the "Gravest Insult"

The "Gravest Insult" is a dwarven term for an ancient elven decision to refuse the dwarves the power of magic.

In the Second Age, the race of dwarves was involved in a desperate series of wars against the race of Goblins for control of the Grey Mountains. The embattled dwarves soon asked the elves for the gift of magic to aid them in their struggles against the goblin tribes deep below the surface. The Elvish proclamation of 232/2 made by the Synfari (the elvish Council of Mages), was a stinging blow to the dwarves.

In their proclamation of 232/2; the elves flatly refused to share the power of magic with the race of dwarves, for the elves deemed them 'unfit' because of their greed and perceived desire to use magic only to increase their wealth. The dwarves never forgave or forgot this slight, and the elves would come to bitterly regret that decision. Some have said the dwarves were greedy, but they were never evil by nature and once any dwarf extended a hand in friendship, a permanent bond was established.