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- Jul 2005
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Kairdew, The City of Gods. Need help with fine details.
Hi, a while ago my players mused on the difficulties in playing DnD in urban settings. So I set out to create a setting that might address several of their criticisms. I haven't gone into those, as this is going to be long as it is, but I can discuss if wanted.
In order to address what one of my players called the "endless bluegreen balls" complaint, this setting is also flat and there is no hard border between the material and the elemental and energy planes and uses the full set of quasi, para and quasi para elemental planes. You can walk from Positive Energy to Water via Steam then on to the Material before going down a tunnel to Earth to get to Fire via Magma. Its a long and dangerous walk, but you can.
There is also no sun or moon, but there is a regular, every 24hr, pulse of energy that gathers in Radiance before travelling across the membrane between the central material and air before being swallowed by vacuum. I haven't worked out a moon analogue but do want one, any ideas welcome.
The actual setting I want to work on a city, built on an ancient cite by divine commandment. The city itself is about the size of modern London and relies heavily on the power of the Great Temples to operate, but is divided into areas under the authority of individual religions. Similar faiths have tended to coalesce near each other and also near the Grand Temples that match their purview. Gods are worshipped in their own temples and the more influential religions are also given time in the Grand Temples. The city is ruled, loosely, by The Conclave, a gathering of all divine spellcasters over a certain level, who enforce The Five Laws via The Inquisition, a shadowy organisation made up of whoever they want to recruit. They deal solely with The Five Laws however, not lesser crimes.
What I need is a load of points of interest, everything from temple complexes to small soup-carts to neighbourhoods to bookshops to gangs to full wards.
There is a lot of info that might be helpful, but if you just want to throw in an idea and leave me to work out where it fits that's great, I've spoilered most of the text to avoid mess.
Spoiler: Setting specific theologyThe Gods, as in the divine forces that created the world, are generally a subject of direct study only to theologians and philosophers. They are the source of divine power, but that is a resource that can be harvested and manipulated in many ways. They are not what most consider "gods". The things worshipped by people are almost living ideas or autonomous sub-structures of the actual Gods. Some are of mortal origin, others came to be when reverence was placed into a person, object or idea. They are fully real and independent, but they are also shaped by their worshippers to a degree, for instance a god worshipped by two cultures for a long time may split into two deities who become independent creatures, but it is also possible to religions to be wrong about their patron's past or goals without this necessarily changing the god. It is hypothesised that these gods are an attempt by the creator deities to understand their creation.
Other beings can channel and direct divine power, but these are universally declared Taboo in Kairdew. Some fringe cases exist (for example Pvct only accepts the direct worship of dragons but DOES empower dragons to bestow divine power on their chosen servants if they gain sufficient worshippers) but generally only gods are acceptable sources of divine power in Kairdew.
The exception to this rule is the Druidic concept of The Green, which is in fact a direct connection with the creator deity most closely associated with nature. No god is involved, power comes directly from creative force
Spoiler: Setting secretsKairdew is build over The Undercity more or less to act as a plug. A number of Abominations what came into existence when powerful outsiders attempted to usurp divine power are trapped under the city and the city is there to produce the divine activity needed to prevent their escape. These Abominations also created a number of monstrous and aberrant races that choke the countryside. Non-deific worship threatens to weaken this force, so it is persecuted when found.
Spoiler: Important terms:
• Ward. An area of territory controlled, taxed and operating under the laws of the Ward-temple. Everyone in the city is a citizen, subject, serf, chattel or member of at least one ward. In some parts of the city however the system breaks down somewhat.
• Ward-temple. A temple or shrine of a deity powerful enough and with a clergy interested enough to petition The Conclave for Ward status. Other temples and shrines sit within the jurisdiction of others, although they can petition for boundary changes.
• Great Temple: The major civic architecture of the city, each Great Temple is dedicated to a concept and is maintained by a committee of dozens of powerful faiths. Each is a true wonder of magical architecture.
• Temple. The central place of worship for a given faith, headed by that faith’s designated high-priest. Will have authority over all non- Schismatic Shrines of that faith.
• Shrine. A place of worship that is not the faith’s Temple. As opposed to Temples, which rarely perform functions other than worship, many Shrines are also businesses, public services or other useful buildings. All that is required for Shrine status is a priestly presence at least 4 days in 10.
• Schismatic Shrine. A Shrine associated with a faith that does not accept the authority of the Temple. Can range from a temporary dispute to the delineation of internal power structures. What constitutes a Schismatic Shrine and how much of a problem that is varies by faith and in many cases is deeply unclear.
• Devotary. A place dedicated to a deity that does not have an attendant priest, such as a statue or a place of business. It is possible for a place to be a Temple, Shrine and Devotary to different deities, such an example would be The Temple of Golden Stag (Lord of All Elves) in The Forrest, which includes Shrines to many other Elven deities and religiously important depictions of many more, including several not commonly worshipped by elves but who were born to elven deities. For example the upper temple contains an extensive Shrine to The Silver Hind (Lady of All Elves, who also has her own Temple) the rear room of which is a small Shrine to The Silver Spider (Her father and Elven God of Tradition and Magic) which contains a Devotary of The Dark Daughter (Goddess of Drow and half-sister of The Silver Hind) in the form of a mural depicting her fall.
