The World Of Khoras - Civilization - Cities

River Gate

"A pathetic backwater burg that oversteps its bounds politically, takes itself far too seriously and dares to tax my river barges."
- Hoag Warner, Vorrikan Business Leader and Guild Master

 

Ruler Lord Mayor Doriath Mosk
Population 35,700
(8,300 upper city, 27,400 lower city)
Demographics Human 35%, Elven 25%, Dwarven 25%,  Grum 10%, Avarian 3%, Ogre 2%, Orc 1%,
Adjectival/Demonym Rivergate/Riverfolk
Languages Human (Northerner) 45%, Dwarven 25%, Grumman 15% Elven 10%, Other 5%
Nationality None. Independent city.
National Colors Green and blue
Year Founded 2176
Currency Mixed northern and dwarven
Natural Resources and Manufactured Goods Fish, lumber, boats
Wealth Average
Government Type Aristocracy
Government Stability Very Stable
Allies Uthran, Normidia, Arkalia, Avar, Cyrell
Enemies None
Walled No
Crime Level Moderate
Technology Middle Ages
Primary Religion None
Other Religion

Erylon, Kolo, The Three Fates, Assytia, Semorjon, Daramis, Farzak, Drenmoragin, Imarus, Barrinor, Sarreth

Climate Temperate
Terrain Lake and forested hills

Overview

River Gate is a small independent city located in a huge lake on the route of the Strolling River in northwestern Ithria. The town of River Gate is built upon the ruins of a once great fortress. This ancient fortress was the greatest of the western outposts of the Irenni league. Originally, it was a huge castle that sat over the lake standing on nine great pillars. All that remains of that fortress now are the nine pillars of stone. Each of these titanic pillars is an edifice of stone, thirty meters thick, rising out of the lake to a height of seventy meters.

Because of these pillars, the city of River Gate has developed a unique dual level architecture. The upper city constitutes the bulk of the city. It is mostly built of stone and is built atop the nine pillars, which are connected by dozens of platforms, walkways and bridges. The upper city is home to the wealthiest quarter of the city.

A poor slum town has grown up around the base of the pillars. This lower city is a complex labyrinth of wooden buildings, wooden piers, floating barges, netting and ropes. Some of the buildings sit on wooden stilts. Others simply float, anchored in position by chains and bridges. The lower city is mostly a fishing community and is home to the poor and the destitute. They live in the shadows of the great pillars and suffer the indignity of having rain, garbage and worse flow down from above. The stench of fish is an ever lingering odor in the lower city. Weaving in between many of the wooden buildings of the lower city are boat lanes in which a variety of small boats, barges and skiffs come and go.

Between the upper and lower cities are a number of wooden towers stacked against the sides of the pillars, spiraling staircases, rope ladders and mechanized lifts. The lifts are huge wooden platforms raised and lowered by complex systems of ropes, pulleys and counterweights. These mechanized lifts convey people, horses, goods, supplies and even boats between the upper city and the lake town below.

River Gate sits out in the water of Kyzer Laker, but it is close to one shore, only half a kilometer from land. There is no road or bridge connecting it to the mainland. Instead, a number of large barges will ferry people to and from River Gate.

History

Many centuries ago, before the star was Sundered, the Irenni League built one of their largest fortresses in a small swamp area in a river valley. This massive stone fortress was supported on nine huge stone pillars that held it above the swamp. It was called Fort Seratnar, which in Irenni mean "elevated" and also or "greater than". Armies from this fortress kept watch on the entire western border of the Irenni League.

When the Sundering occurred, the world shook with fierce land quakes. The northern half of Ithria was struck by particularly fierce quakes. The same quake that caused the northern plains to flood and become the Captured Sea also brought down this fortress. The entire fort collapsed into the swamp. Only the nine support pillars remained standing. The swamp was obliterated by a tremendous wave that swept through the valley. Shifts in the land changed the topography and a lake began to form where the two rivers now joined into one.

Refugees from the devastated Irenni League came to farm the rich earth that had been left behind by the wetlands and settled here in the sixth century. Over many centuries, the villages of the lake raised the ruins of the great fortress from the lake bed. Millions of bricks were recovered and these bricks were used to build new structures on top of the nine pillars. During the eight century, nine families each built a home atop one of the great pillars. These nine families formed an alliance in 1087 CY. Bridges and platforms were added. Construction around the base of the nine pillars began. This small, but growing, town was named Brightmere. It was officialy founded in 1088 CY.

