Charystos (Endhaven Supplement)
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- Mildly Ordered
Charystos is the capital of the Malachite Empire. The is a city so large that it spreads across a small planar cluster. The city is old, gargantuan, and filled with division.
|Planar Size:||Colossal City, Small Cluster|
|Ruling Organization:||Malachite Empire|
|Government Type:||Titular Monarch (Shahrbanou Malakeh), Appointed Minister (Minister Gharib)|
|Resources:||Harbor, Trade, Manufacturing, Government, Knowledge|
Charystos figures prominently in the time of Legend. Her wizards, kings, and wise men appear in the myths, stories, and legends of the humans, elves, and dwarves. She is called “The greatest city of the world.” Poems dating from the Epic Wars describe the city in astounding detail, even those rediscovered. Most scholars place the foundation of Charystos deep in the ancient past, and dragons place the roots of the Palace of Eternity before the beginning of time. In the ancient past, Charystos was a walled city contained entirely in the district now called the Palace of Eternity.
- WAR OF GOOD AND EVIL
The War of Good and Evil marks the end of Antiquity. This was the last of the Epic Wars, fought with high magic and high ideals. After this war, the gods became more remote in the conflicts of the world, and the conflicts themselves became vaguer and less directed.
During the War of Good and Evil, Charistos' rulers sided firmly with Good. Her population swelled, extending her boundaries far beyond her walls. Evil attempted to seize the city in the brilliantly executed Dead Offensive. In that horrid battle, the people of Charystos were butchered, with her few survivors retreating inside the old city. The strange nature of those ancient walls protected them. Charystos held for seventy seven days before relief forces were able to break the siege and the necromantic forces destroyed inside the Jade Necropolis. The evil defeated here was so great that it forever tainted this great necropolis, splitting it from this plane and pushing it towards the Vile. See Jade Necropolis (Endhaven Supplement).
- THREE EMPIRES
- WARS OF LAW AND CHAOS
The Dragon Emperor Doleman lead his Empire into the pointless Wars of Law and Chaos. By the end of these butcherous wars, the great empires were shattered. <HAND WAVING HERE>
The Dragon Empire collapsed in the years preceding the Psychotic Wars. Thelonius Sanjar, Captain of the Palace Guard, organized a coup against the Dragon Emperor. He attempted to storm the Palace of Eternity, but was unable to breach its walls.
The imperial fleets remained loyal to Doleman, retreating to Venalicium and defeating what few sea forces that Thelonius had remaining. Even as he built a new fleet and waged war against the Venalicium, the ruling junta collapsed, dragging the Dragon Empire into a deeper and more protracted civil war.
Thelonius negociated for peace with Doleman. Thelonius reliquished all claims to the sea posessions of the Dragon Empire, along with all Dragon Imperial Palaces. In addition, he agreed to grant Venalicium irrevocable trade rights with all former Dragon Empire possessions. In return, Doleman recognized the Malachite Empire, agreed that Venalicium would hire its fleet to the Malachite Empire in return for 1,000 talents of gold paid annually to Venalicium and 500 talents of gold paid directly to the Dragon Emperor. Finally, the Dragon Emperor agreed to marry Nadira, the sister of Thelonius.
Following this treaty, Thelonius successfully faced down his remaining rivals. This peace did not come soon enough, for the Psychotic Assembly used this war to expand their own domain. This plunged the world into the last and most recent of the Wars of Law and Chaos.
- RECENT EVENTS
- The Queens are vying for power.
- The Bloody Paw has arisen as an anarchic order.
- The Underworld has been asserting itself in a street war with the Bloody Paw.
- The Great Dwarven Union is boycotting the city for the Empire's seizure of New Island.
Charystos sits on the mouth of a great river emptying into a large sea. The climate is temperate with clear seasons. The city itself sits among easy hills that rise above the sea. Beyond the city lies large areas of agriculture. The city itself is massive, extending for miles in each direction. The infrastructure for the city extends for several hundred miles into the countryside, from aqueducts and canals to roads and fortifications.
- GATES AND LANDING POINTS
Charystos has seven operating gates. One gate sits in the Palace of Eternity. Each gate acts as a landing point. All unwanted landing points were severed in ages past.
