Farther West Than West

The Destruction of Irondeep

While most ecologists tend to focus their studies on the environment immediately surrounding the former capital of Irondeep and the near total destruction of its eastern slopes, most long term effects of the eruption occurred west of Irondeep. In the years since the eruption, the remnants of the eastern slopes have began to recover, and primary species of flora and fauna have returned to the area, as well as some newer species which have filled the newly created niches.

For those individuals who were lucky enough to visit Irondeep prior to the eruption, one of the most striking features of the capital was its intricate system of levees and locks that not only ensured a viable water source year round within Irondeep itself, but also regulated the headwaters of the Sweetwater River. Historically, the Sweetwater was a seasonal river, and most of the water flow occurred underground through the water table. After the completion of the channels in year 3568, the Sweetwater River became a permanent waterway extending from the western slopes of Irondeep all the way to the coast at Stone Harbor.

As a result of this regulation, the historical extent of seasonal flooding was forgotten by later generations, as well as the seasonal nature of the river itself. Few individuals have ever read or heard of the flood of 3389, as the premise that the Sweetwater would overrun its banks was considered ludicrous. Immediately following the eruption of Irondeep, the Sweetwater River surged as the reservoir of water within the capital drained into the river. Initially thought to be a one-time occurrence, future events of flooding would remind the current generation that the Sweetwater River can be temperamental and unpredictable.

Since the eruption, temporary stop gaps have been put into place to stem seasonal flooding, but until the headwaters are once again regulated, the once thriving agriculture that parallels the river will be at the river’s seasonal mercies. Construction has begun on a new system of levees and locks, but until the excavation of Irondeep is completed and the safety of its myriad tunnels has been mapped, no real progress can be made. The Sweetwater River will likely remain in its current state for at least a generation, if not longer.

Excerpt from “A Study of the Environmental Aftereffects of the Irondeep Volcanic Eruption” by Liet Perdot, Master Patterner of the Roke School of Wizardry, 4327

Several citizens of Irondeep have exhibited permanent reddening of their complexions, and a blackening of the eyes. The condition has not had a negative effect on their vision; in many cases subjects have exhibited enhanced vision in low light settings. All cases of the condition have occurred within individuals who were either present in Irondeep at the time of the eruption, or downwind of the ash cloud. Subjects also seem capable of passing the traits to their children; but data has shown that this only happens approximately 20% of the time. These results, accompanied with the sudden, unexplained eruption of a volcano that has not erupted in centuries, and has always had weeks of forewarnings prior, suggests unnatural elements at work.

Excerpt from “The Official Dwarven Survey of the Populace, 4318” by Brassbolt, et al.

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