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Gracklstugh, the City of Blades, was a duergar city on the shores of the Darklake in the Northdark.[1]

GeographyEdit

The city was located five miles beneath the Evermoors,[1] as well as beneath the Dessarin River valley and the Uthgardt ancestor mound Flintrock.[5]

Gracklstugh was located about 100 miles away from Menzoberranzan across the Darklake and beyond.[7]

Access to Gracklstugh could be achieved by the following routes: caves in the Sword Mountains; tunnels from Beldabar's Rest in Yartar; tunnels from Luskan and Mithral Hall; and via a major trade route from Skullport through the Labyrinth.[8]

StructureEdit

Gracklstugh was a cavern city and subterranean port. It had smelters and foundries mingling among stalagmites. The air smelled acrid and was filled with industrial sounds: fire, steam, and iron ringing. The city was lit by firelight. The cavern sloped down on the eastern side to join the Darklake.[9]

Laduguer's Furrow, also known as "the Cleft," split the city in half north-south. Bridges connected the higher city to the lakeside districts. The west side was off-limits to foreigners.[10]

HistoryEdit

Gracklstugh was founded in −3717 DR by duergar escaping the fall of Deep Shanatar and the subsequent enslavement of many gray dwarves in Oryndoll. [11]

In −3392 DR, King Horgar Steelshadow II began uniting the duergar clans in and around Gracklstugh, creating the Deepkingdom. Over the past few centuries, however, the Deepkingdom narrowing its reach to the city itself and its close environs.[11]

The Deepkingdom's might began falling during the Deepbear Battles against the quaggoths from −1803 DR to ca. −1350 DR.[8]

Around the 14th century DR, King Tarngardt Steelshadow (grandfather of Horgar Steelshadow IV; king since 972 DR[5]) was manipulated and controlled by the Council of Savants. Upon his demise, Horgar IV took the throne but recognized the threat of the savants and planned to kill or at least expel all the derro in Gracklstugh.[11]

In 1372 DR, Horgar used the Silence of Lolth and the weakness of the the followers of Lolth as an excuse to attack the drow city of Menzoberranzan and thus cement his power over his lairds. He allied with Nimor Imphraezl of the Jaezred Chaulssin to further his goals. Under his prompting, Horgar led his army to success against the drow at the Pillars of Woe and gained additional allies: the Scourged Legion of Kaanyr Vhok and the traitorous drow House Agrach Dyrr, also aligned with the Jaezred Chaulssin. Referred to as the Siege of Menzoberranzan, the allies then marched against the drow city and besieged it for several months.[12]

On Ches 28, 1373 DR, the Silence of Lolth ended and Lolth's priestesses regained their powers. Kaanyr Vhok subsequently recalled his forces to Hellgate Keep; the remaining duergar were easily defeated and turned back.[13] The siege officially ended on Ches 30.[14]

As the duergar army retreated, Nimor swept in and killed Horgar Steelshadow IV.[15]

Following Horgar IV's death, Horgar Steelshadow V ascended to the throne.[2]

InhabitantsEdit

The city was mainly home to duergar, but there was a sizable minority of derro who lived there, as well as a number of durzagon, orogs, and stone giants. A third of the total population consisted of slaves, namely goblins, shield dwarves, orcs, svirfneblin, and humans.[1]

The city hosted many visiting merchants, especially drow, duergar, and kuo-toa.[16] Foreigners were required to obtain writs of passage for passage through the city (beyond the docks district) and its territories. On the black market, Clan Muzgardt provided writs of passage for 200 gold per person.[17][18]

GovernmentEdit

The nobility of the city were divided into clans, whose lords were called lairds. Power in the city was shared between the great clans (especially the merchant clans), the king (called Deepking[2]), and the city's derro savants. Entities holding power were the Council of Lairds, the derro Council of Savants, Clan Cairngorm (a power clan of stone giants), and the Merchant Council.[11]

MilitaryEdit

The army of Gracklstugh was one of the strongest in the Underdark although the duergar lacked arcane or divine casters.[6] Militia service was a requirement for all adult males, although many females also trained.[11] Other products of the city were metal armor, arrowheads, fish, locks, mining equipment, smithing equipment, and other tools.[5] In 1372 DR the army that marched against Menzoberranzan was composed of 5,000 duergar in more than eight companies, with orc and ogre slaves.[19]