• The Five Laws. The immutable laws of Kairdew that are enforced by The Conclave and The Inquisition.
1. The Worship of Any named Taboo by The Conclave shall bring Death.
2. The Worship of no True Deity shall be impinged.
3. The Function of The Great Temples shall not be interfered with.
4. No war other than sanctified war shall come to The City. Sanctified conflicts of more than 45 days shall pass to the Judgement of The Conclave.
5. A God and Their Laws have primacy in Their Wards which are given by The Conclave to those that hold such Dignity
- Join Date
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Re: Kairdew, The City of Gods. Need help with fine details.
Almost all temples, and indeed the majority of shrines and devotaries, are built in areas of the city where similarly philosophically inclined temples can be found, but not all. The prevailing nature of an area is typically dictated by the nearest Grand Temples, although exceptions are not uncommon, although such “antagonistic Wards” are often placed with as much if not more care and forethought as their neighbours. Take the descriptions below as general guidelines for areas that have populations that range from the thousands to the high tens of thousands (Uplands being a notable exception with only a few thousand permanent residents) and covering areas comparable to large villages to small towns in their own right (again, with the exception of the smaller Uplands, particularly if you exclude the area taken up by the Grand Temples.)
Spoiler: Uplands: The Posh bit in the middle
Also known as the inner city, the holy ward and the pilgrimage.
The central district of the city, ringed by The Sacred Soils, which is home to The Conclave Hall, The Nine Gates, The Glowing Tower, The Temple of The Bells also has easy access to The Sky Shrine and The Undertemple. This district is home to temples to the mightiest of deities, although most also have larger, more spacious, shrines in the outer parts of the city due to space pressure. The only full time residents of Uplands are the truly wealthy as a suite of rooms in a building here can cost more per month than lavish apartments in other parts of the city, sometimes even more than said apartments would cost to buy outright.
Local politics is deeply mixed, but on a pragmatic level favours the wealthy and influential. Violence is rare given the presence of The Conclave and The Inquisition, along with the Gild Shields who have for several generations now been paid to act as peacekeepers for the entire area.
The Wards of The Uplands are small, each Great Temple naturally constitutes its own Ward (for practical reasons The Sacred Soil is considered nine wards with varying borders, to accommodate internal politics and theological differences among the Druids) and every deity important enough to have a temple here also has the status to dictate its own Ward, but this means that many Wards extend only to the Temple’s own boundaries and perhaps a portion of a street. A common complaint in the city is that faiths with a temple in Uplands will often divert Ward income from other shrines to their main temple, which most Ward citizens will not see the benefit of. Businesses and residences are typically in the direct shadow of their Ward temple and the largest Ward (The Ward of Golden Garl, god of mercenary law-enforcment and First Commander of the Gild Shields) has only about 400 citizens, most of whom are high ranking Gild shield officers and their families who live on temple grounds. The largest “normal” Ward is The Ward of Darala, god wealth, with 250 citizens, although some might argue the title belongs to The Ward of Pfvt, god of Power, which has only two citizens (Sharlvathra, the Thousand Year Emerald Tyrant and her part drow child, Delridria the Obedient) but nearly 800 live-in Kobold and Dragonborn slaves.
Spoiler: Chaos District: The Chaos aligned bit which has the water temple
Also known as The Surge, Freestreet, The Pit, The Warren, Theivestown, Home.
The area surrounding The Temple of Change. Wards in this area are poorly defined and frequently fail to exercise their authority, meaning that much of the activity in this area is technically illegal. Navigation of this area is notoriously difficult and at times dangerous. Despite its bad reputation and relative poverty however the area is one of the few places that anyone, regardless of background, can find acceptance and some semblance of community. In addition, while outsiders often view the area is little more than slums there are a large number of genuine, self-sustaining, communities. Despite Wards being unclear it can be argued that they are also more important for the character of an area than anywhere else in the city. The area as a whole is home to temples belonging to gods of change, madness, warrior spirit, theft and other disruptive elements, although more violent temples tend towards Screamers. It is also home to a great deal of the working poor of other districts, due to the lower cost of living.
Chaos District’s political power is somewhat diluted, but its views are rarely outright ignored due to the presence of Great Lake Temple, the source of most of Kairdew’s water and home to a great number of powerful servants of aquatic deities of all stripes. It is considered the ultimate irony that the part of the city known for disunity ang variety is also home to Temples belonging to most water and seafairing deities.
Spoiler: Screamers: The Chaos aligned bit that is also a bit evil
Also known as Blood-lane, the Brawl, The Pit.
At first glance it can be hard to tell where Chaos District ends and Screamers begins, the general rule of thumb is that violence can be an acceptable way of solving a conflict in Chaos District, in Screamers it is the expected way. The further border of Screamers is typically held to be Drowmarket, the informal name for the area between the fortified residences of Drow houses Kel’dar, Mar’lest and Vatro, straddling two Schismatic Shrine wards (each with a claim as Temple) of Lolth. Drowmarket is a relatively peaceful and quiet area where any merchants willing to pay protection to one of the Drow houses can expect to do business without too much interference, with troublemakers disappearing in the area’s many dark alleys.
