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The Bel Dalen Mines

by Sean Meaney

Highforge is a mining Community of Gnomes and Dwarves situated in upper-middle Karameikos. It is the central hub for Mining of Silver (which is shipped refined to Threshold for minting into coins). The mine from which this silver is extracted is known as the Bel Dalen Mines. These mines are an extensive mine network extending north from Highforge beneath the Atlan Tepes mountains. Unfortunately they are an unending maze of tunnels because about a hundred years ago a gnomish inventor created the brickmac (An automated mining machine which cuts its own tunnels and converts the material into bricks to place about the tunnel. There was an accident in which the machine was left to run (pretty much forever) and as a consequence it vanished into its self excavated miles long mineworkings...never to be heard from again.

About a hundred years ago the Gnomes of Highforge, looking to accelerate the rate of mining sought a technological solution. Thus was born the Brickmac - an automated machine that will cut a tunnel and convert the debris to bricks in the wall.
Unfortunatly they are notorious for their capacity to function without stopping. As a consequence of the use of a Brickmac, the Beldanan mines were created. These extensive mineworks have no end because the brickmac was allowed to run rampant.

More impressivly, if you look at the oldest map (6 mile hex) of the Kingdom to be found in the 1980 Expert Manual you will find three caves over the border in Darokin...the Humanoid lairs line up with the the Logical position of Bel Dalen. Draw a line away from the mountain spur North East of Threshold going north-west along the 8 mile Hex line.

So even if the Brickmac was not responsible for those lairs (having emerged at low points between mountains and then tunneled in again - putting it out near a fourth lair designated Dwarves - possibly the missing expedition who went to shut it off) it could potentially link three major humanoid lairs into the lowest part of the Bel Dalen mines.