Last week we covered the gnomes, who much like the night elves have a history that spans centuries, but unlike the night elves, much of this history is unknown. Also unlike the night elves, the gnomes don't appear to have much going for them in the way of future conflicts. Today we're going to talk about the close friends of the gnomes -- the dwarves -- who are decidedly far more important than any have given them credit for to date.
To summarize their origins: Way back in Azeroth's history, the Titans created a race of guardians called "earthen" to help protect and watch over the planet. There were a few different "types" of earthen originally created. The first type was prone to a "matrix destabilization" when in high-stress situations, and a nasty thing called the Curse of Flesh. This destabilization in conjunction with the curse led to the creation of the troggs. Yes, the same troggs that are currently plaguing the gnomes and Gnomeregan. These first earthen were sealed away in vaults all over the world including locations such as Bael Modan. Apparently the Titans seem to have this thing for locking bad things under the earth. The second round of earthen creations were just fine, and left as they were.
Except that they weren't "just fine." These earthen were also susceptible to the Curse of Flesh, much like the gnomes were, and it worked on them oh-so-subtly. Over a gigantic chunk of time, they degraded into what we know today as the dwarves of the lower continents. As for Northrend, according to the Tribunal of the Ages, the Titans created the Forge of Wills to make yet another series of earthen, these designed to avoid the Curse of Flesh altogether. This is why you see earthen up in Northrend today.