Thaladrim's Forge

Thousands of years ago, when the duneimen were still fighting with bronze and the Gelvani were huddling in the darkness of their forests, the Duumdravar emerged from the depths of their mountain holds and found the world had changed beyond their reckoning. Where once there had been mighty seas was now great plains. Mountains that once arose high into the sky, bejeweled with Duervan castles, were dulled to the earth, walls crumbled and overgrown by millennia of forests. The great mines that had once coursed through the veins of the world, were severed and sundered. The Lords of Tharaduum immediately set about recovering these ancient ways, but the world had changed greatly while they slumbered, and much was forgotten. What more, few were the Duervar daring enough to venture out into the world and seek these lost holds. So it was that still today much of what once was glorious and majestic, is now buried beneath earth and sea.

It was in this time that one such group of daring explorers came upon an ancient hold in the far northern reaches of the Tharaduum. The mines had long ago caved in, but the great chambers still remained, and within it they found not only the gold and silver they had sought, but a monstrous beast as well, a sentinel of the Titans. Of the score that went in, only one survived this encounter, and made it back to Kaladuum alive. He told all of what had happened, and many went in search of the ancient hold, but none ever found it. Over the centuries his story became a fable that was passed through the generations of his family.

Centuries later his great great great grandson, Thaladrim, took his forefather’s legends to heart and set out in search of this ancient mine. His closest friend, a Bormdravar artisan named Faradak Fyramak Accompanied him with a host of loyal men to aid them. They searched for many years before they finally discovered the long buried entrance to the ancient hold. After digging out the threshold they set into the halls of the hold. Soon they found ancient ores of silver, veins beyond their imaginings. They also found the remains of many Duervar, those trapped within the mines when Olginthoth covered the low-lying mountains in ice, caving in their only means of escape.

In the heart of the mountain, they discovered its greatest secret; a place of power, where the energies of earth spring forth in plenty, called a K’Arn Furnas or “Heart of Flame” by the Duervar. From here all the silver ore spread into the mountain, and so long as the currents of power flowed, the silver could replenish itself. It was this miracle that would make these two craftsmen legendary, but it would also be their undoing. To Thaladrim, who was a master armor and weapon smith, the discovery meant the wealth to build the great forge he had always imagined, a tribute to Balderak and Belderak, his deities. To Faradak it meant an unending supply of the finest silver to cast into his works of art. But this secret was one they must keep from their brethren, for if the Lords of Tharaduum learned it, they may very well have laid claim to the mines. So the two friends and all those who had traveled there with them agreed to never reveal the exact location of the mines. They would travel far and wide to avoid being followed, and for their silence the other men and women were given a generous share in the unending wealth.

While Thaladrim did use some of the silver for adorning his craftsmanship, Faradak made much greater use of the ore. For he was an artist, and loved working in metals best. With the silver he was able to create goblets and jewelry of the finest quality, and create masterful inlays for the works of his friend Thaladrim. He became renowned for his work, but Thaladrim too was famed for his arms and armor.

For nearly a century the friends lived and worked together, expanding the mines and growing rich on their wares. But as time passed, Faradak grew discontent. He felt that the mines they found were not those they had set out to seek. There had been no gold, a metal he much desired, and there was no mighty beast guarding it, nor any sign of those who had died fighting it. So he made the decision to set out once more, in search of the legend.

Thaladrim, though, was content where he was. Thus the two friends agreed to craft together two helmets to be gifted divine power. These helmets would allow the two duervar to speak over great distances as if they were face to face. What more they could share their sight, allowing the other to see what the one saw.

And so Faradak set out upon his quest, to find the caches of silver and gold of ancient legend. For over a decade he searched to no avail. In time the two friends communicated less and less, until Thaladrim only donned the helmet once every few months. Finally Faradak conceded that his quest may have been in vain, but even as he said so he told Thaladrim of one last place he would search, a mountain far to the east, beyond the forested hills, near the edge of the great desert. Thaladrim kept watch more diligently in those last few weeks, hoping to see what his friend discovered. Finally Faradak found the great mountain and its secret entrance. He entered into darkness, through waterfalls and down into deep dark gorges. And there he saw it, in the light of his lamp, a dazzling reflection of silver and gold as far as he could see. And there was something else, but before Thaladrim could see what it was, Faradak was gone. The helmet ceased its communication, and he was never heard from again.

Thaladrim built a grand chamber in honor of his fallen friend. The walls were painted to depict Faradak’s journey, so he could always recall the land marks he had seen, the direction he had gone. There he also preserved the helmet and what few things his friend had left behind. He sent men out in search of the mountain, but despite having the visions he shared, none found it. For many years it was lost, and then one returned claiming he thought he’d discovered it. He had not gone in, though, and asked for a host of warriors to join him. Thaladrim was now getting on in years and so could not go himself and so sent them on in his stead, but the men did not return. He sent one more host in search of them, but they returned many years late having never found their lost friends. So it was that Thaladrim sealed the Chamber of Faradak and forbade anyone to open it again. He deigned that it was far too dangerous to seek this legendary treasure, and it should be forgotten.

In the century that followed, Thaladrim drew towards the twilight of his life. Ever he guarded the secret of his forge, though. Many had been lost when they went in search of Faradak, and over the decades many more had passed on with age or left the hold swearing to never reveal its location to another, and Duervar never break a vow. Eventually the forges grew cold, as Thaladrim did not have the strength himself nor the men at hand to keep them going. The works of these masters was forgotten in time, and eventually Thaladrim passed on to the after-life. The few remaining men closed and sealed the mines, and hid the entrance from plain sight. They left, taking their secrets with them and, eventually, to the grave.

Thus it was that Thaladrim’s Forge was long forgotten and when the Ronans came and sought to declare land in their name, the Duervar of Tharaduum thought nothing of giving this tiny insignificant mountain to the duneimen in alliance against their common foes, the giants.

In time the connection to the Duervar was long forgotten and when Rona collapsed and Moar became a Kingdom. The Moarvik King thought nothing of assuming possession of these lands, and the Wizards of Moar took ownership of the mountain. Eventually they discovered the silver beneath the mountains and began mining it. Inevitably, the miners discovered the lost Hold of Thaladrim. And there is where our story began.

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