The Court Away From Court
A look at slums and shanty towns in the Cosmic Era
‘‘I know where you can find just what you’re looking for. Give me a few days and I’ll get it for you. Trust me, it’s better if I get it for you. The only place in the city that has exactly what you’re looking for is the Hardville ghetto. It’s dangerous for most folk to enter that place unles they know the right people’‘.
"How far? Ye’ll know ye’ve found Malver’s Way when ye sees the Arch."
The industrial district of Locastus, where huge, cathedral-like factories rise over the low brick houses, and tall ivy-choked chimneys spew out black smoke, day and night.
The Obtort Ward is all that remains of what was once an ancient battlefield that was afterwards converted into a mass grave.
The slums of Locastus
As part of The Pact that ended the Six Stars Demon Wars, various places were given over to the Dark Kind. This is their neighborhood in the city.
The ever present breeze from the water pushed the litter around constantly. The nice black cars and their sharp dressed occupants are sharp contrast to the broken people who live here. The Gloom comes from more than the lack of city lighting. And remember, nobody knowns nothing.
In the sprawl that as become The City, there is an oasis; a little pocket of urban perfection, mixing the living, the urban, and the commerical.
"Build a road, wide and surrounded by beautiful architecture, to lead from Guilders’ Court to the new palace," the Regent commanded Master Thraso.
Nowhere else in the city would you find a place more tragically downtrodden.
Once a place where the great merchants of the city met, this decrepit square has become a thriving marketplace for the poor and the unwanted. Many a shady deal has been made among its stalls and hidden recesses.
The city has some great bridges, awsome works that span the large and gentle river that flows through the city. To prevent the river from overflowing, the river bed was dredged and the river sides were given steep deep banks. Decades after the project began, the city was safe from flooding.
“It is a sight to behold: like a giant spider web - dozens upon dozens of rope bridges and lines are strung between the hills of the district. And the people. They move along these slender swaying lines as if they were walking down a boulevard.”, The Journal of Mathius Redcap
The manor on the hill? No one wants to live there…
The roads of zone 4 of Star Lake are uniformley white. The roads are cleaned nightly once the services of this district are shut down for the evening. With few reason to be in this area at night the militia closes it off and sets a patrol to make sure it is kept clean.
The roads in zone 3 are paved with bricks of black and blue. Trees line every path and street and the buildings are uniform in appearance. All having to look the same per a city decree set in stone ages ago with the founding of the academy. This zone is where Blackrose Academy rests. It offers a view of the lake from the highest portion of the island and has the added bonus of being on the eastern side of the island affording the best view of the sunset.
All the streets in zone 2 are paved with a smooth water stone pulled form the shore of the lake. Some of the nicer houses have gutters to wash the refuse from the streets down to the harbor, but the lower houses have no such luck at having a free service such as this to clean their streets.
Houses vary from size to size, the smaller houses are closer to the warehouse and waterfront districts in zone 1. With the nicer and much larger houses being toward the better districts of zone 3. These usually house richer merchants or guild officials.
All the streets in zone 1 have been paved with red brick cobble stone. The rain gutters lead down to the dockside and the harbor where the dirt and refuse is washed away by rain and by a Service crew designated by those in the Civic District. Most of the cleaning duties are done at night when the streets are devoid of travelers. Different service crews handle different zones. One is designated for each zone as the duties required to keep up the districts and zones different slightly per zone.
Pirates' many bejeweled rings and piercings actually had a practical purpose - when the pirate or sailor died, the rings could be taken off as payment for a proper burial, saving him from a watery grave. This could be tied into regional culture, or made into a quest (The Pirate's Lost Rings, etc.). Also gives treasure-seeking divers another thing to look for besides crusty old chests.