Highhelm rises above ancient dwarven holdings in the Darklands of the Five Kings Mountains. Highhelm was the crown jewel of the dwarven empire of Tar Taargadth in the late years of the Age of Destiny. The first-built structures were Emperor’s Peak, which formed the basis of the city itself. This ancient foundation of the metropolis winds through the entire mountain before its tunnels finally enter the fortress-city most people refer to when they speak of Highhelm. This fortress-city is the most populous and is also known as the King’s Crown. It consists of the Inner City within the mountain and the Outer City. The Inner City is carved into a colossal cavern with 100-foot-tall ceilings supported by huge pillars and arches. A low siege wall, known as the Second Wall, encircles the cavern and is connected to the main siege wall, the Plummet Wall, which rests at the end of the Outer City. The Outer City, known also as the Ledge, is built out of the cavern, on a broad plane several hundreds feet wide the dwarves cut on the mountain around the cavern of the Inner City.
The majority of Highhelm’s population live in the Inner City. Neatly planned streets connect rows of private dwellings, shops and alehouses. From these streets, a number of long staircases climb the great stone hill known as King’s Motte. Tiers cut into its sharp incline support a half-dozen impressive stone keeps, including the Council Building, the Scepter Building, the Trade Consulate Building, and the Stonehall, the carved palace from which High King reigns. In the east wall of Inner City’s cavern, a large hole known as the Dawnhole allows sunlight to enter from dawn to noon, while a similarly carved hole, known as the Duskhole, in the west wall allows light to enter in the latter part of the day. The time of the day the sunlight pierces neither hole, the cavern goes almost completely dark, and is called blacknoon.
Beneath the King’s Crown tunnels weave through earth and stone connecting thousands of halls and chambers. These lower levels are known as the Depths and attract goblins, orcs and other enemies. Groups of Skyseekers are sent into the Depths to map unknown sections, recover artifacts and keep the area secure.