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ID: 1572


April 20, 2006, 6:00 pm

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Old City


This section of the city shows the city’s roots as a medieval/ primitive town.  Surrounded by the original city walls, Old City is filled with heavy stone buildings. The buildings here are different from the rest of the city. They look like they were part of an ancient castle or fort, or built in the age when the city was on the frontier of civilization.

This section of the city shows the city’s roots as a medieval/ primitive town.  Surrounded by the original city walls, Old City is filled with heavy stone buildings. The buildings here are different from the rest of the city. They look like they were part of an ancient castle or fort, or built in the age when the city was on the frontier of civilization.  

There are no wood buildings in Old City as fire after fire after other disaster has destroyed everything that was not permanent stone.  The buildings are solid, secure, and tend towards a gothic look. There are towers, spires, heavy walls with arrow breaks, and supporting buttress. There are gargoyles and other grotesques on top of every building.

Old City is practically a town unto itself.  It has its own little market area, its own water, and its own marshal.  The families that live there have lived there for several lifetimes, if not centuries. 

There are two important buildings in Old City: The Main Temple and the Mayor’s Office. 

The Mayor is the administrator in charge of the town, as appointed by the King and the Town Council.  He runs the day to day affairs here, doing what is best for the city, despite what the Town Council might think.  The Mayor’s office is somewhat cramped for the modern mayor and is difficult to get to, but tradition (and the budget) dictates that this is where the Mayor works. (It also has the advantage of keeping the Mayor in an inconvenient place so he can not interfere with the council). 

The Cathedral (or main temple) is the oldest single structure in not only the city, but the entire region. It could house a good portion of the city’s populace within its walls. It has been built up and improved upon over the centuries, until it has become the central location of faith for the region.  Splendid is not the word for this giant monstrosity of gothic architecture. Massive is.  One of the reasons why it is the center of faith is the fact that it is soooo large and has supporting outbuildings for administers that work for the church.  Other cities are trying to build main temples as impressive as The Cathedral, but to date, none of the projects have yet to succeed (though some are not near complete).

One would expect the narrow dark streets of Old City to be haven for the criminal or violent elements.  The streets of Old City are actually the safest of any in the city.   The Cathedral has a troupe of Gargoyles living on its roof.  Real, mythical Gargoyles. 

These near immortal creatures of living stone are territorial and nocturnal.  Due to some ancient agreement, the Gargoyles are allowed to live here AND allow fleshlings to live here.  They sleep during the day mostly.  They seldom stir from their perches during the night.  They have the patience of a stone, and a point of view that years are but minutes of life. They do not move, fly, or speak without a true need.  Their senses are so inhumanly powerful that little goes on in the Old City (or even in the New City) that they are not at least peripherally aware of.  Many crimes in the Old City (and occasionally some in other quarters) are stopped by a swooping Gargoyle, usually with the guilty criminal never to be seen again. 

If anything threatened the Main Temple/Cathedral or the Old City, even in the daytime, the Gargoyles would defend their home area.  Since not even an elder dragon can withstand a troupe of gargoyles (according to the legends), no normal army should stand up to them. 

Very few people know of the existence of the Gargoyle protectors. People have heard the legends, but monsters don’t exist any more.  The local guardsmen wear Gargoylish helmets while on duty, though few believe why.  The Mayor is often advised by a Gargoyle in times of trouble. Some times directly, but most of the time by the Grey Priest. Since the first church here, there has always been a priest, or young alterboy who will grow up to be a priest, who will often go up and talk to the Gargoyles and occasionally hear them talk back.  The Grey Priest is their mouthpiece to the world and their encyclopedia of fleshling ways they don’t understand.

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Comments ( 5 )
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Voted KendraHeart
November 20, 2005, 0:00
Me thinks, somebody watched a bit too much Disney Television when they were younger.

You also include links to the gargoyles. That was worth looking over. It makes this post much more.

I like the intergration of the Gargoyles into the neighborhood. I like the Grey Priest position.

This reminds me in some odd way of the Beauty and the Beast TV show. Secret world among the everyday.
Voted axlerowes
October 3, 2006, 15:35
These ideas has a lot of promise but it does not build to anything. You have several ideas running through this, but none are that developed.

1)Old city: Great, most cities have an old town, sometimes they are run down sometimes they are the seat of power. So by telling us, "Old City is practically a town unto itself. It has its own little market area, its own water, and its own marshal. The families that live there have lived there for several lifetimes, if not centuries." You tell us nothing we couldn't have extrapolated on our own.

