Greywater Fastness

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The city of Greywater Fastness

Greywater Fastness was one of the Seeds of Hope built in the Greywater Reach in Ghyran through the Festermere Realmgate. It's a towering stronghold of ironclad walls, roaring furnaces, sorcerous wards and lowering cannon batteries.[1] The city is built upon a vast reserve of Ghyran realmstone that is used to power the growth of the city.[1][10]

Currently, it is a city that never sleeps, its industry unhalting. To this day Alarielle is still trying to retake the city's grounds via raining fast-growing plants that require fast removal. Its streets are described as narrow rivulets of stone and metal, remnants of a tireless, ever-expanding industry. These streets widen as they approach the great canals that connect the city with its surrounding marshes. [2]

Design

The Greywater Fastness is designed for efficiency and defence. At the center of the city is the Great Axle which is the home of official residences, administrative and government buildings as well as the houses of the wealthiest residents of the city. Beyond the Great Axle is the Inner Circle where the bulk of the industry is situated ranging from factories and forges to mines. Beyond is the Outer Circle which is largely devoted to workers’ housing as well as amenities required for those residents such as shops. As this is the closest to the city’s Outer Wall it would be the most vulnerable during an invasion but this sacrifice limits the damage to the industries located in the Inner Circle. The five Spoke Roads are the only direct roads that run from the city gates into the Great Axle and all train lines and workways are raised up above ground level.[9a]

Defences

Greywater Fastness’s Outer Walls are several feet thick and is well maintained with no chip or scratch going unrepaired. Each section of the outer walls contains massive Guardian Idols which project shields that ward off the likes of Geists and lesser Daemons with the ones used by the Greywater Fastness being some of the greatest in the realms with the ability to even absorb artillery strikes. On top of the wall is a ring of rails which mount twelve mobile artillery pieces, placed equidistantly around the city in a clock-like formation with a distance of around 10-mile between adjacent cannons. The cannons fire sequentially each hour like a clock thus they are known as the 'Hands', Each of the Hand is fully mobile, and the cannons can be turned inward to maintain fire on anything that breaches the walls. [9a]

The largest fortification, the Mere Keep guards the one road in and out of the city which is armed with gun emplacements to ward off a frontal assault and in the event of a siege, the Grey Gate below the keep can be quickly closed off at both ends of the Keep which also allows the creation of an enclosed killzone on any enemy that made it into the keep. If an enemy makes it past the walls they will be forced to either fight through the narrow maze-like streets that can be easily blocked off or take one of the five wide Spoke Roads, which are designed to funnel enemies down through easily defensible paths.[9a]

History

This city was only possible after Valius Maliti made the intuitive leap of using realmstone as a power source and his genius combined with the wisdom of the aelven enchanters, and the pragmatic skill of the Ironweld engineers the harnessing of Ghyranite realmstone began with arcane machinery. Suddenly a collective of artisans and labourers poured through the Festermere Realmgate into Greywater Reach with the protection of the Anvils of the Heldenhammer, the Eldritch Council and regiments of Freeguilds, especially those of the Greycap gun companies. The bog-grot tribes that had harassed their stockades were driven back by crackling war machines, the swamp waters were drained in days and the land was baked into hardened clay. Walls and towers increased in size as the region's resources were plundered to build the fast growth of the city. The horrified Sylvaneth even came to blows with their allies as trees were felled by hundreds to fuel the growth of the city. [1][4a]

During the Season of War, hordes of beastmen threatened to tear the city down and the guildmasters ordered a full salvo from its macro-Hurricanum arrays creating an arcane detonation that not only utterly wiped out the besiegers, but also turned the surrounding verdant landscape into a desolate, smog-choked wasteland. The Dreadwood Sylvaneth led by the Treelord Pale Oak move to occupy the devastated territory now known as the Ghoul Mere and refused to allow people passage out of the city. In the aftermath of another bloody conflict, negotiations are held and the city secured a single trade route out of the Fastness which becomes a militarized highway and those who stray from this path are taken away by woodland spirits.[5a]

