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At the end of the Age of Darkness (ca. -4987 AR), the dwarves emerged on the surface world, ending their century-long exodus from the Darklands (see Quest for Sky)[1]. In order to make a mark upon their new-found home and establish an enduring dwarven presence, they built the Sky Citadels, fortified cities and massive engineering feats.[2] Typically metropolis-sized creations, they were decorated ornately in the dwarven fashion, and contained many murals and depictions of events from the Quest for Sky. They were almost exclusively of stone, and such is their craftsmanship that time has only slightly worn away their splendor.[citation needed]

Although ten citadels were built in total, only a few have survived intact to the present day, and fewer still are held by the dwarves. In the years following the end of the Quest for Sky many of the cities were overcome by the very creatures of the Darklands the stout folk had displaced during their quest. These battles continued for millennia, with the tides of war flowing back and forth, until a final push of orcish power in 1551 AR overwhelmed many of the remaining dwarven holdings.[3]

Surviving Sky Citadels[]

Only a few of the original Sky Citadels are held by the dwarves to the present day. The others lie either in complete ruin, or are overrun by enemies. Those still actively inhabited by the dwarves maintain connections to the Darklands realm of Nar-Voth. They are all heavily guarded and patrolled.[2]

Dongun Hold
Located in Alkenstar, this city is connected by the Bridge of the Gods to Alkenstar City.[2]
Located in the Five Kings Mountains, this city remains the center of dwarven culture in Avistan to this day.[4]
Located in Varisia's Mindspin Mountains.[2]
Located in the Hold of Belkzen, this citadel fell to the orcs in the Battle of Nine Stones, and is generally known as Urgir. Few outside the dwarven community are aware of the fact that it once belonged to the dwarves.[2]
In modern day Nirmathas
Located in the World's Edge Mountains in Taldor.[2]