Showing posts from September, 2012

Couriers of the City

Within the city itself, couriers known as SPRINTERS carry messages from one Quarter to another, for a small fee. They are members of the TORCH BEARERS' GUILD, chosen for their speed and agility; many of them are children. Other guilds use their own members to deliver messages or packages, but generally only for guild business. The BEGGARS' GUILD, for example, uses its street urchins, who can move about more easily and quickly than even the SPRINTERS, knowing the streets as well as they do. For outside communication, the council rely on homing-pigeons to deliver messages between settlements, or armed couriers who travel with the caravans; or, if the message is urgent, ride off on horses that they exchange for fresh mounts at way-stations along the main roads. Occasionally, they turn to the magi of the ACADEMY for magical communications.

Time & the City

There are few clocks in the city; the few that exist are owned by rich nobles, the magi, and certain faiths. Most people rely on the ringing of bells from the City Hall  of GREEN HILL. The Hall's bell-tower has twelve bells, each a different size and tone. They are rung in the same sequence every day, each tone and bell signalling a different hour. During the day, each bell is rang twice upon the hour; at night, the bells are rang but once. Each hour is accurately timed thanks to an elaborate orrey, a gift from the priests of YELANA. This massive, intricately designed clockwork masterpiece stands within the council's bell-tower, and tracks the movement of the sun, moon and stars, measuring time at all levels. It not only displays the hour, but also the date (Southern reckoning)– day, week, month and year– as well as the seasons. A calendar is marked along the radius of the orrey, but follows the Southern months; thankfully, scholars have translated and transcribed them t

Architecture of the City

For the most part the architecture of the city is a mixture of Southern and Northern design, heavily influenced by dwarf craftsmanship, as that stout race are responsible for building most of the city's structures, including the walls, towers and gatehouses that protect it. The materials used are often an indication of wealth, with the wattle & daub and stone at the lowest levels, followed by timber and brick, to marble and other precious and fine stonework. Most of the buildings in the MERCHANT QUARTER are stone; while wood, coloured bricks, and expensive stone are proudly displayed in the NOBLE QUARTER and upon GREEN HILL. Stone also dominates the RESIDENTS QUARTER, with the poorer dwellings little more than wattle & daub huts crammed together to form blocks. A few houses are built with red or sandy bricks or, rarer still, imported timbers. Most buildings are sharp-edged, flat-roofed and straight-lined; a mixture of Southern and dwarven architecture. The interi

Trade in the City of Bones

Despite being part of the larger kingdom, the CITY OF BONES largely operates as an independent state. It sends a nominal sum to the King's coffers, to cover basic taxes, but is left alone to govern its own affairs. Due to its location, within the desolate region where the Great Battle took place, little vegetation is able to grow and the sandy, gritty land is sterile for miles around. The city does, however, have dozens of small outlying farms that struggle to produce the necessary food to sustain the city. Wood is also scarce, with the nearest forest several days journey distant, and home to forest elves who call it home; they sell timber to the city, protecting their forest as they do so, coming down hard on anyone trying to fell trees by themselves. The resources that the city does have in abundance are minerals and metal ores, mined by the dwarves from the surrounding hills and nearby mountains, even from within the WEEPING CHASM. The raw materials and the goods produ

...the story continues...

Played on Sunday, which is only- I think- our third session of the campaign, as there have been holidays and the like creating long stretches between games; in fact, it will be three or four weeks until our next game. This session was spent largely hiring henchmen, shopping, and (for some reason) finding places in the city to rent or buy; they took a job escorting a dwarf priest to a tomb/temple of some obscure dwarf deity, and explore only three rooms before heading back to the city: they did manage to kill 11 dwarf zombies, and loot a hoard of weapons and armour, which they sold when they got back. They almost lost one of the party: Black Raven took a hefty punch to the head, felling him and crushing his ear. He had it restored back at the city, but still needed two week's to recover. In the meantime, Jacqui went carousing and made a fool of herself when trying to intimidate someone, and falling flat on her face. Highlights of the game: Using a Protection from Evil s

The Story So Far...

We've only managed to play a few sessions so far, and have another planned for tomorrow, and I haven't been keeping notes as I have for my other game; not enough time to scribble down the unfolding story; so instead I shall scribble down some notes here, partly to how that this campaign is actually being played, and so I have some sort of record as to what has gone down: Three would-be adventures, monster-hunters, explorers met when a hippogriff broke loose and they killed it; They were given a job by a nan whose life they save: to retrieve a stone book from a tomb in the catacombs. This they managed, after a couple of trips and exploration (and looting) of the tombs; They explore more catacombs, slew giants rats, giant corpse fleas, avoided and got injured by traps, found some treasure and have so far survived; Recently they ventured down to the surface of the Weeping Chasm  to get some blood to sell on, earning a tidy profit, and hoping that nothing comes bad from sel

The Iron Soldiers

While the CITY-WATCH are responsible for protecting the interior of the city, the IRON SOLDIERS protect the city from the outside; the walls, the gates, roads, farms, and mines all fall under their jurisdiction. They are trained warriors, soldiers dressed in lamellar cuirass over chain shirts, with conical helms with half-masks that cover their faces. Like the footmen of the Watch they carry round shields and wear tabards with the city'd coat-of-arms, although their tabards are a rust-red. They all carry swords, daggers, with additional weapons depending on their duty. Gate-Guards have spears, used to prod wagons, checking their cargo for contraband. Those patrolling the walls have arbalests, but are not skilled as the archers of the Watch. They patrol in shifts, and many sleep in the barracks in the IRON TOWERS; which is why these soldiers are known as the IRON SOLDIERS, although others say that their name comes from the fact that they are inflexible, tough and cold-hea

Policing the City

The CTY-WATCH are responsible for the safety of the inhabitants of the city, and are the guards you see manning the WATCH-TOWERS and patrolling the streets. All are easily identified by their bone-tabards bearing the city's own coat-of-arms; a modified version of the duke's who lays claim on the city as part of his domain, even though the city effectively runs itself and is as free a city as one that is part of a kingdom can be. Each member of the Watch also carries a badge of office: a copper brooch pinned to their cloak, with an engraving of a sword over a shield. This badge grants them the authority to enforce council orders, keep the peace, make arrests, and search the premises of suspected felons, so long as they are not on religious grounds. There are two types of CITY-WATCH guards: footmen  and archers . Footmen patrol the streets, assist the GATE WARDENS, and deal with trouble in the city's quarters. They wear conical helms, lamellar cuirass over padded

The Catacombs: the real City of Bones

Below Godsend , beginning under the TEMPLE QUARTER and spreading out from there, is the necropolis, the city of the dead. It began with a few crypts, and catacombs beneath the temples; then expanded as graves were moved to underground vaults. The largest of these vaults, beneath WINTER-HOLD, had viewing chambers built-in where families could bury their dead, but have them preserved and displayed, so that they could visit the deceased. The priests of the RAVEN KING began to rent out space to other faiths, who then built themselves tunnels connecting their temples and churches to the crypts. As the centuries passed, the tunnels, chambers, crypts and tombs, the extended network of catacombs soon covered as much ground as the city above; then they began to dig deeper, as space and necessity demanded. Some pass beyond the city walls, but not many for fear of undermining the walls and fortifications. Today, the necropolis is a vast web of cared-for crypts, forgotten tombs, lost ca