A century ago, local mine managers maintained their own smelting houses, but constant conflict resulted in frequent sabotage that choked the flow of resources from Diamond Lake to Free City markets. The city directors reluctantly stepped in, monopolizing the smelting trade and basing the town’s only smelting house in a massive fortress-workshop perched on the edge of the lake. Runoff slag belched from great sub-surface pipes accounts for the majority of the pollution that has killed off most aquatic life in the region, and production these days is more robust than it has ever been.
Five massive furnaces and great chemical vats crowd the building’s interior, criss-crossed with shallow channels containing molten iron. Noxious fumes and scalding heat require special suits that filter the air and protect exposed skin. The rarely seen chief smelter, Vulgan Durtch, is one of the richest men in Diamond Lake, but few neighbors know anything about him. Durtch runs the place with a precision that requires his near-constant supervision over a team of two dozen menials and overseers, but rumors suggest more sinister motives for his seclusion.
A tower on the building’s northwest corner serves as the residence and workshop of Benazel the Alchemist, a talkative chemist from the Free City who oversees the alchemical rituals and reagents necessary for the smelting process and who makes a minor fortune selling potions from his first-floor office.
OOC: Benazel sells potions and alchemical items. He can craft any potion or formula up to 3rd level. He can send away for items above this level.