Thrice The Brinded Cat
The ancient dwarven stronghold was built 650 years ago by dwarven and gnomish artisans working with Surabar Spellmason in his campaign against Nabthatoron abd the hordes of the Demonskar. The dwarvish architech, Dromlin Mortarsblud, discovered the old dormant caldera that is now Cauldron and suggested to Surabar that it could be a more defensible position than the more open Redgorge, with its wooden palisade walls.
Surabar agreed and tasked Dromlin and his army of dwarven and gnomish architects and stonemasons to raise walls surrounding the rim of the caldera. Once there, the dwarves began excavating massive blocks of malachite for the walls. At some point, the dwarves dug deep enough that they filled in the resulting cavity at the edge of Bluecrater lake with a fortress of their own, which they named the Malachite Hold.
The industrious gnomes would not be outdone, and under the leadership of Baldo Stelunkin, they formed their own set of artisan workshops right on top of the dwarven Hold. The gnomes eventually named their massive expanse of workshops and foundries, Jzadirune.
Surabar built his military operation on the grounds level with Bluecrater Lake’s shoreline, eventually building right on top of the gnomish city. After the defeat of Nabthatoron, Surabar’s army and followers remained in what is now Cauldron City.
The Malachite Hold has long been the gathering place of all things dwarven in Cauldron. The dwarves always had a king that was usually a hereditary position – passed down from father to son. The dwarves of the Hold were known for their piousness and devotion to their god, and it was said Moradin was so pleased with the residents of the Hold that he, personally, visited them on many occasions and was fond of watching over their great forgeworks and blessing their craft at metal shaping.
Many stories exist of nightmares traveling up from the Underdark in an effort to capture, kill, enslave or just eat those who lived above ground – only to be met at the gates of the Hold (where it gets its name) and repulsed by the mighty dwarves who lived there.
Apparently a break in the royal line lead to civil war among the dwarves in 186 CY. Martorn Helmsmark claimed rights to the throne as his sister-in-law was the great-great grand niece of the late king’s late grand-uncle. Half the dwarves in the Hold agreed this link was too thin and the High Priest Delkin Boorsmal rallied the Church of Moradin to claim rulership over the Hold. In the end, the followers of Delkin removed the statue of Moradin from the Hold and took it out to the jungle somewhere.
It was at that point when the dwarves agreed Moradin had abandoned them as the priests and paladins on Moradin lost their spells and the craftsmen faced much trouble at the forge. For the dwarves of Cauldron, all hope was lost.
The dwarves left the Malachite Hold at that point – leaving it defenseless. The Gnomes of Jzadirune permanently sealed the Grande Stair that connected the two cities, as they were both unwilling and unable to defend that perilous connection to the Underdark.
Eventually, both dwarven factions dissolved and blended into the rest of the Cauldron populace or moved to Sasserine and beyond in search of a more worthy clan. Others fled to the mines outside of town. Only the Splintershield family has ever kept the faith and remembered the Hold and the glory days when Moradin himself strode amongst the dwarves and gave strength to their Great Forge!
In recent years, Zenith Splintershield took a band of dwarves down to the Malachite Hold for reasons unknown.