Bryn Dûm, specifically, is the name of the great dwarven city that fell into ruin after Athkore, the Bringer-of-Ashes and a horde of orcs brought it down. Bryn Dûm is now the term used in reference to the region of the Treadstones Mountains around the ruins of the city and west to The Emerald Sea. Much of the land is uninhabited by the civilized races but new settlements have formed along the Valk’Morgan River and the throughout the higher grasslands close to the marshes along the coast to take advantage of the fertile land, accessible lumber from the forest covered Treadstone Mountains, and unclaimed dwarven gold.
~ History ~
Early History of the realm -
Long before Bryn Dûm was built by the dwarves the Treadstone Mountains had been inhabited by the elves that had left the feywild to live in the natural world. They crossed through the Worldfall into this realm seeking a place free of the Fey Courts and their enemies. Though goblins ran rampant throughout the woods the elves were able to out maneuver them and live as they chose to live.
It’s unclear as to how long the elves had been here since the lifespans of the elves is so much longer than others and thus the passing of time is perceived differently, but their relative peace came to an end when the elves were discovered by the drow of House Despania. The elves sent for help, crossing the Worldfall back into the Feywild to beseech their eladrin cousins for aid, but it would be several days before they’d return. As the elves fell, many fled to Rilynn’Mitore, their place of worship to the gods and nature. It’s said that Sehanine then intervened and walked among them as an army of goblins led by their drow masters came to destroy Rilynn’Mitore. Sehanine shrouded the glade in shadow concealing Rilynn’Mitore from their enemies. Goblins ran to and fro cursing while searching in vain for the elves. The eladrin arrived soon after to aid their kin and forced House Despania back into the Underdark. Afterwards, the eladrin Archfey known as the Prince of Hearts built Deldurin on the Worldfall here to reform bonds of friendship with his kin.
The Age of Bryn Dûm –
When the first dwarves came to this region the elves and eladrin welcomed them with great kindness. They made fast friends as they fought back the goblin tribes and other foul beast in the mountains. Then the dwarves discovered a vein of gold in the mountain that came to be known as Khazurân Crag. More dwarves came and they began to build great structures in the mountains, the greatest of which was Bryn Dûm, seat of their king the venerable Garam Balâs-Khîmir. The eladrin watched impassively as tempers flared between the elves and dwarves. They engaged in heated arguments over the land that nearly turned violent before the dwarves conceded and concentrated solely on their works beneath the ground. This cooled tempers for a while, but the elves were still not pleased.
As the dwarves increased their industry in the Khazurân Mine the waters of the Valkanor grew ever more polluted, weakening the Worldfall of Deldurin. The Prince of Hearts grew angry with the dwarves renaming the lake Mith Aelin “The Gray Lake” as an insult to their pride. The relationship between the eladrin and dwarves began to dwindle as well as the Worldfall grew weaker and soon few could cross the threshold between worlds without ritual spells to break those boundaries. With the eladrin growing ever more distant the elves to receded to more secluded areas of the forest, leaving the dwarves to build their great works beneath the earth.
Hundreds of years passed as the prosperous dwarves shipped goods from Bryn Dûm to the Nereathian Empire across the Emerald Sea. Having discovered a gateway to the Elemental Chaos they used the eternal fires to forge their wondrous works, accumulating vast amounts of wealth and notoriety. Then the dwarves were struck by a catastrophe of immense power. Athkore, the Bringer-of-Ashes, crashed the gates of Bryn Dûm bringing a hoard of orcs in his wake they ascended into the dwarven kingdom with reckless abandon. Within a few short days Athkore discovered the planner rift to the Elemental Chaos and tore it open, unleashing more monstrous beast upon the dwarves, setting them loose into the deeps. The siege would last for more than a year as the orcs burned Bryn Dûm and Athkore settled into the spire of the mountain.
Khazurân Mine had become the stronghold of the dwarves as they fell back from their seat of power. The King had been slain and hundreds of dwarves were already dead. Even though the elves returned to fight beside the dwarves the orc hoard was overwhelming with the strength of Athkore and the elementals he unleashed behind them. Khazurân Mine fell three months after Byrn Dûm and nearly all the dwarves had built was lost. Terrors from the Underdark came up into the dwarven mines and the orcs soon gave in to internal fighting and the persistence of the elusive elves, disbanding the hoard.
Durgeddin the Black -
After the fall of Byrn Dûm Durgeddin the Black, a master smith who forged weapons of surpassing quality and power, led the remnants of his clans to a new stronghold. There they established a small secret fortress in the trackless wilderness known as Khundruker – the Glitterham. From his hidden redoubt, Durgeddin waged a decades-long war of vengeance against all orc-kind putting all he found to the sword. Eventually, the orcs captured one of Durgeddin’s clanmen and discovered Khundruker. The orc chieftains raised a new army as they’d done before when following Athkore and marched on Khundruker. In a hard-fought siege lasting months, the orcs tunneled around the dwarven defenses and stormed the fortress, killing all within. The location of Khundruker remains unknown and the orc horde has long since dispersed. Rumors have persisted through the ages that Durgeddin’s weapons forged in anger remain hidden in the vaults of the Khundruker awaiting discovery to retake Byrn Dûm.