The area is predominantly dedicated to gods of violent conflict, dangerous madness, rot, gambling, poverty, desperation, revolution and battle, indeed it is home to a number of large gladiatorial arenas. Gods of outright malice however tend to be found further east.
It is also home to a large complex of elegant and mysterious buildings built and maintained around The Temple of The Shackled Prince, a deity that was long ago captured and enslaved by The Unseele Queen. This area, known locally as The Dark Ward is home to any Unseele Fey visiting the city and is best avoided by mortals.
Rumours persist that Garugran The Merciless, Black dragon and former temple master of Pfvt survived his deposition and is in hiding somewhere in the district.
Spoiler: Endless Lane: The really nasty CE bit
Also known as The Darkness, The Rot, The Danger.
Few enter this relatively small and crowded neighbourhood and those that do almost universally do so because they have no other choice. The Ward structure is all but ignored with gangs and cultists vying for power by brawling in the streets, although defenders to the area will point out that most gangs work at the behest of a Temple or Shrine. The area can best be understood in the words of Kalthsari Deig, who controlled most of the area before his murder, “I get to do what I want, you get to try and stop me. Winner keeps the loser’s skin.”
The principle difference between this neighbourhood and Screamers is that here the temples and organisations not only have a disinterest in morality, they actively oppose it. The deities who have temples here are the patrons of some of the darkest, foulest, most degraded practices known to mortalkind and the rate at which taboo cults are unearthed here is disturbingly high. Nevertheless for a city that must encompass all Endless Lane is an inevitability and there are just as many fanatics here willing to protect the gods and their station as there are anywhere else.
Spoiler: Gaol: The evil bit that leans Chaotic
Also known as The Red Prison, The Lost Hope, The Last Hope, The Grind.
Gaol is not a name used by residents of this district. One of the more industrialised areas of the city its residents are those who either seek wealth and power without the restrictions and constraints foisted on them by other parts of the city, or who have obtained it on the broken backs of their contemporaries. Orc and goblinoid bands patrol the streets to keep undesirables away from the wealthy and serfs in their place. Wards are, with the exception of where Goal bleeds into Endless Lane, clearly delineated with totems and devotionaries and different bands of youths spend much of their time tricking and goading their neighbours into crossing into the wrong area. The edges border of Gaol is typically considered to be where you can convince your hired bodyguards to travel. Too far into Endless Lane and they won’t come back, too far into The Grey and they won’t get a return client. Most live poorly and die young, but those with the cunning and drive needed can live lives of luxury and power that eclipse even those who live in Uplands.
Perhaps the most notable Ward in Gaol is the one that gives it its name, The Ward of Broken Flesh, god of Suffering. Obsessively a prison the Ward permits the sale of prisoners into indenture of any kind for terms of service up to nine times their original sentence, and further has arrangements from Chaos to The Nine Districts to house prisoners.
Politics in Gaol tend to be fairly stable, although whenever a major player dies there is an inevitable scramble to fill the power vacuum and upstarts from Endless Lane can always disrupt the local power structure.
Spoiler: The Grey: The Evil bit that also has the Negative energy and Evil temples
Also known as Gloom, Goldtown, Secondchancers.
Home to the Great Temple of Self and The Last Gate The Grey is sparsely populated, particularly if one considers only those that “live” there. As one might expect gods of undeath, even those who do not align closely with the philosophy of the area in general, are quite common. The area is dominated, moreso than anywhere else in the city, by its Great Temples, The Great Temple of Self in particular owns much of the habitation in the neighbourhood and has the largest Ward, by square footage or by population of any Temple in Kaerdew. It is counterbalanced by the powers of the Mausoleum Lords of The Last Gate, whose internal politics is less unified but more stable.
Other wards of note are The Ward of Silken Screams, goddess of decedent pleasures and patroness of Vampires, a popular entertainment destination for the city’s wealthy and The Ward of Paldaron, God of Profits, where being able to provide even the most rare and esoteric goods is a matter of religious duty.
Spoiler: Bleaks: The Evil bit that is a bit lawful
Also known as 10th District.
At first glance Bleaks looks a lot like Gaol, factories, industry, warehouses, toiling craftsmen, patrols of brutal guards keeping the peace. It’s a log quieter however, few gangs on street corners, few loud altercations in the street. The biggest difference however is in the structure of ownership, almost nothing in Bleaks belongs to its residents, including many of the residents themselves. Temples are relatively modest and thinner on the ground than elsewhere too. The few deities with actual Temples here are those who champion power over the weak, such as The Wise Tyrant of The Caring Whip.
Spoiler: The Nine Districts The LE bit
Also known as Hell, the Iron Neighbours, Bonestone road.
