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March 3, 2008, 4:52 pm

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City Image - Cambria


Cambria, for the most part, looks like every other urban area. However, here the concept of Great Buildings has not only taken hold, but it has florished.

Cambria is built along both sides of the Kalander river as it empties into the Greater Bay.

The buildings in Cambria are of a Neo-Tudor style. The exteriors are usually a white stucco, with some half-timbering (wooden beams embedded in the stucco, some for support others for looks. Other characteristics include high-pitched roofs (covered in slate), asymmetrical configurations, enclosed entryways, fireplaces with ornamented chimneys and chimney pots, and casement windows.

Most of the buildings are two to three stories tall. They are longer than wide (more like a 2 to 1 ratio), with their main entrance facing the street. The second story usually extends beyond the first, allowing for enclosed or covered entries in front and back. The back of a house faces the back of another house on the next block. If there is a business in the building (which is usually the case), the business is downstairs, while the family and workers live upstairs.  Manor homes are larger, squarer, and only two stories in height. They share most of the same features as more common homes.  They are also surrounded by large fences normally.  There are alleys between the various buildings here, mostly for fire control. Some of these alleys have been converted into small shady gardens.

Many of town homes from long ago have been broken up into apartments. So there will be five to ten people living in the same "house".

The roads are a smoothed cobblestone. There are normally wide sidewalks made of the local concrete. The roads are slanted to drain off the side of the roads into the gutters.  There is a deep undercity here where the sewage drains.

There is a horse drawn trolly system in much of the town. The Green Cars and clanging bell add both noise and an odd charm to the city. Long ago, the locals tried to prevent so many horses and people on the city streets. First the carts occurred, to avoid the horse tax, they caused almost as many problems as they solved. One ingenious council member whos business worked with the nearby mines thought of the track system to standardized things (like paths, schedules, size of carts, and so on.

The river is spanned by three bridges, all quite large and thick.  The bridges are practical affairs, not artistic by any stretch. However, they are large enough and tall enough to allows full rigged sailing ships (river schooners) under them.

The "Great Buildings" (those that break the mold) are all in the city center (portside bank going up river, the center of the city of that side). Here the buildings are four, five, even ten stories tall. The buildings here are stone, granite block, affairs. Great Businesses (exchanges, banks, regional governmental offices, grand guilds, various societies) are side by side with the supporting businesses (scribers, messengers, appraisers, enchanters, and restaurants/ clubs).  Even the great temples for the region are here. Very few people live down town. They travel to manor homes or apartments in other parts of the city. Given the trolly, it takes no more than an hour to reach any part of the city. 


The Great Buildings have become roosts to various Gargoyle troops. These creatures watch over their towers and buildings, asking nothing more than to be left alone.

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Comments ( 2 )
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Voted KendraHeart
December 9, 2005, 14:28
Just pre-modern. You are getting big buildings, but you are still old style. The trolly system is nicely laid out. You even restrained yourself from adding the Gargoyles.
Voted valadaar
May 21, 2013, 22:35
Only voted

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       By: ephemeralstability


Having left the hush of the upper halls, and crossed the depths of the Braeth (an underground river, which is not all that deep because bear in mind we're talking about gnomes here), you would find yourself in Wattling Street, the main road through Udnalor. It's actually a long, well-worn passageway which opens out eventually into the City Centre. The gnome-buildings branch off Wattling Street as small burrows or caverns with boulder-blocked doorways for privacy. You can find armourers and smiths (though their armour tends to be on the small side for humans to buy) and many other types of trader.

There are many streets, ginnels and cooies which run off Wattling Street, the most famous probably being Smell Street, the domain of the infamous gnomish alchemists, the eponymous smell being very distinctive: the stench of cooking fungus, the aroma of subterranean spices, the pungent reek of rotting carcasses (used in some of the more notorious experiments). An encounter with an alchemist can really be spiced up (excuse the pun) if you have a well-stocked herb cupboard, and actually make up the potions, elixirs and draughts as they are ordered by characters.

Ideas  ( Locations ) | May 4, 2002 | View | UpVote 0xp

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