clan lives in an abandoned industrial plant along the river. During Blackmire's
war with the floating city of
decades ago, an air raid ignited a fire that ripped through the plant complex
one night, killing the skeleton crew on nigh shift. The plant's owner died a
few weeks later in another aerial assault, and with no heirs to inherit, the
plant was left to decay. Hyperion
A new owner bought it from the city a few years later in a public auction, but before the planned repairs could begin, she was murdered by her own sister in a drunken rage. The murderous sister was in turn caught, convicted, and later hanged. And an urban legend was born. Some say the property is cursed, and any who step foot there are doomed to die violently. Others say the plant is full of toxic waste, or haunted by the ghosts of the employees who died there. Regardless, the vast majority of people give the blackened remains a wide berth.
Locksley has never been one to give credence to rumors or superstition. So when she was studiously avoiding the City Guard after becoming the chief suspect for a murder she didn't commit, she was more than happy to take advantage of the plant's sinister reputation. No one was likely to stumble across her there, and she knew it would make the perfect place to lay low while she quietly worked to find the real murderer. She kept herself occupied by exploring, growing more fascinated with the massive steel complex each day.
As it turned out, the plant really was being haunted, but not by ghosts. A tribe of wild brownies was squatting on the grounds, safe from the persecution of 'giants,' who generally view the six-inch tall scavengers as pests. Having a soft-spot for outcasts and underdogs, Locksley befriended the little warriors, and they showed her every secret the place had to offer.
Locksley was pleased to learn the fire had done surprisingly little structural damage. After Locksley cleared her name by finding the real murderer, she felt the industrial plant that had sheltered her deserved a second chance too. She bought it cheaply from the city and put it under a fake name.
Since the City Guard had found and ransacked the
Leviathan Street clan's previous domicile
in their search for Locksley, she decided to relocate to the industrial plant.
They converted the least damaged portions of the plant into elegant and homey
Like most people who are criminally inclined, they're cagey and not overly trusting of outsiders. So they left the exterior and outer sections looking shabby and abandoned. In those areas, there remains an underlying scent of smoke and metallic mildew. The walls and ceilings still bear the scorch marks from the fire. The paint is peeling, the metal is rusted, and the wood is weather worn. All of the windows are spelled to appear painted black and/or broken, while still allowing the inhabitants a clear view outside.
The grounds are full of dry, overgrown grass, and the stone wall surrounding the entire property is covered with creeping moss and vines. Rust covers the spirals of razor wire topping the wall, but anyone foolish enough to try climbing over it will find the barbs still plenty sharp.
The brownies patrol the grounds and shabbier parts of the plant. They live inside the outer walls, using pipes, shafts, and crawl spaces as their personal highways. They forage for their natural diet of insects, small rodents, garbage, and the occasional stray cat. They dress in rodent skins and armor themselves with bits metal and other odds and ends scavenged from the trash, blending seamlessly into their environment. The little warriors are excellent security and very loyal.
Much too proud to accept handouts, the brownies prefer to scavenge and hunt for themselves. But Locksley is unwilling to leave the brownies to the merciless whims of nature, so the clan's table scraps end up in a midden heap strategically placed within easy access of the tribe. The brownies happily pick the pile clean, utilizing every last scrap. The bounty of food and supplies has allowed the little scavengers to thrive.
Locksley and the rest of the
Street clan live in the core of the industrial
plant complex, backed by the river and buffered by a scorched labyrinth and
seemingly decaying exterior. Overlooking the river, there is a solarium housing
an interior courtyard garden. The glass is inscribed with an opaque spell,
preventing anyone who happens to be motoring along the river or flying overhead
from seeing inside.
A towering Bloodgood maple tree grows out of the center of the courtyard's moss garden, its crimson leaves nearly brushing the glass ceiling. Headed by a trickling waterfall, a koi pond meanders through the garden, dotted with water lilies. The pond surface is occasionally shadowed by the small curved bridges connecting white quartzite gravel walkways.
There's a small shrine for the clan's ancestors, the gods they each worship, and the house spirit. A small gremlin named Sprocket watches over the plant, protecting all those within to the best of his ability. He's not completely altruistic, however. He only protects those who appreciate him. The previous owners did not learn that lesson however, so he let come what may.
While not superstitious, Locksley is hardly stupid, and she learned from those who came before. She refurbished Sprocket's shrine. Before every evening meal, they set out an offering of food, as well as nuts and bolts and screws and small coins for the small, mechanically inclined gremlin's appetites.
The clan's common areas and various private quarters spread outward from the courtyard, scattered in nearby parts of the plant. Dia turned the majority of his quarters into a workshop for his clockwork tinkering. Mischievous Sprocket dosen't cause any destruction, but he does enjoy moving Dia's tools and spare parts around the shop. Dia takes the gremlin's harmless pranks in stride, though. He has small Zen garden next to the windows overlooking the river, using a rake to often change the pattern in the sand gravel.
The butler, an industrious imp named Crenshaw, keeps everything pristine. As is customary for imps, Crenshaw prefers living in a tunnel in the ground. He made his subterranean den among the roots of the Bloodgood maple tree. There is an imp-sized door carved into the trunk, leading down into his little warren. It's quite warm and cozy and dark and damp, as suits his kind.
A small army of clockwork sprites, designed and built by Dia, helps Crenshaw reach every nook and cranny in which dust might settle. Dia made his clocksprites to closely resemble their biological cousins, using the clan of sprites living in the city's arboreum as models. He used copper, brass, tin, aluminum, and titanium alloys to give the three-onch tall floral insectoids a mottled metallic hue. The effect is stunning, and it provides the clocksprites effective camouflage in a world of red dust, metal steam pipes, and clockwork machinery.