Facing the Faceless
Icingdale is the only remaining walled city of Altmere. It is ruled and populated by dragonborn, although there are a number of wizards from the Circle of Sequestered Magicks operating a research station, preferring its isolation.
Icingdale’s walls have long since been breached, and afford it no protection. Rather, it owes its survival to its towering spires, built by the ancient dragonborn at the height of their empire. They rise hundreds of feet into the air, and seem to scrape the very ceiling of the world. There are no gates or entrances for the first hundred feet; magic is the only method of entrance or exit. Similarly, there are three inhabited tiers, separated by a good fifty feet and permanent horizontal planes of force. For a fee, any wizard in Icingdale can be contracted to open a brief portal between tiers. They harbor the secret of this portal jealously, and do not share it even with other Circle members.
The height of the city and the absence of easy entry provides safety from random attacks from barbarians or wandering monsters. The only true threat are the destrachans who soar high over the Frozen Wastes, drawn to the warmth and activity of Icingdale. The ingenious dragonborn have turned this threat into a resource; they cooperate with the wizards to lure destrachans to a spot where the wizards can magically assault upon the beasts en masse, providing a steady source of meat for the city.
Within the towers, there are spiraling stairs guarded closely by the dragonborn. They do not permit outsiders to climb the stairs, for they lead to the Underdark. Occasionally, the dwarves of Novskaya visit for trade, but other visitors have far more malevolent plans.