In the past the mole-like race called the dredge were a pitiable race, enslaved by the dwarves and ready to fight alongside any who would help free them from their masters' whips. After the Transformation of the Dwarves, the dredge gained their freedom once and for all, and established themselves as the heirs to the dwarven kingdom in the Shiverpeak Mountains, where they battle the displaced norn for control of dwarven territory. They have made their capital in Sorrow's Embrace, formerly the main mine of the Stone Summit dwarves.
The dredge are intelligent and roughly humanoid with hunched postures and, due to their race's history beneath the surface, underdeveloped eyes, to the point of nearly being blind. They have a highly developed sense of hearing, and all their technology is sound-based, earning them the respect of the asura.
Little is known of dredge culture, only that they value highly the freedom of their race—a fact that is ironically used by their government to limit personal freedoms, and keep the dredge subservient, much like the dwarves did centuries ago. As such, the dredge can be considered to be in a state of permanent revolution.
The dredge have, in the past, strived to remain independent, but were recently manipulated into cooperation with the Inquest. They have recently become increasingly xenophobic, and the kodan, who have fled south from Jormag into dredge territory, view them as expansionist, and see their presence on the surface as an attempt to "pull an asura."
The dredge were, until recently, ruled by a dictatorship of the moletariate, but due to their involvement with the Inquest, a group of opportunistic young officers overthrew the old generals, including Koptev, Zadorojny, and War Minister Shukov, and installed a military dictatorship instead. The military leaders claimed the Inquest the sole "good outsiders" and allied with them to gain control over the Destroyer of Worlds, intending to use it to wage war on the surface races. To this end, Minister Shukov, once considered honorable, has taken to Inquest methods and enslaved his own people.
The revolution, led by Rasolov, aims to free the workers and overthrow the moletariate as a whole to bring in a new leadership. The revolution has only taken place in two places thus far: in Sorrow's Embrace and Groznev Delve,[verification requested] within Frostgorge Sound.
In 1072 AE, the dredge were under the thumb of the Stone Summit dwarves, who used them as slaves in the mines of Sorrow's Furnace. At one point, a few desperate escapees from the Shiverpeak tunneled for hundreds of miles to reach a strange new home—the Echovald Forest of Cantha, where their offspring jealously defended their prized freedom. These dredge were ferocious and aggressive, having escaped slavery on their own, and planned to establish their race anew in the then-petrified woodlands. With Emperor Usoku's campaign against non-humans, it is unknown if they succeeded.
Meanwhile, in the far north, the dwarven civil war came largely to an end as the nation of Deldrimor launched a pre-emptive strike and destroyed the Stone Summit's superweapon, the Iron Forgeman. Some remained in Sorrow's Furnace, which remains the dredge capital to this day, and others were taken north by the fleeing Stone Summit and put to work in the Vloxen Excavations in the Woodland Cascades, where the Stone Summit used them to unearth an ancient evil. After the final defeat of the Duncan the Black and the Stone Summit in Slavers' Exile, the dredge were finally able to claim their freedom, and rose to inherit the former lands of the dwarves. When the norn fled south from the ravages of Jormag, it put them into conflict with the dredge, and to this day the two races battle for territory in the Shiverpeaks.
In 1325 AE, Snaff's former apprentice Kudu approached War Minister Shukov and convinced him to allow the historically isolationist dredge to cooperate with the Inquest. Shukov was promised a "great opening of the world", and planned for the dredge to flood the surface, conquer the charr and norn, humble the sylvari, and put the ancient humans in their place. This plan was disrupted by Zojja and Caithe, who destroyed Kudu's masterpiece, a rebuilt Iron Forgeman powered by draconic energies. The defeat of the Inquest plunged dredge society into chaos resulting in a revolution against the moletariate, and the outcome of the turmoil is not yet known.
More recently, the dredge formed a Molten Alliance with the Flame Legion of the charr. They have lent their technology to the Flame Legion, who gave them use of magic in return to invade the Wayfarer Foothills and Diessa Plateau, razing homesteads and ranches, and displacing refugees. The Wolfborn and the Adamant Guard are in the process of formulating a response to these attacks. Querying the LOR-748 Field Reporter golem, located in Lion's Arch during the Flame and Frost living story events, resulted in a summary of known facts about the dredge and the Flame Legion.
- The history and culture of the dredge seem to be based largely off that of the Soviet Union. Many aspects of the Soviet Union are referenced, usually for the purposes of mole-based puns.