Swords in the Big City
In the south of Keen-Araz exists one of only a few crossing points over the canyon known as The World Scar, a vast mile wide stone bridge with a whole city built on top. A vital trade route flows over the bridge and through the city that squats on top of the bridge. The city rises up in two distinct areas, buildings stacked on top of buildings, form two huge living pyramid-type structures. To the east is Morning Side, catching the first rays of the sun each day. The Bakers Guild is based in this district. The western section is Star Side, holding the last light of the day, home to the city’s inns, taverns, restaurants and salons. Many bridges and walkways criss-cross across the gap between the two towering structures. Only the rich live on the highest levels, the majority of the populace live in the semi darkness of the warren-like streets. The original caravan road that crossed the bridge is now a canyon that runs from north to south between the two towering city districts. The lowest levels are however a lawless den of thieves that the City Guard can barely contain. All trade goods taken through Bridge City are well guarded from the less reputable denizens by the highly trained and well equip guards of the city. The toll for this service goes to the city coffers. This also helps maintain the vast castle-like walls that sit on either end of the bridge.
All surface of the bridge has been built on except for the Central Road, a wide roadway that runs straight through the city, which is used to take all trade traffic. City now has half a dozen main levels. Most mid-levels and the warrens are lit with Diurnals (magical crystals that emit bright light while the sun is in the sky).
The Walls – These massive stone fortifications protect the residents and merchants in the city itself, effectively turning the whole bridge into a citadel.
Warrens – Small tunnels run through the rock of the bridge itself. Tunnels run into cliff and head down but are filled with rats and vermin so no one ventures too far from bridge. The lowest levels of buildings on the bridge are old and many are taken up with foundations of higher levels.
The City poor live down here, lowest caste workers, thieves’ guild, etc. Main tunnels are lit by diurnals and the Watch do not enter Warrens unless in large groups.
Midtown – Above them live the merchants of the city, well-lit open plazas are covered with market stalls. Winding covered streets are patrolled and well lit, specialist shops and low rent residential areas complete the mid-levels. City Watch is based here also. Taverns and Inns are all at this level. Prices go up around the small patches of sunlight the make it down. The bulk of city levels are considered Midtown. Some levels are more open to the sky than others. Midtown is further broken down into distinct areas. Star Side midtown includes North and South Lowtown, Stranger Town, Oasis, Al Aghrem, and the Zaid Quarter. Morning Side has The Soak, The Bazaar, Lambdon, Marsilon, Down Street, and Bottom Row.
Topside – Just behind the Walls, and on the highest, exposed levels of the city, are high-end residential buildings and expensive boutiques (Magic shops etc) for most wealthy in city (noble caste, ruling guild members etc). Mostly laid out around balconies and open plazas to get maximum sunlight. The League of Guilds, which rules city, has a City Hall in The Gate House North. The Gate House North is much expanded from its original structure, in a variety of architectural styles. Star Side has Embassy Row and The Guild Quarter (which is the seat of the Bridge City government), where Morning Side has Upper Terrace and Charm Street (high end entertainment and boutiques)
The World Scar – The world scar is a mile-wide canyon with vertical cliffs that descend to a deep flat bottom. The floor of the canyon is thousands of feet below the city. All city waste is dropped over side. Stairs have been cut into cliff faces but have long since been blocked or destroyed. No one has tried any descent for a hundred years since all who tried did not return. Extends for several thousand miles in a single straight line across the face of the World; depth varies towards the far ends, thick vegetation can be seen on floor as it rises up, particularly near the Great Divide Ocean. Only land route across for hundreds of miles in either direction is The Bridge. Area directly below City is becoming polluted by the waste dropped over side, spreading further out every year. This pollution is creating a new type of creature/monster that will threaten city.
The Canyon floor – Fungal species live on floor, oozes, slimes, myconoids etc. Also a large colony of Spiders (of various species) lives here. Ruins of an ancient city of an unknown race lie in the permanent darkness.
The Farm – North of the city is a huge tract of cultivated land. It is in actuality many farms spread out over the countryside but is a single duchy. Bridge City is the closest and richest market for the farmers to sell produce. The Duke is incredibly rich as a result of the tax taken from his people. This wealth is used to fund a large formal militia that patrols the duchy. This army is well trained, well fed and well equipped, though by an ancient agreement cannot enter the city walls.
Thieves Guild – mainly steal from businesses that can afford to lose some cash or directly from the Guilds coffers
City Watch (based in Midtown, patrols main streets in Warrens, Midtown and Topside) – mostly honest but some notably corrupt guards are bought help guilds run illegal activity
League of Guilds (ruling body members of merchant guilds private elections held within guild to see who get seats on League, Chaired by elected Merchant Prince)
Embassies (of most other major humanoid countries)
Morning Side (East Structure)
Level 1 – Warrens
Level 2 – The Soak, The Bazaar
Level 3 – Lambdon, Marsilon
Level 4 – Down Street, Bottom Row
Level 5 – Upper Terrace
Level 6 – Charm Street
Star Side (West structure)
Level 1 – Warrens
Level 2 – North Lowtown, South Lowtown
Level 3 – Stranger Town, Oasis
Level 4 – El Aghrem, Zaid Quarter
Level 5 – Embassy Row
Level 6 – Guild Quarter