Government

The Grand Conclave of Greywater Fastness consists of twenty-four members. The Conclave holds the ability and duty to manage laws, establish taxes, maintain the city's infrastructure, and make official decisions regarding its fate, they even control the majority of the city's Freeguilds. Or at least they do on paper. In reality the Conclave is all but controlled by the Council of the Forge from within, as their members are often elected as High Artisans and High Artillerists, and without.[9a]

Current Members

Former Members

Politics

Though the Free City of Greywater Fastness is nominally governed by a Grand Conclave, it is the Steam Lords that make up the Council of the Forge who hold the most authority and influence over the city's policies. The council is driven by the desire for more resources to power their experimental war machines and seeks any excuse to make war upon Greywater’s neighbours. [5b][9a]

Once, like nearly all Cities of Sigmar in Ghyran, a Lord Cultivator was included on the Conclave of the city. This ended when the city's last Lord Cultivator was banished, due to the belief they were working with the city's Sylvaneth enemies.[8a]

Economy

The main force that drives the expansion of Greywater Fastness is war. The high demand for Greywater weapons and refined firepower keeps wealth flowing to the Ironweld guildmasters and Dispossessed mason-lords and keeps the fires of the gun foundries ever blazing. The duardin clans that operate some of the most prosperous forge complexes have even become wealthy and powerful enough to earn a position on the Council of the Forge. [5b] As the treaty with Alarielle only allows one road to the city every import and export are taxed to provide for military protection of the road. [9a]

The industry of the city never goes to sleep with three factory shifts of equal length ensuring that machines and furnaces never cease belching black smoke up into the sky. This also means that between their shifts workers seek out cheap, convenient entertainment. Thus eateries, pubs, bars, inns, and meal houses of varying qualities throughout the city, and always close to factories operate all day alongside more esoteric entertainments such as fighting pits where crude automata battle. Many over-charge the patrons and are structured in a way that almost all the wages return back into the company’s coffers. [9a]

The limited agriculture in the city is carried out within glass and iron agrichambers scattered throughout the city on rooftops and along the Spoke Roads which also act as parks when they are open to the public for a few hours in the morning and evening. While the agrichambers can produce enough fresh greens to ensure that there are no vitamin deficiencies in the city, they are far too inefficient and cannot grow cereal crops. Thus the bulk of food supplies must be imported and since the bosses are also the food importers, food supplies are either sold on the open market or reserved for each company’s workers where it is sold to them at a discount.[9a]

Entertainment

Many of the Duardin owned taverns of Greywater Fastness are well known all across the Realms. [7a]

Transportation

Due to Greywater Fastness’s excessive pollution and limited food supplies it has become inhospitable for livestock, pack animals, and mounts thus the Steam Lords and Cogsmiths built automatons in the shape of the animals powered by cyclestone which are named ‘Rattletrap’ due to the constant rattling their engines make. [2][9a]

The workways are suspended, clanking mechanical belts that link the upper floors of each major housing block to the factories of the Inner Circle that allow workers to be efficiently transported between factories and residences any time of the day. Gridlocks may occur at the workway interchanges when workers lack a direct line to their factory but this is rare as most employers own housing and house their staff in convenient locations. On the workways vendors sell food, drink, and tobacco. A network of raised rail lines runs across the city connecting many platforms and terminals. Trains and steam-carts powered by steam and emberstone are used for the large-scale transportation of goods between warehouses and factories as well as the inner city and the Grey Gate.[9a]

In the past a network of canals was the main method of transportation of goods and workers between the mines and the factories but the rapid expansion saw the scrapping of the canal network in favor of realmstone-powered railways. The canals were sealed off but since then many have been broken and are used by criminals as well as a home for various creatures.[9a]

Military

The majority of the Freeguild regiments in the Greywater Fastness are directly under the Grand Conclave, and are responsible for city defence and law enforcement but the Steam Lords also employ smaller Freeguilds that protect their personal assets or even be used during an aggressive takeover. The city's Freeguilds are well equipped with even the lowliest member carrying a precision rifle, durable pistol, and a rapier. The Greycaps, named after their distinctive uniforms, are the largest and most popular of the Freeguild regiments and are known for discipline and iron-will. During peacetime they act as city watch under the Grand Conclave.[9a]