Current Events -
~ Geography ~
The forest covered Treadstone Mountains rise to four-thousand foot elevations with some of the tallest peaks reaching upwards of five-thousand feet. The lands east of the Treadstones lie in the rain shadow of the mountains, making them dry and arid. To the west of the Treadstone Mountains are low hills and grasslands before the saltmarsh along the coast of The Emerald Sea. Lush and vibrant, The Morningstar Plains mark the northern border of Bryn Dûm. To the south and west is a vast basin, flat and desolate, where the waters of The Emerald Sea no longer reach.
Points of Interest -
Garam Valley - North of the fabled Bryn Dûm the Garam Valley is nearly thirty miles long though no more than 10 miles across at its widest point. This valley, named after the first dwarven king of Bryn Dûm, is where the main surface gate to Bryn Dûm is found.
Ghed’Rendel Swamplands -
Khazurân Crag - The towering cliffs of Khazurân Crag can be seen from the town of Heartsford where on the southern side of the great mountain the Valk’Morgan river cuts through the rock to make its way to The Emerald Sea. Deep within the mountain is the Khazurân Mine, the first founded by the dwarves whom built Bryn Dûm.
Mith Aelin “The Gray Lake” - The origination point of the Valk’Morgan River, The Gray Lake is a point of controversy between the dwarves of Khazurân Mine and eladrin of Deldurin. The dwarves operating the Khazurân Mine during the days of Bryn Dum had polluted the lake, throwing out their refuse and burnt coal from their forges. The crystal clear waters of the lake grew still and gray prompting the eladrin to rename the lake to Mith Aelin both to mourn the loss of its beauty and scorn the dwarves. After the fall of Bryn Dum something other-worldly came to live in The Gray Lake, something that purged the dwarves pollution returning the power of the Worldfall, but none have seen this being. Those who’ve gone searching have found nothing if they return at all.
Nim-nehn Duin “White River” - This river cuts through the Áre Imlad “Sunlight Valley” flowing into the Mith Aelin. The towers of Deldurin worldfall on the river where the Deldurin River tributary joins the White River.
The Stonetooth – A great peak in the northern region of the Treadstone Mountains the Stonetooth looks like the tooth of a great beast jutting up from the earth. It’s used as a landmark by hunters and explorers to navigate the vast mountain range.
Valk’Morgan River - Once called the Valkinor, this river flows out of The Gray Lake through the Treadstone Mountains and down into hills and grasslands making its way to the Emerald Sea. Sea fearing ships cannot sail up the Valk’Morgan River so most vessels make port at Morgan’s Landing where river boats can haul goods upstream to Heartsford. The Valk’Morgan is the largest river in the region.
~ Settlements ~
Deldurin “Valley of Falling Water” - Only appearing during the gloaming hours, the white towers of Deldruin rise up through the falling waters, pouring from its walls into the Nim-nehn Duin “White River” north of Mith Aelin. During other times, while the city cannot be seen, travelers can hear the waterfalls and songs of the fey, an echo from the Feywild crossing over.
Heartsford – The trade center of Bryn Dûm, Heartsford is a small town of about 2,000 people of varied races. It’s a frontier town full of hunters, merchants, lumber workers, treasure hunters and sellswords. The town is easily accessible to travelers and merchants making it the staging point for many of the expeditions into the mountains in search of dwarven gold.
Morgan’s Landing - The fishing village of Morgan’s Landing is located in the salt-marsh coastal region of the Emerald Sea perched in a small natural harbor. Morgan’s Landing was the first of the Nerathian refugee’s settlements in Bryn Dûm.
Restwell Keep – One of the fallen dwarven outposts, Restwell Keep still stands in good repair today. The keep was built west of Bryn Dûm in the plains to protect farmers and the dwarves agriculture. Years ago, a band of adventurers calling themselves the Six Swords of Fortune claimed it as their base of operations and the stability of the keep attracted a large number of people. The Six Swords exploits outside of Bryn Dûm attracted negative attention from the old Nerathian Lords and a paladin of Erathis named Sir Drysdale brought in a small army and slew four of the six, taking leadership of the keep. Sir Drysdale has brought the keep under martial law and now plans a crusade against the evils in Bryn Dûm.
Rilynn’Mitore “The House of the Moon” – Most of the elves in the realm are fairly nomadic or build small villages in the trees but the sacred glade of Rilynn’Mitore is the elves place of worship and council. Long ago the glade was blessed by the goddess of autumn to conceal it from those unwelcomed by the elves and the location of Rilynn’Mitore remains secret still. Among the few laws of the elves, the most taboo is giving away the location of this sacred glade.
Seven Pillared Hall, The -
~ Factions ~
Hollymead Halfling Caravan – A group of halfling merchant families, they setup camp at different villages for several months at a time, moving on when business is slow or they’ve worn out their welcome. Many view the Hollymeads as rouges and scoundrels if not thieves but to those in the adventuring profession they can be an invaluable resource.
Horse Lords, the – A collective term used to refer to the nomadic barbarian clans that follow and domesticate the horse herds in The Morningstar Plains. They often come to Bryn Dûm to trade with Heartsford and are sworn enemies with the gnoll tribes that plague their land.
~ Ruins & Dungeons ~
Bryn Dûm -
Thunderspire Labyrinth -