Sharn: The Last City
The Cogs are the churning heart of the city, full of forges and foundries powered by steaming geysers, molten lava, and bound fire elementals. Extending far below the foundations of Sharn’s towers and build along the banks of the great chasms that divide the city, the Cogs incorporate elements of ancient ruins and natural caverns.
Few people with any choice live in the Cogs. Those who work in the foundries usually find homes in Lower Dura or Lower Tavick’s Landing, and Khyber’s Gate is the only place where there are actual homes to be found. In spite of this, the Cogs do support a population of a few thousand people. Criminals, refugees and fugitives hide from the law. Forbidden cults and other sinister organizations set up temporary residence in the Cogs to practice their dark rituals. But in addition to these individuals, a culture has developed in the sewer levels and the Depths above the Cogs over the course of centuries. These “cellar dwellers” live dangerous lives, scavenging the refuse of the world above and battling one another for territory. But they know the secrets of UnderSharn- and the passages that lead to the forgotten ruins that litter the levels between the Lower-City and the Cogs.
The Upper Cogs lie far below the towers of Sharn. While they strech across the length of the entire city, access to the Cogs is mostly limited to Lower Tavick’s Landing and Lower Dura where deep access shafts are maintained.
The Upper Cogs are primarily devoted to industry. When Lord Tarkanan destroyed the old city during the War of the Mark, he opened channels to the lake of fire that lay deep beneath. This lava burns with a heat that is more than the laws of nature should allow, and it is ideal for working difficult metals such as adamantine. Over the centuries, House Cannith has helped Breland develop a massive array of foundries and forges in the Cogs, combining the powers of magic and nature to create a powerful industrial complex. In addition to the trades that rely on the heat and the fire, the Cogs are home to many businesses that the people on the surface don’t want to have to see, smell , or deal with- tanneries, slaughterhouses, and other unpleasant trades.
Much of Sharn’s warforged population can be found in the Cogs districts of Ashblack and Blackbones, laboring in these workhouses and forges. While they are technically free, most of the warforged don’t know what to do with freedom; they were made to follow orders and to work as part of an army. Unscroupulous businessmen have lured warforged into indentured servitude, and many are little better than slaves. Requiring neither food nor sleep, they toil unceasingly, day in and day out. Lord Merrix d’Cannith has been making efforts to improve the life of the warforged and to encourage the constructs to take more initiative. The warforged who work at the Cannith Enclave in Ashblack are treated as equals.
Physically, the Upper Cogs are a honeycomb of passages, just wide enough for the carts and caravans that transport goods to and from the surface. The heat is palpable, and smoke and sulfur scents the air. The Cogs are old, and light is provided by everburning torches as opposed to everbright lanterns; these torches are often spaced far apart, so there can be streches of shadow between pools of light.
Ashblack, Blackbones, Kyber’s Gate