The standard doctrine for the generals of the city is the decisive application of overwhelming and often extravagantly excessive, firepower. Elite Freeguild Handgunners of the Greycaps join with veteran shieldbands of Dispossessed Ironbreakers and Irondrakes. Relentlessly drilled, these troops form a nearly impervious battle line. The infantry are backed up by the might of the Ironweld Arsenal with cannon and Helblaster Volley Gun batteries with bomber squadrons flanked by whirring Gyrocopters.[3][5b]

The city also maintains a militia who get a couple of weeks off work each year to stand on the walls where they train by taking ot-shots at the things that move in the Ghoul Mere. The local Collegiate Arcane provides battlemages mostly specialising in Bright and Celestial magics with Jade magic being rare due to being considered as wild and unpredictable, and the domain of the Sylvaneth. The Underjacks Guild consisting of mercenaries and convicts are tough tunnel fighters that root out enemies and monsters that infiltrate the sewers, drains, and ancient canals beneath the city.[9a]

Locations

  • Great Axle: Heart of the city where bureaucratic institutions and residences of the richest citizens are located. [9a]
    • Aetherlight Promenade: Public windowless ballroom where a midnight atmosphere is always maintained. Known for its orchestra of automata.[9a]
    • Ashmond House[9a]
    • Fahrenhorn’s Crucible of State[9a]
    • First Wall: The original wall when the city was young which now protects the Great Axle. Suspended workways and rail tracks now travel over it unimpeded however it does have thick and functional gates over entrances from the five Spoke Roads. The white paint of the wall is constantly maintained despite the constant build-up of graffiti and industrial residue. [9a]
    • Forgehaven[9a]
    • Forge of Artificer[9a]
    • Gravenstone[9a]
    • Great Axle Menagerie: Over a square mile of land enclosed by high walls and sealed under a leaded glass ceiling where all sorts of exotic creatures of the Mortal Realms are kept. [9a]
    • Gryphon Hall[9a]
    • Hormint’s Labour Exchange[9a]
    • House of the Great Alliance: An octagonal clockwork cathedral dedicated to the Pantheon of Order. Each corner of contains a statue of one of the major Gods of Order with each having an ornate vestibule with art and inscribed scripture illuminated with magical fire. The floor rotates based on the god that is being worshipped during the period. [9a]
    • The Ironweld Anvils of Industry: The massive fortress of the Ironweld Arsenal nigh-indestructible fortress where the Ironweld carries out its production, experiments and training. Deep foundations and thick walls protect the fortress not only from the outside but also the Great Axle from explosions within.[9a]
    • Ivraen's Sanctum[9a]
    • The Last Grove[9a]
    • Masters’ Bridge[9a]
    • Quench[9a]
    • Sarvisson Conservatory: This domed opera house is the largest and most prestigious venue of the performing arts in Greaywater Fastness. It plays host to touring companies across the Mortal Realms but it is Greywater's native performers, the Sarvisson Orchestra and the Grey Opera to name but two, who perform to packed houses. Most performances are patriotic pieces penned by Chaiko Verskisson, who is most famous for Battle for Phoenicium and the Seeds of Hope.[9a]
    • The Scintillant Spire:High tower of the Collegiate Arcane located on the outer edge of the Great Axle where battlemages are trained and research is carried out. Each floor of the Spire is dedicated to a different school of Magic. From the bottom in sequence are Jade, Amber, Gold; Amethyst, Grey, and the 'higher' realms of Bright, Light, and Celestial schools are at the top. [9a]
    • The Stone College: A massive and elaborate educational building that takes up an entire city block where students learn various subjects such as finance, trade, city law, theoretical chemistry, metallurgy, and engineering.[9a]
  • Inner Circle: The ring of the city right outside the Great Axle where the bulk of industrial activities are carried out. It is filled with factories and warehouses while massive pits lead down into the underground cyclestone mines.[9a]
    • Battery Green Firing Range: A 600 meter firing range where new weapons are tested, Freeguild regiments drill and the Council of the Forge's Gun Club meet to discuss business. [9a]
    • Clinker Market: also called the Sprawl Market is a massive market that runs along the Spoke Road #1 from the Inner Wall almost to the Grey Gate.[9a]
    • Estermere Munitions [9a]
    • Greywater Lock :The main fortress of the Greycaps, the city's most famous Freeguild. Surrounded by walls are black stone buildings with gravel courtyards between them. The Lock contains barracks, training facilities, and a small prison. Over 500 Greycaps are garrisoned here including all the senior officers.[9a]
