Cities (Sarosian Supplement)
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|World of Miriandis|
Metropolis: Conventional; AL: LE; 100,000 gp Limit; Assets 141,550,000 gp; Population: 29,250; Mixed (87% Human, 6% Dwarf, 3% Gnome, 1% Half-elf, 1% Halfling, 1% Half-orc, 1% Other)
Orz is the capital of the southern verdant region of Junbe, located near the south west corner of the continent Orz boasts itself as the center of Human society, while tolerant of other races Humans hold special privileges that other races are rarely afforded. Orz is home to the Orzian Cathedral which doubles as the castle for the Monarch Lady Morgan Ty who has ruled in youth for nearly sixty years, some say she stays young with magic while others say she is cursed by demons, whatever the truth the Lady Ty has no intention of stepping aside any time soon.
The nation of Orz has two seats of power, the city Orz is the military center of the area in the sense it holds the official military of Orz, this military while formidable is used for mostly shows of force, maneuvering and as a political tool. The even up to the end of the Third Age the Orz army has not engaged in an official act in over ten years. The city Aaqa holds sway over many political decisions and hosts the majority of commerce that passes through the nation of Orz and acts as its political head for the body of the nation.
Orz is built of large granite stone blocks quarried from the cliff sides near by, the buildings are square with common wood roofs. On the sides of the buildings are often mosaics with entries districts sharing a theme. Poorer districts will commonly using only red, white and black mosaic stones and the exposed granite walls are often rough. Richer areas often have polished granite walls, bleached white or stained a deep grey, the mosaic stones vary in many unique colors, a popular mark of social status is to find an unknown mosaic artist and have they create vibrant wall mosaics. These mosaics are often small as more than once the Monarch has had buildings torn down if their mosaics offended her.
The Orzian Cathedral is a unique building in Orz, other than it the skyline in Orz is low, sloping westwards towards the ocean. However the Cathedral is a massive bleached white granite tower like building with three spires and polished onyx roofing, the roof stores heat which boils a water reservoir and pumps heat and hot water to the entire cathedral. The Orzian flag is done down the side of the largest central spire of the building in a large tile mosaic, down the sides of the other two spires are a prayer to Heironeous the patron deity of Orz and the other is a pledge of loyalty to the Monarch.
The city is built around the coastal cliffs in a semi circular shape, on the cliff side is the power from their radiating out equally north and south the rest of the city sprawls. The streets are narrow near the docks but over the years there have been many relief paths built and congestion is at a minimum, as the city radiates outwards the streets begin to open until it reaches the center of town near the Orzian Cathedral where all the cities streets meet in a giant plaza, ringed by a market the plaza serves as the central trade hub as well as government center.
The city itself has no gate. Instead, as with all cities in Orz, they employ a large police force. Most of the Orzian army's time is spent dealing with domestic matters. While there is no gate that doesn't mean the city is wide open, lining the city's exterior are watch towers keeping an eye on any suspicious gatherings as well the army is adept at sealing off certain roads turning the city itself into a trap.
The people of Orz live happy lives, they live in a large trade hub, a center of cultural development and due to the high magic of the area live with many luxuries not afforded to most other common folk. Non-human races in Orz are treated like second class citizens, they aren't violently oppressed or denied services, but Human patrons always take priority, owning land and property is a much easier process, and taxes are levied differently. While life is harder for non-humans it isn't so much so that it makes Orz undesirably to live in.
While the common and merchant classes are generally kind, the upper class as a special blend of smarm and snob that is known the region wide. Those considered upper class are usually given a wide birth, not because of fear but because no one wants to deal with them.
Village: Conventional; AL: LE; 600 gp Limit; Assets 8,000 gp; Population: 210; Mixed (90% Human, 6% Dwarf, 2% Halfling, 1% Half-orc, 1% Other)
Tyrus is a poor fishing harbor, a few hundred people run this town supplying Orz with fresh sea food. The city is run by a sheriff appointed by one of the Monarchs ministers, the Sheriff owns the harbor that the boats come in on and levies taxes based on the price of fish, creating a control mechanism over the fishermen. The fishermen operate their own boats however if a new dock were to be built they Monarch might loose a vital cheap food source, this fact often leads to minor skirmishes between enterprising fishermen and a detachment of the Orz military the sheriff keeps on hand for riot control.
