Sunday, September 3, 2017

An Account of 6 Cities

Art by El Greco


Originally, I had planned to make the list of 6 cities an expanded version of the Towns post. But I was inspired by this post to instead procedurally generate each city.

Authors Note: I've been drafting this post since July and have torn much hair out about it. I'm well aware that the purchasable clockworks lack descriptions, but I have no idea how to properly write them up so that can be up to you as a referee.


Procedures to Make a City


Every City has 3 Base Districts alongside 1d4 Unique Districts

Base Districts
1. Great Markets - This is where you can buy everything found on the equipment table
2. City Castle - This is the fortified structure where the High Jarl of the City holds court.
3. Defining District - This is the unique district always found in that city.

The Unique Districts are a set of 5 possible districts from which the contents of the cities are drawn. Each city is constructed in a hex-wise manner, with the Great Markets District at the center. As shown in the image below, in a clockwise manner the unique districts are added in a random order and the City Castle is added last. The hex on the edge of  the city and on the opposite edge to the City Castle is where the gates of the city allow entry into the city.


Cities


The cities marked with an asterisk are on the sea.

Hringepi*


Description

Above the cliffs of a cold cove rise numerous towers and walls. Waves lap at the base of fortifications as rains pour down. Lightning repeatedly casts dark shadows amid the cityscape as innumerable figures scurry away from sight underneath dark cloaks.

Defining District

Cliff Bridge: A lone cliff leading out towards the sea ends in a thin iron bridge which leads to a craggy isle out into the sea. Upon the rock rises a lone stone tower, beneath this tower lies a vast gallery from which the ocean floor can be seen. Often people gather before the vast walls of glass and stare at the contents of the sea.

Unique Districts

1. Valkyrjaholl - A relic of the Old Faith, amid the new buildings stand carvings of ancient warriors and their exploits. Few church-folk wander the streets here, instead the old holidays are kept and old traditions followed. Spirited away are conclaves of those who would prepare for the end of days, sharpening spears and hoarding supplies. Men choose to have their throats slit and are buried armored with sword in hand to await the upending of the sky. [Unique Purchase - Einherjer: As hireling but with a morale of 18 and 2 HD. Costs 100 silver to first have them join you]
2. Azurgate - The High Jarl's rule is lacking here, instead a mob [the Grafa] finds itself in control of what occurs here. Occasionally venturing to the other districts by the sprawling sewers built underneath they tunnel into the dwellings of the rich and steal from them. The Grafa are led by a trio of sisters, each named after a color.
3. Ancient Gearworks - A few old clay buildings contrast against many other gray stoneworks. Here aged artisans toil above magnifying lenses conjoining minuscule gears and cylinders. Several apprentices mimic the few remaining masters and craft their own minor clockwork constructs. Those privy to the interiors see tall massive stones etched in bronze from which all their knowledge is derived. [Unique Purchase - Intricate Clockwork:  Costs 400 silver]
4. Traitorous Holdout - There is no love lost between the Jarl and a plotting faction [the Logberg]. Due to Jarl's inability to rule they seek to depose of the Jarl and replace him with their preferred alternative. Most in the city are aware and fearful of the impending doom of their uprising. The Logberg are led by council of gray bearded men each a grandfather to many children.

Ruling Jarl

Fyrtarn -  Currently locked in a dungeon below the castle. He bears a cruel curse, his body and limbs contorted into a series of spirals. He still bears his sentience, but howls in constant pain from the deformities inflicted on him. Several cube like spires of brown crystal emerge from both side of his neck and reek of boiled soil. His howls can be heard at night and many in Hringepi erroneously believe that a monster from the sea haunts the streets after nightfall.


Vessan


Description

Immaculate and imposing, the pale stone structures glisten with ancient glyphs. Each street is kept pristine and a few trees stand flowering and manicured. Iron-wrought streetlamps cast down soft lights on figures in bright prismatic clothes swaggering in multitudes. A few ancient statues still stand upright, their original purpose lost to time.

Defining District

Polished Forests - A vast botanical garden stretches out through the center of the city. Mosaics of stone and shrubery spell out spirals only visible to the clouds. Many gather at these gardens on moonless nights and the iron trees at the center of the gardens are lit aflame and rituals are invoked. Smoke mixes with the night sky and obscures those involved from any eye.

