7 Crockers Brick And Mortar

Located on the border of the Warehouse and Merchant Districts, Crocker’s Brick and Mortar is one of Freeport’s most advanced industrial facilities. Advanced steam-and-clockwork equipment is used to crush rocks and stone, creating the raw materials for building many of the newer houses and stores in the city.

A stonemason named Crocker founded this masonry factory and stonework business nearly twenty years ago. At first it was a conventional operation, where workers used sledgehammers and picks to break apart rocks. Crocker found it hard to keep good workers; most able-bodied men preferred to work the Docks or warehouses rather than take up such backbreaking labor. Looking for a way to meet demand with fewer workers, Crocker hit upon the idea of using machinery for the crushing. Such inventions were in their infancy (and are still a work in progress), but the savants of the Wizards’ and Craftsmen’s Guilds had made a number of devices that could be useful.

Over several years, Crocker was able to install more and more inventions in his factory—steam-powered hammers, clockwork sorting beds, alchemical boilers, and more. The guilds used his factory as a test bed for ideas, keeping the machines that worked and wincing at the explosive failures. The crowning achievement for the factory was the Rock Crusher, a millhouse poised over a massive pit, filled with machinery that could crush large stones into powder. With this at the center of the operation, Crocker was able to finally meet the demand for masonry in the city—especially the constant need for stone to make the Freeport Lighthouse.

A high stone wall with one large gate surrounds the masonry factory; the top of the millhouse can be seen from the street outside. Clouds of steam and smoke often emerge from within the compound (to the constant annoyance of the neighbors). Inside the wall, the two-story millhouse dominates the area, while several other workshops are scattered around it. Carts run on rail lines from the millhouse to piles containing bricks or rocks of various sizes.

The millhouse’s bottom level has no floor; the carts spill rocks down the mouth of a pit into a massive hopper. When the operator in the control booth above the pit activates the machinery, huge teeth and gears grind together beneath the hopper, which slowly rotates to drop its load into the gears. Doors and hatches in the hopper and beneath the gears lead to more rail lines, allowing workers to haul away the crushed stone. Excess rubble and detritus is sluiced away into the sewers. The gears of the mill can chew apart solid stone; unsurprisingly, they have little problems crushing human beings as well.

Prominent NPCs
Beige Edward: The manager of Crocker’s Brick and Mortar. Crocker is always inconveniently absent these days, but fortunately he signed control over to Edward before vanishing. Edward is a skilled manager, and the brickworks generates a substantial income.

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