View Full Version : [City] Raithlin (in process)

2005-07-06, 05:26 PM

Introduction: This should be a description of the city through the eyes of a traveler arriving in it for the first time.

Stats: The Dungeon Master's Guide gives stats for cities, including a Size Category, the exact adult population, the demographics, the maximum value of any single item that can be purchased there.

Population: 10,000. 9,000 Humans, 300 half elves, 250 elves, 200 dwarves, 75 gnomes, 60 half orcs, 40 halflings, 75 stranger things. There are two families of half ogres, a band of goblin mercenaries/adventurers, a couple families of nixie fishermen, and a score of mixed humanoid slaves. In the summer, they have up to 20 lizard folk traders.

Background Information: Talk here about anything about the city's background. This category is so broad, that I've offered several examples of subcategories. This list is by no means exhaustive or definitive. Feel free to add new subcategories you need or remove those you feel you don't.

Physical Description: The one subcategory that IS required, this should describe local geography, as well as the general layout of the city. Maps are not necessary, though if you feel they'd help, they're certainly welcome.

Amenities: 5 inns, 25 taverns and 5 hostels.

Fearless and Peerless is the main inn in town, hosting the temple of Thor and being a very large, full service establishment. They have a good kitchen, better cellar, good drug selection, excellent facilities for mounts (can handle some exotics like pegasi and has references for others), private baths, live entertainment (music for lunch, acts most nights), gambling and gaming parlor, private dining rooms and of course, rooms for rent (suites, common room and individual rooms). Sexual services are available by asking the host, who will contact a brothel they have arrangements with. There are usually a couple employees on premises.

Brady’s Ghost is the F&P’s primary competition. It’s newer and has a persistent rumor of being haunted, which is oddly a selling point. The rumor is that the ghost is that of the first owner, who was killed by the head of the thief’s guild when he refused to pay protection money. As a result, the owner haunted the place and brings ruin to anyone who disrupts his guest’s stay. Many claim to have seen the ghost – few people are harmed, but those who are hurt are usually shown to have been involved in some perfidy. From time to time, the priests of Deth stand outside and try to exorcise the place, or at least remind people of the evil of undead. This always serves to increase the inn’s traffic. Most of the services inside are a step down from F&P, but the prices are lower and the food better. The rooms are better quality. There are no dealer’s tables, but people can set up their own games if they wish. There are regular dart and chess tournaments.

The Two Headed Calf is a disreputable little inn with a very worn and battered looking dead calf in a case next to the bar. It has two heads. The inn is smoky and stained, but the rooms are better than you’d expect and the entertainment, while bawdy or gambling, is a lot of fun. Sexual services are available, as are a wide range of drugs and unusual drinks. They have some permanent illusions on the walls and in a few rooms. These match various illustrations in the 2nd edition AD&D Handbook.

Nix and Pix is designed mostly for Small size characters, but they also cater to other exotics. They accept humans, but the prices are a little higher than the other inns. The prices remain high for exotics, but they are lower than the prices for exotics at other places. They are located near the docks. During the summer they put up the lizard folk delegation. Their menu includes things like fried and poached beetles, rotted fish, live crustaceans and mollusks, and unusual plant and mushroom dishes.

Dwarf Inn is not just for dwarves, though they tend to check it out before other places. It also attracts mercenaries, adventurers and hard-drinking, hard-living sorts. The Dwarf Inn can handle war pigs, riding sheep, riding dogs and Large size riding carnivores in addition to the usual run of equines. Much of it is underground and though the tunnels bother some of the other races, dwarves, gnomes and Halflings find it comforting.

Faires and Tournaments

Class InteractionsYou might also discuss the classes and how they interact.

Shops and Industries
The city of Raithlin doesn’t have a single prominent industry, but it serves as a clearinghouse and exchange center for the entire Mill River Valley. The merchant’s guild has a strong influence on rates and a large chapterhouse on the market square.

In addition to the usual businesses (if not listed here, assume there are more than 5 shops), Raithlin has glovemakers (4), fine woodcarvers (4), booksellers (2), bookbinders (3), illuminators (2) and a single, wizard’s guild operated magic shop.