Unique Districts

1. Ivorigate - The High Jarl's rule is lacking here, instead a gang (Reykr) finds itself in control of what occurs here. The Reykr have figured how to make smoke bombs and often will throw them through the windows of a buildings before rushing in and assailing those disoriented within. They are led by four captains each named after a cardinal direction. [Unique Purchase - Reykr Smokebomb: fills a 10 foot cube with billowing smoke hampering sight and requiring a save else coughing for 1 round. Costs 80 silver]
2. Modern Gearworks - An industrial citadel rises above the surrounding houses. Furnaces billow as workers cast standardized gears and cogs and set them onto an assembly line. Men align parts in a repeated ritual creating a singular product. Run by an apprentice once mangled within the Ancient Gearworks who now seeks to be the forefront of clockwork crafts. [Unique Purchase - Standardized Clockwork: Costs 300 silver]
3. Etched Plain - A vast field of stone is measured by stone pillars. Every three days there are tournaments to determine the greatest athlete, many waste most of their wealth betting on these games. [Unique Purchase - Games Ticket: Allows one to enter the games. Characters may advance in the games by making attribute checks with a penalty equal to the number of rounds of games you have won. The winner is determined by a tournament of numerous rounds of elimination with the winner moving on to further rounds. There are 1d6+1 rounds to the tournament with a number of contestants being equal to 2 raised to the power of the number of rounds. The winner wins no prizes except for the title of champion. The Costs 15 silver]
4. Maze Beneath - A portion of the city was built atop of a vast valley. The top was covered in a lattice work of wooden bridges and outcroppings but the depths still exist unseen. Criminal elements and outlaws hide in the shadows and some even set up storefronts for their black-market goods.

Ruling Jarl

Hvit-Ney -  A young maiden who took the title of Jarl when her father died, is clad in white armor and followed by a retinue of men clad in similar garb. She wears the sacred headdress of the bull and rejects the Church instead promoting the Old Faith. Few of the Church cardinals scheme to remove her from power and plot ways to show her incompetence and gain the support of the people.

Spire*


Description

Amid a vast plain of brown sand that abjures away the sea, numerous boulders stand insolent. The moon casts a calm light down upon rough masonry bleached by the salty air. Figures swaddled in tunics of white and blue traverse irregular cobblestone streets as bells echo from the center of the polis.

Defining District

Seaside Spire - A singular towering construct stretches upwards from where the waves crash to where the horizon converges. A spiral of staircases winds through galleries rising higher and higher. A series of open archways at the zenith shine as a bright flame twists within. Those traveling by see can see the light for leagues, a sign of safety and security.

Unique Districts

1. Butchers Bay - The stench of blood has become embedded into the very stones here.  Legions of thick arms swing heavy knives splitting open carcasses. Flanks and chops are wrapped in wax paper and stacked among each other. A rampart of numerous butcheries stands a monument to the carnivore nature of those inside. [Unique Purchase - Vivisectionist Manual: If in possession it allows corporeal and visceral monsters to have a 1 in 6 chance of being able to be butchered into consumable rations equal to their HD. Costs 50 silver]
2. Allalms - A tall cathedral is swarmed by a field of slums and lean-toos. Processions of monastics meander through canopies of beggars arms. Missing limbs and scarred faces linger under a starving sun, a few under the shadow of the cathedral. Every hour the bell tolls and echoes. [Unique Purchase- Donation to a Beggar: Every 2 silver donated to beggars grants a single point of XP. Cost is variable]
3. Kwizling - There is no love lost between the Jarl and a plotting faction [the Brimsker]. Due to their hate of the Church they seek to depose of the Jarl and replace him with their preferred alternative. Most in the city speak of rumors of the impending doom of their uprising. The Brimsker are led by a pair of brothers, one branded on his face as a priest slayer.
4. Portyards - Brash voices coalesce into a cacophony near the sea here. Merchants transfer their wares and have their ships repaired. Men toil in crafting new vessels and some come together in investments to seek further fortune. [Unique Purchase- Shipping Investment: A character may invest money into a merchant venture. These investments are resolved as a reaction roll a month after the investment is made. Negative reactions represent a loss of investment, neutral reaction rolls represent investments no undergoing significant change, and positive reaction represent a windfall of a 100+2d20 % growth accumulation. Cost is variable]

Ruling Jarl

Stala -  By tragic means a Nun of the Church has become the Jarl. Once the eldest daughter of a Jarl, she was sent away to a coven. After his death she returned and now acts as a bastion of the church in the political sphere. Few are able to speak to her as Jarl and many share glimpses of her about in the streets, amid dirt and grime, delivering charity to others.

Reignaire


Description

Innumerable thin buildings long for the height of the sky reminiscent of frail fingers reaching out for love. A panoply of gold, bright green, and crimson tiles stain the roofs of each building into a shimmering mosaic. Chimes hang from corners, meekly shaking in the wind, as hordes of monastics intermingle with resolute hedonists.


Defining District

Belfries Two - Two Gargantuan towers fill the sky. One stands immaculate of silver and alabaster, a shining exemplar of what beauty may be  stacked towards the heavens. The other is a ruin. Mere fragments which strain to remain composed into a single entity. The immaculate belfry is the site of mirth and veneration its bell spreading joy while the ruined belfry is abandoned, the occasional echoes which emerge from within merely reminiscent of some great melancholy.