Tyrus is a fine modern example of shanty town life. Built mostly out of wood many of the buildings stability is directly related to how damp the air is and how swollen the wood is. Around the harbor itself the buildings are sturdy and in good repair, business is not hindered, but housing supplies are not readily available as any useful wood is saved for dock repair, mostly homes are built of harvested driftwood, shipwrecks and unused building supplies from the docks.
There are four permanent stone buildings. One at the edge of the boardwalk is the sheriffs office where he and his army squad stay, the supply depot where shipments of fish leave from is made of granite and kept cool inside at all times, there is a shipwright on the opposite end of the boardwalk from the sheriffs and the bar is an underground structure with stone walls.
Tyrus is build in a series of switchback streets zigzagging out from the harbor and the boardwalk that runs along it, there are three main zags, one is for commerce mostly, supply carts and ship materials, the other two are mostly residential and local businesses. The boardwalk that runs along the harbor is quite wide and so is the street that heads to the depot and the bar, however the residential streets are narrow and often become packed in the early morning.
The army detachment at the end of the boardwalk often goes off with the depot transports for a days journey before its close enough to Orz, and often the street near the depot is divided in half on Fridays in the afternoon causing another traffic jam.
The people of Tyrus are wary of outsiders, some want outsiders help, some hate it when they do help. The sheriff often questions outsiders as soon as hes made aware of them, too many times in the past a good hearted soul caused a riot that ended in dead. Beyond that the commoners are gruff and give short answers. They are generally helpful if asking about their trade or something related but otherwise will end conversations they loose interest in.
Village: Conventional; AL: LN; 100 gp Limit; Assets 540 gp; Population: 110; Mixed (96% Human, 2% Dwarf, 1% Half-orc, 1% Other)
Pesh is a forgotten city, the village is what used to be the downtown district of a larger city that long ago died off. Pesh was the seat of power of an old rival to the Ty family before Orz was a metropolis like it is today. Lost in the folds of history no one alive, with the possible exception of certain members of the Ty family, know what happened to the people of Pesh and why its so desolate today.
The core area of Pesh, known as old town, is kept to a certain standard by the local merchant guild. The buildings in old town are all tall stone structures, polished so that they reflect the sun, the city at high noon is said to be visible from Orz. Most the street level is covered in a canopy of eaves and cloth throws making a patchwork sun protection over old town. None of the structures in old town are shorter that three stories tall other than the river boat landing which is rarely used by those who remain in the city, its primarily used by those escaping to Marrad.
The village consists of one livable area known as old town, which is nothing more that a single street with large buildings that have been converted into multiple family homes, almost the entire 'merchant' class of the city is housed within a single shopping complex. The outlying city consists of mostly ruins and wide open areas of grass. Much of the stone from the tall, now collapsed, buildings has been scavenged for resale in Orz or Pesh, sometimes an adventurous scavenger will hawl their goods to Aaqa via Paddin. Other than the main street in Pesh there are no roads leading in and out.
The village of Pesh consists mostly of people who were born there and those who couldn't make it in Aaqa and Orz. The city is full of poor, unskilled common people who mostly survive of scavenging. They clench their purses tight. There are those in Pesh who trade outside the city, these are the merchant scavengers who are single handedly keeping Pesh alive, its often these people who will trade their food supplies to the common element of Pesh for keeping old town free of degradation.
Village: Conventional; AL: LN; 100 gp Limit; Assets 850 gp; Population: 170; Mixed (96% Human, 2% Dwarf, 1% Half-orc, 1% Other)
The village of Paddin is a small mining town near the northern edge of Orzian territory, the village mostly consists of miners and their families with a few shop owners who choose to live in the city and not in Aaqa. The sheriff of the village is a former Aaqa city guard and employes a few of his former guard friends as constables. Since the construction of a new casino building near the river boat the city has become a launching point for those fleeing Aaqa or those not allowed back in.
The city is built of stone and mud, mostly hewn from the mine and mortared with mud from the river the city is not of quality. This combined with the pearl of civilization just a boat ride away has left Paddin mostly unimproved architecture. The cities business district is slightly better, larger solid walls instead of cobbled rocks though their roofs are of the same straw and driftwood mesh that the homes are build from. The new casino is built from completely solid stone walls and a tiled roof, the miners call it an 'eye-soar' while tourists call it 'the only building in town'.
