From Raven's Gate to Durnore
If you reached the western Raven's Gate and met Osgood, you'll have the option to have paid 50 gold pieces to be transported directly to Durnore, in which case you'll already have arrived near the entrance at the foot of the Hammerlore Mountains.
|Osgood will take you from Raven's Gate to Durnore for 50 gold if you don't want to explore.|
|Walking around in blizzards in the far north can cause freezing damage|
If you headed west from the west Raven's Gate exit instead, you'd find another mostly desolate expanse on the map beyond, but with a den of snowy wolves at the far southwestern corner. You can return here for another nonviolent quest that you can receive in Durnore, so it might be best to wait until then.
House of the Invisible Alchemist:
The northeastern map contains a memorable discovery in the central/northern area a short way past the snowy forest in the east: After crossing Hellice Lake, you'll find a well-kept house in the snow, and if you enter it, you'll receive the message: "This cottage sits on the northern side of Hellice Lake and is a welcome reprieve from the blistering cold. Upon stepping in you see that the cabin is empty- yet you have the strangest feeling that someone is watching you."
|The house of the invisible alchemist|
|Examining this journal page will add the alchemical recipe for an invisibility potion to your alchemy book (though you can still brew one if you have sufficient Alchemy skill and the required reagents even without the recipe).|
The Durnore Region
If you arrived on foot by crossing the snowy expanses, then you'll probably have arrived here by heading west of the northwestern Hellice Lake map, and will find snowy evergreen forests along the craggy mountainsides of the Hammerlorne Mountains.
|Entering the Dwarven mountain town of Durnore|
There is an obelisk you can examine to add Durnore to your quick-travel destinations near the entrance at the gates. (You'll already have arrived near here if you paid Osgood 50 gold to transport you here.) The first building inside the walls is Duuna's Northwind Alehouse, which you can visit to buy some useful mercantile items or rent a room.
|Horshum the Dwarf Alchemist|
You'll meet the Dwarven Lord in a guarded throne room in a small keep built against the cliff-faces here. Brumbleton is very civil to you considering that most dwarves don't trust outsiders, and will even offer you a side quest called "The Quest of the Snow Pup."
Brumbleton will tell you about the den of the snow wolf queen Shebara, which is in the far southwestern corner of Hellice Lake. The snow wolves are a symbol of the land of Durnore, but they are also wild and dangerous, and Brumbleton hopes that by domesticating a single snow wolf pup, he and the dwarves can stop the wild snow wolves from being as hostile to them in wilderness encounters. He'll consequently offer you a reward if you can handle the delicate task of stealing into Shebara's den without harming her, and removing a single snow pup for them to raise in Durnore.
You can find the den by traveling to the southwestern Hellice Lake map: Most of the Red Wolves you'll encounter in the open snowy plains (and even more of near the den) are at least slightly susceptible to a high-level casting of Sparkling Wonder, and you can also keep them from penning you in by leading them away from the den and then using the Haste spell (or Haste potions), if you don't have enough stealth of invisibility to slip in unseen.
|Shebara the queen snow wolf, and her den where you can find a Snow Pup|
If you bring Brumbleton one snow pup to domesticate without harming Shebara, he'll reward you with 750 gold and 2000 experience points, remarking that one pup will hardly be missed, but that if you'd taken more than one, it would probably have brought the pack down on Durnore.
Obtaining the Key to the Hammerlorne Mines (Crux of Fire):
The locked chamber behind Brumbledon's throne room is the only place we know of where you can get a key to the Hammerlorne Grand Hall & Mines, assuming you're playing Eschalon Book II without killing any one. (The only other way to obtain such a key would have been to slay Sparrow, but you won't have to fight with her at all if you use this method instead.)
The bad news is that you won't be able to be completely straightforward with Brumbleton and the Hammerlorne Dwarves: The Guild of Crius Vindica has given you the mandatory quest to seek out and recover the Crux of Fire, and this is considered a closely guarded sacred relic inside the Hammerlorne Mines.
Fortunately you'll never have to kill or injure a single dwarf (either here or inside the mines), and by using some stealth, alchemy, or magick to briefly become invisible and pick the locked door here in Brumbledon's throne room, you'll be able to sneak into his private bedchambers and steal a key to the Hammerlorne Grand Hall & Mines from Brumbledon's trapped chest. (Doing so will solve the quest "The Crux of Fire: A meeting with Sparrow" and reward you with 1000 xp, and you can leave Sparrow alive and unharmed back in Broken Blade.)
|The Hammerlorne Key in Brumbleton's locked and trapped treasure chest|
(If you're fully invisible via a spell or potion while you're meddling with the lock, you may receive a notice that Brumbleton and his guards "hear a crime being committed," but they won't know it's you unless they see you in the act.) Closing the door behind you after after you sneak in to the rear chamber should prevent the dwarves from coming in and catching you at the chest, even if you need to make some noise to deal with the trapped chest.
Inside Brumbledon's bedroom, you'll find a chest with a trap in it, which you can disarm or trigger by throwing projectiles at the chest before approaching it yourself. (If you're a mage, a low-level casting of Fire Dart should work for this if you're persistent.) When it's safe to open the chest, you'll find the Hammerlorne Key inside, along with a bar of gold, warhammer, and scale boots. (We only took the key, and then re-cast invisibility to exit the chamber so that Brumbleton and his guards never saw us come out.) Grabbing the key will solve "The Crux of Fire: A meeting with Sparrow" and reward you with 1000 experience points, advancing your quest book to "The Crux of Fire: On to Hammerlorne."
|The Grand Hall on Hammerlorne Mountain, your next destination...|
|The Hammerlorne Key will open this rear door to the Grand Hall...|