A delapidated collection of hovels, lean-tos and the gutted shells of buildings make the whole of Cambor proper. Many of the older stone buildings have been surrounded by impromptu construction of houses made of assorted materials, and refuse. Narrow lots between these slums are home to garden strips that are hard worked to produce enough food the feed the hungry mouths of the city.
Pigs are a constant sight, wandering from street to street being goaded by stick weilding, barefoot children and women. The man can be found in back rooms playing dice and cards, cussing and drinking Cambori spirits.
Cambor is a city that has fallen on very hard times and has survived, but in doing so has sacrificed its collective will to improve the conditions. Here, survival is simply enough.
The Cambor region was once a vital and thriving community with a rich and vibrant artistic and cultural tradition. This vitality was eclipsed by the rise of Ozea’s economic power and the usurpation of the arts by the Trinitine Faith. This, coupled with the lack of a sufficient harbor, navigable river, and no trade routes, the city fell on very hard times.
The golden city of Cambor Watt became known as Cambor’s Hole with the local economy decaying into subsistence level farming and criminal activities. While Buzzard’s Bay to the south gained a new lease on life through tea cultivation, and with the vast Ozian and Sangrealian Olive orchards, vinyards, and grainfields to the north, Cambor had nothing to offer.
Erosion dealt the region a staggering blow when over-cultivation of the Camborian Plains turned the soil barren. Wind drove it into a sandstorm, and the vast, once fertile fields were little more than dustbowls. Still, after the plains regained their top cover, many Camborians remained in the city. The fields were never recultivated as the agriculturally minded fled the city, flooding Ozea with refugees, while others sought sanctuary in Acton, with the Bosque folk.
The largest building in Cambor, the monastary tends what acres of land that are close to being commercially farmed. In exchange for bags of flour, the poor of the city can volunteer to work the fields, or the mill where it is ground. The Monks there try to repair the damage done to the city, but even the tireless efforts of the Pauper monks can do little to rouse the spirits of the populace.
He went where? - The PCs are charged with finding a fugitive who has escaped custody and has been rumored to be hiding in the squalor of Cambor. Can the PCs find their way through the ramshackle city without getting a knife in the back and robbed blind? Can they face the pitiful conditions there, or the acceptance of them?
We have to go where? - Inverse of the above, the PCs have to hide a VIP in Cambor while the assassins crawl all over the main city. can they stand to be parted from their wealth, temporarily and don lice infested jerkins to blend in?
No Good Deed - The PCs decide to, or are enlisted in changing the situation in Cambor, possibly being granted the area as payment for deeds rendered. Can they face a population that just doesnt care anymore, can they pay their taxes to the lord when the only source of income is their own adventuring?
For the Faith - The PCs travel to the monastary for reason X, and to get there, they have to pass through the roughest quarters of the city, facing its rival gangs, guilds, and petty ward tyrants.
Additional Ideas (9)
A criminal mentioning a Cambor Vacation is saying that he is planning on hiding out for a while. This does not mean said fugitive is actually going to Cambor, though there is a good deal of protection to be found there. Alternately, a Cambor vacation can refer to time spent in a city gaol.
A laughable collection of metal and wooden scraps worked into a suit of ungainly and ugly armor. Named for the volunteer militia of Cambor who use wooden planks for breastplates and will tie metal pieces and such to their bodies as armor. Can and often is applied to anyone who uses a mish-mash of armors, or has armor in poor repair as an insult.
Alternate term for a mule or a donkey, also a derogatory applied to horses in less than perfect shape, often as an insult.
Along the dirty litter strewn streets of Cambor can be found the most lowly of all the equine breeds. The Cambor Horse. Which in and of itself is a generic term for any half breed horse or old broken down tired working animal.
The Cambor horses are all small in stature, the largest being around 14 and half spans of a man's hand in height. Each Cambor horse is unique it's own way. Each one has horrid conformation with at least on glaring conformational flaw. That may be congenital or inherited through injury and neglect. They are the dregs of equine society, each one only a step above Orc food or buzzard bait. Most of the Cambor horses were born to substandard mares who were work animals themselves. However occasionally a once proud and strong horse who has outlived his racing or hunting days or who has been injured beyond usefulness will find their way to the back alleys of Cambor.
Sprinkled among the longears of the half-breeds are a few of the once proud Calcobrinian hotbloods who have fallen from grace and now find themselves reduced to a draught animal. I once heard tell of a great Calcobrinan Racing stallion who fell in a race who ended up pulling a butcher's cart laden with pig carcasses until the day he fell dead in the streets of Cambor's hole.
One look in the eye of a Cambor horses eye will tell the story of a fall from grace, or a long hard life of toil and pain. Of the endless cold nights without shelter and the blazing hot days pulling heavy burdens.
It is not uncommon for a Cambor horse to fall prone in the traces of his harness while pulling. The lucky ones are dead before they hit the street. A dead horse is fairly common along the cluttered dirty alley ways of Cambor's hole.
All of Cambor's horses seem to be have a sucked in look to them. They are a hardy breed by necessity. Grain is scarce at best in Cambor and none can we wasted on a creature as lowly as a horse and fresh water is unheard for unless you hold your mouth open in the rain that rarely falls.
Sway backs, bucked shins. Poorly healed cuts, scrapes, lacerations, and gouges streak many a dull shaggy coat on Cambor's streets. Feet are cracked and chipped and have grown so long if they haven't broken off completely that they are beginning to turn up at the ends. manes and tails are sparse and thin many being plucked nearly bald to use the hair in sewing. The eyes of a Cambor horse are dull. Long forgotten, or never known are the pleasures of green grass and freedom and kindness.
A style of visual arts that uses a large number of small colored tiles, stones, or other medium for creating larger, often impressionistic works of art. Similar to mosaics, but the pieces of tile or other media are often hand sized or larger. Also interchangeable with patchwork when referring to cloth.
Alcoholic spirits distilled in wash pots and basins, similar to prohibition era bathtub gin. This crude alcohol has a very high content, and excessive drinking of it can have severe consequences including sterility, madness, blindness, and poisoning. Some claim that cutting it with water reduces these risks, but in truth they come not from the alcohol, but from the materials used in the distillation.
Cambor wolf - starved dog, mangy, very thin
Cambor eagle - a vulture
Cambor Dance - knife fight
Cambor Rich - possessing nothing other than a pouch of tobacco
Cambor's Girl - prostitute known to be diseased
born in Cambor- two meanings, A., a bastard child with no father, or B., a prostitute's child
Cambor wedding- What we would call a "shotgun wedding"
Cambor funeral- buried alive, with the hands tied before them in an anonymous grave
Cambor's Blessings - Empty promises
A Cambor Seaman - A veteran that lies about his service
Cambor Stew - Thin, cheap soup