"Some people will tell you there is more to life than
money. These people haven't been to Drakkel."
- Veshkin Maur, Speaker of the Hall of Guilds
|Ruler||His Most Resplendent Excellency, Lord of the Council of Guilds, Guardian of the Drakkellian Bazaar and Master of Coffers, Lord Tymok Ozzel|
|Demographics||Human 40%, Grum 18%, Dwarven 15%, Elven 10%, Ogre 5%, Orc 4%, Phellysian 4%, Avarian 3%, Baenite 1%|
|Languages||Southern 60%, Drakkellin 30%, Grumman 10%|
|Nationality||The Drakkellian Alliance|
|National Colors||Red, black and gold.|
|Natural Resources||Iron ore, copper, gold, silver, fish, lumber, medicinal herbs, fruits and vegetables, cotton, sheep, cattle, goats, granite, marble|
|Manufactured Goods and Major Exports||Weapons, armor, poisons and toxins, craftsmen, mercenaries, glassware, magical paraphernalia, literature, stonework, metal smithy work, handcrafted goods, thundermead.|
The city of Drakkel is a large, wealthy and powerful city that holds much political and military power in the south. It is one of the five major cities that, along with towns and a group of economic guilds, form an economic alliance. Situated at the mouth of the Merchant's Highway river and several trade roads, it is a major trade center. It's booming economy has made it a beacon of civilization. Drakkel is the largest of all the cities that form the Drakkellian Alliance and serves as the national capital.
Often called the "City of Coffers" and the "City of Coins", Drakkel is an opulent city with luxurious trappings on every wall and door, a spectacle of riches around every corner. There is a saying - "Drakkel wears its wealth on the outside". This undoubtedly refers to the architecture. Every building is adorned with columns, bas relief, sculptures, marble, gold leaf and other expensive touches. Between buildings, one will find statues, parks, gardens, cobblestone walkways, reflecting pools, sculpted shrubbery, fountains and elaborate gateways. It is quite obvious that this city has been methodically planned out and unashamedly crafted for one specific goal - to boast its wealth. And at this, the city planners have succeeded.
Although the Traxx Legion was the last great nation still standing at the end of the Great War, the centuries of war had taken a toll on the Legion. The once mighty warrior nation had won the Great War at a terrible cost. So much of its resources had gone to the war that it did not have the strength to rebuild. Poverty and hunger were widespread. Bandits prowled the land hindering caravans and trade. Corruption crept into the legion at all levels and the chain of command throughout the military began to break down.
Three wealthy nobles took advantage of the fragmented economy. Duke Mallugar was a ruler of a small Traxx duchy to the east. Lord Leonis Madare was a wealthy landowner in the north and Master Ipron Kaynur was a powerful merchant and master of a guild. These three men united their wealth and resources. In the winter of 364 CY, these three men together purchased the tiny village of Drakkel and the snowy fields around it. History records that they purchased the village with a single Traxxian copper coin and the tales that explain that price are many. That single coin was later reclaimed and has been handed down through the generations as the most prized relic of Drakkellian lore.
The Traxx Legion suffered severe internal conflicts including struggles between the nobility and the military, struggles between different factions of the military and problems between the Traxx Legion and surrounding lands. Battles between the Traxx Legion and the orcs of the Sentinel Mountains continued. The town of Drakkel and its three noble leaders took advantage of this political and economic chaos, often selling weapons to both sides or playing one faction against another. In so doing, Drakkel filled its coffers even as the coffers of the Traxx Legion were emptied.
The three nobles took advantage of the fragmented economy of the Traxx Legion and united several guilds into a loose network of economic partnership. This helped optimize the flow of food, goods and money between the various towns. Caravans were guarded and badly needed food and crafted goods began to flow. Mercenaries were hired and organized and used to scare off bandit attacks. Trade quickly recovered.
In the fifth and sixth centuries, the Drakkellian Alliance grew in strength and became a viable economic entity working within and in cooperation with the Traxx Legion. The city of Drakkel itself swelled in size during this time as many refugees from the war torn Traxx Legion came to find work and stability.
In the summer of 771, a revolt among high ranking Traxxian officers against the nobility erupted leading to a full scale military coup. The ruling nobility were executed and control of the nation fell to petty warlords who fought amongst themselves. The Traxx Legion quickly began to dissolve into dozens of groups that waged war against each other.
The Drakkellian Alliance remained a strong economic force and held together even as the Traxxian government broke up around it. The Alliance sold weapons, food and other goods to opposing sides while remaining politically neutral. By playing different war lords against each other, the Drakkellian Alliance was able to stay out of the fighting while filling its coffers. The Alliance's wealth and influence grew greatly as it became the only group in the region with any real power.
In 797 CY, the Drakkellian Alliance, now a full and growing nation, began rebuilding the ruin of a Traxxian fortress so as to establish a strong military base on its eastern borders and defend itself against bandit raids from the bands roving the Sentinel Mountains which were becoming more common. Drakkel sent a small force of troops and craftsmen to rebuild and man this outpost.
In the fall of 1070 CY, the Drakkellian Alliance ordered the fortress to stand down. With the unification of several major orcish groups, several guild masters in Drakkel feared that having a military outpost so close to the orcish border would provoke full scale war rather than protect the peace and encourage economic relations. These guildmasters used their influence to sway the council and Drakkel soon ordered the soldiers to abandon the fortress and return home.
A coup quickly followed in the fortress. The administrators, merchants and leaders fled back to Drakkel, but the military leaders stayed. Ignoring the order to return home, the warriors declared themselves independent. The Drakkellian Alliance promptly severed all political ties with the fortress.
Today, the city of Drakkel is one of the largest, wealthiest and most powerful cities in all of Ithria. It leads all other towns and cities in the Alliance.
As with all cities in the Alliance, Drakkel is ruled by central ruler and a high council. However, Drakkel differs from the other four slightly. Here that central figure goes by the title High Lord and the city council is the Council of Guilds which rules the entire Alliance. Each Guild House has one representative sitting on the council. This council is led by the High Lord of the Council of Guilds, an office and title which is appointed by a popular vote of all council members. The High Lord is always chosen from one of the council representatives. There is, undoubtedly, all manner of political backstabbing and deal brokering that goes on behind closed doors just prior to such a vote. Upon being voted in, the High Lord severs all connections with his guild. This is a symbolic gesture of justice and fairness. Despite this tradition, the guild house from which the High Lord hails undoubtedly enjoys some fringe benefits. The position of High Lord is held for life.
