"This is the place nobody wanted. We are the people nobody wanted. Nobody tells us what to do and we tell nobody what to do. Did you get that? Good. "
The siege was bad, and with fire decimated a large part of a town. As life returned, several people returned to their roots and prospered.
Bounded by the Stones surrounding the district, “Those of the Stones” bother no one. Unless someone is foolish enough to enter where no soul really belongs.
Which is worse - a foolish mage or a drunken wizard? When halfmage Rolan Haraweir settled down to found a tavern in the Jewel City, this question became the basis for its name. The answer is still hotly debated over steaming mugs of spice-wine to this day.
Just outside the capital city, on one of the nearby hills, is The Campus. The Campus is the center of the The Order of Silver Stars. The city is growing out to catch up to it.
Dame Ellenius is more than a landmark, she is a person. Dame Ellenius has lived in this house for decades now. The story as for why varies, having passed into local legend, but all of the stories agree that it has something to do with a broken heart (lost love to duty, a bitter break up, a love lost to war/ trouble/ his wife). Given her genetic make up, she will be living in that home for a century or more. However, her home has become a neighborhood of sorts.
Oh yes indeed, there was a circus here! Some hundred years ago…. or so the tale goes.
Tannhauser is a working class neighboorhood. No nobles will be found perusing it’s small market square, or the few shops there. The wealthy and powerful have holdings and investments in Tannhauser, but few would be willing to be seen on those dank streets.
While travelling through an unfamiliar area of the city at night, it it easy for one to become quite lost. Though this is an upper-class residential neighbourhood just east of downtown, the streets wind, twist, and turn in upon themselves in a rather chaotic fashion.
The wealthy landowners of Ardales began to grow personal gardens on their flat rooftops. The shade helped cool the buildings. The competition renewed among the aristocracy for the lushest garden. Over time, the increased population caused an increase in building density, especially in the city’s heart.
The Artisans District is home to the large, half shell theatre the Lorantos Theatre. The theatre is named after Lorantos Trugeone, a famous bard who was invited to the city and never got around to leaving.
A pleasant little grove with an unusual resident
If you travel North from city’s main gate, you will have traveled some of the great and grandest elements of Antioch. Then you will enter the most common and humble. The NorthWard is classic Antioch. It serves as the “average” that all other quarters are measured by.
It was supposed to be the district of hearth and home: the domestic soul in a city of industry and trade. It has been the quiet ward for most of the city’s recent history. It is still the “soul” of the city, but now that soul is changing.
Originally planned to be a green area, where an Elventi community would thrive, this area has become the ward where the rich and powerful live. It is neat, orderly, and practically invitation only.
Every city needs a place for building things. These places often have pompous names that nobody ever uses, except those in the City Offices. The Maker’s Ward is just such a place.
There are always places between other places. The Alley District is sandwiched between the Temple Ward and the Docks Ward. Of all the wards, this one has the most ways in and out, thus is one of the most heavily traveled areas in all of Antioch.
The ArchStreet, leading from the main gate, spills out into the DiPlaza - The center of Antioch. Each of the five other districts of Antioch have a gateway at the plaza. Each of the triangular districts has one corner nipped off, creating the hexagonal shape of the central DiPlaza. A fitting plaza for a (nearly) hexagonal shaped city.
There is only one path to divinity in Antioch. There is only one street with temples. It reaches from the DiPlaza to the end of the Ward, to the temple of Beginnings and Endings.
The work is being done on the largest temple of Stryfe ever constructed. So massive is this project, that it could not have been placed within the city’s walls without displacing a large portion of Gnopolis’s inhabitants.
Nine times out of ten, it’s the undead that do the running.
Not strictly animal or vegetable, the Corpse bud is a peculiar individual that shares characteristics from multiple kingdoms and species. In appearance, all corpse buds bear a shape of a large rounded top bud divided into four lateral segments, and a much longer, narrower bottom bud, also divided into four segments. Between the two halves are a set of four radial limbs, rounded on top and flat on the bottom, covered with tiny serrated hooks facing towards the body. In overall size, it’s limbs reach as wide as a spread hand, with the body being as thick as a fist. It is as long as a human hand from top to bottom.
Internally, the top bud of the corpse bud contains a bacteria filled membrane that produces the hydrogen that the corpse bud uses to stay aloft, and a series of fungal gills for the dispersal of spores for reproduction. The lower half of the bud contains a number of fine filaments, as well as a sharp barbed stinger containing a powerful local anaesthesia.
The Corpse Bud mobilizes by inflating its top bud, and steers by rotating its arms rapidly about its body. The corpse bud ordinarily drifts with the wind, orienting towards the scent of recent decay and death. It preys on the recently dead, burrowing the lower bud into the victim, using the anaesthesia in case the victim is dying, and not truly deceased. Once embedded, it releases its filaments into the body, replacing the current nervous system. This gives it full animation of the body, and allows the corpse bud to direct it.
Corpse buds are not a malevolent species, being primarily concerned with breaking down the host body for food, and infecting the reproductive cycle with spores in order to mate with other corpse-bud bodies. To preserve the corpse for this purpose, Corpse buds will seek out dry locations to prevent bacteria from destroying the corpses. This often causes a large number of corpse buds to gather in a single location.
In culture, Corpse buds are used to repair broken spines or degenerative diseases, as the sentient mind will easily overcome the mind of the non-sentient corpse bud. Once infected by a corpse bud, however, removal is usually fatal, and the infected individual cannot reproduce, or risk infecting another. Thus, it is a technique often reserved for the elderly, or a last resort.
Necromancers and other dark sorcerers will often preserve the corpses of their victims magically, and infect them with corpse buds, creating traditional undead as well, so as to seed their lairs with undead both offensive and non, in order to throw their enemies off balance. They will also enslave the rudimentary minds of the corpse buds, and transform the docile things into a plague. There have also been accounts of magically transformed corpse buds with stronger minds and a taste for living flesh, but thus far all accounts are unproven rumors.