Adventures in Thargothras
Government: Queen Miriam Quickhammer, Viceroy to the High King
Carved into the side of a mountain and alive with the sound of rushing waterfalls and the hammering of metal on metal, Silverhold is the dwarven settlement to the north of Whitefield. Like all surface settlements, Silverhold is considered a colony, answering to a higher political power hidden deep beneath a mountain range, the location of which is never disclosed to non-dwarves, on pain of execution for treason.
Silverhold is named for its rich silver mines, but if you were to ask any of the dwarves living there, they would tell you it's named for all of the copper. Really, ask any of them, and they will tell you with a smile and a chuckle that it's the abundant veins of copper for which the town was named. It's like some kind of inside joke, but with over six thousand dwarves in on it and ready to make the same joke every time someone brings it up. Don't be annoying about it, though, or they will start charging you extra for stuff without telling you why.
Silverhold is protected from without by a contingent of well-equipped dwarves sworn to fight to the death to defend their kin against any foe, and from within by an observant but impartial city watch. In an emergency, the giant stone doors that lead into the city (the only entrance) can be closed, and the food reserves are typically kept at levels to feed 7,000 medium creatures (which accounts for all residents and hundreds of visitors) for two weeks. The food stored in this way is not pleasant to eat as it is either very dry or very salty or both, but takes a very long time to spoil.
Due to the dwarven tradition of not wasting space when you live inside a mountain and have to spend hours cutting every inch from the living rock, the city is crowded, and the few open spaces it provides are made from natural caverns. The twenty-foot-high entrance to the city, while impressive, quickly narrows to a more convenient six feet over the first hundred yards of hallway leading into the business centers. The heart of the city, the town square, is fifty feet high at its highest point, and is the only part of the town besides the entrance hall that is lit for the convenience of outsiders. The town square also features a series of artificial waterfalls flowing from a pump system that taps into a natural underground lake and redirected to provide water to as many residents possible. Waste water is funneled into hydroponic gardens, and any excess water from that drains into a lake outside the mountain through a narrow tube drilled through miles of stone.
Trade is, of course, welcome here. Most of the native merchants are shrewd and enjoy the art of haggling, so be aware of that going in. Also be aware that theft and cons are punished by imprisonment and forced labor, not measured by time but by mineral worth claimed from the stone, minus the cost to feed, until the infraction is paid for twice over.