Mirabar is a mining city on the Sword Coast. It is the richest city north of Waterdeep. The city is occupied by 1600 shield dwarves who live underground near to their workshops, which produce metal goods for export in the region and beyond. The humans above cooperate with the dwarves to handle the mining, move the ore to market and defend the city against magical threats. Mirabar is ruled by a hereditary marchion, Elastul Raurym, but the true power is in an elected assembly called the Council of Sparkling Stones, a dwarven and human group that meets once a year to determine their production quotas and whether or not to threaten current clients with reduced output. It is led by the dwarven cleric of the Raven Queen, Ren Deepmace.
Mirabar stands on a knoll on the north banks of the River Mirar. On the surface, Mirabar is populated with squat stone buildings and a few stone towers. It is arranged in such a way as to provide great efficiency. Its walls are extremely thick and sloping, so as to allow water to be poured down them in the winter, which freezes to make them slippery. The area around the city is dotted with open mines and heaps of rock. Roads lead to its major mines in the Spine of the World mountains, which yield a wide range of metals and gemstones, so they are guarded against orc and monster raids by the Axe of Mirabar.
The badge of Mirabar is a deep red double-bladed axe with a pointed haft and a flaring flat base, on a black field.
Places of interest
Hall of All Fires
A large hall lined with furnaces9 with a capacity of more than two thousand.
An open area between three buildings and containing the entrance to the Undercity.
The center of all mining in Mirabar. It is guarded by the Axe of Mirabar, and accessible via a staircase from Undercity Square, followed by a pulley-operated lift in a shaft of hundreds of feet. The base of this shaft is another guarded room with several exits all with either iron doors or portcullises. There is another entrance which is a sloping, winding tunnel. The subterranean level closest to the ground is called the First Below.
Mirabar is defended by the Axe of Mirabar, an army of around two thousand, including humans and five hundred dwarves. There is virtually no crime, and the city utilizes professional thief trackers, the ‘Shadow District’, to monitor any potential criminals.
Making maps of the city is illegal for security purposes, because the city is concerned about intelligence getting into the hands of Mirabar’s enemies, especially Luskan. An attack on a councilor or a councilor-elect is punishable by execution. This is to prevent plots to foil a candidate’s election campaign.
The stone and metals taken out of the mines are worked by craftsmen. After being expertly cut and hewn, the stone is transported magically at high cost to Luskan, to then be transported south. Some buildings in Amn, Baldur’s Gate and Waterdeep use Mirabar stone, typically that which has been quarried from the areas to the west or south of the city.
Any worthless stone is crushed to improve the city’s roads. This operation continues in almost all weather, even during the winter.
Open fighting between houses in the streets and mines in Mirabar’s past was revealed by the Harpers to be a plot by agents from Hellgate Keep, the Zhentarim and Luskanites. After this discovery, the houses united against Mirabar’s enemies. This resulted in a careful watch for anything suspicious in the city’s mines, and the city’s inhabitants are particularly wary of those from Luskan.
Mirabar was attacked in 1253 DR by hordes of orcs. They attacked the western wall but this was merely a decoy—the main attack was at the eastern wall. Torgar Hammerstriker was among the dwarves who held the eastern wall during the attack.
The reopening of Mithral Hall has caused tensions to flare in Mirabar. The Clan Battlehammer stronghold has better and more metal coming out of its mines which has taken a lot of custom away from Mirabar. Although in public Mirabar greets its fellow dwarves with warmth, in reality most curse them for the loss of their buyers. The council members are also divided on the matter, some welcome their new rivals as a prompt for the miners to work harder to up their production. Most want the miners to explore further into the mines to unveil deeper and richer veins of metal and ore (unfortunately, Mirabar doesn’t have enough miners to work new veins of ore without reassigning members of the Axe but they are needed to protect the existing mines from Underdark monsters so little exploring has been done in the more dangerous deeper levels), while others want covert operations to be taken out against the hall, weakening their charcoal to spoil smelting. Still others want to confiscate all Battlehammer trading caravans coming west of Mithral Hall’s territory but most agree that would likely provoke a war.
King Bruenor Battlehammer of Mithral Hall visited Mirabar in 1370 DR, which caused a stir when some of the dwarves, including Torgar Hammerstriker, socialized with him and his caravan. Marchion Elastul considered Mithral Hall to be an enemy of Mirabar, but Torgar realised the potential of a union between the two strongholds, working together to provide a wide range of wares. When Elastul refused to yield on the issue, Torgar left Mirabar for Mithral Hall, an action which sparked much political tension in Mirabar. Torgar was then secretly captured and imprisoned by the Hammers. When news leaked of Torgar’s imprisonment, rioting broke out amongst the dwarves in the Undercity. When the rioting broke out on the streets above ground and threatened to turn into open warfare, Elastul was forced to concede and free Torgar. The situation caused the exodus of four hundred of the dwarves of Mirabar.
The mines are operated by around one thousand of the dwarves, who have a target quota set by the Council. Although the deeper veins contain ore of better quality, they are more dangerous to mine because of the monsters, and Mirabar cannot afford to cut production for long enough to locate any such veins. The marchion has hired over two dozen alchemists and metallurgists who promise to make a new metal stronger and easier to enchant than Adamantine. So far all they have provided is a plan that will take five years to complete. This ensures that they are well paid for this time without providing any evidence. It seems all but the marchion agree that they are con artists.
Luskan, as a sign of ‘good faith’ has reduced its annual harbour fees by half but Mirabar has paid through until 1377 DR so it matters little at the moment. In fact, Mirabar’s ‘Shadow District’ reports that rumours tell of Luskan attemting to work out the same deal as it has with Mirabar with Mithral Hall as well, prompting security to lax in the city.
Avonathemon, Luskan’s false priest of the Raven Queen recently desecrated the temple in an attempt to perform a complex scrying ritual. Avonathemon was soon revealed to be a cleric of Bane and killed by Kombat Advantage.