Mar 25, 2012

Places to Go: Grey Hill Quarry

An old back injury flared up and I've been incapacitated for a few days as a result.

Hex 2002 of the Cauldron and Hinterland map: Grey Hill Quarry

The Orthocracy of Kaddish relies on incredible amounts of cement and concrete to construct its buildings, and the limestone needed is mainly quarried and pulverised by an army of zombie and skeleton labourers at the Grey Hill Quarry, which produces the highest quality clinker due to trace elements of aluminum, sulphur and gypsum in the rock. It is a vast open pit mine carved into the side of a large stone hill, with dozens of smaller galleries cutting deeper into the rock.

The Grey Hill Quarry is run by Linus Vortha Hassan, on behalf of the powerful Hassan clan. He employs a force of about a hundred living persons, mostly guards and foremen with a small number of gnostics, to oversee an undead force of thousands. They live in a reinforced concrete keep at the top of the hill and travel in large, well armed gangs to defend themselves from their bloodthirsty workforce. Hassan also employs a gigantic necrophagous ogre named "Yurch" as his night-watchman to prevent escapes.

The labourers are a mixture of zombies and skeletons from diverse sources. The first were gathered hundreds of years ago from the battlefields of Black Eagle Pass, while others came when the Wastes were created. New arrivals tend to be slaves purchased from nomads or slave cartels out of Kaddish and then slaughtered. About half are intelligent, wicked undead created when a person died and was not buried, while the other half are unintelligent corpses reanimated through necromantic magic. Only the unintelligent ones are allowed out of the mine, where they pulverise the stones and load the clinker into wagons to be transported back to the Orthocracy. The mine has been in operation for over four hundred years, but the living are not allowed past the threshold without Hassan's permission.

Unknown to Hassan, several of the intelligent undead are the remnants of the cult of the Joyous who were killed when the Wastes were created. Their new state has done nothing to diminish their lust for blood and flesh, and they have proselytised to many of their fellow undead, so that now most of the mine's population is under their sway. The Joyous know that Eater-of-Corpses is still alive, but have not yet managed to make contact with him. They are lead by Dreamer-of-Darkness, the former leader of the living cult, now an elf skeleton with only a few tattered scraps of flesh and hair hanging down over eyes of black fire. 

Dreamer-of-Darkness has discovered the instrument of her revenge in the deepest gallery of the mine, far under the earth. This is a 4m' long purple glass slab known as the "Huthmankexir" from the engraved runes on it that Dreamer-of-Darkness has partially deciphered. It is a solidified piece of dream-stuff, and can be used as a portal into the dream world. Dreamer-of-Darkness intends to invade the dream world of the Kaddish bodily with her army of zombie slaves and then slay the entire population as they sleep.

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