View Full Version : (City) Laketon, The Gray City (comments welcome)

2005-07-01, 05:44 PM
My first actual try at a contest, so here is goes....

Also, the term 'Gray City' was not meant as a way of trying to flatter Gray Watcher, indeed the moniker was chosen before I knew there was a contest.



You come to an immensely walled city, the walls themselves look to be at least a half-century old, but are still holding strong. The wall surround the whole of Laketon and strech to about forty miles in circumfrence. The walls are rather solid and firm save for the few gates that actually lead into the city from the roads, in addition to that the are four main rivers going out of Laketon, one coming down from the north, and the other three going down hill in the directions of east, west, and south.

The guard looks at you, and asks that you tie your weapons to their sheaths 'For the preservation of the law' he says, but you are soon to find out that you may need your weapons.

You enter the southwestern gate and look on to the bustling metropolis.Every so often you see a city guard watching warily at the situationat hand. Merchants and customers alike flock throughout the streets, buying and selling goods of all shapes and sizes; weapons, armor, food stuffs, pretty much anything that isn't illegal, but if you know where to look, that is available as well....

There is a monument in the central plaza of the government district tht depicts a rather large bronze dragon, the supposed protector of Laketon

Mixed Metropolis
Adult Pop:roughly 75,000 (60% human 10% elf 10% dwarf 10% gnome 10% other)
Gold piece limit: 100,000 gp
Alignment: Neutral

Background info:No one is completely sure how the original settlement of Laketon came to be. Indeed the histories state that there was already a settlement here when the first pilgrims arrived, and they simply expanded upon the previous architecture, and made use of its long maze-like sewer systems.

Physical Description:
Laketon itself is divided into six main distinct districts:

The religious quarter, where all of the temples to the pantheon of gods is available. It is also where many of the parades and festivals are held. The religious quarter also serves as the noble's district where all of the well-to-do families live, as well as some of the more upscale merchants. That way the pious well-to-do can have easy access to their choice of faiths and temples. This is also where the graveyard is.

The arcane district, which also serves as the industrial district, where the people of Laketon make all of their goods to sell.

The military quarter, where the guards and standing army stand training and in watch for attack.

The slums, often referred to as the 'Housing district' by the government officials homes the the rest of the working class, as well as most of the impoverished non-human races, it is in this district that most of the illegal 'business' is taken place.

The merhcant's quarter is where most of Laketon's actual commerce takes place, it is also the home of most of the inns and taverns of the town, including the famous Broken Sword tavern

The final district is the government district where most of the actual legislation and laws are created. This also serves as a secondary place for the noble's to inhabit. The district is characterized by to buildings. The first is a white and black mansion in which the mayor lives, he hardly comes out during the day anymore. The second noteable structure is a large black spire in the center of the district, this is where the 'Council of Laketon' goes about it's daily business, the origins of the tower and what all is inside, remains a mystery, even to some of the counsil members.

Laketon itself is really a city that surrounds a rather large lake(hence it's name). The lake has had many names during times past and currently is known simply as 'The Lake' or 'Crater Lake' since the lake itself is actually the imdentation in the ground of a meteor strike countless years ago. It is said that some manner of vile creature inhabits the center of the lake, but few dare go there now.....

Arts and Culture: The actual arts of the town depends on who you speak with. Many people depict their art through the use of paintings, others through sculpture. The usual depiction is most often of the lake and lake faring creatures, most often fish, or boats or things like that.

The culture itself was at first rather diverse, many people from the surrounding countries came to Laketon because it was a political haven for those who had wronged their previous nations. Since the war 30 years ago, however, the society has become much more xenophobic, fearing anyone who comes in, but the newcomers are often tolerated, especially if they have coin to spend.

Economics:Because of it's rather strategic position between two other formerly warring countries, Laketon has the advantage of being able to trade with both, and serve as the neutral party between the two countries. Supplying both of them with arms and armor and all the while becoming richer. Another major resource is the fish that come from the lake. Laketon has become very prosperous by being a trade city for both Alexandros and Lininblum (the two formerly warring nations)

Religion: Being a rather open society, Laketon hosts the whole gamut of non-evil dieties (and even a few of the evil ones as well...just not as out in the open). Most of the temples are located in the temple district and as such the inhabitants of Laketon can practice whatever religion they wish.

Government: The government structure of Laketon at first glance seems rather simple. There is a Council of Laketon, which serves as both the legislative and judiciary center of the city state, and a mayor that serves at the excutive power, both of which are elected through means of popular sovranty. They usually make many many laws concerning the prolongued neutral status of Laketon, and several other ways to make the city(or at least the governmental officials) even richer.

