aka Four Bottle Mountain, the Mountain of The First King
Buchh Kragg Dhuum is a dwarven trade town on the coast of southern Lutetia. It is occupied by four families, all descendents of the first king of what has now become known as Four Bottle Mountain. The town’s industry is based around the brewing and distribution of fine ales and spirits, which find their way across the face of Midgard. The Ironspurs and Krk clans develop the yeasts, hops and fungi required for the distinctive local varieties, which are then either filtered by the Shatterstones, or roasted by the Armoks. Boats laden with barrels and bottles leave a well protected port, and return with barley and malt.
Buchh Kragg Dhuum is not, however, all that it seems. It is a cultural iceberg, with its industrious and well adjusted demeanor concealing an immense weight of troublesome history. Those who trade with the Dwarves, or live in their Waterfront quarter, know that the Ironspur’s rangers are trained to protect the valley as well as find hops, that the Shatterstones tacitly support an illicit slavetrade out of their port, that the obllivion cult of the Krk clan grow their most potent fungi on the bones of the dead, and that the Armok clan have been slowly excavating the marble ruins upon which The Mountain Of The First King is built.
Buchh Kragg Dhuum is, more or less, five hundred years old, and was founded by a single clan, driven out of their surface homes during the Human era of the Age of Smoke. It was not uninhabited when the Dwarves arrived. Although the upper levels have been recarved and remodelled, the Armoks are only now starting to discover the extent of the city that the First King took from the elves by earthen magic and hammer. Immigrants to Four Bottle Mountain are kept in the dark about this secret history, but small fragments of it remain evident. Two beacons protect the harbour, each attended by sons and daughters of the four clans, consigned to a life of service. If the beacons ever die, it is rumoured that ruin will come to the valley. Maybe then the first king will return, out from the deep waters it is said he threw himself into at the end of his reign. It is that pregnant dark that the Krks venerate, it is emptiness, and beginnings, harvests and hangovers, cthonic fertility, and visions in the black.
Although the Juranian border is a mere seven days away, for hundreds of years now, the mountains have known peace. The seasons turn, raucous festivals are celebrated, boats come and go. Beer is brewed and enjoyed, while quiet prayers are muttered at shrines that litter wild countryside, cosy homes, and carefully curated graveyards alike.
- The Muffin Man – The town’s one and only (diminutive) gnome, and a fine baker of various goods. Sadly only knows the one word in either Common or Dwarven: “Muffins!”, which sounds like it’s coming from far away regardless of how near to him you stand. Although he makes regular morning deliveries, no-one really knows much, if anything, about him, except that he lives on Drury Lane.
- Aelben Halorin – Local antiquities dealer, and a half-elf- a fact he abuses with his pretensions of mystery and alleged olde-worlde magicks. He owns a store front near to the docks called “Aelben’s Odds and Ends”. Seems to be perpetually angry with the Mutterer.
- Smiler / Snag-tooth- A Dwarven Slaver, or rather, The Dwarven Slaver, of BKD. His customers are mainly the goblin tribes of Milenesia and Jurane, and the southern Porcelain Strand, with a few very hush-hush Dalriadan and Lloegren shipments a year. As long as he keeps his sales out of Lutetia and doesn’t trade in Dwarves, he’s allowed to continue as the resident bogeyman of Four Bottle Mountain.
- ‘Eric’, The Mutterer – another half-elf (something here seems to draw them in) and a shell-shocked veteran of some kind of magical travel gone horribly wrong. He roams the town’s caverns and sub-caverns restlessly, muttering continually in fragments of multiple languages. He is Hester’s older brother.
- Old Hetty – a Dwarven drunk who is perpetually stationed at the bar of the Tavernacle, Buchh Kragd Duum’s inn and temple. She is almost inevitably asleep at almost any time of the day.
- Shindig – a graverobber, and potentially the town’s most successful trader of illicit fertiliser to the Krk clan.
- The Missing Miner – Kimril’s kindly and quiet ‘uncle’, who has recently disappeared.
- Staklo Vidre – BKD’s resident bottlemaker.