The city of Hammerhead was enormous. Approximately 5/6ths of circle of 10 mile radius, the northern ⅙ is open (although ice-covered during the winter) water. Now the entire area lies in ruins, other than select locations. Unprotected locations have been destroyed completely by 200 years of scavenging and extreme weather. Many underground or magically-protected vaults and structures still remain mostly intact, however.
Addendum (Summer 211 AC): the Khaimal have used significant magical and martial might to clear out all the other groups (except certain of the exile groups) and begun rebuilding. The portal at P is operational, but code-locked to Guild credentials.
This central region, right at the hub of the city on the coast, has been entirely transformed into a huge agglomeration of buildings (the Khaimal-yurt), approximately ¼ mile on a side and 10 stories tall. This titanic structure, along with the underground warrens that stretch deep into the underground beneath it, houses, feeds, and arms the growing armies of the Khaimal Legion.
The main gates stand 20 feet tall, with smaller gates inset into them. The main gates haven’t opened in 90 years, since the onset of the Frost and the climate change; the Khaimal send out raiding parties through the smaller gates to destroy any intruders that get within another ¼ mile of the Khaimal-yurt and occasional groups of exiled people are ejected. Even the water within this radius is hostile, heated as it is by cooling water being released from the boilers and furnaces that fill the Khaimal-yurt.
Windows in the metal skin of the Khaimal-yurt glow with a sullen red glow visible for miles, and the elemental lens used to gather sunlight darkens the sky around the city as it sucks in sunlight across a huge area.The sounds of hammers striking anvils and creaking clockwork machinery can be heard for a mile around the building itself, and the sound never stops The outer fortifications are patrolled by constructs said to embody the souls of the honored dead who still fight in the endless war.
This structure stands on the main entrance road, about ¼ mile from the main gates of Khaimal-yurt. Built like a fortress, this bunker is where the Khaimal send representatives every 4-day (once per week) to buy treasures from scavengers (in exchange for trade bars) and to sell goods, including raw materials and food. Nothing is kept at the Depot during the other 7 days, and it is locked and warded. Hostile actions or attempted fraud during the exchange results in instant death from the Khaimal guards, and may even get the offending faction banned from the exchange unless they immediately turn over the offenders. The Khaimal set prices and do not barter. The Khaimal prize particular items:
- Enchanted items are worth a premium.
- Clockwork items are worth a premium, especially if in working order.
- Pre-Cataclysm control crystals are worth the most. Turning one in may get one accepted inside, at least for a visit.
The shoreline on both sides of the Administrative quarter once was lined with warehouses and docks for the thriving mercantile trade Hammerhead carried on as the trading and manufacturing capital of the pre-Cataclysm west. The docks and most of the warehouses have disintegrated with time and been looted, but a few of the fortified warehouses remain, still locked behind magical wards. During the spring and summer, Triton scavengers from the Whale’s Breath school come up on shore to search for abandoned relics.
The western district was home to the great merchants of Hammerhead, as well as their estates. Many of these were human or half-elven, with fewer dwarves or gnomes. Their lavish estates have mostly crumbled, but several still have intact portions.
This area has been claimed by the Dire Wolf tribal alliance of mixed-race nomads (half-orcs, most of them), blended descendants of the invading Army of Chaos that besieged Hammerhead in the days immediately before the Cataclysm. Their scouts arrive during the early spring, with the rest of the tribes and their flocks and herds following once the snows recede in early summer.
This was once the heart of the dwarven contingent of the city. Unlike most of the rest, the surface was industrial and the residents lived underground. Of all the districts, this one is the least picked-over, because most of the secrets are buried under hidden entrances. Travel through this district is dangerous despite the straight streets--debris from buildings has made them somewhat of a maze. Many dangerous beasts make their home here, and both the Barbegazi and the Dire Wolf tribe claim this region. Their forces frequently clash here, raiding back and forth as scavengers try to pick through the ruins.
This district once housed the gnomish population. Small buildings, laboratories, workshops, and warehouses mix with houses small and large in no apparent order. The Barbegazi and other servants of the Hungering Frost have claimed this area. In the eastern edge are even found tame remorhaz (and escaped wild ones) tunneling through the area in search of artifacts.
P is the portal gate, now defunct.
A is the exile town of Helvita, home to the Caretakers.
B is the exile town of Luxum. Known for being xenophobic, amoral clockwork engineers and researchers.
C is the exile town of Kor Tal. Known for being ruled by a despot.
D is the Khaimal-Yurt itself. Don't get within 1/4 mile or you'll die.
E and F are the main settlements of the Barbegazi (frost goblins) and associated forces. Unwise to visit without an invitation.
G is the Depot, where the Khaimal come to trade every 4-day.
H and I are the outposts of the Dire Wolf nomad tribe within the city walls. Their main camps are outside. Also unwise to visit without an invitation.
Red = exile territory.
Green = contested territory.
Brown = orc-blood nomad territory
Yellow = Hungering Frost territory
Blue = Whale's Breath School territory (aquatic humanoids)
Grey = Khaimal territory. Don't enter.