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Gracklstugh (Duergar City) Clans Out of the Abyss Explained

Gracklstugh (Duergar City) Clans Out of the Abyss Explained
About to run the city of Gracklstugh and need things made easy?
Here is an easy breakdown of Gracklstugh (Duergar City) Clans Out of the Abyss Explained!

Gracklstugh: A hot and sweaty city, and not in a good way if you know what I mean.

Or more officially:

Visitors to the duergar city of Grackstugh are greeted by its hot and acrid air, followed by the angry red glare of the eternally burning smelters fueling the cities metalworks. Its clanging heart and the forges kept alive by the flames of Themberchaud, the red dragon that holds the title of Wyrmsmith. Grackstugh toils endlessly, its smiths churning out the best armour and weapons among the undderdark races. Those who do business here refer to Gracklestugh as “The City of Blades”.

– Out of The Abyss Handbook

We may as well start with the layout of the city, as you may know, there is a class system and duality that is literally built into the city with a wide crevice in the middle. You might not think this is really that important, but it helps break the clans down and makes things easier to understand.

For the most part, the super hoity-toity and higher-up clans are located on the south side of the map. The lesser clans and common folks are more north, the visitors are mostly corralled the furthest north (The Shattered Spire, Darklake Docks, Blade Bazaar, Overlake Hold)

Haves vs Have-nots

The Overview

For simplicity’s sake, let’s start from the top and work our way down the line.

The Deepkingdom is a feudal state with the Deepking as the absolute monarch, who passes the crown to descendants or relatives (in the Steelshadow clan, but could theoretically be changed). Each clan is led by a laird, who rules over his/her own holdings and directs the clan in dedicating its efforts toward a particular trade or craft.

Gracklestugh Clans

The Deepking

Currently part of Clan Steelshadow, the Deepking is the ultimate monarch of the duergar city. If you are running this for Out of the Abyss, the name of the deep king is Horgar Steelshadow V. It’s also worth knowing that Clan Cairngrom (Stone giants) is currently only a part of the city while a Steelshadow clan member is the deepking – so that’s not likely to be changing any time soon.

Thuldare Priests

Not technically a clan, but kind of a clan. These guys are basically the judges and juries of Gracklstugh, any disturbances go through them and their verdict must be carried out. The only duergar who can veto them is the deepking and the lairds.

They are lore keepers (read librarians) who spend their time officiating rituals and recording lore. The chances of one of them noticing and writing down your adventuring party are high if they are making waves in Gracklstugh.


Most of these you won’t really use in your game, but it’s good to be aware of them in case you want to throw in some lore or have a player who loves to discover things about the world to make it feel more real. Also great for narrowing down a clan to attach to the mad duergar to who invites them into their home (if you decide to use that trope)

Smithing Clans

Clan Steelshadow (weaponsmiths) – Also the clan of the deepking and alliance with the stone giants
Clan Ironhead (weaponsmiths)
Clan Thrazgad (Armoursmiths)
Clan Firehand (Smelters)
Clan Anvilthew (Toolmakers)

Mercantile Clans

Clan Thuldark (Metalwork + Jewelers)
Clan Henstak (Food)
Clan Muzgardt (Brewers) – the clan running the brewery by the dark lake if you want to add a story into it

Mining Clans

Clan Coalhewer (Coal Miners)
Clan Xardelmvar (Xardelmvar)
Clan Saltbaron (Salt Miners)

Other Clans

Clan Paralysurk (Clothing Manufacturer)
Clan Hammercane (Construction Engineering)
Clan Xundern (Steeder Breeders)
Clan Burakrwuarn (Dock Operations)
Clan Xornbane (Scouts/Prospects)
Clan Blackskull (Stone Masons)
Clan Bukbukken (Farming)
Clan Thordensonn (Jewelers)
Clan Cairngrom (Stone Giants)

Council of Savants

These guys are basically a spoiled government of 36 who are supposed to be “representing” the Derro, but are actually just living the high life while the common folk live in squalor. On top of that, some of them have started the good ole Demogorgon worship and have a part to play in the Whorlstone tunnels (not as big as the Sloobludop shenanigans though).

One of the Society of Brilliance members belongs to this group as well, you may choose to have him on the road for your game or in the city.

Y from the Council of Savants (And Society of Brilliance)

Merchant Council

Liards and merchants who oversee external trade and ensure everything goes smoothly. They will hire outsiders and will always keep debts, but they are paid much less than duergar and are sent on more dangerous missions without regard for life.

Ylsa Henstak in the Blade Bazaar is one member of the merchant council with a quest for the party regarding outside gold coming from the Derro.

Gracklestugh Military

Regular Army

The defence of the city is a large force as well as every duergar trained for battle.

Stone Guard

This force is 500 strong, with 200 of them stationed in the Hold of the Deepking. These warriors serve the deepking as bodyguards, elite troops and secret police.


Members of the Deepking’s secret corps of psionic agents, they regularly can be found (or hidden among and not found) travelling with duergar merchants as overseers and spies.


Basically, horse-riding barbarians, except the horses are actually giant tarantulas raised by Clan Xundom. Unsurprisingly, most of these warriors come from the Xundom clan.


Specialists training with burning hot flame lances forged by some of the master weaponsmiths in Gracklstugh. Most of these fine warriors come from Clan Xardelvar.

Clan Cairangrom

This clan was mentioned earlier, but can also, at this time, be included as part of the military. There is currently a treaty between the Stone giants of this clan and the Steelshadow clan which the deepking currently belongs to.

If the deepking seat ever moved to a different clan, the treaty would be null and the stone giants would no longer take part in military might in Gracklstugh (unless a new treaty was signed).

Themberchaud (Thumberchonk)

Mainly used to light the forges of the city, this red dragon will still be utilized in case of an attack (unless he goes on a rampage and kills everyone in Gracklstugh instead)

Despite the fact that he is super (did someone say supper?) obese and lord only knows how he can even fly.

Keepers of the Flame

You can’t mention Themberchonk without mentioning his keepers. They basically keep him very well fed and happy. They do a lot of the talking for him, except that he is now old enough to start taking an interest in the things around him.

In-game they have just lost the red dragon egg to the Greyghosts and have a quest for your party to get it back for them. Meanwhile, T-drag wants them to find out what’s going on and tell him instead.

This concludes Gracklstugh (Duergar City) Clans Out of the Abyss Explained.
This article will continue to be updated in the next little while.

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