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viggo
2005-07-01, 10:02 PM
Note: I wanted to keep this city open to any and all realms. Lots of specific details (names of gods, etc.) are left out intentionally. DMs can fill them in with little problem, I'd imagine.

Introduction (through the eyes of Falco Wilder, sheet available here http://www.3eprofiler.net/3ep/view.php?id=27175)

Falco had seen plains and he'd seen mountains. He'd even seen the ocean a time or two. But never had he seen 5 mountains in a pentagon on the coast. Especially where nature ends in a perfect circle around said mountains.

"I don't like this, Albert," he said to his rhino mount. "There's an extremely powerful magic here, but I can barely sense it."

Sir Albert Kingsley snorted his agreement and shook his head.

"We must push on - we have to secure passage here to Waterdeep. We also heard rumors of an untapped source of great power - and I feel this is correct. Marthammor wishes us here, and here we are."

Falco rode Albert up to a very large wall with a very small gate. "Halt!" said a heavily-armored guard. "State your business."

"I seek passage and nothing else."

"Only those on official church business may enter Hyde. Leave, before we have a problem."

Falco suddenly felt a wash of magical energy come over him. He concentrated and pushed it away. *

"You will need much more powerful magicks than that to trick me."

As he said that, he saw the dome of blackness inside the circle - it was night inside the pentagon city. Everything seemed different - the city guard was no different, but the walls now had towers and archers. And the gate was strangest of all - now, blazoned on either side, was a symbol Falco had never seen before - a black twisted teardrop with a hole in the bottom and a black dot (half of the yin-yang).

"Leave now, dwarf. You and your horned companion. There is nothing here for you."

Falco turned and left. He went a few miles and stopped. "We shall return at night, in a different form, Albert. Fret not - Hyde we shall enter."

They waited until nightfall and went back to the same entrance. Falco changed Sir Albert Kingsley into a pony and himself into a tall, wispy elf. They approached the gate and everything was different again - there were no walls, no gate. The mountains were still there and a small man stood on the road next to a large hut. On the hut was the same twisted-teardrop-and-dot symbol, but it was turned 180 degrees and white. Falco also couldn't help but notice it was daytime in the circle.

"Welcome to Jekyll," the halfling said. "I hope you enjoy your stay."
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The city of Jekyllhyde is one of wild speculation, most of which is unfortunately accurate. During the day, it's a very rigid Victorian-esque society - lords, ladies, kings and queens.

At night, however, it's the most awesome hive of scum and villainy on the Material Plane. The streets are a circus, the bazaars are always full, and the risk of getting robbed is almost nil - unless you're a tourist.



Background - History - The citizens of Oateria were simple farmers, trading with the outside world from a small river town named, of all things, Bayton (the farmers weren't terribly creative). Two seperate and mostly unrelated events changed the nature of nature in, naturally, Bayton.

First, two great fire dragons were battling when one misfired a dimension door spell, transporting both of them to a great underground cavern off the coast of Bayton. Their battle upset the very foundations of the planet, causing a great shift in the tectonic plates. All of a sudden a towering mountain range replaced the beaches, cliffs, and Baytons of the region. The entire town was destroyed.

Spells from the apologetic victor wore down the mountains until the shore was once again cliffs, beaches and Baytons. The farmers rebuilt the town and named it Baytonton.

Years passed, the town grew in size as more and more people came to trade their wares for the wonderful corn, wheat, hops and barley of Oateria (you thought they grew oats, didn't you. Even farmers are smarter than that).

Eventually, a not-really-all-THAT-evil magician named Airetao retired to the region to, uh, retire. He researched a spell every now and again and trained those who sought, uh, training. One day The Most Beneficent Airetao (whom the citizens just called Old Cloaky) was writing down the most recent of his spells when a tricksy halfling student of his interrupted his work. Just one missed word turned an anti-aging spell into a mass time-travel teleportation spell. Old Cloaky was none the wiser until he cast it.

