Karak Azgal

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Karak Azgal is a lost Dwarf hold whose aboveground ruins have been reclaimed [1]

History

It was once known as Karak Izril or the City of Jewels but is now called Karak Azgal or Hoard Keep [1a]

Following the fall of Karak Eight Peaks the long millennia of comparative peace ended as Orcs, Goblins and Skaven all attacked the wealthy hold. Unable to hold back the hordes, the dwarves sealed their vaults and hid their treasures behind powerful Runes and retreated, quickly the various attacking warbands sought plunder elsewhere, attacking Karak Drazh in turn.[1a]

The Runes however did not fool the great dragon Graug the Terrible who found the primary vault and the legends of hidden treasure however did attract both human and dwarf treasure hunters and tomb raiders who mainly fed the great beast and added to his hoard. Expeditions were commissioned by the Jewelsmith's Guild and finally a dwarf youth by the name of Skalf Dragonslayer killed the dragon with his rune sword. He was forced to grab what he could and flee when the dragon’s death scream alerted the rest of the inhabitants of the fallen hold. [1a]

Aboveground, the children of Skalf himself set up a small fortress they named Kazad Migdhal (Gatehouse Fortress) near the Main entrance to the hold. [1a] The vast wealth of the dragons hoard allowed Skalf to build a small city in the ruins, walled and well defended with plenty of room to expand inside, and expand it did - not only dwarfs but adventurers from other races began to flock to the hold in search of treasure.[2a]

A shantytown grew outside the new walls, filled with adventurers, cut throats and all those who could provide services and/or exploit the treasure seekers. The current lord of the hold - Kargun Skalfson only has a relatively few warriors and struggles to expand his control, and so he is forced to welcome adventurers to explore the underground portion and cull the creatures within, paying a toll to him for any treasures recovered. [2a]

Locations

  • 'Skalfs Hold

The primary city that was constructed with the vast wealth of a dragons hoard, it boasts an encircling 20ft wall of stone with two gatehouses, one in the East, the other in the West. The guttered streets are all paved with stone, and the drains run down into natural caverns adapted by engineers to act as sewers. All buildings are created from grey or white stone but few are more than a single story.[2c]

    • Great Temple of the Ancestors: A famous architect from Karak Eight Peaks, Rotan Gundorson was commissioned by Skalf to create a mighty temple to honour the Ancestor Gods. it is a stunning creation - an vast round building with eight towers and entrances, whilst stained glass windows tell the full story of the fall of Karak Izril. Completely open within and decorated by beautiful mosaics on the ceiling. The temple is normally open from dusk to dawn and tended by the High Priestess, five other priests and ten initiates. [2c]
    • Holdfast: Constructed on the spot that Skalf emerged from the hold having defeated the dragon, it is a strong keep that towers 120ft into the air and on its summit has a further 30ft statue of a golden dragon. Skalf's descendants live in the upper levels whilst the ground floor has council chambers and the headquarters of the Lawbringers. It is surrounded by the other strong mansions of lesser noble families. [2c]
    • Temple of Myrmidia: The walls of the temple are covered in shields from across the Old World and a large stone statue of the goddess presides over the practise yard in front of the building. Once a month the Master of the temple holds a contest of honour for the goddess. [2c]
    • Temple of Shallya: Usually full of the sick and dying, the temple is blessed with a enclosed courtyard in which is a lovely fountain known as the Tears of Shallya. Lady Hilde has a single priest, a physician and seven initiates to tend to those who come to be healed. [2c]
    • Temple of Gorlaz the Golden: It serves as the primary banking centre in the hold. [2c]
  • Deadgate

A large and growing collection of ramshackle and temporary structures that huddle below the main city, it has a single cobbled street around which cluster various taverns. [2d]

    • Barrow Hill Cemetery: The old burial pit where corpses were merely flung away is now covered by a temple to Morr. There are 4 Initiates serving the community and the sole Priest, Rufus Grunenwald. [2d]
    • The Pit of Blood: A 10ft deep and 50ft wide fighting pit with seating for 300. [2d]
    • The Wall of Heroes: A 5ft high and 40ft long wall of grey stone bears the names of those who have not returned from exploring the underground sections of the Hold, as long as they pay the 2 Gold Crown fee.[2d]

Notable

Various creatures have made a home in the darkness of the ruined hold, some are rare or even unique to this location. [2e]

Organisations

  • Brotherhood of the Forked Beard: Dwarfs who oppose outsiders entering the hold. [2e]
  • Lawgivers: respected Longbeards who patrol both Skalf's Hold and Deadgate in full plate armour, their primary duty is ensure that all taxes are paid according to the law, making sure that both entrance and exit to the underhold is regulated. [1a]
The Dwarf realms
Karaz-a-Karak - Karak Kadrin - Zhufbar - Karak Azgal - Karak Azul- Karak Hirn - Karak Angazbar - Karak Gantuk - Karak Izor - Karak Norn - Karak Ziflin - Karak Eight Peaks - Barak Varr - Karak Zorn - Karak Eksfilaz - Karak Kaferkammaz - Karak Grom - Karak Azgaraz
Norse Dwarf holds Kraka Dorden - Kraka Drak - Kraka Ornsmotek - Kraka Ravnsvake
Lost holds Karak Dum - Karak Vlag - Karak Varn - Karak Ungor - Karak Drazh - Ekrund - Mount Silverspear - Silver Pinnacle

Notes

In Stone and Steel, Skalf kills the sleeping dragon whilst in the Karak Azgal sourcebook he fights an epic battle with it and decapitates it.

Sources