House of Guilds
The House of Guilds is the main economic and political center of the city. It is the gathering place of the Council of Guilds. This tremendous building holds 420 chambers on four levels that wrap round numerous courtyards. Within these walls, many important decisions are made every day. Trade pacts, debates on taxation and zoning laws, and all manner of political backstabbing are to be found here. All branches of government, including the courts and magistrates, reside within this building.
The city guard of Drakkel consists of some 1500 men and women who proudly displayed the Drakkellian coat of arms on black and gold tunics worn over their armor. They patrol the streets in groups of four. Each group has three standard guard who are led by an officer. All four fight with long swords and shields and wear a suit of drakkellian banded plate - a half plate variant of overlapping metal plates over a mesh of loosely woven leather strips. This design maximizes air flow and creates a suit of armor that is fairly comfortable, even on hot summer days.
The leading officer of each group bears the title "magistrate". This individual is both a military officer and a legal official. Crimes in the city of Drakkel are usually punished with a hefty fine or a sentence of indentured servitude to the city for a specified amount of time. Such penalties are handed out by the magistrates right there on the streets. They are granted this authority by the city and it is rarely questioned. Of course, the magistrates must answer to the High Magistrate so their authority is rarely abused.
One of the three soldiers carries a long spear to which is attached a large, brightly colored black, gold and burgundy pennant. This makes the group easy to spot from a distance or through a crowd. While the city guard takes care of drunken brawls and petty theft, more often than not, they are called upon to settle disputes between buyers and sellers. The magistrates are skilled in bartering, appraising and jewelry so as to better settle such disputes.
The Drakkellian Ring Fortress
Unique for its architecture, the Ring Fortress is the home of the Drakkelian City Guard. It consists of a great ring shaped fortress, four levels tall, surrounding a 200 foot wide courtyard. Here the city guard lives and trains.
Guldremor is an infamous island prison a few kilometers from the port of Drakkel. It is the most famous and most feared prison in the Drakkellian Alliance. Even the threat of being sent to Guldremor is enough to break the most hardened criminal.
Because Drakkel is such an important trade city, it boasts a broad variety of temples. The largest temple in Drakkel is dedicated to the Drenmoragin, the Merchant King. That god's emphasis of trade, wealth and power meshes perfectly with the cutthroat business practices of Drakkel. However, there are also churches and temples to every one of the Elder Gods and Celestials. Minor shrines to the various Kindred Gods can be found here as well. Although they do not operate out in the open, there are shrines to the Dark Lords tucked away in discrete corners of the city and often, quite literally, under it.
The Great Bazaar
This is the largest and oldest continually active market center west of the empire. In fact, the market existed before the city itself did. It's a grand spectacle... Goods and services from all nations, cultures, anything that could ever be imagined can be found in abundance here. Vendors enjoy a reduced trade fee, to encourage the growth of new businesses. People from all the lands, even savages, can set up shop here as long as they've got something to sell. The Bazaar is open all hours of the day and every day of the year. Political upheavals and wars throughout history have not been able to stop it or even slow down the thousands of people who continually flock here. The Bazaar never, ever closes. It has been and will always be. The Bazaar is a circular area with three tiers, each inner tier being set 3 meters lower than the next. This gives the market a bowl shaped appearance and allows everyone to see the entire market place no matter where they stand. Flanking the Great Bazaar are a number of side markets. The side markets are smaller than the bazaar and each is focused on a specific commodity.
City Conscript Office
The city conscript office is little more than a small second story office above a large covered courtyard. It serves as a gathering place for those looking for employment. Whether militia duty, farm labor, skilled crafts or mercenary jobs, it will be posted here.
The City Drakkellian Mint
This daunting building of stone and iron contains several huge forges that craft the four types of coins upon which the Drakkellian Alliance economy is founded. Chunks of raw ore brought here by caravan from the mining villages in the region are stored in massive underground vaults. Seventy metal workers and craftsmen, almost a third of them dwarven, work here smelting, purifying and processing the ore into pure metals and forging coins. For many nobles, guildsman and business men, this place is as holy as any church or temple. The security of this place is maintained by a force of two hundred sentinels, several commanders and a trio of wizards who monitor and defend the building with powerful magic.
It is the guilds that wield the real power in the Drakkellian Alliance. It is the alliance of the guilds to which the national name refers. In every one of the major cities, most of the men who sit on the ruling councils are leaders of guilds. In the city of Drakkel, the Council of Guilds is entirely made up of guild leaders. Every guild has a single representative on the council. From this council, the High Lord is selected. There are dozens of guilds in the Alliance.
In addition to the economic guilds, there are a few special organizations:
Drakkellian Guild of Sorcery
The Drakkellian Guild of Sorcery is perhaps the greatest guild of mages in all of southern Ithria. Boasting almost one hundred members, the Guild is located in the heart of the city in a fortress known as Kaldrayden, a tremendous towering colossus of grey stone, jutting balconies and steep tiled roofs. Only members are allowed access to Kaldrayden (Kal-DRAY-den) and all of its 280 chambers which include various bed rooms, lounges, dining halls, kitchens, treasuries and armories.
The University of Drakkel
Drakkel maintains and helps fund a large and very successful university. Of course, tuition at this prestigious academy is outrageous and only wealthy businessmen can afford to send their sons to this school. The business school is the largest school in the university, but smaller schools to engineering, metaphysics, science, literature, mathematics, history and magic are maintained. The university emphasizes marketing, administration, oration, mathematics and other business related skills. It houses a small, but well maintained library with books covering all major subjects.
The Federated Craftsmen of Drakkel
The Federated Craftsmen of Drakkel is a large and wealthy organization that provides a social and economic club for skilled craftsmen who are not members of one of the ruling guild houses of the Drakkellian Alliance. It is very much an institution in the Drakkellian Alliance. The main guild house of this organization is located within the city of Drakkel but its geography influence ranges throughout the Drakkellian Alliance.
