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Son of Bolhur Thunderaxe, Durlag Trollkiller was one of the most powerful dwarves of his time, and undoubtedly one of the richest. As his name suggests, he earned his fame slaying trolls and other ferocious beasts, with his small band of adventurers. After retiring from adventuring, Durlag set about building a great tower in which to begin his own clan and to prevent himself from dying alone as his father did. This tower became known throughout the land as Durlag's Tower.


Like all dwarves, Durlag was short and stocky. He was immensely strong and had bright reddish hair.


Durlag shares the personality traits of many great heroes; bravery, courage, and brilliant resourcefulness. He was also extremely stubborn.

During the last few years of his life, after his tragedy, Durlag became extremely paranoid and depressed.


  • Arlo Stoneblade – One of Durlag's adventuring companions, and grandfather of Hurgan Stoneblade.
  • Mechezarin – Durlag's huge dragon. It’s skeleton is located on labyrinth level 3


  • Bolhur “Thunderaxe” the Clanless – Durlag's heroic father. Bolbur was a great dwarven hero, but never started his own clan. Bolbur died alone, when away on a long journey. Durlag was greatly saddened by his father's loneliness and vowed to create a vast clan, so that he may not share his father's fate.
  • Islanne – A powerful, magic wielding dwarf and Durlag's wife
  • Kiel the Legion Killer – Durlag's oldest son
  • Fuernebol – Durlag's youngest son


Early life[]

Durlag completed many quests in his younger years, including slaying a vast horde of Drow, ridding the Troll Mountains of their fearsome beasts, and slaying numerous dragons single handedly, including Vissilithysmee whose flames were 'a gentle breeze' to Durlag.

Nearing his peak as a fearsome fighter, Durlag and his good friend Arlo Stoneblade, sought out and fought a terrible evil ‘that dared to walk the earth’. That evil was a tanar'ri by the name of Aec'Letec. Arlo was killed by the beast during the fight, but Durlag was able to slay the demon and he captured its soul in the Soultaker Dagger.

It came to pass that the hero Durlag and his man-at-arms, Arlo Stoneblade, ventured into the bowels of the Great Rift. They fought the hideous tanar'ri Aec'Letec and, with a single blow of his axe, Durlag slew the demon's body and entrapped its soul in an enchanted dagger

— Gorion's Ward

Building Durlag's Tower[]

At a certain point Durlag decided to put his adventuring days behind him and began his own dwarven clan with another of his fellow dwarven adventurer’s, Islanne. The couple married and Durlag began building a huge fortress in the mountains. The entire building was carved from volcanic rock so as to make it impregnable. It was here that Durlag would start raising his own family. He wanted to be able to live out the rest of his life in peace, surrounded by his kin, content in the knowledge that they would be safe.

This massive, isolated keep stands atop a rock pinnacle south of the Wood of Sharp Teeth.

—  Volo’s Guide to the Sword Coast

After slaying so many foul beasts and traveling to lands both near and far, Durlag had accumulated a vast amount of wealth and treasure. He hired fellow dwarves to help him build the tower and dig the chambers and passageways below it. The fortune occupied entire rooms throughout the fortress with stacks of coins and gems rumored to be waist deep on a man.

Over a long and successful career, Durlag amassed a great hoard of treasure. Rumors spoke of rooms full of gems and a great hall strewn with dusty heaps of gold coins.

— Fenrus

The Fall of Durlag[]

However, not long into Durlag's new life, great tragedy befell upon him. As the stories of his opulence spread across the land, the most unsavory of creatures – foul mind flayers, who felt that the tower encroached upon their turf, wanted the tower and wealth for themselves. The tower was built to withstand any siege so Durlag's enemies had to find more sinister ways to penetrate it.

We came to kill, but not without reasonsss. We were here before, asss were the tentaclesss. Their underground wasss near, and the tower intruded on their expansionsss. Asss well, the bait was too great to passs. The dwarvesss did not hide their wealthhh.

— Stone Golem

In secret, Durlag's family and friends were assassinated one by one and replaced by doppelgangers, until eventually Durlag discovered the deception, but it was too late. The rest then began attacking him, as one by one Durlag's family seemingly turned on him in his own home. He was forced to slay his wife and two sons to stay alive.

All of Durlag's kin and friends were replaced by doppelgangers, and he found himself KILLING the visage of those that he CARED most, just to SAVE HIMSELF.

— Ike

Durlag's outstanding courage and strength allowed him to kill all but two of the invaders of his home, but it was at a great price. Not only had he lost his family; he also lost his mind.

Taste my fear
Know my madness
Face my demons
Know my loss

After laying each fallen member of his family to rest in ornate burial chambers deep underneath the tower, Durlag vowed that no other force would ever disturb his tower again. Afraid that the illithids would return, and deeply suspicious that the folks of Faerûn might seek to betray him for his fortune, Durlag went about hiring the best builders and craftsman from nearby towns to rebuild the tower and the levels below it. The tower was laden with complex contraptions to punish intruders in the most horrific ways. It has been speculated that the building was the most dangerous and secure building in all of Faerûn.

