The Tartagloam Palms
The Tartagloam Palms is a section of the old Tartagloam undercity infrastructure, including bunkers and large drainage tunnels destroyed during the Siege, where the 125 Hands house their largest base of operations. The name is a pun on several levels: the First Hand of the 125 Hands is administrated by The Garbage Man there, Much of the complex is beneath a long-destroyed hotel called the Southlight Palms, and the tropical imagery contrasts with the inhospitable nature of the region in general and complex in particular.
Notable individuals residing at The Tartagloam Palms include:
- The Garbage Man - Leader of the 125 Hands and possessor of the unique dimensional shift ability.
- Greggor Rudd - Long-time agent of the 125 Hands, confidant of The Garbage Man, and pilot of the unique "Coffin Suit" and "Sarcophagus" assault auto-armor suits.
- Felix Tanis - Agent of the 125 Hands, confidant of The Garbage Man, famous Terraceball player at the heart of the IPTL's previous doping scandal, and fast-attack grenadier.
- Eline Messer - Agent of the 125 Hands, notable systems intrusion specialist, and former fixer in the Manifold Conservation Society criminal underworld.
Originally consisting of an underground bunker system fit to house 500 local residents, The Tartagloam Palms has been expanded to include nearby underground drainage channels and cisterns.
In its current state, The Tartagloam Palms can support a militarized force of around 750 phalanges, including all vehicles and required services (i.e. the infirmary), though it is seldom occupied by more than half of this population. Since the arrival and ascent to power of The Garbage Man, all direct access into the Palms have been sealed off, requiring the use of The Garbage Man's dimensional shift power to access the surface in most cases. While it would be theoretically possible to walk or drive a vehicle out of the runoff tunnels, pounding through artificial walls in the process, the labyrinthine darkness of this route would confound entry and take several hours to navigate even for those familiar with the tunnel network. These entrances are well-guarded and surveilled by local 125 Hands phalanges disguised as encamped survivors, though no attempt to infiltrate the Palms via this route by outside forces has been made thus far.
These additions typically serve as garages, laboratories, and manufacturing spaces as required by ongoing 125 Hands operations. Expanding into these places sometimes requires special pumping equipment or the aid of The Garbage Man's unique power, as low spots can sometimes still contain pockets of lethal polymerizing gas, toxic waste, or sewage which would preclude inhabitation. Deeper reaches of the complex were never intended for human visitation at all, requiring utility skeletons, lighting, and breathing apparatuses to clear. The 125 Hands have also installed an air filtration system which outputs to the local sewer system to prevent the outlets from being spotted on the surface; this addition is crucial to the survival of agents like Greggor Rudd, who require clean air to live and work despite the effects of polymer lung.
Originally designed for emergency use only, the bunkers which make up the primary bulk of The Tartagloam Palms are assemblages of rectilinear rooms, corridors, and stairwells molded from stark grey-white concrete. Phosphorescent tubes and paints in white, green, and yellow provide dim lighting, the low-level particle radiation of the Southern Tesseract keeping the material glowing at all times; secondary floodlights powered by a biodiesel generator attached to a small sewage processor have been installed by the 125 Hands to provide better visibility. Heavy steel doors divide the bunker complex into several smaller, self-sufficient subunits. In the event of an attack, these doors can be dogged shut to slow the progress of the attackers and buy time for the residents to call for help or prepare to repel an assault.
The region of the undercity which would become The Tartagloam Palms spans a region including portions of the industrial and light commercial districts, the latter of which once contained a hotel for visiting investors called the Southern Palms Hotel. Cramped - but functional - bunkers were built under the hotel to provide guests with protection during any air raids the Grand Army of Voxelia might launch against the city. In the ground nearby lay a number of large drainage pipes designed to help manage the flow of waste water and processed effluent from the then-growing (and controversial) polymer production facilities nearby. Even before the Siege, locals complained of acrid smells which would occasionally escape the factories, even though the automated filtration and waste remediation systems were said to be at the cutting edge.
As the 125 Hands emerged as an organization in the aftermath of the Siege, one of the members who had once worked at the Southern Palms Hotel suggested that the bunkers might be used as a clandestined base of operations. The grisly reputation and forcible depopulation of the region meant that the real estate was likely unclaimed as of yet, and the constant clashes between survivors and scavengers on the surface made security forces reticent to try and retake the area. Many agreed - and thus, The Tartagloam Palms was christened.
When the Siege of Tartagloam began in 9970 AR, the polymer plants were bombarded, causing all the liquid and gaseous substances there to be thrown out into the environment as reaction vessels lost containment. The vapors, especially, were deadly to anyone nearby - including those staying in the Southern Palms Hotel or its attached bunkers. Numerous cases of severe polymer lung and full-body polymerizations lent the city - reduced to ruins - the grisly nickname of the "City of Mannequins." The bunkers themselves became tombs for the few who had managed to reach them before the bombs fell, unoccupied and forgotten by almost all survivors of the disasterous Siege.
Greggor Rudd, a victim of chronic polymer lung as a result of the Siege of Tartagloam.
Nobody who has ever visited The Tartagloam Palms and is not affiliated with the 125 Hands is allowed to live - especially now that the location houses the stolen Menger Catalyst and The Garbage Man's research into the shift-resistant qualities of absinthite. Even among members of the 125 Hands, being granted a 'reservation' at The Tartagloam Palms is a sign of great respect and trust on the part of the organization.