There is no exact historical analog for the dwarves. In the earliest iteration of the Auran Empire campaign, the dwarves were extinct, having been slaughtered by the beastmen. My players, arguing that they would tolerate no further bias against short humanoid races, insisted they wanted dwarves. So I put them in the game. But they are relatively rare and isolationist.
The closest analog can offer is that ACKS Dwarves are basically Fantasy Vulcans culturally, if Vulcan had been invaded by Klingons and only tiny outposts of Vulcan remained. Some Vulcan decide that their work ethic and discipline are the problem and embrace their Romulan side (Dwarven Furies), others dedicate themselves to preservation of their culture (Vaultguard, Craftpriest), and others seek to push the boundaries of science to help the war (Machinists). They forget nothing, forgive nothing, and regret much.
The dwarves believe that they were forged by the hand of Istreus when the world was young, and were first taught the secrets of metal-work and machinery by the god himself. For centuries the stout, cunning people delved vast vaults in the Meniri and Jutting Mountains, gathering rich ores and creating enduring works of stone and iron. Eventually they came into contact with the expanding elven and human peoples of Aurëpos. These meetings were not peaceful, and the dwarven annalists still recite tales of ancient battles that the elves and humans have long forgotten.
When the Aurans launched the great Empyrean War against Zahar, the dwarves took no part. The mighty automatons and war machines of the dwarves would have greatly aided in securing victory over the Zaharans, but the dwarves saw little cause in joining one faction of men in fighting another faction of men. History has shown the dwarves’ decision not to intervene to be a terrible error in judgment, however. When the Aurans defeated Zahar, they were too exhausted to fully cleanse the land of the beastmen. In the absence of constant warfare to reduce their numbers, the beastmen population exploded. The beastmen were largely kept out of the north by elven and human garrisons, and so migrated into the mountains in great numbers. The dwarves soon found themselves in a never-ending war for their own tunnels and vaults. Today, the dwarves are a dying race barely clinging to the last of their holdings in the great Meniri and Jutting Mountains. They constantly seek new artifacts and war machines to make up for ever dwindling numbers.
Dwarves are short and stout, averaging 4’ tall but weighing as much as adult humans. They have large, round heads with prominent brows, broad noses, and strong chins. Their skin ranges from light tan to very dark, but it is always some shade of tan or brown. Their hair color can be black, gray, or brown, with occasional red hair in the Jutting Mountains. Their eyes are brown, green, or grey, and very deep set.
Male Names: Arsic, Ballum, Barto, Belfor, Bollum, Bombor, Buhrador, Dalin, Daric, Denor, Doric, Dorfin, Dulic, Evedar, Fullum, Garic, Gailin, Glour, Ghyrin, Hraken, Hrodar, Hruk, Hurgon, Karodar, Klint, Korten, Kulden, Larodar, Larodin, Makor, Motar, Morto, Murtin, Nared, Norden, Oric, Oyrm, Shyldar, Skyrin, Stahlur, Syric, Sythic, Taric, Thor, Tordar, Torenic, Torrad, Wharto
Female Names: Arsi, Balla, Barria, Belfa, Dala, Dara, Denia, Dora, Efti, Esti, Evedara, Fara, Fili, Fula, Gora, Ghyra, Klia, Lara, Lari, Motara, Mora, Muri, Nara, Ora, Oyrma, Rutari, Shylda, Skyra, Stahlia, Syra, Sythia, Tara, Thora, Tordaria, Torena, Torradia