Songs of Varen
Monadrin is the sister city of Hrokilnn. While these two were once equal in majesty and influence, Monadrin has become increasingly less central to dwarven culture and trade. This is perhaps due to its homogeneity and traditional sensibilities, though locals tout these same qualities as exactly why Monadrin is the grander of the two cities. Its lord, Prince Rubor, is the uncle of King Angi IV of Hrokilnn. Prince Rubor, once a dwarf warlord of legendary prowess, still has the impatience of his youth but his ferocity has waned over time. He lost his wife to a sudden illness almost 60 years ago, and, so it is whispered, has never been the same since.
Monadrin still hosts some of the finest stone craftsmen of the age, and thus prospers in its own way, largely independent from any other cities in the Splintered Kingdoms. It is one of the most homogenous of the great cities, with the following demographics: 98% dwarves, 1.8% humans and half-dwarves, and 0.2% other races. For comparison, Hrokilnn is 70-80% dwarves.
The city itself suffers from chronic dwarven problems. Chief among them, an overconsumption of alcohol, for its breweries are potent and a favorite pastime of the locals. In fact, some jokingly say Monadrin’s favorite sport is watching visitors try the Crimson Dragon, a drink aptly named for the fire and danger it poses to the unsuspecting.
Although rarely militarily active (at least in the past century), Monadrin has the most competent and intimidating armada known. Such a reputation stems from the Hammermast, the central ships in the armada. The Hammermast is a very low-lying oared warship with a very deep hull (for stability) and a mast-like structure near its center. This mast is, effectively, a giant stone-headed hammer, stored with its head belowdeck. During an attack, the dwarves onboard use a series of pulleys and cranks to hoist the hammer up, elevated above the deck, then to rotate the hammer such that its weighted head is above the mast-like shaft. At this point, the hammer latches into place against a brace. With the cutting of a rope, the brace is released and the hammer comes crashing down, smashing everything adjacent to this warship on that side. Should this hit, it will splinter and destroy any but the largest warship. Even against these ships, the damage is irreparable, and the mast functions as a gangway for the dwarven army to board the rival ship.