Description: Garel Enkdal is built within a series of enormous limestone caves, though the great central cavern where most of the population resides, is not entirely natural. The outer walls and vaulted ceilings in the main cave soar some 200' high, and appear as if a magical segmented sphere had once filled this chamber and has since been reclaimed by strange pinkish-blue stalactites that twist and hang down over the city (most do not notice this oddity or ascribe it to Gruumsh). There is no major light sources in the city as all its denizens are adapted to the gloom of the caverns. The city is a ramshackle assortment of tents, dwellings, and stone buildings. There is shallow underground streams and pools accessible to the cavern system as well as rocky corridors leading further into the Under-Oerth.
The grand central city cavern meanwhile, is home to over 20,000 of Garel Enkdal's inhabitants. There is a central road through here that ends at a black iron gate leading to the heavily defended Temple of Gruumsh. Most of the city's armor, blacksmithing, and weapon production is done here while hundreds of poor orcs scrape about in the alleys looking for work or food. The upper class of orc society dwells here as well; courtiers, artisans, musicians, courtesans and the like strut about in their finery and look down on the dregs of the city. Due to city's long period of cultural growth, even shamans and minor wizards are not uncommon here. Given that all the citizens of Garel Enkdal belong to the Bloodied Blade tribe, and worship Gruumsh exclusively, there is generally little rivalry and discord that the constantly patrolling city guard can't put down.
The Great Temple of Gruumsh: This cavern holds the largest building in Garel Enkdal, part of which is a vast temple that can hold thousands. In the building's courtyard is the feared Black Obelisk, an imposing needle of obsidian, 20-feet tall and marked with runes, with a single stone eye perched atop it which is said to beam a reddish light when it spots non-believers. Further inside there is more altars, shrines and the adjoining chambers of the ruling chieftain's family and court. There is also a throne room where the high-priest/chieftain sits upon a high-backed obsidian seat decorated with skulls and skins of monsters. Near this throne is an ominous 14-foot tall statue of Gruumsh, and the profane chill of the mysterious Blackwell.
Recent History: Garel Enkdal's patience paid off around 588 CY when Sevvord Redbeard, the ruler of Stonehold snapped out of the magical spell Iuz had placed on him. Enraged by this revelation, Sevvord slew his Iuz's agents, then abandoned most of Tenh, withdrawing the majority of his Fists back north through Thunder Pass to avert a Suel Barbarian incursion into his homeland. Sometime before 591 CY Sevvord and the Fists returned victorious only to find their tiny capital Vlekstaad had been burned to the ground with no survivors, and many captured or missing. Assuming this was the work of the Suel (it was in fact Rovers of the Barrens led by Tang the Horrific), and weathered from several years of war, Stonehold was further incensed to action, but it needed to start rebuilding. As Gruumsh foretold, this moment of weakness would be the perfect opportunity for the Bloodied Blade tribe to finally strike out from its hidden city.
Expansion of Garel Enkdal: In 592 CY a well-armed and trained army of the strongest fighters in Garel Enkdal marched forth from the Griff Mountains into Stonehold. At the vanguard of this horde was an elite force called the Phalanx and shamans of Gruumsh. The main body of the horde was comprised of orc fighters bearing a variety of weapons from swords to pikes. Most notably however, the army of Garel Enkdal included a huge contingent of crossbowmen. Lastly, mixed among this steely horde was a few dozen ogre shock troops eager to fight. Even the battle-hardened Fists of Stonehold could not break this horde, losing every skirmish. In the end Sevvord eventually abandoned half-ruined Vlekstaad by sea while many others retreated into the tundra and forests at the mere sight of the bloody banner of Gruumsh. Giving chase, the horde divided and expanded out north falling short of Bastro, yet to the east Purmill was easily occupied.
With Stonehold's most inhabitable territory under control, the bulk of the horde then turned south to Thunder Pass and met with reinforcements from Garel Enkdal where they descended upon the unaware city of Calbut. After much fierce fighting with the garrisoned Fists there, the northern highlands of Tenh and the valuable pass through the Griff Mountains was now part of Garel Enkdal. Phalanx commanders wisely held back from expanding further south where forces of Iuz, the Pale, and Tenh still battled over the rest of the duchy. The presence of a huge, largely unknown orc army to the north would give these factions pause however, especially after it became evident from slaughtered Iuz emissaries that they were not allies of the Old One. At this point Garel Enkdal stopped its advances to establish its new territories, putting its human subjects to work at sending even more resources back to their underground city. The Bloodied Blade tribe also resumed the reconstruction of Vlekstaad, which this time would be the first port of the new Domain of Garel Enkdal.
Special thanks to Ken Frank. His illustrations in Five Shall Be One and many other Sargent era modules are a defining feature of Greyhawk published history.