There are two ways into The City, The main gate and the six minor gates accessible only at the docks. Surrounding the City is a massive wall, 10 Imperial Strides (1 meter) tall, four wide at the base, and two wide at the top where the Guard patrols, with protective braces spread along it.
The main gate is accessible by the main road, a somewhat windy road that climbs up to the city gate.
The main gate is a massive affair. It is seven strides long. The two drop gates (at the begining and end of the gate tunnel) are the most visible. The main gate door is actually a massive stone wall that slides inbetween the two drop gates on rollers. It is one stride thick. On either side of the inside of the gate is the entrances to the gate house, where the Guards on alert stay.
The Guard at the gate ask the basic questions of everyone who enters, and record the answers in the Census Book. Who are you? Where do you hail from? What is your Guild? (usually requires you to produce you guild shield) Do you have magic? (checking to see if you need a magic license, and any special items the guild might have to contend with), Do you have money or wealth? (checking to see if you can afford to stay in the city for at least a week- 40sp). You get an entry token (with the date on it).
On your way out, the guards take your token and check you out of the census book.
Lying to the Guard at entry or exit, if caught, can be punished by what ever punishment the Guard deems worthy of the offense, from a slap on the wrist to death. There are some specific laws that also are in effect at the gate. All bows and crossbows, and some pole weapons and chains, must be checked at the gate (you get a redemtion shield). Heartbound weapons do not have to be checked (as it could result in the death of either the weapon or the warrior). Magic wielders must wear either a blank mage guild badge, or appropriate guild badge, visibly upon their person from once they enter the gate until they become accepted locally. If you fail to have a guild or money, you are usually turned away. If you are either a stranger or say you are looking for a guild membership, you are given a week plus one day to either gain membership, another job, or to be out of town. Being caught in town after that point, without guild membership or a job, can have some serious consequences.
After getting by the guards and through the main gate, you exit to the Gateway Plaza. It is lined with halved and polished river stones. The pattern similar to that found on an Imperial Roadway. It is however, not as smooth, nor is the traction as good.
There are always a few gamblers or people looking for luck hanging around the Gate. They are waiting for Strangers. They are here to test the addage “Always teach or do something nice for a stranger, it will bring you luck.”
The Plaza is always busy when the gates are open. There are people coming in and out of the city all the time. Sometimes there is quite a line up to get in. For those not used to such a cosmopolitan place, the variety of peoples can be dazzling. There are Humanti from all the Lands and most of the biomes of ThirdLand in their native garbs. There are Elventi, mostly of Air Elventi stock (seldom High Elves). In The City, most are natives, rather than visitors. On any given day, there might be a Nihkon Orcenti bodyguards, Dwarventi aboveground, A Gianenti from the plains, Podlings, and furry folk of all descriptions pulling the ever present rickshaw taxis of The City. There will be food carters selling drinks of all types and the occasional snack. The flow of people is mostly to and from the main entrance arch that stands above the ArchStreet/ main st of The City.
Along the wall to the right or left, are two double gates that lead to the wall line. There is a breakwall behind the gates, to prevent both the rush of incoming Goblins along it and for people to see the squaller in the Wall Line.
The Plaza is lined mostly with business having to deal with trade and money. These are the offices of caravan houses and trade exchanges. They are of the standard Antioch design, two to three story townhomes (long and narrow) with exposed beams and shale roofs. While these locations are technically “unsafe”, they are the cheapest prestigous offices/ locations in The City, as they are “first in the city”. The alleys between the buildings only lead to the next street in. Buildings on that street, face the neighborhood wall. (Yes, this neighborhood is only one block deep and is an half eliptical area). This wall is not a simple divider, but a scaled down version of the city wall, with the occasional Guardsman patrolling it. It encompasses the entire plaza neighborhood from Wall Line wall to Wall Line wall. It’s only break is the entry archway to ArchStreet/ main street.
One notable Gateway Plaza business is Kereg the money changer. For a minor fee, he will convert transportable wealth into coin and visaversa. Notes of promise, bank drafts, local paper money, and imperial gems, can be converted into Imperial Coinage and Antioch Paper Money (scripts). What make’s Kereg’s office more impressive is the walls of his work area (which are behind some nice thick bars) that are lined with thousands of different currencies from many far away places. There are dollars, dutchmarks, euros, yen, credits, Imperium credits, gold tallons, gold pressed latium, cred sticks, bank cards, and bottle caps. As one can sumise from his name, Kereg is not a local, but a Stranger. In memory of his own early issues with money, he will exchange worthless money that Strangers have for a week’s wage (more if he has never seen the money before). He will convert any gold and gems into money as well, at a better than fair market value. Thus he gives each stranger a better chance to survive in the city. Some MoneyCrafters call him mad, yet his business thirves, reinforcing the folk wisdom that helping strangers generates luck.