Unique Districts

1. Garden of Crom-Lechs - Houses and shops are built among complexes of standing stones etched in runes of ages past. Scholars trace their shapes seeking to divine knowledge now lost to the past but most are unsuccessful. Most who live here take solace in the ancient carvings around them and some even speak of a ring of standing stones hidden away somewhere which holds an entrance to the realm of ages past. [Unique Purchase - Pillar Translation: Reveals location of dungeon 2d10 hexes away. Costs 100 silver]
2. Disirholl - A relic of the Old Faith, amid the new buildings stand carvings of ancient warriors and their exploits. Few church-folk wander the streets here, instead the old holidays are kept and old traditions followed. Honey harvested from beehives within the rib cages of dead men is steeped in their blood. This dead man's mead is said to let those who drink it see the spirits of the dead. [Unique Purchase - Totenmjod: Allows one to see dead spirits for 1 hour. Costs 45 silver and takes up 1/3 of a inventory slots]
3. Argengate - The High Jarl's rule is lacking here, instead a warband (the Bana Hog) finds itself in control of what occurs here. The Bana Hog wield enormous martial prowess, once being a famed mercenary company. They are rather antagonistic to those who would pass through this portion of the city and seek to tax each for 15 silver. [Stats as Bandits but with HD 3 and Def 5, each has a shield and may splinter it]. They are led by a man known as Verja [Stats as Bana Hog but with HD 5 and Def 7, has a shield and may splinter it]
4. Vichpike - Three towers, each matching like the fingers of a disfigured hand arise from a steep hill. A few boroughs surround the hill but otherwise leave them a great deal of space. Inside live five witches each clad in singular shade whose name they share, each etches pernicious gifts.  Rumors speak of Carmine stealing air into her lungs and walking beneath the waves. Rumors speak of Ceil binding an iron ring to a lover so that she would never succumb to another's charms and compulsions. Rumors speak of Citrine tasting the blood of her enemies and seeing what they see. [Unique Purchase - Witch Talisman: As described above, each lasts for an hour. Costs 150 silver and takes up 1/3 of a inventory slots]

Ruling Jarl

Dodsen - A powerful Occultist who controls legions of the dead. Once an oprhan child Dodsen was found wandering the in the remains of the ruined belfry seemingly speaking with imaginary friends. Each corpse-spirit whispered his secrets into the child's ear and promised him servitude if he would exhume their shells from underneath the rubble. After a few years of solitary excavation Dodsen amassed a population of servitors. Fearing his power turning cruel, the heir-less Jarl adopted Dodsen as his own child.


Realm


Description

A mountain in the distance, aqueducts cast long shadows from their arches, creating irregular spheres of light and shadow along the roofs of the city. Each stone was placed with intent and each building was wrought of an artisan's obsession. The few figures, who pace among the complex, bear open arms at their waist and speak in exasperated tones between themselves. The air is cool and is easily breathed in somewhere a waterfall roars.

Defining District

Upturned Lake - An excess of aqueducts sprawl outwards from a singular lake elevated above most buildings. A cage of stone elevates the lake above the city but below the roaring waterfall. Water from the mountain above spreads through out the town, still icy from the snowy peaks above.

Unique Districts

1. Nornirholl - A relic of the Old Faith, amid the new buildings stand carvings of ancient warriors and their exploits. Few church-folk wander the streets here, instead the old holidays are kept and old traditions followed. Trios of maidens draw water from ancient wells and divine portents of the future from the way it falls. [Unique Purchase - Oracle Reading: Roll a d20 [don't say a numerical value] and a player is able to replace a future roll that they have to roll with that value instead of rolling for it. Costs 60 silver]
2. Gullgate - The High Jarl's rule is lacking here, instead a mafia (The Masfrekr) finds itself in control of what occurs here and in 1d4 other districts. They have spies everywhere and trade in debts and information. They are led by a single figure, but no one knows his identity.
3. Gambling Houses - Innumerable dens of ill repute border each other. Inside men wager against each other and lose themselves to lust and gluttony. Men trade fortunes on the outcome of a dice and others still barter in potent drugs. If not for the crowds one would think it easy to find a knife between their ribs. [Unique Purchase - Narcotics: Give temporary 1d6 hp and penalize initiative by 4 for 2 hours. Costs 40 silver]
4. Treacherous Halls - There is no love lost between the Jarl and a plotting faction [the Hirsteinn]. Due to the singular ambitions of their leader they seek to depose of the Jarl and replace him with their preferred alternative. Most in the city reject the possibility of the impending doom of their uprising. The Hirsteinn are led by Bayonet the Bastard.


Ruling Jarl

Branblomst - A maiden who rejected her royal blood and instead fell to blood-lust, Branblomst traveled the land as an outcast. Infamous for her berserk rage, dozens ended their journey's coughing blood up at her feet. Years passed and she returned home challenging her father for the throne, running him through with her sword in a duel and ascending to his throne still stained in familiar blood.

Urborg


The last City is one of tremendous size and contains every unique district not found within the other cities. If you want, you can make this city the capital of the kingdom and write up your own court intrigue and politics. Alternatively, if you want a more fractured/frontier/dark-ages aesthetic it's just a very large city and there is no central king. Nothing says you cannot encounter Urborg early and then instead simply roll for which Unique Districts are in each city and place the others here.


Description

Enormous and sprawling, Urborg is massive and dark.

Unique Districts

All Unused Unique Districts

Unique Purchase

Every item purchasable in any settlement may be purchased in Urborg, but any Unique Purchase will cost double the price.

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