When you live at the bottom, the only thing you have is to look up. If you're lucky you can see the lights of the great towers and the stars. If you're like most people, you just look at concrete. But the stars and lights are still up there.
The cramped and tightly knit Palestra -- the University district of the City -- is a law unto itself. It is dominated by the great University, and by the thousands of students, scholars and hangers-on attached to the school. The University has no dormitories, and many of the buildings and businesses in the district have upper stories crammed with any who do not commute from other areas of the City.
Here are five locations which can add some spice to your city's university district.
This slum reveals the darker face of the City. Shanteytown is exposed to the elements and unprotected by wall or guard. A seedy mixture of driftwood shacks, impromptu shelters, lean-tos and camps thrown up on old ruins, and filled with the underclass and those with nowhere else to go, Shanteytown is for many the end of the line.
The Court Away From Court
A look at slums and shanty towns in the Cosmic Era
‘‘I know where you can find just what you’re looking for. Give me a few days and I’ll get it for you. Trust me, it’s better if I get it for you. The only place in the city that has exactly what you’re looking for is the Hardville ghetto. It’s dangerous for most folk to enter that place unles they know the right people’‘.
"How far? Ye’ll know ye’ve found Malver’s Way when ye sees the Arch."
The industrial district of Locastus, where huge, cathedral-like factories rise over the low brick houses, and tall ivy-choked chimneys spew out black smoke, day and night.
The Obtort Ward is all that remains of what was once an ancient battlefield that was afterwards converted into a mass grave.
The slums of Locastus
As part of The Pact that ended the Six Stars Demon Wars, various places were given over to the Dark Kind. This is their neighborhood in the city.
The ever present breeze from the water pushed the litter around constantly. The nice black cars and their sharp dressed occupants are sharp contrast to the broken people who live here. The Gloom comes from more than the lack of city lighting. And remember, nobody knowns nothing.
In the sprawl that as become The City, there is an oasis; a little pocket of urban perfection, mixing the living, the urban, and the commerical.
"Build a road, wide and surrounded by beautiful architecture, to lead from Guilders’ Court to the new palace," the Regent commanded Master Thraso.
Nowhere else in the city would you find a place more tragically downtrodden.
Once a place where the great merchants of the city met, this decrepit square has become a thriving marketplace for the poor and the unwanted. Many a shady deal has been made among its stalls and hidden recesses.
The city has some great bridges, awsome works that span the large and gentle river that flows through the city. To prevent the river from overflowing, the river bed was dredged and the river sides were given steep deep banks. Decades after the project began, the city was safe from flooding.
“It is a sight to behold: like a giant spider web - dozens upon dozens of rope bridges and lines are strung between the hills of the district. And the people. They move along these slender swaying lines as if they were walking down a boulevard.”, The Journal of Mathius Redcap
The manor on the hill? No one wants to live there…
The roads of zone 4 of Star Lake are uniformley white. The roads are cleaned nightly once the services of this district are shut down for the evening. With few reason to be in this area at night the militia closes it off and sets a patrol to make sure it is kept clean.
A young girl with a dirty face and tattered dress stands near the town market offering to sell the PCs freshly cut flowers. They are only a single copper a piece, and smell nice. Perhaps the PCs will be generous with their wealth, or they will not. Great for paranoid parties.