Irongate's natural harbor is one of the few sheltered ports along
the long coast stretching from Scant to Naerie. As both a final
destination, and a stop along the east-west trade routes of the eastern
Azure Sea, it's port is always filled with scores of ships. Sometimes,
even the odd spelljamming ship lends its alien-looking appearance to
the Irongate docks, as one of the few places on Oerth that sees any
sort of open spelljamming presence. As such,
the Dock Quarter is the hub of Irongate's import/export activity.
The port is protected by a deadly triangle of imposing military
structures. Looming over the east side of the harbor is the Irongate's
massive citadel erected by the Aerdi over 450 years ago. Irongate's
forces are docked closest to the Citadel. The west side of the quarter
is protected by the Tower of Docan (often referred to as simply "The
Tower"), a rather formidable fortification in its own
right. The Tower is also headquarters to one of the most decorated
units in the
Irongate armed forces. See the City of
Irongate page for more information on the 3rd Tower Company.
The southern defense point is Harborkeep, a fortress built on a rocky island in the bay. Because of its key defensive location, Harborkeep figured prominently in repelling the blockade imposed by the Scarlet Brotherhood in 586 CY. It is believed that a tunnel beneath the harbor connects it directly to the Citadel on the mainland, enabling it to be continually provisioned and manned without the need of dangerous trips across the harbor by boat. An immense catapult on the battle-roof (reputedly of a magical nature) covers almost the entire harbor with its deadly reach, and can sink a medium-sized ship with a single good hit.
Standing on a large platform next to the ocean in the middle of the quarter is the Colossus of Irongate. The Colossus is an immense, 60' tall iron statue of an armored warrior (red symbol on the map below). Local legend contends that it is... or at least was... a fully functioning Iron Golem, however it hasn't moved in a very long time, if indeed it ever was capable of animation at all. Unfortunately, time has not been kind to the Colossus. Besides being rather rusted (its reddish form can be seen from quite a ways offshore), some years ago the left arm of the Colossus up to its elbow fell off, sinking a small fishing scow moored alongsides. Ships are no longer allowed to dock near the statue. The only portions of the statue that are not rusted are the statue's massive sword (in its right hand) and it's helmet. Alas, a large portion of the helmet is missing, the nickel-iron alloy having been removed for recycling, giving the head of the Colossus a rather awkward lop-sided look
There are two gates
that allow access from the Dock Quarter to the rest of the city. The
Dock Quarter itself mostly lies fairly close to water level, however
the city proper rises significantly from west to east, with the Citadel
sitting on the highest ground. The land rises slightly as one enters
the city walls through the west gate into the Low Quarter, however
because of the slope of the city, there is a long ramp that rises up
towards the eastern gate (and both the Merchants' and High Quarters).
Flanking the sides of the ramp, up which most trade passes, are two
large buildings. On the east side of the ramp is the Merchants' and
Traders' Guildhall, containing the many offices of the Guild, and
private offices of many of the larger trading companies. Directly
across from the Guildhall, on the west side of the ramp, is one of the
most popular taverns in the city. Near the top of the ramp, on both
sides, are a series of wide steps that lead back down to the back
alleys of the Dock Quarter. Periodically, a drunken cart driver runs
his load of wares over the stairs, to the great amusement of the locals.
At the base of the ramp is the Dock Quarter headquarters of the City
Watch, and the City's Trade and Tariffs government offices. Commanding
a central location nearby is the Office of the Harbormaster,
recognizable by its three and half story high observation platform,
from which the entire harbor can be surveyed. On the far
east side of the Quarter is a larger building that serves as the
dockside headquarters for Irongate's navy. The main offices for all
military forces are within the Citadel, of course.
On the west side of the Quarter, near the waterfront, are the
offices and warehouses of the powerful Dockworkers' Union. The west
side of the quarter is also known for its rather rough taverns,
favorite destinations for sea-weary sailors looking for some food,
drink, and companionship.
Other locations found within the quarter are the headquarters of
many trading and shipping companies, as well as the temples of several
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