Tales of the Bloodstone Lands
Keeper of Secrets under the Mountain, the Silent Keeper, the Mountain Shield
Symbol: A cut, faceted gem inside a mountain (silhouette)
Home Plane: Dwarfhome, Deepshaft Hall
Portfolio: Keeper of metals and other buried wealth (secrets under the earth), the earth’s riches, ores, gems, minerals, mining, exploration, the shield dwarf race, guardian of the dead
Worshippers: Dwarves, gemsmiths, metal. miners
Domains: Knowledge, Death
Favored Weapon: “Magmahammer” [mattock] (maul)
ALLIES: Callarduran Smoothhands, Cyrrollalee, Geb, Gond, Grumbar, Flandal Steelskin, the Dwarven Pantheon (except Abbathor, Deep Duerra, Laduguer), Segojan Earthcaller, Sehanine Moonbow, Skoraeus Stonebones
FOES: Abbathor, Deep Duerra, Kiaransalee, Laduguer, Urdlen, the goblinkin and evil giant pantheons
Dumathoin (DOO-muh-THOE-in) is the Keeper of Secrets Under the Mountain, and he hides the secrets of the earth until deserving and diligent dwarves are ready to be guided to them. He lays veins of iron, copper, gold, silver, and mithral where he feels they will best benefit his followers. He watches over the safety and security of miners of all races and has a special role as the protector of shield dwarves and the creator of the urdunnirin.
Dumathoin created a paradise under the mountains for the shield dwarves when Moradin named him their protector. He shaped natural caverns of great beauty, studded with rich and beautiful deposits of shining metals and glittering outcroppings of crystalline gems. He was angered when the dwarves began to mine the mountains, destroying the beauty he had created. Dumathoin was pleased, flattered, and a little awed, however, when he saw the finely crafted items the dwarves produced from the ores they had mined. He no longer objects to tunneling, mining, or the collecting of treasures underground.
The Silent Keeper frowns, however, on clumsy or crude rock cutting that does not smooth the earth, follow the natural flows, and highlight the individual features of the rocks. Cutting that causes cavern collapses and floodings are even less to his liking, and he is openly angered by those who pillage. Pillagers, in Dumathoin’s eyes, are beings of all races who take the earth’s riches away (in other words, to the surface) for unfair or selfish purposes, taking more than their share and leaving rubble and other messes in their wake.
Dumathoin is friendly with Geb, Flandal Steelskin, Segojan Earthcaller, and other non-dwarven gods of the earth and smithcraft. He supplies non-dwarven gods of blacksmiths with adamantine ore and sometimes does business with the other gods (through his and their priests) for metals and ores as well.
Dumathoin has a non-hostile relationship of some sort with Ilsensine, god of illithids. But aside from the close proximity of their outer planar realms, the exact nature of the relationship is unknown to any other powers, and no such detente exists between the two gods’ followers in the Realms.
The Silent Keeper never speaks, communicating instead with gestures. He has never been known to do more than grunt or sigh (in exertion or pain) in the presence of mortals. Dumathoin may also set subtle clues as to his purposes and the nature of the world beneath the surface, such that only those with keen eyes and wits can perceive them. The Keeper has a stolid patience and tolerance (particularly of non-dwarves and hasty behavior) lacking in most other dwarven deities. However, he is just as patient and implacable an enemy when angered. Most who offend Dumathoin and realize what they have done set at once to loudly and fervently praying for his forgiveness. They frequently offer to make amends by bringing back gems and metal treasures to the place where they offended him – immediately, if possible, or by a specified time otherwise. If they keep this promise, Dumathoin is usually appeased. If they seem forgetful, they had better not ever go near a mountain or cave again!
Although Dumathoin spends much of his time in the Outlands, he uses his stone seeing ability (unlimited range) to keep underground and mountainous areas of Toril under almost constant surveillance.
All dwarves who live in (or venture into) subterranean areas or mountains, or those who work directly with the riches of the earth, worship the Silent Keeper. All dwarven miners and many non-dwarven ones at least appease him, even if they do not fully support him. Miners in the North and dwarves throughout the Realms often carry a small diamond, agate, or other gemstone (of about 10 gp value, but not including octel, shandon, sphene, or rock crystals, for reasons noted above) with them to attract his favor.
Temples and shrines of Dumathoin are commonly found across the North, in dwarven holds such as Adbarrim, Felbarr, Hillsafar Hall, Ironmaster, Mithral Hall, Tethyamar, and the Far Hills. There are also temples in the lands that were once held by the realms of High and Deep Shanatar (now the kingdoms of Amn, Erikazar, Tethyr, and Calimshan). While shrines and temples of Dumathoin are typically found in the holds of the shield dwarves, they are extremely rare among the other dwarven subraces, except for the gold dwarves – in whose realms they are merely uncommon. But the gold dwarves have constructed at least two grand Dumathan houses of worship in the cities of the Deep Realm. Temples of Dumathoin are constructed in the deepest and best-hidden natural caverns, which may be opened up or improved by dwarves without disqualifying them for use. Such caverns are commonly chosen for their veins of precious ores and/or the presence of many gems in the surrounding rock, although the presence of Dumathoin’s hidden gifts is not strictly necessary. At the heart of such temples are simple altars consisting of natural boulders or large stone blocks. Statues of the Silent Keeper, depicting him in his many aspects, line the walls.