  • Stone Guards were the king's royal guards and secret police.[20] They numbered nearly 500 experienced duergar soldiers.[1] They were equipped with black plate mail, battleaxes, and shields and carried serrated short swords, known as King's Blades, with which their position could be recognized by; high rank was indicated by strips of gold filigree on their helms. The city's clan lairds could muster additional forces when needed.[1]
  • Darkhafts were the Deepkings secret psionic agents. They often accompanied duergar merchants as overseers and spies.[20]
  • Clan Cairngorm was a clan of 50 stone giants residing in Gracklstugh. While not officially part of the military, the stone giants are prepared to defend the city from any attacks.[21]

TradeEdit

Gracklstugh was especially well known for its quality weapons.[11] Other products of the city were metal armor, arrowheads, fish, locks, mining equipment, smithing equipment, and other tools.[5]

The city had good trading relationships with Menzoberranzan (except in times of war), Mantol-Derith, Skullport, Sshamath, and Ooltul. [11]

Chan Muzgardt was a clan of merchants that made and traded ales and liquors.[17]

CultureEdit

OutlookEdit

The duergar were generally serious and somber and not friendly towards non-duergar, although there were many non-duergar in the city.[22]

To outsiders they could be ruthless and contemptuous, but were by nature pragmatic in their dealings with others. Duergar were far more interested in using others to their advantage, such as enslaving them, rather then killing them.[23]

Duergar believed strongly in the ethic of hard work and tended to prefer earning success and status through labor rather then scheming against a rival.[3]

It was claimed that the duergars' second love after gold was ale.[24]

FoodEdit

Food in Gracklstugh included rothe roasts, red wine, smoked rothe cheese, and black sporeflour bread.[25][26]

Notable locationsEdit

DistrictsEdit

Laduguer's Furrow 
A rift 200 feet deep and 500 feet wide which split the city in half north-south. The walls of the rift were lined with carved dwellings and the eastern section housed the derro quarter.[27] Twelve stone bridges across it connected the Northfurrow District to the Southfurrow District.[3]
Northfurrow District 
The area north of Laduguer's Furrow encompasses Darklake District along with the residences of those whose clan specializes in crafts and other commercial goods. This district is also the only part of the city where outsiders are allowed to reside. The Darklake Docks are located at the northernmost section of the district.[3]
Southfurrow District 
South of Laduguer's Furrow resided the more prestigious clans of Gracklstugh. The area was also home to the lair of the red dragon Themberchaud, Cairngorm Cavern, and the Hold of the Deepkin. Access to the Southfurrow district by unauthrized non-natives was strictly prohibited.[3]
Cairngorm Cavern
A remote district somewhat removed from the main cavern. It housed the stone giants of Clan Cairngorm.[27]
Darklake District
The docks, on the shore of the Darklake in the north, were the poorest and most dangerous district of the city due to lack of use.[28]
Business district 
Filled with artisans and merchants in cramped field storehouses.[10]

LandmarksEdit

Blade Bazaar 
The town square and marketplace located in the Darklake District. It was surrounded by low buildings and weaponsmiths. [22] In 1372 DR, a duergar captain in service of Laird Thrazgud sold armor and weapons from minor drow houses here.[29][16]
The Deepking's Hall 
Gracklstugh's palace had a large gate with no decorations. The guards, called the Stone Guards, generally remained invisible while on watch. The palace had a waiting suite with simple and functional furnishings, as well as a small slitlike window out over the city.[30] The palace had a large portcullis and a large stairway that led to the vast throne room.[31]
Themberchaud's Lair 
The lair of the Wyrmsmith of Gracklstugh, located in a large side cavern in the south part of the city.[27]

