Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #231
August 20th, 2023
Name: Deep Dive on a Site of Interest: Among the Taodean Hills and Dales – Part 7
Location: In the Tuton Maug along the border with Noldrune
Population (approx.): 140 (a full Century of Dwarven troops and support staff)
Brief: In the Eastern Ranges of the Tuton Maug, are the three Cantons of Dwarves. Centuries ago, they fled south from the collapse of a forgotten Dwarven Empire in the Mountains of Gold, rather than north to the mountains east of Amthor. Settling into the natural caverns and abandoned ancient delvings, they founded what they call an Ironmongery, the mining and refining of iron and steel being the Dwarves' stock in trade.
Being a relatively young and small community, the Dwarves are very protective of their holdings. A trail leads west from the Cantons of the Ironmongery to meet the main routes at the Crossroads (#54) headed south to the capital at Blackstone Fortress (#15). On that trail a pair of forts marks the border.
Umgrim Flintbrow, 95, Dwarf, is an architect and “Maintainer of Traps.” He is of moderate height and carrying a few extra pounds from his "couple of beers after work." Umgrim has a sensible personality and a genuine smile. He still gets excited when his plans come together. His hair is long and kept in a ponytail. Umgrim keeps his beard short so it doesn't get caught in anything. He has hazel eyes and very thick eyebrows. He sometimes could be more careful, like when he forgets to wear socks. Umgrim wears a tool belt that has work tools and architect tools in it.
Umgrim's job is to maintain the traps on the borders and keep his eyes out for anything suspicious. The reality of the position is that there is a lot of free time. Umgrim uses this time to make drawings (plans) of the next great Dwarven trap! Early in his career, he made the mistake of disagreeing with one of the higher-ups and ended up a trap maintainer. He wants to put that behind him and return to the citadel and his family. He hopes the perfect trap design will accomplish that for him. Umgrim sends his trap designs back to the Dwarven government regularly. So far, no interest.
Umgrim's family comprises five brothers and two sisters. They all work for the government. His parents passed away a few years ago. There is a large family home where everyone gets together twice a year. Umgrim hasn't been able to go since he became the “Maintainer of Traps.” Supposedly, the traps would stop "working" if he wasn't there.
Geography: Where the Dwarves deem their western border to be, about two days’ walk west of the citadel of the Highpeak Canton, they have built a pair of forts on each side of the road, featuring battlements and an overlooking tower. Two pairs of tall, slotted pillars mark the ends of a rather cunning trap. When triggered, counterweights cause heavy steel doors to spring out of the ground, sliding up the slots in the pillars and blocking a 30-foot-long section of the road.
Then, if the Dwarves are so inclined, the contents of two hidden cisterns can be discharged to fill the space between each gate to the 20-foot height of the doors. One cistern is full of water, the other of oil. The water can be poisoned or the oil set on fire depending on the target(s) within the trap.