Monday, November 4, 2013

Urban Excrency: Aldsburg

At A Glance
Aldsburg, the Vaulted City of Spires, leans and clutches at Mount Grundir and welcomes the new day.  Having been crumbling under the weight of massive stone and rampant neglect, the city has a new infusion of wealth and a new caretaker.  Said to be a cousin of the Patrician of Malabrae, the Patrician of Aldsburg is a tyrant who is bringing a city back to vibrant life.

So many of the overfed merchants who had sold nothing but dust have been sent away.  Old mines thought fallow and regions though devoid of wealth have begun to produce ore, minerals, and gemstones.  The Unvald Dwarfs of Ramhorn have opened trade once again and proved to be vital allies against a new onslaught of monstrous humanoids and inexplicable abominations from the Underworld.

With bridges and catwalks being rebuild, parts of the city that have been cut off are being brought into the fold.  Old floors and covers are being ripped open to let light into catacombs and neighborhoods that were shut away.  Towers are begin gilded once again; towers are being repaired and growing; visitors swarm the streets with the tinkling of foreign coin.  The city is coming alive again.  But at what cost?

Some of those old places sit inside themselves now, dark corners that breed flies and maggots from the weeping of the lost and mad.  Sooty temples still hold chanting that offends the ears and mind of Narkul, the patron god of Aldsburg.  Creatures are said to haunt the city at night. Those who defy the Patrician are said to become Hollow - barely recognizable as their former selves and run through and through with a subtle cruelty.

Where to Go

The Bishops Arse (formerly Bluegill Tavern) said to be run by a gang originating in Malabrae.  For such a thing the Red Mist must be truly powerful.  Also, they seem to have some of the best ale imports from the south.

The Gardens of Calis are a series of interconnected courtyards that are the highest remaining vestiges of a one great tower.  The gardens have become an open air market not quite under guild rule.  Also, the local guard are fond of pitching shoplifters and cut-purses off the edge onto the spires of the Catherdral of Narkul.  Narkul doesn't seem to mind.

The Patrician's Palace (formerly the Palace of The Holy Mother Drelmora) is the highest point in Aldsburg, the topmost spires reaching into the clouds.  Unless specifically summoned, though, it is best to avoid the place unless being run through by highly trained warrior-mages seems like a good time.

Biltip Spire is mountainside and contains a vast number of craftsmen.  Their work is obviously inspired by dwarfish construction.  If one is looking for specialty items (...ahem...) one of the craftsmen or alchemists can surely accommodate your need.

The Low Arena sits in the low districts beneath the spires.  It is still filled with dark corridors and places, but also tends to attract many to view the gladiatorial matches.  Slaves are pitted against foul creatures, the condemned fight for their freedom, and from time to time the brave and foolhardy enter to make a name for themselves.  Gambling is encourgaed, and the law, what little there is, doesn't extend to these reaches.