This was the magnum opus of Dougus RecordSmith d’Archerous who had written a number of lesser historical pieces. In this work he recounted history of The Known World and Imperium from mythic and pre-imperial times to his present (a mere 130 years ago).
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.
These well crafted Dwarventi stairs lead down into one of the three main passages of Undertown. The underfolk have cleverly made it look like a short surface streets. Some of the branching passages look like streets as well, but it is all just a facade, soon they become more mine or hall like. The streets are “lit” (dimly by any topsider’s opinion) by mage lights and a few ancient amber Dwarventi Lights.
The Antioch river is slow and broad in most places. Due to some quirks of biome geography, the best place for riverside docks between the headlands and the sea is Antioch. Given the biome’s convient access to a number of other biomes (and paths to said biomes), it is only natural that a trade city with a dock would thrive here.
Many people would assume that this main stree is called ArchStreet because of the arches across it. In the local language (See the Arth Threads), Arch is a prefix of importance. More than main street, ArchStreet is the Street of all Streets… an egotistical naming of the street, proclaiming that all the streets in the world are a shallow copy of ArchStreet. It is a name of hubris and pride for the locals. It is a bone of contention in certain circles of the Imperial court and the other city states of ThirdLand. Given Antioch’s pivotal and growing role in the Imperial in recent centuries, it may be well named after all.
Surrounded by a massive wall 10 Imperial strides tall, there are only two ways into The City. One is accessible only from the River. The Other is the Massive Gate that leads into the Gateway Plaza.
The Outer wall is a barrier against the dangers from outside the city. In its shadows is another barrier, one from hope, comfort, and warmth.
Antioch is the most important city on ThirdLand. It is not the “capital”, that is Amar. It is not the “heart”, that is Avon. Antioch is it’s “Center”. It is where things “happen”. Antioch and its’ City State seems to be the “center of the modern universe”.
The People of Antioch are pretty forgiving. However, when their laws are transgressed, you really do not want to be the person who is caught.
In Antioch, since the invention of the impressor (the printing press), books have been the “in thing”. Here are some of the most common ones.
DogBounds are the pulp magazines and books of their day: cheap, lurid, with a charm of their own.
Many think gold and silk are the way to wealth, but people always need to eat and they hate to eat the "same old bland thing". Thus they will always buy herbs, spices, and salt.
The Food Shack is one of those little holes in the wall that you would either miss or want to avoid. It is also “the place” to have Kenditho.
Peterus Winecrafter is a Thirdman, "He who knows People". He finds people work, arranges meetings between people, and can make other arrangements for you.
This is a Tea and Klah shop on the corner of two large streets. The streets meet at an odd angle, so the Corner Klah is a odd pie wedge shaped establishment. It has a few chairs and small table outside for patrons to avoid the noise inside for the noise outside.
A little way up the narrow valley, before they reach the woods, the PCs notice the squat, tumbledown buildings by the riverside. They are hardly big enough for a human to stand in, and the complex cogs and shafts that occupy the central cavity of one of the buildings are perplexing. What were these buildings? And how safe are they to explore?
Alternatively a desolate place is the perfect setting for a derelict chapel or croft. There needn't be any actual physical encounter involved, but it adds atmosphere to a place to see its dead history. For instance, in the Outer Hebrides there are whole deserted villages which were razed to the ground by the English during the Clearances. Such stories give a setting authenticity and character.