Update #2: Foundry Ridge
The Tyrant is back! I'm proud to present a sample of the entry for Foundry Ridge, one of the many domains of Solenset detailed in Nightfall.
Foundry Ridge is the domain of the sinister Foreman, a powerful, evil entity which has remained in power since the town was captured by Nightfall aeons ago. Here, the population works hard by day and cowers in terror by night. The people know better than to venture out after the Nightfall - when the town transforms from a mining settlement to a hellhole where monsters seethe and crawl from the ever-burning coal fires beneath.
History of Foundry Ridge
The depression struck the town of Foundry Ridge hard, as the bottom fell out of the coal mining market. The Foreman, his name lost to time, worked his people to the bone drawing what little the mountain had left to offer. Agitators were silenced in the usual ways, or thrown deeper into the mine for their cheek. He brought in hired hands to police the town, and hired on Jasper Caster as his Mine Headsman, isolating himself from the people of the Ridge.
The Foreman kept the biggest share of the shrinking profits. He sank into a spiralling pit of loose women, alcohol and expensive adornments for his manor. Evil had taken root here. The sun went down on Foundry Ridge - and the next day it rose in Solenset. It was as simple as that. The Foreman's greed cemented his station as the Lord of the Ridge.
Those who leave Foundry Ridge find themselves back where they started, or worse, are trapped in the mines below town - where they slowly become the monsters which roam the corridors and passages, their sins given abominable form and power.
The Ridge by Day
Cradled against the grey colored stone of a ridge in the side of a broken mountain, Foundry Ridge appears to be a small mining town which has seen better days. It sits on the edge of a massive crater, where giant machines spin and whirr as they pump water out of the earth. Massive conveyors chug along with precious cargoes of coal, coating everything in a fine layer of choking black dust. A giant aqueduct transfers water to the Ridge from the reservoir a few miles outside town, which sits as an old night watchman, looking over the valley below.
A large mansion overlooks the small houses of the townsfolk below it: the Foreman’s Manor. The Manor is a fine estate that dominates the face of Foundry Ridge. Also breaking the lines of ramshackle homes is the Schoolhouse, flat gray stone devoid of anything but function, and the Church, complete with steeple and bell which in sore need of repair.
The walls of the adjoining crater are riddled with the remains of old mines which snake through the stone, always at risk of flooding or collapsing. The town seems peaceful enough during the day, with a sense of quiet unease caught in the mist of the choking smoke which blankets the light of the sun, diffusing it against the sky.
The Ridge by Night
The broken mountain twists and turns, becoming like jagged teeth as the cloak of night descends upon Foundry Ridge. There are a few scant moments during the transition from day to dusk in which the errant traveler is safe; After that, the town transforms into a wicked reflection of the people that inhabit it. Foundry Ridge becomes a dark mirror to the hidden emotions, desires and motives which bubble beneath the surface of the folk there. The streets shift and change, almost hourly, as a thick black smoke curls from the crater and oozes through the Ridge as though alive.
The giant machines which pump water from the mine during the day transform into a hideous mix of metal and flesh spewing fire and dust. They tear at the ground, trying to widen the crater and suck the town into the depths below. The reservoir takes on a darker shape against the skyline, a viscous black liquid oozing from the edges.
The grounds of the Foreman's Manor are overgrown, the plant life choked in smoke. The strange moving lights of the Foreman’s henchmen can be seen drifting through the dark smog, and the house echoes with the screams of the Foreman’s unlucky ‘guests’. The Schoolhouse becomes a maddening image of impossible angles and design, with the ghosts of unlucky children bound to the school grounds where they lost their lives previously; their wrathful shapes flit through the shadows.
The Church resists the power of the Nightfall, but as time drags on, it is the last building to transform. As the Father locks himself away with his bottle, his building echoes with the distorted sound of its bell ringing Midnight. The dead stalk the graveyard and hammer on the doors - they want in, they want absolution…
As more smoke issues forth to blanket the landscape, lights flicker softly in the distance, promising freedom - or doom...
At night Angelique’s schoolhouse transforms, revealing its fate. The exterior is full of broken windows and soot covered walls, burnt out wooden doors and heat-cracked stone. Smoke pours outwards from the building as the boilers below it churn out their hellish heat. Inside the building, the corridors echo with the cries of screaming children. The ghosts of the dead flit from corridor to corridor; unfortunates that cross their path may find themselves being herded towards Angelique and her detention.
Monster: Headmistress (Icon by night only – see Icons)
Description: At night Angelique’s personality shines through. She becomes a twisted version of herself. Clad in dirty, but similar clothes, her face contorts and her coke-bottle glasses grow into her face until they replace her eyes entirely. She is armed with a massive cat’o’nine tails whip, from which blood drips always.
Personality: Angelique screeches about tardy children, she hisses about untidy clothing, idiot parents and foolish governors. She cares only that lessons need to be learned, using her powers to throw trespassers into Detention. She possesses a strange, twisted charity; she will enroll people to her school so they can learn harsh lessons - because the gift of education is her gift to the world.
"Detention" is actually a living dungeon beneath the school where Angelique imprisons her victims. Reality is warped in this place; the rooms change with sinister purpose, always echoing the themes above - a school playground, a dark auditorium, endless twisting hallways. Detention feasts on the life force of those victims who fail to escape its clutches come the morning.