Pixie in the Playground
First attempt at making a city under these rules, so feel free to nitpick, I have not much idea how this will sit with players. I may add more later, also any and all constructive comments are particularly welcome.
Garfeld shifted on the raft, causing the whole thing to shake. So far, the whole trip had been unpleasant and smelly. The cloth over his armour had been stained a muddy brown by the unhealthy swamp water, the joints already making an unpleasant creaking sound. The travel methods to Olin-sari were incredibly unpleasant, but he had been told the trip as well worth it. He hoped so, and he also hoped that they would arrive soon. This calling from a noble here had better be worth it. The toothless boatman he had lifted a ride off of was scaring him slightly, with the way he was eyeing up.
The fogs shifted slightly on the swampground. The boatman turned around and announced “We have arrived at the Docks.”
“Don’t be absurd, there’s-“
The fogs shifted again, revealing a large group of wooden planks lashed together. This was easily large enough to hold several people abreast. The boatman grinned at his customer, and led him onto the plank. The plank connected to two more similar planks. The planks seemed to form streets, and were so closely interconnected you could jump between the gaps of some if you wanted. It stretched as far as the eye could see. Every so often, there were buildings littered in the gaps between streets, all balanced on large raft pontoons. Garfeld wondered how they all stayed up, some of them were at least 10 stories high. It was completely beyond him.
The boatman gave his customer another look, humour on his face.
“c’mon lad, this is just the front bit, the rest of the city is on better ground. You’ve managed to pick a good day, tisn’t so foggy as usual today. Oh, and the master would like me to welcome you to Olin-sari!”
Size: Large city
Population: Approx. 15500 (est.)
GP Limit: 40000 gp.
Political Organization: High Necronidan Church
Terrain/Climate: Jungle, river tributaries
Alignment: Lawful Neutral.
Races: Human, Elves, Halfings, Dwarves (very small minority)
Physical description: Olin-Sari is based deep within the Kami-Kurake jungles, a harsh environment filled with many swamps, rivers, and wildlife, many lethal in their own ways. The only bastion for travellers moving through to the eastern provinces for many a mile, this settlement started from a humble waypoint to a huge spawling living space. A unique feature of Olin-sari is that a considerable portion is built on the Olin Swamp and the Sari tributaries. This has been accomplished by use of the famed Logalo trees native to the area, and a masterful planning by the ambitious King Leoric and his servants. The rest has been built on the more solid soil nearby. There are more than 300 streams and tributaries running through Olin-sari, but the three largest ones are the Blue Sari, Green Sari, and Red Sari.
The stone streets intermingle with the enchanted wooden pontoon bridges, running in a complex honeycomb of alleyways and walkways, with buildings laying haphazardly in the gaps between the ordered streets. Many of the streets and bridges are decorated with lovingly carved signs and small statues, and the buildings are incredibly well designed for durability, if a tad unseemly and ugly.
Arts and Culture: Most of Olin-sari’s residents are human, and thus most of the items there have been made for their use. Elves and Halflings live in the city, but they are largely communities to themselves, trading, working, and spending leisure time with the humans, but not living with them. recently, a small community of dwarves have moved into their own district. It is unclear why, as dwarves are well known for their natural dislike of water and greenery, but have been lured in by the vast amount of rare metal available, and ply their trades amongst the citizenry.
Olin-Sari does not commonly engage in painting or drawing as art, instead, they have greater affinity to carved pieces or other manufactured beauties. They also have a great fondness for mosaics, a fashion brought on by King Leoric during his reign.
Fashion in Olin-sari depends on where the person lives or works. On the mainland, the peoples tend to wear a fashionable deep red toga or cloak with gold ornamentation on arms and heads. Of course, living on the pontoon sections of the city requires a more practical solution, as the swamp water frequently spills onto clothes, ruining them. This has resulted in the populace wearing the military-style waterproof leathers, along with a more rough cloak to protect the wearer from the murky waters.
Economics: Olin-sari has a very complex economics system, but mostly minor detail. It has a few major features that are worth noting though. Olin-sari has a large access to many precious metals, most notably gold. It allows Olin-sari to purchase the food it needs to survive, as local hunting and farming is unfeasible at best, so it’s food has to be imported. While this allows for Olin-sari to sustain itself with the essentials of living, it’s wealth comes from the local plantlife. Many plants that grow near Olin-sari grow nowhere else, ad has many medicinal uses, and are valued ingredients in many potions. This is used to provide the wealth to the city, and makes for a large part of the riches of the many alchemists and potionmakers that inhabit the city.
However, as previously mentioned, local growing or catching food is nigh impossible, as the area is not arable, and wildlife tends to be poisonous in the extreme. Much of the money goes to buying food for the populace.
