Elvish: Ne’anthor, meaning City of the Dwarves (From Ne’e, meaning “Dwarf”, Anthor meaning “cavernous dwelling”) Tongue of men: The Dwarven Mines, in pragmatic human fashion.
Some say that the primitive culture that evolved into the rich society of the dwarves of Dûrnir’s Forge were once savage men. The thousands of years preceding Dûrnir and his people’s rise to prominence were spent carving out small tunnels with simple bronze tools, and the many hours spent in such conditions favoured the short-of-stature, breeding a race of diminutive but hardy folk. The dwarves created a vast network of tunnels beneath the Mithril Mountains that are still extant today, bearing testament to the skilled workmanship of the dwarves. Still, they were overshadowed by the might of men and elves with their towers and minarets, until the days of the Hero-King Dûrnir would come, a time shrouded in mythical lore.
It is said that Dûrnir, fueled by envy of the tall races, scaled the peaks of the Mithril Mountains and reached so high he passed into realms ethereal and to the home of the azure blue Gods. With great cunning he challenged the very Gods themselves by stealing the recipe for creating roaring fire. As the gods realized the theft their vengeance was swift, and the year-long darkness that covered the earth left men with the greatest famine since before the foundation of Brisingard. The Dwarves hid in their tunnels and with machines fueled by raging fire the dug ever deeper, never returning to the surface, completing the transformation of Dûrnir’s Children into the dwarves we know today.
The greatest heritage of Dûrnir would not be the deep tunnels nor he mighty Mithril Mines, but a great codex of laws and tenants of faith that steered his people from obscurity to utter might and influence. He made them take a dear oath under pain of death that they would live by his laws at least until his return from matters up north. And so it was that Dûrnir passed into the northern steppes before the Great Wall, ending his own life and forever binding his people to their word.
It was five hundred years following the demise of Dûrnir that the great master architect Skullgrimm the Old would start the planning of a city in the mighty king’s honour. A masterpiece of city planning, noble architecture and most of all a display of great might, Dûrnir’s Forge was crowned by a statue of the Hero-King as tall as the very tower of Westmar. Despite, or possibly because of this great wealth, the Dwarves became reclusive and distrustful, for the one vice Dûrnir had not passed laws against was that of greed. Their old brothers, the men and elves of the Realms was more and more seldomly allowed into the root of the mountain, as the Dwarves ever increased their already stupendous wealth. And in their home of Dûrnir’s Forge no elven song nor human speech is ever heard.
Excerpt from ‘The Rise of the Dwarves and other Tales’, ANNO CXLIII A.W.F II of Human reckoning.