Vying for wealthiest area of the city, the Nine Districts is defined by a high, fortified, chain of shrines and devotaries that barerly evade the Conclave’s prohibitions against internal divisions within the city. The population density of The Nine Districts is low with most residences being grand estates with staff who are required to travel from Bleaks daily, an area which is owned almost entirely by citizens of The Nine Districts. The area gets it’s name from the byzantine process by which it maintains a mere nine wards, shifting Ward Temple status between prominent temples and shrines via abuses of the city’s legal system and using this as a shield to screen individual temples and shrines from external scrutiny and to stymie attempts to erect new shrines or devotaries that might give a foothold to the philosophically incompatible.. Only the powers of the Inquisition and the more determined lawyers are able to force these abuses into the daylight successfully and The Nine Districts take great care to avoid crossing the line into Taboo. Gods of Tyranny, Law, Politics and Domination have their temples here.
Spoiler: Battlefield: The Lawful bit that is leans evil
Also known as Bloods, Mercenary Avenue.
While Screamers and Clash hold many who claim to be gods of battle and strength most gods of war can be found in Battlefield and are the main reason for its name.
The area is often characterised by a sense of fragile tranquillity, laws are strict and strictly enforced, often by armed mercenaries, and disruptions and public disorder are clamped down upon with frightening efficacy. This is in part due to the militant and authoritantian nature of many of the local temples, but also because everyone is aware that if dis-order is not quelled quickly it can and will boil over into sectarian riots that can test the Law of Wars. Such events are rare, perhaps once a decade, and when they do occur, are often quarantined by other deities to prevent the spread, placing the area under siege until it burns out. Ironically these riots tends to be most dangerous near the borders and less so in the centre, as people cannot evacuate into The Nine Districts and the weapons and tools produces on the border with The Works are among the most devastating in the known world. Nevertheless the locals all know that their peace and stability is enforced with steel and is as brittle as iron. The border of Battlefield and The Works is unclear, but the residents of every street along the border will have a very clear idea as to which side they live on.
Spoiler: The Works: The Lawful area with the Fire and Law temples
Also known as The Forge, Smokesway.
Surrounding the Temple of Ways and Paths and The Pillar of The Undying Flame The Works’ name refers to a particular trade that occurs with diligence and skill meet fire. Metalworking. While other areas of the city may produce a higher volume of goods The Works is home to the majority of the Temples to gods of crafts and in particular Smithing. The area also contains temples to Law, Planning, Tactics and of course a diverse range of Fire deities, but when outsiders think of The Works they think of streets and streets of smiths hammering away. The district is also very popular with adventurers, again while more total magical goods may be sold elsewhere The Works has The Ward of BalKarTuun, god of Magical Weaponry, which contains shrines for gods associated with almost any form of magical good, all contributing to a fortified bunker that serves as the world’s largest single purveyor of magical tools and equipment. Known simply as The Forge is it lit by the glow of magical blades and uses a range of powerful golems as stockists and security staff.
Spoiler: The Peaceable Streets: The Lawful bit that skews good
Also known as Gardens, Ripple, White and Blacks.
A poorer area typified by low rent worker housing and unskilled labour and other necessary but unpopular public buildings like jailhouses this part of the city is interspersed at regular intervals with open public spaces and is divided into probably the most carefully delineated system of streets in the city, with eleven main roadways (the eponymous Peaceable Streets) cutting from The Works to The Mount. Each is wide enough for five wagons to travel abreast and is served by a number of temple run public transit systems. The area does lack something of a clear identity and is sometimes considered to be little more than the space between its richer neighbours, but most residents are able to live comfortable, if not luxurious, lives. Most temples here are to lesser deities, in many cases Ward Temples are of lesser status than might be expected due to the lack of more prominent deities in the area.
Spoiler: The Mount: Which is LG, spot the pattern.
Also known as Nob-hill, Royals, Five-kings.
An immaculately landscaped and artistically laid out area, The Mount is known for its calm, peaceful atmosphere and the near-omnipresence of guards. A number of Paladin Halls and Monks Dojos of The Way of The Righteous Corrector provide peacekeeping and policing services for much of the area and are on hand to settle all disputes, criminal and civil, at short notice. The area is also notable for the clustering of its Temples, with different civic districts being designated for gods of similar roles and duties and these provide informal area names, such as Nobility Hill or Judgement rise.
Spoiler: Twintown: Good, with a hint of lawfulness
Also known as Mirrors, Shortstacks, The Bloom.
The names associated with Twintown refer to an old tradition of the area that, viewed from above, the layout of streets, temples and other buildings should possess a mirrored symmetry as far as possible. There is no known mystical, theological or practical reason for this and the stories that claim to explain the tradition are all ancient and contradictory. Despite this the tradition is maintained by most with a certain degree of cheer with many people and orginisations even keeping in contact with each other over long distances to ensure that renovations and other small changes get mirrored, well past the initial level stipulated in the tradition. Some temples even engage in now-traditional sports contests with their “mirror”. This odd level of long distance unity has been traditionally considered the reason for the reduced disparity between the outer half of the area and the wealthier inner half.
Spoiler: The Field: Home of the Temples of Good and Positive Energy
Also known as Charity Hill, Giftings, The Slide, Slummers.
The name of this region of the city is a show of how synonymous it is with the The Great Temple of Sacrifice, a reference to the vast, open design of that Temple. The perception from other parts of the city is that The Field is the refuge of the destitute, crippled and will-less.