- CLIMATE AND TERRAIN
The city has temperate flora. The fauna is usually limited to domesticated animals. This land has long been settled. The dangers of this land do not come from natural things, but from unnatural things, be they form the sewer, or evil things from the Jade Necropolis, or evil hearted people intent on ill.
- FLORA AND FAUNA
Charystos lies in a semi-arid land. Due to the rivers, the land is bountiful enough to support this great city. The growing season is primarily in the spring and autumn. The summers are long and dry. The natural flora and fauna are primarily Mediterranean. Most of the land is cultivated, growing wheat and other grains. Cultivated fruit includes olives, figs, dates and oranges. There are considerable cattle, horses, pigs, and other livestock present throughout the city.
Politics and People
The Palace of Eternity, inside Charystos, is the capitol of the Dragon Empire.
Charystos is the capitol of the Malachite empire. The Malachite Emperor has his palace in the dwarven-carved New Island. The current ruler is Emperor Thelonius II.
Charystos the birthplace of the the Axiomite cult.
The city is ruled by the Duchess of Charystos. This is traditionally the second wife of the Malachite Emperor. The New Island Palace is administered by the first wife, which gives the first wife far more power.
Charystos is a city in conflict.
The Empresses: The title of the first wife of the Emperor is Afsar Malakeh, or "crowned queen". This is usually shortened to Afsar. The second wife rules Charystos. Her title is Shahrbanou Malakeh, which means "Queen of the Town." This is usually shortened to Shahrbanou. The king's favorite wife bears the informal moniker of Shanaz. This is not a formal name, but a term of affection used by the people at large. The title of the remaining queens is Malakeh.
The first Empress, Afsar Homa, is of the line of the Phoenix Empire. She oversees the Royal Palace in Charystos. To a great degree, she oversees the day to day running of the Empire. She is from a marriage of the Arsalan family into the ruling Sanjar family. The Arsalans have grown strong over the last few generations. This marriage averted a possible civil war over the succession.
The second Empress is Shahrbanou Tala. She is from a marriage of the Hami family into the ruling Sanjar family. The Hami are long-time supporters of the Sanjar, and so they were picked to oversee the city itself.
The seventh Empress is Malakeh Ohiyesa, popularly called Malakeh Shanaz, as she is the favorite of the Emperor. She is from the Tiger Empire, and of common birth. She was a servant of his first wife until he took a liking to her and married her.
These Empresses vie for position in the Empire, each playing their political game through the city of Charystos. They have no love for each other. They each want their own children to inherit the empire. They can not oppose each other directly, as that is forbidden, but their agents forever spar in the cities and intrigues of Charystos.
Meanwhile, the Dragon Empress lives in the Palace of Eternity. Dragon Empress Nadira is from the ruling Sanjar family. She is a maternal aunt of the Malachite Emperor. She dislikes each of the Malachite Empresses and quietly works to keep any from becoming too dominant. She works for the best interests of Charystos, rather than the best interests of herself. She has already picked out a competent son who should rise to the throne and she angles for that son to rise on his own merits.
- NOTEWORTHY ORGANIZATIONS
The Guild: "The Guild" is the popular name for the criminal underground of the city. In practice, this moniker covers anyone who is working in any of the criminal trades. There is no formal organization to the guild. Instead, it is a series of criminal gangs working together to ply each of their trades. These trades includes burglars, smugglers, fencers, couriers, and forgers. A person's status in the guild is determined by their reputation.
The Guild's sign is a copper piece with a nail hammered through it, preferably a real nail and a real copper piece.
The Bloody Paw: The Bloody Paw is a revolutionary group, intent on bringing full rights to the lowest of the city's humanoids. Their leader is the fiery and visionary Hardnose Whiskers. Their goal is the overthrow of the dictatorial elite, freedom of the wrongfully imprisoned, exile of all paladins, destruction of the Thieves Guild, execution of all bankers, exclusive protection contract paid to the Bloody Paw, and full rights for all the least human of the city.
The sign of the Bloody Paw is three vertical lines and a paw print, all in red.
