In the story I'm writing, a version of the Volsunga Saga, dwarves or dvergar and their Norse (and Tolkien)-inspired culture play a strong role in the plot, as the hero is a human raised in a dwarven community called Durin's Forge (His foster father is a dwarven prince explicitly compared to Thorin Oakenshield)
A while ago I read something about Norse dwarves (dvergar) that stated that an alternative origin story for them (ie not "were maggots in Ymir's flesh formed into relatively human shape") was that they were made of stone. This creation story reminds me of Tolkien's Vala Aulë/Mahal and his creation of the dwarves and it's almost certainly the one I'll use. (with the "maggots in Ymir's flesh'' one as an alternative version told by humans, elves, etc and referred to an allusion to dwarves being called "maggots.") Does anyone know of an alternative creation story for dwarves in Norse mythology?
Also, who's a good candidate for a dwarven creator god? I thought of Völundr, but he doesn't really fit (of course, I could also change some aspects of him). The Dvergar's religion is based on the Four Dwarves of the Directions (Nordri, Sudri, Austri and Vestri), shamanism, and ancestral worship. Like the Khazad of Tolkien, they use runes to write and cast spells, and adult dwarves have beards. Dwarven children are also raised strictly with a strong sense of community. Physical punishment is common.