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Secrets of Highforgeby Joaquin Menchaca
This is an idea I found for Highforge.
The gnomes are quite paranoid and closely guard their home. All intruders will be dealt with in the swiftest fashion; though after several warnings and as a last resort. As this is one of the last few bastions of Gnomish civilisations, the gnomes closely guard their secrets. If anyone has the pre-boxed Expert Set, there's a map of one of their outpost that guards against intruders wishing to enter Highforge.
But what are the secrets there in Highforge...
Here's one idea:
The Highforge is a city exists within a crater like area within the hills. The gnomes there tell the Karameikan government that this area is a small town, so that the gnomes will not be perceived as a threat. In the middle of the city is the highest point, which contains a magical forge that is able to mould the most durable of substances and a rare special metal with unique properties found within the area. The gnomes share this secret with local Dwarven clans.
Surrounding the city are eight tunnels that go into the subterranean. There are paved roads that lead into these tunnels. Each of these tunnels connects to a underground city. Each of these cities in turn connects to smaller towns. Farther below these cities is a large vast Gnomish city which could be considered the capital of Gnomish civilisation on Mystara.
The gnomes strength is quite strong. They possess the power to conquer Karameikos. However, they would never do this as this would not be in their nature, and also because they would reveal their secret. There is some unknown dark secret out there that seeks to destroy the gnomes.
The gnomes also some day hope to re-conquer their lost territories in southern Soderfjord Jarldoms area. However, the kobold armies, once assisted by an unknown dark force, are very strong.
There were a few Dwarven clans that existed during the early times back before the Kobold invasion. Many of these Dwarven clans accompanied by Gnomish refugees migrated to Highforge and surrounding cities.
As for the unknown dark force..
The Gnomes fought against these folk and have a resistance against their mental abilities. The Modrigswerg had collaborated with these folk in the research of the dark arcane.