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by Giampaolo Agosta from Threshold Magazine issue 16

Dwarves, gnomes and hin

Welcome to the sixteenth issue of Threshold Magazine, dear reader! In this issue, we focus on the short folk, dwarves, gnomes and halflings. In Mystara, dwarves and gnomes are the last descendants of an ancient race, which did not survive long after the Great Rain of Fire, whereas halflings are immigrants from the southern continent. The dwarves' history has been marked by periods of expansionism and even imperial ambitions, whereas halflings have often beenoppressed by orcs, humans, and even dwarves. Gnomes are the least common ofthe three races, at least in the Known World.

Each of the three races has something that makes it unique when compared to the dwarves, gnomes, and halflings of other settings. For dwarves, I would point to the complex political scenario of Rockhome, where clans are more like political partiesthan extended families. For gnomes, to the massive Earthshakers, a technology that exceeds the capabilities of gnomes in most settings. For halflings, to their connection with the mysterious force, the Blackflame.

In this issue, we explore the three races both in the modern setting and in the past age of 2300 BC, as introduced in GazBC1, "The Shimmering Lands". Furthermore, as our recurring megadungeon, Koskatep, concluded its 13th and last level in Issue 15, we introduce not one but two recurring adventures: another megadungeon, Loktal's Vault, and an adventure path.

Our treatment of the dwarves, gnomes and halflings of Mystara begins with the second part of G. Caroletti's historical treatise on dwarves and gnomes, covering the period between the XIII century BC and the present day. We delve more into historical and modern dwarves and gnomes with a coverage of Rockhome campaigns, a gazetteer of the gnomish kingdom of Highforge, an NPC from the Shimmering Lands, and the lost dwarven city of Darmouk.

This issue is also characterised by the presence of several adventure scenarios. We range from a dwarven mine in Karameikos (Dwarven Mine of Kurest Hurgon) to one in the Five Shires (The Disappearance of Jebediah Gallidox), to the return of the hin pirate tomb (The Tomb of Thob Shanwood).

We also introduce a new adventure path,Engdyr's Game, set in the distant past of the Shimmering Lands. We round up the issue with the second part of the Unknown World Trail Map series, which covers the population of Rockhome, Ylaruam, and the Northern Reaches, as well as with two short articles detailing the effect of the meteor impact in the Great Crater, and a location in the Sea of Dread.

Giampaolo Agosta (Agathokles)

Issue #16 Editor-in-Chief