The Juggers are a loosely organized gang of young people who live on the streets. The members include orphans, runaway slaves, street urchins and pickpockets. They work with various other criminal gangs and underworld organizations. They mostly limit themselves to minor crimes, pickpocketing, running errands for other groups and so forth. The Juggers are the eyes and the ears of the streets. They often hear and see what's going on and pass that information on to other groups for a price. Some of the larger criminal groups employ them as spies from time to time. The informal leader of the Juggers is Marjak. He is a tall, thin young man with shaggy black hair and a neatly trimmed pointed beard. He is intelligent, witty and well-read. He wields words like a saber and can best anyone in verbal banter. He is not a skilled fighter and relies on his wits and charm to turn any situation to his advantage. He has a foppish appearance and displays effete mannerisms in order to stand out from the common ruffians that surround him. While physically weaker than many ruffians of the street, he uses charisma and charm to sway the gang to do his bidding. The Juggers numbers vary but is typically between 60 and 90 boys and girls with ages varying between 5 and 20. Marjak himself is 22.
Lord Tymok Ozzel
Lord Tymok Ozzel is an immensely fat, but good natured man. He is easily recognizable by his drooping mustache, balding head and deep belly laugh, which is heard often. He wears a gold ear ring in his left ear, which is quite the fashion throughout the south. He is overly fond of ale, fine food and wearing brightly colored clothing. Lord Ozzel is a shrewd businessman and a charismatic leader able to influence people with sweet words and play them against each other like pawns.
Sobidan, the Lord Magistrate
Sobidan is the highest ranking judge in the nation of Drakkel. He reigns supreme in matters of law. As such, he is often called upon to settle disputes between the Guild Houses and the Federated Craftsmen of Drakkel. Sobidan is an old man with snow white hair, a bushy white beard and a husky voice. He usually wears common clothes and a heavy knit sweater when home or about town. When working, Sobidan wears the thick, white cowled robes of his office. Sobidan has no family but many friends around town. He is known as a skill musician and chess player. Sobidan and Ozzel are good friends, constantly playing outrageous pranks on one another.
A fat, pasty-skinned beardless man that rules the Federated Craftsmen of Drakkel. He is well liked by most craftsmen in the community and respected by many guild members as well. Elok is somewhat paranoid of the guild leaders and always suspects the guilds of plotting and scheming against him. This is somewhat true. The guilds to plot and scheme, but usually against each other. Elok is a well organized man who carefully tracks the guilds, the flow of money into his coffers and the independent craftsmen of the city. Elok has a wife, three daughters and two sons. They dwell in a large stone house in the southern end of town near the docks.
Lord Saeg Tenney
Lord Saeg Tenney is the guild master of House Tenney, the fourth largest guild in the Alliance. House Tenney builds sea faring ships of all sizes and is the wealthiest of all guilds. Because of the sheer size of its product, only a dozen or so vessels are produced each year. His position at the helm of this guild has made him one of the wealthiest men in all the realms... certainly the richest man in the Drakkellian Alliance. Lord Tenney is a tall and well-built man of sixty years. He has long white hair which he always wears in a long braid and a thick beard which he keeps neatly trimmed. His clothing is expensive and well-cut, but never gaudy. Upon his broad shoulders he wears a dark blue cape trimmed in gold thread and fastened by a gold chain. Lord Tenney is a boisterous man, passionate about life and work, who laughs loud and often. His frequent lavish banquets (which he cooks himself) are thrown for friends and are the talk of the town. His frequent business travels have allowed him to make excellent contacts with governments and organizations in many other nations. He is immensely proud of the quality of his guild's ships and personally inspects each vessel before it is launched. Having been groomed as a shipbuilder from a young age by his father, Lord Tenney often pours over engineering designs with his shipwrights long into the night. During his free time, which he has precious little off, Lord Tenney enjoys sailing his own vessel, the Oaken Lilly. Lord Tenney, who wears quite a bit of wealth upon him, is always accompanied by four personal guards.
Tax Marshall Davros Bendri
The highest ranking tax official in the city of Drakkel. He rules over all over the many tax offices and a network of tax collectors.
Lord Straddoch, the Harbor Master
Lord Jon Straddoch rules over the harbor, but his influence extends beyond the waterway. He is seen as the unofficial mayor of the entire Harbor District. He is also a very wealthy man, a friend to many guild lords and a political heavyweight that holds a great deal of sway in city politics. He sets laws and policies in the harbor as well as working with Tax Marshall Bendri on taxes and tariffs. Lord Straddoch is a handsome older man with a greying red hair and trimmed beard. He is tall, lean man who usually wears a black sable doublet trimmed in gold and a black cape fastened at the shoulder by three "gold coin" buttons. He is a stern man with an unflinching gaze and an unshakeable aura of authority. He speaks in a slow, measured baritone voice.
One of the more powerful crime bosses in Drakkel with connections to multiple guilds and criminal organizations in the city. Rumored to be in opposition to the Company. Heydar Kein operates out of a small estate in the Eredyne district.
Jaedo Kanth, Guild Leader and Criminal Underlord
The very reclusive ruler of the Company. Little is known about him, except that he leads the largest and most successful criminal organization in the southlands.
Drakkel differs from other cities in Ithria. For one thing, it is a very clean city. The city maintains a brigade of workers whose sole function is to keep the streets clean and make repairs as necessary. This band of 186 commoners is paid by the city officials and takes great pride in their work. They are protected by the city guard and enjoy certain privileges about town.
Drakkel has a refined air about it. Unlike the posh civility and blatant snobbery of Vogue, Drakkel maintains order because it's good for business. There are beggars, pickpockets and such in Drakkel, but the city keeps a close eye on them. They are simply the lowest tier in a complex economic tapestry. The beggars and paupers of Drakkel have formed a social guild of sorts and even go so far as to hold meetings and share what little wealth they have among them. The city allows them this. There is another saying in Drakkel: "Poverty must exist so that the nobles may enjoy their wealth".
Drakkellian bartering is considered an art form. Drakkellians don't respect you if you can't barter well. There is even a School of Bartering. Some merchants hire licensed barterers who will barter for a merchant for a stiff fee. In the local slang, a hired barterer is a "sword tongue". Master sword-tongues are almost celebrities. Like lawyers, you need a good one for a major negotiation.
