During the Second and Third Ages, the Blackmist mountains were the home of the Dwarven clan of the same name. At the end of the Third Age, at the fall of the dwarven empire, the mountain halls were invaded and destroyed by the Duerger. They claimed the mountains and their resources for their own. Nowadays they mostly keep to their great underground forges where they work their slaves to death producing weapons and digging further into the earth.
On the surface, Duerger patrols are the least of the worries of those looking to explore the deeper mountains. At least two orc and goblin tribes have managed to gain a foothold as well as Worgs, and worse. Survival is further hampered by nature. As the seasons change, snow gives way to sleet, then to driving rain. All is accompanied by blistering gales, and backed up by landslides and cave-ins.