The Dwarven Quarter
by Jim Millington
The Dwarven Quarter was created by a group of Dwarves from the Great Rift Valley around 1330 DR. The Great Rift Dwarves desired to create an enclave in the area, but generally outside the city proper. It was thought the problem of declining population could be resolved by having a group outside the Great Valley that would not suffer directly from the ever constant orc wars. Given the low fertility rate among dwarves, it was hoped that by adding some blood from "acceptable" individuals from other races would bolster the population. The experiment met with mixed results, though the children that were born were indeed safe from the orc attacks, the thought of mixing with other races did not seem to be embraced as well as was hoped.
The local dwarves did establish a community that was, for the most part, self-contained. They also developed several industries to foster trade with others outside the Quarter. Those products included stones and gravel for construction, raw copper, and Dwarven craftware and metal goods, small and large.
About 1360 DR, a great fire swept through the Dwarven Quarter. The event itself was named the "Plague of Fire" and it destroyed all of the buildings except those clustered in the Southern area of the Dwarven Quarter. Many people lost their lives, so many lost, that finding all of the bodies was impossible, let alone identifying them. After the fire, there were many children left without families, and in the ensuing confusion, they ended up at the orphanage in Arylon. The cause of the fire was never discovered, however, it seemed to start at the northern end of the Quarter at the Temple of Moradin.
The fire seemed to spread with unusual speed, like a disease. Stories were told by witnesses of, "a huge goblin with ebony skin and glowing red eyes around which flames licked and sputtered." The existence of this creature has been disproved. However, the description to those familiar with Goblin mythology identified the creature as Maglubiyet's Avatar. Superstitious dwarves believed this goblin god decided to take a special hatred for the small dwarven community.
After the "Plague" rebuilding began, but progress was slow. The people were disheartened and broken. Major progress in the recovery effort has only been made in the last couple of years thanks mainly to Erival and the Law Wielders.