    • Hertzen & Sons Landdock: Manufacturer and servicer of Cogforts, Steam Tanks, other mobile cannons and vehicles owned by the Duardin Hertzen Family.[9a]
    • Idleway’s Stacks [9a]
    • Jessamyn’s Fine Tailoring [9a]
    • Kaulgar’s Blind: Large watchtower that acts as a home to the local Fyreslayer Lodge descending from the Baeldrag Lodge. Acts as an embassy between Greywater and other lodges.[9a]
    • Long Smoke : Officially the City Sanitation Facility No: 4 is a square mile area where waste that can’t be recycled or repurposed is burned.[9a]
    • Loose Cannons Underjack Guild [9a]
    • Maliti Square [9a]
    • Ordiver’s Realmstone Works [9a]
    • Palace of Eternal Rest: Mausoleum where countless corpses were buried until the Necroquake when the Conclave made cremations mandatory. Tinkerers found a method to turn ashes into small diamonds which soon turned into a trend and then became a tradition. Now it is filled with thousands upon thousands of gemstones with varying levels of extravagance depending on the wealth of the deceased's family. [9a]
    • Plot #75[9a]
    • Potbank Night Shelter[9a]
    • Spoke #1 Auction Yard[9a]
    • Stars-On-Stone[9a]
    • Torquill’s Alchemicals[9a]
  • Outer Circle: The residences of the city's working class and thus the bulk of its population alongside shops and civics spaces for these residents are located in the Outer Circle.[9a]
    • Battery Green Penitentiary[9a]
    • Burnt Arches[9a]
    • Cherished Weald Garden[9a]
    • Coldrock Ironworks[9a]
    • Elrith Ceyl[9a]
    • Fargo's Fine Endrineering[9a]
    • Old Blunderbuss[9a]
    • Orruk’s Regret[9a]
    • Plumb and Bob[9a]
    • Outer Wall[9a]
    • Five Dials Interchange[9a]
    • Mere Keep: A powerful fortress that surrounds the the Grey Gate, the main entrance to the city. It was constructed by duardin stonemasons from heavy black stone dredged from the marshland., it has a dozen heavy portcullises and batteries of cannon. The walls and gun towers stretch out on either side of the mighty gatehouse and loop back towards the road to the city. It has stables, animal pens and a forge and is as self-sufficient as possible. [6a][9a]
    • Cathedral Hill [2]
    • Old Fen Gate: A gate built over one of the largest and oldest of the canals and used to mark the end of the city. The walls expanded long ago and it became a haven for criminals. [2]
    • Magpie's Nest: A place for secret and often illicit auctions of the rare and unusual. It was burnt down during the Auction of Blood.[2] Now the the remains of Magpie’s Nest is a gathering place for citizens to talk down about the authorities, plot to counterfeit currencies or plan factory slowdowns. These Grits call themselves the 'Magpies' but are not a single group with a common cause.[9a]
    • Merciful Sigmar Hospice[9a]
    • Rookery Way[9a]
    • Rummage[9a]
    • Sunk Streets[9a]
  • Ghoul Mere: Most citizens that venture outside the city walls will usually stick to the One Road but some have established settlements in the Ghoul Mere itself most of which are located within the range of the city's artillery.[9a]
    • One Road: The only road out of the city that the Greywater Fastness is allowed to maintain under Alarielle's treaty. It starts from the Mere Keep and travels across the Ghoul Mere to Festermere Realmgate in the north. It is a well maintained dirt road with bridges and embankments on waterlogged sections as well as trenches and pipes to divert water flow away from the road maintained using taxes levied on traders. The Sylvaneth maintains Ghostlights along its length to keep undead and other beasts at bay. {Fn|9a}}
    • Skryre's Lock: A series of locks, aqueducts, and a half-finished marina located deep into the Ghoul Mire at the edge of the canal network which was abandoned when Valius Maliti redirected resources away from the canal expansion. The Skaven have taken over the remains and have converted it into a warren and workshop acting as the base of operations for spying on Greywater Fastness.[9a]
    • Scallavost: Abandoned Aelven city from the Age of Myth. The ruins contain many treasures but treasure hunters must brave the banshees and shades that haunt the place.[9a]
    • Bone Grove: Known for trees that reach out of the water like skeletal hands while creaking like hanged men. Home to the Beastfolk of the Mire.[9a]
    • Festermere Realmgate: The realmgate at Festermere that connects Ghyran to Aqshy. It takes several days of travel across the One Road to reach the realmgate which is surrounded by the walls of Fort Festermere. Greywater Fastness garrisoned the Fort with a company of soldiers chosen from the toughest and most experienced fighters. They also happen to be among the vilest criminals in the city having been offered a large financial reward for serving a decade of military service under foul-tempered officers. [9a]

