The Clockwork Underground
From the journal of Ashter:
The Underground Clockworks is an area beneath the Frigid Lands; a series of ruins that seem to run endlessly with miles of tunnels, gears and clockworks running on steam some other power source. No one knows how old the ruins are or who made them or what purpose they could have served; all that is really known is that they have existed and have been abandoned so long ago that no one today seems to know that they even exist.
The ruins can be accessed through several different points; each entrance is either hidden away in the mountains, on sheer rock faces, or hidden in hills, making their entry difficult for those who don’t know their locations or how to unlock them.
A section of the ruins has been explored and made into a ‘town’ called Emberlight, created by a group of people who have dedicated their lives to studying the ruins and understanding the complex machinery and what purpose the ruins could have served. Many of the people follow a deity known as ‘Drexel’; a figure who was able to use the strange clockworks to perform great feats of aid and healing.
The group is identified by an emblem that is usually worn on their person: a ‘gear wing’, a stylized gear with sections missing on it to make it look like wings.
Drexel lived in Winter Waters for many years, spending most of his time trying to study the door until one day he manged to find a way inside and discovered a massive complex of running machines. He spent days going in and out of the ruins, bringing hundreds of pages of notes as well as strange items and trinkets; strange bits of metal and odd crystals. He would study as much as he could and over time, he was able to use his knowledge and the materials to perform more and more amazing feats for the village; constructing tools and machines to help with everyday work and being able to help the sick and injured much faster and efficiently than before.
Then one day that there was a terrible accident; one of the town’s old bridges had collapsed during the early morning and caused many casualties; some had lost limbs and some were on the brink of death from chest and head injuries as well as infection. Many didn’t think anyone would survive, but Drexel did not give up hope and he was able to do what seemed to be impossible. Using all of his knowledge, skill and the secrets and materials from ‘The Clockworks’, Drexel was able to heal many of the injuries and cure the worst of the infections, but what many were truly amazed were the strange items he constructed that helped replaces many of the lost limbs and even help repair internal damages; flesh replaced by metal and gears. It was a strange feat so miraculous that after that day the village saw Drexel as their greatest healer and citizen.
No one knows what happened to Drexel in the end. Some stories say he returned to the sky, but many say that he returned to the ruins he called ‘The Clockworks’, taking many of his notes with him and the secrets to his many ‘miracles’. Overtime his many feats fell into local folktale. However, these stories inspired many and soon a group of people wanted to know more and explored the old building that was said to be Drexel’s home. After several days of searching they were able to find some of his old notes, including possible ways of entering the ruins. This lead to a large expedition to try and enter the ruins and, after many months they were able discover a way inside. These people would be the first to enter the Clockworks after so long and they would be the founders of what they call ‘Emberlight’; a section of the ruins that they had explored and has grown into a community or town of sorts.
These people live in the Clockworks and spend their time trying to learn and study what they can. Many were able to find and discover the techniques and magic that Drexel is said to have used, becoming the first ‘clerics of Drexel’.
Emberlight is a community of a few mix races; mainly dragonborn, human, and dwarf. It is run by a small council that help make govern the town. Trade is simple, getting many supplies from the local town of Winter Waters. The clerical order in Emberlight are those who have studied what they could about Drexel and use both the divine magic and the machinery of the Clockworks. The ‘head’ of the Drexel order is an older dragonborn named Gracken; it is said he has skills and powers very similar to what Drexel was able to do and was the one that was able to help and heal Ashter, becoming her mentor when she was allowed to stay.
The clerics don’t have a normal holy symbol, instead they use strange crystals that are found only in the Clockworks. The purpose of the crystals and the ‘farm’ they come from is unknown, but they act like a focus as well as a symbol for the clerics.