Difference between revisions of "Irongate"

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|caption = The heraldry of Irongate as depicted in the ''[[Living Greyhawk Gazetteer]]'' (2000).
|caption = The heraldry of Irongate as depicted in the ''[[Living Greyhawk Gazetteer]]'' (2000).
|name = Free City of Irongate
|name = Free City of Irongate
|motto = City of Stairs
|motto = ''City of Stairs''
|region = [[Old Aerdy East]] (former [[Great Kingdom]])
|region = [[Old Aerdy East]] (former [[Great Kingdom]])
|ruler = His Resolute Honor, Cobb Darg, Lord High Mayor of Irongate
|ruler = His Resolute Honor, Cobb Darg, Lord High Mayor of Irongate

Latest revision as of 22:16, 13 November 2014

Greyhawk Realm
Free City of Irongate
The heraldry of Irongate as depicted in the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer (2000).
Motto/Nickname City of Stairs
Region Old Aerdy East (former Great Kingdom)
Ruler His Resolute Honor, Cobb Darg, Lord High Mayor of Irongate
Government Lord Mayor elected by Council of Wardens
Established 124 CY
Capital Irongate
Major Towns Irongate, Northanchor
Provinces Single city-state with surrounding lands
Resources Gems, iron ore, oerthblood
Coinage Dragoneye (gp), starry (sp), common (cp)
Population 71,000
Races Human 83% (Os), Dwarf 15% (hill), Halfling 1%, Other 1%
Languages Common, Dwarven, Ferral
Alignments LN, LG*, NG
Religions Heironeous, Zilchus, Procan, dwarf pantheon, Osprem, Xerbo, Norebo, Fortubo, Jascar, Lendor
Allies Kingdom of the Iron Hills, Onnwal (rebels only), Sunndi, Nyrond, folk of the Headlands
Enemies Scarlet Brotherhood, Ahlissa (distrusted)

Irongate, properly known as the Free City of Irongate, is surrounded by concentric stone walls and dominated by its great towers, especially the Cidereal Citadel, the Tower of Daern, and the southeastern Siren Keep. Beneath it is a vast Undercity, twice as deep as the towers are high, made up of a dozen sublevels connected by endless stone stairs and passageways.

As stone endures and stone endures still! are greetings that convey friendship or alliance with Irongate, referring to the heroism of the dwarves of that walled city.


Irongate was completed in 124 CY, commissioned by the Great Kingdom to give the mother country a well-defended base from which it could mine for iron and advance its interests in the Azure Sea. It was a collaboration between the dwarves of the Iron Hills and human architects of the Great Kingdom (including, perhaps, the legendary Daern), the first major project of its kind. Both dwarves and humanity have lived within it since.

In the early days of Irongate's existence, the Iron Hills region was still controlled by the Zelrad Suel, and they considered this construction to be an act of war. After a series of battles, the alliance of dwarves and men proved to be decisive, and the region belonged to the Great Kingdom.

During the Great Kingdom's height, the city of Irongate was known as "the Overking's Armory," and its weapons and ores were famed throughout the Flanaess. The city was besieged during the Turmoil Between Crowns. Irongate, which had supported House Rax in that civil war, survived and refused to bow before House Naelax and its newly constructed Malachite Throne. Yet it was not, at that point, fully free.

As the rule of the Overking grew more despotic, the Lord Mayor of Irongate petitioned to have his grievances heard by the Herzog of South Province in Zelradton. On that infamous day in 446 CY they were thrown into prison, given a mock trial, and executed for the Overking's amusement. The following year the whole of the South was in rebellion, and after a brief struggle the Iron League was born.

Irongate managed to escape conquest by the Scarlet Brotherhood during the Greyhawk Wars due to the resourcefulness of Cobb Darg and the aid of the Azure Masks and Splintered Mind.

Geography and climate

Irongate is built on a plateau above the eastern Azure Sea on the short isthmus between the Onnwal Headlands and the Iron Hills, framed by imposing cliffs pocketed with mines. Its plateau is within a narrow valley that runs north to south; at the north end, on the Sea of Gearnat, is the small town of Northanchor.

The climate is generally warm and comfortable (on another world, it might be called Mediterranean) year round. The land surrounding the city is hilly and generally unsuitable for farming.


Besides the Undercity, Irongate's major wards are the Civic Ward, which contains its houses of government, the Tower Ward, which houses its wealthiest citizens, and the Dock Ward built in the shadow of the city's plateau along the waterfront. Elsewhere in the city, things are more or less undefined, the various social strata and professions mixing well.


The city's hill dwarves primarily belong to the Grummild clan, who are rivals of the Dorgrimm clan that rules the Kingdom of the Iron Hills. Another prominant dwarven clan is called Highforge (Greyhawk Adventures, page 91). While the Living Greyhawk Gazetteer says the local dwur are of the hill dwarf sort, From the Ashes claimed they were mountain dwarves (Cyclopedia, page 12). The humans are mainly of Oeridian descent with a lesser amount of Suloise blood from intermarriage with the predominantly Suel humans of the surrounding area.

The city has a fair-sized halfling community and an unknown number of gnomes in the surrounding area.

Besides Cobb Darg, prominant citizens of Irongate include Tuaren Leedstit, Elayne Mystica and Yori Kerlgortz.

Yori is a barber and dentist for the dwarves of Irongate, whose sole claim to fame rests with a magical device that he had commissioned to help him in his work: the Barber's Aid.


