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Roldilar, or the Realm of Glimmering Swords, was a shield dwarf kingdom that occupied the lands later known as the Vast, between Cormanthyr and Impiltur in north Faerûn, both below and above ground. It was founded in 610 DR and fell in 649 DR.[1]

HistoryEdit

The rise of RoldilarEdit

Formerly, the land had been held by the orc nation of Vastar, but it fell into civil war in the Year of Writhing Darkness, 572 DR.[2][1]

Meanwhile, underground, dwarves from the north and east expanded their mines into the mountains of Vastar. After initial clashes with the orcs in their tunnels, the dwarves decided to let no orc who'd seen a dwarf remain alive, to prevent any word reaching orcish chieftains of their nature of their enemy. The dwarves were subtly aided by the downtrodden goblin and kobold slaves of the orcs: the dwarves left them alone, and so they never told the orcs about the dwarves they saw, nor helped them in battle. The unexplained deaths of large numbers of orcs in the mountains were blamed on the civil war.[1]

Even as the civil war ended, the dwarves continued to encroach from the west, spreading underground and applying increasing pressure on the orcs.[3] Working with humans and elves, the dwarves secretly developed a steel toxic to orcs, and succeeded with the metal they called "orcslayer".[1] Lord Tuir Stonebeard requested over a thousand orcslayer weapons and, working hard over several years, Master Smith Fyrfar Smokebeard forged them and High Old One Turbaern, aided by the human mage Beldossan and the elven sorceress Aleratha Ilnatar, enchanted them. Among these was the short sword Sarghathuld, forged in the Year of the Many Serpents, 605 DR and given to the dwarven warrior Ulnorn.[4]

Armed with these weapons, the dwarves surged out of the mountains to "run in waist-high riot across the land" (according to the sage Fairin Icemantle, who wrote the only first-hand account of the conflict) and slaughter the orcs.[1] Vastar fell in the Year of the Spellfire, 610 DR, Orc-King Grimmerfang was slain, and the survivors were driven north and south into the mountain peaks.[5][6][1][3][7][8]

The Realm of Glimmering SwordsEdit

The victorious dwarves claimed the surface lands for themselves and that same year they founded the kingdom of Roldilar.[5][6][1][3][7][8] Now Deep King, Tuir Stonebeard held court from beneath Mount Grimmerfang, which had once been the base of the orcish kings.[1]

They began construction of a secure trading center, Sarbreen, at the mouth of the Fire River, around the Year of the Normiir, 611 DR. It was finished in the Year of the Ensorceled Kings, 616 DR, and thrived as the "Gate to the Vast".[9] The defensive outpost of Sarbreenar followed, controlling access through the mountains.[10] The dwarves also occupied the ruined city of Ylraphon, once an orcish holding. As the northernmost port in the Vast, it was a valuable location and the dwarves developed a town there.[11][12] The Roldilarren dwarves set to work trading with other nations and developing their new land, building stone towers to watch it and importing livestock to fill it.[1] Their logging industry cleared forests for miles and they attempted large-scale agriculture.[9]

Roldilarren dwarves ruled the Vast while the orcs and goblinoids were driven out and quiet, but others soon immigrated to the developing land.[1] Gnomes and halflings seeking opportunity joined the dwarves in their farming efforts.[9] Humans were few in number north of the Sea of Fallen Stars, but a few bold and cautious folk came to explore and settle.[13][1]

Tuir and Maskyr

Maskyr pays Deep King Tuir's price before the Roldilarren Court.