All of a sudden, five mountains from the old range shot up around the city, destroying a large chunk of it, including The Most Beneficent Airetao's tower. All that was left was a star-shaped mockery of Baytonton.

Airetao suffered grave injuries, and cast several enchantments on himself. He also made a pact with a powerful Chaotic Outsider to let him live through the ordeal. Through a break the game- er, rather, a find the path spell, he discovered a secret network of tunnels in the mountains and under the city. He built himself a laboratory and library underground, and restarted his experiments.

A pirate by the name of Kaji Honeykeg was sailing into the region to maybe hijack some hops and barley from the crops of Oateria. He was sailing into harbor when Old Cloaky's spell went off. He and his pirate crew capitalized on the situation and took over the town. No one particularly objected - anything to keep away the looters, even if the pirates took a large chunk of everyone's profits.

This turned the town into the world's foremost pirate haven. The spell also turned the cove into a huge bay capable of holding dozens of ships.

During the chaos, Airetao built a statue to his extraplanar master in the middle of town. This is at the confluence of 5 ley lines through the town. Each line ends at the border of the spell - approximately at the end of the mountain. These course with extraplanar energies, and thus nothing can grow on them - perfect for a road! The statue itself was a power foci giving great power to Airetao and his master.

No one knew what this statue was, not even the pirates. No one really cared, either - Kaji liked it, "because that guy could whip my friggin' pirate ass, that's why."

The town grew by leaps and bounds under its new pirate overlords. The economy and population exploded just as law and good imploded.

This is where the players come in.

Physical description - This part is going to be a bit tricky. The first part of this will be things that don't change about the city, then Hyde, then Jekyll.

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The city is roughly star-shaped, and the arms of the star are residential areas. Here is found churches as well. The center of the star (the pentagon-shaped part) is the commercial district - inns, taverns, stores, et cetera.

At the very center (mathematically perfect, if anyone checks) is the monument itself surrounded by a large park. There is a small building next to the statue where magical goods can be purchased - spell components, magical arms and armor, rings, wands, and even the occasional minor artifact.

At the points of the star are gates to the city, and a road passes directly from them to the statue. These are also ley lines and their magical energies are hidden but extremely powerful. The roads extend to the edge of the circle.

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During the day (normal day/city night/Hyde) the city is slow, quiet, steady. There are balls and parties, but any adventurers worth their salt would find them boring. No equipment can be purchased. The only stores that are open sell clothes, food, etc. - normal household goods. The busiest part of the town is the port - farmers come in, load their grains into ships and leave. It only has one pier.

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At night the center of the town changes. The park around the monument becomes a bustling bazaar where any good or service available globally can be procured. Major adventuring goods (arms, armor, etc.) are generally half-price. Prices otherwise are at GM discretion. Minor goods (food, lodging, rope, etc.) are 1/10th the cost. The black-market economy of Jekyll is flooded with goods from every concievable port, and some manufactured by wiley merchants.

The bay has several piers, all of which are docked with pirate ships unloading cargo. There's an almost constant train of goods from the docks to the bazaar. Work as a pirate or sailor can be found here with ease - in fact, recruiters wander about literally yelling for help.

Arts and Culture - It's not well-trained or sober, but Jekyll is loud and boisterous. It's even catchy, most of the time. Other than that, art is something to be sold or shown off, not appreciated with wine and cheese.

Hyde, on the other hand, has museums, amphitheatres, ballrooms and public statues. Almost all of the populace knows something of the kingly arts, and those who don't say nothing about them.

Economics Hyde's economy is based on trade, as far as anyone can tell. Since Hyde is only accessible when it's night, no one is sure what happens during the day.

Jekyll's economy is one giant black market of pirate goods. Any legitimate trade is in foodstuffs from the surrounding plains and minerals from the mountains.

Religion Existant but noninfluential in Jekyll, religion is the name of the game in Hyde. There are churches to any lawful or neutral god one can name, and all of them exert much influence over society.