Drakkellian Debt Tattoos
Debt is a common thing in the Drakkellian Alliance. One of the most common penalties handed out by the courts to those who cannot pay their debts is to make the debtor an indentured servant to the individual, guild or business that is owed. Indentured servants are marked with a standardized tattoo glyph identifying their status as an indentured servant, their "owner" and the amount owned (which translates to a specific number of months or years until their bondage is complete). The tattoo is altered with the passage of time as the debt is paid off. Typically, if the debt of is owed to one of the ruling guilds, the symbol of that guild is incorporated into the tattoo.
Slaves in Drakkel are branded with the mark of the city (three circles, indicating the three coins of the Drakkellian standard).
Because Drakkel is a port city surrounded by arable land, it enjoys a great deal of sea food as well as produce and fresh meat from the farms and fruit and wine from local orchards. The people of Drakkel favor black rye, a dark bread with a soft texture. Onion soup is also very popular here.
A popular wine found throughout the Drakkellian Alliance is firewine, which is produced in the city of Ithell. Another potent and popular drink is Thundermead. This brew, made from fermented honey and spices, is strongly flavored and has an unusually powerful intoxicating effect. It is widely favored in the southern lands, especially the Drakkellian Alliance and the Pirate Isles. Thundermead is produced in the city of Drakkel and is exported.
Women tend to wear their hair long, but braided. The braids are worn in a variety of styles, the styles change each year. Highborn ladies often wear gowns adorned with fresh flower petals. Since this is very expensive, it is usually reserved for formal occasions. The current fashion for men is to wear a half skirt belted over the trousers.
Drakkel has many colorful local sayings that further illustrate the true nature of the city :
The Festival of the Coin
Once each year, a grand festival is held in the city of Drakkel wherein a wealthy noble and a pauper exchange places. It involves a large ceremony followed by a week long festival and a treasure hunt wherein the entire city searches for a legendary coin. Whoever finds the coin wins the wealth of a noble. This is the social highlight of the year, drawing people from all over the Drakellian Alliance.
Possibly the largest and most complex sporting event in all the lands, this game is unique to the capital city of Drakkel. It is a complex, competitive team sport known for mixing strategy with intense physical play. The game is fought ( quite literally) between two teams, each with their own flag tower and three flags. The winner is the first team to caputre the other team's three flags. Kalgamorra is famous for its playing field which changes during the game through extensive use of magic. It's also beloved because the rules are intricately interwoven with the culture of the city in such a way that it could not be played anywhere else.
Raljath is a popular gambling game played with cards and dice.
The city of Drakkel is divided up into twelve districts. Most of them have a common name (such as "The Market District") used in everyday conversation and on the street. Each district also has a more formal, historical name which is used in legal and historical documents.
The Lord's District (Prythel)
This Lord's District envelops a hill at the south side of the harbor mouth. Overlooking the rest of the city is the House of Guilds, the seat of government of the city. Surrounding this magnificent keep is the legendary Ring Fortress of Drakkel. The City Mint and City Archives both lie within this district under heavy guard. It is also home to some of the wealthiest guild masters and nobles whose mansions are surrounded by gardens and manicured lawns of grass. The district is said to get its formal name from prythelene, a rare silvery metal which adorns certain parts of the government buildings.
The Noble's District (Towerbright)
The Noble's District is home to many of wealthy guild masters and their families. The district of Towerbright includes numerous palatial estates, magnificent stone homes, statues and parks. A number of the buildings here are three or four stories tall, giving the district it's formal name. It is home to the Drakkellian Preserve which houses rare and exotic plants and animals. It is also where one can find the House of Bards and the House of Play. Towerbright holds a small number of establishments of high social standing. This includes the Rolling Coin which serves as a bank, money changers and jeweler. One can also find wine, art and expensive crafted goods here.
The Academic District (Lorescrye)
A small, upper class district which is dominated by the University of Drakkel. Towering over this district is the immense Drakkellian Guild of Sorcery. Several wealthy nobles live here along with a few business that cater to scholars and other people of education.
The Gods District (Domerund)
This district houses most of the largest temples and churches of the city. This district is also home to a wide variety of people who directly serve the churches - priests, monks, devotees, servants and slaves.
The Guild District (Copperton)
Copperton is known as the Guild District because many of the ruling guilds have their great guild halls located here. A number of smaller homes, apartment buildings, inns and taverns can also be found here, nestled between the guild houses. Copperton gets it name from the three copper guilds, which are some of the oldest guilds in the city. Originally known as "Copper Town", over the centuries, it has been shortened to "Copperton".
The Park District (Arberus)
A moderately wealthy and beautiful section of town dominated by parks. Drakkel's elven population lives mostly in this district.
The Common District (Damerus)
A huge and sprawling district that dominates the eastern half of the city. It is the largest district of the city. It is a mix of homes and business of low to modest income.
The Market District (Eshval)
Perhaps the most famous of all the districts. The Market District is named so because it is home to the legendary Great Bazaar, in addition to many very active shopping plazas, guild stores, merchants, craftsmen and shoppes. Mixed in with the various places of business are homes, apartments, inns and taverns. The Market District is also home to the Great Arena which towers over all other buildings around it.
The West Quarter
Another large and district of the city which is home to many of the poorest inhabitants. Named for its location and the fact that it houses almost a quarter of the entire city population.
The Harbor District (Porthus)
Although not a true district, the harbor and the docks and businessess that sit along the shore are often referred to as "the Harbor District". Here one may find the harbor and waterfront, many docks and piers, ships coming and going, several shipyards, repair facilities and a few aging warehouses. Scattered throughout the district are many cheap taverns, inns, apartment buildings, residences and workhouses (where many of the dockhands sleep).
Beggartown refers collectively to the squalid maze of shacks, tents and other structures that have sprung up outside the city walls of Drakkel and upstream along the banks of the Merchant's Highway river.