Paddin is set up like a triangle, the three points are the casino at the river, the business district to the north west and the mine to the north east, the area in between these three points is mostly homes and the occasional corner store or drinking hole. There is a dirt path leading out of the city to the west and east while in the roads in the village are little more than that same dirt path with rocks lining it.
The people of Paddin are split down the middle. One the one side are the miners who have a trade and feel as if they are important to the survival of Orz as a nation, they are tough and gruff and quick to judge anyone they think doesn't know how to put in a hard days work. On the other side are the tourist who want Paddin to become a vacation spot for the upper crust of Aaqa's merchant class. Some of these people already consider Paddin part of Aaqa and act as if they were still in the trade city. Stuck in the middle are the merchants of Paddin. Reliant on the consistent business the miners supply but wanting to expand their business to the tourists the local merchants are on a case by case basis on the side of the miners or tourists though you can be assured regardless of where their allegiance is they all mostly sell and buy from either of the two groups.
Metropolis: Conventional; AL: LE; 100,000 gp Limit; Assets 469,480,000 gp; Population: 93,896; Mixed (61% Human, 9% Gnome, 5% Dwarf, Halfling 3%, Half-Orc 2%, Extraterrestrial Other 5%, Domestic Other 15%)
Aaqa (pronounced Ack-Ah) is quite possibly the one of the most popular destinations for trade in all the known prime material plane. Aaqa while technically part of the Orz empire has become more of a city state, with its own High Patriarch and an army almost equal in size of Orz itself Aaqa could be a force in the political landscape of Junbe. Aaqa hosts traders from every corner of Miriandis and many extra planar entities, all are welcome to conduct business within her borders even those from lands currently at war with Orz, this attitude stems from a deal made between Orz and Dugmore during their recent wars, both sides agreed that if Aaqa was drawn into the war Dugmore would be crushed and if Dugmore struck Aaqa Orz would be crippled, neither side wanted to lose or anger Aaqa.
After the war with Dugmore Lady Ty created an embassy in Aaqa and officially moved the political seat of power to Aaqa, while Orz remained the capital Aaqa's Orzian embassy became the capitol. While Lady Ty remains in Orz she allows the High Patriarch to hold court in her embassy on her behalf.
Aqaa architecture is divided by its layout, each ring has its own style and the outer rings host multiple building styles depending on what culture has made its home in that area. The inner rings are refereed to by their cultural type, the Illithid ring which appears as a bleak, the streets are covered in shadows by the high buildings which are build with a curve to make it feel like they are looming over the ring. It should be noted that there is no Elder Brain in Aaqa. The Neogi ring (which is right next to the Illithid ring) has two overhanging canopies the first layer is for visitors and the ring itself is quite wide however the second canopy is for Neogi only, not even their Umber Hulks are allowed on the upper canopy, the Devils Ring looks like a hellish version of classic roman style villas, each build with spikes, fountains of blood, murals of gore and horror. And this list goes on and on. The outer rings are often the site of most of the violence in Aaqa as two to four cultures are squeezed in together, many of which do not get along.
Aaqa as stated is built in a series of rings around the center cage. The cage is where most of the high level commerce is conducted, you can often see Deva's buying lost souls from Devils like it was a piece of bread, wizards of great power come here often to buy components and wish supports. Only extremely high level and powerful commerce happens in the cage, the outer ring around the cage any material good that exists can be found for a price. The next set of rings are the homes of the major races that interact in Aaqa, the Dwarves, Gnomes and Halflings share an inner ring but culturally they are one people since the second age. The Core Pantheons similarly share a district. The outer rings are divided among other races.
While the rings allow transit around the city there are four main highways to get through the rings, on each of the cardinal directions there is a main street, wide enough for gargantuan creatures these highways are kept clear of any sort of commerce as these four highways are the only way the guards in Aaqa are dispatched to quell disputes, certain high risk rings have their own permanent guard presence but many of the outer rings are 'lawless' though the city does employ wizards for teleportation in high risk situations.
The ring pattern of the city is only disturbed on its north end, the river that connects Aaqa to Paddin has a relic from the Second Age that the locals have employed. A dock has been built off the side of the city and every ten minutes like clockwork a riverboat appears, the boat does in fact go through the water but moves at such a pace that in what would normally take approximately 10 hours to walk the boat traverses in 10 minutes. The ship has been making the trip between Paddin and Aaqa since before either city was anything more than a village, Aaqa simply grew into it and built facilities for it.
