Bordinar's Cleft

Bordinar's Cleft Adventuring Quests

Bordinar's Cleft is the last bastion of Dwarven Civilization on Telon, and is located in the zone by the same name. The Dwarves sculpted this city deep inside the Widow’s Veil Mountain Range after being forced to abandon the city which is now known as Dargun's Tomb.

Factions & PoliticsEdit

King Mithdor Flamehammer

The Flamehammer clan has ruled the Dwarven people for a very long time, indeed the current King Mithdor Flamehammer is the oldest recorded Dwarf to have ever lived. Despite this, and the fact that the Dwarves have a fairly simple monarchy, they are not the only political force at work in the city. The Thunderaxe family is very wealthy, very powerful, and at times borders on openly rebellious against the wishes of the crown. There is longstanding strife between the Flamehammer and Thunderaxe clans, which it is hoped will finally be ended with the currently planned marriage of Gwealla Thunderaxe and Prince Dargand Flamehammer. There are also two coexisting, but competing military groups in the city: The Hearthguard, and the Bloodsworn. The Hearthguard are sanctioned by King Flamehammer and train young Dwarves to defend Bordinar's Cleft against any who might threaten her. The Bloodsworn believe a more offensive strategy is needed to deal with the multitude of threats currently facing the Dwarven people, and forsake their clans and families, swearing themselves to go out and destroy all enemies of Bordinar's Cleft or die trying.


Bordinar's Cleft was founded after the loss of the previous Dwarven ancestral home, which is now known as Dargun's Tomb, after then-king Dargun Flamehammer. It has since stood as the greatest and only real bastion of power for the seemingly-cursed Dwarves of Telon. Themwar's Shield, a mighty dam, was built to create the fertile valley known as Rindol Field, and an age-old agreement was made with the Halflings to provide food for the city, in exchange for protection and maintenance of the dam. This agreement has recently come under some strain.

Locations Within Bordinar's CleftEdit

  • Dargun's Hammer - The main gate and the main hall of Bordinar's Cleft are referred to as Dargun's Hammer. Its grand architecture is breathtaking, and at its center stands a large statue of King Dargun Flamehammer, after whom this hall is named.
    • Chamber of Petition - The Chamber of Petition is the Dwarven throne room, where King Mithdor Flamehammer hears the concerns and petitions of his clan elders, and of foreign emissaries. Two emissaries are currently visiting Bordinar's Cleft, one representing House Remniol of New Targonor, and the other representing the High Elves of Leth Nurae.
    • Westhearth - Westhearth is a hold branching off of the northern side of Dargun's Hammer, which houses various Dwarven clans.
    • Royal Delving - The Royal Delving is a hold branching off of the northern side of Dargun's Hammer, which houses various Dwarven clans.
    • Easthearth - Easthearth is a hold branching off of the northern side of Dargun's Hammer, which houses various Dwarven clans.
  • Thunderaxe Hold - Thunderaxe Hold is a large hold belonging to the Thunderaxe clan, and is where they make their residence. It is located in the northern section of the city, near the Arena of the Bloodsworn and the Sanctum of the Sacred Flame.
  • Sanctum of the Sacred Flame - The Sanctum of the Sacred Flame is a large worship hall focused on a grand hearth, in which resides a sacred blue flame said to have been kindled by Alurad himself. The sanctum is the center of Dwarven worship.
  • Arena of the Bloodsworn - The Arena of the Bloodsworn is the city's amphitheater, adopted by the somewhat fanatical Bloodsworn, and used primarily as an arena for combat challenges and amusements.
  • Thunderaxe Mines (collapsed) - The Thunderaxe mines were once highly profitable, but have since caved in mysteriously. Their now-inaccessible entrance is on the southern side of Dargun's Hammer, and just across from the rear entrance to Darkbrew's Tavern.
  • Darkbrew's Tavern - Darkbrew's Tavern is a large drinking hall run by Yargor Darkbrew and his clan, and has entrances from Dargun's Hammer, and the southern tunnel which branches off of it.
  • Hall of Creation - Located in the southern tunnel which branches off of Dargun's Hammer, the Hall of Creation is the center of Dwarven smithing and other craft-works. Its entrance is conveniently just across the hall from Darkbrew's Tavern.
  • Anvilfist Stables - Located next to Darkbrew's Tavern, in the southern tunnel from Dargun's Hammer, Anvilfist Stables houses all of the horses and dire boars used by the city's many residents. It is run by Hargans Anvilfist, and named for his family.
  • Merchant's Hold - The southernmost chamber of Bordinar's Cleft is the Merchant's Hold and houses the impressive Bordinar's Exchange, as well as various other shops, and a warehousing and shipping area.
    • Bordinar's Exchange - A large and impressive storage vault and auctioning area, Bordinar's Exchange is the only part of the Merchant's Hold with its own full chamber. Banking and exchange needs can be handled here.
    • Glanar's Goods - Glanar's Goods sells a variety of general and sundry goods, as well as fashionable clothing and cloaks.
    • Ironhammer's Weapons - Ironhammer's Weapons are the best in the city, and in a city full of Dwarven smiths, that's saying something!
    • Thunderaxe General Goods - As well as general goods, the Thunderaxe family also sells light armor and harvesting supplies in their shop.
    • Borin's Specialty Armor - As well as standard heavy and medium armors, Borin's Specialty Armor also handles the sale of city-specific faction armor.
  • The Western Watch - The western and "rear" entrance to Bordinar's Cleft finds itself facing the front-lines of undead territory, and is kept fully manned at all times to defend against attack. None are supposed to leave or enter the city this way without approval from King Mithdor Flamehammer himself.

