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Kelvin's Cairn

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Kelvin's Cairn was a mountain in Icewind Dale.[1]


Kelvin's Cairn was a free-standing 1,000-foot-tall mountain[3] fronted by a river valley about as deep as the mount was high. The mountain top was always capped with snow and ice even through the short summer.[4] The mountain was the only peak within a thousand miles, even though it appeared as merely a pile of loose boulders.[2]

Dwarven ValleyEdit

Stretching South South West for several miles from the south face of the Cairn is a deep trench known locally as the Dwarven Valley. It consisted mostly of underground mining tunnels and relatively austere living quarters made from expended mining tunnels.

Bruenor's ClimbEdit

Bruenor's Climb was a 15-foot-high column of stone that offered a vantage point over Termalaine and Maer Dualdon.[2] It was a favorite place of reflection of Bruenor Battlehammer and Drizzt Do'Urden.[5]. It was located four miles south of Kelvin's Cairn,[2] on the east bank of the valley. The Climb was destroyed in 1356 DR but the dwarves reconstructed it in Bruenor's honour.[6]

Bruenor's "Temple"Edit

The spot where Aegis-fang was forged was tucked up against the southern flank of the mountain's base at the northenmost point of the valley.[6] Viewed as a sacred place by the dwarves, many have visited the site to forge their own masterworks.[7]


The main method of ingress to the valley was a natural switchback at the base of the Cairn's southern face. It was also used by the dwarves as a chokepoint against attacks from marauding orcs or reghedmen.


Icewind dale heart of winter box shot This article or section is about elements from the game Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter.
Video games are considered canon unless they contradict content in some other Forgotten Realms publication.

Within the Cairn, near the peak, was a large cavern, known to few as Gloomfrost. Many monsters laired here and ice tunnels that connected to it were infested by remorhaz.[8]

Verbeeg LairEdit

Above the Dwarven Valley on the south face of the Cairn was a covered cave entrance that was once an outpost for the dwarves but had since been overrun. Orcs, bandits and giants have used the cave as a fortified lair over the years, but it was known among the Ten Towns as the Verbeeg Lair after a famous battle with Biggrin's verbeeg who were using it as a lair in 1356 DR.[7]


Reghedmen legend held that Tempos defeated the frost giant Kelvin in this spot and gouged out the rocks here and piled them on top of his corpse.[citation needed] More likely, however, was that it was an extinct volcano.[citation needed] Many mining tunnels in the Dwarven Valley had to be collapsed when the army of Akar Kessel attacked in 1356 DR[9] and it was atop the Cairn that Akar Kessel conjured up fiery magic with Crenshinibon, subsequently melting the ice and snow around him, which caused an avalanche.[10] Most of the Dwarven Valley was abandoned when the location of Mithral Hall was rediscovered but some of the dwarves who'd left for the Hall returned to their homes beneath the Cairn.

Over a century later, in 1484 DR, the corpse of Akar Kessell was discovered upon the Cairn's summit by an expedition from Luskan. It had been transformed into a wight and came to live in some of the deeper mines beneath the Valley. Kessell's wight helped a dwarven stonecarver named Baerick Hammerstone to distribute black ice, which corrupted those who touched it, altering their behaviour to be more evil. This resulted in a divide forming between the dwarves living in the Valley and Kessell himself raised many zombies to harry those dwarves who weren't corrupted. Eventually, Kessell was driven off by adventurers but shortly afterward, the Valley was invaded by a drow force led by Tiago Baenre.


The Dwarven Valley was of course home to dwarves. Specifically, dwarves of Clan Battlehammer, formerly led by Bruenor Battlehammer and by 1483 DR by Stokely Silverstream.[11] From underneath this vale, the dwarves mined iron and forged it into well-crafted weapons and armor that were then sold in Bryn Shander, located at the other end of the valley.

Drizzt Do'Urden, upon arriving in Icewind Dale, was told by Cassius to go to Kelvin's Cairn.[5] He set up his sparse home in a cave on the mountain's barren north face.[2]

Gloomfrost was also home to an elderly prophet who called herself The Seer and a blind dwarven smith named Tiernon of Clan Hearthstone.[8]

Wild beasts were often found on and around the mountain, including verbeeg, yetis and Remorhaz. Verbeeg were especially fond of making their dens in the rocky cliff faces.[2]




Adventure ModulesEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Ed Greenwood (1993). Volo's Guide to the North. (TSR, Inc), p. 149. ISBN 1-5607-6678-6.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Philip Athans (2008). A Reader's Guide to R. A. Salvatore's the Legend of Drizzt. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 127. ISBN 0-7869-4915-5.
  3. R.A. Salvatore (March 2013). The Last Threshold. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 379. ISBN 0-7869-6364-6.
  4. Warning: edition not specified for Sojourn
  5. 5.0 5.1 R.A. Salvatore (June 2006). Sojourn. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-4007-7.
  6. 6.0 6.1 R.A. Salvatore, Jeffrey Ludwig, Matthew Sernett, James Wyatt (November 19, 2013). Legacy of the Crystal Shard (Campaign Book). (Wizards of the Coast), p. 50. ISBN 978-0-7869-6464-2.
  7. 7.0 7.1 R.A. Salvatore, Jeffrey Ludwig, Matthew Sernett, James Wyatt (November 19, 2013). Legacy of the Crystal Shard (Campaign Book). (Wizards of the Coast), p. 51. ISBN 978-0-7869-6464-2.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Black Isle Studios (2001). Chris Avellone, Steve Bokkes, John Deiley, J.E. Sawyer. Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter.
  9. R.A. Salvatore, Jeffrey Ludwig, Matthew Sernett, James Wyatt (November 19, 2013). Legacy of the Crystal Shard (Campaign Book). (Wizards of the Coast), p. 48. ISBN 978-0-7869-6464-2.
  10. R.A. Salvatore (March 2005). The Crystal Shard. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-1606-0.
  11. R.A. Salvatore (August 6, 2013). The Companions. (Wizards of the Coast), p. ??. ISBN 0-7869-6371-9.

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