Of Gears and Gold
Clockwork Cove is a center of commerce, industry, and invention. Its workshops produce more unique wonders than any other location in Crystalia. Its factories turn out more intricate devices and beautiful treasures than anywhere else, save the massive foundries of Dwarlfholm (which do not trade most of what they make). The gnomes, dwarves, and other residents pride themselves on their hard work, clever craftsmanship, and unwillingness to suffer fools. They tolerate those who tolerate them, and will happily fleece visitors of all their funds if they seem arrogant or troublesome. Most Clockworkers, however, will also be generous, helpful, and welcoming to those who show an appropriate level of respect and wonder.
The inland portions of the Cove are low, made fertile by the trailing ends and roots of the Fae Wood and turned marshy by streams and runoff from the Frostbyte Reach. Mostly given over to rice paddies and orchards, the land yields three, sometimes four harvests each year, and provides the staple foods needed to feed the huge population. The long, concave coast that surrounds the Cove proper is a strange feature, apparently created by the action of running water and waves carving away areas of softer stone. The towns and cities clinging to this coast tend to grow specialized plants and those crops that require minimal space. Importation of food has always been the greatest vulnerability of Clockwork Cove.
Though covered by generations of structures, the original edges of what was Haven Cove are almost perfectly round, as if measured and drilled out by the most skilled hands. A narrow, quite deep break in this circle allows access to the sea. While clearly the product of an unusual occurrence, none have yet fathomed whether the Cove is unnatural. Some posit that wave action might have worked on the rock, or that a harder stone from the Reach fell into a pit of softer stone and, from untold millennia of rolling in the water, carved out the Cove known today. Whatever its source, the Cove is an ideal natural harbor, and for all its industry, shipping remains its primary source of wealth.
The shipyards of Clockwork Cove turn out some of the finest vessels to ever sail the seas around Crystalia. Merchant princes, kings, and pirate captains alike come to these shores to commission and equip the best ships their purses can afford. The docks along the western side of the Cove can handle a startling number and size of craft rapidly and efficiently. The early settlers saw the potential for this and planned well. The cranes, piers, and wharves were all originally sited in the best possible locations, even at the expense of housing or more lucrative uses for the land. The sea would be the Cove’s lifeblood, the founders knew, and they placed its needs before their own comfort.
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