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  #1  
Old Oct 8th, 2013, 12:28 PM
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Quantium: city of arcane mystery

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Old Oct 8th, 2013, 12:29 PM
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Government Center
OverviewMost of the landmarks that Quantium is famous for -- the Bandeshar, the Warlock's Walk, and even the Scrivenbough -- are located in Government Center, the sprawl of land that surrounds the archmage's former palace. The living fountains and open-air mazes, the statuary and hanging gardens: these things are the things one thinks of, when they think of Quantium, and these things reside almost wholly within the Government Center district, sometimes also called the Bandeshar District.

The streets here are clean and well-maintained. Many temples and embassies are situated in this part of the city, as are countless inns, taverns, and restaurants aimed at servicing the busy trade in governance and influence. Permanent housing here tends toward the luxurious; homes tend to be reserved for upper-level aristocrats.

Near the southwestern edge of the district, where Government Center abuts Fogbottom, this is less true. The slum has been spreading inside the wall for several centuries now, and it currently presses up against the campus of the Scholasticum, one of Quantium's magical academies. The decline in property values has made the institution more affordable for students, but the university has been aggressively gentrifying the neighborhoods around it, in an effort to retain faculty.

Law and OrderLaw enforcement is strong here. Street crime is very rare. Typical crimes for the area are burglary, embezzlement, fraud, and espionage. In the southeast, this is slightly less true, with occasional robberies and assaults.

The policing force here is the palace guard. Most watchmen are trained with crossbow and shortsword. Several dozen constructs are in active service also, often paired with a demihuman partner.

Points of Interest
  • Bandeshar (palace)
  • Warlock's Walk (central parade ground)
  • Scrivenbough (library for cult of Abraxas)
  • Scholasticum (magical academy)
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Last edited by phinar; Oct 8th, 2013 at 12:31 PM.
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Old Oct 8th, 2013, 12:31 PM
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Mercantile Quarter
OverviewOnce upon a time, a significant share of Quantium's trade went overland, caravans disappearing into the lush interior of the nation of Nex. Centuries of ruinous war with Geb changed that: now a few distant cities survive in the sandy wastes of Nex, but little else. The very life has been sucked from the land, and with it, its trade.

Money gives up its strongholds only reluctantly, though, and the Mercantile District continues to be home to several of the city's most prosperous markets. On the district's north side, Kaliphate Produce Market sells produce as well as everything else. Three thousand years ago, the Produce Market began as the collective venture from several agrarian landholders. Today, Nex gets most of its agricultural goods from overseas, or from Geb to the south, but this vast warren of shops, stalls, and cobbled plazas is home to much of the city's major commerce.

To the south and west, near Westgate, lies the House of Custom. When caravan traffic through Westgate would take as long as two days to clear the city, this complex of buildings was fully tasked with collecting tariffs on caravan traffic. In its dwindling years, caravanners took over one of the empty buildings, using it to sell shares in caravans as a way of financing the now lengthy and dangerous journeys. The practice caught on, and many merchant marine captains began to fund their journeys in the same way. Today, all manner of enterprise offers shares for sale here: commodity futures, shares in caravans, shares in merchant companies, shares in archaeological expeditions. The business of collecting tariffs still occupies a single building in the complex, but most of that now occurs Wharfside, at the seaport.

Law and OrderLaw enforcement here is lax, but firm. The Mercantile Quarter has an active Beggar's Guild, and several aspiring organizations that employ pickpockets and cutpurses. Typical crimes include larceny (pickpocketing, shoplifting, muggings), burglary, fraud, and counterfeiting.

The local watch is supported and administered by the Merchant's League, using a combination of tax funds and member contributions. Originally a group of caravan guards under contract to the guild, the watch is now a dedicated organization. Officially, they are the Merchant Guard; on the street they are called guilders. Most are experienced guards, or former soldiers.

Points of Interest
  • Kaliphate Produce Market (open-air bazaar)
  • House of Custom (securities exchange)
  • Westgate (art/architecture)
  • The Mummery (theater)
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Old Oct 8th, 2013, 12:32 PM
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Wharfside
OverviewSince Nex's lush interior parched into desert, the majority of trade has entered Quantium through its harbor. The docks teem with ships and sailors, wares coming from ports as far-flung as Tian Xia and Vudra, or as nearby as Geb. Wharfside, like most other port districts, is full of brothels, bars, and flophouses.

Unlike most other port districts, the harbor itself is hazardous. Thousands of years of runoff from the Arcanoworks has made the waters around Quantium treacherous; the waters along Nex's coastline are known as the Miasmere, and require special prepartion to safely sail. Consequently, the fishing industry in Quantium remains small and ranges wide, and a thriving industry in drydock repair operates out of Wharfside.

