Hryngars, demons (4689–4715 AR)
Hryngars (1600–4689 AR)
Dwarves (ca. -4987–1600 AR)
Jormurdun is one of the ten ancient Sky Citadels built by the newly emergent dwarves at the end of their Quest for Sky. Lost from history for thousands of years after invasion and disaster until 4713 AR,2 it is located in the Wolfcrags, a largely uninhabited range of hills in the northwest of the Sarkoris Scar's (formerly the Worldwound's) Frostmire region.3
Gutheran and the Sky Key
The dwarves of Jormurdun witnessed the Rain of Stars over Numeria in -4363 AR, which they interpreted as a divine sign and sent an army to investigate. They returned with a wormhole generator from the crashed spaceship Divinity.4 While unaware of its purpose, the dwarves attempted to repair the damaged device, renamed it the Sky Key, and claimed it as a trophy of their success in the Quest for Sky.5
The collapse of the Sky Citadel of Tar Taargadth in 1551 AR had little effect on Jormurdun,5 but around 1600 AR, hryngars6 tunneled into and attacked the citadel, conquering it. The dwarves who survived the attack fled; Gutheran,✝ the last king of the Sky Citadel, broke the Sky Key into five pieces, kept one piece for himself, and distributed a piece to each of his heirs in the hope that one day the Key would be reassembled and dwarves would return to Jormurdun. Gutheran resolved to die defending Jormurdun's throne room alongside a handful of loyalists,5 but the Sky Key's activation trapped hundreds of survivors in a bubble outside of time when the citadel fell.4
Dispersed and forgotten
Gutheran's heirs became known as the Scions of Jormurdun and scattered across the Inner Sea region with what remained of their people. The eldest brother, Toggrim, believed his piece of the Key should be returned to Numeria but lacked precise knowledge of where it was found; his branch of the refugees settled across that nation, Mendev, and Sarkoris, but have largely come to live in poverty in Chesed's Fleshward slum.7
Sigrin led her group to settle in the Bandu Hills of the Mwangi Expanse, allying with the grippli of Krihirik and founding the settlement of Ashkurhall; eventually devastated by plague, the survivors abandoned it to join the nomadic Taralu dwarves, who had them abandon all ties to their pasts in order to adopt their culture.1011
Naldak, his youngest son, fled west into the Lands of the Linnorm Kings, founding the settlement of Naldak's Point;8 the town was taken into the Hao Jin Tapestry after Baba Yaga's eternal winter threatened to consume it, but as the demiplane began to fail in the centuries after the Ruby Phoenix's disappearance, most turned to Droskar's worship and became hryngars, while the remaining dwarves died out.12
With its surface entry inconspicuous and its inhabitants lost or scattered, knowledge of Jormurdun among the peoples of the Inner Sea declined over the millennia until it had faded from memory.13 This changed when a Pathfinder Society expedition to the ruined Sky Citadel of Koldukar in 4713 AR recovered a rune-engraved stele of communication bearing knowledge of Jormurdun's fall and location.132
Rise and fall of Yealek-Vor
Jormurdun's lower chambers remained controlled by Droskar-worshiping hryngars until the kalavakus demon Yealek-Vor3 discovered Jormurdun in 4689 AR14 and over a period of 25 years5 battled and converted them to follow the demon lord Shivaska. The grey dwarves subsequently scoured the halls for ancient dwarven artifacts in the hopes of using them to further their demonic patron's stature within the Worldwound.3
The Pathfinder Society took an interest in Jormurdun, located the surface entrance to the city, and defeated Yealek-Vor in 4714 AR.155 Expeditions later that year recovered King Gutheran's piece of the Sky Key,168 and the remaining pieces were reassembled the year after, but the Sky Key was overloaded and broken by the Harbingers of Fate during its first demonstration.17
Revitalization in Sarkoris
Dwarves reoccupied much of the Sky Citadel and resupplied the site over the next several years, facing raids of abduction by surviving hryngar occupiers who resettled in Hagegraf, and assaults of Worldwound demons from the surface.20
Since the closing of the Worldwound in 4718 AR, the city's dwarven population has recovered and permanently expelled the occupying hryngars. The recovered Sky Citadel now also hosts Sarkorians returning to the land.1
Almost all of Jormurdun is underground. The only visible outbuilding on the surface is a single three-story tower that sits on the edge of a cliff several hundred feet in height. The tower and the mountainside it sits upon look innocuous, except when the light of the sun combines with the Worldwound's unusual weather and revealed ancient, eroded carvings of dwarven faces carved into the cliffside. Many hard to distinguish windows dot the eastern face of the mountain as well, either cleverly hidden in the rock's natural formations, or else sealed by stone shutters from the inside. These windows once let in the morning light but were closed for thousands of years.3
About two-thirds of the below-ground chambers and halls of Jormurdun are filled with ancient dwarven traps or guardians, or had become over the millennia the lair of denizens of the Darklands who had traveled up to the Sky Citadel from below.3
Paizo focused the Year of the Sky Key campaign in the Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild on the recovery of the Sky Key and Jormurdun, and the special scenario Legacy of the Stonelords is set there.
For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.
- “Chapter 1: Introduction” in Highhelm, 10. Paizo Inc., 2023 .
- The Secrets Stones Keep, 3. Paizo Inc., 2013 .
- “Chapter One: Worldwound Gazetteer” in The Worldwound, 8–9. Paizo Inc., 2013 .
- The Sky Key Solution, 3. Paizo Inc., 2015 .
- Legacy of the Stonelords, 3. Paizo Inc., 2014 .
- Paizo referred to hryngars as duergar until the publication of Highhelm and the Sky King's Tomb Pathfinder Adventure Path.
- Returned to Sky, 3. Paizo Inc., 2015 .
- From Under Ice, 3. Paizo Inc., 2015 .
- Test of Tar Kuata, 3. Paizo Inc., 2015 .
- Kaava Quarry, 3. Paizo Inc., 2015 .
- The Golden Guardian, 16. Paizo Inc., 2015 .
- Tapestry's Toil, 3. Paizo Inc., 2015 .
- The Secrets Stones Keep, 17. Paizo Inc., 2013 .
- The Worldwound, inside back cover. Paizo Inc., 2013 .
- This describes the events of the Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild event Legacy of the Stonelords.
- “Beyond the Campaign” in City of Locusts, 66. Paizo Inc., 2014 .
- The Sky Key Solution, 4. Paizo Inc., 2015 .
- This date is based on the publication date of The Sky Key Solution and the mention on p. 13 of the Lost Omens Pathfinder Society Guide that Yealek-Vor had been defeated.
- The Sky Key Solution, 39. Paizo Inc., 2015 .
- Captives of Toil, 3. Paizo Inc., 2016 .
- “Chapter 1: Introduction” in Pathfinder Society Guide, 13. Paizo Inc., 2020 .
- “Chapter 3: Pathfinder Society Lodges” in Pathfinder Society Guide, 104. Paizo Inc., 2020 .