Novices of Dumathoin are known as the Uncut. Upon taking the Silent Vow, they become full priests and are known as Keepers of the Shield. In ascending order of rank, the titles used by the Keepers of the Shield are Agate, Onyx, Amethyst, Jargoon, Garnet, Topaz, Opal, Sapphire, and Diamond. The highest ranking priests of Dumathoin are collectively known as Beljurils, but most have unique individual titles as well. Specialty priests are known as delvesonns, a dwarvish word that can be loosely translated at Dumathoin’s hidden gifts.
Walk the deep and silent ways of Dumathoin. Seek out the hidden gifts of the Keeper of Secrets Under the Mountain. That which is hidden is precious, and that which is precious shall stay hidden. Seek to enhance the natural beauty of Dumathoin’s gifts and go with, not against, the contours of the deeps. Beauty is in the discovery and the Grafting, not the holding. Keep the places of our dead inviolate and well-tended; the noble ancestor of our race will neither be robbed nor mocked through the actions of thieves and defilers. Abide not undead creatures, especially those that take the form of dwarves, thus mocking the creation of Moradin.
Priests of Dumathoin seek always to uncover the buried wealth of the earth without marring the beauty of the ways beneath the surface or being overly greedy. They often supervise mining operations and maintain underground safety and security. They work to clean up the rubble of mining, to grow and put in place luminous fungi and edible deep-mosses, and to direct water through the earth to best serve the underlife that includes, of course, dwarves. Priests of this faith are always hunting for new veins of ore, new sources and species of useful fungi, and new delves or underways never explored before. They try to identify encountered dangers and determine strategies to deal with these menaces of the deep places appropriately. They also bargain with other (nonhostile) underground races to avoid over-exploitation of resources.
A priest of Dumathoin is always learning the tiniest details of conditions and life underground. Most priests are therefore invaluable in leading companions through the underways in darkness (for example, when all torches have been used). They can also find water, veins of ore, and cracks or fissures that provide ways out, or can be mined to yield a way from one cavern to another.
As Keeper of Secrets Under the Mountain, Dumathoin is the dwarves’ protector in death. While it may have been otherwise in the early days of dwarven civilization, Dumathoin’s priests have been the primary morticians and tomb protectors since the latter days of Ammarindar, the lost dwarven realm that existed as a contemporary of Netheril. In fact, priests of Dumathoin do their god justice as Keeper of Secrets, for it is incredibly difficult to find dwarven tombs at all, let alone plumb their mysteries.
Holy Days/Important Ceremonies
Nights of new moons and the days to either side of each such a night are considered holy days. They are known collectively as the Deepstone Triad, for the moon is considered to be hidden deep beneath the surface during this time. Also, special holy days known as Splendarrsonn can be decreed by a High Old One of the faith, usually when dwarves discover a major new lode, lost subterranean treasure cache or delve, or something of the sort.
Gems and jewelry are sacrificed to Dumathoin at each celebration of the Deepstone Triad and on all other holy days. Such precious stones are offered up on altars dedicated to the god. Gems sacrificed to the Keeper are pulverized and mixed with certain herbs and fungal secretions to derive a paste that serves to make rock porous, help plant material adhere to it, and provide nourishment for plants in contact with it. With buckets of this acrid, purple-and-green fibrousa paste, priests of Dumathoin creep about the underways painting and planting fungi and other plant life to improve the underground environment.
These improvements include not only beautification of the underground ways, but also concealment of stone dwarven doors, redirection of watercourses to turn water-wheels or fill reservoirs, and so on.
Among the various burial practices used by priests of Dumathoin, there are only three set precepts that must be met. First, the body must be washed, and three or more stone burial tokens – the corpse’s personal mark, the clan’s mark, and Dumathoin’s mark – must be braided into the deceased’s beard. Second, the corpse is clothed in his or her own armor or a light suit of mail burial armor. (No matter what trade a dwarf plied in life, none enters the afterlife unarmored and unreadied.) Finally, the priest presiding over the burial must create a song honoring the dead dwarf’s life and deeds; the song is carved into the lid of the coffin or sarcophagus (or when in a large clan tomb with numerous niches for fallen dwarves, onto the back of a mausoleum seal, a plaque, or a marker covering the recess where the deceased is buried).
The song is never sung out loud in honor of the ever-silent Dumathoin. If someone finds it and speaks or sings it aloud, it is believed that a curse will settle on the one who committed the sacrilege. (Some suggest that the corpse itself might reanimate and smite the offender.)
