The Age of Ruin
Talon Falls - Overview
Talon Falls is located on the side of Hell Forge Mountain; indeed it is built into the mountain. Nearly half of the city, including the Palace and surrounding Gardens are nestled beneath the over-hanging face of the mountain. From the heart of Hell Forge rushes a river of water that drives through the heart of the city, out over the edge of the mountain. The name of the river is Sullon, after the ancient Goddess of Comfort, Sull, whose weeping is said to feed and bless the waters of the river. The waters of Sullon are what gave Talon Falls its name, for over the centuries the waterfall ate away at the veins of sandstone that run throughout the crust of Hell Forge Mountain, leaving only jagged pillars of iron ore, which jut up from the precipice of the falls like the talons of the mountain itself.
Talon Falls also rests above the fiery heart of the mountain. For the same falls that eroded the sandstone between the talons of the precipice devoured a particularly pure vein of similar weak stone. This caused the collapse of a shelf beneath the falls, opening a course to the core of the mountain. Once the dwarven people of the mountain found the opening, they expanded and reinforced it, exposing some of the molten core of the mountain to the surface and the cool showers of the falls. It is from this fiery gouge that Talon Falls obtains its vast quantities of iron. Hell Forge is so iron rich that, unlike other cities, Talon Falls is able to export it. Recently, the Dwarves have discovered other, secret veins in the mountain and are now making that most precious of metals – steel.
At night Talon Falls is a wonder to behold, for the falls are ignited by the flame of the forges running behind the falls, painting the mountainous regions below in a bloody swathe of color, while from the recessed Palace glows an Orb of Eternal Light that ignites the evening sky until it is darkened by the magic of the Lord’s Magus.
Talon Falls is also unique because of its security. Located as it is on the face of Hell Forge, there are only three means of approach: from the highway cut into the face of the mountain, stretching East and West, and from the sky. But none of these routes have direct access to the heart of the city, which lies beyond the secondary wall of the city, tucked beneath the cavernous ceiling of the mountain. It is for this reason that Talon Falls has suffered rarely from the threat of invasion.
The security of the location also brings with it a curse, however, for it also isolates Talon Falls from the rest of the world. Though the old trade routes are opening again, the journey to Talon Falls is an arduous one, the final leg of which winds through the Gnoll and Goblin infested forests of Ralenhal. Though passage is still possible, since the Gnolls are at war with the Orcs of the forest, the likelihood of the monstrous races coming to some peaceful arrangement threaten to cut Talon Falls off all-but entirely from the world at large.