The people of Aaqa just want to sell you something, there are plenty of people with their own goals and find Aaqa a fine launch point for their machinations but nine times out of ten if someones talking to you in Aaqa they want to sell you something or buy something off you. Long term residents of Aaqa are very wary of the guards, the guards are brutal, strong and allowed to kill anything for any reason, this iron fist helps keep all the mortal creatures in line, even in the face of their hated enemies most residents fear the guards more.
The city itself is, while strange, very accessible. People are more than willing to point out where any given good can be found and in fact for big spenders the city has a free gofer service where a guide will lead you from shop to shop, this service is offered free of charge by the city (paid for by the shops the gofers take you to)
When in the residential rings the persona of the people are by their race, Neogi will stare at most visitors trying to assess how much they could sell the visitor for in the slave markets. Illithids want nothing more to eat your brain or cause ceremorphosis on visitors. Devils surprisingly enough are fairly friendly to visitors, their idea is if they're nice now they might be able to get a Faustian Pact later.
Village: Conventional; AL: LN; 200 gp Limit; Assets 8,650 gp; Population: 865; Mixed (96% Human, 2% Dwarf, 1% Gnome, 1% Other)
Marrad is the main agricultural center in Orz. Mostly made up of farmers and laborers a community of craftsmen has spawned around the needs of the city. That combined with the influx of people from Pesh moving to greener pastures leaves Marrad an interesting place. The town is run by a council of three, each member is selected for the council when a former member dies and is usually one of the farmers or shop owners.
Marrad was built for both a need to supply the larger city centers with food and a place where personal freedoms that might not normally have been able to been exercised. Both Orz and Aaqa send funding and supplies to the village as well as its own sizable craftsmen population, resulting in sturdy wood structures with varying styles. Artisans that might not normally be able to build what they want due to local restrictions or space use Marrad as a proving ground for their architectural ideas. Near the city limits a few longhouses for refugees from Pesh were built and are maintained by the refugees themselves, little of Marrad's funding goes towards the refugees but their population is large enough to support themselves.
Marrad's layout is a series of circles similar to Aaqa. The outer most ring is the towns refugee area which is mostly ram-shackle wood buildings made from wreckage of former buildings and scraps from the artisans, these scraps represent the majority of the towns interaction with the refugees. This ring is more of a semi circle, the other side of the circle being a mix of agricultural facilities and migrant worker shanties. Past the shanties and refugees are a mix of artisans and high quality farmers, workshops scattered among pristine fields of crops. Many of the artisans here employ magical aids and the farmers in this area reap the benefit as well their farms have sizable guard barracks. Finally in the center are the majority of the shops and civic buildings, because of the central local of all the civic facilities many of farmers have their own personal guards. The central market is rather sizable here as they mostly deal in large crop lots and art showings they require the space.
The people of Marrad are welcoming to strangers who don't show up with their family and household in tow. They often are welcoming and eager to supply tourists with ways to drain their coffers. There is a certain duality to the people of Marrad though as they are suspect to anyone who doesn't freely spend their money and likewise those who have too much. They are very protective of their community and do not appreciate outsiders migrating in. The farmers tend to be the most wary of outsiders in this respect. The artisan community is very welcoming however, as they are all migrants to the city, they often find and vouch for new artisans who wish to integrate into the town and the farmers respect their protection as the artisans contribution to the town brings in magical farming aids and tourist income. The refugees surrounding the city are only tolerated as migrant workers, those that have work tend to live near the farms and don't venture towards the main refugee conflux. The refugees that don't live near the farms are mostly distraught unemployed families that beg and steal to survive, because of the harsh nature of the farmers the refugees here tend to hold their own law and will actively repel the mercenary guards the farmers might send. Some refugees have been attempting to set up their own farms, which have been met with mixed results, while a few flourish many have been burnt out by the other farmers or died out from unskilled labor.
Metropolis: Conventional; AL:LG; 100,000 gp Limit; Assets 415,540,000 gp; Population: 83,108; Mixed (Human 79%, Dwarf 9%, Gnome 5%, Halfling 3%, Half-orc 2%, Other 2%)
Town: Converntional; AL:LG, 3,000 gp Limit; Assets 330,000 gp; Population 2,200; Isolated (Human 97%, Gnome 2%, Dwarf 1%)