WERE: Background and Setting

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WERE: Background and Setting

Postby PMiller » Wed Jan 05, 2011 7:07 am

Using the Land of Golarion, See Pathfinder Chronicles.
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Re: WERE: Background and Setting

Postby PMiller » Wed Jan 05, 2011 7:10 am

Countries around Ustalav.
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The Immortal Principality of Ustalav
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Caliphas

Postby PMiller » Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:52 am

The heart county of Caliphas has always been the city that bears its name, the city of Caliphas, some even say Caliphas is the very soul of Ustalav. The county of Caliphas still maintains much of its rustic heritage being home to much agriculture and numerous peat farms. The county is home to many small communities most of which nestle near the Droa or Raiteso rivers. As well as tradition rural industry Caliphas is also the home of many vineyards and perfumeries which specialize in providing luxury goods to the decadent cities of Ustalav.

The foggy capital city of Ustalov thrives on trade across Lake Encarthan bringing substantial wealth to the city’s nobelesse and royal court. As the largest city in Ustalov, the population if over 15,000 people of adult age, mixed races but predominantly human.

While the well-to-do population enjoy their decadence, they are ignoring the plight of the nation. Ustalav is stagnating under the rule of an aging, impolitic leader, and the threat of princely infighting looms on the horizon. Fearing rebellion, the counts of Ustalav draw inward to their decrepit provinces, coveting their remaining power and further fractionalizing the decaying nation. And in the west,
the voice of an ancient evil whispers once more. Thus, Ustalav teeters as it has again and again throughout the centuries: on the precipice of ruin.
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Varisia

Postby PMiller » Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:53 am

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Nirmathas and Lastwall

Postby PMiller » Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:56 am

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Skelt: (pop. 5,400)
Built into a high bluff and accessible only by water-powered lifts and long, exposed ramps broken with multiple drawbridges, Skelt has a strategic position at the falls line of the River Tourondel. Its dwarfcrafted waterworks power ore-grinders and mine-lifts, while sawmills dot the river for miles below the town. Skelt long traded with the dwarf-hold of Kraggodan (a neutral party in the war with Molthune), but the opening of Bloodsworn Vale unveiled a new vista for commerce, replacing rustic muleskinner trails with full-fledged trade routes to Korvosa and Varisia beyond.
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Re: WERE: Background and Setting

Postby PMiller » Sun Feb 13, 2011 7:47 am

Korvosa

Large City conventional (king); AL LN
GP Limit 40,000 gp; Assets 36,972,000 gp
Demographics
Population 18,486
Type isolated (90% human, 4% dwarf, 2% elf, 2% halfling,1% half-elf, 1% other races)
Authority Figures
King Eodred Arabasti II , ruler of Korvosa
Queen Ileosa Arabasti, wife of king
Seneschal Neolandus Kalepopolis, keeper of Castle Korvosa
Field Marshal Cressida Kroft, leader of the Korvosan Guard
Commandant Marcus Thalassinus Endrin, leader of the Sable Company
Lictor Severs DiVri, leader of the Order of the Nail
Lord Glorio Arkona, de facto leader of Old Korvosa
Toff Ornelos, Acadamae headmaster.

Mercer Cucuteni, Magistrate of Tourism wrote:Welcome, Friend, to the remarkable city of Korvosa—Gateway to Varisia!
The majesty of fair Korvosa marks it as one of the premiere cities of the world.
Indeed, with the exception of magnificent Egorian—capital city of esteemed
Cheliax—there is likely no greater city on, above, or within all of Golarion!

The city of Korvosa wears its Chelish heritage proudly on its every building, tower, and rooftop. As the oldest human settlement in Varisia (a claim frequently debated by Kaer Maga), Korvosa considers itself the founding seat of civilization in an otherwise lawless region. Thanks to it and the spread of its people, Varisia has become a relatively safe place to live. Korvosa also calls itself the largest city in Varisia, and while this remains true (despite Magnimar continuing to gain on it), it once housed even more people than it does now. This shrinking of its population has left some parts of the city (particularly those near the southern end of the hill) underpopulated, even as the poorest members of society crush together in Old Korvosa.

