Mithral Hall (sometimes spelled Mithril Hall) was a dwarven stronghold beneath Fourthpeak Mountain in the Frost Hills, part of the Spine of the World. It was one of the best known dwarven strongholds in Faerûn.
Originally a mithral mine belonging to Clan Battlehammer, this underground town became a safe haven for various dwarf families and even some persons of other races. Mithral Hall had a long history of tragedy and triumph, and was the making and breaking of countless individuals.
- 1 Geography
- 2 Structure
- 3 History
- 4 Mines
- 5 Relationships
- 6 Inhabitants
- 7 Song
- 8 Appendix
Set amongst the longest mountain range in Faerûn, Mithral Hall was one of the northernmost settlements on the continent.
An ancient village south of Mithral Hall, Settlestone was one of the few dwarven settlements built entirely above ground. Originally known as Dwarvendarrow, the settlement was built with huge slabs of rock laid against one another. These sturdy structures withstood the elements for years and even survived several centuries after the village was abandoned.
Used by the occupants of Mithral Hall as a public front and forward base, Settlestone was first resettled in 1357 DR by barbarians from Icewind Dale led by Berkthgar, although the barbarians only stayed for a few years. Settlestone was also populated with around 200 dwarf guards that regulated traffic around Mithral Hall and kept the surrounding area free from monsters.
Keeper's Dale was the name given to the rocky valley that surrounded the northwestern entrance to Mithral Hall. To navigate it was treacherous and arduous, due to the craggy outcrops and unstable edges.
The steps on Keeper's Dale that led to the entrance of the hall were carefully carved where two different types of rock met. This provided camouflage and meant the steps could only be seen from the correct angle, or by those in the know.
Once inside the town, one was faced with a web of tunnels and numerous caves and rooms. To navigate the tunnels required an experienced guide or several years of experience spelunking within them. Mithral Hall was an ever-expanding settlement as the residents were constantly mining for more mithral. The tunnels and chambers of Mithral Hall were a self-contained city complete with taverns, forges, workshops, homes, and shrines to Moradin, Clangeddin, and Dumathoin.
- Main entrance (west)
- Sunken into Keeper's Dale, the main entrance to Mithral Hall was highlighted by a formation of ancient monoliths that pre-dated the settlement. Originally the entrance was accessed via a hidden door that only revealed itself on hearing a command word, but after Bruenor's refurbishments it was kept by two huge, well guarded granite portals. The entry hall was a wide, high roofed room carved out of the mountains, lit by enchanted torches that never went out.
- Secondary entrance/exit (east)
- On the east side of Fourthpeak was a small, hidden door that came out overlooking the river Surbrin. Known as Surbrin Gate, this door was not marked from the outside and for this reason was rarely used as an entrance. It was instead used as an exit via Garumn's Gorge.
- Underdark connections
- The lowest levels of the mine were gated off by heavy doors from the Underdark. These tunnels allowed the invasion by the drow of Menzoberranzan in 1358 DR, but they also connecting the city to the deep gnomes of Blingdenstone.
- The Maze
- After entering Mithral Hall from the western entrance in Keeper's Dale, one was faced with a short corridor and then a complex network of twisting tunnels and side rooms. This section on the upper level was known as the Maze. It was a knotted web of tunnels filled with traps and dead ends. Its purpose was to slow down or stop any invaders. Invited guests were instructed to wait in the entry hall to be met by a guide, as attempting to navigate the maze without the requisite knowledge could be fatal.
- The Undercity
- In the centre of the mountain lay the Undercity, the main living quarters for the miners and permanent residents. What was already a large natural cave was carved out further by the town founders. The walls had ledges carved into them like a colosseum, with several small homes carved into each of the giant steps. Although only inhabited by a few thousand in 1372 DR, this town had the capacity to house some 10,000 individuals. In the middle of the chamber, at the lowest level, were the workshops and furnaces where the majority of the forging and labor took place. The glow of the forge lit and warmed the entire Undercity. Towering over the Undercity was a bridge allowing miners to navigate through the city rather than around it.
