Capitol: Crôm Feyr (population: 33,000)
Population: 17,000 (89% Vaas, 11% other)
Demi-humans: 952,000 (96% deep dwarves, 1% halflings, 3% gnomes)
Humanoids: few (mostly goblins)
Government: Monarchy (currently ruled by the Vraiken Clan)
Current Leader: King Andrathor Vraiken (dwarvish CG 21st level fighter\3rd level aristocrat)
Coat of Arms: crossed pick and hammer over an anvil, all in Grey on a purple field.
Exports: gems, gold, silver, iron, dwarvish-crafts, weapons, mercenaries
Known to humans as "Hammerfell," Orrek is the mountainous realm of the dwarves of the north. An ancient and powerful kingdom that was once three smaller independent Dwarf-realms, Orrek is essentially three different Mountain ranges; The Urkhar, or Swordpoint Mountains in the west, the Azkar, or Grey Mountains in the center, and the Chokar, or Axehead Mountains in the east. Orrek today is both wealthy and powerful. The Dwarf-realm is bordered on the west by the Wildlands, on the south by the Region known as the Vast and the realm of Erindar, on the east by the Barrens and the realm of Ammarind, and on the north by the shores of the Myr Thalal. Orrek is essentially made up of three great mountain ranges. On her northern border lies the enormous Grey Mountains, on her western border lies the great Axehead Mountains, and on her eastern border lies the great Swordpoint Mountains. Orrek has several large regions within her mountain ranges as well. First the large forest of the Kronarwood lies north of the Swordpoint Mountains; second the open plain region of the Barrens lies between the Swordpoint and Grey Mountains, and third; the open region of the Vast lies between the Kronarwood and the southern tip of the Grey Mts. The Dwarf-realm of Orrek has no standing army but can field up to 60,000 dwarvish warriors in time of war.
Life & Society
The dwarves of Orrek are gruff, serious folk. Most dwarves found in this region are Mountain-Dwarves, commonly called ‘Deep-Dwarves.’ These folk excel at mining and crafting, and their products are legendary on Corwyn. Dwarves take simple iron and make extraordinary weapons, armor, and toys from it. Dwarves are not overly friendly to humans, but will sell their wares easily enough for the right price. Only elves are seriously mistrusted by the dwarves and not welcome in their lands. Dwarves are ever vigilant against goblin tribes of the North, and wage continual campaigns against them, much to the relief of other northern folk. In fact, the Highlands would not be safe for any travel at all, if it were not for the dwarves and their skills in the art of war. Sadly, dwarves are in decline in the north, for their time of glory is long past. As the centuries have passed, they have become more reclusive and withdrawn into their mountain strongholds.
Major Geographic Features
Axehead Mountains: (Chokar Mountains) large mountainous region in far eastern Orrek, stretching south from the Myr Thalal coast to eastern edge of the Kronarwood. The range serves as the border between Ammarind and the Barrens, and as part of the northern border of Alveron.
Kronarwood: large wooded region in the dwarvish realm of Orrek
Myol’s Peaks: extremely treacherous and high altitude region of the Grey Mountains. The temple to Ragnor, the Dwarf-God of Stone is located here.
Swordpoint Mountains: (Urkhar Mountains) mountainous region in western Orrek, along the border with the Wildlands.
Arkan Feyr: (population: 21,000) large stone city located in the Axehead Mountains, built by the dwarves of the ancient Inorlaiken Clan in the Second Age. This city was once the capitol of the Dwarf-Realm of Chokar and the home to the Greystone Chair of that realm. Today, it is a thriving dwarvish city and an integral part of the Dwarf-Realm of Orrek. The city is accessible via the Chokar Road leading north from the High Road between Darôk and Amara.