Korvosa sits at the end of Conqueror’s Bay, where the Jeggare River spills into the sea. The city fills the spit of land formed by two sharp turns in the Jeggare River and Endrin Isle (which splits the river at its mouth), with a few outlying areas on the far shore of the Jeggare. It stands on two hills: Garrison Hill on Endrin Isle and Citadel Hill on the mainland. The Narrows of Saint Alika separates Endrin Isle from the shore. Off the coast of the southern end of Citadel Hill rises Jeggare Isle, a small rock that juts from the sea and provides a foundation for Palin’s Lighthouse.

Five landmarks give Korvosa a distinctive skyline. Three of these landmarks exist on a truly colossal scale and have survived for millennia. Castle Korvosa stands atop a massive pyramid that rises to a flattened top. The Pillar Wall stretches across most of the southern end of Citadel Hill, a 100-foot-tall remainder of what once must have been a magnificent barrier. Just beyond the western terminus of the Pillar Wall stands the Gatefoot, which obviously originally belonged to a part of the wall and that likely served as part of a gateway of some kind. The other two landmarks, while impressive, do not come close to the size or grandeur of the ruins. Standing at the northernmost point of the Merciless Cliffs, the Great Tower reaches 270 feet in the air and serves several military roles for the city. Directly south of it stands the equally impressive Hall of Summoning, the center of operations for the Acadamae.

Besides its impressive landmarks, Korvosa’s other famed man-made features include its impressive walls (ruined and otherwise), its beautiful bridges, and its famed Vaults. These it points to with pride, but not all of its distinctive features attract the attention of potential visitors and residents. Chief among the shameful features is the rooftop area of the city known as the Shingles, which serves as both a highway for bandits and a refuge for monsters, thieves, and other undesirables.
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Re: WERE: Background and Setting

Postby PMiller » Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:21 pm

The Acadamae

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Shrouded in secrecy, the campus’s 30-foot-high walls only barely conceal the grand Hall of Summoning. Visitors and residents cannot hope to ignore the presence of the Acadamae, but since very few people unconnected with the college know what happens within it, the place births abundant (and sometimes ludicrous) rumors.

Faculty and students of the college live within its imposing walls and outsiders may enter only when they come with a purpose, such as delivering food or performing maintenance.

The Acadamae teaches all eight schools of magic, but its primary focus lies in conjuration.
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Re: WERE: Background and Setting

Postby PMiller » Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:26 pm

Castle Korvosa

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The centerpiece of the city, Castle Korvosa towers over every other building. Two pieces comprise Castle Korvosa: the Grand Mastaba and the high-walled citadel itself. Together, Castle Korvosa rises high above Citadel Hill. Only the king, his immediate family, the seneschal of the castle, and his family may live in Castle Korvosa.

Since the completion of the main walls, multiple lord magistrates, seneschals, and monarchs have added to the section of the castle within the high stone walls. As such, despite a relatively consistent neo-Chelaxian styling, the castle’s main keep contains many mismatched and randomly placed towers, walls, and stairs.
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Re: WERE: Background and Setting

Postby PMiller » Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:35 pm

East Shore and the Gray District

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The only district beyond the channel of the Jeggare River, East Shore is home to a handful of noble houses closely tied to the military of the city, as well as the struggling Theumanexus College. East Shore has no wards to subdivide it.

Unlike all other districts in Korvosa, Gray’s residents mostly stay to themselves and are generally well-behaved. Of course, most of Gray’s residents are dead. Gray District holds four tiny wards (the smallest of the city): Gold ward, Everyman ward, Potter’s ward, and Sepulcher ward. The only living creatures who reside in Gray belong to the church of Pharasma and live within the temple.