The Jewel Fountain
Like many other things in Drakkel, this spectacle is overly decorative. This magically enchanted marble fountain sprays glittering jewels and gemstones instead of common water. Rubies, sapphires, emeralds, amethysts, diamonds are mingled with waterstones, sunstones, blood opals and firestones. These precious rocks fall into a basin where they vanish only to shoot out of the top again. A quick eye and a quicker hand can pluck one of these prizes from the fountain. If such a stolen gem is studied, the jeweler will find that the gemstone is real. However, any stolen gemstones magically change into ordinary stone within minutes of being taken. Businesses near the Jewel Fountain are wary of those who pay with gems and will normally wait several minutes to make sure they are not being duped.
The Maiden's Embrace
The Maiden's Embrace is a massive statue of a maiden and a dragon embracing. It is fashioned from marble and stands 6 meters tall (almost 20 ft). A fountain is incorporated into the statue such that the dragon is "breathing fire". This statue fountain sits at the river port greeting river traffic.
Along one side of the Great Bazaar in Drakkel is a row of gambling dens known as Gambler's Row. This very popular group of businesses is open day and night, just like the Great Bazarr. Many gambling games are held out in front of their respective dens, under the open sky. All manner of games are played here - chess, cards, raljath and others.
The Long Walk
The "Long Walk" refers to the longest road in the city of Drakkel. It runs from the Plaza of Mallugar at the northeasten gate all the way down to the Arena. The Long Walk is used for all manner of parades, festivals and social events. Teams heading toward the Arena for a kalgamorra game march down the Long Walk as well.
Plaza of Mallagur
The Plaza of Mallagur is one of the largest plaza in the city, near the center of the Guild District. A massive central fountain surrounds a forty foot marble statue of Duke Mallugar, the chief founder of the city.
The largest park in the city. This was once a large stone and clay quarry, notable for exceptionally fine clay. It was converted into a garden more than a century ago. It spans several acres of forest and dense garden with multiple clearings. It is also home to dozens of statues and rare trees and flowers. Reynard's Rest is located in the Common District in the far southeast corner of the city.
The Great War Monument
A huge and impressive sculpture, surrounded by fountains, that depicts various battles of the Great War from more than two millenia ago.
The Plaza of Spires
At the corners of this plaza are four great spires, the Elemental Spires, one each dedicated to the four elements - air, earth, fire and water.
The Drakkellian Preserve
This is a walled section of town devoted to the preservation of exotic plants and animals. It is a biological preserve, zoo and garden filled with plants and animals brought from around the realms. It is, in many ways, an expensive playground for the wealthy. Most of the city can not afford the 5 gold piece entry fee. Some of the nobles who are avid hunters have managed to capture animals for the preserve and they enjoy seeing their prizes on display. There are a few dangerous animals kept here including shimmercats, krallinar, dragon hounds and a mated pair of firedrakes. The jewel of the preserve is a full grown male torgat which arrived last year.
The Nine Keys
The "Nine Keys" refer to the nine large gatehouses which control the main roads and waterways into Drakkel. These houses control the flow of traffic into the city. If those seeking entrance seem to be financially capable of either buying, trading, or selling, they are charged a silver noble per person as an admission fee and wished a pleasant day. This weeding out process is one of the reasons that Drakkel proper enjoys such a low poverty rate for a city its size. The very poor or unproductive are simply not tolerated, and every effort is made by the city to send them on their way.
The Twin Beacons of Porthus
Twin lighthouses of great size sit on either side of the mouth of the great Drakkellian harbor. Each sits at the end of a long rocky spit of land. These spits keep the waters calm within the harbor . A great pyre of oil soaked wood burn on the top of each lighthouse which are lit each night and extinguished every dawn.
The River Gate
The Merchant's Highway river enters the river on the east side. The River Gate is a massive ornate copper portcullis, green with corrosion and algae. This enormous portcullis raises and lowers in tracks built in to two large stone towers (two of the Keys actually) that flank the river, allow river traffic into the city. The gate is almost always open and only closes under special circumstances.
Located between West Quarter and the Market District, there is a black market that sells all manner of underworld goods. Poisons, slaves, assassinations, smugglers, torture implements and worse are all sold here. The most depraved and terrible horrors are sold here. Hell's Market is subterranean network of halls and corridors crowded with booths, stalls and patrons. Hell's Market is the darkest corner of Drakkel... the black heart of a corrupt city. Most citizens have heard stories about Hell's Market, but decent folk steer clear of it. The Drakkellian government ignores Hell's Market, essentially pretending that it doesn't exist.
The largest criminal organization operating in the southlands of Ithria is known simply as the Company. It is loosely organized network of groups, guilds, smugglers, thieves, informants and crime bosses. Usually the various subguilds of the Company work together toward common goals, but sometimes different guilds will operate independently.
The Obsidian Guard
A thieves guild that operates as part of the Company. It operates a winery as its cover just outside of the city of Drakkell.
The Gutter Rats
The Gutter Rats are a large and fairly well organized gang of street urchins, beggars and thieves. Most of them are orphans between the ages of 8 and 18. They work together, share resources and protect each other. The size of the group varies from month to month, but is estimated to be around 200 children. This gang runs wild in the streets of Drakkel. They follow no laws but their own. They try to stay out of the way of the city guard.
Bordering the side markets of the Bazaar and the harbor is a cluster of ancient warehouses that form a veritable maze, hence the name. Winding between these massive buildings is a convoluted network of narrow alleyways. It's easy to get lost here. These alleyways are dangerous at night, as they are favored by thieves and gangs. During the day, one will find drunks sleeping off their drink, shady deals being made and various petty criminals hiding from the city guard. Hidden within the Maze are several entrances to Hell's Market.
|Name and Proprietor||Description|
|Inn - One of the older and larger inns in Drakkel, the Dancing Mule (formerly called The Rat and Noble) was recently bought out by a man who owns three other taverns of the same name in the Drakkellian villages of Barter, Westport, and Price. Madrul, a cold and remorseless entrepreneur, dictates that his four inns serve the same fare, and the same ales in the bar. The original patrons of The Rat and Noble's tavern balked at the change, but eventually resigned themselves to still frequent the place rather than actively search for a new place to go. Business in the inn has actually increased as travelers, who are familiar with the other identical inns, decide to stick with familiarity and stay at the Dancing Mule. Madrul's business contemporaries never thought his plans would work out, but now agree that he may be onto something. In the last two years, Madrul has suddenly become one of Drakkel's ten richest men.|
|Tavern - The Cracked Mug Tavern is large tavern near the Bazaar. It has a good basic foodstuffs and a number of ales. The Cracked Mug also claims to have the best venison pie in the city. There is a large central dining room and a large outside deck that overlooks the streets and a plaza below. The Cracked Mug is run by Martin Preese, a wiry, red haired man who inherited the place from his deceased father. His wife Mera handles the paperwork and his three daughters serve patrons. Martin's brother, Kef, a huge obese man, also lives with the family. Kef does most of the cooking and it is his venison pie (his own recipe) which is so loved by patrons.|
|Tavern/Inn - This unique
establishment is actually a ship which is permanently moored at the city
docks. Several years ago, a huge cargo ship suffered severe damage during a
sea storm. Unable to afford the repairs necessary to make her seaworthy
again, the captain sold her to a local businessman who converted her into
Drakkel's first floating restaurant. After a great deal of modification and
reconstruction, this enormous ship has now found new life as a floating inn.
