The Lost Mines of Odo Stoneheart

The Lost Mines of Odo Stoneheart are a legend every young Dwarf and many others as well are aware of it, if not necessarily the degree to which it is based on fiction or fact. For Dwarves, it is the call of lost treasure and a connection to an identity long-past–a time when the Dwarves were fierce and war-like. To others, it s a metaphor for the possibility of recovering something precious that was lost. Over the centuries, the legend has been pared away to just those elements and nothing more. 

Stoneheart’s mine became a great Dwarven gathering place and something of a museum of Dwarven history in the century following the founding. It was well-situated near major tunnels in an area rich in granite, a stone highly prized by the Dwarves for building fortifications. Once the granite was mined out and used for the grand fortifications at Gammeldine, Bandurin and Olan Halle, what was left was a large area, solidly structured and supported, deep under the mountains. Dwarves began settling there, and the Dwarven High Council at Bandurin moved to place the mine in the care of the Priesthood of Guydan. The Church moved many of their most sacred and valuable relics, along with all manner of artwork and other items of cultural relevance to the Dwarves to the mines.

For the next few centuries, a journey to the mines became an annual pilgrimage for many Dwarves–a chance to explore their past and reconnect to their foundations. Then, in 489 Fnd, something happened. An ancient evil descended upon the mines and slaughtered hundreds. Those who escaped did so by collapsing tunnels as they fled, and told tales of a horror wandering the mines, killing all it encountered by ripping them to pieces. The stories were wildly divergent, and no clear picture of the exact nature of the threat was forthcoming. Terrified, the Dwarves systematically collapsed every tunnel that led to the mines in all directions. They set guards at each of these collapsed tunnels, but eventually this practice subsided. Historians disagree whether this was a result of lost interest or if there was a problem with these sentries going missing, but within twenty years, the vast tunnel complex in North Orandell fell into disuse and the Dwarves focused their energies on more-localized mining. As use of the Power became more prevalent among the Dwarves, their focus on engineering crowded out their war-like past.

In 808 Fnd, a fire in the Dwarven capital of Bandurin destroyed all known remaining maps of the mines, along with a large amount of other early post-foundation documents. It was a terrible loss to the Dwarves. The event is referred to as “Dunadin”, which is Dwarvish for “death of memories”.

Since that time, many expeditions have headed off to remap the tunnel network and rediscover the lost mines of Odo Stoneheart, but all have come to grief, with few returning. All manner of evil creatures and savage beasts now wander the deep places.


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