From the introduction:
The Dwarves of Jorth are a race in decline. They have been
steadily shrinking in population for centuries. The combination of low birthrate and ongoing genocidal wars with Goblins and Orcs has led to diminishing numbers, social breakdown, and, in the end, vacant ruins where Dwarf kingdoms once stood. The
Dwarves of the current age are the inheritors of an ancient
culture. While they see themselves as the standard bearers of a civilization that values tradition, social order, religious devotion, and economic self sufficiency; outsiders tend to see them as a people who are hide bound, living in the past, rigid, overly pious, and greedy.