View Full Version : [City] Gulumair, the Necromancers' Haven

2005-07-02, 02:09 PM
Introduction: You gaze at a large city, nestled on a large island in the middle of a river. Behind the city's high walls you can make out several high buildings.
As you step on the stone bridge leading to the gate, you look up at the wall to see a dozen bowmen following you with their eyes. Your eyes widen as you realize that most of them are skeletons. They're undead, and their alive fellows seem to think it to be rather normal. As you stare at the undead guardsmen in wonder, a gruff sergeant snaps at you. "Name and trade!" , he barks. You tell him your name and occupation and are ushered through the city gate.

Stats: Large city, adult pop. 24.500
35% human, 12% elven 8% half-elven 4% dwarf 12% gnome 9% halfling 8% half-orc 12% undead. maximal item value: 20,000 gp

Background Information: The city of Gulumair was founded some 500-odd years ago by an enterprising half-elven necromancer named Jaeverth. It is a haven for those who practice Necromancy. Mages are the elite class in the city rather than nobility.

Physical Description: The city is divided into 11 districts.

Rather rudimentary paint-made city map:

The Arcane District is where the mages of the city (the equivalent of nobility in other cities) reside.
The Temple District is where the Temple of Jaeverth and the Statue of Jaeverth are located. The Common Districts are where the commoners work and live.
The Government District houses the headquarters of the Inquisitors of Jaeverth, the Brotherhood of the Bone, the Guild of the Arcane, and the City Guard, as well as
the building of the Council of Three. The Merchant District is where most shops are located and also where the merchant population lives. The West Slums is a run-down area nestled between the Southgate and the Govt. District. It is here that the Black Daggers, the city's resident semi-secret criminal organization, has it's hideout.
The Southgate district is the area in the vicinity of the southern city entrance, and it has guard barracks and commoner's homes. The Docks District is where most commerce and a good deal of travellers enter the city. There is also a sizable smuggling operation in this district which is ran by the Black Daggers.
The East Slums is where The New Dawn, a group of rebels that strive towards the idealistic yet nearly impossible goal of removing the taint of the undead from the city, have their hideout. It is possibly even more run-down than the West Slums.
The Northgate district consists of the area near the north city entrance. Like the Southgate district it hosts barracks for guards and commoner's homes.

Arts and Culture: There is not very much interest for art in the city. A bard would be hard-pressed to find work.
Economics: Due to the high amount of mages and necromancers that live in the city, the primary export is magical items, particularly those of a necromantic nature. Necromancers frequently sell Undead as slaves to wealthy residents of the city.
Due to the absence of Clerics in the city, there is a good market for imported healing and restorative items. This is the city's social pyramid:

Council of Three
Guards Merchants
People Who Live In The Slums

Religion: The city worships Jaeverth, the necromancer that founded Gulumair.
Jaeverth has no clerics, but sorcerers born inside the city are said to have been blessed by Jaeverth, especially if their powers are necromantic in nature. No others religions are allowed to be practiced in the city, and the Inquisitors keep close tabs on clerics passing through. (No prayers or clerical spells are legally allowed) It might be interesting to know that Jaeverth died a natural death, while he was undoubtedly able to become a Lich if he had wanted to.

Government: The city is ruled by the Council of Three, consisting of the leaders of the prominent factions in the city being the Inquisitors, the Brotherhood of the Bone, and the Guild of the Arcane. The Inquisitors are dedicated to the worship of Jaeverth and their main task is to eliminate those that oppose Jaeverth's doctrine. The Brotherhood of the Bone is a faction that nearly all necromancers in the city belong to, and arguably the most influential. They are dedicated to researching and performing necromancy. By law, they may perform necromancy when someone who died was
A: Executed for a crime
B: Not a citizen of Gulumair
There is also an unwritten C: If they lived in the slums. This is technically illegal, but the government does not care about those that live in the slums. The Brotherhood of the Bone often hires mercenaries to gather fresh corpses from the slums; and make fresh corpses if necessary.
The Guild of the Arcane is a faction of wizards and sorcerers who don't practice necromancy, and a few necromancers who choose the Guild over the Brotherhood for reasons unknown. They are decidated to the pursuit of magical knowledge and creation of magical items, which makes up a large part of the city's economy.
The City Guard is under the command of the Council of Three and they mainly hunt down common thieves, smugglers, and the sort. A lot of the Undead in the city are part of the Guard, as they are more effective than human guards, not requiring sleep, food, etc. The City does not have much relations with other cities and countries. Although most foreign states are rather unnerved by the acceptance of undead and necromancy in the city, the city has not made any attempts at expansion, and all attacks on the city have been driven off as the city lies on a easily defended position and has a strong, mainly undead guard force.

