Koldor's Hold Settlement in The Azure Sea | World Anvil

Koldor's Hold

Koldor's Hold
The first city of the Dwarves, entrance to their underground realm in the Balnoque Spine.
Koldor's Hold is the capital city of the Dwarves and base for the Koldor Dwarf Clans. It sits under the great mountain Khogarlum on the eastern side of the Balnoque Spine range. The Dwarves call this mountain range Thrakraeth ("jagged teeth"). The city is named for a great dwarven king of old.   In a low valley before the city sits a small settlement next to the Doors of Koldor. Beyond the doors, lies the city, carved from the rock by the master builders of the dwarven-folk.   This is the only part of the dwarven kingdom that most non-dwarves will ever see, but it is merely the entrance to a great maze of tunnels and settlements that lie under the mountains, carved as the Dwarves explored the Underdark and mined the valuable minerals they found there.   The city is built over several levels, with the administrative districts near the surface and the mines at the base. Precipitous stairs carved from the rock lead between the various levels with sheer drops on either side leading down into darkness. The city itself is lit by a myriad of torches and glowing fungi called Leormaenn that is grown by the dwarves.   King Brakhur Dimmaster sits on the throne in the Chieftan's District, served by the advisors of The Forging.  

Notable Features and Buildings

Run by the various city Guilds, the Academy is where young dwarves who are not destined for the Barracks are sent to learn their trades. Skills as diverse as mining, gemcraft, fungi-farming and stonecraft are taught here by stern masters of the arts.   Administration District
The Administration District of the city is a place of great activity. Hundreds of Dwarves sit in long rows at huge stone tables, tallying the latest findings, minings, harvests, and deeds of the dwarf-folk. This is all set into a great record of the Dwarven people known as Okum avor eth Djergr, a constantly updated carving along one of the walls, like an illustrated tapestry set into stone.   Barracks
The City Guard of Koldor's Hold are trained and housed here. Mainly formed from regiments of Mountain Dwarves they maintain peace and order in the city. Since the end of the Subterranean Struggle against the Drow they have fallen into a primarily ceremonial role. The barracks are overseen by senior members of the Iron Brigades, who train on the plains outside of the city.   Central Market
The largest natural chamber in Koldor's Hold is given over to this huge dwarven market. The market is designed for the folk of the city rather than outsiders, who are limited to the Small Market. The goods of the Dwarves are traded here between merchant guilds before heading up to be sold at the Small Market and beyond, at inflated prices. At the centre of the market is a huge stone edifice that houses the Temple of Moradin.   Chieftan's District
This large area of the city of Koldor's Hold sits relatively close to the surface world. It is a mixture of housing for the ruling nobility of the city and home to The Forging, the council that advises the King. The architecture here is breath-taking, showing incredible masonry skill designed to enhance the feeling of grandeur.   Clan Housing
The Clan Housing area of Koldor's Hold is a mid-level area that has been carved out of the natural rock of the mountain to form a series of homesteads for the citizens. Many of the younger folk here have never seen the surface world.   Entry
The large entrance hall to the Hold is watched day and night by honoured members of the city guard. Light streams in through the permanently opened doors, falling onto a great 50 foot tall statue of the hero Koldor, who has his warhammer raised above his head in a stance of defiance.   Fungus Farms
These large undergound farms, fed by underground streams of natural spring water, are where the Dwarves grow and harvest two main types of fungus: Leormaenn to provide light, and Dleoffaenn for food.   Granaries
The granaries of Koldor's Hold are used to store great swathes of barley grown and supplied by the Hill Dwarves. Here they are brewed into the various strong ales that make up a good proportion of the dwarven diet.   Guild Halls
The Guild Halls are where much of the day-to-day politics of the city gets done. The Guilds are powerful unions and representatives of the city folk and have a great deal of sway with the members of The Forging. Notable guilds include the Lamplighters, the Mongers, the Toymakers and the Lapidaries.   Mage District
The smallest of the Koldor's Hold city districts, this area is given over to the few sages of the Dwarves to do their work. Most dwarven magic is not found in the flashy spells and cantrips of the surface folk, but rather in enchantments subtly laid deep inside various weapons and tools with a religious like dedication. Celestial Steel is greatly prized by the dwarven mages and is often worked into their creations.   Mausoleum
This large open cavern is close to the entrance to Koldor's Hold. Inside sits many rows of austere stone tombs that house the dead of the city. Towards the front are seven grand tombs, one for each of the ruling clans of The Forging.   Mines
The mines of Koldor's Hold are the deepest excavations of the city. Many hundreds of different, carefully mapped tunnels lead out from these workings, linking to a great network of dwarven settlements. Several of the tunnels have been collapsed or are heavily guarded as they lead into the Underdark.   Small Market
One of the few areas open to non-dwarves, this market belies it's name. In this huge natural cavern many small stone houses trade both the crafts of the Dwarves and the resources traded into the city from the outside world.   Storage Caverns
The storage caverns are used to store a wide variety of goods and resources, from the fungi grown in the nearby farms, to ores mined from below and hoisted up via the means of complex pulleys and chains.   Stronghold and Vault
Directly beneath The Forging sits the great stronghold and vault of the dwarven nation, which houses many of the relics and treasures of the dwarves. Rumours of the riches to be found here say that the value is greater than all of the treasures of the Cerulean Empire and Hold of the Sea Princes combined.   Working District
The Working District of Koldor's Hold is the beating heart at the centre of the city. Here the forges and smiths of the dwarf-folk work around the clock. Hot, loud and an assault on the senses, metal and stone are constantly being reshaped and reforged into items of great craftmanship. Huge chains and pulleys lift the works into a great hole in the ceiling of the caverns, taking them to the Storage Caverns and the Small Market.  

Travel Distances

All distances are approximate and via the shortest possible routes, which might not always be practical. Where a travel distance is not shown there is no connecting route possible (e.g. there is no road or waterway that links the places).

Koldor's Hold by Unknown

Alternative Name(s)
The Hold
ca. 5,000
Location under
Owning Organization

Cover image: Dwarven Gate by Unknown


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