The Empty Vessel
“There’s a different kind of stench in Stonehammer . . . it’s the stench of arrogance.”
Stonehammer occupies the southern half of the inner city, and it wraps around High Hall up to the Dwarf Road. Like Elftown, Stonehammer is home to the wealthy citizens of Hammerfast, specifically the dwarves. Since this district is cleaner, safer, and more exclusive than other parts of the city, great deal of resentment exists toward the folks of Stonehammer from those of lower means and status.
Buildings: Stonehammer is the most dwarven of districts, and its buildings are grand, sweeping, and magnificent to behold. Towers that thrust up from lower levels rival those found in High Hall in terms of height and grandeur. Since space is at a premium, the dwarves here have built upward. The wealthiest citizens live in the aeries, while servants, low-born dwarves, and all those who support the sumptuous lifestyles of the elite dwell in the ’Dark—-the bowels of Stonehammer.
Streets: The towers feature wide, sturdy bridges of stone, each fitted with high railings to prevent accidents and equipped with everburning torches for safety. In the ’Dark, the roads are tight and twisting, threading around the towers’ bases, and plunged in nearly perpetual darkness.
People: Stonehammer is exclusively a dwarven district and nondwarves are not permitted to live here. Other races often work in the ’Dark, but even they must keep their residences outside the district. Folk here are wealthy and powerful, and they represent the best the city has to offer.
Sights: A knot of dwarf priests bestow blessings on a newly completed bridge, a palanquin borne by a dozen human thralls bears a dwarf lady to an upscale market, a pompous dwarf aristocrat waxes on about his successful ventures in Tradetown, and stern-faced guards armed with halberds block access into the innards of an impressive tower.
Smells: None; the air is clean, although a breeze might push the fetid odors from the rest of the city, but such occasions are rare and brief. In the ’Dark, dust, sweat, and wood smoke fill the air, tinged with a faint chemical smell.
Sounds: Deep, resonating laughter, the bass voice of a dwarf noble, the grunt of a thrall bearing the weight of his charge, the hiss of a spiretop drake, and the sounds of good living permeate the district.