Locations > Daernika > Cities and Villages > Tel Arav
Tel Arav was an ancient dwarf city, and the capital of a vast kingdom. For more than a thousand years, Tel Arav served as the seat of power from which a dwarf king ruled more than two dozen cities spread throughout the Dragon’s Back Mountains. Yet, around two hundred years before the signing of the First Charter, the dragon Fangoragnon attacked the city, coming from the underdark with acid breath and chasing away the survivors. The city remained lost until recently.
Tel Arav was built into the side of a massive hill, Ked Ga’va, which sat at the foot of the Dragon’s Back Mountains. It consisted of almost one hundred layers in which dwarves lived, ate, socialized, mined, crafted, and traded. The city was built around a natural ravine, the floor of which served as Tel Arav’s famed forges, as well as the level on which the king lived.
Tel Arav was founded several millennia before the signing of the First Charter. At first, it was little more than a mining outpost, but the simultaneous discovery of the huge ravine and an impending goblin invasion of the dwarf kingdom of Tolguldam convinced the region’s preeminent dwarf monarch to relocate to Tel Arav. From there, he and his descendants created one of Daernika’s greatest empires, a place of wealth, prosperity, and great innovation.
Almost a thousand years ago, the black dragon Fangoragnon attacked the city, killing thousands and chasing the survivors from the ruins. He rested there for many years, before eventually moving into Daernika proper. A few centuries later, he was slain by Boros soldiers at the site that would later become Fort Fangoragnon.
The spirits of those killed by the dragon, however, could not rest, for when he claimed the Throne of Tel Arav for himself, Fangoragnon had tainted the city. After it had lain abandoned for a few centuries, duergar moved into the ruins, and Framarth sat on the throne, further perverting the city’s legacy. After Framarth died, his son, Kholzourl, the Flame King took the throne and expanded the duergar presence in the city.
At some point after Framarth first came to Tel Arav, Hatticus Doyle constructed an obsidian cube to house his phylactery in its depths. Many duergar struggled to enter the cube over the years, curious as to what it contained, but none succeeded. In 768 FC, the Flaming Cart came to Tel Arav, seeking the phylactery. Along the way, they met with the lost spirits of the dwarves, including Arva’s ancestor Shural Candlelight, and promised to unseat Kholzourl. They succeeded in doing so, and ultimately were able to secure the phylactery as well, although Iskaral Pust died in the process.
Governance and Culture
Tel Arav has been ruled by three dynasties of kings, the dwarves, Fangoragnon, and the duergar.