Amongst the seamen and longshoremen that people the docks and the sailor's warrens, the Harbormaster's Office is a small complex of buildings where tariffs are totted up, pilots are hired to navigate the Miasmere, shipping schedules are posted and examined, and the complex business of oceanborne trade is exposed like the messy economic entrails it is. Also in this district, the Hall of Gorum is a large building housing a variety of combat sports and the related gambling apparatus.

Law & OrderWharfside is not known for its civilization. Law enforcement exists, but its typical role is to protect the interests of property and business owners from the rowdiness of sailors. During daylight hours, particularly, the main streets and marketplaces are safe enough. When darkness falls, though, the alleyways become dangerous, and even the main streets will see brawls spilling forth from taverns, cutpurses plying their trade, and plenty of vice available for the interested. Typical crimes for the area include bribery, human trafficking, larceny, fraud, assault, and burglary.

The watch here is the Harbor Watch. It consists mostly of men with a history as bouncers at the district's clubs. The watch is sponsored by the district's taxes, and administered by the Harbormaster's Office. Watchmen are typically selected for their imposing size; their most common duty is wading into brawls and separating the longshoremen from the sailors.

Points of Interest
  • Harbormaster's Office (government building)
  • The Docks
  • The Hall of Gorum (sporting/gambling hall)
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Old Oct 8th, 2013, 12:33 PM
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The Arcanoworks
OverviewIf Quantium could be said to have an industry, the Arcanoworks is where you would find it. The Artificery has nothing like the scale of the fleshforges of Ecanus, but it produces a significant volume of constructs, wondrous items, and novel devices each year. Three institutes of magical study -- the Lyceum, al Haddiq, and the Institute of Planar Study -- add an atmosphere of learned research to the district. Several unaffiliated laboratories add to the district's output, and countless tradesmen ply their wares in and about these magical foundries, producing the raw materials for enchantment and the trappings to couch them in.

Law & OrderCrime is almost as uncommon here as in Government Center, though the southeastern edges of the district see considerably more. Typical crimes here are petty larceny, counterfeiting, fraud, and burglary.

The city watch patrols here, but much of enforcement comes from the community and its reputation for puissance. Constructs and wards do as much to deter crime as the patrols. Most watchmen are trained, but not extensively.

Points of Interest
  • The Artificiery (large-scale magical crafting)
  • The Lyceum (magical academy)
  • al Haddiq (magical academy)
  • Institute of Planar Studies (magical academy)
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Old Oct 9th, 2013, 09:52 AM
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Seafoam District
OverviewMany years ago, the Seafoam District was the center of wealth and privilege in Quantium. Its cascading arches and tangled bridges reached up to the sky, binding the open air with masonry and timber. As the Bandeshar became more central to everyday affairs, and the air off the Miasmere began to exhibit an eldritch taint, the Seafoam slid down the socioeconomic ladder. Today, the district houses a burgeoning middle class, rich from trade or industry, and a few faltering aristocrats whose sponsoring organizations have begun to lose their way.

The Seafoam District is mostly residential. Small souks provide day-to-day shopping necessities, and plentiful green spaces offer opportunities for reflection and recreation. Of the landmarks that remain, the Choristry House is probably the most notable. Artists from around the world have been drawn to its stage, which plays host to drama, opera, and orchestral works as well as solo musicians. Also in this district is Prophecy Park, where three large scrying bowls made of polished marble sit in the center of a large amphitheater. On occassion, the pools see use: portals to distant lands are opened, or windows into the future, or even just as a focus for illusion play. More often, the pools are treated as statuary, another monument in a city full of monuments.

Law & OrderNot the safest district of the city, the Seafoam is still fairly safe. Children play in the streets and parks, and the beggars and pickpockets stick to the marketplaces. The southern side of the district tends to be slightly seedier than the north. Typical crimes for the area include larceny, fraud, burglary, and robbery.

The Seafoam is watched over by the city watch, and supplemented in the more affluent areas by private security firms. Patrols are regular and thorough. The watchmen are typically trained to a minimal level, armed with clubs and crossbows.

Points of Interest
  • Choristry House (performing arts)
  • Prophecy Park (monument)
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Old Oct 10th, 2013, 10:08 PM
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The Fogbottom
OverviewEvery slum is different, but every slum is the same. Ragged streets that teem with filth and disease and garish fashion; weatherbeaten faces and flinty eyes. The Fogbottom has been home to Quantium's poor since the city first grew walls, and it has outlasted the settlements at Westgate and Slavegate as the city's fortunes have risen and fallen.

