Living ENWorld:Ignussus Region
The City of Ignussus
Ignussus is a small city located in the deserts surrounding the burning mountains that form a wall around the tower of elemental fire. Located only a few hundred miles from the edge of the world, Ignussus is reputedly one of the most dangerous cities to live in. The town is controlled by a thieves guild called the Curved Blades of Arcton, a group of thugs and murderers that make their business the control of all goods coming in and out of the city. Ignussus itself would never have grown so large without them, however, as they were the original provisioners of water in the township for many years.
The main source of income here in the desert is in the refinement of gem deposits mined in the mountains to the south. The gems are brought into Ignussus once every month, under heavy guard, and more than a quarter of the town is set aside specifically for those craftsman that are in the art of gemcutting, cleaning, and jewelry making. There are many other crafts that are practiced in Ignussus as well, many of them involving the making of weapons for the guild and guards, and making tools for the workers employed in the steaming hot gem mines in the mountains.
Food is imported from the north and west, often by air. Many different sorts of mounts deliver these supplies, most commonly hauled by teams of trained gryphons. This practice is new to the city, provided for by a guild of trained riders in the windy country to the far west. These imports are expensive, though, and the price to live in the desert while mining gems is a steep one. If not for the rich gem mines, things would turn for the worse very quickly.
Water is provided by a few different sources. The first is a well controlled by the Curved Blades of Arcton. Rumors circulate every summer, when the weather is at it's worst, that the water well is drying up. Whether this is true, or if in fact the guild simply chooses to drink more or provide less of the necessary provision, this has brought many new sources into the city. Some sources include the Clerics of (water deity), who provide water to the poor and needy. Their generosity has quickly given them popularity to rival the gods of fire and the desert which have always been known as the chief patrons of the clergy of this region. The third source of water in this region is by import and trade, it is not uncommon for a merchant to attempt to trade "worthless water" during seasons of horrible heat for rich jewels and gems to trade in the cities in the center of the continent.
Religion in Ignussus is primarily the worship of fire, because it is believed that such worship improves ones resiliance in this harsh environment. Many have died from the heat, and the elderly are always treated with incredible compassion before summer comes and often brings a deathly heatstroke. It is because of this that Psergei and Ayratha are worshipped, as they provide some degree of protection from the heat in their domain. In addition, the swells of burning magma that creep through the mountains where the gems are mined are extrememly dangerous. A supersticious belief has developed that the unfaithful miners are the ones swept away in the molten rock currents that occationally breach the mines.
The Guild that rules Ignussus, while cruel and often greedy, still provides more than enough protection and well trained warriors to keep the city safe. It is because of their persistance and action that the guild has come to power and brought about some degree of wealth in the peasantry. The guild leader, Ramzos Balba currently, is called the Sultan by the guild members because of his wealth and respected position. It is this title that often earns the title of "Desert Snake King" for the man who leads the Curved Blades of Arcton. Outsiders often refer to that name in disrespect, because the man is often seen as a slave driver and monster by people from lands with more liberty and freedoms.
Both stables and onions can be found in the city.
The Father's Wish
One of the few free taverns in the world, the Father's Wish is home to a variety of men and women during the night. The tavern's name refers to the founder's father, an extremely poor miner, who could never enjoy life unless he was drinking. The same man was so poor that he couldn't afford to both indulge his weakness and support his family, and unlike his peers he chose to work for his family. His son grew up, left his home to become a wealthy and talented mercenary, and after many years returned home to open a free tavern for any good man or woman to appreciate. He named this tavern in his father's honor, and the father was even able to appreciate this hospitality for a number of years before he died.
This bar, unlike most country bars where a number of smaller tables exit, uses only one huge wooden table (30 feet by 50 feet) in the main room. The table forms a closed U-shape that allows the servers to move around freely in between the action and conversation. This also tends to help prevent brawls as two men must be sitting within two or three seats of each other in order to at least be within reach. This strange custom makes this tavern more homely than most, with many new people having the chance to greet each other across the table. It is because of this that the bar is often considered one of the few real treasures in the desert. A harpsichord is also located in the main room. Drinks are brought up from the basement where the brewery is located. Wines are imported, but only that which is exceptionally cheap can normally be provided.
