A mercenary trading post, where those searching for work can sell their services. Also the home of Castien’s resistance cell, the Silver Wings, made primarily of Orcs and Elves, with one Dragonborn turncoat from the Courts.
Built into a cove on the south-western coast of Merran, The Exchange often finds itself full of races non-native to the island; Humans, Tieflings, Halflings, alongside darker Elven races and Dwarves. It’s construction took place mostly in secret, with the occasional Dominion inspection being either paid off or blinded to their true intentions, and from the outside it maintains a relatively innocent look – a small doorway slotted into the side of the cliff that might house a Halfling’s quiet abode. The bay outside this door has a boardwalk and pier to allow for the occasional ship to dock, but due to the western coast’s proximity to the Frostorm Sea, a pier that exposed would usually be reserved for the heights of Summer and little else.
Inside those inconspicuous front doors, a small entry corridor gives way to the main heart of the Exchange – the Pillar. An information desk is set into the bottom of the load-bearing central column, while five corridors branch off from the room’s outer wall, leading through to different areas beyond. Whether you need marketplaces for supplies, equipment, blacksmithing or carpentry, places to stable your horses or plan your next mission, or simply somewhere to drink and sleep away from the pressure of leering Dominion forces, you can find it all here.
The Exchange is an underground metropolis, smelling of stone and water and the bodies that inhabit it. Torches of magical fire light most of the complex, casting dancing shadows across the carved, cold-to-the-touch walls. The Pillar’s ceiling stretches high above, but each corridor drops down to a cramped warren-like atmosphere, before opening up again upon reaching your destination.
The Pillar (foyer):
- A domed hall, with the ceiling sloping up from the edges until it reaches the central pillar, which supports it.
- The surfaces are all craggy rock and slate, brittle edges.
- Smells of damp and bodies, not particularly pleasant but no worse than a merchant ship. With little ventilation, it’s warm.
- 5 exits other than the main entrance, each opening about a quarter of the height of the domed wall. Each exit has a stone slab attached to the top of the opening, with the name of the area beyond painted in black across them.
- 2 ladders, both of which come down from above and terminate here, on the far wall from the entrance. The left one has an up arrow painted next to it, the other a down arrow. Right now, however, both are blocked off by trapdoors and have signs saying “No Entry- Unsafe” next to them.
- People of most common races scattered about the place.
- All the corridors are much lower and tighter, about 7 ft. tall and maybe 3 human-widths across.
- Two channels of people walking, the left leading into the corridor and the right coming out.
- Signs saying “keep left” line the walls.
- The smell is much stronger in the confined space, and it gets warm fast.
The War Rooms:
- This corridor eventually ends with a double doorway entrance into a medium sized, 30×30 ft. room, carved out of the stone with the same material as the Pillar area.
- It also splits at this point, to the left and right, and you can just see two more doors about 35 ft. away from either side of this one, plus two doors opposite those on the other side of the corridors.
- The four other rooms are all 25×25, but all five have a hanging brazier of the same ethereal quality as throughout the Exchange, illuminating the rooms from above the very centre.
- Various combinations of wooden chairs and desks are scattered around them all, while the main room has a stone slab left in its centre, 10×10 ft., extending up from the floor in one solid block.
- [the main room is used by the Silver Wings predominantly, but all rooms are available to be booked out for preparation of missions/jobs.]
- As you move down this corridor, the smell gets less earthy and more like a farm or kennel, dirty and pungent.
- Large, tall barn doors greet you at the end of the corridor, the ceiling extending another 10 ft. higher to accommodate them and the corridor widening out to meet their wider size.
- Behind these doors, a wide walkway about 20 ft. across is covered in straw and hay, and at intervals of 15 ft. down the walkway there are locking stable doors blocking small holding pens. A total of 20 pens are built into the room here, the walkway extending all the way to the end, and each pen looks as though it reaches about 15 ft. further back as well.
- Filled with various creatures, some horses, a few dogs/wolves and even two huge, lumbering brown bears.
- At the end of the walkway is another set of barn doors, which lead out onto a small stone platform situated in the back lefthand corner of an under-cover dock, carved into the cliffside further to the west of the main entrance.
- Directly ahead of this platform, a ramp leads up and to the right, disappearing into the rock wall and leading to a lift about 15×15 ft. that goes directly up to the surface, for getting cargo/animals from the cliffside that can’t come down the stairs.
- To the left, a ramp leads down to the side of the canal-like dock, where rowboats can easily come in from the sea outside and drop off cargo or animals for storage or use.
- Both ramps are wide, about 12 ft. across, and incline at about 25 degrees.
- There is another tunnel entrance underneath this ramp-platform arrangement, which goes all the way underneath the Stables and the Pillar, splitting off into two cargo lifts that service either the Industries or Markets.
- This corridor smells immediately of soot and sweat, only getting stronger as you travel down it.
- There is no door at the end of this corridor, just two guards equipped with shortswords and hand crossbows.
- The cavernous space beyond is littered with forges, furnaces, anvils, workshop tents, alchemist’s tables and more, spread out around a central brazier that’s more like a bonfire, 10×10 ft. round in the very centre of the hall.
- The hall is a massive circular space, with a high ceiling that keeps getting taller until it reachs an opening about 150 ft. above you. This opening appears to act as a chimney for all the smoke generated by the various forges and fires, which unlike the bonfire and other braziers in the Exchange, are not arcane in nature.
- The place is run by the Dwarf Master Craftsman Gadrin Goldfist, whose office sits opposite the entrance, built against the concave wall.
- The corridor smells of perfumes, exotic foods and the burnt singe of Arcane magic.
- Inside the hall itself – a huge rectangular cut-out – are rows upon rows of market stalls all set out in a grid, centred around a central bonfire and four permanent installations
- Almost anything that you can think of might be found here, but beyond those four permanent stalls everything is on constant rotation, making it hard to know what will be available on any given day.
- A circle cut out of the ceiling acts a chimney for the huge bonfire, the same as in the Industries.
- The hall is around 100 ft. tall, and has the area of a full sized convention hall, stretching out to either side of the entrance.
- 6 floors, steadily matching the elevation of the staircase on the outside.
- Each floor contains seating areas for about 30 people, and are staggered so as to move up in a diagonal fashion along the cliffside.
- The ground floor contains the bar, which stretches the entire 125 ft. length of the room down its inner (left-hand from the entrance) side.
- Windows adorn the outer side of every floor, and on higher floors the inner side is enchanted, housing 60 rooms on each floor that are shunted into astral space to make enough room for them.
- Each floor is as long as the first, and about 90 ft. wide and 15 ft. tall.