The Inverted Mountain
The Inverted Mountain is the result of a miracle performed by Thoang, a dwarven demigod, before his ascension to full godhood. One of his followers mentioned that dwarves who still live underground had probably never seen a mountain before. Upon hearing this Thoang grasped the base of a nearby mountain and lifted it above his head. He then placed it upside-down so its snowy peak now reached deep into the earth forming an underground cave where the base of the mountain hung from the ceiling. It was more than a matter of flipping a rock; the mountain that Thoang moved maintained its entire localized environment despite being underground and upside down.
The mountain hung over an underground lake with its frozen peak nearly breaking the surface. Despite the mountain hanging from the ceiling, plants and trees continued to grow upon it as normal with new shoots and branches continuing to reach for the mountain peak. The mountain’s animals were the first to discover the limits of the reversed gravity. Anything within thirty feet of the mountain is drawn towards it, but beyond that gravity behaves as normal. Weather patterns continued to function around the Inverted Mountain as well, with rain seemingly falling up towards the roof of the cave. Most miraculous of all, the night and day cycle continued on with a shimmering sun and stars reflected up from the lake below the hanging mountain.
Word spread quickly among the denizens of the underground and large band of dwarves quickly claimed the now Inverted Mountain for both religious and economic reasons. Many dwarves saw the mountain as an affirmation of the power of their faith and sought to keep it out of the hands of other races. Other dwarves saw the unique environment of the Inverted Mountain as a great boon and wanted it in order to enrich themselves.
Several different dwarven communities have sprung up around The Inverted Mountain, each finding a niche and building themselves around it. On the surface of the lake, a floating village has formed connecting the dwarves living on the mountain to the rest of the world through trade. Complex elevators were created to allow for the efficient transfer of goods to and from the mountain communities. The lake dwarves are an impatient bunch, always racing against the clock and trying to squeeze more profit out of every day. They are often the first introduction travelers have to The Inverted Mountain.
Just above the lake and along much of the snowline of the mountain are several villages of dwarves that specialize entirely in are the crafting and forging of different goods. Snow dwarves are considered slow and methodical even by the standards of their race. They are perfectionists and often spend extra time making sure an item is just right. Most of their work is done with the raw ore mined from the peak directly above them which allows for a steady stream of finished products. You can always tell when an item is forged directly on The Inverted Mountain because it’s been quenched in the snow, giving it a unique finish.
Further up the mountain are the peak dwarves, who spend their days mining ore for processing or export. They take great pride in their work, knowing full well they are the backbone of the local economy. Most would consider them the stereotypical dwarves because they often sing loud and boisterous songs while they work. Peak dwarves were the first to take advantage of the gravitational effects of The Inverted Mountain. Rather than haul their ore all the way down the mountain themselves, they’ve constructed elaborate systems of ramps to send the ore exactly where it needs to go. Peak dwarves are quite superstitious and see omens of the future in everyday occurrences. For example, when mining pickaxe falls over of its own accord bad luck is sure to follow for its owner.
The base of The Inverted Mountain hanging from the cave ceiling is considered a holy site by all dwarves. A temple was built upon the spot where Thoang gripped the mountain and his handprints are still clearly visible in the hard rock. Temple dwarves train others in the art of unarmed combat as well as other skills that require strong and steady hands. They see things such as sculpting or the creation of complex clockwork devices as different aspects of their god’s deeds.
Mining on the Inverted Mountain has been going on for centuries and showing no signs of stopping. Some dwarves have begun to wonder what exactly will happen to the mountain once its mines run out of ores. These thoughts have been spurred by a series of earthquakes that have struck the mountain. Most consider these quakes a completely natural phenomenon but others have begun to wonder if the extensive mining could lead to the collapse of the mountain. No one is quite certain what effect this would have on the unique gravity of The Inverted Mountain.
Despite being underground The Inverted Mountain is blessed with a golden sun, a silver moon and twinkling stars reflected in the lake below the mountain. A local eccentric by the name of Galdigo is convinced that he can actually reach these heavenly bodies by using the lake. He is preparing a magically treated submersible that he claims can reach those distant locations through the resonant planar frequencies from the lake. Galdigo is seeking out a crew to join him on his expedition but is having trouble attracting volunteers.
Drag & Drop Encounter (CR 7)
The Elf’s Moustache’s is a popular tavern for peak dwarves just getting off a long stint of mining. As you enter you see a handful of loyal regulars spread out around the place. At the bar four miners having a heated discussion on popular dwarven bards. Two other miners are sitting on benches near the hearth engaged in an intense game of checkers. Near the door five miners are playing cards when suddenly someone shouts out “Cheater!” and a table is flipped. The bartender leaps over the bar to try and quell the fight before it does any more damage.