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Nestled in the middle of the Kharolis Mountains, the mountain range is home to five of the most important locations on Ansalon: Qualinost, Solace, Thorbardin, Skull Cap and Pax Tharkas. The Kharolis run from just north of Ice Mountain Bay north to Abanasinia.
The dwarven kingdom of Thorbardin spans 22 miles from north to south, and 14 from east to west. It contains seven major cities, three warrens which are used for farming, and the burial area for all of the dwarves. In the center of Thorbardin is the Urkhan Sea. The most amazing thing about Thorbardin is not anything that is listed above - it is that it is entirely underground.
Lighted by an ingenious system of openings which filter light from the surface, and protected by Northgate and Southgate, the only two entrances to the mountain kingdom, Thorbardin is truly a fortress. In the middle of theUrkhan Sea is a giant stalagmite, connected to the surrounding shores by pulley-run boats, which is really the 28 story fortress of the Hylar Clan: the Life Tree.
The Fortress of Skullcap lies near the dwarven delvings. It was once a proud fortress, which was destroyed during the Dwarfgate War by one of the four spells of Fistandantilus. Pax Tharkas is a citadel which lies between Qualinost and Thorbardin built in the time of Kith-Kanan. It was captured by the dragon Highlord, Verminaard, but before the end of the war, the Heroes of the Lance were able to retake the fortress.
After the Cataclysm, Thorbardin was sealed off from the world -- the great gates were closed. Such was the skill of the ancient craftsmen that when they are sealed, both Northgate and Southgate appear to be nothing more than a continuation of the mountainside. The great gates were opened again around the time of the War of the Lance, but have since banged shut again: following the dragon Beryllinthranox's attempts to conquer Thorbardin.
Those dwarves opposed to the idea of sealing the dwarven kingdom followed Severus Stonehand to the Khalkist Mountains in the north to recapture the kingdom of Thorbardin. Those Neidar dwarves living outside the mountain in their villages have fled to Abanasinia.
Last Modified: Thursday April 09, 2009
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