The Towns of Urquarth
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[An excerpt from the Travel Guide to the Southern Mountains, 382nd edition]
The twin towns of Urquarth are about as out-of-the-way as a town can get, but they’re a must-see destination if you’re traveling along the borderlands between the Great Desert and the Southern Mountains. This picturesque aboveground village and its underground companion are most definitely a part of the Dwarven Lands, but the twin towns are welcoming to everybody — as long as you stay where you’re supposed to stay. And that’s where this Travel Guide to the Southern Mountains comes in! The Urquarth Taverns & Inns section of the guide will tell you the safe places to visit and the best spots to eat and drink.
Although Urquarth is technically two different towns, they are joined at the hip economically, if not always culturally.
Upper Urquarth is situated on a plateau overlooking the glorious red rocks of the Great Desert. Elven eyes may be able to see Old Creek Road, or what’s left of it since the new road was built a few leagues farther north along the riverbanks.
Although the formal name of the town is Upper Urquarth, the locals (and visitors in the know, like the ones who read the Travel Guide to the Southern Mountains) just call it “Uptown.”
The southern side of Uptown butts up against the sheer cliffs at the foot of Corrag Fiona, the tallest mountain in the range, which has still never been summited by non-magical means. Cut into the cliffs is the Giant’s Gate, which separates Uptown from the Urquarth Delves.
The majority of the dwarves of Urquarth live in the Delves, a maze of natural tunnels and chambers that they’ve widened, improved, and occupied for over a hundred generations.
After so many centuries of occupying the Delves, the rich veins of precious metals and gems are mostly tapped out. While there are still some mining families working in the Delves, most of the economy has moved to smithing. Some of the finest weapons and armor you’ll ever find come from Urquarth, and caravans bring the raw materials from mines situated hundreds of leagues away.