Ignored by most citizens most of the time in times of individual or city-wide crisis The Field becomes of vital importance.
As a consequence of the temples in the area and the general attitude of the residents, the area is rather plain and humble looking, although by no means squalid of uncomfortable. It also surprises many that this, not Chaos or perhaps Endless Lane that possesses the widest and least uniform demographics in the city.
Spoiler: Happyground: Good with a bit of Chaos
Also known as Artist’s alley, Wild dogs, Drunkstep.
Best thought of as another artisanal district, Happyground is filled with workshops and foundaries but also a fair number of distilleries, theatres, dance academies and infamously after an incident several decades ago, animal breeders. All forms of transitory or eclectic arts can be found in this area, as well as a surprisingly broad and unpredictable series of markets, stocking anything an artist or other creative might need in a hurry.
The transitory nature of this part of the city makes maps unreliable far more than one might expect for somewhere so far from Chaos and buildings are often extended or rebuilt without referral to even Ward authority, which can result in layouts that are difficult to navigate.
Spoiler: The Forrest: CG
Also known as Pointytown, Elfland, Treetops, Petrified Wood.
Few areas of Karedu could be called homogenous. Even the dwarven neighbourhoods in Battle, The Works and The Peacable Streets are scattered and have other races intermingling, even in Wards to traditionally dwarven deities. For reasons to do with longevity, the infamously complex and insular nature of elven theological thought and simple inertia the area known as The Forrest is distinctly Elven, in a way that large parts of Karedu rarely are. Elves of all kinds make up no more 35% of The Forrests residents, more if one counts half-breeds, but they occupy almost all positions of authority and local significance as well as controlling the majority of the local economy. Many non-elves in The Forrest have adopted elven culture, although few have adopted elven deities.
This situation is a point of contention in many parts of the city, although the area is also known as a peaceful, prosperous place to live.
The area is named for the imported trees that act as the basis for many of the resident family’s homes, further marking the area with elven culture.
Spoiler: Clash: And back round to finish with chaotic with a bit of good
Also known as Adventurer town, Hero street, the Squeeze
Between the affluent Forrest and the ramshackle buildings of Chaos lies the Clash, so called for both its vibrant and discordant architectural styles and the frequent, although rarely violent, altercations and arguments that take place in the streets. For one reason or another this is the area of the city where most deities associated with heroics or adventuring have congregated. Whatever their views on society, society tends to view adventurers and a positive but disruptive element, meaning they tend to find difficulty lodging in the more orderly and controlled parts of the city. It is also an area that attracts anyone looking for specialists in obscure or dangerous trades and the support trades for such people.
Last edited by Evil DM Mark3; 2019-11-04 at 09:40 AM.
- Join Date
- Jul 2005
- Over there!
Re: Kairdew, The City of Gods. Need help with fine details.Spoiler: Grand Temples, a list of the really big civic buildings.
The Temple of the Nine Gates, The Grand Temple of Distance and Space.
Informally: The Third Unbreakable, The Golden Doors, The Mother of Markets, Worldhub, Fantasy Trap, The Heart and Lungs.
The largest temple in the city by floorspace, The Temple of the Nine Gates still strikes many as seeming unfinished. The walls are 40ft high stone, riddled through with wafer-thin veins of a strange translucent mineral. The walls have parapets, but the temple itself has no roof of any kind, leaving everything open to the weather.
The outer wall is adorned with an intricate mosaic in semi-precious stones depicting the view that one would see if the city itself did not exist (and assuming perfect visibility). The most successful theft from The Temple of the Nine Gates was of a portion of this mosaic, totalling some 2 ½ lbs of stones. The criminals were exiled from the city to the furthest reaches of the east via the temple. The inner walls are covered with Devotaries depicting legendary journeys and deities of travel, cartography and other associated disciplines.
The floor of the temple depicts a map of the world, marking all major terrain features and hundreds of thousands of settlements. At the centre of the temple are the eponymous nine Gates, 40ft by 40ft arches that are able to be opened nearly anywhere in the world. A complex timetable allows goods and pilgrims to travel to and from Kaerdu from all places in the world.
The taxes collected from import and export (pilgrims are not taxed from arriving in the city) are used to fund The Gild Shields, an order to mercenaries denoted by their Gilded shields who protect the temple and also provide escort to goods the city’s thousands of registered markets and warehouses (fees included in the import tax). It is notable that, of the three “Unbreakables” the Temple of the Nine Gates is the only one where the Temple itself plays little part in maintaining that distinction.
In addition to its wonderous Gates the Temple is also the centre of a powerful Abjuration that blankets the city. It is widely held that no teleportation magic into Karedu from outside is possible and that all teleportation within the city is limited to line of sight and 500ft. This is not strictly true, both as The Inquisition can circumvent these limitations and a sufficiently powerful caster can force themselves through the ward, although such mages are incredibly rare.
The Temple of The Conclave, The Grad Temple of Divinity.
Informally: Inquisition HQ, The Mystery hole, The Holiest, The Lump.