Crime: There is a relatively high level of crime in the city. Most of the criminal activities are performed by the Black Daggers, who perform thievery, smuggling, prostitution, assasinisation, and espionage. They are also known to offer protection and housing for clerics operating in the city, but this is an act for profit rather than charity, as they will ask the clerics to perform their healing services in turn for payment (and the Black Daggers will want the lion's share, usually about 60%)
It is rumored that the Black Daggers have some connection with the Guild of the Arcane, but these rumors have not been proven.

There is also a secret group of rebels calling itself "The New Dawn" . Operating out of the east slums, they have the noble but rather impossible of removing the taint of the undead from Gulumair. There are a few rumors about them, and some of them might hint at a connection with the Guild of the Arcane. The New Dawn fights off Brotherhood of the Bone corpse-collecting parties in the slums, and helps clerics out of more noble reasons than the Black Daggers.

The Monument: A large, 13'2 feet statue carved out of black marble depicting the half-elf Jaeverth, the necromancer who founded the city. It stands infront of the Temple of Jaeverth, the centre of his worship in the city.

Power Struggles: There are a great many power struggles in the city.
The Brotherhood of the Bone has a rivalry with the Guild of the Arcane, which is mainly due to the Guild's leader, an elf by the name of Hazarthel (Male Elf, LN, Wizard 18 ) being opposed to the Brotherhood's rather unscrupulous ways.
The Brotherhood's leader, who ironically happens to be a powerful, cunning young sorceress called Irbrena Kayne (Female Human, LE, Sorcerer 18 ) in turn considers him a weakling, and has been trying to install Murlo Falgoorhn (Male Gnome, NE, Wizard 17 ) who is the Guild's second most powerful wizard, only rivaled by Hazarthel himself, and shares most of her opinions. The Brotherhood cannot act against Hazarthel openly, and therefore they have tried to hire the Black Daggers
to assasinate him several times. However, the leader of the Black Daggers, a halfling named Dradoc Brasscobble (Male Halfling, CN, Rogue 11/Shadowdancer 4 ) has refused all contracts on Hazarthel, because they are actually good friends. Dradoc has informed Hazarthel of this, but the elf has yet to act on the information.

The New Dawn is opposed to the Brotherhood of the Bone, and has in recent times become increasingly problematic to the Brotherhood. The New Dawn, operating out of the eastern slums, is led by a half-elf named Anelur (Male Half-Elf, CG, Wizard 16) who was an apprentice of Hazarthel. He remains in contact with Hazarthel and it is partially due to Hazarthel's influence that his group has not yet been caught. It is rumored that Anelur is actually Hazarthel's bastard son but it is unknown if this is truth or not. Anelur's right hand woman is an elf ,Sirienawen (Female Elf, NG, Druid 14 ) , who is also Anelur's lover.

The Inquisitors have been trying to counter the New Dawn, but as of yet they have been unsuccesfull. The leader of the Inquisitors, a cruel elf named Elisarth Vae'hrion (Male Elf, LE, Fighter 8/Sorcerer 8 ) has therefore allowed for non-natives to join the Inquisitors, a sign that he is getting desperate as such a thing has never occured before. Elisarth has been demanding assistance from the Brotherhood and the City Guard in the Council of Three, but due to the influence of Hazarthel he has not gained a lot as of yet.

It goes without saying that the City Guard are opposed to the Black Daggers.
The current commander of the Guard, a very intelligent half-orc warrior called Vrothir Myldoll (Male Half-Orc, LE, Fighter 17 ) has been hunting the 'Daggers down for the last 15 years, but without success, which is mainly due to the influence of Hazarthel and his connection with the Black Daggers. Vrothir would like nothing more than to end the existance of the Daggers, and is therefore on the Brotherhood's side when it comes to dealing with Hazarthel.

Adventure Hooks:

*Evil parties mightbe hired by the Brotherhood of the Bone to collect (read: make) corpses in the slums
*Good parties might hear rumors of the New Dawn and decide to seek them out and join them
*Evil parties might hear of the Inquisitors recruiting foreigners and decide to join them
*Parties who worship a particular deity might secretly preach the word of their deity in the city
*Chaotic parties consisting of roguish individuals might be invited to join the Black Daggers
*Mages might decide to take a side in the conflict between the Guild and the Brotherhood

2005-07-02, 06:25 PM
Original idea, if you work this out carefully it could become quite good :)