Population

Greywater Fastness has a robust population well within the millions, representing a myriad of different races.[6a] Those descended from the first Azyrite Settlers who established the Greywater Fastness and the Swamp-Cantons of Greywater Reach are known as Star-Bloods, whereas those peoples native to Ghyran are known as Jade-Bloods.[6b] Whilst slavery is illegal, prisoners are often formed into work-gangs, sent elsewhere on to the smaller settlements in the Mire, some are used to form penal regiments or press-ganged into crewing ships. [6b]

Notable

Flora and Fauna

Ghyrochs and Bramblehorns are known to be cultivated by the people of the Free City.[6c]

  • Fellwater Troggoths: These haul themselves out of the filthy canals, their flabby, scaled flesh encrusted with barnacles of ossified filth and rampage through the slums, attacking anyone foolish enough not to seek shelter.[1]

Gallery

See Also

Sources

Cities of Sigmar
Free Cities of Sigmar Fortress Cities Capital Fortress Cities ExcelsisHammerhal AqshaHammerhal GhyraLethisMisthåvnSettler's GainVindicarum
Seeds of Hope Greywater FastnessLiving CityPhoenicium
Cities of Flame AnvilgardHallowheartTempest's Eye
Free Cities of the Realms
Great Cities of Azyr AzyrheimGrimpeakHallowstarNordrathSkydockStardockStarhold
Cities of Aqshy AnvalorBrighthallBrightspearCallidiumDraconiumEdassaFort DenstIpsalaNew HarrazanRozhVandium
Cities of Chamon AnvilspireEshunnaGreenfireHelmgardRavensbachSephyrumTabarTansisUliashtai
Cities of Ghur AccarBilgeportCarthaColonnadeConcordiaEarthquake CityEsthu'dorEverquake CityIzalendMatarkaSeven WordsShu'gohlSkyheldSkythaneSundsforTantalumThornwallVeldtwend
Cities of Ghyran ColostrumDagolethDruhiel of the PinesEverythFort GardusHeldenhammer's TriumphHoundsgateKernelstoneKranzinnportKurnotheaLifestoneOak's HeartSlicstonSludgemootSupcliffeXil'anthos
Cities of Hysh City of PrismsTor Limina
Cities of Shyish ArbitriumAstronicaAventhisCity of SighsCotherquillGholdenhalGlimmerheartGlymmsforgeGravespurnGravewildLugolMonsam SpireMhurghastThanator's ManseOasis of GazulPort SorrowTwinned Towns of Belvegrod (EastdaleWestreach) • VeilgardWestport
Cities of Ulgu Barbed PromiseDarkdelveDesperanceDuskhengeGaolintarGreyspireHarkraken's BaneHollenwaldMurmurusNew SadoriaScant HopeTarnastipolUmbramox
Unspecified AlshimeAnvilheimBlackwallBleinhamCatransaCelestriusFarcragGaldheartHeldeliumHoldashPilgrim's ReachShanskirSigmar's ReachTabernaTallowreachThraesh
Factions Collegiate ArcaneDarkling CovensDevoted of SigmarDispossessedEldritch CouncilFreeguildIronweld ArsenalLion RangersOrder DraconisOrder of AzyrOrder SerpentisPhoenix TempleScourge PrivateersShadowbladesSwifthawk AgentsWanderers
Background Aqua GhyranisAzyritesGrand ConclavesReclaimedSigmar's EmpireDawnbringer CrusadesFree AnvilgardGoldjacketsMotor VehiclesSigmarite Strongpoint
Artwork