This night, there is a very motley assortment of people inside the tavern (including the characters), and the workload has been hard on the servers. A very common misconception in this tavern is that "since the drink is free, there�s no need to leave a tip," and anyone working here long enough has been forced to explain that this is indeed false. The many workingmen are laughing and enjoying their time as would be expected.
This inn is a large building with six rooms available for rent (the rest of the rooms are on permanent free rental by the guild). The interior looks to be stone even though the exterior to the building is overlayed with heavy clay. Inside is a very quiet and rather putrid smelling place, where few customers can be found. On the sign above the innkeeper's rocking chair it reads, "No Magic, No Pets."
The room rate at Uther's is 3 silver/night, and breakfast is 5 coppers. The rooms can sleep 2 each.
The innkeeper is a tiny little man, human, but small enough to be a thin dwarf. He has a big white mustache and seems to be covered from head to toe in his pajamas. The greyhaired fellow often has a cat in his lap, and when he notices an incoming crowd he plucks the cat up in both hands and puts it down on the floor.
The Gem Mines
It is approximately 20 miles from the mines to the gem cleaners and cutters of Ignussus. Gems are transported from the mines to the city twice a week. The mines near Ignussus are guarded by a fortress to the south, near the mountains. There are multiple entrances to the mines, but most are sealed off.
Through a tunnel from the southern fortress, the mines can be accessed. The cavern walls of the entry cavern are made of unreasonably jagged red rock: walking too close, a person could easily be cut on the stone. However, the cavern itself is at lest 10 feet wide and 10 feet high throughout this entrance. There is very little in the way of supports at this level, the rock appears to have naturally formed this first bit of cavern and stands on it's own.
Beyond this entry cavern, the first interior room is an elevator shaft. It can go up or down into the mountain, at intervals of approximately 50 feet per shaft. The elevator travels straight down, but in order to move up into the mountain it travels at a slow incline of approximately 10 degrees. The caves higher up are newer, as the miners didn't begin digging there until very recently.
The elevator is a rope and pulley operated machine. It appears that the elevator is primarily used for the purpose of conveying large amounts of weight, such as rock being moved out of the mines. The actual incline to move up is easy enough to traverse on foot. The way down is a deep pit, and although a skilled climber may be able to descend, a fall would more than likely be lethal.
Beyond this room is another, deeper room. The ground here is a bit unsteady, despite the supports (some of iron, some of stone, and most of wood) which are in good condition. The room is 20 feet by 80 feet (long), stretching forwards from the entrance. There are two lanterns set along the left wall. They each emit 30 feet of light, which is good enough to see most of the room, save the last 5 feet on each end which is only dimly illuminated.
At the end of this second room, the minessplit into three tunnels: One to the left that slopes down slightly to a dirty pool, one to the center, and one that slopes up at a 25 degree angle.
The tunnel to the right is 7.5' wide by 7.5' tall.
The tunnel sloping up eventually comes to a section that glows a dim red. There are seven corpses here. The tunnel opens up into a room after 240 feet, which continues for 300 feet, then opens up rapidly to a room 100 feet in diameter, with an orange glowing pool at the far end. There is a small tunnel leading down and away from the east side of the room, and the west side of the room is covered by blue and white runes. These are runes of warding that give off cold and cause frostbite to the touch.
The Southern Fortress
This fortress' primary purpose is to guard the gem mines. It has multiple buildings and at least two levels above and at least one level below ground.
It also has a has a 40' by 80' room with four 10' wide exits and a 2nd floor walkway and a window that faces an inner courtyard. Stone stairs near one of the large doors lead 15' up to the second floor. There is a courtyard to the east. The room has been used as both barracks and storehouse. A passage leading north out of this room goes to "the caverns".
This fortress has some sort of steam equipment that whistles.
-Created by Creamsteak