The Ruins of Oldport
The ruined city of Oldport, destroyed nearly 200 years ago during a violent raid from the sea. During the day, a desolated skeleton of what once a thriving port city. During the night, magical splendor causes the city to regain its former glory and the dead rise to continue their lives.
The ruins of Oldport sit on the southwestern shore of the county of Copslin Vale, at the mouth of the Veshian River. The small city was at one time the first port seen by the sailors bringing fresh and exotic goods from the jungle lands of the far west. The wealth of the city grew and expanded as more wares flowed in and out of the city.
Several times the city was hit by raiders, until finally the Count of Copslin Vale placed a permanent guard within the city to help defend his wealth and his citizens. The guards were able to drive off numerous attacks until the raiders decided to band together. The combined assault by several raider groups and the endless bombardment from the ship weapons destroyed much of this growing jewel. The guards and townspeople fought valiantly but in the end it was for nothing. The city lay in ruins, building burning. The citizens dead and dying.
Just on the outskirts of the town stood a single tower, the home of a wizard of moderate power. Aras had come to the city to study some of the local flora but gave his life dearly to destroy the men that stormed his tower. In the end the raiders decided to just torch the tower instead of sending more to die.
Nearly two hundred years later the ruins of this once growing port town still lay undisturbed for the most part. The bones of the dead still lay where they died, covered in fungi. The buildings still lean from the wind, partially collapsed, if they remain standing at all.
During the day it reminds any visitor of a destroyed town but during the night, during the night it is a completely different story. As the sun sets powerful magic is awakened that cast several transmutation and illusion spells across the town. Buildings are rebuilt, wells and piers are crafted out of spun light as the dead inhabitants regain their bodies.
The ruins of Oldport come alive and beware, lest you disturb the dead from their nightly lives.
The tower of the wizard Aras sits just to the west of the main city and is generally the first ruin that one comes across when traveling to the city. Aras had a typical four story, circular tower made of stone. Only the first floor with a few old supports for the second floor remain during the day. At night the entire tower is restored to its old glory, to include the lab that was installed in the top floor where Aras performs his experiments on the local mushrooms that originally brought him to Oldport in the first place. As he has been known to take an apprentice, he will allow them to take over the first floor so it is usually kept in good repair and furnished as a simple quarters, kitchen, and study.
The city itself is nearly over run by the plains and shoreline during the day with only a few notable examples. In the center of the ruins sits a well surrounded by a dais. This structure was built only fifty years after the destruction of the city by the then current Count of Copslin Vale, Count Borod. He rebuilt the well and commissioned the dais upon discovering the magic of the ruins. It is here that the names of every resident, visitor, merchant, and guardsman at the time of the town's destruction is recorded. The dais is the center of all the magic that allows the city to rebuild itself, and The Residents of Oldport defend it with their very unlives.
The only other standing structures during the day are the four permanently manned guard posts at each corner of the town. Each guard post is manned with a full twenty guards. Most of the guards are related in some manner to one or more of the dead residents of the ruins so being picked for this detail is considered a great honor. The guards are there to ensure that the bodies of the dead and any treasures still buried can lie undisturbed during the day. They allow the dead to deal any justice they deem needed once the sun sets.
As has been stated before, once the sun sets the entire city is rebuilt from light and magic. The center of town becomes a bustling center once again as the merchants hawk their wares that are almost nonexistent.
Taverns and Inns
Several taverns and inns dot the city, the most famous of which is The Staff and the Sword. The innkeeper is known throughout the entirety of Copslin Vale as one of the best cooks alive or dead. If a visitor is willing to hand over their catch then Orga is willing to turn out a feast for any and all living visitors for the night. This arrangement may sound odd but nothing lives within several miles of the ruins except the guards. All food that is served has to be brought in.
The Boatman's Cup sits directly on the pier and was one of the first buildings destroyed as the piers burned and the dock workers were barred inside to die from the fire and water as the pier gave way and the tavern dropped into the waters below. Savuros, a Halfling sailor, settled in Oldport once he lost his interest in travel and opened the tavern. His love of the city and his quaint little tavern is enough to ensure that he was one of the first of the undead to sign his name to the cities dais. The tavern now specializes in authenticating maps of the lands few others have seen. The sailors and dock workers have several hundred years of knowledge that they are happy to pass along if a visitor is willing to share news of the happenings from other shores.
The Dry Mug is the only inn or tavern run by a female, Ghenzen Gliss. A high-class inn, The Dry Mug was a high end house of pleasure but with the destruction of the town Madame Gliss has turned her ladies into true courtesans mainly due to the fact that few wanted pleasure from the dead. Information on the other hand never loses value. Situated near the center of town The Dry Mug boasts numerous rooms and several parlors spread over three floors. Some of the most delicate negotiations within Copslin Vale take place within the walls of this house.