Many believe the Bloody Paw to be a wing of the Feral Nation. This is not so. This is entirely a home-grown problems.
The primary methods of the Bloody Paw are terrorism and graffiti.
Hardnose Whiskers: This is the leader of the Bloody Paw. He is a were-rat criminal (Rogue 15) of considerable guile. There is a 10,000gp reward for him, wanted dead or alive. To add to the challenge, Hardnose makes it his business to never be at the business end of a sword. (Hardnose Whiskers should be designed by each PC. The players should never know what they are getting into when they encounter Hardnose.)
- RACIAL ISSUES
The dwarves want the return of New Island to their care. The Malachite Emperor seized their holy shrine for use as his palace.
The humanoid races that are not traditional members of the government (such as goblins, kobold, or ratfolk) desire a voice in the government. There is increasing tension between them and the ruling races.
- FOREIGN CONFLICTS
- PALACE OF ETERNITY
In one history of the Endhaven, it is said that the Queen of Storms did not create the worlds, but instead assembled them from pieces of some planes ruined by catastrophe. In that story, the Palace of Eternity is a leftover from that ancient world.
Be that truth or fiction, the Palace of Eternity is old. Her past stretches far back into the past. Some scholars or dragons may know her true history, but no living elf claims to know these things, let alone man or bard. She is mentioned in the earliest records of the city states, and the Palace is mentioned in those records. In all those days, she has always been the size that she is, whether inhabited or ruined. Her walls are made of thousand ton blocks, perfectly fitted, engineered to avoid buckles or shifting. Many believe that Earth Princes built her before the the Times of Legend for some unknown reason. Of one fact there is no doubt: she is the old continuously buildings known.
The Palace of Eternity is still an independent state inside Charystos.
- NEW ISLAND
New Island was once the top of Mount Kreta, a dwarven holy mountain. During the Wars of Good and Evil, this rock was used to ferry an army to Charystos' doorstep by a powerful spellcaster. Only through the bravery of the city's bravest heroes was the threat of this rock stopped. They destroyed the being that moved the rock, causing it to fall into Gold Bay. The heroes themselves were drowned. Afterward, the dwarves established their quarter on this island, carving it into a massive and beautiful temple, eventually becoming a site of holy pilgrimage for dwarves.
After the Malachite Emperor made peace with the Dragon Emperor, he seized New Island for himself. This is an act that has forever alienated all dwarves from the Malachite Empire. The dwarves was their holy island back and have already caused considerable civil unrest over this matter.
- JADE NECROPOLIS
The Jade Necropolis is the primary graveyard for the city. It is no longer safe. There is a long road that connects it to the city, but this road actually crosses planar boundaries. See: Jade Necropolis (Endhaven Supplement).
Charystos has a considerable sewer system appropriate for a Sewer Rats style campaign.
- GOLD BAY
Charystos now entirely circles Gold Bay. The entire arc of Gold Bay is covered with piers and docks. The original shoreline, pebbled with iron pyrite, can rarely be seen.
- BROKEN CITY
This poorer area of the city was damaged greatly in an earthquake during the Wars of Law and Chaos. Many of the buildings have never been properly fixed. The peoples who live here are poor and lawless. The most powerful illegal operations base themselves in this area. This area is akin to the rookeries of 19th century London.
- WEST PALACE DISTRICT
When the Dragon Emperor took over the old city and christened it the Palace of Eternity, wealthy men who were forced out bought up the areas around the palace. This beautiful area was once the elven quarter. This area has given rise to a distinctive fusion of elves and human styles called "west palace" style.
- GROVE HILL
In years gone by, the Druids had a sacred grove upon this hill. That grove in now long gone, replaced by many temples erected by the city. Of the original grove, only the East Tree remains.
- AXIOMITE DIET
This is the headquarters of the Axiomite movement. This grand building serves as a meeting hall, a school of philosphy, and a training ground for Axiomite followers.
- A Queen needs to implicate a different Queen.
- Find Hardnose Whiskers.
- Creatures are coming from the sewers.
- Eliminate an Underworld gang.
- Spy on Charystos for a foreign power.