It was once a mine, a vast open pit dug progressively lower and lower, full of valuable precious metals and gemstones, as well as other useful materials, thus making it the only reason for the Empire to come out to the godforsaken wasteland known as the Blackmoor. A blight on Imperial territory, the moor is a large territory of swamps, moors, and barren land. Dark, dank, cold, and unwelcoming, the land is inhabited by a great deal of dangerous fauna...and flora, and while it is well within the capabilities of the Empire to tame this piece of land, they have deemed it to not be worth it, no one wishes to live here, there are no resources worth bothering with the effort. It was only by sheer dumb happenstance that a number of explorer's found the source of materials that would become the mine. Considered eccentric for their stubborn desires to explore every part of every continent known to mankind, these explorers, admirable in spite of their eccentricity for the sheer will and determination to survive even in such a hostile place, not only succeeded, but found what would become Blackmoor Pit. Mining operations began rapidly, despite the danger, the estimates of the expedition decided there was a very great deal of worthwhile material to be found, and thus the Empire quietly paid them very well to cede discovery rights to own the land to it., and the explorer's, not really wanting to be tied down to this particular bit of land, readily agreed and moved on to explore other parts of the various continents of Ermarian. For thirty years, strip mining commenced, no one cared if it left an ugly blight on the land, or if it caused ecological damage, the land was already incredibly undesirable and ugly, so thus a great pit began to form over the decades. Digging ever deeper and deeper, excavating large stores of valuable minerals and ores for use by the Empire. (For reference, this is the kind of mine and structure that the Pit would be similar to Open Pit Mine) Eventually however, rising worker unhappiness as well as injuries and deaths, resulted in many refusing to work in the Pit, without employing slave labor the Empire had no means to continue operations, and so happened on a new idea. There were always undesirables, and criminals, especially in a county as vast as the Empire itself, and thus it decided to employ them, as a form of slave labor none of it's citizens would object to, it began to build on top of the pit, an extensive prison. Five years later, it was finished, down in the center, the bottom of the Pit, was constructed a large structure, of smooth, well constructed stone. A fortress, a castle, an unbreachable defense against the hostile predators of the Moor, and from the inside...an inescapable trap for those imprisoned, connecting the 'Pit' as it began to be collectively known, fortress, prison, and pit one and all. Connected to the Pit, were the only ways in or out, the previous entrances or exits dismantled and destroyed via methodical magical blasts, and from there... There, there is only one way in or out, the walls of the Pit cannot be scaled, not without gear, and not in time to avoid being captured should someone attempt to escape, thus, a magical gateway ports those coming in from a small structure on the outside of the Pit... ________________________________ On the upper levels of the prison, are the facilities of the staff, the guards and others, all of whom are regularly rotated out to avoid moral sinking too low, but all are disciplined, skilled, and not afraid to use any means necessary to contain the prisoners. Below the very upper levels, are the prisons, which are divided into three sections, the Upper, Middle, and Lower Gangs, each one used for different levels of criminal. With the prison descending into increasing levels of disorder and neglect as you go lower. Everyday, prisoners are rotated down to the depths of the Pit, where they are engaged in forced labor, though not to the point prisoner's die...too quickly, the Empire is never wasteful if it can avoid it, and in this case it does not wish to burn through it's prisoner supply quickly. For while those in the Upper Gang are typically political dissidents, or simply those who got on the wrong end of a powerful governor's power, every other prisoner from the Middle Gang and down are the worst murderers, rapists, thieves, and everything you can imagine...and things you can't, that the Empire has to offer. They kill each other, steal from each other, and more, there's an entire social system of gangs among these prisoners, the guards do not care however, if the prisoner's wish to fight and squabble with one another, so long as it does not interfere with mining operations, and stays out of the Upper Gang, it is irrelevant to the many guards working there. Welcome to your new home...Gwendolyn. _________________________________ The darkness seemed strange and unnatural down here, it seemed to pulse back and forth, like it was...breathing almost... Nothing could be seen, nothing could be really heard, two guards had escorted her down here, solemn looks on their faces, she knew that the Upper levels were contaminated with plague, and for some reason the soldiers stationed here, as they had told her, had wanted to spare her two fates. One, a long, lingering, painful death from the disease running through the Upper Gang, or...being murdered by prisoners in the lower tiers, or far worse, being made a sex slave, women were not commonly incarcerated in Blackmoor Pit, and thus...the filth that inhabited the lower tiers would not be kind, to say the least. They'd come through the many twisting passageways, till they had descended down a ways, to a single corridor. And passed her through several, thick, doors that gleamed with what appeared to be silver and iron, not steel. Furthermore, each door was covered in glowing runic glyphs, which sent a wave of magic that tingled unpleasantly as they passed each doorway. With the last door, they had pushed her in and called out "Another meal for you...make it quick alright?" Then they'd slammed the door shut, leaving her alone, with the eerie silence in comparison to the rest of the prison, just a slow, steady drip of water, a faint movement of air and... A voice, that was intent, soft, and clearly expecting an answer, a man's voice... "Are you afraid?"