The small town of Tribridge is part of the fief of Sir Leofwine a vassal of King Tostig II. The town itself stand on the River Sceort across the river from Sir Leofwine's small motte and baily castle. Contrary to popular belief it is not named Tribridge because it has 3 bridges, Tribridge is a corruption of Treebridge.
In the 27th year of the reign of King Eadred the Dwarven prospector Thalor came to the area following a lead he had on abandoned tin mines from before the God's War. About a mile above a small falls on the River Sceort he came across an old stone bridge from sometime before the Gods War. The bridge was functional, being used by the small native halfling population, but a large oak tree had grown up on the east side completely blocking the bridge for horse or cart traffic. Thalor never found the old mines but he discovered a workable vein of tin on the hillside west of the river. He took samples explored access routes, and a few years later returned with a small crew to open a new mine.
Unable to get their carts across the river they setup their first camp on the knoll east of the river among the ruins of an old castle. Their headquarters was the entrance to the former catacombs. This entrance was later covered over by Sir Leofwine's castle. The first thing that had to go was the Great Oak. Local halflings warned him the tree was holy and not to disturb it ("Stupid Dwarf we know the damn tree is in the way its a bad idea to try and cut it down, we would have a long time ago if it was that simple"). Thalor and his crew set out to cut down the tree and were promptly driven off by attacking wild birds. Thus began the month long War of the Tree.
After trying several times to cut to down, poison it and wash the tree away with a flood by building a dam upstream the Dwarves were running out of ideas. They had built a smaller wooden bridge upstream (washed away by the flood they caused) and at times crossed on the temporary dam, with the mine starting to produce tin the tree was really in the way. They decided to make one more all out attack on the tree. Dwarves under arms and with mighty shields would go in and protect two saw men who would cut the tree down. The dwarves managed to get to the tree but the attacks of various woodland animals kept dropping the saw men and no progress was made. In the middle of the fight a little Gnome seeress crossed the bridge ignoring everything going on like it wasn't happening. She setup her camp in the nearby barrows, then climbed onto the nearest one to watch the fight. After being driven off, Thalor sought her advice.
Before she would tell him how to destroy the tree she extracted a promise from him that the Dwarves of the area would always be hospitable to Gnomes and provide them with shelter. Since there were no gnomes for hundreds of miles Thalor gave his promise presuming at worst her and her family might show up. This promise would later lead to the Great Gnome Incursion of '06 and the current infestation.
She told him they had to do two things to destroy the tree. Put fire on the water and dedicate at least one male in each of the next three generations to the fire god Rushk as a priest starting with Thalor's soon to be born son. Since the son couldn't be dedicated before he was born Thalor and his crew built a second wooden bridge upstream while they waited. Work was also started on a more permanent dam for the stamp mill.
Following the instructions of the seeress Thalor dedicated his son Dwumlin to Rushk and received a vision of a large ship sailing down the river on fire crashing into the oak and setting it on fire. The Dwarves brought up a ship builder, who later settled at the base of the falls and ran barges up and down the river. They constructed a fire ship upstream. In order to build it far enough upstream not to be attacked they had to destroy the second wooden bridge and the new dam once it was ready. The ship was loaded with oil, set on fire and floated down the river. It collided with the bridge and the oak started to burn. It took a week for the Oak to burn completely and left the stone bridge blackened, which it is to this day.
The Dwarves were later able to remove the stump. In it they found the remains of a Dryad. The stump was carved into a mighty table and sent as a gift to King Eadred and remains in his castle to this day. Rumors persist to this day that the Dryad pronounced a curse before her death. It varies as to whether the curse is on the town, dwarves, Thalor and his descendants or the owner of any part of the tree and there is no consistency as to what that curse is. Learned people think its just peasant superstition.
The mine has 2 entrances. A lower one used mainly as a drain for water and to take out material and the upper one used as an entrance and exit for the smoke. Mining is generally done uphill so that water drains down to the lower entrance and out. The entrances are on the side of a mtn so the uphill is possible. Wood is taken into the mine and set on fire which causes the rock to crack making it easier to break up and remove. Once ore is removed its taken to the stamp mill where water wheels are used to crush it and the lighter waste washed away into the river (this silts up the river downstream a lot). The remaining black tin is put in a furnace and layered with peat the slag is poured into granite molds and shipped downstream for further processing. Shipping is done by barge and wagon.