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Citadel Adbar was a fortress named for King Adbar, the ancient dwarf who began its construction in −370 DR and completed it in −272 DR during the waning years of ancient Delzoun, making this the last shard of that once mighty dwarven kingdom. The Citadel consisted of a massive fortified fortress that provided surface access to miles and miles of defensive granite corridors, tunnels, and hallways that wound their way under the Ice Mountains. The city could house up to 60,000 dwarves in relative comfort, though less than a third of that number were usually present.
Citadel Adbar did not welcome visitors. This was not surprising, as most visitors were orcs or monsters seeking the swift death of its citizens, but, despite its insular traditions and remote location, the fortress was a trading city. The dwarves dwelling here made their living by mining, smelting and forging their native ores. Their constant work caused a permanent cloud of smoke to hang over the city and created such a din and clangor that it was just as well that the city did not entertain many guests.
Like other dwarven communities in Faerûn, the number of dwarves in Citadel Adbar had been steadily dwindling over the last several generations. In recent years, as the miners grew fewer and orc raids upon the trade-caravans became fiercer, the remaining dwarves' output decreased significantly. The renewed vigor brought about by The Thunder Blessing however, promises to help return Citadel Adbar to its former glory. While many dwarves of the new generation had left to rebuild Mithral Hall and Citadel Felbarr, enough had remained so that the city was once again producing its famed goods in quantity.
For over a hundred years Citadel Adbar had been ruled by King Harbromm, and he was noted for his attention to strategy and detail. He was also a master smith and the city's badge was his personal forge mark. It was an upright, single-bladed hand axe enclosed by a circle of flame inscribed in red on a silver field. He had managed to hold his community together in the face of threats from the orcish tribes.
The king employed human adventurers in patrols outside the walls, and he kept two hundred dwarves on the battlements of the Citadel. Another 1,500 were ready to take up arms if the horn call was sounded through the speaking tubes cut in the Citadel's rock. These tubes also allowed dwarves to flee quickly underground by tumbling into them. In a day, Adbar could arm and armor 9,000 dwarven warriors. Harbromm's policy was to safeguard the lives of his folk and to keep inside the Citadel whatever befell.
The Citadel was a fortress. It had ditches that could be filled with flaming oil, bridges that could be drawn up or swung down into deep pits, concentric rings of walls that could be defended one by one in the event of a powerful besieging army, and so on. The Citadel had withstood over 60 orc horde attacks thus far. Each of these were determined sieges by over 10,000 orcs at a time, and occasionally 10 times that number.
The fortress that humans saw was only the small surface part of an underground, dwarven hold known as Adbarrim. The Citadel existed to provide a secure connection with the world above and to keep the smoke, noise, and stench of metalwork out of the dwarven homes. Miles upon miles of chambers, passages, and suites had been carved out of solid granite.
The tall towers that jut above ground were called the Dragonspikes, so named because they protected against dragon attacks with their nasty spikes. Smoke from the Foundry exited out the central tower chimney. A waterwheel operated in the lowest part of the mines. Chain hoists connected the aboveground levels to the belowground levels. Access to the citadel on the surface was facilitated by a drawbridge; access to the keep from the Underdark, Fardrimm, and other Delzoun strongholds was sealed off by a heavy iron portal known as the Caravan Door.
As it was, only metal traders and the most desperate or daring peddlers attempted to reach Citadel Adbar. Ironically, since raiding orcs, prowling crag cats and other predators made the land around the Citadel so deadly, most caravans traveled through the relative safety of the Underdark via Sundabar, Mithral Hall and even distant Mirabar. Caravans that survived the long and dangerous journey brought mainly grain and dried fruits and vegetables that the Citadel was incapable of producing. Fresh fruit, which the dwarves delighted in eating during the winter, fetched the highest price.
Every year more than one caravan was lost in the Underdark but those who were successful were richly rewarded. The dwarven smiths here made the best dwarven weapons and armor this side of the Deep Realm. All goods made in Citadel Adbar were considered masterwork and commanded premium prices throughout the North. In addition most of the forge bars (blocks of refined metal) used by quality smiths in The North were from Citadel Adbar. The dwarves continually mined mithral as well as other precious metals, but the recent opening of long-abandoned Mithral Hall had made the largely mined-out mithral deposits of Citadel Adbar less important.
A well-guarded route ran through the Underdark from Citadel Adbar to Sundabar and also provided access to the Everfire. Once every four years at Shieldmeet, a dozen master craftsmen were chosen by the king to make the perilous journey to the forge at Everfire. They were each given an entire year to create a single magical weapon or piece of armor commissioned by the king for an undisclosed champion of Citadel Adbar. These priceless artifacts were presented to the most deserving defenders of the city, as chosen by the king, and were almost always dwarves, however at least one dwarf friend had been awarded this great honor.
Two trade routes existed on the surface. Both started at the gates of Citadel Adbar but split very soon after that. One, barely more than a trail passed through Cold Vale to eventually reach Silverymoon. The other traveled for a short way to join Fork Road, at The Fork allowing access to Ascore at one end of Fork Road and Silverymoon at the other.
Surface traders brought fresh produce to Adbar and returned with metals and dwarven craftworks.
The Silver Marches Confederation
King Harbromm was initially opposed to conjoining Citadel Adbar with the Silver Marches confederation, as he saw no benefit in it. But thanks to Emerus Warcrown and Bruenor Battlehammer, Citadel Adbar became the Confederation's primary source of military ordnance.
- Ed Greenwood (August 1992). “The Everwinking Eye: Words To The Wise”. In Jean Rabe ed. Polyhedron #74 (TSR, Inc.), p. 14–15.
- Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 172. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
- Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 47. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
- Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 84. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
- Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 51. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
- Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 59. ISBN 978-0786965809.
- Richard Baker (August 2004). Forsaken House. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 238. ISBN 0-7869-3260-0.
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- Ed Greenwood and Jason Carl (July 2002). Silver Marches. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 0-7869-2835-2.
Dwarven Valley • Eartheart • Earthfast • Far Hills
Gracklstugh • Iltkazar • Ironmaster • Mithral Hall • Underwatch
Alatorin • Ascore • Citadel Sundbarr • Citadel Yaunoroth • Gauntlgrym • Halls of the Hammer
Hrakhamar • Sarbreen • Splendarrmornn • Underhome • Tyar-Besil • Tzindylspar
Ammarindar • Besilmer • Bhaerynden • Dareth • Deep Kingdom • Delzoun
Gharraghaur • Haunghdannar • Hollowbold • Ironstar • Oghrann • Roldilar • Sarphil
Shanatar (Barakuir • Ultoksamrin • Xothaerin) • Thunderholme