Burial practices may change slightly to suit particular clans, but a number of alterations in typical burial practices occur upon the passing of a dwarf deserving of special status. In general, there are simply more ceremonies, and more attention is paid to the construction of the tomb. The following are some specific variations that might be found in the burials of important dwarves:
- The burial of a priest is a more convoluted and lengthy process, incorporating aspects of Dumathoin’s worship and that of the god whom the priest served. Priests therefore tend to be buried within well-guarded tombs, and their sarcophagi are surrounded by (if not buried under) tokens and offerings from the priest’s friends and faithful. Priests of Clangeddin or Moradin are often interred with the remains of their greatest conquered adversary, ensuring a grand afterlife of battle against dwarffoes. Unlike many other dwarven tombs, priests’ spells are used heavily in the interment of a priest to protect the remains and offerings (and, some hint, to prevent the gods from calling on their servants after their time has passed).
- Clan allies of any race can be interred within dwarven tombs, but only if they fell in battle defending the allied clan, the tomb, or a place sacred to Dumathoin.
- While others are buried with standard ceremony and accouterments, wizards are always clad in robes made of woven silver and sealed in solid silver sarcophagi (or a burial creche lined with silver); this is due to a superstition born of an old dwarven myth that Dumathoin paid Mystra his weight in silver to garner his faithful protection from the magics that disturb the sleep of the dead. While there is believed to be little truth in this legend, the custom still prevails.
- Clan outcasts (assuming a priest of Dumathoin willing to officiate over their burials can even be found) are buried without a clan mark in their beards, and their coffins or burial place markers often depict the broken or marred symbols of their former clans.
Major Centers of Worship
Aecaurak Splendarrsonn, the Gilded Hall of Glittering Gems, is a vast natural cavern deep in the heart of Mirabar’s mines, on the level known as the Third Below. The Gilded Hall was first consecrated as a temple of Dumathoin millennia ago by King Anarok of the Royal House of the Helm in the dwarven realm of Gharraghaur. The original cavern, located at the nexus of several veins of gold, was expanded centuries ago by the followers of Dumathoin so as to reveal the beauty and brightness of the golden ore without actually extracting it. This gives the impression that the entire cavern is gilded with gold leaf. In addition, thousands of gems have been enchanted so as to float about the chamber, and a few of them serve as the focus of continual light spells, creating a brilliant rainbow of colors throughout the cavern. The current high priest of the Gilded Hall is Voice of the Mountain Agrathan Hardhammer, a prominent Councilor of Mirabar’s elected Council of Sparkling Stones. Both human and dwarven miners attend worship services at Aecaurak Splendarrsonn.
A long-sealed temple of Dumathoin, the Vault of Hidden Silences, still exists on the Lost Level in the depths of Undermountain beneath the city of Waterdeep. A single priest, Bandaerl Dumatheir, son of Rykos, blood of Melair, High Old One of Dumathoin, and protector of Melairbode’s essence (an archlich specialty priest), guards the temple and adjoining crypts of Clan Melairkyn from unwanted interlopers and Halaster’s mischief.
Corundumdelve, the Hidden Gem of the Depths, is a legendary temple of Dumathoin constructed by the urdunnirin tens of miles below the surface of Faerun. Located deep beneath the Alimir mountains of the Almraiven peninsula in eastern Calimshan, this temple remains hidden. Its location has never been revealed, even to the dwarves of Deep Shanatar when that realm was at its height. Unlike conventional temples, the Hidden Gem is not composed of walls, passages, and chambers, but it is actually a vast dodecahedron composed entirely of tightly packed amethysts, rubies, and sapphires, each larger than a dwarven helm. Navigating (or even simply abiding in) the temple requires the ability to pass through stone as if it did not exist, an ability of the urdunnirin and a few High Old Ones of Dumathoin who are capable of casting earth walk.
The Knights of the Mithral Shield, based in Citadel Adbar, is an order of 300 Dumathan crusaders, clerics and fighters. These elite dwarven warrior priests serve as the honor guard of King Harbromm of Adbarrim and, as of the fall of the orc-held Citadel of Many Arrows, King Emerus Warcrown of Felbarr. Each Dumathan knight is sworn to serve the Mountain Shield as protector of the shield dwarves, whom Dumathoin is forever pledged to protect.
Dumathoin’s clergy favor leather garments, whether they be armor or mining gear. They keep their heads bare and wear earth-brown cloaks and over-robes. Like all dwarves, they grow their hair and beards long, but none of the Silent Keeper’s generally hirsute priests braid or trim their hair. The holy symbol of the faith is a miniature silver pick.
Adventuring Garb: In times of likely strife, Dumathoin’s priests garb themselves in the most effective armor and weapons available. The Silent Keeper’s clergy members typically favor picks, hammers, and other mining tools in combat, but they are usually proficient in the use of a wide range of weapons.
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