Fogbottom got its name from the massive miasma attack back in the fifth century AR. The attack drove Nex into his refuge and killed thousands within the city before it was successfully dispelled. As Quantium's protectors strove to defend the city, their first line of defense was at the city wall. There the wizards stood, drawing on elemental powers as well as pure force, holding the killing fog off the city -- holding it right at the wall, over the villages that had grown up outside the Deathgate.

Millennia later, the Fogbottom is still not dead. Home to at least twenty thousand souls, living conditions in the Fogbottom are only marginally better than when the fog crawled its streets. Buildings want for repair, denizens want for hope, and filth piles up in every crack and corner. Taverns are the district's most common business, and crime quite literally runs the streets. Far from being dead, the district is spreading; in the twenty-sixth century AR, enough real estate within the Deathgate had failed that a neighborhood of squatters formed. Over time, the northern districts have continued to pull back, and the Fogbottom has spread.

Still, even within this squalor, pockets of beauty thrive. Deep in the Fogbottom's interior, the Dust Garden is a large open space, dotted irregularly with boulders ranging in size from climbable to fist-sized, all set in a field of sand. The park is not safe, exactly, but a small group of volunteers keeps the park clean, and works to keep the park neutral territory in the gang conflicts that ravage the district.

The Menagerie, a sprawling collection of tents and pens containing exotic animals from across Golarion, is significantly more accessible. Located immediately outside the Deathgate and on the Great Southern Road, the Menagerie was originally an itinerant show. It is now a permanent emplacement, with a vast collection and no remaining wagons.


Law & OrderThree sizable criminal organizations of varying sophistication vie for dominance in the Fogbottom. Countless others have presence, but are not serious powers. The most sophisticated, the Vudrani Dakalti family runs a ruthless operation based on zero-tolerance and a free hand with violence. The policies and aggressive murder. A separate organization, Third Amalgam, is a quasi-mystical cult. They exhibit a very loose control over the territory in which they operate, but behave capriciously. The third group, the Sandmen, claim to be ethnic nomads, children of the desert. Like the others, they are criminals: they run protection rackets, extort money from businesses, engage in usury and gambling, and in general prey upon the residents of their territory; unlike the others, though, the Sandmen have a strange sense of noblesse oblige, a sense of duty to "their people."


Points of Interest
  • Deathgate (architecture/monument)
  • The Menagerie (entertainment; zoo)
  • The Dust Garden (park)
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Old Oct 15th, 2013, 03:17 PM
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River District
OverviewThe River District is a solidly working class neighborhood with a military base in its midst. Laborers of all stripes live here, from servants to soldiers to longshoremen. As a basically residential area, the biggest businesses are the taverns and markets that dot every district with commerce.

Not much traffic flows on the river, despite its relative lack of pollutants when compared to the bay. The river runs along the border of Nex and deep into the nation's interior: very little lies in that direction. Somewhat more comes overland, generally by caravan from Katapesh; this traffic is stopped and assayed for tariffs at the Slavegate. The Slavegate itself, like Nex's other gates, is architecturally and aesthetically interesting, both a monument as well as a functional fortification.

Fort Blanc, the White Fort, looms over the district. Its high towers house several battalions of Nex's army. While the army is mostly built up in the south, nearer the border with Geb, Quantium plays host to several units, including two elite units of musketeers and the Imperial Wands.

Also in the River District is the Bridge of Sorrows, rebuilt in the seventeenth century AD by master craftsmen under the direction of Paolo Defresne, a sculptor of significant fame. His sister, the poet Daphne Defresne, threw herself from that bridge ten years later, cementing its name.

The district's final landmark is the now-defunct Quantium Slave Pens, preserved as a cultural monument to the millions who suffered under the yoke of human bondage. Several humanitarian organizations provide funding for the site to operate as a historical attraction.


Law & OrderThe River District is a working class neighborhood built up around a military installation. Crime is not quite as rampant as it is Wharfside, but whenever a lot of people live very close to one another, things happen. The southeastern part of the district is the safest, while the areas nearest the fort are most dangerous. Typical crimes are assault (bar fights), unlawful solicitation, unlawful gambling, petty larceny, and burglary.

The city watch keeps order here, with a modest helping hand from the fort's military police. Both forces are capable, though the military police expects to deal with soldiers, and as such prefers a doctrine of overwhelming force. While both the city watch and the MPs are fairly responsive, neither force has a strong presence on the streets.


Points of Interest
  • Fort Blanc (military base)
  • Slavegate (monument/architecture)
  • The Quantium Slave Pens (historical site)
  • Bridge of Sorrows (monument/architecture)
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