Religion: Olin-sari is the main site of Necronidan worship. Also known as the “religion of life”, the Necronidan followers worship S’danri, the god of life and light. As such, the Necronidans worship life in all it’s forms, and much of it’s teachings are towards prolonging life and good honest living. Olin-sari has been chosen as the religious hub of necronidan worship, as the city is largely focussed on making the potions of life and healing. However, there’s been recent rift amongst the church, as a high ranking priest has begun a new way of thinking amongst the church members. However, this has largely been kept secret, but for how long…
Government: Olin-sari was originally an anarchy, with no one person leading the city, and was ruled over as an extension of the land of Iifa. Then, Iifa was invaded and was taken over as a province of the holy Necronidan empire, and a new king set in place. King Harod III, while initially seen as an overbearing dictator, turned out to be a good ruler. Before he died, he left to his nephews different provinces to rule over. To his favourite, Leoric, he gave Olin-sari, recognizing at the time the small town would be of great importance later. Leoric led Olin-sari well, settling many of the anarchic disputes and leading the town into unexpected prosperity, leading to the cities large size now. Leoric died three generations ago, setting a strange precedent to choose a successor not of his lineage. The candidates were picked by the King’s estimation of their ability for the task, certainly an unheard of practice in a monarchy. Today, King Hazanko rules Olin-sari, but takes a backseat in much of the politics, running much of the administration behind the scenes.
Crime: there is little of the usual crime associated with large cities in Olin-sari. Though few in number, the Sariguard are efficient at their work, sponsored by the Necronidan church. A strange cross between clerics, paladins and watchmen, they keep a vigilant eye on the crime. However, Olin-sari currently suffers from the attentions of a group known as the Red Eye, a terrorist group made up largely of atheists and a strange cult of an as yet unidentified deity. In addition, there is some public unrest over the problems of the church of Necronidan is also taking place.
The Monument: Leading away from the pontoon and docks of Olin-sari is a single pontoon bridge, large enough to hold a procession. However, it is usually only sparsely populated by tourists and pilgrims. Lined by stone ornaments, it passes on to a secluded place away from the hustle and bustle of the city. In this quiet cul-de-sac lies the Gazik-Sarian, which translates roughly as the Life Tree, though has several other meanings. The tree trunk is larger than a giant, and several times wider. An old myth says that the first person to ever come to Olin-sari was a shipwrecked crewmember of a Naval boat. He had died, and his body, against all odds had floated up the Sari, instead of down. Here, he was beached on the Life Tree, and was miraculously brought back to life. The crewmember, having no where else to go, lived as a hermit next to the tree, learning it’s secrets. One day, an expedition crew arrived at the tree, seeking help from a virulent plague most of the team had caught. As is common amongst the jungle, these plagues are fast acting and usually lethal, with no cure. The old crewman merely chanted a few words, and fed each other them a tiny strip of bark, and they were healed. Then, the old crewman died, the strain having been too much for his mortal body. They say his spirit still lives on, and that the tree will heal those in most need. The expedition members set up camp, found the various medicinal plants and gold, and soon became a permanent settlement. However, the tree’s healing powers has never been properly attested to, since the Necronidan church soon took the tree up at it’s patron symbol, and now is under constant guard, to prevent it every being harmed by the enemies of the Necronidans. One day a year, though, a celebration is held for the tree, where the high priest will hag a rune of life off on one of the tree’s branches. Combined with life runes of previous years, this makes for a stunning display of runes dangling like windchimes off of the tree, a beautiful sight indeed.
Power struggles: The necronidans versus the Iifas. There is a long standing hatred between these two powers, as they are diametrically opposed to each other. Even in their holy city, there is a constant war between the two factions, via the terrorist group the Red Eye, an Iifa cell in Olin-sari.
Also, there is much internal conflict between the two factions of Necronidan church, as a new power has come into play. Priest Hughan Jace has started preaching a different kind of dogma to the Necronidan faith, but while it still adheres to the theme of life, it has a far more radical bent. This causes much political friction and strife, though no outright actions have been taken yet. It seems though only a matter of time…
Also, a newer threat seems to have emerged. A tribe of strange rat-men have moved into the near vicinity of Olin-sari. Though they haven’t approached the city yet, they have been very aggressive, slaying several parties hunting for medicinal plants. Their numbers are as yet unknown.
*Hunting of the Red Eye, after a terrorist attack on the general populace at the High Necronidan temple. Bounties on Red Eye members, especially the leader Bror Wargner. Capture of Bror leads to the discovery of the attack under orders of Hughan Jace…
*The ratman tribe. They begin to mount attacks closer and closer to the city. The party is called up by Hazanko to slay the leader before they start attacking the city proper. The party find out during the adventure that the ratmen were hired by Jace to cause a distraction while he begins his power play.
*Once the original two main quests are completed, Jace begins to take over, utilising Necromantic powers. The High temple becomes filled with ratmen through a secret underground entrance, and slay the priests therein. Jace, along with a section of traitorous Sariguard, begin plans to summon the Iifa gods to smite the city. The party must stop him.
*Jigad, a rare plant used in many healing potions, has become scarce. Te party must find out what has happened to the supply. A small goblin tribe is eating the rare plant, and their leader, Korbol, is greedy and vicious enough to want to defend it no questions asked or given.
More quests may be added later.