Free Module: Dwarven Empire of the Deep

Dwarven City

It's best if the quest-giver is someone the party already knows and likes, however there's an NPC below you can use if they're just responding to a quest posting. The party is hired to speak with the Master of Trade, find out why shipments have stopped, and if possible convince them to resume. The quest-giver makes a point that they may need to “grease some hands” and gives them permission to offer a rate increase of 10%. They're told dwarves are stuboorn and suspicious of the outside world and those who come from it. Trade with dwarves often shuts down, usually because someone new in the supply chain wants more money or if winter doesn't come exactly on time that year. They receive a sealed letter that politely asks the Master of Trade about the disruption in shipments and names the party as speaking on her behalf. They're told not to lose the letter or open it.

Veloptima Maekkelferce, Female Gnome

This woman stands a little under 3'1" and is quite bulky and muscular. She wears a long blue cloak that's dusty. Her golden hair is close to two feet long, and her green eyes show the wear and tear of someone lonely with a great burden to carry.

Personality: She likes to fabricate stories about her past exploits and how crazy she is, but in actuality she's rather bland. She's a ruthless business woman, a trait she acquired from her father.

After arriving at dwarven city of Morinly Accord, there are guards that won't talk about what's going on and will refuse anyone entrance. They need some sort of entrance pass for the guards to willingly let them in or acknowledge them. If they've lost or broken the seal on the letter they won't be allowed in and will either need to find a way to sneak in or get a pass from someone else. Dwarven guards are authoritative and gruff, and have much less of a sense of humor than city guards of other races.

Dwarven Guard

As they search the city, they find it's mostly empty. Homes and shops have been barred with great boulders, and the insides trapped. You may need to generate some traps if they go looting, but most really expensive things will have been taken with the evacuees. They find a sign that says in dwarven “All citizens must evacuate the surface city by order of the king. Proceed to the inner city and speak to a guard for further instructions.”

The inner city has more dwarves in it. If the party has any non-dwarves they'll be gawked at, and they'll find very few other races in the city. Dwarves place a great deal of importance on honor and respect, and doing anything they perceive as dishonorable or disrespectful will almost always cause a serious confrontation, or at the very least have the dwarf say something about their behavior very loudly. Disrespect can be something as simple as not returning a nod when crossing paths, refusing to shake hands, or otherwise being dismissive to them in any way. Dwarves are big on greetings and friendly acknowledgment, any dwarves in the party especially are likely to be greeted or given a friendly nod by everyone.

The citizens will be very hestitant to discuss current events with outsiders, most Persuasion checks to do so will be at DC 25. If they manage to get it out of someone through persuasion, favors, or otherwise, they can learn the following:

The king has ordered outsider trade to cease and the “surface town” used mainly for outsider trade to be abandoned. The “surface town” is the first layer underground town they came through that was abandoned. Extra crafters are needed at the forge, and extra entertainers are needed at the taverns. Able-bodied reservists have been drafted, leading to the increase in demand. Soldiers say there's fighting in the Underdark with duergar.

They can easily get directions to the Master of Trade, and get access to him if they present the letter to the guards out front.

Barendd Brazzik, Male Dwarf

His skin is bronze and flawless, and looks quite attractive. He wears silk and lounges in comfortable robes. His silver hair is cut short, and he has beautifully drawn runic tattoos from head to toe.

Personality: Soft-spoken and well mannered, he has an amazing amount of patience and a slow boiling temper. Barendd enjoys physical pleasures, and is well known for his love of warm baths in the hot springs near the town.

Barendd will tell the party that trade has stopped because the supplies are needed at home, they've been fighting duergar in the Underdark at the lower entrance to the city. Attempts to plea or bargain for trade will fail, and Barendd will make it clear that the needs of outsiders mean little to him during wartime. The rate increase will perk his interest, or if the party is otherwise persuasive, then Barendd will offer them a deal. Go to the front-lines of the Underdark and help out in any way they can to prove that Veloptima (or your quest-giver) is an ally and friend of the city. Then he'll be willing to discuss options, but makes no promises beyond that.

The front-lines are bad. Fireballs and flaming boulders rain down at all hours of the day, and the battlements are constantly being damaged and repaired. There are many wounded, and not enough supplies to go around. Trenches are dug even behind the battlement walls, and raids / skirmishes are frequent. Just finding the commanding officer can be dangerous.


Travok Ironfist, Male Dwarf

With tan face paint in a stripe pattern across his face, he wears a weathered and beat up set of banded mail beneath an oversized blue coat. His chestnut hair is slicked back into a classic pompadour. His fair skin shows little sign of his aristocratic breeding.

Personality: He is quite gentle and does not know the full extent of his strength. He works very hard to maintain that gentleness. He claims to be unscrupulous but at the end of the day he will do what he thinks is right.

There are a few things the players can do to help, and you should encourage anything they come up with. While it's next to impossible to completely rout the enemy (or even get close), they can help with fighting, repairing, giving aid, fixing or operating siege weaponry, many things. This is a good opportunity to have some combat. Here's a big combat you can use as a finale for a party of level 4 players, but if you use the generator you should be able to have some good combats against duergar at any level. Just type duergar into the search and click “Random Medium” or whatever difficulty you want. Remember D&D works best when it's a series of smaller combats instead of just one big one.

After helping out enough the commanding officer will given them thanks, and place his seal upon a note that simply reads, “these outsiders did good.” That's good enough for Barendd and he'll agree to resume trade if they send extra supplies for repair, drinks for soldiers, and weapons for combat.

The party can either leave and go back to your quest-giver to continue your campaign, or stick around in the dwarven city for more quests and stories in a dwarven and Underdark themed campaign. Trade can be resumed and a letter sent along with the first shipment if the party wants to stick around. What started the war? What's the king doing? What's the duergar's point of view? What's going on in the Underdark? These are all questions you can answer if you continue the campaign in the dwarven city.

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