Leftover's: East Shore’s only inn contains 12 two-person rooms in addition to its large, cozy common room.
Horse Shop: As its name implies, this establishment sells horses, as well as ponies, mules, donkeys, the occasional dromedary, and other pack and riding animals.
Shoreline Drinkhall: This most popular of the few taverns in East Shore does steady business every hour of every day.
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Re: WERE: Background and Setting

Postby PMiller » Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:36 pm

The Heights

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Standing atop Citadel Hill, the Heights District has a commanding view of the rest of the city, which its residents look down on—both figuratively and literally. Nearly all of Korvosa’s power players reside in the Heights, including the queen herself. The Heights District holds three wards: Citadel Crest, Cliffside, and University.

Citadel Crest: Citadel Crest is the wealthiest ward in Korvosa, with more than a dozen noble families and twice that many powerful merchants living within.
Cliffside: Lesser nobles and not-quite-as-wealthy merchants live in Cliffside.
University: The seat of mundane higher learning in the city.

Upslope House: A bed and breakfast that is large enough to count as an inn.
The Frisky Unicorn: The least expensive (but far from cheap) of Citadel Crest’s bed and breakfasts.
Gilded Orrery: Specializing in items and texts in support of conjuring, the store nonetheless stocks a wide and impressively deep selection of other magical wares and books of arcane lore.
Jittery Quill: This low-key establishment serves both ale and coffee, staying open all hours, six days a week.
The Wise Dragon Inn: The inn serves no alcohol in its attached restaurant, but it does have two small sitting rooms and a tiny, but nonetheless diverse library.
Tenna’s: Smallest of the three bed and breakfasts in Citadel Crest.
Crested Falcon: One of the most expensive (and easily the most over-priced) restaurants in Korvosa, the Crested Falcon caters to the whims of the city’s elite.
The Overlook: Teetering on the edge of the Merciless Cliffs, the Overlook gets a little closer to falling into the raging surf below every year. The Overlook’s owner and bartender, offers a drink he calls This-n-That.
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Re: WERE: Background and Setting

Postby PMiller » Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:40 pm

Midland

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When most people think of Korvosa, they think of the cosmopolitan and friendly district of Midland. Situated on the leeward side of Citadel Hill, Midland stretches from the end of Enderin’s Wall south to Gray District and the Pillar Wall. It rises from sea level to climb the eastern slope of Citadel Hill, where it ends just below the summit line. Midland encompasses the wards of High Bridge, Pillar Hill, Slope, and West Dock. As the home district of both the Korvosan Guard and Sable Company, Midland has the fewest gangs and gang battles in the city. Despite that, the thieves’ guild does a brisk trade in the district thanks to the disproportionately high number of merchants, banks, and other commercial and financial concerns.

Citadel Volshyenek: The headquarters of the Korvosan Guard.
High Bridge: Like the rest of the district, though, the ward also houses a wide cross-section of different kinds of people.
Pillar Hill: The most demographically diverse ward in Midland housing both fabulously wealthy merchants in its northern corner, beneath the shadow of Castle Korvosa, and hard-working laborers and longshoremen along the Pillar Wall south of Pillar Hill Boulevard.
Slope: This ward exists on the eastern slope of Citadel Hill and overlooks West Dock and the Jeggare River.
West Dock: This rugged ward contains no residences. It does house an extensive number of warehouses, fish processing facilities, and the remains of a block dedicated solely to meatpacking.

