Saturday, January 18, 2014
The oldest buildings pack the lakeshore, where fishing vessels once docked and stored their impressive catches. That commerce has abandoned the town entirely, for the shining waters that once gave Diamond Lake its name are now so polluted as to make fishing impossible.
Many old warehouses have been converted into cheap housing for miners and laborers, and no one is safe outdoors after dark. As one walks north along the streets of Diamond Lake, the buildings become sturdier and the spirits of their inhabitants likewise improve.
A great earthen road called the Vein bisects the town. With a few exceptions, those living north of the Vein enjoy a much better life than the wretches living below it. All of the town's social classes congregate in the Vein's central square.
Roughly every two weeks, someone in the town upsets someone else so greatly that the only recourse is a duel to the death at the center of a ring of cheering miners. The bookmakers of the Emporium and the Feral Dog do brisk business on such occasions, which tend to draw huge crowds. On less violent nights, the square is still home to a thousand pleasures and poisons; if Diamond Lake is a creature, the Vein's central square is its excitable, irregular heart.