The Well of Souls (Monomacy Chamber)

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Cobblestone brick, probably a century old, litters the floor across an expansive chamber of cast-iron, steel and shadows. Cast-iron behemoths stand frozen among the shadows, ranging in size from a lawnmower to a dump truck. Several are mounted on wheels, chains dangling from their sides just waiting for someone to put a yoke on and begin pulling it across the expanse. Three large structures are distributed across the center of the chamber one each to the left center and right. The chamber’s height extends at least five stories high with a terrace forming a ring around the outer walls every 12 feet as it ascends. Each terrace is lined with cast-iron rails, behind which is a walkway bound on the opposite side with the outer wall of the chamber. Along the outer walls of each terrace are scattered various apparatus, machines, levers and pulleys, chains, hooks and other tools made of both iron and steel.

Straddled across the center of the chamber, beginning at the second terrace and ascending higher, are cast iron and steel catwalks. Various chains and pulleys hang loosely across the expanse from catwalk to catwalk, some dangling hooks, others pulleys, yet others clasps upon which to hang things, like small iron buckets. The catwalks at each terrace level expand outward toward the edges of the chamber, but not all levels reach that perimeter.

The lowest level of catwalks located at the second terrace is suspended directly above the center of the three large structures in the room. Several mechanical devices are suspended above those structures and upon closer inspection one might conclude that those structures are hollow, as several large pipes extend from the walls and hover over the center of each structure. Along the side of each structure is at least one cast iron ladder that climbs its way several feet above each structure and attaches to the catwalks at the second terrace.

The second level of catwalks extends from the center catwalks on the center terrace further towards the outer walls never quite reaching them. Along these catwalks are various stations at which are machinery controls. Each station is about 6 feet wide and 3 feet deep. In front of each station is a steel stool welded to the catwalk. Several large iron chains dangle between the second level of catwalks and the first, but none dangle any cargo. They simply look to be there for a matter of safety.

The third level of catwalks extends yet further from the second level’s perimiter, now nearly 40 feet off the ground floor. Large pipes run the length of the underside of these catwalks. Each pipes diameter varies some obviously meant for water others meant for larger volumes of unknown substances. One thing is obvious at this level are the fire extinguishers, as several sprinkler heads can be seen dangling every 10 feet along the entire length of the catwalks. Upon closer inspection though sprinkler system pipes continue to run down to the levels below it. This series of catwalks has no other notable features, however the outer terrace to which those catwalks connect our notable. Extending from floor to ceiling just inside the cast-iron fence that lines the perimeter of the ledges of the third level’s outer terrace is a large wall of six inch-thick Plexiglas. This wall of modern material effectively encloses the third level terrace completely, though there are some “Gates” where the catwalks at this level can be accessed. This third level can only be some sort of observation platform.

The final level of catwalks reaches the final terrace lining the outer perimeter of the chamber, making it seem more and extension of that final terrace more so than a series of catwalks connecting to the terrace. This terrace’s series of catwalks, while made of cast iron and steel outlined upon the bottom with at least 6 inches of Plexiglas which are designed to protect the occupants standing upon them from harm from below.

Wandering onto the first level of catwalks, one can begin to understand clearly that this was a turn-of-the-20th-century foundry. The large structures in the center expanse of the chamber that span the length of it are large vats meant for molten metals. The left and right vats are smaller than that that in the center of no less menacing. The interior of each glints with a variety of metals oxidized with rust like measles across a baby’s skin.

The two smaller vats, while hollow, are empty and unadorned. The largest vat in the center of the chamber has a catwalk ringing it as nears the top. A small station next to which sits a large lever is positioned at each side of the circular vat, such that one could draw a line between the two and split the vat directly in half across its width. Upon closer inspection the lever controls a large cast iron grill dangling from the second terrace of catwalks above and is meant to be placed upon the top of the vat.

Doing so would enclose whatever was within and restricted from exiting. The other lever can be seen to control large steel clasps. One can only surmise that once the great has been set upon the top of that that the clasps of the grill in place. It chills one to the bone to think of two vampires entering that chamber and only one leaving it. Worse, a large pipe that can pump immense volumes of a substance is controlled from the second level of catwalks above the largest vat. What molten nightmares could pour down upon the occupants of that that are only left to the imagination.

The ground floor is not left unadorned. Scattered in no particular location as most sick upon platforms with wheels are various tools of the foundry trade. Bellows, wheelbarrows, braziers, smaller vats meant for pouring lighter materials or smaller quantities of molten metal distributed from the central bats, mechanized arms meant for picking up large newly crafted metal parks, barrels full of oil and salt water, lift trucks, platform trucks, mechanized dollies, and even a crane, though not large, occupy the central floor. A tool imaginable you might find in a foundry may rest in one of the racks along the outer wall, but the one thing is certain. There is not one splinter of wood in this chamber.

As you stand at the perimeter entrance of this large chamber and your eyes wander back towards the objects closest to you, they finally move across two small steel plaques riveted just inside the archway to your left and to your right.

The left plaque reads: ”May those who enter here seeking resolution find solace.”

The right plaque reads: “Welcome to the Well of Souls established 2014.”


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