One of these human explorers was the archmage Maskyr, seeking a place well beyond human affairs where he could build himself a tower. In the Year of the Costly Gift, 645 DR, he chose a certain vale he found quite beautiful and he decided to make his home there, and nowhere else. It was claimed by Roldilar, so Maskyr went to Mount Grimmerfang to seek audience with Deep King Tuir and asked his price for the vale. Tuir did not want to yield any land to any humans, but he feared the archmage's power, so he offered the whole vale at the cost that Maskyr pluck out his own right eye and give it to him, there and then. To the shock of the Roldilarren Court, Maskyr did just that. Tuir respected Maskyr for his deed and kept the bargain, granting him the land. He also ordered that no dwarf trespass in the vale nor disturb the archmage. Maskyr settled in his vale, called Maskyr's Eye. Others followed, and this marked the beginning of permanent human settlement in the Vast.[13][1][14][5]

Their arrival prompted King Tuir to declare that humans would be allowed to come only so far into the mountains and no further, at a point marked by the town of King's Reach.[13][15] Ironically, in some parts, humans and elves lived in the mountains alongside orcs and worse neighbors, as the dwarves controlled the lowlands.[16]

Among these settlers, two Sembian merchants explored the dwarven-held lands, seeking a trade-route from the dwarven mines down to the River Vesper. They named the Three Trees Pass.[17] To that end, the North Road was laid through Three Trees Pass, linking Kurth (town) and King's Reach. Humans waged costly battles against the orcs of the mountains to control the pass, but were successful.[18]

The fall of RoldilarEdit

The Roldilarren dwarves enjoyed only about forty years of real peace before their power waned and they returned to a state of constant war against the orcs. In that time, the orcs had replenished their numbers and recovered their strength. Above and below ground, vast hordes of orcs engulfed Roldilar in the Year of the Bloody Crown, 649 DR.[6][1][3] Drow also struck from the subterranean ways.[9]

In the last days of Roldilar, according to a local legend, nine dwarves each bearing a chest of gems were pursued by an orcish horde down the North Road. As the orcs caught up and overtook them, the dwarves buried their hoard near where the roads met, where the hamlet of Sevenecho later lay. They then assaulted the orcs and fought to the death.[19][20]

Deep King Tuir led the dwarven armies against those of orcs and goblins, but they were defeated at Viperstongue Ford over the River Vesper. Roldilar's defenses were broken, and the dwarves retreated to Mount Grimmerfang.[11][1] This ended in the bloody, 20-day-long Battle of Deepfires beneath the mountain, and the fall of Roldilar, the Realm of Glimmering Swords in 649 DR.[11][1][7][21] The dwarves abandoned Sarbreen to the orcs, who quickly pillaged and razed it.[9] They fled Ylraphon as orcs invaded and pillaged the town.[11][12]

The Roldilarren dwarves were saved from total extinction by their human and elven allies.[6] The elven warrior Beluar and his forces routed the orcs at Viperstongue Ford, then pursued them through the hills later known as Beluar's Hunt and into the village of Maskyr's Eye to slay the last orc.[13][11][17] This delayed the end of Roldilar.[11] The human-built North Road saved the last of the dwarves from being wiped out by the orcs.[18]

Dwarven refugees of Roldilar retreated, going east, south over the seas, and to those hidden, isolated communities still surviving in the Vast.[6][1] Several clans fled into the Earthspur Mountains.[21] Others, particularly craftsfolk and noncombatants migrated to Myth Drannor in Cormanthyr.[7][21] In the Year of the Angry Caverns, 672 DR, most of these refugee clans left Myth Drannor to reopen the mines of Sarphil by the Moonsea.[21]

The dwarves left the Vast to the humans, who stayed to fight the orcs while more kept arriving. Thus the Vast passed entirely into human hands. Roldilar was the last dwarven realm to claim the surface lands of the Vast or dominate there, as of 1370 DR.[6][1][21]

LegacyEdit

Knowledge of the location of Mount Grimmerfang eventually became lost. Those few dwarven elders still alive by 1370 DR who could still identity Mount Grimmerfang refused to tell humans or elves about it.[1]

Legends of lost Roldilarren treasure abounded throughout the Vast in later centuries. These included the buried gem hoard in Sevenecho,[19][20] and rumored treasures lying in forgotten locations in Calaunt[22] and Ylraphon.[23] The most famous treasure vaults lay in the ruins of Sarbreen, beneath latter-day Ravens Bluff.[23]

