The Bluestone Mines
Bowmark wanted to comfort her, but what could he say? As he shoveled in sweets and dried roots, his vision expanded: thirty wagons, over fifty goatishes, low stone houses that were mostly underground, a windmill pulling water into a fountain, numerous large cave mouths, people arguing in small groups, and a pervasive stench of manure and human waste. Nearly everybody was wounded in some way.
Larger than average male population due to the industrial mining and inherent danger of living in the Valley of the Sidj. Some miners do bring family, but it's a contentious issue in their culture.
Technically the mines are owned by the Megaloth Empire , and the miners are employees of the state. But a strong miner's union keeps them fairly autonomous. The union is the most powerful legal framework in which they operate.
Several hundred years ago one of the mining groups tried to build walls and palisades to keep the sidj at bay so they could maintain the mine indefinitely. That was a bloody disaster that has not been repeated.
Industry & Trade
The town exists for a decade or two at most, then the humans must retreat as the sidj recover from their population crash and swarm throughout the valley. Then the miner's union carefully monitors the region until they are confident that the sidj have burned through all the wildlife and will be dormant for a while.
The mines have been operational for over 430 years, however they are only accessible during part of the sidj boom/bust cycle. If the miners move in too soon or stay too long they will be eaten. There are 17 permanent stone buildings on the grounds outside the mine shafts and depending on the season these buildings are subdivided differently. A windmill operated pump keeps a central well filled. There are 4 primary live veins currently being mined. Due to the dearth of plantlife in the valley, timber beams must be imported to maintain the mines.
Every cycle is different depending on who chooses to go this time and if they choose to bring family. But every cycle they must bring livestock, mining tools, food stuffs, etc. They do not live well during the cycle, but when they return to their safe city they can retire like nobility. The position of bluestone miner is inherited.
Guilds and Factions
The mines have been been granted to the bluestone miners by the Megaloth Empire in exchange for a certain percentage of the mined stone and taxes on the sale of the stone.
The Bluestone ore was discovered during a time when sidj were less contained in the valley. After the sidj were driven back to the valley the price of Bluestone skyrocketed.
Low rough-hewn stone buildings. Mostly unadorned. It is primarily an industrial town.
Situated in a basin and range arid valley called the Valley of the Sidj
The area is almost completely picked dry by the sidge, the only valuable resource here is the Bluestone.