View Full Version : [City] Clifftown

2005-07-03, 05:58 AM

You are able to see the cliff that Clifftown sits upon several days away. When you get close, you start to see the houses built on the cliff itself, most of them being the large houses of the noble families, and the waterfall that provides most of the city’s water, which also has a constant rainbow around it, day or night, due to some strange magic property of the cliff. Soon after, you are able to see the city walls, a sturdy wooden palisade, with towers every 100 feet along. The Wall forms a semi-circle around the town, terminating at the edge of the cliff. When you get even closer, you are able to see that men who look like they have seen many a fight man the walls. As you approach the gates, you walk through tracts of farmland, with members of many races working to provide food for the city. When you reach the gates, you are told to state your name and purpose, and then are let through. Once through the gates, they are closed behind you, and guards come to search you for contraband. Once the search is over, you are free to explore the wonder that is Clifftown.

Large City
Adult Population; 20,672
37% Human
20% Elf
18% Halflings
10% Half-Elf
7% Dwarf
5% Gnome
3% Half-Orc
Max Item Price; 40,000
Ready Money; 41344000 gp

Background Information:
Physical Description;
Clifftown has two main districts, the cliff district, home of the rich merchants and the aristocrats, and the ground district at the bottom of the cliff, home of most of the city’s citizens. There are also a large number of farms in the area outside the walls.
Cliff District
The cliff district is, of course, built into the cliff, and most of the houses there are very elaborate, and have fairly old designs, as most people, even the rich who live there, can't affords to build new houses on the cliff, as it is very hard to get the materials up to the site. Most of the houses are connected to the ground by elevators, to let food and servants up, and to the other houses by walkways, to allow visitors from the other residents. The highest house, only about 60 feet away from the top of the 267 foot cliff, is the house of the mayor, and when a new mayor is chosen by the nobles, he is moved in to the house, and the old mayor gets the new ones old house. Most of the people living in the cliff district are humans or elves, with a few half-elves living in the households where a human has married an elf, or even in some where they haven't, though this is very rare. Almost no dwarves, gnomes, halflings or half-orcs live in the cliff district, and those that do are almost all servants of the noble families. To see a guard other than a private guard standing outside the gates of a noble’s house is very uncommon.
Ground District
The ground district if the home of all those who do not have enough money to live in the cliff district, or who are unable to secure a job working in the house of one of the lords. This is where most merchants conduct trade, and where most of the city’s crime happens. This crime means that almost all the city guards are assigned to the ground district, and all are experienced in fighting. Most churches also are found in this district. The ground districts virtually divided into a merchant area, a church and government area, a poor area, and the area around the base of the cliff, where most of the part time workers at the noble houses live.
The farms outside the walls are the main source of food for Clifftown. The farmers grow crops and raise livestock of all different varieties, and are able to provide most of the city’s food. The houses they live in are very minimalist, as most of their time is spent working, eating and sleeping.
Arts and Culture;
Most of the noble houses on the cliff are full of works of art, and are usually older house deigns than the rest of the nation, as the cost of building a new house is very high, and the cost of replacing an old one even higher. In the ground district, the government buildings and churches usually have some carvings on the walls, but the poor and merchant areas usually have none. The occupants of the area at the base of the cliff have very little art in their houses, but more than most inhabitants of the ground district, as they are paid more than most by the nobles they work for. The farmers also have no art in their houses, because they are too busy to buy such things.
Clifftown provides most of its own food from the farms outside the walls, and have to bring in only the fine delicacies that the nobles love to eat. All the towns water is provided by the Shining Waterfall, and the mines in the cliffs, found to the east of the town, provide Clifftown with most of its metal. Most wooden products have to be shipped in, due to the lack of wood in the area, and Clifftown exports mostly metal goods, and some of the water from the Shining Waterfall, which is said to extend the life of the drinker, despite evidence to the contrary.
There is no official religion in Cliffport, and most gods have a small temple in the church and government area of the ground district. Most of the residents of the cliff district worship Kord in the open, and there is a temple built in the cliff district for them to worship, but many secretly worship other gods, including a number of followers of Nerull, god of death.
Clifftown is lead by a mayor who is elected by the noble ruling class. While it is hypothetically possible for a mayor to be originally from the ground district, this has only happened once, when a noble wanted a puppet in the mayors house, and the man was later lynched by the nobles, for all the bad decisions made under the influence of the puppeteer, who got away unharmed. The citizens of the ground district have no say in who leads their city. The current mayor is Elar Silverleaf, an elf who was elected for his first term two years ago. His term ends in one year, when the nobles will vote to either keep him, or to vote in a new mayor. Elar is a good mayor, and makes decisions that are fair, but he has annoyed a few nobles who have come out worse off from his decisions.
Crime is most prevalent in the ground district of Clifftown, where it is controlled by a halfing thieves guild, which controls almost all crime in the ground district. If a crime is committed without the guilds approval, the criminal will have great trouble selling their stolen goods, and may be visited by some of the gangs enforcers. The guild is constantly in combat with the city guard, and do everything they can to infuriate them. The current leader of the guild id known only as Sly, and seems to have come from nowhere, getting to the top in dead men’s shoes. There is also a smuggling cartel operating in the city, bringing in contraband without tax, and selling it on the black market. They usually bring in a variety of things, from weapons to poisons to slaves, anything illegal or that has a tax on it. It is a little known fact that some of the noble houses have people in the poor area, constantly looking for slaves that have been smuggled in. The current leader of the smugglers is Kinor Lightfoot, a half-elf who came to the city through the smugglers secret paths, and who slowly went up the ranks, taking the leadership when the old leader, Harl Stonesplitter, a dwarf, went missing under strange circumstances.

The Monument:
There are, in effect, two monuments in Clifftown. One is the Shining Waterfall, a waterfall that constantly has a rainbow spray, and an odd colour to the water, due to unknown magical substance in the cliffs, that no-one yet understands. The other is the cliff district, due to the sheer difficulty that is getting the building materials to the building site.

Power Struggles:
There are only two power struggles in Clifftown, one in the cliff district, which is almost unknown to the masses, and one in the ground district, which is almost impossible to avoid.
Cliff district, The Mayor vs. The Angry Nobles
As mentioned earlier, the current mayor has annoyed some of the nobles, who are currently plotting against him. The ringleader of the trouble makers is Karl Hester, a human who ran against Elar two years ago. He feels that the elf stole the mayors office away from him, and seeks to take the mayors office by any means necessary. He is constantly stirring up trouble, and is one of the secret worshipers of Nerull. He and his followers stir up problems for the mayor, and it is rumoured that a cloaked figure is looking for assassins to eliminate the mayor.

Ground District, The City Guards vs. The Thieves Guild
This conflict has been running for years, and will probably not be resolved any time soon. The thieves have many in their ranks, but the guards are tough, and have some very resourceful leaders. The thieves rob a bank, killing one guard, and the guards attack a thieves guild safe house, capturing all they can. The only way this conflict can be resolved is if one takes complete control of the ground district, which is very unlikely to happen without significant aid by a group of mighty heroes.

Adventure Hooks:
1. The PC's are approached by a cloaked figure, and asked if they will assassinate the mayor for a very large reward.
2. The PC's see a fight between the guards and the thieves guild, and someone in the fight yells for help.
3. A cavern is discovered to the west of Clifftown, which has never been explored. The PC's are approached by a wizard to escort him through the caves, thinking that he might discover what makes the Shining Waterfall the colour it is.
4. The Shining Waterfall has been slowly decreasing in the amount of water coming out, and then it suddenly stops completely. The PC's are sent with a small detachment of city guards to find out what has happened.