Kingdom of Karameikos

General overview
The town of Highforge is a large community of Gnomes & Dwarves nestled in the Wulfholde Hills near the Hillfollow (Shutturga) River. There are several exterior stone buildings in the community, but the bulk of the settlement lies below ground. Highforge is governed by the “Gnome-King” Baron Dorfus Hilltopper, although the town still owes its allegiance to the Grand Duchy.
Population: 22,000 dwarves (the majority) and an unknown number of humans.
Locations: Highforge Town, Gnome Ferry, Dalen Mines

Ruler: Baron Dorfus Hilltopper
Captain of the Guard: Frolina Dragonshield
Bureaucrat Valous Petrescu

As Highforge is a community of Gnomes & Dwarves, creature comforts for humans are scarce, although still present. Since a good deal of trade takes place here, the above-ground community has 2 notable inns: The Iron-Axe & The Highforge Hostelry. Other places include The Silent Arp and the more shadowy tavern Orcish Skull.

Special Interest:
As a self-sufficient community, Highforge maintains most of the basic businesses that a typical human community would. Their real specialty, however, is the craftswork, particularly stone & metal working. Masons & smiths are so common in the town that it would be impossible to list even a small fraction of them. Interested parties are encouraged to seek out the appropriate Guild & inquire into commissioning expert services. All major Guilds maintain halls in the center of the above-ground area. Visitors are strongly discouraged from attempting to enter the subterranean areas unaccompanied or from seeking ‘free-lance’ labour. Some shops worthy of mention are: Silverlight Arcane Shop, Dreson Arcane Chest, Red Mane of Highforge, First Bank of Highforge, The Elemental Hammer, Dragonshields and The Toy Story.
Other locations not in the main city are: Highforge Family Mines and Highforge Honor Cemetery.

One important note: humans, Elves, & Hin should be careful when visiting Highforge. Whilst all three races are welcome, or at least tolerated, it is still a Gnomish & Dwarvish community, both in population as well as custom. ‘Outsiders’ in violation of local laws often receive the strictest punishment for a given crime.

The wealthier populace, as well as a lot of the commercial buildings reside on the surface, while many of the suburban neighbourhoods, local markets and craft-shops are below ground level. In fact the bulk of the city settlement lies below ground level. Quarries and shafts dot the region surrounding Highforge with numerous secret entrances to the city below. Many of the buildings seen above ground, have a number of levels/floors below ground.

In Highforge the King’s Law is ignored and citizens live instead by Dwarven custom; they settle their own disputes, try their own criminals, and do not report law breaking to human officials. Additionally, they do not pay taxes to the humans except when selling goods to them. Humans who commit crimes in High Forge are tried under Dwarven law.
Life, property and culture are very precious to dwarves and sometimes at the same level. Respect a crafter’s work, a dwarven family and their customs. Dwarven law permits the carry of weapons but not the casting of arcane spells. Divine spells are fine as long as they are not harmful spells. Stealing is considered a level crime. Punishment for crimes against property and people usually include jail and the payment of fines. People must have their identification papers with them all the time as guards can ask for them.

Society and Customs:
The main religion on Highforge is the Church of Moradin under the tutelage of Patriarch Snorri Spanglehelm, but there is representation of the three mayor temples on the Kindom been Church of Traladara the only one with a medium sized building. The other two, Church of Karameikos and Church of Thyatis have small temples.

Highforge is home to many dwarven and gnome customs like the Gnome Wedding.



D&D 3.0: Tales from Mystara Galero