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The gates themselves stood within a massive stone battlement, offering the only passage through the barrier. Although over four millennia old, the gates remained unblemished well into the mid-1300s DR.
Built around roughly −2700 DR (that is, around 4000 years before the 14th century DR) during the time of the Imaskar Empire, the battlement was originally constructed as a barrier against the approaching Imaskari forces. It was sited on the only accessible pass between the Raurin and the lands to the south that would later be known as Durpar and Ulgarth (the easier lower passes were covered by the Scarlet Jungle).
Working to the instructions of master dwarven architects, the southern folk erected the walls and fortifications, but found the gate itself to be natural weak point in the defense. They chose to use iron to fashion the gates, but the metal was rare in the surrounding area, worth more than gold. Thus, the necessary iron was collected from melted-down possessions from all the inhabitants of the land, from bells to pots to swords. Once the gates were ready to cast, a team of wizards constructed a powerful spell to imbue the gates with special properties to protect it from magical assault. One brave wizard volunteered to cast the spell, knowing that it would drain his life in the process.
Afterward, the gates were forged and fully constructed. Then the Gate of Iron was closed against all attack and passage.
By then, the Gate of Iron was simply a headache for local merchants, who had to go the long way around, through Durpar or even through the Shaar to Var the Golden, with attendant taxes and tolls. Some hoped for ways to open the Gate of Iron again, but the rulers of Durpar and Var would not be pleased.
Furthermore, once closed, the Gate of Iron could never be reopened without a secret method.
Rumors and LegendsEdit
Only by the original caster of the powerful spell, who perished upon the casting, or the ancient king of the south knew the way to open the Gate, and the secret was lost with them. Even the techniques for casting the gates and the spell used to enchanted them were also lost.
- ↑ The Horde states that the Gate of Iron was built over "over four thousand years ago" and last opened "over three thousand years" before the setting date of 1359 DR. This implies the Gate was used once or regularly in the intervening millennium—indeed, the point of a gate is that it be opened and closed from time to time.
- ↑ It is unknown what the Deadlands are, but this appears to be describing a dead-magic zone.