The establishment has become quite popular with the local dockhands and
The Wounded Keel features a large common room, a well stocked kitchen and eight rooms for rent. While seafaring ships are not normally spacious inside, this was a particularly large vessel and the doors and corridors have been refitted to allow some roominess.
The proprietor of the Wounded Keel is a man named Tavinus. He is a cripple and gets around in a small wheelbarrow which is pushed by Dreskin, his bodyguard. Dreskin is a small man, but is fast with a blade and not afraid to use it.
The Wounded Keel is frequented by thieves and other criminals. Tavinus himself is a former thief and knows a great deal about what is going on in Drakkel's underworld.
|The Pig and Thistle
|Tavern - Run by a maternal grum lady named Thistle. The Pig and Thistle is a small tavern named after its signature dish. The cook makes a fabulous spiced pork dish that many of the regulars ask for. Thistle knows many of the grum in Drakkel and much of her clientele is grum.|
|White Wolf Tavern
|Tavern - A popular tavern in run by a half blind dwargrum (dwarf grum mix) who often sits by the fire, plucks at a lyre and tells tales to entertain the patrons. The pelt of a great white wolf hangs above the hearth and Magnus has quite a tale to go with it.|
|The Weary Grum
|Tavern - This is a very small tavern run by the old grum named Fallrun (and the name of the tavern likely refers to him). He is a widower and has no children. He works here alone and does all the cooking and cleaning. It has a main dining room and a small private room in the back. Fallrun brews his own ale, cooks meals, serves drinks and generally takes care of his customers.|
|The Drowned Rat Tavern
Mule and Merrick
|Tavern - A small seedy tavern down by the docks in the Porthus district. The Drowned Rat is run by a pair of ex thieves - a muscular half orc named Mule and a little wiry human named Merrick. These two are old adventuring pals who survived a mission which wiped out their entire party. They managed to escape from a gruesome fate (just barely) with the lives and a fabulous jewel which, at the time, was in the stomach of a drowned rat. The two adventurers retired and used the jewel to buy themselves this small tavern. It is a tale that Merrick likes to tell often to anyone who will listen. Merrick is the talkative one who serves drinks at the bar. Mule cooks and also serves as bouncer. His great sword hangs above the bar. Mule keeps a close eye on customers and always seems to be expecting trouble. Gulesha is an ugly redheaded half grum who cleans and helps around the place. Besides food and drink, they have six tiny rooms for rent. This place has greasy food, watered down ale and poor locks. Most of the clientele are mariners and dockworkers. Thieves are common here.|
| The Red Trident Tavern
|Tavern/Inn - The Red Trident Tavern is a large and boisterous tavern with many connections to local criminal groups and some of the more shady and unethical guild houses.|
|The Stone Lady Inn
|Inn - Th Stone Lady Inn is a large, clean and secure inn in the Copperton district. It offers good food and fine rooms at affordable prices. Due to past events, there is something of a feud going on between this inn and one of the wealthier guilds.|
|Name and Proprietor||Description|
|Gambling Hall - This infamous gambling house is known for being the place where a young Normidian prince is rumored to have entered with a smug expression on his face and a good deal of his family's fortune in tow. He emerged two hours later severely embarrassed, and as the new property of the Drakkellian Slaver's Guild. By the time the Normidian King received word of this in Tykron, the young prince was digging latrines in the Ice Rock mountains.The King was so angry that he very nearly declared war on the Drakkellian Alliance.( An amusing notion, since Drakkel has no political enemies.) After his ire subsided, the King decided to do the only proper thing...he declared his brave and noble son dead in a freak boating accident. The nation of Normidia mourned for a month. Rumors in Drakkel, however, report that the prince is in chains to this day, unable to convince anyone who he is, cursing the dice in his sleep.|
|Brothel - A rather unique brothel on the east side of town run by the Slaver's Guild. The girls (and boys) available here are all slaves, mostly from Myria. The establishment is almost like a specific type of slave auction, where clients can pay for an hour or so of companionship, and if suitably impressed, can pay for ownership of their companion. The Raven Mistress is located just down the street from the Slaver Main House, and is notable for it's very tasteful decor, considering who runs it.|
Leo Five Pint
|Trading Post - The Grum Leo Five Pint runs this very successful trading post, not only because of his uncanny ability to always seem to have what people need at just the right time, but also because of the extras... he's trained his well-paid staff to double as scribes and messengers, guide and clerks for travelers making their way through the city. While selling basic items to folk, he can get a sense of their needs in town, and then refer them to one of his stockboys for additional help.(and an additional fee) He's also drafted a series of "Leo's Market Maps", helpful guides to the bazaar which can help navigate strangers through it, pointing out both good deals and cheats to avoid. He's made hundreds of copies on a real Kalimuran printing press that he hides in the back. Leo's guides have become so popular that he's actually been attacked by disgruntled vendors that he's publicly dismissed as cheats. It's a good thing that most of the targets of his poison pen can't read, he jokes, or he'd be in real trouble. His inventiveness and preparation for every contingency have made him a very rich little man.|
|Apothecary - People have been wondering about this establishment lately. Manesir, an old hedge wizard has owned The Brewing Pot for almost thirty years. Some time ago, Manesir was very sick and had the shop closed for weeks. Longtime friends reported that the old man seemed to be on death's door. Then, suddenly, Manesir showed up for work the next day, apparently feeling fine, and after an hour of tidying up was again open for business. Since his recent recovery, customers have noticed some changes in his personality. He never haggles anymore, seeming almost desperate to make every sale. He also seems not to know as much about his wares. Perhaps he's getting rusty. At any rate, his regulars still shop there, and continue to compare notes with each other about the old man's sudden eccentricities.|
