Delzoun, the great Northkingdom of the dwarves, flourished over five thousand years ago, stretching from the Ice Mountains in the north to the Rauvin and Nether Mountains in the south. The Delzoun gained wealth and power by trading with Netheril. They carved out the Fardrimm, a series of underground roads spanning the breadth of their empire and beyond into other areas of the North. The most famous of these underground roads was the Lowroad which linked the Delzoun lands with Netheril.
Gauntlgrym was the fabled capital of Delzoun. The city was built on a huge scale, with many doorways of iron, mithral, and stone so big that even a dragon could pass through. The shield dwarves of the North remember it as the greatest achievement of all dwarf-kind.
Gauntlgrym began as a mine in the ancient days of Delzoun’s first expansion many thousands of years ago. According to the legends, the miners encountered something fierce and terrible deep beneath the earth. There was some kind of terrible catastrophe that forced the dwarves of Delzoun to abandon the mine. Centuries or even millennia later, the dwarves returned, and with help from the humans of Illusk and the elves of Iliyanbruen, they built the fabled city. Immar Fardelver, perhaps the greatest craftsman in the history of the dwarves, led the city’s construction. When it was completed, it was the home of Clan Goldspire, along with their human friends and allies, refugees from the fallen empire of Netheril.
Tragically, though, Delzoun fell. The fall of Netheril, the kingdom’s chief trading partner, weakened them to such a state that the kingdom fell a few centuries later to an orcish horde. Fabled Gauntlgrym fell.
The city’s location was lost. Many say that it lies north of the River Dessarin, near the Valley of Khedrun, but none have yet discovered it. In the Year of the Elves’ Weeping (430 NR, 1462 DR), many dwarves said that the ghosts of their ancestors from Gauntlgrym sought them out, begging them to come to Gauntlgrym to help them. They call this, “the Summons,” and though no one has found the city yet, it motivated many shield dwarves of Delzoun ancestry to take up the quest to discover the lost city.
Finding the Way
Valtha Bonecarver discovered an ancient dwarven catacomb dating back to the time of Delzoun beneath Neverwinter’s River District. Such catacombs often have a sanctum dedicated to Dumathoin in the center to watch over the dead. In this sanctum, Valtha discovered a statue of Indrek Silentshield. The inscription was written in ancient dwarven, coded in a cipher known only to the talhund. Valtha translated it as:
The Keeper of Secrets Under the Mountain shall never forget the tales of heroic deeds done in secret, that no bard will ever praise. Remember Indrek Goldspire. When orcish hordes snuffed out the light of Gauntlgrym, he led the dwarves of Delzoun by the secret roads: by the River of Flame, the Ways in the Dark, and the Paths of the Source Stone. By these secrets he saved the dwarves of Delzoun in their hour of peril, and earned the name of Silentshield.