Gorok-kar
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Population: 519,849
Import:
Exports: Fish

This dwarfhold has the distinction of having the only major seaport of the dwarven people. It is located within a long and mountainous fjord, which allows them to both engage in mining and selling the ore and finished products to human merchant ships. Some of the younger dwarves have even started to build their own ships, an activity which is frowned upon by their more conservative elders.

Gorok-kar used to be merely the southernmost of the many dwarfholds of the Norfjell Wastes, but it rose to prominence after Negroth the Doombringer besieged and plundered the others one by one during his early conquests in order to gain their secrets and potent artifacts. Gorok-kar was the last dwarfhold to hold out - and hold out it did through several years of siege, causing a horrific toll on the population as starvation and disease weakened the normally hardy dwarves. The only reason the city was able to hold out at all was that the dwarves managed to build artifact underwater vehicles which were able to get past the blockade and trade with enterprising smugglers from the rest of the Flannish Cities. Even so, some outlying quarters of the city were overrun, and even today some older parts of the city are sealed up because of the undead abominations still lurking there.

The day the Siege of Gorok-kar was lifted is still celebrated by dwarves of the region as the Day of Heroes. After the war, the city was able to regain its former population by welcoming dwarfish refugees from the other, now empty holds of the Norfjell Wastes (some of which had been enslaved, while others had simply been hiding out). After this close brush with annihilation, Gorok-kar joined the Treaty of Praxus, becoming a new member of the Flannish Cities. It serves as a major manufacturing center of metal goods for the region to this day.

The many victims and heroes of the siege have been immortalized in the numerous small brass-covered memorial stones which have been inserted in walls and floors where they lived or died, noting their names, dates of birth and death, and how they died in Dwarven and (with newer stones, especially in the more public areas) Common. The defenders are thus lauded for their valor, and those who were slaughtered are remembered solemnly with vows that future generations will never meet their fate. Their ubiquiety ensures that neither citizen nor visitors will be able to ignore the sacrifices of the past.

Currently, most of the resources of Gorok-kar are tied up in the reclamation of the Lost Holds of the Norfjell Wastes - its rulers dream of the day when all those holds are restored and given back to dwarfdom - and linked via underground railroads. This is a monumental task, however, and as there are simply not enough dwarves available for this Gorok-kar has resorted to hiring mercenaries of other races. Furthermore, anyone who serves for at least 10 years in the guard of Gorok-kar will attain citizenship as a reward. An increasing number of humans and members of other races have accepted that offer despite the harsh conditions of that service period, and some dwarves already worry that the faster-breeding humans will one day outnumber them in "their" own nation. As a result, there have been increasing efforts to recruit city-dwelling dwarves from the other Flannish Cities - which does not go over well with some of the local Hidden Kings, who fear that their own communities will shrink rapidly if permitted.

Adventure Ideas

Designer's Notes & Resources

The history of the city was partially inspired by the Siege of Leningrad. The memorial stones are inspired by the German Stolpersteine, stones put into the pavement next to houses where victims of the Holocaust lived.

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