The majority of the merchants have stalls on the piers and in the city center but a few have shops scattered throughout the city.
The Fine Talisman is run by an Elvish merchant by the name of Obirern, which is known to carry a wide array of cheap trinkets and the occasional true magic item. No one has been able to figure out how he was able to get his wares to reform each night but once they are sold then they cease to come back. During the day the item offers no magic defense, offense, or any other ability and appears as if a mundane item of its regular sort. As the sun sets the item once again radiates magic and can do whatever it was supposed to do when bought. He has been known to have sold several magic weapons, one suit of armor, and several other wondrous items, all too happy customers. Obirern is known as a very honest man and fully discloses the fact that the magic will fade with the rising sun and not be accessible until the sun sets once more.
Dalia Arabella runs the smallest shop in the city, specializing in telling fortune telling. A complete charlatan, she used nearly every trick known to man to fleece her customers, and even invented a few new tricks. Her death on the other hand awakened her gift in both magic and noticing certain omens. Her fortunes are always of a direr foretelling but always with a way to avert the circumstances, if she takes a liking to you. Her shop is literally two rooms in a lean-to built up on the docks. Fresh herbs and the occasional swapping of information is all she takes for payment.
Eraluan Witdancer runs the most successful stall in the city center, catering to those looking for information of the city and surrounding area. His carefully drawn maps are of excellent quality and his information is as current as twelve hours old.
There are only two temples in the city, one to the god of the sea and the other is to the god of wealth. Both temples have dedicated a small area to the god of death in all of its forms due to the circumstances of the residents of Oldport.
The god of the sea, (need a name here), has a temple that overlooks the vast shoreline that surrounds two sides of Oldport. The wealth and fortune that the sea brought the city helped build the temple from just a simple shrine to a grand hall that can house nearly half the city at any given time. The majority of the residents that worked in the city and sailed worship here. On the city side of the temple is a shrine dedicated to the god of death, (need a name here).
The temple dedicated to the god of wealth (need a name here as well :D) is one of the most splendid structures in the city once the sun sets. Gold and ivory, marble and alabaster adorn the temple. The merchants and lords of the city tend to worship at this temple but always remember to leave offerings at the temple for the sea god, to do otherwise would be tempting a worse disaster upon the city. The temple itself offers enough rooms for any clerics that worship the god of death, they see it as a reason expense due to being able to continue to gather wealth after death.
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? Responses (8)-8
I really like this. The idea of a city that only appears during certain times isn't new, but this is a great spin on it.
To make sure I'm understanding it right: is the night city, which is made of 'light and magic,' able to be interacted with by physical means? Could I go into the wizard tower at night and browse the lab? Or is it illusory, just a holograph of sorts?
Either way, this is well done.
During the night the entire city is real, and what could not be recreated with the magic was recreated with illusions. You can enter into the 4th floor of the wizard's tower, you can eat a 12 course meal cooked in the Staff and the Sword Inn, you can even walk into the Fine Talismans and buy a magic dagger and leave the city again with it on your hip.
Engaging, well-presented & most of all something I can see myself using. With a little tweaking for the naming style, this would be a perfect addition to my Everway games. (Everway has a pretty specific naming convention, so pretty much everything has to be renamed to fit. :P )
About the only flaw I see here is the dead link to the Resident of Oldport. :P Hopefully you'll have that finished and the link will work soon so I can read that one as well.
the link is to the society sub I will be posting this weekend for the cartographers guild recruit questie thing
Love it. Big fan of submissions that take you on a tour of a place. Some shops, some natives, a few watering holes. Very nice atmosphere created here. Gives that warm feeling of wanting to visit.
suggestions for god names:
Didn't see this one before I read the Residents sub, so this answered most of my lingering questions.
I do have a couple, though. If the city is only rebuilt at night, does that mean invaders only attack then? What do they do during the day and why would they wait around to attack in the darkness when there are so many effective defenders? (80 guards seem like an easier task for an invading army.) What would happen if they were to swarm the main dais and destroy the board with all the names?
Aside from the above questions, I absolutely love the idea and the atmosphere.
An invader could attack at any time of the day or night. A daytime attack will not garner any treasure though... none of it is around to gather up. However it would let the raiders get a foothold in the area. They would either need to fortify their position to the upmost during the day, after they have killed off the Dayguard, because once the sun set then they would be fighting an entire city of undead.
The destruction of the dais I imagine would destroy the magic that rebuilds the town, and seriously piss off an entire city of undead. The dais does not reanimate the citizens, it is just a reminder of their oath to defend the shores, and a body for the restoration magic that gives the city a body each night.
addition to 1st paragraph :P
they would either need to fortify or immediately move away from the city.