The Legend of Delthur's Folly


Hidden somewhere in the wild uplands beyond the Selka River, the sinkhole-mine of Delthur’s Folly is a byword among the folk of Dunstone for a fool’s errand doomed to fail.

Fifty years ago or so, the dwarven miner Delthur Madann came to the borderland town of Dunstone. To the north, beyond the safety of Dunstone’s wall and the Selka River, lay the jagged peaks and deep valleys of the Mottled Spire. The dwarf—a scion of fallen Vongyth—sought precious metals he could use to hire and equip mercenaries to aid his folk in taking back their ancestral home from its new draconic overlords.

When Delthur declared he was to travel north into the Mottled Spire in search of treasure he was widely derided as mad—the Mottled Spire was an inhospitable place full of danger and hardship. Stubbornly he went anyway, and disappeared into the wilderness for over a year.

He returned with wild tales of a deep sinkhole, a dark and cold lake and a hidden mine. To prove the veracity of his tale, Delthur brought back fist-sized nuggets of gold and silver! He would tell no one where his mine was, but recruited a small band of hardy miners before disappearing back into the wilderlands.

That was the last anyone in Dunstone saw of Delthur Madann or his band for over a year. Eventually, one of the miners staggered back into town. Badly injured, raving and half-mad the lone survivor of Delthur’s expedition spoke of marauding orcs, Delthur’s descent into madness and the “water’s sibilant whispers”. The miner died shortly thereafter without revealing the mine’s exact location or any other news of the expedition. Delthur—and the rest of the miners—were assumed dead and the expedition consigned to history. Among locals, the entire affair became known as “Delthur’s Folly”.

Occasionally, adventuring bands set forth from Dunstone with the stated intent of finding Delthur’s lost mine, but none who returned ever reported success. Now locally, the phrase “Delthur’s Folly” has become synonymous with obviously doomed, badly-thought out plans and expeditions. In Dunstone, a “Scion of Delthur” is one marked for an early, foolish death in the lands beyond the Selka River. Many adventurers have thus been named over the long years since Delthur’s disappearance.