Gnome Village (AR8004)

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1 - Arrival

After dispatching the Umber Hulks at the end of the Gnome Pit, you can follow their tunnels to this hidden Svirfneblin village. One of the gnomes will approach you and introduce himself as Beorn, Eighth Facet of Callarduran, before warning you that he means business if you intend on hurting the Svirfneblin refugees here. If you mention that you gave Tarnelm food and that he told you how to reach the village, Beorn seems satisfied that you don't pose a threat. He welcomes you to rest here in the village and asks you to visit him later in their temple to the northeast.

2 - Nym

Nym is a dark elf merchant peddling his wares to the needy here in these caverns. Ask him to see his wares to find that he sells some very nice equipment, such as the Staff of Moradin's Breath and Viol of the Hollow Men. He also offers a Cage of Exotic BIrds and a Cage of Squirrels, both of which you should purchase. These two items can be brought to Valestis on the fourth floor of Corellon Tower in the Severed Hand for a considerable amount of experience.

If you've paid Dirty Llew to craft you a Rhino Beetle Shield and have it in your inventory, Nym will spot it and offer to enchant it. At first, he asks for 30,000 gold pieces for such a service. Tell him how outrageous that price is and he instead asks for 33,000 gold pieces with the promise that he'll also give you a "beautiful magical dagger" (a Dagger +2, as it turns out). If you tell him you don't want the dagger and just want the shield enchanted, he'll lower his price to 28,000 gold pieces. Unfortunately, that's as low as he'll go. If you decide to pay him, he asks that you return in "a tenday" to pick up your newly enchanted shield. When ten days have passed, return to Nym and he'll present you with Nym's Rhino Beetle Shield. If you feel like you've been robbed, see the paragraph below for a way to get your money back.

It's also worth noting that if you ask Nym about where his merchant career has taken him over the years, he'll tell you that he stole the darthiir and dwarven artifacts from the treasury of Dorn's Deep and sold them to the goblinoid armies. This basically means that he's single-handedly responsible for the war between the elves and dwarves and the destruction of the Severed Hand and Dorn's Deep. If you threaten to make him pay for this, he casts Dimension Door and teleports himself in the center of the ring of stones at area #5. Nobody seems to care if you chase him down and kill him at his new location. If you paid him to have your Rhino Beetle Shield enchanted, then you'll find your shield and all the gold you paid him on his corpse.

3 - Safehaven

If your party needs to rest, this quiet, well-kept house is the perfect place to do so.

4 - Dirty Llew

On the other side of the village, you'll encounter a Duergar merchant named Dirty Llew (a nickname spawned from his "fondness for the ladies", or so he says). Dirty Llew doesn't have as many high profile items as Nym, but he does have some Umber Hulk Plate and quite a few handy potions for sale.

Llew also knows some craftsmen that are capable of transforming a Rhino Beetle Shell (the ones you picked up in the Gnome Pit) into a shield, though it will cost you 10,000 gold pieces to do so. Hand him the gold payment and he'll ask you to return in three days to pick up your nifty new shield. If you don't want to have to worry about returning, just go to the safehaven at area #3 and rest for 72 hours. When three days have passed, Dirty Llew presents you with a Rhino Beetle Shield. If you don't think the shield is worthwhile, pay a visit to Nym over on the west side of the village and inquire about his knack for enchanting items.

5 - Standing Stones

After you first speak with Beorn, he will run off to the center of this ring of stones. Apparently these stones are a makeshift temple to Callarduran Smoothhands, the god of Beorn's people. Their god is unable to help them with two problems, though. Beorn tells you that Malavon has been using his army of Umber Hulks in an attempt to find this camp and it's only a matter of time before they are eventually discovered. On top of that, their Ruby priest, Guello, was captured by Seth (Marketh's henchman) and brought to work in the Salamander Mines. Beorn wants you to rescue Guello from the mines and help protect the village from the Umber Hulks when they've found it.

When you've killed all of the Salamanders and their king, Shikata, Guello will escape from the mines and you'll find him standing next to Beorn in the center of the standing stones. Beorn and Guello will both thank you, and you'll receive 80,000 experience points for performing the rescue. Unfortunately, I don't think there's any way to "finish" the task of defending the Svirfneblin from the Umber Hulks. At least you'll get some personal satisfaction out of killing the Umber Hulks around Lower Dorn's Deep... right?