When a storyteller or historian mentions the Dalelands, one often thinks of humans and elves, or occasionally pastoral halflings. Rarely does one think of the dwarves in conjunction with the Dales, as they are usually associated with the lands of the Savage Frontier or with the Great Rift far to the south. But there is a village in Mistledale known as Glen, which is a bastion of dwarven culture. It was founded by Ammarindar dwarves that first migrated to Myth Drannor, then settled this region after the City of Song fell. The current population is a little over 700.
History & Culture Edit
In a dale full of rural villages, Glen is noteworthy in that it is comprised mainly of dwarven farmers. It is further noteworthy due to the fact that the dwarves seem to have a very “Dalesmen-like” attitude about them. They are fairly friendly, especially to those from the Dales proper. It should be noted, though, that much like any inhabitant of the Dales, the dwarves of Glen take note of Sembian or Moonsea accents, and keep a closer eye on those that hail from those areas.
Glen was founded in the years after the fall of Myth Drannor, as survivors banded together to make a new home and to defend one another. The dwarves that settled Glen were native to Myth Drannor by way of Ammarindar in ages past. Far from their homeland, and orphans of two fallen realms, the dwarves of Glen, while greatly respectful of their dwarven roots and traditions, feel greatly at home among the folk of Mistledale. They have learned to love the open air and their simple farming lives, though they haven't given up on traditional dwarven pursuits entirely.
The Government of Glen Edit
Glen itself is governed by a council of six elders, one from each of the major dwarven families in the town. Each elder is chosen during Shieldmeet, and either affirmed the next Shieldmeet or replaced at that time. The Chief Elder is chosen from the elders that served during the last term, and if need be, his family places a new elder onto the council (meaning that one family always has a Chief Elder and a member on the council of elders. This causes few problems, given the small size of the town and the relative lack of political ambition within the families). The ranking priests of Marthammor Duin and Moradin Soulforger each have an honorary (but respected) position on the council, as well.
In recent years, the dwarves have allowed the human families in town to appoint their own elder from amongst themselves to represent them on the council. The dwarves in general consider Glen a dwarven town, but also consider themselves citizens of Mistledale, and have no problem with a human sitting on the Council of Elders. Tessaneer Bellowburrow (halfling male) has grumbled a bit that the halflings in the town have no representation on the council, but there are only seven of them in the town. This may soon change, though, as Tessaneer has relatives that were visiting during the tragedy that struck Stumphill, and may be living with him permanently. Still, this would only double the halfling population in the end.
Despite their assimilation into Mistledale’s culture, most of Glen’s dwarves, as with many dwarven communities, are fairly competent with an axe or hammer. There is no formal village guard to speak of, but each of the elders can call upon the young dwarves of his clan to defend the village or the Dale if they are ordered to do so. While no dwarf has ever joined the Riders of Mistledale, several dwarves have joined the militia for various stints, and a few dwarven rangers from Glen have served as scouts for the Mistledale Militia long term.
Authority figures and notable persons: Edit
Government figures Edit
Baern Thunderstroke, head priest of the shrine of Marthammor Duin (shield dwarf male); Gwarr Goldenthrone, head priest of the shrine of the Morndinsamman (gold dwarf male); Fyrfar Snowsbattle, Chief Elder of Glen (Shield dwarf male).
Upstanding citizens Edit
Brongulf Ironfurrow, member of the Council of Elders and head of the Ironfurrow merchant clan (shield dwarf male); Chorn Stoneturner, chief caravan guard and bodyguard to Brongulf (shield dwarf male); Wulgar Browniefriend of Hillsafar Hall, adventurer and betrothed to Brongulf's daughter Yrend (shield dwarf male); Maegar the Addled, “hedge wizard” and spellcaster for hire (shield dwarf male); Iolar Honedaxe, adventurer and dragon egg merchant (shield dwarf male); Shalagha Ironfurrow, proprietress of the Dark Door Inn, cousin to Brongulf (shield dwarf female).