EstablishmentsEdit

The Cold Foundry 
A fortresslike inn located a few blocks from the wharves. The sign was in Undercommon and Dwarvish. The inn was composed of a wall around free-standing blockhouses holding the rooms. A pen outside the front gate housed pack lizards.[28] It included a freestanding building that could be rented out that had eight rooms on two floors which were acceptable for drow-sized humanoids.[4]
The Shattered Spire 
A ramshackle tavern that was located atop a broken stalagmite that rose from the Darklake and was connected to the mainland by a rope bridge.[16]
The Gohlbrorn's Lair 
A low-quality but safe inn due to its location beneath the Blade Bazaar in the docks district.[16]

Notable inhabitantsEdit

AppendixEdit

AppearancesEdit

Novels
Games

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 Bruce R. Cordell, Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, Jeff Quick (October 2003). Underdark. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 152. ISBN 0-7869-3053-5.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Christopher Perkins, Adam Lee, Richard Whitters (September 1, 2015). Out of the Abyss. In Jeremy Crawford ed. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 53. ISBN 978-0-7869-6581-6.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Christopher Perkins, Adam Lee, Richard Whitters (September 1, 2015). Out of the Abyss. In Jeremy Crawford ed. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 56. ISBN 978-0-7869-6581-6.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Richard Baker (May 2003). Condemnation. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 113. ISBN 0786932023.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Eric L. Boyd (1999). Drizzt Do'Urden's Guide to the Underdark. (TSR, Inc), p. 56. ISBN 0-7869-1509-9.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 233. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  7. Richard Baker (May 2003). Condemnation. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 105. ISBN 0786932023.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Eric L. Boyd (1999). Drizzt Do'Urden's Guide to the Underdark. (TSR, Inc), p. 59. ISBN 0-7869-1509-9.
  9. Richard Baker (May 2003). Condemnation. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 97. ISBN 0786932023.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Richard Baker (May 2003). Condemnation. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 127. ISBN 0786932023.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 11.7 11.8 Bruce R. Cordell, Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, Jeff Quick (October 2003). Underdark. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 153. ISBN 0-7869-3053-5.
  12. Richard Baker (May 2003). Condemnation. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0786932023.
  13. Paul S. Kemp (February 2006). Resurrection. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 62. ISBN 0-7869-3981-8.
  14. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 153. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Paul S. Kemp (February 2006). Resurrection. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 135. ISBN 0-7869-3981-8.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 Eric L. Boyd (1999). Drizzt Do'Urden's Guide to the Underdark. (TSR, Inc), p. 57. ISBN 0-7869-1509-9.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Richard Baker (May 2003). Condemnation. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 109–110. ISBN 0786932023.
  18. Richard Baker (May 2003). Condemnation. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 112. ISBN 0786932023.
  19. Richard Baker (May 2003). Condemnation. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 200, 241. ISBN 0786932023.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 Christopher Perkins, Adam Lee, Richard Whitters (September 1, 2015). Out of the Abyss. In Jeremy Crawford ed. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 54. ISBN 978-0-7869-6581-6.
  21. Christopher Perkins, Adam Lee, Richard Whitters (September 1, 2015). Out of the Abyss. In Jeremy Crawford ed. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 55. ISBN 978-0-7869-6581-6.
  22. 22.0 22.1 Richard Baker (May 2003). Condemnation. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 101. ISBN 0786932023.
  23. Christopher Perkins, Adam Lee, Richard Whitters (September 1, 2015). Out of the Abyss. In Jeremy Crawford ed. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 52. ISBN 978-0-7869-6581-6.
  24. Richard Baker (May 2003). Condemnation. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 110. ISBN 0786932023.
  25. Richard Baker (May 2003). Condemnation. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 130. ISBN 0786932023.
  26. Richard Baker (May 2003). Condemnation. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 139. ISBN 0786932023.
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 Bruce R. Cordell, Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, Jeff Quick (October 2003). Underdark. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 154. ISBN 0-7869-3053-5.
  28. 28.0 28.1 Richard Baker (May 2003). Condemnation. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 98. ISBN 0786932023.
  29. Richard Baker (May 2003). Condemnation. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 102. ISBN 0786932023.
  30. Richard Baker (May 2003). Condemnation. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 105–106. ISBN 0786932023.
  31. Richard Baker (May 2003). Condemnation. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 118–119. ISBN 0786932023.
  32. Richard Baker (May 2003). Condemnation. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 85. ISBN 0786932023.

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