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The Warren was a highly defensible and intricate fortress in Damara made up of hundreds of twisting tunnels beneath Bloodstone Pass.[2][3] It was said to be one of the most clever and defensible sites in all of Faerûn.[1]

Description

The Warren was a massive complex of over 300 miles (480 kilometers) of interconnected passages[1] comprising two mazelike "nests" of tunnels, a larger one underneath the Waukeshire forest (where tunnels connected it to every home in the halfling village) and a smaller one underneath the Warrenwood. These two nests were connected via three tunnels that passed beneath the Beaumaris River.[2]

During the mid-to-late 14th century DR, the Warren became the focal point of mutual defensive support between the halflings of Waukeshire, the dwarves of Bloodstone Mines, and the centaurs of the Warrenwood.[4]

Geography

The Warren was located underground beneath the Valley of Bloodstone in the Galena Mountains, and stretched from beneath Waukeshire to the Warrenwood, with tunnels reaching out to Bloodstone Mine and the Damaran Gate.[2]

Defenses

The labyrinthine tunnels were designed to be highly defensible.[2][3] They were filled with clever and ingenious traps,[1] including devastating flood pits that could be used to wipe out invaders attemptng to travel through any of the three passages that connected the nests beneath the Waukeshire and Warrenwood. All of the tunnels themselves were narrow and low, with some even feeling cramped by halfling standards, and any human or orc intruder would often need to crawl, making them easy targets. These tunnels were patrolled frequently by a halfling militia led by Sheriff Fredegast, and the entrances in both the Waukeshire and Warrenwood were watched by centaurs.[2]

If an alarm were raised among the halflings or centaurs, both races could retreat to the Warren. The halfings of Waukeshire could disappear into hidden entrances located in their homes which connected to a single tunnel with twenty doors, each of which ostensibly led into the Warren proper, although nineteen of them were trapped with only the halflings knowing which one was safe. For the centaurs, two special chambers were created near the surface, one in the Waukeshire and one in the Warrenwood. The centaurs could retreat to these chambers, which could then be sealed shut via great iron doors, leaving the only small tunnels in or out, which allowed the halflings to bring in supplies.[2] If forced to fight, members of the two races made formidable enemies as the halfling archers would ride into battle astride the powerful centaur cavalry.[5]

History

The Warren was conceived during the Year of the Prince, 1357 DR, when the reign of Zhengyi the Witch-King over Damara and Bloodstone Pass had just begun.[6][7] The dwarves of Clan Orothiar, who had been driven from Bloodstone Mines, struck a formal deal with the halflings of Waukeshire to create a mutual defense pact, with Mayor William of Waukeshire and Chief Tokan of Clan Orothiar formally declaring themselves an Alliance of Belt Watchers.[6] Together they began digging the tunnels that would become the Warren.[2][6] They worked around the clock for one month to create the initial complex beneath Waukeshire, and then added new tunnels and traps continuously over the following years.[2]

The Warren remained a secret from the humans in order to protect it from Zhengyi's allies, with only the halflings, dwarves, and centaurs of Sleepy Wood knowing about it.[2] The centaurs had been brought into the Alliance of Belt Watchers by the halflings, who wanted their assistance in patrolling, protecting, and providing early warnings for the Warren, which had expanded to beneath the centaurs' forest.[2][3][6] When the Bloodstone Mines were cleared of Zhengyi's allies by Gareth Dragonsbane and his companions, the dwarves returned to their old home,[2] but their first priority was constructing tunnels to connect their mines to the Warren.[6] During this time, the halflings made use of these tunnels to hide their harvests in order to keep them safe from Zhengyi's tribute collectors.[8]

The fortress remained a secret from the humans for two years until the halflings allied with Bloodstone Village and Gareth Dragonsbane during the Bloodstone Wars of the Year of the Serpent, 1359 DR. When the army of the Duchy of Arcata invaded Bloodstone Pass, the halflings deftly flanked them from their many hidden tunnels,[9] and when the army of the Barony of Polten[10] set up camp in the Pass to ambush the army of Bloodstone, the halflings again ambushed them, decimating their forces and capturing every single survivor.[11]

Following the end of the war, the halflings continued to expand the Warren, adding more miles of tunnels and more devious traps. They also began a project to connect their fortress via tunnels to the Damaran Gate,[2] a project which was completed before the end of 1359 DR.[12] By this time, the forest of Sleepy Wood had come to be known as the "Warrenwood" in honor of the twisting fortress beneath it.[3]

Appendix

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 R.A. Salvatore (1989). The Bloodstone Lands. Edited by Elizabeth T. Danforth. (TSR, Inc), p. 43. ISBN 0-88038-771-8.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 R.A. Salvatore (1989). The Bloodstone Lands. Edited by Elizabeth T. Danforth. (TSR, Inc), p. 44. ISBN 0-88038-771-8.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 R.A. Salvatore (1989). The Bloodstone Lands. Edited by Elizabeth T. Danforth. (TSR, Inc), p. 35. ISBN 0-88038-771-8.
  4. R.A. Salvatore (1989). The Bloodstone Lands. Edited by Elizabeth T. Danforth. (TSR, Inc), p. 21. ISBN 0-88038-771-8.
  5. Roster Book included in Douglas Niles and Michael Dobson (1985). Bloodstone Pass. (TSR, Inc), p. 20. ISBN 978-0394548562.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 R.A. Salvatore (1989). The Bloodstone Lands. Edited by Elizabeth T. Danforth. (TSR, Inc), p. 54. ISBN 0-88038-771-8.
  7. Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 142. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  8. Douglas Niles and Michael Dobson (1986). The Mines of Bloodstone. (TSR, Inc), p. 14. ISBN 0-8803-8312-7.
  9. R.A. Salvatore (1989). The Bloodstone Lands. Edited by Elizabeth T. Danforth. (TSR, Inc), p. 9. ISBN 0-88038-771-8.
  10. R.A. Salvatore (1989). The Bloodstone Lands. Edited by Elizabeth T. Danforth. (TSR, Inc), p. 13. ISBN 0-88038-771-8.
  11. R.A. Salvatore (1989). The Bloodstone Lands. Edited by Elizabeth T. Danforth. (TSR, Inc), p. 12. ISBN 0-88038-771-8.
  12. R.A. Salvatore (1989). The Bloodstone Lands. Edited by Elizabeth T. Danforth. (TSR, Inc), p. 39. ISBN 0-88038-771-8.
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