- Garumn's Gorge
- Garumn's Gorge was a massive natural cavern within the east side of the mountain. Although unconfirmed, it was almost undoubtedly named after the Sixth King of Mithral Hall, Garumn Battlehammer. The 330m (1000ft) deep cave could only be crossed via a small bridge. This bridge led to the east entrance, and could be used as a great defensive tool. The bridge was also blocked by a portcullis, which was operated from a room on the other side of Mithral Hall. Down one side of the gorge, there was a waterfall known as Bruenor Falls. Bruenor Falls led to a small basin of water at the bottom of the gorge, which in turn trickled out through caves in the mountain into the River Surbrin. During Shimmergloom's reign, the gorge was known as Shimmergloom's Run. A cave at the bottom of the gorge lead to the deep mines east of the Undercity.
- Halls of Gathering
- On the upper levels, on the east side of the complex, were the Halls of Gathering. These huge rooms were used as a meeting and greeting place for visitors and guests. Here the majority of Mithral Hall's occupants could meet (depending on the current population) and share pleasantries with any newcomers.
- Hall of Dumathoin
- Named after the patron of shield dwarves and Keeper of Secrets under the Mountain, Dumathoin, this room was used as storage for the vast wealth and treasures belonging to Mithral Hall and Clan Battlehammer. New visitors were shown this room on arrival after being seen through the Hall of Gathering. Some of the treasures included masterwork weapons, armor, gems, and jewelry.
- Burial places
- The cairn of King Bruenor Battlehammer included a statue of King Bruenor in battle stance. Regis and Catti-brie were also buried in Mithral Hall.
Although the exact date when Mithral Hall was founded is unknown, it was before 0 DR. The Hall was founded by Gandalug Battlehammer. (It is however reported in Hall of Heroes that Bunko Battlehammer was the founder of Mithral Hall, however this has been contradicted in several other works so is considered an error.) The settlement was originally set up as a mine, due to the rich seams of mithral ore in the mountain. The business quickly grew into a thriving community. The location of Mithral Hall was kept extremely secret, so that other organisations wouldn't try invading. The dwarves used to sell their ore and weapons in Settlestone, using it as a public front for the mine. This way outsiders were not exposed to the secret location of the mine.
Towards the end of the 1100s DR, the deepest mines carved out by the dwarves of Mithral Hall broke into a shadowcavern. The cavern was said to be linked to the Plane of Shadows. An immensely powerful shadow dragon named Haerinvureem (known as Shimmergloom) was subsequently released into the mines.
The dragon, who later became known as Shimmergloom, was aided by hordes of shadow creatures and a whole clan of duergar. The loyal dwarves stood and fought allowing the few not strong enough the opportunity to flee. Among those that escaped was a young Bruenor Battlehammer.
The dragon ravaged Mithral Hall slaying thousands of dwarves. Thibbledorf Pwent was one of the few dwarves that fought in the battle and survived, although he was presumed dead for quite some time. Bangor Battlehammer and his father Garumn Battlehammer died in the battle slaying hordes of Duergar. As they died their surrounding area was probably cursed as their bodies and possessions remained untouched centuries later.
The 300 or so dwarves that escaped fled to the nearby Settlestone where they waited for news, expecting their kin to emerge victorious and invite them back. The good news never came, and the few dwarves that ventured back into Mithral Hall looking for survivors did not return. What was a settlement of 10,000 was cut down to 300.
Reclaiming Mithral Hall
Searching for Mithral Hall
Ever since leaving his home when he was a young dwarf, Bruenor Battlehammer had wanted to reclaim Mithral Hall and avenge his kin. After spending many years living at the clan's new home in Icewind Dale, the aged and respected Bruenor decided it was time to return to Mithral Hall. Although he had always intended to return the sudden decision to begin the quest in 1356 DR came after he completed the forging of Aegis-fang.
Bruenor set off along with Drizzt Do'Urden, Regis, and Wulfgar, who later became known as the Companions of the Hall. The journey to find Mithral Hall was a long one, as even Bruenor had forgotten many of the details of its whereabouts. They eventually tracked it down with the help of rumours, clues and, most significantly, a memory inducing potion. The combination of these aids led them to Settlestone (known at the time as "the Ruins") where they stayed the night. In the morning they set off along a narrow path towards Fourthpeak Mountain. Along the way they ran into some trouble with another group who had been following them. That group consisted of a golem created by Dendybar, his apprentice, Sydney, and Artemis Entreri, an assassin on a mission to track down Regis and the magical ruby he used to charm others. Entreri also had with him Catti-brie, Bruenor's adopted human daughter. After almost a day's hiking they reached Keeper's Dale but didn't know the ancient command code to open the hidden door.
