Settlements and Sites of the Four City-States #251
September 9th, 2023
Name: Deep Dive on a Site of Interest: Cerdmouth in Noldrune – Part 6
Location: North coast of Noldrune along Staplefish Bay
Population (approx.): 52 (Quarry workers)
Brief: Several centuries after the founding of the settlements at the mouth of the Cerd River, miners discovered a large deposit of limestone formed the bulk of the southern half of Harbwater Isle. A small quarry was started and provided a small amount of cut stone to support early constructions such as the first keep where Harbwater Castle now stands and the foundations of the early Harbwater Signal Tower.
After the Ta’arnan Empire swept up from the south and conquered the region, Legion Engineers convinced the local Ta’arnan rulers to greatly expand the cutting of stone at the quarry. This led to the construction of many of the current larger buildings of Cerdmouth, surrounding manor houses, creation of the boardwalk flagstones, and the Castle and Lighthouse of Harbwater. After the fall of the Empire, the Mining Guild took over the Harbwater Quarry under license from the City-State. Harbwater limestone has been cut from the quarry walls for over 8 centuries, hauled to the coast and loaded aboard ships and barges to be sold up and down the Guild Coast.
Grandal Stoneboots, 153, Dwarf is a stone sniffer for the quarry on Harbwater Island. He is unusually short and strokes his chestnut beard when pondering things. His eyes are dark brown, almost black. He wears his hair short and likes to flex his muscles at the ladies. Grandal wears leather armor with a miner's hat and pack. His favorite tool is a tuning rod, which he claims helps him find veins of minerals. He wears a war hammer strapped to his back for 'emergencies.'
Grandal has an unusual ability to “sniff out” veins of different stones and minerals, avoiding flaws and inclusions that might weaken a quarried slab of limestone. He was much sought after in his youth until a horrible mining accident deep underground almost killed him and many others. Fleeing the area and fearing the depths, he landed on Harbwater Island and quickly found a job at the open-air above ground quarry. He has been happy here ever since.
Grandal is happily married to Belledeth, 160, Dwarf. They have three children: Bonrin, 18, Blynis, 11, and Ragron, 8. They all live in a house in Harben that Grandal built for them. Grandal enjoys going to the Unusual Husband Inn in Harben after work for a pint or two. Belledeth takes care of the children and creates beautiful sculptures from stone remnants from the quarry.
Geography: Harbwater Quarry (location 6) currently consists of four “open pit” mining sites across central and eastern parts of the island. The south pit, near Harben, is the oldest and largest. The west pit is the newest. They cover a range of 1 to 6 acres in area and are from 50 feet to 200 feet deep. The south pit is large enough to include underground galleries connected by a series of traditional tunnels. Grandal only works the west pit and the north pit, neither of which has any underground mining. Each pit has an office and several shacks or sheds for storing tools and cut stone blocks. Between the road and the south pit is the Mining Guild headquarters for the operation, plus two dormitories and a mess hall.