— by Slodius Rex
When Dwarves and Gnomes Unite, Mil Bazon's Folly
— by Slodius Rex
The devils have the Nine Hells, demons have the Abyss. P.P.M. (Plane Prime Material) dwellers have Mil Bazon.
The Raucous Home of Dwarves Mil Bazon. The Thrice-stained Jewel of the Thin-Aired Peaks. The Triumphant Degenerates of the Mithril Veins. But enough about their benevolent qualities.
Not too many Gnomes enjoy the overcrowded and overrun streets of cities. They much prefer the open, verdant plains of Wyn and Forests of Greccia, akin to their ancestral Feywild. What does a Gnome have want of in such a lush land kissed by Pelor? Well, the small ambitious clan of Fellflower thought plenty was needed elsewhere, and in the land of Dwarves no less.
Dwarves, by their nature, are rough but kind-hearted. You cannot even slip on the streets of Mil Bazon or even Evoria's Deep Golog without Bazoner or Gologer offering medical guidance and a fortnight's rest in their own homes. The Dwarves are neighborly but practical, on the whole. The Dwarves on the deep side of Mil Bazon, the Engineers as they call themselves, refrain from such pleasantries in lieu of their second trait, progress.
And so it was in the year 2705 during the coldest Erewinter on record that Fellflower and Engineers met west of the Marwall. They traveled hand-in-hand, exchanging blueprints and ideas. Gnomes have a propensity toward magic in their machinations while Dwarves are more mechanical. The marriage between the two was hashed and the honeymoon was to be in Mil Bazon, in the Deep Delves where the Engineers stay. Here in these depths the Gnomes stood out like a initiate ranger's lure, but they cared not, for the Dwarves and Gnomes saw past each other's appearances and indulged only their driving ambition and lust for their creation.
After a year of hard working, both having prototypes at first, they finally were able to construct life. It stood over six feet tall, broad shouldered, and sentient. It was made for one purpose in mind, and in training it fulfilled that duty faithfully. They called it Warforged.
The Warforged was soon replicated in the Delves twenty times. These were used a manual laborers and demanded compensation for their work, quickly learning the languages of both races. The two creating races delighted in this curiosity and indulged their creations if only to see what would occur.
Now, reader, as you can probably tell by the tone, many see this as ill omen. The Warforged are as shunned in Mil Bazon's upper regions as Dragons are in Evoria. Only a few have managed to slip away from the city, unflinching by the cold, cold winters or hot, hot summers. Their keen need to obey fulfills them, though some do prefer to take up lives as adventurers, though they do not know how.
There is much stigma concerning this artificial life and for good reason. They do not, as far as we know, have souls, so where does their consciousness go when they expire? The Dwarves say they simply cease to exist, but the Gnomes have a fantastical belief that their consciousness goes into the Ethereal Plane to wander aimlessly until devoured by something monstrous and evil. The truth can never be fully realized.
Apart from this, more concern of the artificial life stems from what monstrous thing could be created next, and what makes Warforged any different from an undead? A whole new consciousness is as blasphemous as one brought back from beyond the tangible veil. What sort of things were conjured when creating these machines? What do we know of their motivations? What if they do develop to create their own? I suppose at that point they would be a true race, but as of now their abominable existence marked from the cavalier direction of their creators signifies them as something to be wary of if not downright despised.
Majority are Dwarves with a small transient population of every other race, even Dragonborn. No other race stays long in Mil Bazon for their forges run all night, lighting the stony sky with orange and fiery brilliance.
Meritocracy/Kingship. The best smiths and craftsmen govern daily matters while the King oversees far-reaching matters.
Besides being completely underground, Mil Bazon boasts a formidable force of guard, the Coals, as their policing and auxiliary military force. Their main military, Gulliminsh, are named after a demigod who helped their progenitors carve out the main part of the city over 5,000 years ago. Towers and keeps flank corners of streets every few miles, stationing ballistae, crossbowmen, and Gulliminsh inside the seventy-foot high onyx black walls.
They trade in beads mostly to transient travelers, being the last hospitable place in the West before the unclaimed lands and the southern arid snowfields swallow anything that walks into its clutches.
Ores and armory are more used as exports. An expertly crafted railway takes these from Mil Bazon to their satellite cities of Morangl and Deep Golog, and possibly a new settlement under the Weirhead.
All city compliances and amenities are available. Working sewage; running, clean water; underground fisheries; even small pastures in winter for livestock.
Mithril veins run deep, deep down to the Underdark. Adamantine has pockets of ore from the God Wars scattered throughout the whole region.
Guilds and Factions
Many artisan and crafter guilds as well as smithing guilds that compete annually. These include the Stonesmithy (artisans), the Deep Cutters (crafters), the Gripped Hammer, and the Strong Anvils (both forgers and smiths).
When the Dwarves began to pine for their own home, Kord came down and impregnated a chosen female leader. Her son, birthed as a full-grown Dwarf named Gulliminsh, took his mother's sword and shield and led his peoples to the impassable mountains in the center of Daeg. From here, he found a rich vein of iron and adamantine and forged the All-hammer. With it Gulliminsh drove the monsters and rocks deep into the largest mountain that is said to pierce Ysgard. This was 5,000 years ago.
Gulliminsh stepped down then from acting leader, giving ownership of the kingdom to his mother. The Dwarves then set to mining, as Dwarves do. In so doing they found caverns and rushing rivers carrying unknown water to deep depths. It is here the Dwarves carved out their kingdom of Mil Bazon. Over the next few thousand years, The Dwarves carved deeper and built wider, still not even scratching the neck and ribs of the mountain. They found gold, and were the first to smith coins to use as currency. They fashioned weird weapons such as halberds and warpicks, and Mil Bazon became known as their trading hub. This seclusion made their prices exorbitant, since they were nearly two years away from any other nation or tribe. And this made Mil Bazon the forerunner in mercantile and trade, until the Half-elves perfected the craft by being the Gateway to the West.
Mil Bazon reveled in successful business ventures, establishing small colonies in the mountains of Evoria, and growing in influence. Soon other countries recognized Mil Bazon as the official Dwarven settlement, mostly hoping to gain good ground for fair trade deals. The best dealers were the humans who, although warring and not united, struck a deal to allow Dwarves to stay in their forming boundaries. Bazoners took it upon themselves to construct ways between the three settlements.
About 300 hundred years ago, Gillim, a master engineer trained by Gnomes in the Feywild, built the first railway between Mil Bazon and the outer mountains. At the time, roads had been laid between the three cities that took less than a hundred years to complete. These roads took a traveler about half a year to journey, but was successfully protected by the Coals in their glossy black armor. Gillim's project took a few dozen years, but she had two teams on either side who drilled to each other, an extraordinary feat the Gnomes still praise. Churning along, Mil Bazon sold gold and silver and gems to every other race, never seeming to run out in their deep and expansive mines.
Mil Bazon architecture reflects Dwarves as a race: octagonal or square, sturdy, straight-lined, practical first and aesthetic second.
The Mil Bazon mountain itself stands out in stark contrast to the sky. It rises so high, the clouds cover most of it, and at a certain point up the slopes there is no snow. No explorer has risen to the top and lived to tell the tale, even when magically aided. The surrounding mountains are exemplary themselves, rising so high as to almost choke any person not used to the climate.
Tons of tons of tons of gems and ore can be greedily found if only one has an pickaxe. More sturdy artisan material such as beads and carved stone can be bought here.