For six hundred years, the town of Brightmere grew peacefully. It fended off bandit attacks, fished the waters and began to trade with other towns. gradually, the nine ruling families came into conflict. In 1712 CY, a brief war broke out between the ruling families. After a single bloody week, one ruling family, the Biridna family, came out on top. They began to heavily tax the locals, lake and river barges, fishermen and so forth. It was the beginning of a long period of pacification and control. The Biridna family ruled River Gate for the next three hundred years. Heavy taxation and cruel dictatorship led to civil unrest which grew. Finally, in 2009 CY, several merchants and mercantile guilds, tired of being taxed, led to a revolt against the Biridna family and their militia. The merchants and their men, along with the poor fishermen of the town, stormed the upper city, defeated the militia and executed the rulers.

The various groups, merchants and leaders established a council of twenty one rulers, selected from their own ranks. Laws were rewritten. The town was renamed River Gate. For the last seven hundred years, the council has ruled. However, old patterns have emerged. The wealth tends to be consecrated in the upper city and the poor are relegated to the lower city.

Government

A council of ten elders (and the Lord Mayor) rules in an aristocratic function. These ten men are selected by vote from the nobles of the city and maintain their position for a period of 10 years. The Council holds weekly meetings to discuss matters of the city and occasionally pass judgment on severe criminal cases. Many offices with specific duties are filled with government workers who support the council. Heading the council is the Lord Mayor Doriath Mosk. The council functions in a democratic manner with most decisions put to a vote. Each council member gets one vote while the Lord Mayor's vote counts as three.

The following villages are on the coast of Kyzer Lake and are loyal to River Gate: Feasting, Guerin, Malik, Rudari.

Hall of the Council

Council governmental building. This small round building sits in town, away from the lake shore. It is built around a central circular chamber, the meeting hall, where the council sits once each week to discuss matters of the city. This building also holds the city jail, two courtrooms and various conference rooms.

Law

Moderate and fair. River Gate enjoys its life of fishing and boating. Those who cause trouble are usually fined or banished. The citizens of River Gate tend to stick together. The city has a small group of magistrates who hear cases and decide on punishment.

Military

The military of River Gate consists of four separate forces:

The Upper Guard is a group of well trained and well paid soldiers who patrol the Upper City, stand guard at security checkpoints, provide security for major events and provide security for city officials and nobles. These 200 men serve as wardens and peacekeepers. They wear high quality scale mail armor and fight with a special type of glaive (slightly shorter handle, slightly longer blade). They receive extensive martial training in this weapon.

The Lower Guard is a less organized force of 500 men. They are a poorly trained and ill equipped force. They patrol in groups of 2 to 5 men. The Lower Guard occasionally employs the services of bounty hunters and mercenaries.

The Water Guard is a specialized group of fighters who patrol the waters in and around the city in twenty small, fast rowboats. Each row boat has six men - five of whom row and the commanding officer, who steers. They are lightly armored. Each has a scimitar and a short bow for long distance combat. Each ship also is equiped with ropes and grappling hooks. They are charged with monitoring river traffic, searching ships and chasing criminals who attempt to flee by boat.

The Land Guard is a group of horsed soldiers who patrol the shores of the lake and the surrounding lands. This group has 700 mounted soldiers and 80 officers. They are stationed in a large stone keep that sits on the shore of the lake closest to the city.

Religion

River Gate's culture is influenced by the larger nations around it and its role as a trade center. Hence, it has no single dominant religion, but is a home to people of many faiths. The dominant religions in this city are as follows: Erylon, Kolo, The Three Fates, Assytia, Semorjon, Daramis, Farzak, Drenmoragin, Imarus, Barrinor and Sarreth.

Economy

River Gate is a major trade center. A great deal of trade is conducted between Normidia, Avar, Uthran and Cyrell. Much of the trade is transported on the Strolling River and its many tributaries. Additional trade is carried on the roads connected many villages in the region who are all loyal to River Gate. The local towns and villages pay taxes to River Gate which, in turn, provides protection. River Gate controls all river traffic and taxes all barges. This helps money flow into River Gate's coffers. River Gate also produces the best boats and barges and these are sold to the other nations, both up and down river.