The Ironfurrow Clan Edit
Brongulf Ironfurrow is a charismatic retired adventurer. When he retired, he brought with him several members of his clan to settle in Glen. Brongulf is a true rogue and a skillful merchant. He has contacts throughout the Dales, and is friends with Iolar Honedaxe and anyone of great importance in the town. Brongulf organizes most of the caravans setting out on the Long Road, and has several contacts in the Great Rift as well as in the svirfneblin settlement of Dakkurabund. While Glen normally has a gold piece limit of 200 gp, if one knows Brongulf, he can procure much more expensive goods. Virtually anything can be obtained in the Great Rift, but this takes several tendays to return to Brongulf's hands. Less expensive items can be obtained from Dakkurabund, and such goods can be back to Glen in less than two tendays. While generally a fair merchant, Brongulf is a master at manipulating others to do what he wants them to do, and has a somewhat malleable view of the truth. Brongulf's daughter, Yrend, is a bookish girl, fascinated by old lore and stories. She also has a head for business figures, and works on her father's books. When she was sent with a caravan to the Great Rift to check on some discrepancies, she was possessed by the spirit of a d.uergar psion fleeing her oppressive clan. Brongulf, not wanting to deal with the scandal of his daughter's plight due to the fact that he sent her on such a dangerous mission, sent for a newly arrived dwarven adventurer, Wulgar Browniefriend, who lived in Ashabenford. Brongulf arranged for his daughter to be attacked by a “runaway” automaton, forcing Wulgar to save her. The two became betrothed. Soon after, Wulgar found out that Yrend was sharing her mind with the duergar psion, and he felt obligated to aid in retrieving the duergar's body so that she could leave Yrend in peace. In the end, Brongulf ended up with his daughter hale and healthy, and a new caravan leader in Wulgar, who found it only proper to work for the father of his future wife. Chorn, Brongulf's bodyguard, knows that Brongulf has a tendency to manipulate others, and sometimes worries at Wulgar's open acceptance of his employer. Chorn has taken it upon himself to keep an eye out for Wulgar, to make sure Brongulf doesn't push the dwarven adventurer too far. Shalagha Ironfurrow, Brongulf's cousin, runs the Dark Door Inn, and the two of them commissioned some dwarven stoneworkers to aid in creating a tunnel leading from the basement of the Dark Door to the staging area for the Long Road. Only dwarves in the employ of the Ironfurrow clan are allowed access to (or even know of) the passage leading from the Inn to the Road.
Religions of Glen Edit
The dwarves of Glen pay homage to their ancestors and to the Morndinsamman, but the town itself is dedicated to the spirit of their patron, Marthammor Duin. While the rest of the dwarven pantheon shares a shrine, Marthammor has his own grove just on the edge of the “bowl” that houses the town itself. Near this grove is a small house maintained by Baern Thunderstroke, a druid dedicated to Marthammor, and his three attendants. Baern also runs an apiary and sells honey in town to help supplement the upkeep of his home and the shrine, although the dwarves of Glen would never let their patron's shrine fall into disrepair. Baern's druidic tradition, and the veneration of Marthammor Duin as patron, is rooted in the dwarven culture as it was influenced by the other inhabitants of Myth Drannor.
Gwarr Goldenthrone is the gold dwarf that mans the shrine to the Morndinsamman. None of the dwarves of Glen are specifically devoted to the Soulforger, but they all greatly revere the dwarven gods. As such, Gwarr, a dwarven cleric from the Great Rift, traveled north on the Long Road (see below), in order to ensure that there is proper observance of the various dwarven rituals and holy days. If asked about the presence of a gold dwarf in a town of shield dwarves, Gwarr only says that he is a traveler from the Great Rift who has settled in the town to tend to their spiritual needs, which is not, in all honesty, a lie.
Glen and Magic Edit
The Moonsea Ride runs through the southern part of town. Near it is a house that stands apart from the rest of the town. This is the home of Maegar “the Addled.” The dwarves in Glen collectively maintain a running joke with Maegar, concerning those who visit the town. The dwarves constantly make disparaging comments about Maegar and his addled wits, and refer to him as a lackspell hedge wizard of minor power, useful for a few cantrips. In truth, Maegar is the last of an Ammarindar clan that was trained in powerful magics. While Maegar himself isn't exceptionally powerful, he has hidden in secret chambers in his basement a great many powerful items from Ammarindar and Myth Drannor. Maegar's brother still lives, and has actually started a secret school for training dwarves in their “lost” arcane traditions.