Bookmaker: Wizards, sages, and scholars flock to Korvosa’s largest bookstore.
Bailer’s Retreat: This rough tavern frequently serves recently released prisoners of Citadel Volshyenek’s jails.
Gold Market: Korvosa’s largest market serves as the main attraction in Midland. People from all over the city descend daily on the stands, stalls, and tents that form the backbone of the open-air market.
Eodred’s Walk: Fourteen shops form the semicircular face of Eodred’s Walk.
Creaky Hammock: Set up with a nautical theme, the Creaky Hammock tends to serve ships’ crews in port for a few days.
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Re: WERE: Background and Setting

Postby PMiller » Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:41 pm

North Point

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North Point, at the northwestern tip of mainland Korvosa, was the first section of the mainland settled by the descendants of the city’s Chelish founders. The district houses many of the city’s oldest non-noble families. North Point covers the entire northern end of the city and includes the wards Five Corners, Mainshore, Northgate, and Ridgefield. Korvosa’s seat of municipal power stands in North Point, as does the city’s courthouse and the Bank of Abadar.

Five Corners: This relatively crowded residential ward houses many of the city’s politicians and their underlings.
Mainshore: The first Chelish encampment on the mainland was in modern-day Mainshore. The city’s truly old money still resides in here, although many buildings not belonging to these wealthy non-noble families show their age.
Northgate: Many visitors from the rest of Varisia first enter Korvosa in Northgate, as it is to this ward that the Longriver Bridge connects. Many of Korvosa’s non-noble elites and old-money families live in Northgate.
Ridgefield: Ridgefield faces the poorest and most crowded ward in the city, and it too is plagued with poverty.

Laughing Wave Inn: Bearing Keyra Palin’s nickname as its own, the Laughing Wave is the oldest surviving inn on the mainland.
The Dock Trade: This market of questionable legality operates in New Dock. Many of the goods sold within it appear freshly delivered, although most have some amount of minor damage to them.
Whitecaps: One of the oldest surviving inns on the mainland, Whitecaps is more than a century past its prime.
Three Rings Tavern: This quiet tavern belongs to retired adventurer and former Pathfinder Theandra Darklight, who likes to keep her bar low-keyed and quiet, serving as much coffee and tea as mead and wine.
Posh and Turtle: Situated at the west end of the famed but mysterious Avenue of Arms, the Posh and Turtle remains the finest inn and tavern in all of Korvosa.
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Re: WERE: Background and Setting

Postby PMiller » Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:45 pm

Old Korvosa

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As its name implies, Old Korvosa is old. It covers all of Endrin Isle, which rises from sea level along the southern shore on the Narrows of Saint Alika to a 200-foot-high escarpment on the seaward north side. At the foot of Garrison Hill, as this steep incline is called, sits the beehive-like hovel of Bridgefront. Old Dock stands on the relatively flat eastern protrusion of the island. Atop Garrison Hill stands the stone wall of Fort Korvosa. The imposing black-marble Palace Arkona dominates Old Korvosa, while the remains of the original wooden palisade slowly rot near the gate into the ward.

Bridgefront: When the people of Bridgefront ran out of room to erect more buildings, they started adding makeshift floors to extant structures. Over time, these makeshift floors gained their own rooftop lean-tos.
Fort Korvosa: Less a ward than a moldering citadel, the second incarnation of Fort Korvosa stands atop Garrison Hill and overlooks both Old Korvosa and Conqueror’s Bay.
Garrison Hill: Residents of Garrison Hill struggle against the oozing spread of destitution in the nearby wards.
Old Dock: If not for the festering poverty and unwholesome growth that is Bridgefront, Old Dock would be considered the city’s most run-down and least-desirable ward.

Palace Arkona: This massive manor houses Old Korvosa’s de facto ruling family, the inscrutable but feared House Arkona.
Reefclaw Run Market: Fresh seafood remains the order of the day at this market, as it has for almost three centuries.
Sticky Mermaid: This unwholesome tavern serves an unruly clientele made all the rougher by fishjack, a particularly potent spirit served only here and garnished with fermented eggs of Jeggare River salmon.
Jeggare’s Jug: One of the many small pubs that fill Old Dock and the first drinking establishment built in Korvosa.
Eel’s End: Eel’s End is a clot of ships at the eastern end of the Narrows on Old Korvosa, a tangle of five ships permanently moored to one of the longer piers there.
The Travelling Man: This small tavern’s main claim to fame is its proximity to one of the otyugh plugs used by the city to feed its otyugh allies.
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Re: WERE: Background and Setting

Postby PMiller » Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:48 pm

South Shore

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The newest district officially added to the city, South Shore became a part of Korvosa when Queen Domina set the first foundation stone for the Pantheon of Many. South Shore’s population consists mainly of the city’s nouveau riche hoping to escape the cramped conditions elsewhere in the city. No wards divide South Shore. A small enclave built specifically as an embassy for Mierani elves stands in the ward.

