The great walled city of Drachinacht was founded several hundred years ago by Kylgidizeadaeth (Kill-gih-dize-a-death), a young dragon whose scales resembled shards of amethyst. He used his wealth, which though at the time was decidedly middling for a dragon was still a fair sized fortune to man to build an actual fortress. He then made an open offer: that anyone who would choose to live under him as they would a normal lord would be under his protection. As the thought of being protected by a dragon is a rather attractive one, there was a reasonable amount of reaction.
Skipping forward a couple of centuries, the town has grown at a good rate. The discovery of a rather large underground river leading to the depths has opened up access to a number of crystal and mineral deposits, and the burgeoning city has an small economic explosion. This is shortly lived, however, as the mining draws the attention of a variety of subterranean beings, among them a dark elf enclave.
War is on the horizon, and the young city is primarily agricultural with a growing trade industry, very ill suited to battle. Faced with destruction if a peaceful solution isn't found, Kylgidizeadaeth sends a message to the dark elves asking for a meeting. Mercifully, they accept.
The exact details of the meeting are known only to Kylgidizeadaeth himself, but the end result is that the Dark Elves are granted a plethora of privileges within the city, including near-immunity to the law except for the most horrid of crimes (i.e. murder).
In the present day, Drachinacht has become a major trading city. The Dark Elves have a large presence in the city, and export many goods that are not found on the surface. However, it's generally accepted that the best policy when dealing with Dark Elves is to keep them happy, for those that offend them have a habit of winding up in alleyways with slit throats. Despite this, many traders flock to the city, located as it is between a number of other large cities and a number of small kingdoms. This is the city where with enough coin and persistence, almost anything can be bought.
The city grew from a central keep, and as such is roughly circular. The keep, now a palace sized for a dragon, is located at the center and is visible from almost anywhere in the city. The palace has seen work by a large number of craftsmen from very different backgrounds. The lower floors and cellars are notably Dwarven, built with the same sturdy design used to hold up mountains of stone in the great halls of the Dwarven kings. Directly above the sturdy architecture of the Dwarves lies the delicate and slightly sinister towers of the Dark Elves. A commission that doubled the wealth of the Dark Elven clan, the spires were worked on only at night, so as not to blind the workers.
Crowning the towers and the palace itself, the highest levels were crafted by Kylgidizeadaeth himself. Having studied the building styles of both the Dwarves and the Dark Elves, he constructed the top of the palace with a style that, while blending both the solid designs of the Dwarves and the flowing, serpentine forms of the Dark elves, also incorporated a certain grandness of design unique to dragons. The end result is spires unlike anything that had been built in the past, and the palace alone draws many to the city.
The area surrounding the palace is residences for the nobility and the exceptionally wealthy. The houses here are grand affairs, having two stories at least and small surrounding gardens. The architecture attempts to mimic that of the palace, and while grand it doesn't quite measure up. There are a handful of merchants operating in this district, generally selling wares that only the very wealthy would feel any need to buy.
To the northwest of the palace lies the Umbral Gate, the entryway to the domain of the Dark Elves. It has evolved from a mere hole in the ground to a active waterway, operating only when the sun is down. The surrounding area has become more or less the 'Dark Elf' district, and it is here that all Dark Elf merchants set up store. There are a number of Dark Elves who live here, in houses that tend to consist of a single story that has been recessed into the ground. The Umbral Gate district actually looks like a park, the areas that aren't pathways or homes are coated in rich green grass.
The Poor District, to the south of the palace, is pretty average as far as poor districts go. The houses are small one level affairs, generally with thatched roofs. The streets are dirt, and can quickly get churned into a thick mud in the rain. The entire district is speckled with low grade taverns, most of which water their ale a good amount.
Reaching from the Umbral district and around the Eastern side of the palace and ending at the poor district sprawls a hodgepodge of assorted businesses and residences. Generally referred to as the trade quarter, it is here that much of the action in the city takes place. Walking down but one street, you may pass a bakery, an arms shop, a theater of performing arts and a reputedly haunted house, not to mention dozens of merchants selling wares from small stalls. Many of the buildings here, though usually not particularly long or wide, are two or three stories high, and it is unusual that they don't have a cellar. This has inadvertently led to the rise of a new pastime among some young daredevils: leaping from roof to roof, and then outrunning the guards when they inevitably try to stop them. There have of course been injuries of varying severity arising from this, but that seems to only further the thrill that the rest get from their freerunning. Some of the more unscrupulous freerunners have recently been giving the rest a bad name, using their athleticism to enter houses from any point except a door and proceed to make off with their valuables.
There are a number of people and beings who shape the city and define its place in the modern world. These are some of them.