Axeway: important dwarvish road that begins at the city of Thürgen Feyr then runs north to the seaport of Huërtgen then runs east to the dwarvish capitol of Crôm Feyr, then runs south through the Azkar Mountains to the Dwarf-city of Darôk, where it intersects the High Road from Amara and Arkan Feyr. From Darôk the road runs south, crossing the Crumbling Mountains and reaches the fortress of Athos-Avarel, then proceeds south again to the Elyrian city of Rilsavar, where it intersects both the Greenway. The road then goes south again to the Crossroads of Erôn-Kelerath where it intersects the Kingsway, then south once again through the large gap between the Purple and Withered Mountains, skirting the Celadon Forest, and meets and joins with the Olde Peninsula Road at Castle Celadon. The Axeway separates from that road in the Cairn Mountains, turns east, before finally ending at the dwarf-city city of Skarlahn Feyr. The road is very treacherous as it gets farther north, going narrowly around many mountains and precipices. The northern end of the Axeway is nick-named the ‘Road of Lost Souls,’ because so many hapless travelers and caravans have been lost using it. These losses were due not only to the harsh weather of the Azkar Mountains, but also brigands, orcs, and other evil creatures. The road was built by dwarves in the late Third Age and is used chiefly by them. The Axeway is completely paved with tan stones and is in excellent condition today, and is maintained by Orrek and Erindar.
Chokar Road: paved and well-maintained road that runs south from the Dwarf-city of Arkan Feyr along the western base of the Axehead Mountains until it reaches a junction with the High Road running between the cities of Darôk and Amara.
Crôm Feyr: (population: 43,000) major dwarvish city and capitol of Orrek, located in the northern region of the Grey Mountains. This dwarf-city was ordered built under King Gyor the Master-Builder, who wanted an eternal monument to dwarvish ingenuity. With the completion of Crôm Feyr, Darôk; the former dwarvish capitol city, became secondary. The city is very busy with trade from Elyria, Ammarind, Derianor, Erindar, Cyrendar, Kharos-Thûngol, Serathyr, and the Wildlands. Crôm Feyr was considered the greatest Dwarf-city ever built, until the southern dwarf-city of Krone Feyr was built in the Third Age.
Darôk: (population: 30,000) small dwarvish city in the southern part of the Azkar Mountain range. Darôk was once a dwarvish capitol, but with the completion of Crôm Feyr, it became a secondary city. The city of Darôk is still very busy with trade from Ammarind and Erindar, as well as other Dwarf cities. The city is accessible via both the Axeway running north to the dwarvish capitol of Crôm Feyr and south to the city of Cordova, and the High Road east to the cities of Amara and Arkan Feyr.
Hüertgen: (population: 11,000) important dwarvish trading center in the realm of Orrek. This is one of few mixed communities of both dwarves and men, mostly because of the friendship between the Vaas peoples and the Khurylan. Huërtgen is well fortified because of the constant threat of raids from the Hüornen Variags and their dragon-carved Longships. The city is located directly west of Crôm Feyr on the northern shores of the Sea of Vaas. The seaport is accessible to the city of Crôm Feyr via the Axeway.
Khonë Valley: site of a terrible battle between the races of dwarves and goblins, in 655/3. It was here that the goblin tribes were finally defeated and the War of Sorrows came to an end. The war had lasted nearly 250 years, and both sides were exhausted. The ancient Dwarf-kings Celathor Kronehelm and Goran Inorlaiken were slain in this terrible battle.
Notchblade Pass: seldom used southern entrance to the Dwarf-realm of Orrek. The pass lies in the Axehead Mountains, on the border between the human kingdom of Erindar and Alveron, just west of the Anglarand River as it flows south out of the mountains. There is a small unpaved road that follows the river, leading north through the pass, across the mountains, and then into the dense Kronarwood Forest that leads to the River Khonë and the Dwarf-city of Darôk. This route is seldom used, for most traders and caravans use the much faster route of the Axeway, leading north from Cordova. The pass is guarded both by the dwarves and by the Erindari outpost of Parlfrey Keep.
