[D&D] Before the Gravel Mine

Before the orcs ruled the gravel pit Galentaspar, it was a thriving Dwarven kingdom: Ludhold. Prized magical lead minserals such as galena and dioptase were prized from the depths of the ridge where Ludhold stood. Crimskill, a brutal minded fire giant, crushed Ludhold with the help of the red dragon Rodorax. He chased the remaining dwarves to the eastern edge of the Sing’jar mountains where he was pleased to find them fighting not only with the elves, but among themselves. He crested the peaks, the natives scurrying before him and saw the sea–and smelled a stone giant. Saw the influence all about him–the large stones no elves would bother moving to make such battlements atop this ridge. Infuriated, he marched across the straight of Sing’jar to Faroth and battled Thromcom, crushing him with his burning hands, leaving his rocky bits scattered in the sea…and the whole island on fire.

Pleased with himself, he traveled south, seeking new plunder–and a mate. There was word of better giantesses in the south–much better than the dull hill giants that seemed to crowd the Sing’jar hills. Past the minotaurs and past the archepellegio to the sound of Ginc’yo, in which a rocky bay covered with smog sitting below steep cliffs he smelled the scent of other giants.

That whole bay no longer exists, just the twisted earth that shows evidence of a mighty battle that left a mountain sundered into a vast rockfall that completely covered the town under the smog–no stories but this remain:

Vanjollen, bastard brother of the cloud giant Jotthilmien, was cursed by their uncle, storm giant Thragrush, into the form of a small human with ash colored skin. Vanjollen adopted the name Chimswip, and passed his punishment as a chimney sweep, travelling from town to town, telling stories and invitably being forced out for not paying for food or drink. Chimswep climbed the peak above Ginc’yo and lived a hermit and could only be heard singing the songs of giants…and eventually, the songs of Lolth and the Drow.

Sailors of the archepelleio tell stories of the smoggy city that suffered under a vengeful despot who made the townspeople mine coal and harbored spiders and dark skinned warriors that herded the townspeople into their homes at night. Gnomes of Faroth tell tails of Chimswip Steel from the south, a hardened metal that rivaled adamantium and left  your hands black as soot after working it.

Crimskill brought a giantess back from the south that  wielded two black-headed hammers that would not shatter no matter what she hit them upon. On both her shoulders were tattoos of spiders. Her hair was white but her eyebrows were as black as coal, and she wore a necklace of giant’s teeth and earrings of what appeared to be gray human molars.

The ruined Ludhold, now known as Galentaspar, still smoking years later from the piles of coal still burning from the dwarven forges still cooling down, attracted an Orc warloard Rudchok Firefemur. The orcs tell stories of seeing a huge eruption to the south and in the morning the tunnels below Galentaspar were filled with dead orcs–swollen and rotting from spider bites. Every night for a year, the orcs fled to the edge of the gravel pit to avoid the black skinned elves that climbed from the tunnels and guided spiders as orcs guided wargs, and collected orcs for food.

Rudchock, having recovered from a spider bite himself, finally gathered strength abd gold enough to hire sorcerers to protect him and negotiate a settlement with the Drow. Now on the eastern side of Galentaspar rises eight thin stone spires coated with webbing. Every night the webbing is repaired by spiders from the deep and at midnight, the Drow come to gaze at the sky through the webs or trade with the Orcs.

All the mages in the desert seem to have traveled through Galentaspar for meetings with the lead drow: Eclipsen Darkmoon. Eclipsen, as a young and vicious assassin that often left a pile of dead orcs at the end of every trading session used to laugh about how he was forced to learn about metallurgy in the mines, and one day he hit his hot bar so hard the roof of the cave blew away into the sky and he fell through the clouds and landed on crappy lead ore to the north.

Eclipsen, now more serious with age, is credited by the orcs has having brought prosperity, education and discipline to the orcs. A hundred battles were won after the cairns were raised, orcs say. Not even a dragon could attack Galentaspar now, they boast. But the peace in Galentaspar is never easy. The Drow the patrol at night and the half-drow that patrol the day clearly hold no respect for the orcs. The captains of Crimskil and Rodorax the silent foes and are tolerated because they trade in gold and magic items.

A complex arragement of five buroughs surround the crater of Galentaspar: each mercenary that rules their cairn taxes the trade. Only the most clever orcs may get a chance to speak with these kingpins. The kingpins pay tribute to the Rudchock family and to Eclipsen. If you want to get to the magic items for trading, you have to matriculate from a day-side trader to an endorsed night-side trader to descend into the pit.

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