Glerith; The Shifting City
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Anybody visiting Glerith, by chance or by purpose will be greeted by two enormous, intricately carved brass gates These gates will be different every time they are seen, as the designs are so intricate that the detail is almost incomprehensible. Through the gates, the traveller will see a beautiful marble-paved road stretching up to the centre-point with white stone buildings on either side. This is the infamous Gloritso Way. On the horizon, the overwhelming brass statue of Gloritso can be see, watching over the city from her pedestal.
There are no guards in the city, there is no real military presence, (with the exception of the warriors of the Yuidas Bloodline) meaning there is always aura of peace in the city. The city is seemingly solemn at first glance. This is not the case however as the the city has a lively communal spirit revolving around the marketplace and the statue of the city's founder Gloritso.
In the town square where the statue stands, there are roads leading to the outer ring road, many of these roads have the houses of the noble familes on them, though some are concealed in more backward places of the town, and each house is wonderously different in design. Each one easy to spot because of its heraldry flying high.
Size Category: Large Town.
Exact Adult Population: 4,834+Travellers.
GP Limit: 3,000gp.
Power Centre: Magical (Council of Immortals).
Primary Religion: Varied, St. Cuthbert.
Climate: Ethereal; No Climate/Every Climate.
* * * * * * *Material; Depends on the place materialised.
Alignment: Lawful Neutral. *
Races: Human 52.25%, Half-Elf 12%, Elf 13.25%, Half-Orc 2%, Dwarf 0.5%, Gnome 10%, Halfling 10%.
A group of warriors under Gloritso, six hundred years ago, founded the city of Glerith. It has grown a lot since that time but for an event in her past she cannot grow any larger. Exactly Two-hundred and twenty-two years after her foundations where laid, Glerith came under vicious assault from a Cabal of Lunatics. The full moon lit up Glerith, as did the loons’ arcane shimmers.
It was at 12.01am on the first day of the Two-hundred and twenty-second year and the town was asleep, mostly. Then seemingly from everywhere at once, lunatics wielding unthinkable magicks assaulted the walls. Everything was in chaos as the outer fringes of Glerith began to glow like edges of smouldering paper.
Gloritso was woken from her home; wearily she armed herself. Every street and every back alley was filled with bloodshed as the Cabal was beaten back but the carnage had already been too much.
The city was in ruins and the lunatics had killed Gloritso, her body gorily torn apart and hung on display on a spiked iron fence.
Glerith was rebuilt and the citizens got their lives back. The warriors she had travelled with, who had now achieved immortality, commissioned a brass statue to Gloritso to honour her sacrifice to protect them. Upon its unveiling was it clear the damage that could ne’er be put right…
The affects of that night had slowly been eating into the very materials of the city. The essence of magic so intensely engrained into the city herself that it is ethereal. Often the entire city shifts into and out of reality and the city and all within the walls are erased from existence. Anyone inside the city when it disappears is taken with it but they do not age, and so during prolonged periods in the ethereal plane, can appear to have lived many times the average lifespan of their race. The city has always re-emerged into the material plane thus far: but never in the same place twice…
*The city is built on an artificial hill, the hill, which also moves from the material plane when the city disappears. Everything slopes upward, to the domineering brass statue of Gloritso. If looked at from an aerial perspective would appear as a pie, cut into segments with many roads leading from the outer wall to the statue. In the west there is a market place and a marble temple to St. Cuthbert, praying for vengeance upon the eternal souls of the Cabal. Though the location of the city cannot be charted, the layout of the interior has, though only the once. That map is shown below.
On the back of the map are some scrawlings as to the numbered areas on the picture. They have been shown here.
Arts and Culture:
1. Statue of Gloritso
2. House of the Haringer Family and Temple to Gloritso.
3. House of the Horiath Family.
4. House of the Fuergen Family.
5. House of the Yuidas Family.
6. House of the Grashnor Family.
7. House of the Bootstrap Family.
8. Houses of the Cuerthos Family.
9. Temple to St. Cuthbert.
10. Glerith Market Place.
11. Grande Brass Gates.
12. Gloritso Way.
*The city of Glerith is heavily focused around the crafts of brass-work, its greatest achievements being the moving statue of Gloritso and the gates to the city, so carefully designed and carved that the detail is so difficult to take it all in. Also, the craft of masonry, making sturdy structures from white-stone and marble, again, in some cases crafted to show amazing detail.