As befits its history and demographics, Irongate's temples propitiate a mix of Oeridian, Suloise, and dwarven deities, including Heironeous, the Oeridian god of war; Zilchus, the Oeridian god of wealth; Procan, the Oeridian god of the sea; Osprem and Xerbo, the Suloise sea-gods; Norebo, the Suloise god of luck; Lendor, the Suloise god of time; and the dwarven gods, including Moradin, Berronar Truesilver, Clangeddin Silverbeard, Dugmaren Brightmantle, Dumathoin, Muamman Duathal, Vergadain, Abbathor, and their allies, the Suloise gods Jascar and Fortubo. Ulaa is also served by a handful of priests within the city, though her faith is not as popular there (compare From the Ashes: Atlas of the Flanaess, page 12, with the list of popular deities in the LGG, page 55).


The people of Irongate speak Common and Dwarven, in the main, as well as Ferral, a now-secret Oeridian tribal language spoken only by officials of the Iron League.


Administrative divisions

Irongate is a single province about 1,500 square miles in extant, with the Free City of Irongate, Northanchor, and a few small villages within it.

Executive branch

The chief executive of Irongate is the Lord Mayor, who is elected by the city council for a ten-year term. The current Lord Mayor is Cobb Darg, who was elected in 590 CY for his fifth consecutive term of office.

Legislative branch

The legislators of Irongate are the Council of Wardens, a group of old nobles, merchants, clerics, and military leaders. Each Warden watches over a specific section of the city, from the high towers to the depths of the Undercity. Cobb Darg was a member of this branch, briefly, before he was elected to his current office.



Irongate's economy is historically based on sea commerce and the trade between Onnwal and points further east. Since Onnwal's capture by the Scarlet Brotherhood this trade has not evaporated, but things have become more complicated.


Irongate's mines contain gems (base value 50-500 gp each), and some platinum. It is most famous for its high-quality iron ore, of course, but it also contains other ores of rarer and more magical nature, such as the almost mythical oerthblood.


Irongate's standard coinage consists of the gold dragoneye (gp), the silver starry (sp), and the copper common (cp).


In the port are numerous boats.

The Ahlissan Road, on the eastern border between Irongate and the Kingdom of the Iron Hills, is a pass leading from the Azure Coast to the United Kingdom of Ahlissa.

A long network of underground tunnels allows determined dwarves to ship platinum and silver in conquered Onnwal through Irongate's port.

A magical portal to Mitrik, constructed by the city's Artificer's Union with the aid of Elayne Mystica and Bigby, lies beneath the city. Vital goods are shipped through it.


Irongate has a strong naval squadron and a large company of armored crossbowmen. She can also raise 2,000 heavy militia infantry of high morale and excellent training.

Notable Locations

The Deep Doors

Below the storehouses and catacombs, in the deepest depths of the Undercity, lie two 12-foot tall, 2-foot thick doors of iron and adamantine separated by a sloping 300-foot long passage. These doors are guarded at all times by a squad of dwarves and a team of wizards. Beyond is said to lie the Underdark. A tiny hamlet built in side passages branching from the 300-foot long tunnel tends toward traders and explorers between the two realms.

Helkam's Pit

Nicknamed "the inn at the bottom of the world," Helkam's Pit, built in the hamlet between the Deep Doors, is a place for travelers to refresh themselves. The eponymous Helkam was a dissident dwarf of the Dorgrimm clan. Although he never found great wealth during his years of adventuring, he built a shaft he delved long before the construction of the Deep Dwarves, dying somewhere in the Underdark below. His heir, a dwarf called Dygren, got it into his head that what a shaft leading to nowhere really needed was an inn. With that entrepreneurial spirit, Helkam's Pit was born. The inn, as it happens, is built around an unusual vein of ore which just might aid in the construction of magical portals. Supporting this supposition is the fact that Bigby was willing to pay money for a chunk of it, and a further curiosity: Helkam's Pit contains a stable link to the extradimensional edifice known as the World Serpent Inn. Few are aware of this today, and just a few years ago no-one knew it.

Bolvain Gottidor's Dead Forge

Probably the best known of the hundreds of small smithies within the Undercity, Bolvain Gottidor's forge was destroyed by a small cave-in (something unheard of in the Undercity, which is of excellent dwarven construction) after his workers were wounded and his sons were found cut to pieces. Bolvain himself, a brilliant and ambitious weaponsmith, was found cut into pieces, and his masterworks, a trio of swords, were stolen. At least one is rumored to have fallen in the hands of an illithid warrior in the depths of the Underdark. It is said that the three blades together might form the most powerful weapon ever made.

Artificer's Union of Irongate

A guild of wizards and sorcerers only recently built to its current extant (particularly with the influx of refugees from other nations of the former Iron League), the Artificer's Union provides intelligence and advice for Cobb Darg regarding the city's safety. Currently, they are busy constructing magical portals to connect Irongate with other cities of the Flanaess - only one, leading to Mitrik, is currently complete. The guild and school are housed within the Tower of Daern, built centuries ago according to the plans of the hero-goddess it is named for. The Tower is the second-tallest structure in the city, after the Cidereal Citadel in the center, and it includes six subterranean levels as part of the structure.

The Azure Masks

The secret society known as the Azure Masks own two properties in Irongate. They have a large mansion where they keep room after room of carefully cataloged data, and a renowned theater near the center of the town that is as far as the public knows only a space for bards, jesters, actors, and other entertainers to perform.

The Splintered Mind

Six members of the Splintered Mind order hide somewhere within Irongate, keeping watch over covert agents of the Scarlet Brotherhood. This is the oldest cell of the order; the Splintered Mind was based in Irongate before they moved most of their members to Scant.


External links

The Irongate Project: [2]