Ruins of Timberport
The staircase bolted to the outside marks this building as particularly promising one, and the harvesting expedition moves up to the ground-level entrance and listens carefully before entering. Passing through the mold- and fungus- infested outer room, they notice that something else has passed through recently enough to leave tracks; half the guards immediately return to the street, and watch. Rooms further inside contain the dust of ages and mouldering heaps; certain familiarly-shaped ones reveal steel in good condition, and the harvest has begun. The experienced crew quickly finds the interior staircase up, but having seen signs of monsters, do not proceed, as they usually would, to let down the external staircase’s ladder. (Such a curious design, they do not wonder; too many sages have gone mad after asking such things for the thought to approach their heads.) Indeed, instead of simply harvesting the staircase door, they take the time to jimmy the lock; if the stairs beyond have no tracks, they’ll know the upper stories are safe. For now. With any luck, one of the floors further up will have a “safe room”, with an Imperial door and no windows; then the harvest can proceed practically at their leisure. With even greater luck, the upper stories will have begun to crumble and reveal their steel skeleton. Although a touchy operation, the harvest from such is tremendous.
(the guards) (Imperial)
Timberport has no mines; all of its raw materials must come from gleaning the forest or “harvesting” materials, particularly steel, from the ruins. The town’s smiths, consquently, haven’t the faintest idea how to make steel, although they’ve become quite proficient at recycling it. Imperial steel, obviously, lasts forever, and the skill of a smith in Timberport is measured as much by how well they preserve that property as by the precision of their shaping. Because of its durability, relatively few tools need replacing per unit time; the two biggest sources of loss are sinking boats and losing harvesting teams.