Every citizen is able to repair their own masonry and often hold festivals in the market place for showing off their latest sculptures.
Though the shifts have become somewhat predictable now, many citizens daren’t leave the walls of the city for fear of it leaving without them. This has resulted in the city needing to trade with adventurers finding Glerith for food and other essential materials. In return, the townsfolk of Glerith make money in abundance by selling their truly amazing sculptures, and that is their primary export.
The Glerith Economy is such that it uses blank gold coins as its basis. These coins are usually accepted everywhere and are melted down and reproduced clean, with no markings.
A similar practise is in place for copper and silver coins but the traders of Glerith rarely deal in platinum. The only occasion is when the Horiath family buy in brass in bulk.
Each and every race and individual that lives in Glerith is allowed to worship any deity they wish, so long as it affects no other citizens in a negative way. The city as a whole however worship St. Cuthbert, god of retribution for the vindication of the Cabal in the most painful and torment-filled way possible.
There is also a sub-cult in the city, something that takes a back seat but still a very evident thing. The cult partakes in the worship of Gloritso herself, and often are the first to go out and find people to try.
Sorcerers are the very first to be eyed suspiciously and they may often find they are very unwelcome in the city.
Being largely isolated in the fact that the city can shift at any time, the government needs not to maintain friendly or otherwise relationships with others because the city of Glerith is seen largely as a myth, as it can never be charted, it is thought to not exist. The government are a group of thirteen people; six adventurers, their marital partners and the daughter of Gloritso, who have achieved immortality, and so are called “The Council of Immortals”. The council rule by the Harsh but Fair ruling, where crime is severely punished in the event that not even the slightest of doubt exists of their guilt.
The rule of the Council is enforced by the citizens themselves; every townsperson is allowed to make an arrest and take the offender to the Council where a trial will take place and if all the council members vote guilty, the offender will have his arms removed.
Living such a unique existance, the government must run a tight ship to keep Glerith thriving. The council runs a republic of unshakeable law.
In addition to the Council of Immortals there are several families in Glerith who have their own rulings. Each family is the family of one of the Immortals, and each one has something unique to their bloodline.
- Yuidas - The Yuidas family are skilled fighters, using long-bladed and thin swords with a curved blade. Their fighting techniques is very methodical and stoic.
The founder of the Yuidas family, Corrith Yuidas and his wife are both members of the Council of Immortals. Corrith Yuidas and Fluse Yuidas are both human.
- Horiath - The Horiath family are the best craftsmen in all of Glerith, and indeed it is rumoured the world. No mortal, including the illustrious dwarves nor elves, can work brass into such beautiful and delicate designs.
The founder of the Horiath family, Kehm Horiath and his wife are both members of the Council of Immortals. Kehm Horiath and Ghil Horiath are both Human.
- Cuerthos - Made almost exclusively of Half-Elves, the family of Cuerthos is one who generally possess unearthly charisma and often are able to charm adventurers out of their possessions with ease. The Cuerthos family started the Glerith marketplace.
The founder of the Cuerthos family, Celestia Cuerthos and her husband are both members of the Council of Immortals. Celestia Cuerthos is Elven. Blaen Cuerthos is Human.
- Bootstrap - The Bootstrap family are the descendants of the halfling bard Hopkin Bootstrap. They are unrivalled players of the bagpipes, which are so eerily played that it is said the tunes have magical properties.
The founder of the Bootstrap family, Hopkin Bootstrap and his wife are both members of the Council of Immortals. Hopkin Bootstrap is a Halfling. Cienie Bootstrap is a Gnome.