2)The Mayor's office, cute little side note about it. But without a great description of things again it comes to little meaning.

3) The temple, this could be a whole submission. Is the temple still important to people, does it hold a "Pope or Bishop", is the whole Temple used or have sections become forgotten, do the gargoyles live there?

4)The gargoyles: okay the real story here is the link between the Grey Priest, the Mayor and the gargoyles. Maybe if you start with the Grey Priest as insitution, and make the center peice of your old city concept. You could get at the role of the church and the mayor in society, by examining the role of the Grey Prince. You could flesh out the day to day life in Old City and could hint at the views of the gargoyles on the city and humanity.
October 5, 2006, 10:02
1)Old city: You tell us nothing we couldn't have extrapolated on our own.
Actually most sections of a city, historically, do not have their own "elements", thus why it had to be mentioned.

2)The Mayor's office
Do I need to spoon feed you descriptive text on stacks of papers, narrow spaces between the desk and the wall, old yellowing glass in the tiny windows, or the careful glass covered laterns to light the room? The main point about this was that a) the office was out of the way, b) there is conflict between guild council and mayor.

3) The temple, this could be a whole submission
Insert religion of your choice. If I called it a Bishop, most people thinks Judeo Christian. It is left generic so you can adapt it.

Yes, if you read the text, all of it is still being used. It is the regional center. Gargoyles live on the roof. Not a lot of people doing stuff there.

4)The gargoyles
Grey Priest is a secret institution. One not very often utilized.

Do you need me to flesh out day to day life in a medieval city? I can actually recomend several books on the subject.

Could hint at the views of the gargoyles on the city and humanity.
Did you miss the last three paragraphs?
October 5, 2006, 14:10
I would really like to read a good history that reflects day to day life in a medieval city. Please let me know which books you found the most accessible and most helpful, and pass them on to me. As far non-fiction I would say I base most my ideas about medieval life style on three books. Most recently and relevantly, I read "The Fourth Crusade and the Sack of Constantinople" last year, but that detailed Constantinople and to a lesser extent Venice. However, I got that you are shooting for a more a Northern European feel here. (I could be wrong again) And as far my refn books for Northern Europe go they are limited I have read GG Coulton's "The Medieval Village", and "The Year 1000: What Life Was Like at the Turn of the First Millennium : An Englishman's World", but both of those reflect a more rural view. So if these books do not equip me with enough knowledge to grasp your scene here than by all means; be a friend, help a brother out and recommend some knowledge.

But back to your post:

So there is a plot set-up here. You could set up a well meaning Mayor who wants to fight the corruption of the town council, and upon taking office he learns of the Grey Priest and the Gargoyles. With this Commisoner Gordon type position he could then begin to spoon feed the Gargoyles info. about wrong doings in the city. But while the Mayor's location and office size does support this conflict it could be seen in other respects depending on the role of the Mayor in the community. What if the Mayor is a Zaphod type position who's role is not to wield power, but rather to draw attention away from it? What if the Mayor is ceremonial position reserved for members of a certain social cast, while the council is made up of members of another cast and as a result they don't mingle? But I felt that you had a Mayor in mind, a leader who is "doing what is best for the city, despite what the Town Council might think".

As to the temple, well I wasn't sure if you envisioned the temple proper as like a spiritual mall or university. The halls are always filled with people running errands, praying, seeking spiritual advice from the pro's, and pursuing religious careers. In general a scene that would seem chaotic too outsiders but with a very public feel. Or is the temple more mysterious and less cosmopolitan, with dark hallway, quit pray processions, forgotten libraries and in general more somber.

As for the "Gargoyles!!!" I will read you other post directly, but aren't they near immortal? Haven't they been watching humans for longer than the Grey Priest? Wouldn't they become the "encyclopedia of fleshling ways" for a cloistered young man? Or are there things about humanity that the Gargoyles are not capable of understanding, and will always be confused about no matter how long they live? And if so what are these things, and how does this perspective translate into the gargoyles discission making process?
Voted Moonlake
February 6, 2015, 20:33
I like this as a short snappy post about a fantasy neighbourhood. The gargoyles presented here reminds me a little of the Ents in LoR with respect to the "no rushing" thing, possibly that is an answer to Axle's comment above?

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