Government The Portmaster-Governor of Jekyll is Kaji Honeykeg, one of the most feared and popular pirates on the globe. He and his men will intervene in any large-scale conflict - however, with the number of different pirate crews in the town, and the knowledge that this is THEIR town, the peace is kept primarily by mutually assured destruction and a sense of ownership of the town.

The government of Hyde is centered in the Umvirate, a collection of all the worst forms of government - theocracy, plutocracy, nepotism, despotism and fascism. Seats on the Umvirate are bought through large "tax donations." Thus, its number is never certain, nor are its members. The First Speaker is elected by the other members of the Umvirate, and she is the one that breaks the ties.

The more important members of the Umvirate are:

Andil Greenbottle - the only "mongrel" member of the Umvirate, this crafty halfling bought himself a seat by cornering the market on barley, Oateria's primary export. Once the money started drying up, Hyde panicked and Andil stepped in with huge shipments and huge monies. He occupies the seat held by the Farmers' Guild. The buck stops with Andil - any decision that would harm commerce is fiercely and successfully opposed by him and his cadre of other Umviraticians.

Father J. Tharamin Bartlet - JT's seat was purchased by the most powerful lawful good church in Hyde. He abstains or votes against almost all bills, content with the status quo and unwilling to change it. He leads a small but influential group of politico-clerics who strive for freedom of religion to ruin people's lives.

John Howard - the youngest member of the Umvirate and easily the most recognizable face in Hyde, this bard-turned-politician can win the hearts of almost any citizen - except others on the Umvirate. He is the driving force behind meaningful change, however little he wins.

Senim Silla - the First Speaker. A tall, regal human, Senim rules the Umivrate with an iron fist. He is a stickler for rules of order, and has veto power over any legislation. His rule is subjective, and he leans toward security over anything else, including rights and the economy.

The Monument - in the mathematical center of the city, surrounded by a bare patch of ground is the statue to Dranulhani, although no one knows his name. It is at the confluence of the ley lines running through the city.

Characters will see an intricately-carved statue exactly 13 feet 7 inches tall. It's carved of blue stone of extraplanar origins. The subject is humanoid, with tiny horns on the sides of his chin and in a crown around his head. He is wearing a cloak that reaches his ankles and what looks to be studded leather armor. His right hand rests on a sheathed gladius, and he is looking directly at one of the mountains.

The DM knows that the studs in the leather are dozens of gems with varying worth and power (GM discretion). Also, if true seeing is on while looking at the statue, beams of light are emerging from the eyes and pointing out a secret cave.

Stats - Jekyll
Integrated metropolis, population 42,368
20% human, 13% halfling, 12% elf, 12% dwarf, 12% gnome, 11% half-elf, 11% half-orc.

Kaji Honeykeg is a human, and most of his crew are humans. Piracy is not racist - if you can hold your own and are useful to the ship and captain, you're not discriminated. Half-orcs and dwarves are useful shock troops in boarding ships, half-elves, elves and halflings make good ranged support and lookouts, gnomes and dwarves make good carpenters and smiths, and humans are useful all-around and for making deals in foreign ports.

Hyde
Isolated large city, 18,493 adult population
76% human, 12% elf, 12% half-elf

Hyde, on the other hand, is extremely xenophobic. Humans tolerate elves and half-elves, but any other race is met with disdain bordering on open hostility. The slightest infraction, even in unknown codes of conduct, will get other races exiled, imprisoned or executed.

Maximum item cost - 250,000 gp. Jekyllhyde is a major black market hub, and with that comes access to items not found in most places.

Total wealth - Jekyll, 5,000,000. The "government" of Jekyll is a single pirate crew, even if that pirate crew is legendary and rich.

Hyde - 30,000,000. Several large churches have made large "donations" to the Umvirate for seats. There's also the healthy taxes on the goods shipped out of the port.

Plot Hooks - Jekyll

Kaji's Crew vs. Other Pirate Crew

Some lowlife band of buccaneers is attempting to wrest control of the port from the Honeykeg Crew. The players can choose to join Kaji, join the other crew, wrest control for themselves, attempt to thwart the conflict, or join another faction and take out the winner.

