Scales of War Athens
Anvilhorn Hall is the ruined hold of the dwarven clan which bears its name. Clan Anvilhorn maintained the last dwarven outpost in the Wyrmsmoke Mountains until the goblinoids of the Red Hand horde sacked the hold and killed or scattered its defenders.
Anvilhorn Hall is situated above the headwaters of the western fork of the Rhentwash River. The Hall takes its name from a distinctive mountain outcropping which protrudes eastwards from a steep mountainside and resembles the horn of an anvil. Ancient dwarven prospectors discovered sources of tin underneath the outcropping, and a mining settlement soon formed. With the fall of their ancient kingdom in the Wyrmsmoke Mountains, the dwarves of Anvilhorn (as it soon became known) took the settlement name for a new clan name.
The Anvilhorn settlement grew to moderate size and wealth. The dwarves primarily mined tin, which they refined into pewter and bronze. These they traded to the elves, humans, and dwarves of the Vale for foodstuffs, wood, iron, and occasional luxuries. They also quarried granite, which was used by the humans throughout the vale for the construction of their cities and towns.
During its last days, Anvilhorn Hall consisted of a series of large underground vaults and chambers of richly carved and dressed granite stone. These were the storehouses, living chambers, workshops, and meeting halls of the clan. Extending below the Hall were deep tunnels and mine shafts following veins of tin and other ores deep into the mountains. Above ground, the dwarves maintained a walled compound called Anvilkeep which guarded the entrance to the Hall and provided refuge and storage for travelers, trade goods and caravans. Nearby were the above-ground quarries which the dwarves mined for granite when orders came from settlements around the Vale. One mile south of the Hall and connected by a narrow, paved road, was a boat landing on the Rhentwash River. Here the dwarves would load and unload barges and boats from the human and elven settlements of the vale.
The last days of Anvilhorn Hall are remembered bitterly by the scattered remnants of Clan Anvilhorn. Without warning, The Red Hand horde descended from the surrounding mountains and pressed upon the walls of Anvilkeep. A group of Tiri Kitor elven traders where trapped within the keep and fought bravely alongside the dwarven defenders. The dwarves soon recognized the battle standards of some of their most ancient foes, The Tongue-Eater orc tribe and the Blue Rat goblins chief among them. The dwarves hunkered down and prepared for a long and bloody siege, safe behind their defenses. But on the second day of the siege, the Bloodrock tribe of hill giants, led by their massive Chieftan Bel-Og appeared before the walls, pushing monstrous siege engines and fire throwers. The Anvilkeep was breached within minutes, with many defenders trapped above ground to be slaughtered by the waves of goblins and orcs who followed the giants into the Keep.
Retreating into the Hall, the dwarves collapsed the entrance tunnels behind them, trapping and crushing many of their pursuers. Days passed as the bloodied and depleted defenders heard the sounds of massive picks and hammers digging and widening the ruined tunnels into the Hold. The dwarven defenders and remaining elves prepared their final stand, while removing the young, old, and wounded dwarves to secret halls hidden deep within the mines.
The last day of Anvilhorn Hall was one of great slaughter. When the giants, orcs, and goblins of the Red Hand broke through at last into the Great Hall, they were met with the firetraps, molten metal, and burning rivers of oil which the dwarves had prepared for them. Hundreds were slain, but the dwarves were pushed back, deep within their last remaining chambers. Before days end, the once beautiful halls were choked with the hacked, burned and disfigured corpses of giant, goblin, and dwarf alike.
When the final defenders reported the Hall taken, the hidden survivors of Clan Anvilhorn sprung their final trap, emptying water from cavernous underground cisterns into the Hall, flooding the mines and covering their escape. Following a small and hidden tunnel through the mountains and miles downstream, the decimated remains of Clan Anvilhorn escaped into the Witchwood with the help of the last Tiri Kitor elves who had fought alongside them.
Behind them the left the smoking ruin of Anvilhorn Hall. Clan Anvilhorn had been reduced to a small band of the young, the old, and the wounded; The Tongue Eater orcs and Blue Rats goblins had ceased to exist as a tribe. But still the horde pushed on towards the human settlements of the Vale.