The first of the dwarves to speak called upon him, naming him then in the speech of his people, Al-Erde, which is “Father of All Things,” or “Creator,” or in its simpler form “All Father.” His words were as stone and reflected the iron will that Erde set into the dwarves. “Al-Erde, we see that you stand over the world and that yours is the spring from which all things come. What would you have of us? Set the price, so that we might pay the debt.” This dwarf was Hlothver, and he was named the greatest of all the fathers of dwarves.
Though others quailed at the speech, the All Father heard it and knewthat it carried no threat or hint of malice. Rather, the weight of stone was in it, and even as a stone sees the world, so do the dwarves. All things are passing by, held to the ravages of wind and rain, but the stone stands to the last, hard. Erde did not answer Hlothver but returned to the forge of creation.
But the dwarves took heed of Erde’s silence, and saw the answer in his actions. It came to them then, in those early days of their lives, that the debt must be paid in kind, that the All Father created for the joy of creation and so must the dwarves. Ever after they labored in the making of things, in fashioning homes and tools, in shaping rocks, carving mines, building towers, and later walls of wood and stone. Each dwarf came into the world with the debt of life upon his soul, and it was his or hers to repay the All Father by leaving something behind, great or small.
So the desire of the forge became the fire of their lives. They also took from the All Father that actions speak where words must fail, and always they set aside pointless deliberation once their minds were made.
~ The Codex of Aihrde