The Valley of Mines, or the Colony, as the convicts trapped inside it during the Barrier, called it, is a large valley situated on the south of the island of Khorinis. The landscape is mostly covered with grass and forest. On the far south there's a large swamp. There's even a river which runs through the valley. But the main treasures lie beneath the surface, in the deep mines where magic ore is dug.
The orcs' power is originated from the colony. The Sleeper was located there and gave the orcs power. The Sleeper's temple can be found there too. The colony has two ore mines, three camps and a big orc territory with the tower of Xardas. After the fall of the Barrier nearly all people left it, and the orcs started to roam the lands.
The convicts separated to three main groups. The first and the biggest was Old Camp led by a convict named Gomez. He get the powerful position because he was the strongest in the whole colony. He comamnded the ore barons, the guards, the fire mages, the shadows. He command the diggers as well, and they are the lowest in the whole colony. They work day after night to mine the magic ore, for as much money as they need to survive. Gomez had the ore trade under his control. He traded the ore to outside goods with the king. They are convicts, but they are a kind of nobles, because they have a important role in the ore trade.
The second was the New Camp led by a former general of the king named Lee, and powerful magician of water, Saturas. Lee was the leader of the mercenaries and he took care of the rogues as well. Lares was the commander of the rogues. Most of the rogues are money hungry bastards, but some of them just hate Gomez. The rogues share the cave with the mercenaries. The mercenaries duty is to protect the mages and the magic ore in the bottom of the camp. The mages are under the command of Saturas. They study the barrier all they and try to find out how to break it. The camp has an own mine, named the free mine. They have scrapers to mine the magic ore, what is collected in order to break out. The mages have their plan for that. The explose the ore mound as soon as they have enough ore for that. However this plan fails. They need fire mages to help them complete this quest, but Gomez kills them all. The only hope then is Xardas, the black magician, but he says the ore mound won't break the barrier, so he won't help in the water mages' plan. When it is obvious that the ore mound is needed to recharge the Uriziel to deal with the Sleeper, the hero use it's power.
The third was the Swamp Camp. Y'berrion had a vision with the Sleeper. The Sleeper ordered him to build a camp in the swamp. The life in the old camp was real hard, so many people left, to make themselves a new home. Y'berrion has became the leader followed by the Baals lower the holy templars of the Sleeper. The lowest are the novices, who make all work for the camp. This camp needs people to get enough power to make contact with the Sleeper, who will show them the way to freedom. Until then, they make living of the swampweed trading. They get enough ore to get all the goods they need. Cor Kalom is in charge there, he accepts the new novices. He's an alchemist, he makes the swampweed, brew potions, and organize things to make contact with the Sleeper. They need minecrawler's mandibles for that, but it isn't strong enough. Later when the nameless hero has to enter to the old mine to find out what can help the brotherhood, he finds mincrawler's eggs. That contain the secretion, and when he gets the focus what was lost, they start the invocation. The invocation leads to a terrible end, and Y'berrion's death. The Cor Calom leaves the camp, and Cor Angar the former leader of the Templars take control. The invocation leads to the fall of the brotherhood.
Because of this very important military and economical source, the valley was occupied by king Rhobar II who needed the ore for the upcoming war with the orcs. Therefore he used the valley of mines as a prison colony for all the condemned person in Myrtana. With the help of 13 powerfull magicians he created a magic barrier around the valley so noone could ever escape out of it. The prisoners had to dig the Magical ore from the mines. But the convicts revolted the guards and took the ore digging under their control. So king Rhobar II had no other joice but to cooporate with the convicts.
Gomez found a mine near his camp, called the Old Mine. The ore from the Old Mine went directlly to Rhobar. Lee also found a mine: the New Mine. The ore from here was used by Saturas in his trying to destroy the Barrier using the Ore. The Brotherhood of the Sleeper used to trade with the other two camps a special ciggar from the swamp, called swampweed. As the time passed, they discovered that the Sleeper was an evil arch demon. At the invocation process, Y'Berion was strucked by the Sleeper's evil power and he died. Cor Kalom, his right hand has also gone mad and he left to try to awaken the demon again. The leadership was taken by Cor Angar, the chief of the templars. The Old Mine was sunken by water. Gomez wanted the ore, so he was planing to counquer the New Mine. Corristo, the High Magician of the Circle of Fire opposed him, and the ore barens assasinated the mages. Only Milten, the hero's friend escaped. Gomez counquered the New Mine, but Gorn and the hero recounqered it. After the nameless hero banished the evil arch-demon called the Sleeper, the Valley was counquered by dragons. Former convicts became bandits and thretend the whole isle. The former followers of the Sleeper became instruments of evil, joining Beliar's Dark Mages and becaming "the Seekers". They split in every cave and corner of Khorinis. Rhobar still needed the ore, so he sent his best man, Lord Hagen toghether with some troops of paladins from the mainland to take control of the Magic Ore again. The leader of the expedition in the Valley of Mines was Commander Garond. He took control of the castle in the Old Camp. The other 2 camps collapsed. Garond lost a lot of good men. The dragons attacked the Old Camp and destroyed the entire Outer Ring. Garond managed to send paladins and diggers to 3 mining sites. One was in the place that used to be the Old Mine. The other 2 camps were near Xardas' Old Demon Tower. The expeition failed, in the end orcs managed to besiege the castle and enter in the buildings. The pladins there died a heroic death. The fall of the penal colony destroyed Rhobar's last hope. The orcs counqered the whole kingdom of Myrthana. Only it's capital, the city of Vengard remained, Rhobar erasing another Barrier, this time around Vengard, for protection against the orcs.