Beyond boat building and trade tariffs, River Gate is mainly a fishing town.

Upper Market

The Upper Market refers to an open air market in the upper city that is spread out on a large stone plaza. The plaza is surrounded by small stores and shops. Once each week, the plaza becomes a festive place with food carts, flowers, fresh food and beautiful trinkets and baubles sold from decorative booths and stalls.

Lower Market

The Lower Market is the lower town's monthly market. It is held in a large huge square floating platform that is anchored down between three of the great stone pillars. A number of bridges connect it to the surrounding pylons and piers. On market day it fills with tables, booths, stalls and goods spread out on blankets. Wares are also sold directly from boats and barges. The whole area becomes a busy festival of bartering and thievery.

 

Guilds and Organizations

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Important People

Doriath Mosk, Lord Mayor of River Gate

The Lord Mayor Doriath Mosk is a respected elder human. He has broad shoulders, a neatly trimmed white beard and sparkling grey eyes. He is in excellent physical condition despite his advanced years. He is easily recognized by his soft, rasping voice which is a pleasure to listen to and often spins yarns late into the night. He is a widow with no children.  Doriath is very proud of his city and hopes to make it a shining city of culture that will rival Vogue, Ithell and Arcanum. Part of his plans including strengthening the military, increasing taxes on river traffic and making the city more racially tolerant.

Argus Gannaway, City Engineer

Argus Gannaway is the chief city engineer. He is responsible for maintaining the architecture and mechanisms of the city. He maintains a small staff, but does a lot of the work himself. He is always busy as there is always something to fix. Argus has three daughters. His wife died seven years ago giving birth to the youngest.

 

Culture

Because of its location, River Gate's population is a mix of human, dwarven and grumman. Elves, orcs, ogres, corvenians and avarians pass through often as well. The occasional bathynian, sayune and even phellysian is not unheard of.

River Gate is not a wealthy city, but is generally prosperous and peaceful. It's culture is a blend as well, most heavily influenced by the north.

City Districts

River Gate has only two clearly defined city districts - the Upper City and the Lower City.

Monuments and Public Spaces

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Architecture and Infrastructure

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Crime

There is far more crime in the lower city than the upper city.

The Upper City

Name and Proprietor Description
Cove
Chellain
Inn - The Cove is the largest and most luxurious inn in River Gate. This building stands on stilts out over the waters of the lake next to the docks. It has very comfortable (and expensive) rooms  varying from 5 silver swords per night (for one single room) to 5 gold per night (for a master suite). It is run by a half-elf named Chellain and his family.
Silk House, The
Erias Prethai
Brothel - This small brothel (only 4 working girls) is the very model of discretion. Although the local upper citizens are aware of its existence, it is not generally discussed in polite company. It caters only to the wealthy, both local regulars and visiting travelers. The Silk House appears as a large private stone house on the outside surrounded by high walls. Erias, the beautiful half elven lady who runs the establishment, is rumored to be a relative of elven royalty in Cyrell.
House of Soil
Grygor
Farmers Guild - The Brethren of the Soil is the name of the farmers guild. Their meeting hall is called simply the House of Soil. This building serves as a gathering hall, a feed and grain store and a small apothecary. One can purchase all manner of farming tools, grains, seeds, flowers, plants, herbs, wine, tobacco, basic foodstuffs and the occasional farm animal. This large building sits in the center of the city, away from the lake shore.
Edge, The
Dromilov
Smithy - Blacksmith shop. A respected smith, Dromilov is a large, fat man with a shaven head and long moustache. He is the best smith in the surrounding area, having learned from dwarven masters at Forge. He has three sons, all of which aid him in his work.
Water's Reflection
Skora Ulan
Gambling Hall/Tavern/Inn - A large four story establishment is a little bit of everything. It has a large kitchen and dining area where it serves a variety of foods including the house speciality - an herb rubbed rack of lamb. It also has 30 private rooms that it lets out. A second dining area is devoted to gambling. This building sits out in the waters of the lake on stilts. It is run by a group of two dwarves and two humans that built the place with the treasure they recovered from an adventure some years ago that took them deep into the Dragon Claw Mountains.