The most likely contenders are few.

The Blood-Eye Sailors - led by a particularly nasty orc captain by the name of Oso Dankil, the Blood-Eyes are known for their ferocity and appreciation of battle prowess. While the Honeykeg Crew have them outnumbered, the Blood-Eyes will likely win in a stand-up fight.

The Shipcloak Boarders - a group of rogues and rangers, the Shipcloaks prefer stealth over brute force. In a stand-up fight, the Honeykeg Crew would dominate them - but they won't engage a stand-up fight.

The Icewind Corsairs - this group of wizard/pirates would dominate the Honeykeg Crew in a ship-to-ship battle, but they are vulnerable in the city.

Jekyll vs. Outside

There are plenty of nations that would love to seize Jekyll for its own, or at least decimate the hive of piracy to protect their ships. In this instance, the attack could come from land or sea - the PCs could join a crew and engage the Maritime Authority ships, or they could engage the ground troops through frontline combat or guerilla tactics.

Jekyll vs. Airetao - Old Cloaky decides it's time to open a portal for his master and let his armies in - stop him before he destroys the most awesome city in the world!

Plot Hooks - Hyde

Church vs. Church *- they've kept the peace for long enough, now the power struggles have escalated to streetfighting and assassinations. Holy civil war, Batman!

Race Riots - the Umvirate decides it's time to purge the mongrels - either the PCs have to evade capture, escape from prison, help others do the same, or join roving bands of genocidal maniacs.

When Politics Go Bad - someone wants to see certain members of the Umvirate dead/discredited. Dig up dirt, kill a senator, or stop the whole conspiracy.

Plot Hooks - Both

Monument Monument on the Wall - Find out what the monument is, what purpose it serves, and who controls it, if anyone. This could lead to discovery of all kinds of interesting stuff in the mountains or underground.

Martinus
2005-07-03, 11:02 AM
jekyllhyde?

ok, this town has had some disasters thrown at it, I'd say :)

viggo
2005-07-03, 06:12 PM
dead! alive! dead! alive! den of evil!

the name will make sense once I do a bit more work on it.

viggo
2005-07-03, 07:34 PM
Added the Introduction. Falco is a character I whipped up for a PbP game here. I figured he'd be a good one - a high enough Will save to see through the illusions, and enough shapeshifter ability to make a re-entry attempt feasible.

The name should make sense now.

Martinus
2005-07-04, 04:18 AM
yeah, I guess :P

I suppose the natives there are quite tough, seeing what they had to go through to survive?

Turin
2005-07-04, 07:08 PM
So does the city actually physically change at night? If that is so, am I stupid and did I overlook it, or are we still missing some important explanations?

If not, why is the town so different at daytimes?

Very cool idea! I'd love to see some more ;)

Túrin

viggo
2005-07-06, 03:19 AM
it's your basic temporal rift. it's two completely different cities that exist in two seperate times. They just happen to replace each other.

In Star Trek terms, it's a timelike bubble. It's seperated from the rest of the universe.

Seraph
2005-07-14, 02:24 AM
it's your basic temporal rift. it's two completely different cities that exist in two seperate times. They just happen to replace each other.

In Star Trek terms, it's a timelike bubble. It's seperated from the rest of the universe.


kickass.

Peregrine
2005-07-14, 06:38 AM
Love the background. :D Is there any particular significance to Oateria/Airetao?

And don't think we didn't notice the "hive of scum and villainy" remark. :P

viggo
2005-07-15, 06:37 PM
but it's an AWESOME hive of scum and villainy. If you found yourself with a fondness for Jack Sparrow, Tasselhoff Burfoot or Mordenkainen (when he was NE), then you'll love Jekyll.

And no, there's no deeper signifigance to Oateria/Airetao. It's in there as a quasi-joke and because I think Airetao is a cool name. He's also allied himself with a big badass air elemental (the character depicted in the monument).

I do plan on finishing this, but RL has been beckoning.

Is the description too long? I write poetry and novels, not short stories :)