My first visit to Craghold was in 772 Af. I had met Glod Darkhammer while traveling, and we ended up helping each other out of a jam - that's another story, and we'll get to it soon enough. When we parted, he told me that he was establishing a business venture, and he'd love for me to stop in if I ever made it to Craghold. Well, I plan on making it everywhere eventually, so I told him I'd look him up. He told me to find the Dungeon.
Well, of course that whetted my appetite - why would he be in a dungeon? Is he wanted for a crime, and will be arrested upon returning? Is his business venture running a dungeon? I had to know, so I planned to make it to Craghold as quickly as I could.
That was in the summer of 769 Af., if I remember correctly, and quick as I could ended up being stretched out a while after the thing in Fort Amwell (another story well worth telling - stick around for a while). But I arrived, and after spending a few days digesting the wonders of the city, I found The Dungeon. Not just a dungeon, but The Dungeon. Though it was an imposing building carved out of the Great Cliffs itself, it wasn't a dungeon, it was the home base of Glod's business venture - the Dungeoneers.
Purpose / Function
The Dungeon was one of the original great halls carved out during the formation of Craghold. As Craghold grew, expanding both deeper into and away from the Great Cliffs, it ceased to be useful as housing for the initial settlers. It ended up being used as barracks for a number of years under the various regimes.
In 768 Af., Glod Darkhammer came into possession of the Dungeon, giving it its name and establishing it as the headquarters of the Dungeoneers. It is used as a guildhall, barracks, training ground, and feasting hall.
For the most part, the Dungeon did not have to change much to fulfill its purpose. As it was initially a place for the early settlers to stay as they built up Craghold, it was perfectly suited to work as a guildhall.
Extensive work has been done, however, as demonstrated by the carts of dirt and rock that were hauled out of the Dungeon for years after first coming into the Dungeoneers' possession. However, no one who is not at least an associate of the Dungeioneers is permitted to see any of these modifications.
The Dungeon has been carved out from a natural opening in the Great Cliffs. It did not take much work to shelter the first dwarves there, but they soon began to carve it out and become more of a home. The stonework is a good example of Fourth Century dwarven excavation, although not particularly noteworthy. The stone carvings throughout are of some interest, as they show the slow but steady change in dwarven aesthetics over the centuries.
While the entire structure seems to have been carved from the rock of the cliffs, an experienced builder, or almost any dwarf, can tell where stone has been built up rather than carved away.
At that point, the story had spread, and Glod Darkhammer saw his opening. He convinced the Thane that he could do what the soldiers could not, and he would do so in exchange for a long term lease on what would become the Dungeon. The Thane agreed, and after the events that became known as the Craghold Horror, Darkhammer was awarded the site outright. He immediately took possession, leaving it in the charge of his second, then left the city for two years. He came back with a modicum of fame, and a number of new members of the Dungeoneers.
A few cafes and stores are near the Dungeon, and they attract some people who want to get a look at the facade of the building. These are generally humans and halflings, as most dwarves stoically demonstrate they are not impressed by conspicuously not visiting other than during Festiva.