Raithlin is essentially a union town. For any work to be done, you have to be part of the appropriate guild. There are even guilds for trash collection, sewer construction and maintenance, and lamp lighting, in addition to the usual guilds for smiths, merchants, wizards, carpenters, woodworkers, etc. Guild membership generally requires someone to vouch for you who is a member in good standing, demonstration of appropriate skills/abilities, and agreement to follow the guild laws and bylaws.

The guilds maintain their power by price fixing and then getting a small percentage from members. This amounts to 1-5%, depending on circumstance. Sometimes this amount is collected as a license fee, with relicensing occurring after a set number of years (1, 3 and 5 being most common). Fees support the chapterhouse and a staff (usually one full time staff person for every five businesses). They also support the occasional hiring of enforcers and lobbying of various nobles to get reduced tariffs for transportation of goods by guild members.

Bazaars and Markets: The town square is no longer the focus of mercantile activities. Instead, it serves as the front for various guilds, temples, inns, public services (like the baths) and taverns. The business district is scattered throughout the city in pockets of similar businesses. The clothing, food and pastry businesses have their own bazaars – large open areas the size of several house lots where people man booths to sell their wares. The dock section has another bazaar (more general interest, but often with good deals), as does the castle (a lot of jewelers, money lenders and florists and perfumists have shops here).

The Wizard's Guild: The Guild of Wonder-Workers and Wizards deserves special mention, for the ducal chapterhouses are directly supported by the capital. They show more than 350 years of attention and are designed to allow the wizard’s guild a quasi-military fortification to operate out of. They are part of a very long range plan. In Raithlin, the Wizard’s Guild sits at the confluence of the Omagh and Mill Rivers, in a location that was rejected for the castle due to its marshy nature. Nothing that sufficient application of mighty magics couldn’t cure, and so when the outer walls were being rebuilt during the reign of Cordelia (some 250 years ago), the guild agreed to finance and build the entire section in exchange for rights to the spit of land at the confluence.

What sits there now is an impressive edifice with three 60’ high towers (40’ diameter, does not include 15’ outer wall) and a connecting gallery 50’ high. It goes down significantly, connecting to the underdark. The guild has a single visible entrance for non-members, which leads into a great hall very similar to that found in the capital guildhouse. Shops are on the right, counseling or interview rooms are on the left. At the rear of the hall is a collection of automatons and statuary. The statuary includes a complicated moving orrery, a clock that tracks time to the second and a pendulum that usually hangs off-center (arcane markings on the floor track the meaning of where it points – it tracks the concentration of magic within a certain radius of where it is situated, with the radius being something that can be dialed up or down by making the pendulum longer or shorter).

Over 200 people are in the wizard’s guild at any given time. 150 of these are wizards, bards, sorcerors or multiclassed persons. The rest are apprentices or servants. Food and mundane supplies are brought in through a carefully monitored door to the south tower. It has hallucinatory terrain cast on it to fool the eye. As far as that goes, the whole structure makes extensive use of illusory wall and permanent illusion. There are actually a number of windows in the walls that are invisible to most, and on the upper levels of the towers, there are balconies.

Non-guild members with a specific purpose may be allowed into the library to research, for a fee (and they will be accompanied constantly by a homunculus or familiar). Guild members will get a tour after being accepted and established. The tour does not include the upper or lower levels, but it gives them the general layout. Guild members may research spells, craft items, scribe scrolls or brew potions simply by reserving laboratory space.

Temples and Shrines
Every recognized religion (of which there are 16) has a temple in town with 12-20 clergymen, about half of which labor in a separate commercial or agricultural activity to support themselves. The largest of these are dedicated to Ilmatar, Thor, Dagda and Ariadne, each with congregations in excess of 200 people. All religions have a storefront along the "Street of the Gods", which fronts Wall Street near the west gate. In about half the cases, the building serves to give general information and direct seekers to the true temple. During business hours, there is always at least one staff person on duty to answer questions, discuss the faith, and provide social services (counseling, information, sometimes a free spell if your case seems worthy).