|Drakkellian Labor Guild Recruiting
|Guild Hall - This is the larger of two recruiting stations for the Company's slaver division. The other one is in Asylum. Here, a young man with a strong back and prospects for the future will find himself bombarded with pro-Labor Guild propaganda. Guildsman Leoffe seems very enthusiastic about his job, and will cite the numerous benefits to a career in the Slaver industry: Excellent pay, being able to journey to exotic lands. The illustrated sign above the desk depicts a heroic looking young man with his out-drawn broadsword pointing towards the setting sun. The slogan written on the sign in large, friendly letters says it all: "The Slaver Way... Road to Adventure!"|
|House of Bards
|Playhouse/Theatre - This huge building houses Drakkel's largest theatre. The theatre has a soaring ceiling supported by four tremendous granite pillars. It seats 1,600 people. It is open every evening and something is always going on. Troubadours and minstrels can be found here every night playing alone or in small groups. In addition, a full scale play is put on for four consecutive nights twice each month. The House of Bards is definitely the playground of the wealthy. Nobles and guild masters will flock here on opening night to show off their wealth, model their latest clothes and sip fantastically expensive wine. It is a place where many business deals are struck during intermission. Because of the wealth of the clientele, a security force of 10 full time guards is maintained to deter pickpockets.|
|The Hall of the Ages
|Library/Museum - Jonas Sklar is a strange looking man. He is very tall and thin with a slightly elongated skull and ashen skin. Some say that his father was something not quite human, but exactly what is up for debate. Jonas maintains a wonderful library which houses not only books, but fossils, unearthed treasures from ruins, strange curios, forgotten bits of lore, rare relics and more. There is nothing magical here and very little of value, hence much of the city (including thieves and businessmen) ignore Jonas and his little museum. However, for the few scholars, sages and academicians in Drakkel, this is the best place to translate runes, search through musty old maps, conduct sagely research and socialize with like minded folk.|
|Jewelry Shop/Money Changer - Bernard Stone is a balding human male with a thick mustache. He and his wife run a small jewelry shop. Because of its location next to the main city gate, he also does a lot of business exchanging currency. For regular customers and clients, he will also store items in his vault for a monthly fee.|
|Torag's Last Bet
|Gambling House - Run by a beautiful young human woman who won the entire establishment in a bet against an half-orc captain named Torag some seven years ago in a game of cards. Upon losing the bet, Torag drew his sword and leapt over the table at the girl. He screamed to assembled crowd that no one could ever beat Torag, especially not a woman - she must have cheated. He would have gutted the defenseless human female except that his own orcish lieutenant leapt to the girl's defense. A battle erupted and within seconds Torag lay dead, slain by his own men. The lieutenant, named Bretang, who had led the group, stated to the awed-struck room that he could not allow his captain to betray honor. He did what he felt was right. Murron took charge of the bar and Bretang stayed on as her bouncer. To this day, the bloody sword that took Torag's head is mounted above the bar and orcs are welcome in this establishment. This one event did much to smooth human-orc relationships in Drakkel. Torag's Last Bet is in the south quarter by the docks. both orc and human mariners and soldiers frequent this establishment. They all love Murron whom the regulars have "adopted" as a sister. This establishment also serves food and drink. This establishment serves an excellent bear batter fish with a recipe that the in-house cook devised himself.|
|Pawn Shop - Rengal's Relics is the largest independently owned antique shop in Drakkel. It is entirely confined within an aging keep which is filled with trinkets and relics from all over. Most of the business and bartering takes place in the central courtyard of this building. Rengal, a fat and bald dwarf with an eye patch, is the confident ruler of this tiny realm. He runs a staff of 6 helpers. A great deal of his merchandise is stolen. Rengal serves as the primary fence for one of the local thieves guilds and they often lay low at Rengal's place to avoid the city guard.|
|Dim Jon's Festhall
|Festival Hall - Dim Jon is a giant of a man (actually half ogre) who built this grand hall by rebuilding a ruin brick by brick over seven years. It is now a well maintained place of gathering for anyone with enough gold. Commoners will often pool their meager funds together to rent the hall out for a wedding or funeral.|
|Public Storage Warehouse - Large storage facility which is open to the public for monthly rental fee. Controlled by Stark, an independent businessman. Not affiliated with any of the ruling guilds. Stark's Keeping also has several large vaults for storing valuables, though this costs extra.|
|The Piping Oven
|Bakery - A popular bakery with twelve ovens. Kurl, the master baker and five apprentices. Kurl had the honor of once baking the Coin into a loaf of bread for the Festival of the Coin. He was sworn to secrecy.|
|The Beautiful Slave
The Lady Anattia
|Brothel - This is a very
expensive, exotic and sophisticated brothel run by a beautiful and wealthy
courtesan. It is a large four story building with over 40 private rooms,
several conference rooms, one large central hall (where strip shows occur),
a kitchen, store room and stables. In the lower levels the dungeons are
equipped with racks, whips and paddles for those whose sexual appetites
range to the extreme. This establishment has its own dock making it possible for a ship to dock directly at the brothel. The peace is kept by several muscle bound bouncers who
will take care of anyone who gets rough with the girls. Thirty prostitutes, ten
guards and ten general laborers are employed here.