Externally a small dome of worked stone, 15ft a side and 25ft high, with a large arch taking up most of each of its four sides. Simply walking into the arch does nothing, indeed it is possible to walk through the temple without hinderance. The inside is bears a complex abstract mosaic of unclear purpose.
Whenever a character capable of casting Level 7 Divine spells or who has been ritually designated a Master of the Inquisition passed the threshold, even in part, they may enter the true temple, a vast debating chamber in the ethereal plane. Such an individual also has the option to admit up to their caster level in other willing individuals (7 for a Master Inquisitor) who are within arm’s reach. A Master Inquisitor can also forcibly bring a prisoner into the temple, which allows a DC40 Will Save to resist. A prisoner brought into the temple enjoys none of its protections.
The true temple is shielded from outside observation in the ethereal realm by virtue of being opaque to all senses and being constructed of pure force. A Veil like effect ensures that the temple always appears empty if scried upon. It is unknown if there is a way of bypassing this effect. The interior also applies a Sanctuary effect (DC35) and a Protection From (Alignment) effect for all alignments the subject does not possess, to all who enter via its doors and a Flame Strike (CL20 DC35) activates should anyone attempt to use violence or magic against another individual inside the temple.
The interior of the temple is mutable, with seating manifesting and vanishing as required, sized to guests and bearing appropriate insignia for their station.
The Glowing Tower, The Grand Temple of Power.
Informally: Rainbow tower, Dragon’s Perch, The Forbidden Library, The Unthinkable.
No temple in Kaerdu is as instantly recognisable or as mysterious as The Glowing Tower. Seemingly conjured directly from raw force and prismatic light the structure is the second tallest in the city, eclipsed only by The Temple of Bells. Despite technically being a single tower it is so vast and each floor so high that only the eldest of dragons find accessing its confines difficult, which is good as for centuries the dominant faction in the temple priesthood has been lead by The Dragoncult.
This temple is tasked with containing a large number of objects of Divine significance and is refered to as The Unthinkable simply due to how unlikely an attempt to deal from it would be. People dream of infiltrating The Nine Gates, people have nightmares about what is in The Glowing Tower.
All spells within The Glowing Tower are Empowered, Extended and Heightened by 2 effective levels (maximum level 11).
The Temple of Bells, The Grand Temple of Time.
Informally: Hourly, The Records Room, The Yesterday House.
Taking the form of a vast, brick built, eight sided, pyramid with very steep sides at the exact centre of the city, The Grand Temple of Time is somewhat mis-named. Its upper reaches, which are the tallest structure in the city by a considerable margin, contain but a single bell. However the curious effect of the Temple means that the sound of its hourly tolling is accompanied by echoes from other days in the distant past. Those inside the temple when the bell tolls can also often hear fragments of sounds from events that took place there decades or even centuries ago. Or to come.
This oddity aside the temple seems a spectacular feat of engineering (being far taller than brick should allow) but otherwise unimpressive. The bulk of its interior is given over to libraries and a number of prestigious priest run academies. Rumours abound however of the secrets kept in the upper third of the building where only those with The Conclave’s permission may go.
The Sacred Soil, The Grand Temple of The Material.
Informally: Druid’s garden, the Menagerie, The Green, Their Lordship’s green wall, Nine in One.
To many people it is hard to conceptualise The Sacred Soil as a “Temple” at all. A ring of green space, apparently untaimed and unkempt in most places, that seperates Uplands from the rest of the city. The ring’s thickness varies slightly as the Grand Temples of Water, Fire, Life and Death all abut it (the Grant Temple of Water being by far the largest intrusion) but it averages to 1 ½ KM. This ring includes everything from grass fields to dense trees to swampy areas, with attendant wildlife. While seemingly random and unkempt the position and prevalence of the various plants and animals holds complex theological and practical purposes
Trade caravans and travellers to and from Uplands are advised to stick to the main paths. Pilgrims to the various Shrines and Temples within The Sacred Soil are even more pointedly advised to stick near their guides.
Whilst inside The Sacred Soil the duration of druidic Wild Shape is extended indefinitely, although should a Druid leave The Sacred Soil and they have been in Wild Shape for longer than their normal maximum they will revert to their natural form immediately.
The Undertemple, The Grand Temple of Earth.
Informally: The Plug, The Great Jewel, The Hearstone.
Carved from a massive chunk of what dwarves call Hearstone, a super dense material found only deep in Earth, every inch of The Undertemple is covered with devotaries to ancient deities of the Earth, all of which are invisible due to the structure being buried deep under Uplands. Access to The Undertemple is via one of seventeen equally spaced stairways down into the earth which lead to one of the temples many twisting and spiralling corridors. The walls of these corridors are lined with prayer alcoves that, due to careful tuning of the stone and the ventilation system, allow supplicants to hear the services taking place deep in the heart of The Undertemple, even when multiple services are taking place simultaneously. Deep in the roots of The Undertemple is the only stable access (and, as far as most are aware, the only access) to The Undercity. People tend to attribute the strange property of The Undercity (that one can dig down from the city or up from The Undercity and never break through into the other) to wards put in place by The Undertemple, although it is unclear if that is true.
The Skyshrine, The Grand Temple of Air.
