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Gauntlygrym map
A map of Gauntlgrym from the novel of the same title.
Gauntlgrym
Geographical information
Area Mount Hotenow, Northwest Faerûn
Societal information
Races Dwarves, humans, drow,[1] vampires[2]
Population 30,000; later abandoned

Inhabitants of Gauntlgrym
Locations in Gauntlgrym

Gauntlgrym was an ancient dwarven city that fell into ruin before the memory of any living dwarves.[citation needed] The city was the capital of the Delzoun.[3]

Via the Underdark, Gauntlgrym connects with Deepearth, Nuur Throth, a long and treacherous tunnel to the Great Worm Caverns and an even longer tunnel to Shadowdale.[4]

Its location was lost for centuries, alleged to be north of the River Dessarin, near the valley of Khedrun in the Savage Frontier.[4] though it was actually much farther to the southwest.

Entry pointsEdit

There existed a river of magma that originated within Mount Hotenow, which, in 1480 DR, was connected to the Great Cavern (and therefore Gauntlgrym's main entrance) via winding tunnels.[3]

Bruenor Battlehammer rediscovered Gauntlgrym through a cave entrance in a stony ravine outside of Neverwinter.[5]

There also existed a number of tunnels from the Underdark, beneath Gauntlgrym, that led upwards into the city, bypassing the main entrance, and these were used by the duergar to enter.[6]

ArchitectureEdit

The city was built on a huge scale, with many doorways constructed at a size that would allow even dragons to pass through. Doorways were constructed from iron, mithral and stone.[3] These doors were designed to be opened only by a Delzoun, and were both magically sealed and tremendously heavy.[7] The city was adorned with icons to the Morndinsamman (dwarven pantheon) and other dwarven heroes.[3]

EcologyEdit

The city was, at first, occupied only by dwarves, but during its rise to power, it gained in notoriety and developed populations of humans and elves too, until its fall to the orcs.[3]

LocationsEdit

Burning HeartEdit

The Burning Heart was a steam-filled chamber beneath the Great Forge that contained a pure adamantine ziggurat that was used to tap the power of Maegera, the primordial used to power the Great Forge.[8]

Fiery PitEdit

The Fiery Pit was a deep magma-filled chasm in the depths of Gauntlgrym in which the primordial Maegera was kept in a semi-conscious slumber.[9]

Great CavernEdit

The Great Cavern contained Gauntlgrym's main entrance and was a very large natural subterranean structure, covered with stalactites and stalagmites, with a lake at its centre.[3]

Great ForgeEdit

The Great Forge used the heat of Maegera in the Fiery Pit as its power source, and was a large chamber split into sections for furnaces and anvils. Some were raised and others were in shallow pits. A pulley system was used to transport buckets, containing water or ore, and this was accessed via raised stone catwalks. Tools made in the furnaces of the Great Forge were imbued with tiny amounts of primordial essence.[8]

Iron TabernacleEdit

The Iron Tabernacle, situated at the heart of the city, was Gauntlgrym's temple, although it covered a huge area containing a number of cathedrals, and was adorned with sculptures and intricate knotwork.[10]

It also contained a switching station which acted as a central hub for the magical automated mine carts that were used to transport ore across the city, via an extensive series of mine cart rails.[11]

A large crypt lay at the lowest part of the Iron Tabernacle, with burials ranging from simple ones to large sarcophagi, buried with full details of lineage. The crypt was protected by ghosts who would attack those who were not respectful of the dead.[11]

MinesEdit

As of 1480 DR, duergar mining activity was underway in the depths of Gauntlgrym. At first utilising the dwarven mines of the city, which were of traditional dwarven design, there were also much more dangerous duergar mines which were, in places, almost vertical, with makeshift homes at the bottom of some pits, to improve efficiency. Some of the deepest pits reached the large underground magma lakes of Mount Hotenow.[6]

Shrine of SacrilegeEdit

As of 1480 DR, a duergar shrine to Asmodeus had been constructed in one of the deeper pits within the mines, by using materials taken from the Iron Tabernacle, such as icons of Moradin.[12]

HistoryEdit

Gauntlgrym's construction began in -335 DR as a joint effort between the arcanists of Illusk and the dwarves of Delzoun, who would take it as their capital. Using bound water elementals, the two races managed to subdue and control the trapped Dawn Titan, Maegera whose heat would fuel forges that created many exceptional pieces of metalwork. The city was completed fourteen years later and came to be home to dwarves from all over Delzoun as well as humans from Illusk and Runlatha.