Clearing Out the Hall
Once inside they set about navigating the complicated tunnels. Along the way they encountered the dusty bodies of Bangor and Garumn Battlehammer, Bruenor's father and grand-father. After laying them to rest in a nearby room, and donning Bangor's Armor, Bruenor proclaimed himself the Eighth King of Mithral Hall.
A series of minor events occurred in the tunnels before reaching Shimmergloom, who after being disturbed appeared in Garumn's Gorge. Faced with no alternative Bruenor doused himself in oil from a nearby store room, leapt onto Shimmergloom (pouring oil on his scales) and set light to both of them. The brave dwarf and fearsome dragon roared down the natural abyss in a spectacular fireball. In the aftermath Regis was kidnapped and the bridge across the gorge destroyed. Drizzt, Wulfgar and Catti-brie were forced to edge their way around the chasm to reach the eastern exit, where they left assuming Bruenor had been killed in the fireball.
In fact Bruenor had miraculously survived the scorching fall thanks to Drizzt's magical sword, Icingdeath. After clambering from the dead dragon's body, he made his way through Mithral Hall. With Shimmergloom dead, all that was left to do was clear out the shadow dragon's vermin. Bruenor slayed vast numbers of duergar as he made his way through the tunnels and rooms. He eventually escaped the complex by climbing up one of the furnace chimney's where he encountered (and was bitten by) a giant spider.
Although he managed to kill the spider, its venom quickly made its way through his body, and as he reached the surface and the daylight struck his face, he lost consciousness. He woke up in the care of Alustriel Silverhand who had foreseen his predicament and rushed to his aid.
Resettling the Hall
Once Mithral Hall was free from the dragon and its minions, it was once again suitable for habitation. Many of the dwarves Of Clan Battlehammer left the Dwarven Valley of Icewind Dale and resettled within the home of their ancestors.
Battle of Keeper's Dale
In the year 1358 DR an army of drow, goblins and kobolds led by House Baenre attacked Mithral Hall, from Menzoberranzan. The defending dwarves soon received aid from svirfneblin from Blingdenstone, local barbarians from Settlestone led by Berkthgar the Bold, reinforcements from Nesme, led by Galen Firth and the Knights of Silver and the mysterious Harpells of Longsaddle. At one point the wizard Alustriel even appeared to deter the attackers. After a few days of intense fighting, the evil drow and other races were eventually defeated and driven back to their shadowy homes.
King Gandalug's Return
During the Battle of Keeper's Dale, Bruenor and the other Companions of the Hall freed Gandalug Battlehammer from a powerful spell leaving the ancient dwarf a servant of Baenre. In 1362 DR, Bruenor abdicated his throne to Gandalug, the founder of Mithral Hall, making him the 1st and 9th King of Mithral Hall. The old dwarf died only a few years later, no doubt from old age, as the spell that had held him captive and postponed his aging had worn off. Bruenor, who had taken a few hundred of his dwarves back to Icewind Dale, returned to rule as Tenth King of Mithral Hall in 1370 DR.
Of course, then the next war'll be the work of some other idiots. That, d'ye see, is what they call "progress."
Obould's Orc Hordes
King Obould Many-arrows launched an attack on Mithral Hall in 1370 DR with a huge army of orcs. The staggering army came from the Spine of the World. Over the next few years the fighting continued and various battles and skirmishes between the dwarves and orcs caused huge amounts of destruction and bloodshed on both sides. In 1372 DR the wizard Alustriel stepped in again to defend Mithral Hall.
Treaty of Garumn's Gorge
In 1372 DR, Bruenor Battlehammer and Obould signed a peace treaty which ended the bloody war between the two Kingdoms. As the name suggests the treaty was signed at Garumn's Gorge. The treaty still held true as of 1479 DR.
Mithral Hall had a close relationship with the other dwarven realms in the Silver Marches, including Citadel Adbar and Citadel Felbarr. When Mithral Hall was reclaimed by King Bruenor, 2,000 dwarves emigrated from Citadel Adbar with the blessing of King Harbromm. Citadel Fellbarr exchanged caravans with Mithral Hall. King Emerus Warcrown signed the Treaty of Garumn's Gorge alongside with King Bruenor.