Informally: The Cloud, Perch, Wings,
Residents to Caerdew can see The Skyshrine daily as they go about their regular business, a single enduring cloud drifting in a predictable, weather defying, pattern. Reaching it is another matter.
To reach The Skyshrine one must be underneath as it passed overhead, which it only does in in The Sacred Soil and Uplands, and will oneself upwards (DC 15 Wisdom check). Those who do float rapidly but gently up to the temple, which at first seems to be little more than a large, flat, expanse of naked cloud. Mist and shimmering fogs swirl on the cloud and, much as images appear in other clouds, sacred images drift in an out of view. Its peculiar solidity and its transit system (those wishing to leave must simple step from the edge of the cloud to drift down to whatever is directly below them) are the only apparent magical forces at play, although it is a somewhat well know that approaching Caredew from the sky and not passing via the Skyshrine results in storms of wind, lightening and hail to bombard the traveller.
The Innersea, The Grand Temple of Water.
Informally: The Big Wet, The Clerical Tax, Kraken Bath, The Old Soak.
Depending on how one measures The Innersea is arguably the largest Temple in the world and the second largest known building in the world, second only to The Brass Palace. In order to achieve this result however, one must consider the entire body of water that the temple is submerged in part of the Temple itself, along with the network of pipes and cisterns that it supports. The more traditional approach is to simply consider the statuary gardens that make up the core of this network, as otherwise almost all aquatic residents of the city would be dwelling in the temple and the temple would be in dozens (or, depending on how one considers the aqueducts and so forth, thousands) or other Wards.
The Innersea is the source of almost all water in the city, but does so based on the spellcasting prowess of the city’s Preisthood, from every temple and shrine a certain amount of clerical time is donated to generate the water that flows through the city, meaning that Priests of all stripes must visit this Temple. Conflicts are avoided under the Law that The Function of The Great Temples shall not be interfered with.
The Unending Flame, The Grand Temple of Fire.
Informally: The Bonfire, Homehearth, The Smeltery, The Oven.
A low, wide building with many and oddly arranged tall chimneys The Grand Temple of Fire contains at its heart a fragment of Truefire harvested from the depths the far South. The temple uses the power of the Truefire in a number of secret alchemical and magical processes to refine metals to a purity unseen anywhere other than The City of Brass or The Diamond Halls. The Temple provides the city with metals base, such as tin or copper, rare, such as gold or platinum, exotic, such as aluminium and zinc, to industrial, such as steel or brass, to mystical, such as living steel, cold iron and Adamantium.
Most parts of the temple are uncomfortably hot for most races and some glow bright white with the heat of the furnaces. Services take place in The Trueflame Chamber, but are typically restricted to small congregations protected by powerful magic (The Trueflame Chamber is considered Fire Dominant) due to the intense heat, which is hot enough to cause even Ifreet discomfort.
The Chamber of Eternity, The Grand Temple of Death.
Informally: The Last Door, The Big Grey, Home.
A large semi-circular structure with its flat side towards Uplands, The Camber of Eternity is built of a strange mystical glass-like material that glows with a faint grey-green light. Built to contain a Sliver of Unmasked Eternity the Chamber operates officially as The Conclave’s ultimate sanction. For when death is insufficient punishment or an object defies destruction it is placed within The Inner Chamber where it is exposed to The Sliver’s full power. Even individuals immune to Negative energy or who are normally boosted by it are stripped to their very atoms by its terrifying power.
Besides this rare function the temple is dedicated to gods of Death and Undeath and is often used for funerary purposes.
The Chamber of Eternity are weakly negative dominant, which greatly aids in its appointed task. The centre chamber meanwhile is strongly negative dominant, although few risk exposure to The Sliver to take advantage of this.
The Halls of Survival, The Grand Temple of Life
Informally: The Great Hospital, The Plague House, Cripples and Sods.
A direct rotational copy of The Chamber of Eternity, and built of the same peculiar glass-like substance but golden yellow rather than grey-green The Halls of Survival’s central chamber holds a shaft of The Wellspring of Life itself, as opposed to the Sliver of Unmasked Eternity housed in The Chamber of Eternity. The Halls of Survival are used as a hospital by the city.
The Halls of Survival are weakly positive dominant, which greatly aids in its appointed task. The centre chamber meanwhile is strongly positive dominant, but also so intense an experience that any who view it must pass a DC 30 Willsave (Mind effecting, Compulsion) to exit. On a failed save the subject may make another save when their hp is full and a final save when their bonus hp is 1 round from becoming equal to their regular hp (and the resulting explosion). Creatures somehow protected from the Positive energy may make a saving throw every 10 minutes.
The Shifting Doors, The Grand Temple of Chaos
Informally: The Overwhere?, 1001 in’s and 2 outs, the Bubblein’ tree
Describing the structure or even extent of The Shifting Doors is unhelpful. While typically occupying an area approximating an inverted pyramid it has, within the last few decades alone, narrowed to a tower nearly equal to The Tower of the Bells or become nearly spherical. Scholars believe the return to a “typical” silhouette is only due to the expectations of the public visiting it. The structure of the building and its interior is in flux, doors appear and vanish, rooms grow and shrink, all without any discernible pattern.