- Grashnor - The Grashnor family is the smallest noble family in Glerith and is the primary source of Half-orcs, though the family contains orcs and humans too. This family is the strongest and is normally the labourer family. Despite this, they are still revered as a noble family.
The founder of the Grashnor family, Urgm Grashnor and her husband are both members of the Council of Immortals. Urgm Grashnor is Orcish, Hallin Grashnor is Human. The family takes the name from the female Urgm Grashnor as she was the adventurer who knew Gloritso.
- Fuergen - The Fuergen family is a dwarven family of antisocial stone masons. They are the greatest of the sculpters and masons in all of Glerith and have a school to teach people their art.
The founder of the Fuergen family, Kistolf Fuergen and his wife are both members of the Council of Immortals. Kistolf Fuergen and Heidja Fuergen are both Dwarven.
- Haringer - The Haringer family is made up entirely of women. Men are used simply to further the family line. The Haringer family are the head figures in the sub-cult of Gloritso worship, at their head is Glariam Haringer, Gloritso's only daughter.
The founder of the Haringer family, Gloritso Haringer was killed in the defence of Glerith against the Cabal of lunatic sorcerers, in her place at the head of the family is he daughter Glariam Haringer. Glariam Haringer is Elven.
Because of the strict punishments, crime is practically non-existent in Glerith. Citizens of Glerith also know that being isolated, they have to rely on themselves and their fellow townspeople to survive, and theft or other such crimes would damage themselves in the long run.
This is not to say crime is a complete void to be filled as adventurers have sometimes been seen to commit crimes, usually petty rogues. They have been known to be killed and their possessions taken.
A 48’ tall brass statue of Gloritso (Pronounced; Gla–ree–th–o), an ancient warrior woman brandishing a spear and a circular shield, stands in the centre of Glerith. The monument is said to awaken whenever a daemon awakens to terrorize the citizens of Glerith and her guests, or if something worthy of her presence happens; that the statue is possessed by the ghost of Gloritso herself.
The statue was created by the very best artisans of the city, who still remain the best crafting bloodline and who carved the gates of Glerith, the Horiath family. The statue was made with the such care that the brass features are exactly those of the warrior woman herself. The result being that some visitors are scared by the lifelike qualities.
Though within the city there are no real struggles for power, the city of Glerith often finds itself struggling to keep itself running and as such will always try to trade with adventurers, which may seem a bit pushy but it is only their way. Their attempts to survive.
Though rarely falling into any serious conflict, it has been known that some houses of Glerith have fallen into bitter resentment of each other. One such example is the rivalry between the Grashnor and Yuidas families.
The two families believe themselves to be better fighters than the other. In actual fact the Yuidas are better skilled warriors but their strength is very much questionable compared to the brutish Grashnor family. Corrith and Fluse Yuidas rarely agree with Urgm and Hallin Grashnor and vice versa in the Council meetings, simply out of spite.
- The party could have accidentally stumbled across the city whilst it was still in the material plane. They will have arrived just in time, as when they walk around the market, the city will come under attack by a horde of devils. The party must help in the defence of the city, as it is what they do best. They will also witness the awakening of the statue of Gloritso.
*Devils/daemons will be chosen by the DM, equally, Orcs/Kobolds/Goblins/Undead can be used.
- The party whilst in an Inn one day could hear a drunk rambling on about the city. The Innkeeper will say to ignore him; that it is only a myth and that such a place could never exist. This inspires the adventurers to search for it, with promises of rewards that are relevant to the party. The city itself should be found, and any event could take place. Perhaps the above.
- Adventurers could be attacked by a group of hunters. When pursued into the woodlands, the party find them running into a city. They are bound by the guards and taken to trial. They must convince the Council of their innocence or be killed. If they are found guilty, they should try and escape the traps of the city jail and flee into the woodlands again.
- An Adventuring Party's character has learned of a certain bloodlines skill. They want to further themselves and learn from them, dragging the rest of the party along with them. The Party are lucky enough to find the city with relative ease due to the rumours being generated by the city's sudden reappearance.
The party must complete trials and at the end, the characters will earn something which is relevant both to the particular family and every class in the party.