Developer CommentsEdit

Note: The web site has been redesigned, and the article is no longer available. You can find an archive here on the Internet Archive.

"When I started building Bordinar's Cleft back in 2003, Keith Parkinson's vision for this area was grandiose to say the least. We didn't want to create a typical dwarven city that everyone has already seen and read about. On the other hand, we didn't want to stray from the known lore. When you walk through the front gates I wanted the players to feel like they have just entered something grand and that this is a race you don't want to mess with. They take their culture, history, fighting and people very seriously.

The architectural style of this area was really important to hash out at the beginning. Keith had envisioned that the dwarves had not so much "built" the city as much as they burrowed into the mountain and "sculpted" the city. I chose the classical architectural style and loosely blended elements of Celtic decor and iconography. After experimenting with several different architectural styles, the classic arch and keystone style with girthy columns just seemed to fit. I like to makeup as I'm building. For example, the dwarves were forced to leave their previous home of what is now known as Dargun's Tomb and took up residence here at the Cleft. Since the style of Bordinar's Cleft was already established and assuming that the dwarves followed a similar path of architectural progression that we did, I built Dargun's Tomb using the gothic style to follow our own evolution. Anyway, I don't want to bore you with an art history lecture.

It's impossible to build an area several years before the launch of a game and anticipate all the advancements of computer hardware and new code that will be put in the engine. Since Bordinar's Cleft was built so early in Vanguard's development, it has been revisited to modify and add new elements and capabilities that developed over the progress of the game. We learned a lot about organization and workflow from this place. I think the biggest challenge was the management of the Maya scene file. It has been added to and modified so many times and by so many artists that it has become a nightmare to open and navigate." - Matt McCulloch (artist)

"I actually came onto this starting village after the initial work had been done by Matt McCulloch. I worked on a lot of the object population around the city and a few of the rooms that you see in these screen shots. The throne room and the antechamber are what I am most proud of for the area. I wanted these to look imperial and grand, to make all characters (not just the dwarfs) to feel small when they walked into these rooms. I also created a good portion of the statues you see in the temples, the hallways, and just about everywhere else. These were fun (but time consuming) to make. The dwarves are great craftsmen, and it should show with everything they’ve built.

The architecture conveys this the most…hands down. To be honest that style had been established before I started working on the city, so I was imitating a precedent that had already been created. Matt M did a great job creating the feeling of the dwarven city.

The throne room was my favorite part. We were crunching at the time when I worked on this, and that throne and throne room where done in about 2 days. One of the fastest things I’ve done here and actually been satisfied with." - Nathan Brock (artist)

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.