GovernmentEdit

Throughout its history, Roldilar was ruled by Deep King Tuir Stonebeard.[13][19][11][1] He placed his throne deep beneath Mount Grimmerfang and his retinue was named the Roldilarren Court.[1]

CultureEdit

Roldilar was the subject of many songs and tales, which named it "the Realm of Glimmering Swords".[1]

The primary pastime of the Roldilarren dwarves was drinking, and they brewed some famous and fiery liquors.[1] They also forged magnificent armor and weapons, finery and adornments. Their main industry was of course mining,[1] but they also developed a prosperous logging industry that cleared forests for miles and attempted large-scale agriculture.[9]

Through the new port of Sarbreen, the Roldilarren dwarves engaged in heavy trade with other nations to develop their kingdom. They sold gems, trade-metals, and only a little of their fine armor, weapons, and artworks, in exchange for cloth, livestock and exotic foods. They imported herds of goats, sheep, and shaggy-haired cattle to fill the cleared lands.[9][1]

They bought honey from halflings all around the Inner Sea to put in their mead.[1] They also had a love of honeyed dates and a variety of spiced ruby-red liqueurs once popular in Mulhorand and Unther.[9]

The dwarves constructed stone towers to watch over their land.[1]

One custom developed by the Roldilarren dwarves was Hornmoot, an annual trading festival in which the dwarves blew horns in the mountains to signal that they were coming to trade with the humans in the lowlands.[17]

ReligionEdit

Dwarves of Roldilar followed Clangeddin Silverbeard. They left behind a number of boulders along the North Road, each carved with the symbol of Clangeddin.[17]

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 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 Ed Greenwood (November 1998). The City of Ravens Bluff. (TSR, Inc), p. 143–144. ISBN 0-7869-1195-6.
  2. Steven E. Schend and Kevin Melka (1998). Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves. (TSR, Inc), p. 41. ISBN 0-7069-0761-4.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 215. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  4. George Krashos (November 2000). “Bazaar of the Bizarre: Soargar's Legacy”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon #277 (TSR, Inc.), p. 90.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Steven E. Schend and Kevin Melka (1998). Cormanthyr: Empire of the Elves. (TSR, Inc), p. 42. ISBN 0-7069-0761-4.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), A Grand Tour of the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 71. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 128. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 92. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 Ed Greenwood (November 1998). The City of Ravens Bluff. (TSR, Inc), p. 2–3. ISBN 0-7869-1195-6.
  10. Ed Greenwood (November 1998). The City of Ravens Bluff. (TSR, Inc), p. 155. ISBN 0-7869-1195-6.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), A Grand Tour of the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 77. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Ed Greenwood (November 1998). The City of Ravens Bluff. (TSR, Inc), p. 158. ISBN 0-7869-1195-6.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), A Grand Tour of the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 74. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  14. Ed Greenwood (1990). Dwarves Deep. (TSR, Inc), p. 61–62. ISBN 0-88038-880-3.
  15. Ed Greenwood (November 1998). The City of Ravens Bluff. (TSR, Inc), p. 152. ISBN 0-7869-1195-6.
  16. Jeff Grubb and Ed Greenwood (1990). Forgotten Realms Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 110. ISBN 0-8803-8828-5.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Ed Greenwood (November 1998). The City of Ravens Bluff. (TSR, Inc), p. 147. ISBN 0-7869-1195-6.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Ed Greenwood (November 1998). The City of Ravens Bluff. (TSR, Inc), p. 157. ISBN 0-7869-1195-6.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), A Grand Tour of the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 76. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  20. 20.0 20.1 Ed Greenwood (November 1998). The City of Ravens Bluff. (TSR, Inc), p. 156. ISBN 0-7869-1195-6.
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 21.4 Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 94. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  22. Jeff Grubb and Ed Greenwood (1990). Forgotten Realms Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 81. ISBN 0-8803-8828-5.
  23. 23.0 23.1 Ed Greenwood (November 1998). The City of Ravens Bluff. (TSR, Inc), p. 158. ISBN 0-7869-1195-6.

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