The city fell during The Orc Marches of -111 DR but was resettled in 141 DR, this time as a vassal of Illusk, who again aided the dwarves in their efforts. Unfortunately, after an invasion by lycanthropes a mere twelve years after its resettlement, the city would be left to the mind flayers who controlled the were-creatures.

The Illithid would rule over the city for over a millennium, keeping to the lower levels while leaving the trap-filled upper halls empty. They would later use the city as a base from which to attack the Kraken Society, who had managed to injure their elder brain and managed to abduct and brainwash one of their own in 1278 DR. They would also find unexpected numbers when they accepted refugees from destroyed Phanlinksal in 1339 DR who aided them in their main goal which seemed to be the creation of half-illithid hybrid creatures. The Knights of Myth Drannor would be only the second surface group to uncover Gauntlygrym, the first being the Company of the Gryphon. The Knights had found a previously undiscovered route through the Underdark from Shadowdale. A group of goblinoids called the Hargrath would later take over the upper levels. In 1363 DR, the mind flayers of Gauntlgrym created the first illithiderro, or madminds. The madminds, who could breed amongst themselves, did so quickly and outnumbered their creators in only a few years. They successfully rebelled against the illithids, slaughtering most of their former masters before coming to infest the lower levels like vermin[13].

Maegra would be awoken many years later in 1451 DR by Dahlia Sin'felle, an agent of distant Thay, who would use it to destroy Neverwinter. When Sylora Salm tried to destroy the burgeoning settlement again ten years later, she would be stopped by the combined efforts of Bruenor Battlehammer, Jarlaxle Baenre and Drizzt Do'Urden. In 1463 DR, a group of drow led by Ravel Xorlarrin captured the forge area of the complex at the behest of Matron Zeerith, having been secretly prodded to do so by House Baenre. The purpose was to create a sister city to Menzoberranzan that was free of the direct control of House Baenre but it would also afford greater rights to drow males and driders as well as create an easier access for Bregan D'aerthe to send trade goods from the surface back home. A brief setback occurred shortly after the occupation began when Brack'thal Xorlarrin, the house elderboy, succumbed to the whispers of Maegera and tried to release the primordial once more, coinciding with an attack from a contingent of shadovar led by Herzgo Alegni. When those threats passed the drow moved to strengthen their position, but somehow, over the next sixteen years, the drow were forced out by a band of Duergar.

In 1479 DR, Gauntlgrym was the dwelling place for several factions. The illithids who once resided there returned, mutated, plaguechanged and under the influence of the Abolethic Sovereignty. The duergar remained, expanding the tunnels beneath the city at the behest of Asmodeus while also mining for precious metals, including hellthorn. House Xorlarrin also remained in the Underdark passages just outside the city, hoping to reclaim the territory that they lost; they were still using the Forge in 1483 DR.[1] A number of drow vampires lived in the area, and the dwarf-turned-vampire Thibbledorf Pwent watched overBruenor Battlehammer's cairn.[2] In addition, there are the ever present threats of Delzoun ghosts, elemental servants of Maegera and a large colony of dire corbies who stubbornly refuse to be eradicated.

Notable inhabitantsEdit

Further ReadingEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Warning: edition not specified for The Companions
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Warning: edition not specified for The Companions
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting, p. 192. Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  4. 4.0 4.1 slade (April 1996). The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier (The Wilderness), p. 38. TSR, IncISBN 0-7869-0391-0.
  5. Warning: edition not specified for The Companions
  6. 6.0 6.1 Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting, p. 196. Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  7. Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting, p. 193. Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting, p. 199. Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  9. Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting, p. 198. Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  10. Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting, p. 194. Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting, p. 195. Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  12. Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting, p. 197. Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  13. Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn, p. 143. Wizards of the CoastISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
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