Aow-diamondlake

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At a perfumed arcade known as the Emporium, Governor-Mayor Lanod Neff rubs shoulders with common labourers awaiting an appointment in the Veiled Corridor. In an adjoining antechamber, snakes and exotic dancers gyre to a sonorous weave of cymbals and seductive pipes. A floor below, a gaggle of grasping miners presses against the windowed door of a darkened cell, impatient for a glimpse of a two-headed calf.

Out in the street, a gang of rowdies screams obscenities at a crumpled halfling, kicking it as if scrambling for a ball. Their drunken laughter echoes off shuttered windows and bolted doors.

In a tower-flanked fortress across the shadowy square, filthy men with nothing to lose shout hymns to their strict god, clutching to their idealism and principles like cornered animals. Their wild eyed chief minister smiles as a he draws the cat-o-nine-tails across his bare back, awash in their adulation and the spirit of his god.

It’s just another night in Diamond Lake.

More Specific

The small mining town of Diamond Lake nestles in the rocky crags of the Cairn Hills, three days’ ride east of Greyhawk City to which it is subject. Iron and silver from Diamond Lake’s mines fuel the capital’s markets and support its soldiers and nobles with the raw materials for weapons and finery. This trade draws hundreds of skilled and unskilled labourers and artisans all hoping to strike it rich.

In ages past, Diamond Lake boasted an export more valuable than metal in the form of treasure liberated from the numerous tombs and burial cairns crowding the hills around town. These remnants of a half-dozen long dead cultures commanded scandalous prices from the elite of nearby cities, whose insatiable covetousness triggered a boom in the local economy. Those days are long gone though; the last cairn in the region coughed up its treasures decades ago, and few locals pay much mind to stories of yet undiscovered tombs and un-plundered burial cairns. These days, only a handful of treasure seekers visit the town, and few return to the Free City with anything more valuable than a wall rubbing or an ancient tool fragment.

In the hills surrounding the town, hundreds of labourers spend weeks at a time underground, breathing recycled air pumped in via systems worth ten times their combined annual salaries. The desperate, underpaid miners are Diamond Lake’s foundation, their weekly pay cycling back into the community via a gaggle of gambling dens, bordellos, ale halls, and temples.

Because work in the mines is so demanding and dangerous, most folk come to Diamond Lake because they have nowhere else to turn, seeking an honest trade of hard labour for subsistence level pay simply because the system has allowed them no other option. Many are foreigners displaced from native lands by war or famine. Work in the mines is the last honest step before utter destitution or crimes of desperation. For some, it is the first step in the opposite direction; a careful work assignment to ease the burden on debtor-filled prisons, one last chance to make it in civil society.

Statistics

Diamond Lake
Population: 1025 (95% human, 2% halfling, 1% gnome, 2% other)
Exports: Iron, silver.
Religion / Places of Worship: The church of St. Cuthbert; chapel dedicated to Heironeous (at the garrison); Cult of the Green Lady (non-orthodox sect of the church of Wee Jas); the Bronzewood Lodge (dedicated to Obad-Hai and the Old Faith); The Twilight Monastery.
Authority Figures: Governor-Mayer Lanod Neff (human male); Sheriff Cubbin (human male); garrison commander Tolliver Trask (human male).
Mine Managers: Balabar Smenk (human male); Chaum Gansworth (human male); Ellival Moonmeadow (elf male); Gelch Tilgast (human male); Luzane Parrin (human female); Ragnolin Dourstone (dwarf male).
Other Notables: Zalamandra (human female; owner of The Emporium); Lazare (human male; owner of Lazare’s House); Jierian Wierus (human male; Cuthbertine preacher); Valkus Dun (human male; Heironean warrior-priest); Allustan (human male; wizard and sage); Dulok Blitzhame (dwarf male; leader of dwarven trade delegation); Vulgan Durtch (human male; chief smelter); Nogwier (human male; leader of the Bronzewood Lodge community); Amariss (human female; priestess of Wee Jas).