Infrastructure on the Rock of Bral: The Garbage Rocks

Docks of Bral by Silverblade the Enchanter. Copyright (c) 2010. Used by permission.

One of the features of Bral is the “Garbage Rocks”, often just referred to as “The Garbage”.

Like any city, Bral creates a lot of rubbish and human waste.  Most urine is sold to fullers or alchemists for the manufacture of black powder, solvents and other products; and excrement is mostly sent to be composted in huge vats on the Underside where it is used as fertilizer for the vital fields and trees the city relies on for food and air.  Likewise, most rubbish is sorted for useful material, as recycling is essential, since importing to Bral is expensive and communities of Wildspace know damn well better than to get fussy when their lives are at stake (one reason snobs aren’t liked by the populace in general).  That which cannot be reused, such as dangerous waste from infirmaries or undertakers is collected and stored separately to be dumped at the Garbage Rocks., if it is not specially incinerated (see below).

Most bodies are disposed of this way as well, especially folk with no known religious rites or those who believe in returning their bodies to the cosmos that created them.  Since that space is at a great premium on Bral, nor can excess fires be tolerated, so those wishing burial or cremation in preference to this fate are forced to pay very stiff fees for the privilege.   Indeed, most heating for cooking or forge work on Bral is done by magical means which the city helps pay for and maintain, since the expense of importing wood and coal, combined with the the risk to property and air quality, makes most open fires untenable.  Homes are usually assigned a “cooking stone”, an obsidian rock enchanted to give off heat as the user commands but within limits for cooking heat only.  Blacksmiths and the like have more complex arrangements.  This is very important to the community, and therefore, those abusing these privileges (such as stealing the heating items) are extremely disliked and likely to be hunted down by locals.  Since all such items are meticulously catalogued and signed for upon distribution, such thieves are easily magically tracked; Bralian tax dollars at work.  Spellcasters can make a nice living from creating these items for the city as well as making magical lights, another necessity.  Note that since this is controlled by the city it is illegal to sell magical heating sources directly.  They must be inspected for safety standards, catalogued, and approved by the Bralian government.

Magical light sources are generally not so restricted unless issues arise.  Magical lights are not provided except on some thoroughfares and important areas like the docks, but most people of any means have at least one enchanted lantern, often passed down through the family.

Garbage haulers take trips every three days out to the garbage with long strings of barges, with a few escorts.

The Garbage Rocks themselves are a large debris field almost 3 miles long and roughly tear drop in shape reaching a mile wide at the furthest point,with the sharp end towards Bral; it follows Bral’s orbit around 4 or 5 miles away.  It contains many small asteroids (less than 100 yards across) that have got bound up into it over the years.  Infinity vine grows there but is kept under control by the hordes of chattur and other creatures.  The wildlife makes it dangerous, but serves useful purpose in preventing anyone setting up a hidden base there.

One serious hazard are the swarms of small scavvers, but they’ve got used to garbage ships coming and have learned to generally leave ships alone.  Every now and then a night scavver or other large predator may reduce their numbers before being killed in its turn.

To warn ships off and serve as an alarm post for potential enemies sneaking up behind the Rock, as well as making a useful base in the garbage region and for slaying large predators who may endanger the city, the Garbage Lighthouse was built there.  The Garbage Lighthouse is a massive structure sitting on flattened asteroid towed to the area for the purpose.  It is a hexagonal tower that goes right through the asteroid, with the tower having three levels each above and below the asteroid (which is about 60 yards thick and 80 yards wide).  At each corner of the main hexagonal structure is another smaller hexagon tower, allowing for huge arcs of fire to be covered from many ballista positions.  It is armed with 12 heavy ballistas, 12 medium ballistas and 12 light ballistas spread out amongst these levels, allowing a wide range of possible attacks, whether dealing with smaller faster dangers like a night scavver or an enemy fleet.  The roof top and bottom is solidly enclosed stone, with 6 “blister” turrets atop the smaller hexagonal ones, each containing an enchanted, rapid firing dual ballista, and 6 medium catapults can fire through open able sliding doors on each roof top and bottom.

The tower top and bottom have reversed gravity from each other.  Store rooms have been cut inside the asteroid as well.  On top of each roof, top and bottom, is a rotating magical light, acting as a lighthouse, though in this case, the light is red, a warning to stay away!

Normally the tower is rarely fully manned (there’s little need for the expense) but stores are maintained for a full garrison in case of a siege.  Usually 30 to 50 soldiers are stationed there.  Additionally, two or three ships patrol the region and seconded to the Lighthouse for the duration of their two or three week patrol duty.  These are usually Eel ships or other light and fast vessels, to prevent smugglers, enemies trying to infiltrate or criminals disposing of bodies.

The Garbage Lighthouse has an additional use as an escape exit from the castle on Bral, using a secret Teleport Circle (note that this ONLY allows people to go TO the Garbage Lighthouse from the Castle, not the other way around, nor can others “dial into” this set up as it’s very secure!)  The staff on the lighthouse do not know of this; it’s hidden in a well crafted secret room that has no door.  The only way through is to disintegrate or break the wall down, so means to do so are left here: two vials of Universal Solvent, several scrolls usable by anyone that can create a Disintegrate effect but are too slow to be used in combat, and some picks and hammers.  (Note that this is also why several ships are ALWAYS seconded to the Lighthouse, in case of their need to evacuate the Prince and others.)

There is rumoured to be some kind of strange druid living in the garbage but this is unconfirmed (it IS actually true, the woman seems somewhat mad, named “Ryella” and she secretly is beholden to Prince Andru, warning him of dangers and getting rid of enemies).

On Bral, for the most atrocious of crimes, the villains are sentenced to be “marooned in the garbage”, cut adrift and thrust into the zone, where they are usually eaten alive by immature scavvers, so it’s rarely a quick death and very grizzly.  When such events occur, many folk get ferried out there in a sort of carnival event.


By Silverblade the Enchanter

 

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