Raithlin is the ducal capital of the Duchy of the Mill River Valley. It is one of eight duchies that make up the Kingdom of Mirram. Governmental structure is essentially feudal with a heritary noble in charge of military, defense and maintaining the duchy to the standards set by the king.

There are two important caveats to this: First that the noble in charge can in theory be voted out by a majority of the landowners under them repudiating their oaths of fealty. Also, the heir apparent must pass a vote of confidence by this same assembly of landowners. Secondly, each city or town usually has a council of town elders appointed to oversee much of the day to day civil affairs. The ruling noble is generally a part of this council, but the people's right to govern themselves in non-military matters is seen as a given.

Who Rules: Duchess Ardara Fearnone, NG hf Cleric (Mielikki) 2/Mundane 1, 27 years old, married well and with four children. Her husband is serving at the royal court, though he is not in the line of succession.

Who Really Rules: Urien Fearnone, LG hm Mundane 6, 53 years old. Urien was not confirmed as count upon the death of his father four years ago, due to the extraordinary number of powerful enemies he had accumulated. He remains a capable administrator and has been trying to mend fences with his daughter, who was confirmed in his place. A great deal of power also resides in the hands of Ardara’s in-laws, the Foglath family from Sawel. Her husband was removed to the royal court after Urien applied pressure to the king, so as to reduce the in-law’s power over Ardara.

Militia/Defense: The city employs 80 guards, 20 sergeants and 10 lieutenants as permanent employees. Six guards, 3 sergeants and 1 lieutenant are stationed at each of the two gates and the dock gate during the daylight hours, with two patrols of the same that move through the streets. One day a week a patrol is mounted and patrols the county lands under the Fearnone control. Enfeofed knights, squires, gentlemen, yeomen or free farmers fill in any gaps for sick, injured or off duty days for the normal guards. At night they have 2/3rd the guard allotment. There are always three guards stationed at the castle doors during the day (one on either side, one inside on break).

Defenses include crenellated stone walls 40 feet high and 15 feet wide, with the gates being stout double doors that are 10 feet wide each and 2 feet thick (fully opened, you can get something through that is a few inches wider than 18 feet). The doors are ironwood with a solid metal core, set into stone shaped fixtures shot through with metal reinforcements. There is a glassteel inset near each door (10’ up) that guards can look out when the gates are shut. The walls similarly have multiple layers of metal, fill, and stone on the first 15 feet. The dock gate is no different. Each gatehouse is equipped with a ballista, a means to create flaming oil and a pair of trebuchets. About 1 in 4 of the permanent guards will have exotic weapon proficiency to enable them to make good use of the ballista or trebuchet. It is expected that these weapons will usually not be used unless the town is under siege or at war, in which case the siege engineers will be dispersed to the gates.

The city also has a Large (or possibly Huge) iron golem in the shape of a goat. It stands on a slightly raised pedestal near the north gate, inside the walls. It can cast Great Knock once per day as a free action (must be associated with charging and striking the door) and instead of a gas breath weapon it has Disintegrate (affects objects only).

Crime: This section is fair game for demographics on crime, information about organized crime syndacites, rebellions, underground railroads and various other activities that find themselves working against the lawful authorities.

The Monument: This entry is, of course, your chance to describe the monument itself.

Power Struggles: This section should outline major conflicts in the city. Unlike the previous section, this should be a more "active" crisis. It can be recent or longstanding, but it should be a point of serious contention. It can be anything from a virulent Theives' Guild versus a stern government to two rival schools of art. The point is, it should be a major struggle between two forces within the city. Major figures in these conflicts should get minimal stats (race, class, level, and alignment).

Adventure Hooks: Please include two specific and immediate plot/adventure hooks that a DM could throw at his players right off the bat.