However, under this rather picturesque system, lies something a bit less than perfect. The local thieves guilds, as well as the assassin guild are the true powers within the city, having paid off the majority of the council to both ignore their their crimes, and also to let some of the higher guild members achieve actual governmental status. Somehow they also seem to have the mayor in their pocket as well, but the method by which they do that remains a mystery. By paying off some of the nobles they also keep some of the more 'laudible' religions away from their business. The thieves keep a tight hold upon Laketon's dedication to neutrality, because that way they are able to make more gold in their opinion, and also because they are theives, not warriors, as they are keenly aware.

Crime: Crime, on the outside, is something that is absolutely abhored and not tolerated in the least. However, if you pay off the right people, you will find a very healthy Black Market where you can buy all sorts of goods and services. The theives guild traditionally does not tolerate anyone who is freelancing within their fair streets and most often you will find the guards going after those rogues, this display often encouraging people to think that the government is indeed lawful and reliable.

The Monument: A giant monument stands in the middle of the governmental district and it is a portrait of one of the few true myths that Laketon actually has. According to legend in the center of the lake is an ancient and colossal bronze dragon that protects the city from the monster within the lake and other threats to the city. The dragon's actual name had been lost throughout the centuries but the memory lived on, and in memorium of their 'mythical' protector the people of Laketon carved a stature of the dragon, wings extended, and breathing flame(interestingly enough, at the time they didn't know what a Bronze dragon's real breath weapon was), and beneath the dragon's feet is a miniaturized representation of Laketon.

Power Struggles: The government in itself is one giant power struggle. Often there are some noble council members that question the guild and are silenced, either through gold or otherwise. Also the religious organizations(however few) that are wise to the government's true masters often try to place their own representatives into offices and try desparately to free the government from the thieve's tyranny.

In addition to this fact, there are many aspiring thieves guilds within the city that are attempting to gain sway and hold some measure of power within the city, or at least enough to not get immediately wiped out. The thieves guild, however, will have none of this and periodically wipes out the 'rival' guilds.

Within the guild itself there are very few power struggles, surpringly. The high ranking thieves often have agenda's of their own, but it only seems to lead to getting rich, not on attaining any more power than they already have.

Adventure Hooks:

1)Upon entering the city, you run immediately go to the tavern of the Broken Sword. On the way you meet a rather ambitious child selling newspapers. The paper seem to indicate that there has been a string of grave robbings( the thing that makes it even more interesting is that some of the coffins themselves have been stolen), as well as mysterious deaths that have the local authorities baffled. The party eventually makes their way to the Broken Sword, only to find that the bartender, Al, seems to be in a semi-conscious haze. The adventurers take their rooms and go to sleep. The next morning,however, they find themselves in an eery catacomb-like room, and they are dressed in white robes, and do not have their weapons or other equipment. They go through the house, finding their weapons and armor, and battling zombies, ghouls and vampire and make their way towards the ground floor, only to find that they are in the mayor's mansion.

2) By some matter of chance or simply dumb luck, the PC's find themselves with a very large egg, which if identified, it will be revealed that it is indeed a Bronze dragon egg. The PC's find out the local legends about the Bronze dragon guardian of Laketon as well, they may either seek to return it, or keep it for their own. If they strive to return it, then they find that they must go to the center of the Lake and find out if there truly is both a monster and a hero in those waters. If they do not return it, they may find themselves with a very angry legend come to life...

3) The PC's are hired by their local temple (whichever they worship since Laketon has them all) to get help portect a wagon train that is going out of Laketon towards another town, they just are worried about bandits. If the PC's agree, they find that the church's concerns are indeed justified, as a group of bandits indeed does decsend upon the wagon. The PC's easily fight off the bandits and escort the wagon to it's intended destination. Upon returning to Laketon, they are immediately thrown in jail and are accused of murder (the bandits were a section of the Laketon thieves guild). Will the PCs be able to escape imprisonment? How much did the church really know, and will they come to the PCs rescue?

2005-07-02, 07:29 AM
This is a filler space, just in case I should I need it.

I will also post the pictures here, which will be posted later this week.

2005-07-05, 01:38 PM
The bronze dragon protector is a cool idea, but I'm not sure if it fits the rest of the city. I HATE the fact that they have you peace bind your swords...

but maybe that's because I'm playing in the city currently in your game. ;)