Durlag hired the best craftfolk he could find in Waterdeep and Neverwinter and began to rebuild his tower and the tor beneath as an elaborate succession of traps, magical wards, secret passages, sliding prison chambers, and triggered weapons perhaps the most extensive assembly of such deadly devices in all Faerûn.

—  Volo’s Guide to the Sword Coast

Many of the lower levels and the rooms therein were protected by powerful, magically held doors and could only be accessed with the correct wardstones. The tower was filled with all manner of rare and magical items that Durlag had obtained during his travels. Many of these artifacts were secreted away in rooms and containers that were protected by complex traps and charms. He then retreated to the inner-most sanctums and waited. Many brave and greedy explorers tried to disarm the defenses and steal Durlag's wealth; every time they would fail. Durlag would watch through magic portals or other devices as adventurer after adventurer attempted to breach his home. It's said that he would sometimes crawl up secret tunnels and slay the opportunists himself.

Seek no heirs
Seek no exit
Find no refuge
Feel no warmth

He carried on in this increasingly eccentric manner for several hundred years, never once leaving the tower, surviving on fungi and mushrooms growing in the deepest caverns below the tower and, it is cruelly whispered, the bodies of intruders (unsubstantiated rumor according to some). He eventually passed away on his own, as he had always feared. The great Durlag Trollkiller spent his final years alone, paranoid and tormented by the unfathomable events of his past.


Multiple Greater Doppelgangers in Durlag's form can be found on labyrinth level 2 beneath the tower and must be slain repeatedly by Gorion's Ward and party. The total number of Durlag's encountered is dependent upon the initial forms taken by the two randomly generated doppelgangers that are spawned when triggering silent traps located in certain places on this level. So it is possible to confront up to a total of four Durlag's.

The First Three Rooms[]

Note: Go to the Labyrinth Level 2 area page for a complete description of the Doors on this level.

  • Practice room:

Entering the practice room and attacking the gold sparring dummy will activate two warded doors (referred to as Doors 4 & 5). Durlag will appear in the passageway between the doors and begin his lament for Fuernebol while teleporting into and around the room. When he finishes his dialogue, he’ll cast Stinking Cloud and immediately revert to his true greater doppelganger form.

  • Islanne's room:

Entering Islanne's room and removing Islanne's wardstone from the table on which is is found will active two warded doors (Doors 6 & 7). Durlag will appear in the passageway between the doors and begin his lament for Islanne while teleporting into and around the room. When he finishes his dialogue, he’ll cast Fireball and immediately revert to his true greater doppelganger form.

  • Throne room:

Entering the throne room through Door 3 and picking up Kiel's Helmet will bring forth the final Durlag for this segment of the dungeon. Durlag will appear in the circular antechamber and teleport through the passageway into the room. He will then begin his lament for Kiel while teleporting around the room. Doppelganger forms of Fuernebol and Islanne will also enter the room at this time from Doors 8 and 9 respectively. Once he finishes with his dialogue, all three will cast spells; Durlag and Fuernebol will cast Stinking Cloud and Islanne will cast Cloudkill. They will then immediately shapeshift into their true greater doppelganger forms, cast Mirror Image and Haste, and attack.

Random Encounter[]

When the silent traps are triggered while exploring this level, two greater doppelgangers will spawn nearby, but out of sight. It is possible that one of the two will be in Durlag's form. Once fighting begins, he will attack with his axe while maintaining his own form. But once he begins to receive damage, he may first shapeshift into Islanne's form, and then with additional damage taken, shapeshift into Kiel's form. However, if the initial damage received is great enough, he will shapeshift into Kiel's form, bypassing Islanne's form. It is also possible that at any point he may shapeshift into his true greater doppelganger form.

If the greater doppelganger form of Durlag is killed fast enough, he will drop Full Plate Mail, a Battle Axe, a Medium Shield and rich random treasure. If he shapeshifts and then is killed, he will drop the items of whatever shapeshifted form he's currently in.

Labyrinth Level 4[]

When you enter this final level of the dungeon below the tower, you will encounter the specter of Durlag standing in the main passageway. He will immediately speak to you upon sight, describing to you in a very vague manner the three paths you must understand to seek direction on this level.

You have come quite far... not many live to speak... less live to leave... you are far from done... I hold surprises yet... seek direction in this place... when you understand the path... when you understand the course... you will be able to go on... you must be worthy to face what comes... there is evil here not built within... you must expel the new invaders...

— Durlag’s Specter

Once you have accomplished these tasks speak to him again. He will take you to the warded door of a secret room that leads to the chamber of the Demon Knight, and disappear for good.

You will survive this place... you understand what built the hate... the fear... now you must prevent it becoming worse... a creature below... powerful beyond all... you must remove... or it shall make this place its own... such a fortress... impenetrable if remade in his image...

— Durlag’s Specter


Infobox stats:

  • The first infobox is Durlag's stats for his doppelganger form(s) randomly encountered on the second level of the underground dungeon.
  • The second infobox contains those stats that are changed for the Practice, Islanne's and Throne room doppelganger's. However, all stats will change to that of a greater doppelganger once he cast his spell and shapeshifts.
  • The third is for his specter form.

In the original Tales of the Sword Coast, Durlag is – oddly enough – of the human race. The Enhanced Edition changes this to a specter, a race first introduced with the original Shadows of Amn.