The cleft of earth that stretches south from the foot of Kelvin’s Cairn is known to the people of Icewind Dale as the dwarven valley. For almost as long as people have been fishing the lakes, the dwarves of Clan Battlehammer have been living in the valley and mining its depths. Visitors who stand at the valley’s edge can see the dwarven tunnels running in rows along the walls, connected by narrow walkways, and hear the faint ringing of hammer strikes carried on the wind. Those who pick their way down the dizzying switchback at Daledrop are transported to a different realm entirely.
Gone is the howling glacial wind, replaced by the clangorous echoes ofaxes striking on steel, hammers pounding out iron, and picks chipping away at the mountain’s stone. The wide-open expanses of the lakes and tundra are replaced by the towering walls of the valley, blocking out any sight of the surrounding lands. Even the craggy profile ofKelvin’s Cairn is transformed by the view from the valley floor. What others think of as the mountain is, to the dwarves, simply its peak.
At first glance, the valley at the foot of the mountain often seems desolate. No buildings or other signs of habitation are evident except for the stone stairs and walkways carved into the cliffside. It is behind those walls of stone, hidden from view, that the dwarves of Kelvin’s Cairn go about their daily lives.