This school is located just north of Cormanthor, roughly equidistant from Hillsfar and Voonlar. Uldred's school is essentially its own community, and is home to many small families plying their normal trades while learning arcane skills. One particular family, the Stonebloods, has elected to stay at the “clanhold” for an extended period of time. Eventually, the hidden school-hold might become a more formal dwarven town. At the moment, however, it has other concerns. Theoderus Stoneblood, a promising young dwarven wizard, recently fled from the school to Melvaunt, due to various accidents that maimed other students. What Uldred is unaware of is that Bethryn Orediver, a well-. liked female student, is no dwarf at all, but a Red Wizard spy. She tricked Theoderus into various dangerous experiments, as well as divulging the fact that Uldred's family holds the Key of Xothol, an artifact said to be able to open the lost school of Ammarindar's wizards.
Uldred does not hold the Key of Xothal. When he departed Glen to form the secret clanhold/school, Uldred left the Key of Xothal with Maegar in Glen, just to be safe. Uldred is quite unlikely to reveal anything about the Key, but at the same time, he is in grave danger of which he is not fully aware, due to the scheming of Bethryn Orediver. Maegar himself might take on one or two apprentices from time to time. For the first time, he has a human student, Olrand Realithan, the youngest son of Glen’s current human elder, as well as Thrindel Honedaxe, cousin to the adventurer and dragon egg merchant Iolar.
The Deep Mine and long Road Edit
Outside of town and south of the Moonsea Ride, on the upswing of the depression in which Glen is built, is what appears to be a w small mine, with very little activity. When asked about this particular mine, most of the inhabitants of Glen will say that it has a fairly poor run of iron ore in it, but it is not played out. They send in miners when their stocks get low, but would rather only put the effort into the bad ore when trade with Cormyr for such things isn't flowing fast enough for their needs. In truth, the Deep Mine is actually the access point for trade missions into the Underdark. The various dwarven families in Glen sell their own crops and spirits, as well as trade goods from the World Above. They pick up fine dwarven and deep gnome goods from the Underdark for their own use and for the use of a few trusted customers in the Dales. Brongulf Ironfurrow makes contacts in the dale for these trade missions, and also arranges for guards to travel with the caravans of trade goods into the Underdark. Both his daughter's betrothed, Wulgar Browniefriend, and his own bodyguard, Chorn Stoneturner, often lead these expeditions. The mouth of the Deep Mine does appear to be a true mine, and there are several shafts with various elevators not far into the mine itself. One of these elevators actually lowers into the staging area for the Long Road. This staging area has craftsmen to repair armor, weapons, and wagons, as well as stores of preserved food for the long trips into the Underdark. There is also an unstaffed shrine to Dumathoin here, where many dwarves heading into the Underdark stop and pray before their trip. The shaft elevator that leads to the staging area can easily be disabled, leaving only a few other elevators that do indeed lead to poor iron ore deposits. There is also a long passageway from the basement of the Dark Door Inn that winds to the staging area of Long Road. This passage is only known to a handful of those in the Ironfurrow clan's favor. Beyond the ability of the dwarves to cut off the elevator to the Long Road, the dwarves of Glen have had to from time to time refute the existence of the Long Road. To those that are knowledgeable about such things, the dwarves of Glen often laugh off such a road, saying that anyone that knows the Lands Below knows that the Underdark beneath the Dalelands does not directly connect to the far southern reaches where the Great Rift exists.
Portals on the Long Road Edit
The Long Road winds for several days to the south, with many smaller passages, until it comes to an area that has several branching paths that lead to various portals. The main portal, and one that is guarded by several gold dwarf warriors, leads to the “Southern Leg” of the Long Road, which then winds for several more days into the Great Rift. At least one other side passage leads to a portal to the svirfneblin city of Dakkurabund, which has been steadily trading with Glen for years, though from time to time they seal off their side of the portal. There are other portals that are less well- known in this section of the Long Road. It isn't fully known if one of the side passages leads to a different portal, or if one of the passages extends under Battledale, but dwarves traveling the Long Road have clashed with a goodly number of House Jaelre scouts, as well as a few other drow expeditions. These skirmishes have been ongoing for years, beginning long before the Jaelre drow made their major push through the portal nexus under the Abbey of Swords a few years ago. The clashes have died down a bit since then, although a few drow expeditions come through from time to time. Recently a portal was found leading to an unnamed duergar community; the gray dwarves have been sending a few probing teams into the Long Road, as well. There is also assumed to be a portal leading to the Lowerdark and a community of mind flayers, and the dwarves of Glen are looking for some trustworthy adventurers to find this portal and seal it off.
