Monday, January 10, 2011

DnD: An Introduction

Once upon a time, a new race of creatures was born from out of the earth, a race known as man.  This race walked upright, and  had thoughts, and stared back in on itself in contemplation, and contemplated that contemplation.
And when this bright light was lit, it threw flickers of light out into the shadows, and saw echoes of itself there, spirits walking in the dark. Spirits of the earth and water and sky.  And the spirits, who had always been there, stared back at man, contemplating its contemplation.  Then the spirits came and walked with man, and took man's form, or some form of man.
The spirits of the earth took the form of dwarves.  The spirits of the air took the form of elves.  The spirits that walked between them became gnomes. But there was darkness and chaos in the spirits of the world as well, and some took the form of goblins and drow, and other things besides.
Other spirits took other forms, and others remained spirits, but the ones who walked with man took to the mundane world lived and bred and died.
And so it has been, for countless generations.

DnD: quick shots

  • There are large markets to the west of the Merchants Quarters, where most of the city will mingle and exchange goods.
  • The dwarf and halfling settlements within the city walls reside along southern bend of the river Gar, just north of the second set of docks in that region. Both the dwarves and halfings are heavily involved in the shipping economy of the city, though dwarves are more involved as stevedores and bookkeeping and halfings are more involved as sailors.  
  • A series of canals is dug up from the river below where the dwarves reside, to allow more ships to dock in the city.
  • Dwarftown, as it is called, is made up primarily or small, squat houses, all tightly joined at the sides in thin, narrow streets.  The houses have no more than two stories and are connected below by subterranean tunnels that also lead out into other parts of the city.  The entrances are scattered throughout the entirety of the city, coming up to entrances peppering the city streets, where they are guarded by dwarven guards.   A price of one silver piece is required for their use, and in this way the guards earn their keep.  For elves and half-elves, it's one gold piece. 
  • Halfsburg is built in a crazyquilt of styles, stealing architectural ideas from all the other areas, but smaller, as if the halfings are trying to tell everybody else that anything they can do, halflings can do as well.  Just smaller.
  • The human section of town is north of the dwarves and to the east of the main market, and closely resembles the streets of ancient Rome, with large public buildings built over narrow or wider streets, store fronts and artisan shops opening up onto the ground floor, with living quarters rising to fearsomely high levels, five, sometimes seven or eight, into the air.  The human section of town, which already resides on a slight rise in the land, is easily the tallest section of the city.
  • The tallest building in the entire city is a single white tower (though other towers exist, especially in Merchants Quarters) that rises above the human's section of town.  There are no doors and windows opon the lower levels, though several windows can be seen on the top five, where lights can be seen in the night.  It is whispered that a magician of great power lives there.
  • The elves' district lies to the north of the humans' district (neither district has anything like an official name).  It is built of a number of towers, houses on stilts, or just generally tall, thin buildings, the elves in town trying to create structures that mirror the tree dwellings that they have been used to in past centuries.  The streets are more like mazes that roads, and often require one to travel upwards along staircases and ladders.  Bridges of wood and rope connected the raised dwellings along the upper levels.  It's almost impossible to travel through the elves district in any mode other than by foot. 
  • Between the elves and human district there is a kind of no race's land, not as run down as the Thieves District, that includes races of all sorts.  The buildings here, like Halfburg,  come in all architectural varieties, but normally sized (well, except for halfling dwellings). The East Gate is in this section, and is run by an order of Paladins devoted to Safe Passage.  "Safe passage to you" is their offical greeting, and this phrase resides above the Gate in both Common and Elvish.  An official donation, meant to fund people's safe passage, is required, but is only five coppers.
  • Another halfing dwelling is to the west of the elves district, along the bend of the Gar.  It is called Shantytown.  Lying on marshland, it is made of a number of houses on small raised stilts, connected by small paddling boats and boardwalks.  It is closely connected economically to the isle of Gibbob to the east.
  • On the northern side of the bend in the Gar is farmland, farmed entirely by human's, that serves as a source of produce that can be protected should the city ever be put to siege.  The North Gate lives along here, and is run by an order of monks known as the Kites.  No toll is required, but donations to the upkeep of the Gatehouse are accepted.  There is also an order of clerics who meet in this region around a large standing stone every thirdday.  
  • The days of the week are Oneday, Twoday, Thirdday, Fourthday, Fiveday, Sixday, Seventhday or suchlike.  Some races vary on which days are numbers and which are numerals and which are orders.  The elves use only orders (firstday, secondday, etc.).