Mirabar and Mithral Hall had an antagonistic relationship, with Mirabar even sending emissaries to attempt to sabotage Mithral Hall's ore in 1372 DR. In that same year, a number of dwarves from Mirabar, disgusted at their city's contempt for and hostility towards their fellow Delzoun dwarves defected to Mithral Hall.
As of 1486 DR there had been twelve kings (and one queen) of Mithral Hall. Due to the abdication and return of some kings, they were not all different individuals.
- Gandalug Battlehammer 
- Bruenor Battlehammer I 
- Garumn Battlehammer 
- Bangor Battlehammer 
- Bruenor Battlehammer II, 1356 DR - 1362 DR
- Gandalug Battlehammer (reinstated), 1362 DR - 1370 DR
- Bruenor Battlehammer II (reinstated), 1370 DR - 1409 DR
- Banak Brawnanvil, 1409 DR - 1445 DR
- Connerad Brawnanvil, 1445 DR - 1486 DR
- Dagnabbet, 1486 DR - ?
Over the years many individuals and groups of many races have stood alongside clan Battlehammer. Some of the most well known include:
- Drizzt Do'Urden
- One of Bruenor's closest companions. The pair fought side by side time and time again. Drizzt took part in almost every major event concerning Mithral Hall since it was reclaimed in 1356 DR. The drow even had his own quarters put aside near the entry hall, allowing him to come and go as he pleased. After struggling with his emotion for some time, Drizzt eventually married Bruenor's adopted daughter Catti-brie in 1377 DR. The relationship continued to flourish until her death in 1385 DR.
- This beautiful red-headed woman first met Bruenor when he and his clan intervened in a goblin attack on her home in Termalaine. After losing both her parents, she was without any family and the old dwarf took her under his arm. She effectively became his adopted daughter and accompanied Bruenor on a number of quests, the most significant being the liberation of Mithral Hall. Aged 43, she lost her life due to the Spellplague. Her spirit rested in Iruladoon (a small utopian forest of the goddess Mielikki) with Bruenor, Wulfgar and Regis.
- Bruenor took him in after seeing his potential on the battlefield. Although when they first met the two were enemies, they soon became powerful allies and fought side by side for decades. Wulfgar was the original owner of Aegis-fang, a mystical war-hammer forged by Bruenor Battlehammer. He died over the age of 100 from wounds sustained while fighting yetis. His spirit rested in Iruladoon with Bruenor, Catti-brie, and Regis.
- A halfling rogue with tenancy to avoid a fight where he can, Regis first encountered Drizzt and Bruenor when they were in Iceland Dale. They soon became strong acquaintances and he accompanied them on many quests. When Bruenor set out to reclaim Mithral Hall in 1356 DR, Regis accompanied him and became a member of the Companions of the Hall. After many more adventures, Regis' life ended with the Spellplague. His spirit rested in Iruladoon with Bruenor, Catti-brie and Wulfgar.
- Dagna Waybeard
- A warrior, standing comparatively tall for a dwarf, Dagnam Waybeard was the commander of the forces at Mithral Hall. He fought alongside mercenary and King alike. He liked to wear elaborate clothing and armor. Dagna died in 1370 DR defending refugees from trolls.
- Dagnabbit was the son of Dagna Waybeard and a mighty dwarven hero in his own right. He was one of the top-most ranking leaders of Mithral Hall's fighting forces and was also effectively a bodyguard for Bruenor (after being given instructions from Gandalug). He died in battle in the collapse of Withergoo's tower.
- Belwar Dissengulp
- The leader of a small group of deep gnomes who lived in Mithral Hall, Belwar fought alongside Clan Battlehammer numerous times and was a good friend of the 8th and 10th King of Mithral Hall. After a vicious attack by some drow, Belwar was left without hands, and had them replaced with an enchanted hammer and pick.
- Blingdenstone deep gnomes
- After their city was laid to waste, Bruenor extended his hospitality to any surviving deep gnomes from Blingdenstone. The King owed these people a great deal so was more than happy to let them stay. The 350 or so that resided in the underground town were led by Belwar Dissengulp
- This yellow bearded dwarf was a highly skilled cleric and saved the lives of many. He was given the title of Holy Cleric of the Hall in 1357 DR by the King at the time. Cobble was killed by a trapped corridor. Moments before the trap was sprung he anticipated it and warned others - saving lives up until his last breath.