The Honedaxe Portal Edit
The last portal of note is controlled by the Honedaxe family. Iolar Honedaxe handles all travel through this particular portal, and reveals its location to no one. Iolar and his family have a standing relationship with a mist dragon named Ulvastergristashast, who is renowned among dragons as running an “orphanage” of sorts. When a dragon kills a rival, but does not wish to raise the offspring of its defeated foe, or when a dragon feels that it will be unable to care for a clutch of eggs that it has produced, such eggs are often taken to someone that can facilitate a “surrogate” to raise the dragons, since even the most vicious evil dragons are loathe to see draconic numbers dwindle. Ulvastergristahast is known as a dragon that can find “good homes” for such eggs. Long ago, the Honedaxe clan found a portal to Ulvastergristashast's domain, and the dwarves managed to forge a fairly good relationship with the dragon. The Honedaxe clan has never tried to find the geographical location of Ulvastergristashast's lair, and they do not even divulge the source of their dragon eggs to the other dwarves of Glen. The Honedaxe family spends a great deal of time watching and listening to visitors that seem like they may be interested in buying dragon eggs. If the consensus of the various agents of the family is that the visitor is trustworthy and will treat the dragon well, then Iolar or one of his kinsmen will strike up a conversation to further ascertain the motives of the would-be dragon buyer. In years past, some of the Honedaxe eggs have made it into the hands of agents from Impiltur, and recently agents of Cormyr have made contact with Iolar and his agents. At the moment, this relationship is somewhat strained, however, because Dragon Cultists ambushed the Cormyrean agents shortly after their purchase. The Honedaxe family would pay well to find out how the Cult of the Dragon managed to find out about the transaction. Though they have no proof of his complicity, the Honedaxe family has become wary of anyone that claims a tie to the merchant Jarwain Evensword of nearby Ashabenford.
== Surrounding Areas
(and Dwarven Stubbornness) == A few miles north of Glen, where the bowl that contains the town levels back out again, two taller walls rise on either side of the trade road. Just up the side of the Moonsea Ride is a small human community. This community also called their town Glen, as a reference to the fact that their town looks down into the valley on the road below. This rankled the normally easygoing dwarves of Glen. For years the dwarves tried to convince the humans of this “other” Glen to change their name, and eventually the town itself called itself Glenwatch, to differentiate it from the dwarven town. Despite this, the residents of Glenwatch often refer to their town as Glen. Any time the dwarves of Glen hear about this naming convention, they are often aggravated. The dwarves were so aggravated by this that they brought the matter up at Shieldmeet in 1372 DR, wanting to have a formal recognition of the name of Glen as belonging to the dwarves of Glen, and the town of Glenwatch being formally named Glenwatch in all Mistledale records. Ulwen Sharin, the representative of the eastern farms of the Dale, granted this request, though she was dubious about the need for it. A major battle was fought during the Elven Crusade to the south of Glenwatch. Because the locals still refer to their town as Glen, the battle has been called the Battle of Glen, which further drives the dwarves to distraction. For their part, during the Battle of Glen, the dwarves were busy holding off forces that had circumvented the village of Glenwatch and came down the wall onto the Moonsea Ride to march into Ashabenford.
Imports and Exports Edit
Notable Imports: Edit
Ores (from Cormyr, via Ashabenford), wood (via other communities in Mistledale), trade animals (via the western Mistledale ranches).
Notable Exports: ==== Various in-ground crops, including potatoes, pumpkins, turnips, and most especially mushrooms (the last being a year-round crop and one that is produced in a great deal of variety), various spirits distilled from the above crops, masterwork trade goods (including mithril and adamantine goods, imported from the Long Road, and only sold to various trustworthy clients), dragon eggs (sold to an even more select, narrowly-defined group of customers).
Many thank to the creators of this village from the depths of the Candlekeep forums
By Jared Rascher
Illustration by Lucian Barasu