Sepent's Skull/ Zanton Edition

Elder at a Glance

Eleder.jpg
The Basics:
LN small city
Corruption +1, Crime +0, Economy +3, Law +3, Lore +2, Society +1
Qualities insular, prosperous, racially intolerant (Mwangi), strategic location.
Danger +5
Demographics:
Government: Autocracy.
Population: 8,900 (8,000 humans (3,000 colonials, 5,000 Mwangi), 500 halflings, 200 dwarves, 100 elves, 100 others.
Notable NPC’s:
Baron Utilinus, Grand Custodian of Sargava
General Septima Arodatus, Grand Praetor of Sargava, commander of the Sargavan Guard.
Commander Ezio Ergorius, Praetor of Elder.
Lady Madrona Daugustana, matriarch of ELder.
Briga, owner of the Sargava Club.
Marketplace: Base value 5,600 gp; Purchase limit 37,500 gp; Spellcasting 6th Minor items 4d4; Medium items 3d4; major items 1d6.

Elder gouges itself into the craggy coast of Sargava’s western shore. Chelish troops founded the port under the imperialistic expansion efforts of mad Prince Haliad I at the place of their first landing in Desperation Bay. In the begining, Elder was no more than a small coastal settlement of fewer than 200 colonist eager to build a new life in the southern continent. The small harbor rested between the Laughing Jungle and the Bandu Hills, impractically located leagues north of Sargava’s only major inland water routes. Nonetheless, the excitement of a new settlement brought settlers by the thousands. From across the north they came, eager to strike it rich. Miners sought to harvest salt, diamonds, and gold in the the Bandu Hills, while foresters arrived to log the exotic hardwoods to the south. By 4138 AR, Elder was granted official status as a Chelish colony.

Elder prospered swiftly, fed from the coffers of trading companies and the colonial aristocracy, both operating on sizable stipends from the Chelish government, with addition fund arriving from ever-increasing cooked tax policies. Expansionists paid great sums to acquire official charters to explore inland, where they hoped to claim the riches of the pristine land. After the discovery of the city of Kalabuto, these same individuals pushed to establish overland routes traveling east. Kalabuto’s distance from the coast served as a powerful lure to those seeking autonomy and financial stability. Yet the intrusions of foreign colonists caused extreme tensions with numerous Zenj tribes. The tribes deemed the colonist exploitative, both in their ruthless trade and abusive labor practices. Conflicts rose arose, with several tribes openly declaring war against the foreigners. This unrest made travel unsafe and further expansion difficult. The overland route between the two cities broke down completely when most of Kalbuto’s trading companies began shipping goods down the Korir River. Kalabuto no longer needed to rely on Elder for trade, and thus continued to prosper while Elder’s growth stagnated.

At present, Sargava’s capital had only three-fourths as many inhabitants as Kalabuto. Despite its smaller population, however, it remains a stronghold for the nations political structure. The bulk of Elder’s economy is divided between its shipping industry and the trafficking and processing of gemstones, gold, silver, and salt brought from the mines in the Bandu Hills. Elder’s harbor is huge, perhaps one of the biggest along the southern coast. Enhanced by dredging, it can handle the deep rafts of massive merchant vessels and similar ships too large to travel up the Korir. At the harbor mouth, jetties slow currents and tempestuous waters. They also provide harbormaster a modicum of power over ship entering and leaving port. Within the harbor, a sprawling array of granite block piers provides docking for ships almost every size from a dozen different countries. Vessels docket there run the gamut from huge merchant galleys to tiny fishing boats belonging to tribesmen.

Elder’s architecture readily displays its Chelish roots, though it has evolved to accommodate Sargava’s far warmer clime. Rooftops are designed to collect rainwater, rather than brush away wind and snow, while open courtyards pull in cooling drafts. Trading company warehouses and shipyards offset the homes of early settlers with their plain, but practical, construction. A large wall of weathered stone encircles properties around the harbor, isolating them from the remainder of the city. Beyond the wall, a noticeable shift in construction style occurs, as Chelish colonial-style buildings give way to thousands of crudely constructed mud-daub huts. These house Elder’s impoverished Zenj, who live off meager wages earned working as day laborers or menial labor for various trading companies, picking pineapples, fishing, or mining. This ruthless class division is the source of much tension between Elder’s wealthier colonials and its indigenous peoples.

Would-be adventurers who arrive in Elder quickly discover the underlying resentment colonials bear toward their profession. Such sentiment is particularly strong in the district of New Haliad. The Lady Madrona Daugustana Actively campaigns against adventurers, damning them as “thrill seeking addlepates” and “would-be liberators come to rile up the natives.” Beyond the nuisance of their carousing debauchery, adventurers have an uncanny knack for angering indigenous tribesfolk, who cannot tell the difference between a cultured colonial noble and a sword swinging Pathfinder. Elder’s militia has swift orders to approach any who stink of adventuring and give them a few hard-and-fast warnings about haw to behave in their city, as well as threaten them with steep fines and a shackled visit to a putrid bilge of a holding cell in Grallus Lock (Slave Pens) should they prove unable to abide by the laws of decent society.

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