The Irons District
Aspect: The Irons Never Stop Burning
Connected To: Rag Coast (to the Northeast), Wish Quarter (to the East)
Most Significant Icon: None.
Well Known For? Factories, Smithies and Workshops
The sulfurous bellows of the irons burn the nostrils. Brick and iron greet the eye, if you can see past the steam and smoke. Wheels and pumps use the fury of the Locke to power their motors and engines.
Even with the river rushing alongside it, the smell still burns. Some places within are deadly to breath. Gases collect and can slay anyone who breathes them in.
As I walk through the fresh new cobble of the Irons, the constant fiery heat can be felt. They say the irons never stop burning here. The factories run all day and all night, tended to by factory android drones. The androids need no sleep. Thus, the irons always glows like a hot coal.
HistoryThe Irons is a nicknamed coined for the area near the southern bank of the Locke River. Centuries ago, a ferry had been located in where the Irons would emerge. A critical juncture for any trade with Blackcliff to the south.
The Church of the Machine and the Esoterium Machine first employed waterwheels for mills along the Locke River. Next were the steam engines from Othebea. These helped to establish the first textile mills in Crux along the southern banks of the Locke. Over time, though, the location proved convenient for other trades. Smithies and steel mills hired arcane machinists.
Tieflings in the nearby Wish Quarter, adult and child, proved to be an ideal workforce. Unable to find work in the rest of Crux, the tieflings agreed to inhumane work conditions in the mills. Their fire-resistant flesh was ideal. The steel mills burned with arcane fire hot enough to melt iron and other metals. Tieflings worked day and night.
Tiefling factory workers were laid off in recent years. The advent of Androids let many factory bosses to buy workers and layoff the rest. The fears of illegal unions having formed led to crackdowns. A cadre of icons, the Banker, the Spice Khan and the Police Commissioner- did their best keep the peace.
Today, androids work day and night to keep the factories moving. The Irons has the highest population of Androids in all Crux. Even more than Tinkertown underneath Poorfellows. The factories never stop. The androids toil day in and day out. The irons always burn.
Industrial Dangers.Most of the Irons' factory work is textiles and steelworks. But Crux's slaughterhouses are located in the irons too. The concentration of industrial runoff and arcane energies leads to perennial problems. Oozes and other things awaken. Pockets of noxious gases and superheated runoff make some streets dangerous.
Tiefling gangs from the Wish Quarter use their own fiendblooded resistances to ambush those lost. They steal from the factories. They take Androids, reselling them in the Grand Bazaar. The Prince's City Watch often clashes with them throughout the Irons. Even then, some of the dirtier City Watch prepare ambushes of their own.
No icon in Crux has a total claim over the Irons District. The Prince seems to show no interest in the area. The Banker has many clients in the area, but doesn't want to take direct control. Too much of a risk. The Spice Khan owns factories in the Irons. She doesn't but not enough to be the most powerful force there. The Archwitch and the Tinkerer too, both have people who have interests in the area. This conflict hasn't boiled over into anything yet.
The Devil You Know.The employment of Androids and the reliance on arcane conveyances aren't the only sorcery that has been made within the Irons District. Most Factory bosses have forged pacts. Industrial Witches and Conjurers bind Devils to supervise their factory floors. Forced to serve, Imps and other devils keep order.
Most of them dislike and hate their work here. Constant magic maintenance is required to keep them from clawing their out to escape. Wards and runes constrain them. Some of these devils like the city they've seen. They are eager to escape. A few do escape.
Those who don't throw their frustrations onto their android drones. This constant abuse sometimes mangles and leaves a Android inoperable. Other times, though, Androids react to it. Something changes, and their bodies start to give off more sulfurous glows. A few mirror their devilish masters, escaping to drag others into the factory floors.
The Irons District feels like a miniature of Hell to some of these Devils. They can feel a link to their homeland through it. Unlike those who escape, they redouble their efforts. They know how to dig a hole, and the factory bosses seem eager to help them wedge a door open.