed, the Titans seemed to have attempted to at least try to make these new versions somewhat stable, although modern dwarves are still susceptible to being transformed into troggs.
What is known, though, is that the Earthen were still far more prevalent than the dwarves at least 10,000 years ago, during the War of the Ancients. At the insistence of Krasus the Kaldorei became allied with the Earthen, although it was an extremely reluctant truce between the two from the start. The Kaldorei were quick to write off the alliance and attempted to set the Earthen off to the sidelines, where they would be out of the way, and if they died, it would be of little importance to the overall fight. After the war, not much was heard from the Earthen as they were made from the very soil of Azeroth, and the pain of the Sundering was physical for them. While they went back to their underground cities, they were also in hibernation under orders of one of the Keepers, Loken, to try to lessen the impact of the pain from the Sundering (and possibly lessen the chance of them becoming troggs).
At some point after this, the Earthen began to suffer from the Curse of the Flesh put upon them by the Old Gods. It’s unclear whether their forced hibernation was ended by the change of their now softer flesh, or if some other as of now unknown force or being woke them. When they awoke though, the Earthen began to call themselves dwarves, and found their physical connections to Azeroth had been diminished on conjunction with their now softer flesh, and their powers had lessened.
Keeping to their earth-centric ways, the new dwarves built a city in the largest mountain near their resting place, naming it after the Titan Khaz’goroth – Khaz Modan. In the deepest heart of the mountain, they built an altar and a forge and the city that grew around it became known as Ironforge, which is still the current hub of dwarven life on Azeroth.
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