- Thibbledorf Pwent
- The dwarf leader of the Gutbusters, Pwent was a loyal and fearsome companion with a persistent hatred of baths. He lived in Mithral Hall when it was taken over by Shimmergloom, and was one of the few survivors that made it out. Pwent fought alongside other inhabitants of Mithral Hall numerous times, whilst wearing in his infamous spiked armor. Pwent's final hours were spent alongside his close friend, Bruenor Battlehammer. The pair died together in Gauntlgrym as they sealed a vicious fire primordial into a watery prison, although Pwent was denied a proper death when the vampire Dor'crae bit him, subjecting him to a vampiric life in Gauntlgrym.
- Haerinvureem (Shimmergloom)
- The shadow dragon known to its servants as Shimmergloom was disturbed by Battlehammer miners breaching the shadow plane. He was a fearsome dragon with rich black scales. The beast was finally slain in 1356 DR by the 8th King of Mithral Hall, when the pair plummeted 330m (1000ft) down Garumn's Gorge, whilst ablaze.
- Clan Bukbukken
- This clan of duergar broke through the Underdark with Shimmergloom, and got to work as the shadow dragon's servants, mining the mithral in the mountain. The clan was back in the Underdark and was considerably smaller as most were slain during the liberation of Mithral Hall.
Mithral Hall had its own song, capturing the hard-working spirit of the settlement's first occupants.
We've dug our holes and hallowed caves,
Put goblin foes in shallow graves,
This day our work is just begun,
In the mines where silver rivers run
Beneath the stone the metal gleams,
Torches shine on sliver streams,
Beyond the eyes of the spying sun,
In the mines where silver rivers run
The hammers chime on Mithral pure,
As dwarven mines in days of yore,
A craftsman's work is never done,
In the mines where silver rivers run
To dwarven gods we sing our praise,
Put another orc in a shallow grave,
We know our work has just begun,
Mithral Hall appeared in numerous R.A. Salvatore books and was a key setting within many of the plots.
Legacy of the Drow series
The Sundering series
- The Companions (2013)
- Video Games
- Referenced only
- Icewind Dale
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- R.A. Salvatore (January 1989). Streams of Silver. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 0-88038-672-X.
- Ed Greenwood and Jason Carl (July 2002). Silver Marches. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 77. ISBN 0-7869-2835-2.
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- R.A. Salvatore (July 2010). The Ghost King. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 978-0-7869-5499-5.
- Ed Greenwood, et al (1989). Hall of Heroes. (TSR, Inc), p. 13. ISBN 0-88038-711-4.
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- Ed Greenwood, et al (1989). Hall of Heroes. (TSR, Inc), p. 12. ISBN 0-88038-711-4.
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- R.A. Salvatore (January 1990). The Halfling's Gem. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 0-88038-901-X.
- R.A. Salvatore, Jeffrey Ludwig, Matthew Sernett, James Wyatt (November 19, 2013). “Campaign Book”. Legacy of the Crystal Shard (Wizards of the Coast), p. 48. ISBN 978-0-7869-6464-2.
- Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 144. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
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- R.A. Salvatore (February 2001). The Icewind Dale Trilogy Collector's Edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 369. ISBN 978-0786918119.
Dwarven Valley • Eartheart • Earthfast • Far Hills
Gracklstugh • Iltkazar • Ironmaster • Mithral Hall • Underwatch
Alatorin • Ascore • Citadel Sundbarr • Citadel Yaunoroth • Gauntlgrym • Halls of the Hammer
Hrakhamar • Rrinnoroth • Sarbreen • Splendarrmornn • Tyar-Besil • Tzindylspar • Underhome
Ammarindar • Besilmer • Bhaerynden • Dareth • Deep Kingdom • Delzoun
Gharraghaur • Haunghdannar • Hollowbold • Ironstar • Oghrann • Roldilar • Sarphil
Shanatar (Barakuir • Drakkalor • Holorarar • Korolnor • Torglor • Ultoksamrin • Xothaerin) • Thunderholme