The Lower City

Name and Proprietor Description
Cove
Chellain
Inn - The Cove is the largest and most luxurious inn in River Gate. This building stands on stilts out over the waters of the lake next to the docks. It has very comfortable (and expensive) rooms  varying from 5 silver swords per night (for one single room) to 5 gold per night (for a master suite). It is run by a half-elf named Chellain and his family.
Footsore Inn
Nok Twar
Inn - The Footsore Inn is a smaller inn that caters to foreigners and travelers, especially those who might be turned away by the other inns. It also has a good tavern. Bar fights are common as the clientele is sometimes less than civilized. Ogres, bathyns, phellysians and sometimes even orcs may be found staying here. This small inn sits on the lake shore and one wing stretches out over the water, standing on stilts, as do several of the buildings in this city. Rooms are small and cheap, but the food is good.
Drifting Boat
Kyra Mellev
Trading Post - The Drifting Boat is the general store and trading post of River Gate. This four story building sits on the lake shore and sells every item imaginable along with a variety of small boats, sailboats and nautical equipment. This establishment also rents boats on a daily basis.
Drunken Dragon
Sinadrian Finn
Tavern - A very large and popular tavern. Run by a tall, red haired half-Bathyn who is exiled from his homeland for reasons he will not speak of. A great blade hangs on the wall above the bar. Notches in its edge speak of great battles patrons can only guess at and its intimidating presence helps keep the peace. Sinadrian's daughter, a 17 year old red haired beauty, serves drinks and food. Sinadrian tolerates no indiscretions when it comes to his one and only daughter.

Knead and Feed
Lathos

Bakery - A family run bakery and tavern specializing in baked goods. This establishment is run by an obese man named Lathos, his brother Kroon, his wife Talia and their three sons and three daughters. The Knead and Feed is a large three story wooden building nestled at the edge of the lower city. It sits right at the water's edge. In fact, half the establishment sits out over the water on stilts. It has a large low back porch at water level to which boats can pull up and moor. Half othe clientele arrives by boat. The Knead and Feed is widely known for its fabulous crab chowder which is made from a local species of freshwater crab. It pairs nicely with a loaf of fresh bread, piping hot from the oven.
Billowing Canvas
Cumara Tyr
Leather and Garment Store - The Billowing Canvas is a large leather and garment shop built in an old barn. Here, three sisters make and mend all manner of clothing. The oldest sister, Cumara, who runs the establishment, also makes and repairs several forms of armor - leather, chain, studded, etc. The establishment is guarded by two large guard dogs.
Bit and Bridle, The
Gelek
Horse Ranch - Just outside of town, one can find a large ranch named the Bit and Bridle with over 35 acres. Here, Gelek, a human woodsmen, raises horses and other animals for sale. Gelek is good friends with Sindarian Finn and some say Gelek has bathyn blood in him. However, Gelek is a short man with curly hair and has the soft, round face of a grum.
House of Soil
Grygor
Farmers Guild - The Brethren of the Soil is the name of the farmers guild. Their meeting hall is called simply the House of Soil. This building serves as a gathering hall, a feed and grain store and a small apothecary. One can purchase all manner of farming tools, grains, seeds, flowers, plants, herbs, wine, tobacco, basic foodstuffs and the occasional farm animal. This large building sits in the center of the city, away from the lake shore.
Edge, The
Dromilov
Smithy - Blacksmith shop. A respected smith, Dromilov is a large, fat man with a shaven head and long moustache. He is the best smith in the surrounding area, having learned from dwarven masters at Forge. He has three sons, all of which aid him in his work.
Water's Reflection
Skora Ulan
Gambling Hall/Tavern/Inn - A large four story establishment is a little bit of everything. It has a large kitchen and dining area where it serves a variety of foods including the house speciality - an herb rubbed rack of lamb. It also has 30 private rooms that it lets out. A second dining area is devoted to gambling. This building sits out in the waters of the lake on stilts. It is run by a group of two dwarves and two humans that built the place with the treasure they recovered from an adventure some years ago that took them deep into the Dragon Claw Mountains.

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