Salt, Gold, Steel and Ghosts (Spellbound Kingdoms)
Current Doom: 4
Rithites love adventure. Anyone who has successfully completed what can be considered to be “an adventure” boosts all existing positive reputations by 1 while they are in the city.
Anyone who has a Love inspiration aimed at another person increases their Heart score by 1 while they are in Rithaign. The message of the Siren is sung loud and clear across Rithaign: love conquers all.
Beauty, especially in art, is the highest, most noble pursuit possible in this life. Anyone who does not have a skill valuing beauty or art has his Mood lowered by 1 while in the kingdom of Akra.
Rithaign is a hideously overcrowded port city in the Kingdom of Akra. It has a population of 100,000 crammed into a few square miles and hemmed in by two layers of city walls, the river and the ocean. A cosmopolitan trade hub and a stepping off point for the King’s armies as they travel across the ocean on their way to the war in East Fire, Rithaign is either a stinking, crime-ridden hole in the ground or a bustling jewel of culture and commerce – depending on who you ask. The Queen’s House of Tumenant historically have their seat in this Duchy, and the current Duke is the Queen’s nephew Raoul. The Ducal Militia have a small presence in the city, although the majority guard the Tumenant estates, and a dark reputation. While the Dryght and the City Watch are nobody’s friend, the Militia answer to nobody and leave few survivors when they are involved in an incident.
Rithaign has rich and poor areas like any city. In general, the poorer areas are on the outskirts while the upscale neighbourhoods are closer to the centre of the city, around Odren Square and the Palace of Talisare.
Districts, poorest to richest:
Foreign Quarter: Near the low market and the bridge, so-called because of its high population of immigrants from far and wide. Northside, as it is also called, is one of the poorest parts of the city. The only saving grace is that the Militia barely ever come here. The Cutters have a stranglehold over Northside, and run protection rackets, extortion rackets and smuggling rings, as well as prostitution and illegal fighting and gambling rings from their stronghold here.
The Meander: Close to the old city walls, the interior of which are rumoured to house communities of homeless people, and the prestigious Unicorn Downs and the Palace, the poor district of The Meander is unfortunately subject to frequent crackdowns from the Militia whenever Rithaign’s richer citizens think the plebs are getting too close to their parts of the city. So named because it is an awful maze of narrow streets and alleyways which are very difficult to navigate in a straight line. Hotly contested between the Cutters and Merchants Below.
Oparth’s End: Has a dubious location right next to the sinister City Cemetary and is not nearly as walled off from it as the Hearth Quarter to the North. Poor and has a high membership of the Factors, Beggars and Insurers and so is a naturally a stronghold for the Merchants Below. Hit hard by the zombie swarms that boiled out of the graveyard thirty years ago, Oparth’s End has never really recovered from the damage. Historically poor, but with a strong community spirit.
Docks Quarter: Where most of the trade in Rithaign enters and leaves the city. Mostly warehouses, harbours, offices and inns and taverns for sailors. Heavily patrolled by the Watch, as its continued function is considered to be critical to the wellbeing of the city, this doesn’t stop it from being a hotbed of criminal and black market activity – mainly because the man responsible for overseeing the Watch in the area is incredibly corrupt. The Docks is the reason the Cutters and Merchants Below have a truce – their fighting over control of the area threatened to bring the Watch down hard on both of them and now they uneasily share the spoils of criminal activity in the Docks.
Low Market: Where most of the mercantile activity for citizens of Rithaign happens – buying everyday goods like food, cloth, alcohol, metalwork and so on rather than exotic trade goods. Not nearly as heavily patrolled as the Bridge or Merchant’s Quarter, the Cutters tend to be the ones who punish thieves and pickpockets in the Low Market.
Rithaign Bridge: A mishmash of rich and poor. The Bridge is enormous and holds an entire market street on it, which is where most of the exotic foreign wares are bought and sold. People travel enormous distances to shop in the Bridge Market of Rithaign and even further to sell their wares here. Most (but not all) wares sold here are too expensive for your average citizen of Rithaign, but the Bridge is the only way to get to and from the Low Market at Northside, making the Bridge Market one of the few places where the richest and poorest citizens of Rithaign rub shoulders.
Hearth Quarter: Home to Rithaign’s middle classes – most of the merchants and artisans who don’t live above their shops in the Merchant’s Quarter live here. Next to the Cemetary, considerable effort was put into fortifying Hearth Quarter against any intrusion from the graveyard after the zombie swarms thirty years ago. The streets are cleaner and better lit than any of the poorer districts, and loosely patrolled both night and day. Most crime here is of the breaking and entering variety.
Merchant’s Quarter: Where all of the artisans, craftsmen and reputable merchants and fixers have their shops. Here is where you will find jewelers, goldsmiths, bespoke tailors and furnituremakers, fashionistas, mechanists, alchemists and where trade guilds, auction houses and rich incorporated merchants establish their branches. While not exactly forbidden to the lower classes, the Watch look askance at any obviously poor person who makes their way through the Merchant’s Quarter – after all, crime is bad for business.
Winter Hill: The upmarket part of Rithaign where the rich people who aren’t quite rich enough to have their own estate build their chateaus and mansion houses. The streets are clean, decorated, well lit and positively swarming with guards. Depending on whether they run into the Watch, the Militia or the many private household guards and neighbourhood watchmen, a poor person who tries to enter Winter Hill may be politely but firmly ejected or beaten and thrown in the river.
Odren Square: A grand and ornate square in the centre of Rithaign. The city’s most exclusive and expensive shops, restaurants and establishments as well as the Palace of Talisare front onto the square. The only thing that spoils the beauty of the place is the hangman’s stand and stocks which the nobility openly display the criminals of the city in – a visible symbol of the King’s power and authority in the heart of one of the most picturesque spots in the city. The proximity of the Palace and concentration of wealth make this one of the most heavily watched and well defended places in the city.