The temple and its grounds are either strongly or weakly Chaotic Aligned or unaligned, which it is varies at random but rarely more than once an hour. While it is Chaotic Aligned the temple also exhibits Wild Magic. It is also considered Highly Morphic, responding to the collective whims of those inside.
The Chambers of Ways and Lines, The Grand Temple of Order
Informally: Klink, Chains, Scribbler’s Box
Built in the shape of a perfect icosahedron out of a nearly featureless, dark and reflective stone The Chambers of Ways and Lines’s principle purpose is to act as a courthouse for The Conclave on those occasions where it is felt that a case that addresses The Great Laws should be seen in Public. It also acts as the jailhouse for The Conclave and has a range of specialise holding cells, including a Dead Magic area, to accomplish this. The building also houses copies of all of The Conclave’s legal decisions and maps of every active and former Ward, although many of these maps do not reflect reality, particularly where it pertains to the far side of the city.
When not in use by The Conclave, which is most of the time, The Chambers of Ways and Lines also serves as a repository of legal and technical documents and rents space to dozens of scribing and legal companies as well as academies. While The Tower of the Bells maintains the greatest archive of historical documentation in the city The Chambers of Ways and Lines are superior in regards to legal and practical matters.
The interior is strongly Lawful aligned, with the exception of The Conclave’s Courtroom. The exterior grounds are not aligned.
The House of the Needful, The Grand Temple of Good
Informally: Neverseen-neverknown, The First Unbreakable, The Poorhouse, Beggar’s way
Sitting in a large open park area, surrounded by ornamental gold and pearl adorned fencing, are a pair of stone doorways in simple undressed marble. The rest of the temple can be seen only by Trueseeing or by paying close attention to its shadow, which shows a low round building covered with a truly phenomenal dome and ringed with that appear to be statues of angelic figures. No magic, no matter how potent, allows one to see through the doorways however.
Three kinds of person enter the temple, but none of them attend services there, all prayers and ceremonies are conducted in the outer garden in one of the elegant gazeboes that dot the grass. Firstly come the supplicants, those who bring sacrifices to the temple. These range from money, to food, to clothing to, in some famous instances, magical items of great and noble power. Those who do so, either alone or in groups, enter either doorway and find themselves in a long marble hall, lit by dim ethereal light. At the far end they find a bare chamber with tables onto which they are to lay their tribute. They then leave as they came, their act of charity done.
The second category are those in need, those who come to the temple in such a state also enter via either door and walk a long, faintly lit, corridor to a chamber but in this case a number of objects will be laid out for them to take. An attempt to research this phenomenon over many centuries has shown that all objects recovered by the needful are ones previously donated in charity, but some seem to be held for decades or even centuries in pristine condition before being gifted. It is also noted that no one, no matter their past, has ever come in true need and left with nothing.
Occasionally a supplicant will enter the temple intending to donate, but find themselves given something in return, typically something they are in true need of.
The final group who enter never leave. It is unclear what binds them as a group, but most where known as fierce and dedicated champions of righteousness and peace, although some were, at least publicly, far from noble. Folk superstition holds that such worthies give their very life to the temple and become that invisible statues that guard its parapets, ready to defend the temple should evil come to its door. The difficulty in cataloguing the statues and the rarity of these events makes confirming this difficult.
The grounds are mildly Good Aligned, the interior itself is strongly Good Aligned.
The Vaults of Self, The Grand Temple of Evil
Informally: Mine’s, Lockaway, The Bank, The Second Unbreakable.
Sat behind high grey walls lies the vast iron-black edifice to The Vaults of Self, a massive square block of a building that exists to protect and contain all those things that its clients hold dearest. For a fee mundane storage of the most extraordinary security can be obtained, but this is just the beginning of the services offered. Memories, souls and other even more esoteric objects can be held in storage, for a fee. In addition supplicants may place themselves into debt with The Vaults and again the nature of these debts can vary to encompass far more than simple money.
Security in the Vaults is maintained by a peculiar breed of creature, whenever someone is foolish enough to steal from the Vaults or to accept such stolen goods unto the seventh person a dim spectre holding the general form of the thief or trader. The power of this entity is broadly in proportion with that of the person it hunts (although much greater), and hunt it does, seeking to overpower and possess the one who stole from the Vault. Once possessed the soul of the original entity is banished and replaced with the spectre which joins the joins the others who have been so cursed over the centuries, stalking the corridors of The Vault in search of more intruders. The only known remedies to this curse to overpower the spirit (rare indeed as none but you can ever effect your hunter) or if one unaware of the theft obtains the object and is chased they may return it, but this path is only open to those who did not know of its stolen nature. The same fate awaits those who fall into debt with The Vaults. The only reliable escape is to pass through The Inner Chamber of Chamber of Eternity, although it is deeply debatable which fate is worse.
Ceremonies to the gods mighty and malevolent enough to warrant it take place on the roof of the temple, high above the congregations that must scramble for space in the courtyard below.
The grounds and roof are mildly Evil Aligned, the interior is strongly Evil Aligned.
Last edited by Evil DM Mark3; 2019-11-04 at 09:45 AM.