People: Raithlin has 240 people who are 5th level or higher – too many to outline here. The most important personages are the ducal family, the heads of the most powerful guilds, and the leaders of the largest congregations. Power tends to flow to those who can influence the most people, not to those who can cast the most spells or have the highest modifiers for some skill or attack.
Urien Fearnone - LG hm Mundane 6, 53 years old. Urien was not confirmed as count upon the death of his father in Carbry 4, due to the extraordinary number of powerful enemies he had accumulated.
Ardara Fearnone - NG hf Cleric (Mielikki) 2/Mundane 1, 27 years old, married well and with four children. Her husband is serving at the royal court, though he is not in the line of succession.
Her mother-in-law
Her father-in-law
Her grandmother
Ultan Fearnone – Ardara’s younger brother (19 years old). CN hm F4. Advocate of the Temple of Thor.
Treasa Sorcelsmith – Wizard’s Guildmaster. CN hf W7. Treasa has battled the growing royal power for many years and seeks to reduce the control of the politicians upon her guild. She was instrumental in making sure Urien did not take the ducal seat.
Master Fionn – Merchant’s Guildmaster. LG hm Mundane 12. Master Fionn is an elderly man who seems to know nearly everyone in town and all of their business. He has four ioun stones that circle his head and a familiar falcon (due to a magic ring that grants the wearer a familiar as a 1st level wizard). He is more interested in doing more business than in getting a larger cut. His policies for the last several decades have seen the merchant’s guild jump in popularity.
Edanna Everguard - Carpenter’s Guildmaster. CE hf Mundane 7. Edanna is the author of many extreme measures taken against those who go against the Carpenter’s Guild laws. She is eager to use any and all methods to put down any resistance to her, ahem, the guild’s rule. She has been trying to convince all of the guilds to unify under her banner so they can stage a coup and wrest control of the city from the Fearnones – a family she has decided are too weak to rule since Urien was unable to secure his proper position. Master Fionn is her primary opposition to this. She has tried to assassinate him twice.
Driscoll Silvertongue - Mason’s Guildmaster. NG hm Bard 2/Mundane 5. Driscoll is a well-liked old man who knows his business quite well and can often be found on worksites, inspecting work in progress. Advancement in the guild requires his endorsement, which is usually given if the person seems of good character and skilled. Trying to bribe him will automatically gain his suspicion. He supported Urien very persuasively and passionately, but he was unable to fathom the depths to which the opposition would stoop.
Donnelly Millmaster - Miller’s Guildmaster. CN hm Mundane 8. Donnelly was another of the crew that resisted Urien’s appointment. More importantly, he was able to persuasively lobby the some of the nobility by getting local millers to agree to alter their weights and measures if the nobles voted against his wishes.
Ferris Lackluster - Smith’s Guildmaster. LG hm W5 (Abjurer). Ferris rose to leadership of the Smith’s Guild due to his efforts studying how to make better forges and furnaces and more to the point, bringing his findings to all the smiths and making a gift of the knowledge to the guild. This won him immense respect and he quickly became the person everyone went to for a fix when something went wrong. He is nominally a member of the Wizard’s Guild, but disagrees with Treasa’s policies.
Etain Bowerbird – Priestess of Ilmatar, NG hf Cleric 5/Mundane 2. Etain is well known for being able to cure disease, blindness, deafness and remove scars. She is a very respected community figure and works as a midwife when she is not overseeing temple matters.
Fergus the Noisemaker – Priest of Thor, CG dm Bard 6. Fergus is a drummer and quite the musician. He has a band that forms the core of live entertainment for temple ceremonies and is considered the best in town. He makes free with magical enhancements to his act and always makes a big impression on people. He has no love for the Fearnones, the Wizard’s Guild or hardly any of the organizations in town. From time to time, he takes his show on the road.
Fallon Dermont – Priest of Dagda. LG hm Mundane 8. Fallon leads one of the larger congregations in town and is a persuasive public speaker, but he never came out in support of Urien. He does not believe the clergy should take an active role in deciding who should rule, but only in supporting the ruler once selected (exceptions for the obviously deranged or those not acting even remotely in the interests of the people). His policy of non-interference was important.
Seanna – Priestess of Ariadne. LG hf Paladin 4. Seanna has become the leader of the temple of Ariadne by dint of survival (she is quite aged) and her many allies. She is greatly loved by her people and takes a personal interest in all who live by crafting. She is likely to act as a mediator in disputes between guild members and their leadership, trying to find a middle ground and head off confrontations. Master Fionn is a great friend of hers.
Miren – Preistess of Mielikki. NN hf Cleric 7 (Mielikki). Head of the faith. Miren is a simple woman.