Thürgen Feyr: ‘The Hall of Fire’ (Kh) capitol city of the ancient dwarvish realm of Urkhar, built in the Second Age by the Clan of Krandåhk. Thürgen Feyr was the home of the Firestone Chair of the Dwarf-Realm of Urkhar, and was considered a beautiful dwarvish city until it was captured and destroyed by goblins in 592/3. The city is now a major dwarvish settlement and a western stronghold of Orrek, and has been extensively rebuilt after its fall so many centuries ago.
The northern mountain kingdom of the dwarves has a long and detailed history. As far back as the early Second Age, the race of dwarves had begun to settle in the three enormous northern mountain ranges of West Corwyn. The dwarves’ early colonization was very difficult because these same three northern mountain ranges were also very much desired by the race of goblins, for the hidden wealth of gems and ores beneath their surface. As the conflict raged, the dwarves asked the race of elves to aid them in their struggle against the goblins. The dwarves felt that with the use of powerful elvish magic, they could easily overcome the goblins, whose numbers far surpassed their own. The elves felt that dwarves were not ready for magic, and refused to give the gift of arcane knowledge to the dwarves, beginning a long bitterness between the races, and the dwarves fought on without magic in their struggle. By 550/2, the Silvar-Elves became embroiled in a civil war against their Dark-Elf cousins. The dwarves flatly refused to give any aid to the western Silvar-Elves in their war, out of revenge for the earlier elvish insult. This compounded the enmity between the two races which has lasted even to the present day. In any event, the dwarves continued their long campaign to rid the northern mountains of goblins and make the region their homeland.
The three strongest dwarf-clans fought wars against the goblins for control of the three largest northern mountain ranges. First to be taken by the dwarves were the Grey Mountains or the ‘Azkar’ as the dwarves named them. By 659/2, the dwarves of the Velenkhür Clan conquered the Azkar Mountains, led by Vharig the Conqueror, who became their first king. The dwarves of the Krandåhk Clan soon followed with their victory over the goblins in the Swordpoint Mountains, which the dwarves named the ‘Urkhar.’ The first Dwarf-king of Urkhar was Kyros the Proud, who was crowned in 672/2. Not to be outdone, the Inorlaiken Clan soon conquered the Axehead Mountains, which they named the ‘Chokar.’ The first Dwarf-king of Chokar was Gromnir the Invincible, who was crowned in 757/2. The three Dwarf-realms in the north remained peaceful and prosperous for many years, until 409/3, when the goblins of the north, led by Gordak the Merciless, began their long campaign to take back the three mountain ranges from the dwarves. So began the War of Sorrows, which was called that because it lasted for more than 250 years, and caused the deaths of so many dwarves. The War of Sorrows was long and bloody, fought largely underground, involving costly battles of attrition and long sieges, such as the siege of Darôk which lasted 57 years. The war also caused the destruction of all three royal dwarvish bloodlines, as their kings fell in battle. First to fall was King Vholnir Velenkhür the Tireless, the last Dwarf-king of Azkar; who fell in battle with the goblins in 436/3. Second to be slain was King Khargan Krandåhk the Luckless of the Dwarf-realm of Urkhar, who was slain in 592/3, when the city of Thürgen Feyr was captured by a large goblin army led by Grumak the Skullcrusher. Grumak slew Khargan and stole his Elatir, taking it deep below the surface of Corwyn. A great dwarvish warrior named Celathor Kronehelm eventually tracked down and killed Grumak and recovered the stolen Elatir in 652/3, but was himself slain in the climactic Battle of Khonë Valley in 655/3. Khonë Valley was the last battle of the War of Sorrows, and the goblins were defeated so badly that they did not trouble the northern dwarves again for many centuries. This terrible battle also saw the death of King Goran Inorlaiken, the last king of the three original clans who conquered the north. Celathor’s son Algathor finally united the three Dwarf-realms into a single powerful entity in 660/3. Algathor wisely saw that only as a united nation could the dwarves survive against their goblin enemies, and that many of their defeats in the war had been due to clan infighting and lack of cohesion. Even to this day, the three regions are all loyal to the Dwarf-king on the Anvil Throne, located in the magnificent Dwarf-City of Crôm Feyr, the new dwarvish capitol city built in 785/3.