Tales of the Northern March
The dwarven city once had a population of nearly 8,000, with 500 more residents at the gate settlements (Acker Tor and Dahl Tor) at either end of Steinburg Road. The city is three miles distant from either of its gates and Woden’s Watch is also three miles away (and a quarter mile above) at the end of Woden’s Walk. When the city fell, most of the population of Dahl Tor fled and founded the village of Adders Bluff.
The city is constructed like a massive hall along the middle portion of Steinburg Road. The familial guildhalls where commoners live are massive multi-story structures with shops and workshops on the main level, warehouses and mines below, and residences above. Above them are the noble houses with the royal palace at the north end and the Temple of Woden at the south end connected by the Procession Way (or High Road). Above these are the tombs of the dead. The nobility have their own tombs while commoners are interred above the Temple.
There were about 50 commoner guilds (100-200 members) and 15 noble houses (40-60 members). Only half of the noble houses are present in Stonehold, the rest have their own lands. There are no servants in dwarven society, all support roles are filled within your guild or house. Menial tasks are performed by the young and those with the least renown.
The Fall of Stonehold
1st of Hunter
In the dark of the new moon, the goblins finished their tunnel into Ravencrest Castle and took it before any alarm could be raised. Silently, the goblin army moved through the Ambervale, bugbears and goblin outriders slaughtering the villagers as they slept. Before dawn, a thick fog rose to conceal their progress and the work of the night. When the guards opened the gates of Acker Tor to let the farmers out for their day’s labors, they found an army of goblins who rushed in to seize the keep. For the first time since the attack began, alarm horns sounded to alert Stonehold of the danger.
The sound of the horns also roused the residents of the other three castles, but when they left their holds to come to the aid of their graf, they found only ambushes. Eastgate was destroyed by stone giants and Longfall by ogres and hill giants.
2nd to 4th of Hunter
To their credit, the forces of Baron von Acker held the keep for a full day while the graf rallied his forces. Graf von Steinburg met the invading army on Steinburg Road and a long battle of attrition began. In the end, the goblin’s numbers were the deciding factor. There were simply too many of them. Those three miles of tunnel were hard won, but won they were.
5th to 14th of Hunter
So began the Siege of Stonehold. At first, the graf was confident that his city would hold. They had four days to prepare and Dahl Tor provided access to the food of Glen Rose. But the goblins were wily. While the hobgoblins built fortifications and began their methodical and ceaseless attack, goblins tunneled down to the mines below the city to allow units of bugbears to enter and attack the defenders from behind, destroying stores of food and fortifications, causing terror and discord by slaughtering women and children thought safe away from the front. Meanwhile, worg-riding goblins and wyvern-mounted hobgoblins attacked caravans headed into the city from the glen: burning the food, killing the pack animals, and destroying the carts. The Graf sent the women and children to Dahl Tor under the protection of the Baron von Dahl.
15th of Hunter
On Samhain, the lower levels of the city were lost completely. Goblins flooded in through the mines and trapped the dwarves in their own city. The Graf sent word to Baron von Dahl to abandon Dahl Tor and seal the gate against the intruders so that the remains of his people could flee to safety. At the same time, the Queen called upon Freya on her holiest day to allow those trapped to continue to fight beyond death in order to avenge themselves upon the goblins. As the last of her subjects were felled by the invaders, they rose up and attacked anew. The goblins routed and the hobgoblins were forced into a fighting retreat back to Acker Tor, which their own priests sealed against the undead horde.
And so, Stonehold was lost in the 70th year of the Midgard Reckoning.