|Ruler||U-Gene, King of Durinshold|
The spine of mountains that splits the Reaches and runs north-south through the continent of Perem Minor are known as the Shadowyarn Mountains. This is the land of the dwarves who followed Durin the Gemsmith, settling here in the middle of the First Age. Unlike the other dwarven holds, Durinshold's capital city of Dwarrowdelf has undergone many sieges over its three thousand year history. While the other dwarven capitals are exceedingly remote, Dwarrowdelf is located along the only natural path, called the Pass of Merchants, through the Shadowyarn Mountains south of the River White.
To outsiders, the inhabitants of Durinshold are known simply as the Dwarves of the Shadowyarn Mountains in order to distinguish them from the other three great Dwarven Houses. However, Durinshold is comprised of nine clans. Eight of these represent families of the original dwarven settlers to the Reaches while the final clan, the Trollslayers, are a warrior order with no women or children in their ranks. Each clan, except the Trollslayers, has at least one mountainhold which acts as a mercantile and governmental seat of power and as a last line of defense in case of war. There is no warfare between the clans, but periodic disputes are oftentimes settled with tests of strength and sometimes duels between the clan leaders. In the north, the dwarves of Durinshold are almost constantly at war with the goblins, orcs, ogres, trolls and giants of the region.
In the early-ninth century of the Third Age, the city was held under the command of Baron Horatio Freetrader, a subject of King Gregory the Even-Handed. At that time, the city was commonly called Paddington. An historical account of the city made by a merchant of the time reads,
"From the west come the people of the Wilderland area trading weapons, cloth, and civilized goods. Some Eastern traders, mostly Markinghamshiremen, come trading horses, cattle, and grain. While others from Haggelthorn deal with exotic goods, fish, and coral. From the north appear rangers and trappers with their pelts and furs. It is even possible to see an occasional hill giant trying to trade for food. Stone dwarves trade, rarely in person, from across the Inner Sea their marvelous stone artifacts. And a gnome may walk from the Land of Bogs and the Little People to trade or buy. Rumor has it that on occasion a traveler from the lands beyond the Sands of Time shows up to peddle his magical curiosities. Needless to say, the Free Town borders on chaos at times. However, it is a modestly safe place to be. The Baron has a garrison of about one hundred troops and a castle that can easily hold the town's small (about 500) population. The troops under Baron Horatio's rule rarely leave the pass and the nearby mountains. They occasionally trek northward to check on movements in the Orc Nation. However for the most part, these troops, known as the Merchant's Guard, content themselves with hunting the numerous mountain lions, brigands, and bears (for which this area is famous) that proliferate the Pass of Merchants."
This peaceful occupation was overthrown in 833 TA by the forces of Atli the White who subjugated the population to virtual slavery and renamed the city Shadowkeep. During this time, much of the remaining dwarven population fled into the mountains joining with the mountain clans who lived there. In 883 TA, the city was again captured, this time by the dwarven forces of Dugald Axeworthy (see the Hastur Rebellions). During this siege, the Crown of Durin was discovered, and a true descendant of Durin was identified. Later that same year, King U-Gene was crowned. Shortly thereafter, the city was renamed to its original dwarven name Dwarrowdelf.
The clans of the dwarves of the Shadowyarn Mountains, scattered for almost a century, have begun to organize in Dwarrowdelf again. While the great gem mines of the First Age have largely been spent, it is rumored that new finds in the more remote areas of the Shadowyarn Mountains may once again bring prosperity to Durin's ancestors.
The court includes: General Dugald Axeworthy; the Dwarven Lord Chamberlain Menion, Wielder of Legion; Gareth Bellowsmasters; Brunald Ironbreaker, Dwarven Hero; and Stowald Stoneweaver, Dwarven Runesmith.
Nearby Places of Interest
The Shadowyarn Mountains are the dominant geographical feature of the Reaches running from the northern edge of the continent to the Sands of Time in the south. These mountains are the headwaters for most of the major rivers in the Reaches including the River White. There are few passes through these barrier peaks, the Pass of Merchants and the Pass of Lar being the most notable. The highest point in the Shadowyarn Mountains is Mount Shadow, sixty miles north of the River White. The Shadowyarn Mountains are home the Durinshold Dwarves, although a number of strange and mysterious enclaves can be found within its remote reaches.
The River White
The River White is the swiftly flowing river which defines the northern boarder of the Reaches. It runs down from the Shadowyarn Mountains east to the Inner Sea at Dragonsford. To the west, it runs to the Great Sea at Teufeldorf. For most of its length, the river is too wide and swift to allow large armies to pass over it. For this reason, it has proven to be the natural dividing line between the human lands in the south and the Orc Nation in the east. In the Second Age, the river was known as the River Wight east of the Shadowyarn Mountains.