Blair has spent time as a full time writer as both a novelist and RP game designer.
Introduction: an excerpt from Forgotten Steam, a 3.5th edition D&D adventure:
300 years ago, the Iron Break Dwarves ruled the mountains they inhabited, forging weapons of great renown, and armor of legendary beauty and strength. The Iron Break dwarves inhabited a vast mountain network spanning hundreds of miles of underground tunnels, mines and halls. Their single city reached the size of a small country and their population, influence and power grew exponentially until, one day, they vanished. Seemingly overnight, the entire population disappeared. Though the nearby city of Derrik’s Fall sent several expeditions to search the vast network of the Iron Break City, no sign of the dwarves or where they went was ever found. In the journal of one such expedition, led my Marsdon Dales, he noted;
“…No sign of the dwarves. We have traveled more than sixty miles of tunnels, halls and mines, and still nothing. I did note, in the Drakkan sector, we searched through some of the homes, and though they were empty, the houses had been packed, and dry goods had been taken. There was no sign of personal belongings: it appears that at least some of the dwarves… had the opportunity to prepare.”
Marsdon Dales later settled and opened the Expedition, an inn and tavern that has experienced some success. Still in the hands of his family, it is now run by Thursdon Dales, who long thought he was to be the last descendant of the family. Happily that will not be true for much longer, as Thursdon’s Wife, Delonna, is pregnant. The journal and a handful of trinkets, art, and drawings are still on display on the mantle in the Expedition.
The Iron Break Dwarves, who’s armor and weapon making skills have been unmatched for the last ten generations, didn’t up and move overnight. Unbeknownst to the world of men above, due to the extensive size of the Dwarven city and their secretive nature, the Iron Break society underwent significant political upheaval. Ralick Bronzeforge, the leader of the Syrobi Council, a group of armor and weapon smiths in the Dwarven city, made a move to further isolate the Iron Break settlement. He believed they should cut off all ties to the outside and stop selling their best armor and weapons to anyone who could pay. Over the course of a decade, parts of the city were abandoned all together, the residents relocating to a second city. The city of Syrobi was constructed almost in secret several hundred miles away, and connected to Iron Break by a single spur that ran west, deeper into the mountains and further down. In the end, the last of the great clans joined the Syrobi, and the vast, original Iron Break city was abandoned. Unable to defend itself, dark dwelling creatures surged into the empty spaces the dwarves left behind. They planned one day to reclaim it… and as it happens, that day is today.
Tarigoth Bronzeforge, the eldest son of Ralick Bronzeforge, has taken the mantle of his father, and is leading a sizable campaign to the surface in order to reclaim an ancient relic that once belonged in the heart of Iron Break city, the Steam Orb, a magical item enabling the Dwarves to craft wonders far beyond their normal means, however the orb is currently resting comfortably on a mantle, long ignored at “the Expedition”, a fact that will cost the players, the town and the Dwarves a great deal before the day is through.