Ruler and founder of the city, he is generally referred to as the Dragon King, simply because his name is difficult to pronounce. Since the birth of the city, he has aged and grown considerably. Now, a colossus of glinting amethyst scales, he inspires awe in any who are lucky enough to be granted an audience.
He has found that it is much easier and more pleasant to be on the good side of the humanoid races rather than to fight them, hence the reason he initially started a small village. That's not to say that he couldn't hold his own in a battle however, he is still a dragon when all is said and done. In fact, should he ever get riled up, he would be one of the most dangerous dragons you could deal with, as he could hit you wherever you may be. Between limited control over the economy and contacts among dozens of races, he could manage anything from making repairs prohibitively expensive to sending a strike force of Dark Elf assassins after the poor fools who have managed to irk him. On the other hand, should one befriend the Dragon King, they will soon find that his power and influence work both ways.
The latest Crowley in a very long line, his ancestors were among the first to take up residence in Drachinacht, back when it was just a keep. They have earned a good measure of hereditary trust from the Dragon King, to the point where when he needed someone to decide who's problems were important enough to merit his personal attention it was swiftly decided to be Tobias' great grandfather, Ezram. Since then, the position has stayed in the family.
Today, Tobias takes his authority quite seriously, to the point where his few friends often tell him to loosen up. Almost single minded in his work, he is one of the most steadfast followers of the Dragon King. To be fair, some of that loyalty may stem from his considerable paycheck.
Anyone wishing to have a personal audience with the Dragon King will need to go through Tobias first, and they can expect to be soundly grilled while he decides if it is worth his lieges' time.
Nicholas "Quick Nick" Cook
If the loosely-knit freerunners had any sort of leader figure, it would be Nick. One of the most gifted freerunners, he has combined that with a knack for helping people to become a local hero figure. He has been attributed with inventing such moves as using the momentum from running down a wall to shoulder tackle a mugger and having guards chase him to what turned out to be the headquarters for an extortion racket, leading to a number of arrests. The guards have mixed feelings about him, some choose to cut him slack and allow him to dash about on rooftops, while others have become so rabid about trying to catch him that they have actually tried to follow him on to the rooftops, which invariably ends poorly.
A rough translation from his true name. The Dark Elf who has been put in charge of administration of the Umbral Gate district, he is generally a somber fellow. He generally dresses in iconic dark elf fashions, favoring sweeping capes with high ornamental collars. Nobody is really sure why he has this post, as whenever anyone can actually get him to talk he tends to wistfully reminisce about living in the depths, in the Dark Elf Metropolis of Dhuluru (Dull-oor-oo). As best as anyone has been able to work out, he was actually assigned this post as punishment for some transgression. The way that he carries and conducts himself indicate that he may have been some level of nobility in his homeland, which would also help to explain why he misses it so.
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? Responses (5)-5
This is a rather well written and nicely detailed description of a city with unusual origins. Adding a section on the three most powerful individuals within the city was also a nice touch that gave it some flavour. I can see this as a useful place for anyone setting out to learn more about dark elves in general or seeking a way into their lands from a relatively secure location. Would I be correct in assuming that the dragon ruling the city is a vassal of the dark elves?
That's entirely up to you. When I ran it, he wasn't, but if it's what works for the use you have for it, then sure!
Pretty cool, though one note on the dragon seems odd:
"In fact, should he ever get riled up, he would be one of the most dangerous dragons you could deal with, as he could hit you wherever you may be."
Why? Most dragons can fly so what is special enough to warrent this statement?
Because it's not flight. He can hit your wallet, he can hire assassins to hit you in your sleep, he can put a truly ridiculous bounty on your head and many other things. It would be a large threat indeed that would actually cause him to pursue someone himself, when he can get everyone else to try and put you down for him. You would constantly be having to watch your back, from making sure that the jovial barkeep isn't poisoning your drink to having to actually watch for city guards, as they may have been told to arrest you. From what I've seen, for a taste of a dragon's hoard, many players would hunt someone to the ends of the earth. NPCs, generally not being as well off as a group with the resources to irk a dragon, would be quicker still to jump on such an opportunity.
Finally, if somehow the unlucky group managed to outwit, outlast and outmaneuver all his strikes, they would eventually have to deal with the dragon king himself. The most likely place of confrontation then, if the Dragon King has anything to say about it, would be in his citadel. There, they would not only have to deal with an ancient amethyst dragon, but also the entirety of his city guard, a fair number of Dark Elf honor guards and as many citizens as are able to raise a pitchfork in defense of their king.
Not a person to rile up, no indeed.
Understood, but the phrasing of the sentance implied some wierd ability rather then this is a function of his resources.