In the Beginning: the history of Kebbolevont
Many years ago, a lone settler stumbled blindly through the darkness. Where was he? Gerard, the settler, had lost his group in the night attack hours ago. Or was it days? Years? He stopped to rest beside a dead tree. Panting, he looked around, trying to discern where he was. But nothing looked familiar. Suddenly, a screech rent the night. By Cranth! They were gaining! Once again, Gerard ran blindly into the night. But look! There, up ahead! Thank the stars, running water! If only he could get across before they caught up. Putting on a burst of speed, Gerard reached the stream, and crossed!
Gerard found himself on the edge of a cliff. Well, sort of. Really, there was quite a bit of space from the stream over to the steep drop to the wine dark sea below. But, to Gerard’s frightened eyes, it looked like the end of the world was at his feet. Gerard turned around, were they still behind him? He stood still and listened. Nothing. It could all be a ruse, he had to keep his guard up.
After five more hours of "keeping his guard up", Gerard awoke, to see dawn’s pale fingers just scratching the edge of darkness. Still frightened, he sat silent until the sun rose. Even then, he would have kept still, but for his empty stomach. It grumbled at him in a most unsavory manner. Sighing, Gerard pulled out his hunting knife, and started sharpening a sturdy looking stick that he found lying beside the stream. It took him a while to catch enough fish to satisfy his hunger. Once he finished, Gerard set up his small tent. He wasn’t going back where those… those demons could get him. That meant staying here, and if he was going to stay here, then he was going to do it in as much comfort as possible.
From that day on, Gerard never crossed the stream again. Others came and settled down near him, sometimes even on the same side of the stream. Gradually, the group of people got bigger, and formed together into a proper township. This was named, quite unsurprisingly, Gerard’s Crossing. Gerard lived to the ripe old age of ninety-four, never again leaving the town.
In the years after Gerard died, the small, cliff side town flourished, into a bustling port city, renamed Kebbolevont. This was accomplished by an ingenious array of ramps and pulley systems, allowing any goods brought to the docks at the bottom of the cliff to be brought up easily. Houses sprang up everywhere, at the docks (up on thick wooden stilts), on land, and even built onto the cliff face itself. Life became easy for those rich enough to pay for it, and hard for those who weren’t. The city was built primarily by the poor workmen, who either took the low wages, or starved.
Today, the city has become a metropolis. The dock housing district extends for miles in every direction, and the cliff dwellers are the few important people who can afford it.The land is so eaten up by buildings and streets, that the city government has placed a restriction on how much square footage a building may have.The city’s rulers are oftentimes heedless of the condition of the city, and usually do not set aside funds for it’s repair. Therefore the streets are filled with every kind of refuse imaginable, and, being dirt, are almost always solid mud. The windows are dirty, the walls are graffitied, and the sky is a dull gray from the smoke of the refineries that have popped up on the landward side.
Kebbolevont is called a monarchy, and has a king, but he is really just a puppet ruler for the oligarchy of businessmen and nobles. These men decide the rules, regulations, and prohibitions of the fair city of Kebbolevont.
The People and culture of Kebbolevont
The standing guard of Kebbolevont is a barely trained, hardly disciplined rabble. Thankfully, they have not been needed for some time, but I shudder to think of what they would do in an actual battle.
Kebbolevont is currently under a strict alcohol prohibition, but this rarely stops traders from selling the stuff. Anyone caught in possession of alcohol, is subjected to a heavy fine, confiscation of the offending beverage, and, possibly, a fortnight in prison. That is, unless the perpetrator has enough spare cash on hand to "persuade" the guardsman that this never happened.
The poor people of Kebbolevont are dressed in plain clothes of wool, or, the even poorer, in rags. They don’t have any especially unique clothing designs or patterns, mainly they just wear whatever clothes they can get. The more wealthy citizens wear the latest fashion trends, which are whatever those richer than them are wearing.
The foods are a wide variety of dishes from all over the surrounding kingdoms, brought here by immigrants and merchants. The countryside around Kebbolevont is well known for it’s fine wines and fruits, and this shows well in the few regional dishes that have come to be.
Places of Interest
Throughout the bustling streets and dingy alleys of a city as large as Kebbolevont it’s only expected that there would be interesting stores and monuments.
Mistress Dimania’s House of Stairs
The eccentric Mistress Dimania lives in her odd house on Duru Lane, near the edge of the cliff. She runs a small shop selling bolts of fine cloths and rugs. What earned the house its name is that the entire building is filled with staircases. Some leading up and down in the traditional manner, some crawling along the wall, or making a large spiral up and then down again, leading nowhere in particular. This is because of the restriction on square footage. For all her young life, Mistress Dimania was in awe of the grand staircases that she saw when she went with her father, a wealthy buisiness man, to the houses of important men. Her father’s house did not have any stairs, as her father was afraid that he would fall and break his neck.
Statue of Gerard
In all of Kebbolevont, there are very few who actually remember the way in which their city was founded. There are enough books on the subject in the public library, but no one really cares. Except, that is, for Frederick Gabel. Gabel was a promising scholar that had just graduated from a renowned college when he read a book on the history of Kebbolevont. Never before in his studies had he heard of Gerard, the founder of his city no less. So he decided to educate the people of their ancestor (actually, Gerard never had any children). With what money he had or could scrounge together Gabel bought some land and had a twenty foot tall statue of Gerard, cast in bronze, erected on the spot on top of a limestone base. The statue doesn’t actually look anything like Gerard, but it was the best Gabel could do. Built into the base of the statue is a small, one room house that Gabel lives in, and every morning he comes out and cleans the statue using a tall ladder.
The future times
The lack of morals in this place will most probably be it’s downfall. The powerful men will soon be at each other’s throats, and everyone else will simply be caught in the crossfire. The monsters in the area are fairly dormant now, but they will soon rally around the standard of Char Thrice-King, a powerful orcish chieftain. The city will fall. Already crumbling from within, the society as a whole will be dashed to pieces on the rocks at the base of the cliff. The marvelous works of engineering will fall, and take with them the lives of thousands. But all this is the future. Until then, the docks will stink as badly as ever, and the people will suffer just as they always have.