Green Market: This small, fully enclosed market specializes in food, clothing, and commodities the residents of the city need to survive, but it also provides jewelry and other luxuries for the nobles of the city.
Bard’s End: Korvosa’s largest inn provides a place to stay for those who have traveled long and far.
Jade Circle: Behind its lacquered latticework doors is a cacophony of scents and delicate delights, from the teahouse’s famed porcelains to its exotic fare. The Jade Circle is the swankiest site in South Shore.
Pantheon of Many: The Pantheon of Many holds within its massive octagonal white-marbled walls shrines to 17 different deities. Of the twenty main deities of Golarion, only Gorum, Lamasthu, and Rovagug do not have shrines within the pantheon.
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Re: WERE: Background and Setting

Postby PMiller » Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:42 am

Other Information on Places in Korvosa:

Orphanages: Korvosa has five relatively small state-run orphanages that receive frequent inspections from the churches of Abadar and Sarenrae. These orphanages also house children taken from abusive parents or parents convicted of violent crimes.

The Shingles
The Shingles came into being only a few decades ago, when urban renewal projects on Endrin Isle pushed Old Korvosa’s poorest people into Bridgefront. As people flooded into the area, they quickly ran out of room. Taking a cue from Kaer Maga, they built upward, with lean-tos and shacks creating impromptu third stories on many of the ward’s buildings. These temporary third stories gave way to more permanent additions, which in turn received tents and shacks atop them. Over time, this progression of haphazard permanency gave rise to a ramshackle wall of residences reaching as high as five floors in some places.
Bridgefront: As the origination point of the Shingles, the rooftop communities in this ward are the oldest, least transient, and most dangerous.
Cliffside and Pillar Hill: Despite the relative affluence of these wards, sections of them contain continuous rows of buildings pushed up against one another.
Garrison Hill: The Shingles of Garrison Hill connect with those of Bridgefront, but, because of the decreased building density and relatively steep slope, the Shingles of this ward are far less extensive.
High Bridge and West Dock: This section of Shingles has a nautical look to it. Gangplanks, massive nets, canvas covers, and toppled ships’ masts act as connectors, highways, roofs, and floors of the jury-rigged amalgamation.
Old Dock: Almost an extension of the Shingles from Bridgefront, the rooftop byways and shanties of Old Dock drop off quickly near the warehouses along the waterfront.
Twitcher’s: This tavern high above the streets of Korvosa, most patrons and would-be patrons alike consider Twitcher’s a part of the Shingles. In fact, it is likely the only permanent location in the transient rooftop world.

The Vaults
Most cities have sewers. Some can even claim dungeons and deep caverns beneath them. No city, though, has a complex system of subterranean tunnels quite like the Vaults of Korvosa. Modern Korvosa stands atop the remains of at least two other civilizations and integrates both of them in its design. As a result, the origins of the Vaults of Korvosa can be divided into several categories.
Burial Mounds: The Shoanti who lived in Korvosa prior to its Chelaxian colonization dug squared ditches into the earth to bury their kings, warriors, and other elites.
Natural Caves: Most of the Vaults of Korvosa are formed from natural geological forces of erosion or volcanic activity. These irregular caverns and caves delve deep beneath the surface of the earth, sometimes well beneath the water table.
Worked Tunnels: A few worked tunnels of unknown craftsmanship have been discovered at the extreme south end of Korvosa.
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