Brightmill (Isle of Mist)


  1. Top of tall hill beside lake
  2. Falls powering 4 mills
    1. includes extremely technologically complex mill @ washwall
  3. Town strung along river for most part
  4. Middle of the cities in terms of size
    1. Around 25,000 people
  5. TODO specific cultural markers

Brightmill isn't the only place where there are mills, of course, but theirs are powerful enough to cut the strongest ironwoods and fast enough to process 3 or 4 times as much per mill than any others.

Key Landmarks

Most stereotypically-Medieval of the cities. Most planned of the cities - even more so than Golddale. Doesn't mean it's rectangularly-gridded; just that it's laid out along the river in a very zoned fashion. Lots of neighborhood planning due to the heavy engineering influence of the city.

Need names and architectural notes for these landmark buildings

  1. Temple
  2. Watch House
  3. Scribe Guildhall
  4. Messenger Station

The Brightmill

Very complex machine (far more complex than any other mill). Tremendously powerful, built to harnes the water's swirling and churning in 3 dimensions at once.

The Brightmill is famously complex and, despite its age, is still studied to this day as a mechanical wonder of the world. There are a few key reasons for this:

  • Horsepower: The Brightmill is incredibly powerful, powerful enough to grind granite or operate dozens of machines simultaneously. After having seen the mechanical complexity and the semi-magical enhancements on the mill, Darias and Maleos estimate that it may be between 80 and 100 times as powerful as an average watermill during peak times, with flywheels storing enough power to potentially increase that output by a full third for at least a few hours.
  • Gearing: The Brightmill has 3 main and 2 secondary water wheels, all at different locations and inclinations. They can be driven separately and their power diverted to more than a dozen different stations simultaneously, or they can all be linked together to bring incredible torque to bear on one or two stations. The gearing and linkages for this transmission are incredibly complex, and the gears themselves weigh hundreds to thousands of pounds.
  • Location: The riverbank and river bed are difficult locations for construction, and massive pilings needed to be sunk to hold the heavy foundation that could deal with the power from the river. The materials were complex, because they needed to be able to hold up against the power of the river for a long, long time. The engineering for the pilings and foundations have been lost to time, and though the maintainers of the mill have explored certain areas, they are reluctant to expose too much of the foundation and risk irreparable damage to the mill itself. There are deeper and more complex foundations that the engineers know must be there but have never seen and don't know how to access.
  • Durability: Many of the components of the Brightmill have held up with only relatively minor maintenance for hundreds of years or longer. The walls of the Brightmill are made of stone blocks that have been magically melded and shaped together, making the building incredibly durable.

In fact, the citizens of Brightmill know that the mill itself underwent massive repair and restoration after a "world-threatening" storm an unimaginably long time ago. The details of the restoration are lost to time, but the engineers who study the mill can point out areas where repairs were made and newer materials stand atop unimaginably ancient foundations.

TODO map out how one river falls in to the other, disrupting the clean flow of the river and causing both vertical and horizontal motion that the Brightmill harnesses.


