The Cyphergate is not the only unique local feature, merely the most obvious. The second, more subtle peculiarity is also the primary reason for Riddleport’s prosperity, for the location sits above a large deposit of carbauxine, a rare gas normally found deep in the Darklands. Dwarven smiths have long known of the properties of carbauxine, of how flames fueled by the gas run hotter than most other forges and allow for the smelting and forging of many rare and difficult metals like adamantine. When this unusual deposit was discovered beneath Riddleport over a century ago, the dwarves were quick to capitalize and constructed the Gas Forges above the site.
Carbauxine is a poisonous, heavier-than-air gas that is difficult to work with, but carbauxine forges are immensely valuable in metalcrafting. The Gas Forges are the only forges in Varisia capable of smelting adamantine and other high-hardness metals, and despite the rarity of such ore, the Gas Forges never seem to be without custom. The Gas Forges are an immense structure of brick and iron with dozens of foul, smoke-belching stacks built over the forges. The actual workings beneath the structure are populated by dwarven laborers who don crude breathing devices as they work to maintain proper gas flow for the forges by removing the huge deposits of carbon and poisonous heavy metals that develop from their usage. The facial bellows they wear are inefficient and must be hand-pumped, forcing workers to hold their breath as they work, pausing as infrequently as possible to work the bellow filters to provide fresh air. The work is taxing even for the hardy dwarves, but those who survive a few years of such labor retire wealthy—usually to die shortly thereafter of black lung or liver failure. The anonymous consortium of dwarves that own the Gas Forges are some of the richest residents of Varisia, although they live in distant Janderhoff and trust the daily maintenance and running of the Gas Forges to Tromard Roldheim, their embittered but relatively well-paid proxy.