The owner and operator of this establishment, Anattia, is a striking woman with deep brown eyes and luxurious, long black hair. She can always be found here at her club, making sure that everyone is having a good time. She is part hostess, part business woman and part entertainer. She enjoys occasionally putting on sensuous dances for the crowds and driving the men wild with desire. However, only the wealthiest men can afford her and, even then, she is selective about whom she will take into her bed. She is very fond of male companionship and takes a different man to bed every night. Sometimes she will bed several men in a single night, two or three at a time. Her appetite for carnal pleasures is, shall we say, insatiable. Anattia carries a single jeweled dagger, which is said to be ensorcelled with powerful magic. She has a belly button ring and wears very little. Nudity is a common thing in this house of sinful pleasures.
|Wind and Tide Boat Shop
|Nautical Shoppe - A small shop that sells bait and tackle, repair materials for small boats, oars, canvas, rope, tar, buckets, paddles and everything else one could need for a small sailing vessel.|
|Winery - The city of Drakkel has its own private label wine called Black Tuma and its history is something of a local legend. In the west quarter of the city, there is large winery which was founded by a grumman winemaker named Buttlebar. This ingenious little winemaker crafted a unique wine called Black Tuma, a remarkable very dark sweet red wine, made from a blend of local berries. The wine, renowned for its very dark burgundy color, rich character and sweet taste, became quite popular among city officials and was served at state functions and at the city hall. The recipe for this stout dark red wine was kept a close secret. Ten years ago, a fire broke out in the building, Buttlebar was killed and the secret recipe of Black Tuma was lost. Buttlebar's son Farigun, struggled to keep the winery in operation despite the loss of its best selling product. However, three years ago, Farigun discovered a secret door that led to an unknown chamber where, apparently, Buttlebar had kept his notes. Within this underground chamber, Farigun found the notes for the recipes and distillation processes used to make Black Tuma. Since then, the winery has enjoyed a resurgence of business as the Black Tuma label wine has been put back on the market. Lord Ozzel himself loves Black Tuma wine and serves it at all official state functions. The government purchases more than half of the Black Tuma label and has "adopted" it as the official wine of Drakkel. Black Tuma is culturally associated with Drakkel far and wide.|
|House of Play
|Public Bathhouse and Social Club -
A large public
bathing hall for discerning clientele. It costs 2 silver pieces just to
enter the door (for non members). Members pay a monthly fee and enjoy
reduced rates. Fabulous food, private baths, meeting rooms, massage,
courtesans, expensive wines and rare drugs are all available for a price.
Marulek is a fat and balding man with a long, thick, elaborately waxed and adorned mustache. He has a helmet adorned with feathers that look like wings for ears. He is a shrewd business man and charming host, able to part a visitor from their money with honeyed words. Because of this talent with people and words, he is a wealthy man who also has many underworld connections. His bathing hall is opulent and decadent. It’s construction involves many rare and expensive materials.
|Far Fetched Imports
|Curio Shoppe - This store is owned and operated by House Qaigen, one of the ruling guilds of Drakkel. That guild specializes in curios and imports from distant lands and this is one of the main outlets of the guild where many of the more interesting items are sold. Run by Samil Baratyn, a ranking guild member. Samil is of unique origin, the orphaned product of an anquaran father and a myrian mother who was raised by sea gypsies for much of his life. Because of this unique background, he speaks several languages found in the south seas.|
|Residential Building - Cheap House is one of many large buildings that rent out rooms on a monthly basis, which is somewhat common in Drakkel. Cheap House is one of the average residential buildings in Porthus District. Some six common rooms and 48 private rooms are crammed within its crumbling walls. One small room here will cost 1 silver per month and consists of a cot and a door with a simple locking bolt. The common room (where many people sleep and forego privacy) costs one iron petty per night.|
Hyker's Mending Hall
|Hospital - This establishment tends to the injured and sick of the city using mundane (non-magical) methods. It is run by a group of healers who use no magic whatsoever... only natural remedies and caring hands. They tend to broken bones and fevers every day. For those who cannot afford magical healing, this place may offer some relief of suffering. This establishment, receiving meager funds from the city government, but is still barely able to make ends meet. Healing here is not free, but it is cheap, and brings basic medical care within reach of much of the city. This run down building is crumbling (sometimes literally) around the healers and their patients. Disease is a problem and they have a problem with blood roaches, rats and other pests. However, it is better than nothing at all and the healers who work here (most of them volunteers from the local churches and shrines) do remarkably well with very little. This place is in Domerund District. Run by a human male named Hyker, once a knight, who came from the north, having forsaken his vows and left his order to tend to the meek and poverty stricken of the world.|
|Arena - A privately owned arena that seats about 7,000 people. This place hosts a variety of events, both lethal and non-lethal to rowdy crowds who pay well for the entertainment. Fierce betting surrounds these matches and fortunes can be made or lost on a single sword thrust. The house taxes any winnings. This place also makes a profit on marked up ale and food. Run by a grizzled half-orc with a checkered past who has, at one time or another, been a bandit, a pirate and a gladiator. Sayban has close ties with several local thieves guilds and will take bribes to fix fights (usually aiding one gladiator or another), dispose of bodies (by feeding them to the beasts below) and a variety of other dishonorable acts. Sayban has a wizard on his staff who ensures that no one uses magic to fix a fight but him.|
|The West Quarter
|Residential Building - A low income slums apartment building run by a grumpy landlord named Hurgos the Fat. True to his name, Hurgos is a tremendously obese man with an unruly beard and a quick temper. This establishment is a run down, foul smelling and dirty building which holds 80 private rooms. Each very small room has a mat and a door with a bolt and costs 5 copper pieces per month. The room leaks and the thin walls allow one to hear conversations and other noise in the next room. Rats are a problem here as are blood roaches.|
Sisters Magic Shoppe
Gilren and Hagoth
|Magic Shop - A small magic shop where one can purchase a variety of potions, salves charms, poisons and antidotes. Mostly weak alchemical concoctions, but a few have true magic in them and are worth the price. This place specializes in selling worthless charms and potions at low prices to the poor who wouldn't know a magic potion from a fake one. This place is run by a pair of sisters, Gilren and Hagoth. Ugly, greedy and thoroughly without morals, they seem to dislike everyone and only care for each other. They are quick witted and lie with ease. Gilren, the younger of the two, is especially good at selling worthless trinkets for a good price. These two seem to have connections with several thieves guilds in the city. --- TEST 4|
Arkuron Prad, the eldest son of Lord Veras Prad, is missing. Rumors state that he has fled with treasure and trade secrets of the guild and is traveling to Uthran to join another guild.
A large contingent of the Scorched Hide orcish tribe, led by human officers from the Red Eye Corp have entered the city. It is clear they are looking for something or somewhere.
This website was last updated November 30, 2023. Copyright 1990-2023 David M. Roomes.