Brightmill Map Locations

  1. Auxiliary Power Takeoff. This shaft allows for more mobile or temporary equipment to be hooked up to the power produced by the Brightmill. The shaft is kept covered by a wood and canvas housing when not in use to shelter it from weather and prying eyes or hands.
  2. Secondary Wheel #1. This is the shaft for the second-smallest of the Brightmill's water-wheels.
  3. Primary Shafts #1 and #2. This shaft attaches two of the three primary water-wheels for the Brightmill. It is really two coaxial shafts driven by twin waterwheels. It is made of a strong metal the likes of which is rarely seen on the Isle and is unknown to all but the Masters; the PCs would, as of now, recognize this as adamantine.
  4. Secondary Shaft #2. This is the adamantine shaft driven by the Brightmill's smallest water-wheel.
  5. The Wash-Wheel. This odd, thick, horizontally-positioned water-wheel is barely visible below the water. It sits deep within the Wash and, though it spins slowly, develops a lot of power once spun up due to its mass.
  6. Primary Shaft #3. This shaft is driven by the Wash-Wheel and sits just barely above the surface of the high-water. During heavy rains, it is often shut down.
  7. Door #2. These doors roll back behind the stone of the wall, exposing Medium Power Floor #1. It is only used for moving heavy machinery, material, or product in and out via cart; it is normally kept closed.
  8. Door #3. Almost everyone who enters the Brightmill is expected to enter via this door. It opens into the safe walkway between the shop floors.
  9. Door #4. The largest door on the Isle, this door rolls back behind the stone of the wall to expose the High Power Floor. It is only opened when moving equipment, material, or product in and out since the High Power Floor is so dangerous to anyone unfamiliar with it.
  10. Medium Power Floor #1. This floor holds equipment that requires a moderate amount of the Brightmill's output, anywhere up to 40% of the full power of the Brightmill. This is the most used floor of the Brightmill due to easy access to the exterior doors and the wide variety of equipment that can be set up here.
  11. Medium Power Floor #2. This floor can attach the same equipment as Medium Power Floor #1. It has the same power restriction as well. It is generally used as a ramp-up space for when the medium power floor cannot support the throughput required.
  12. Low Power Floor. This floor holds equipment that requires a lower amount of the Brighmill's output, anywhere up to 20% of the full power of the Brightmill. It is generally used for simple milling tasks like sawmilling.
  13. High Power Floor. This floor holds equipment that requires a significant amount of the Brightmill's output. It generally operates up to about 75% of peak capacity, but some of the power equipment here can siphon stored energy of the flywheels and run for short periods (a few hours at most) at 115% of the highest normal output of the Brightmill. Operation above 100% draws down the flywheels, requiring low-power usage time afterward to spin them back up.
  14. Main Walkway. With most of the Brighmill's equipment being both heavy and high energy, the Masters have taken to painting the stones of the floor green, yellow, or red to denote the level of danger in each area. The green areas are safe to walk in generally; yellow areas require caution; and red areas are restricted to trained individuals only.
  15. Control Panel. Each of these control panels has switches, levers, and cranks that manipulate the nearest transmissions, differentials, and flywheels. The controls are mechanically connected to the nearby equipment via strong, thin, braided brightsteel cables.
  16. Medium Power Post. This equipment post connects to and drives equipment up to and including medium-power equipment. It is made of magically- and steel-reinforced wood.
  17. Low Power Post. This equipment post connects to and drives equipment up to and including low-power equipment. It is made of magically-reinforced wood.
  18. High Power Post. This equipment post connects to and drives equipment up to and including high-power equipment. It is made of magically, steel-, and adamantine-reinforced wood.
  19. Power Connector. These power connectors allow power to be fed through the Brightmill mechanical system. The individual equipment models are covered by bronze shields with adamantine-reinforced connectors. The equipment within each module includes transmissions, differentials, and similar that allow power to be fed through in different ways depending on the control panel settings.
  20. Catwalk Access. These stone columns have thick steel ladders set into them providing access to two levels of catwalks and the roof. The catwalks are the only safe way to reach the water side of the Brightmill.
  21. High Power Equipment Stack. These equipment stacks are driven directly from the water-wheels and are reinforced with both magic and metallic components to allow to survive the extreme stresses of the water-wheels. Each also contains a massive (at least 1 ton each) flywheel that moderates the uneven power delivery from the water-wheels.
  22. High Power Supplemental Flywheel. Since the primary water-wheels are all connected to the same high-power equipment stack, additional flywheels are attached both to mitigate power variances and to store extra energy.
  23. Central Power Stack. This power stack contains the most sophisticated and complex equipment in the Brightmill. It allows power to be diverted through various power takeoffs (mostly located belowground, in the Brightmill's foundations) to the various power floors and the external power takeoffs.
  24. Underground Access. These removable floor panels provide access to various ladders down into the tunnels below the Brightmill. This area is very dangerous, containing huge amounts of rotational energy. As a result, only red-cleared Masters are allowed to journey under the Brightmill to work on equipment, and only in pairs so that the equipment can be made safe and watched over while someone is working on it.
  25. Paper Mill. This area used to be another Auxiliary Power Takeoff, but with the increased importance of paper production, a stone paper mill was put in place a few hundred years ago to increase production. The design follows that of the Brightmill, though comparing this small side-building to the Brightmill itself clearly demonstrates how much more technology was used in the creation of the larger structure.
  26. Secondary Shaft #1. This is the shaft for the smallest of the Brightmill's water-wheels.
  27. Emergency Disconnect. This deliberate failure point protects the Brightmill's equipment from the unpredictability of the Wash. If the Wash ever were to overwhelm the linkages, this sacrificial junction would break first to ensure that none of the more sensitive equipment would be damaged. One of the tests to achieve Master status requires the petitioner to create a backup unit for this junction, meaning there are always one or two spares stockpiled by the time one breaks.


  1. Miners
  2. Messengers (small station)
  3. Scribes (small)
  4. Smiths
  5. Enchanters
  6. Healers (small)
  7. Hunters (small)
  8. Armorers (small)
  9. Lumberjacks
  10. Woodworkers
  11. Merchants (small)

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