The duardin are a short, squat and physically powerful humanoid species of the Mortal Realms that were once called the Dwarfs in the World-That-Was. Renowned for their mastery of metal and stone, the duardin are doughty warriors and skilled builders.
As a people they are highly skilled at mining and smithcraft. They primarily worship the deities Grimnir, god of war and fire, and Grungni, the god of smiths, though many have also come to venerate Sigmar for his role in their salvation from Chaos.
Following the Age of Chaos, the duardin split into several different factions.
From their subterranean halls, the duardin of the Dispossessed clans brood over the ruins of the once-great Khazalid Empire, doing things as they have always been done and fighting to regain every scrap of land and treasure in the Mortal Realms that had once been theirs. It is said that they would sooner be poor in the lands of their ancestors than prosper elsewhere.
The Fyreslayers are mercenary warriors who will only fight for a payment of ur-gold. They are the heirs of the duardin's warrior-god Grimnir, and each is a fanatical warrior, devoted to their dead god.
Their fury in combat and unbreakable oaths are legendary; a Fyreslayer will famously never accept a single coin in payment for an oath unfulfilled. For a Fyreslayer, the accrual of gold is a spiritual act, one for which they must first prove themselves worthy.
The Kharadron Overlords long ago left their failing mountain kingdoms behind them, constructing great airborne realms above the clouds in search of aether-gold. The Kharadron are highly mercantile and meritocratic, devoted solely to the accumulation of wealth, and their reputation as hard bargaining misers is well known across the Mortal Realms.
Like all duardin, the Kharadron pay homage to Grungni the Maker, but most prefer to depend on their own science and ingenuity than lean on any god. Many still hold a grudge against Grungni for forsaking them during the Age of Chaos.
In the free cities founded throughout the Mortal Realms during the Age of Sigmar, there are descendants of the Khazalid Empire -- those who fled to Azyrheim during the Age of Chaos who are also known as Dispossessed -- who keep to their traditions in their own ways.
These duardin built new homes alongside humans, aelves, and others. Their skills as artisans and toughness in battle serves them well as Freeguild auxiliaries and in the Ironweld Arsenal, as they seek to retake the realms from the forces of Chaos.
All duardin are stoutly built, typically standing no taller than the average human's chest, but are considerably broader through the shoulders and extremely heavily muscled.
The Dispossessed and the Fyreslayers appreciate the importance of a full and voluminous beard, and will never voluntarily cut it during their lives. Correspondingly, they hold that a beard's length is directly representative of the wearer's age and wisdom (both highly respected in many duardin subcultures), and its bearing is similarly reflective of character.
Bearded Kharadron, ever practical, regularly trim their beards to more readily fit within their suits of Arkanaut armour and place more value on a duardin's known accomplishments than their grooming. This is, of course, a bone of some contention between the subcultures.
All duardin value wealth, greatly venerate their ancestors, and have lengthy memories, particularly when pertaining to unpaid debts and old grudges. The difference between the duardin factions lies largely in the details, for while a Fyreslayer will die by the spirit of their oath, a Kharadron relies on meticulously drafted written contracts and will likely feel no qualms about exploiting any loophole in an agreement that is anything less than watertight.
The dedication, stubbornness, and sheer grit of the duardin is known throughout the realms. Whether in the skies high above Barak-Nar or the molten stone beneath Vorstargi Mont, something within the duardin refuses to give up.
The other mortal species chuckle that even the Undying King Nagash, god of death, is not foolish enough to claim a duardin soul before they decide they are good and ready to die.