View Full Version : The Free City of Greyhawk
10-25-2008, 09:08 AM
From the darkest alleys and most fetid cellars of the Old City, along the alabaster spires of temple and university lining the great length of the Processional, and on to the regal grandeur of the High Quarter and the looming towers of the Grand Citadel beyond...
The city beckons. Greyhawk, grandest jewel of the Flanaess, awaits you, offering adventures to stagger your imagination, treasure beyond your wildest dreams-and of course, dangers aplenty.
The city and its lands lie in the heart of civilized Oerth. The barren slopes of the mysterious Cairn Hills loom to the north of the city, within sight of the high walls. The placid expanse of the great river Selintan meanders past Greyhawk's bustling wharf region, giving the city its primary claim to strategic significance, for it lies along that waterway between the great lake of Nyr Dyv to the north and the broad surface of Woolly Bay and the Azure Sea to the south.
The City of Greyhawk and its domain are ruled by a Directing Oligarchy, a group of technically coequal members who head various major interests within the city. The number of Oligarchs (also known as directors) usally varies between 12 and 18, depending on the political circumstances. Replacement of an Oligarch who dies or retires is not required. If a vacancy in the Oligarchy should be filled, the new Oligarch is chosen by vote of the curren Directors. The Oligarchy meets every Starday during the year to cover business relevant to the City, the Domain, and themselves.
The DIrecting Oligarchy periodically elects a Lord Mayor among it's members to lead them. THe election of a mayor occurs whenever the old mayor dies, retires, resigns, or fails a no-confidence vote consisting of a two-thirds majority of the Directing Oligarchy. Since 570 CY, Nerof Gasgal has been the Lord Mayor. So far, he has been one of the best.
The guilds of greyhawk are all designed to protect and further the social and economic interests of their membership. While not all of the Free City's Guilds have been granted or have been abme to maintain a monopoly on the services and crafts they provide, they can nevertheless present a united front to any form of competition and have a recognized degree of political influence with the Directing Oligarchy.
On the first days of Fireseek, Planting, Reaping, and Patchwall, the Grand Council of Greyhawk Guilds meets at City Hall. All the city's Guildmasters are required to attend (and must send deputies should they be unable to do so). This meeting is used to discuss petitions and legistlation before the DIrecting Oligarchy that may affect the trade opr business of one or more of the Free City's guilds, and allegedly serves the purpose of granting those city guilds not directly represented in the Directing Oligarchy a say in the city's government.
10-25-2008, 09:10 AM
This small quarter of the Free City is one of the most peaceful, lacking the wild taverns and crowds of most other districts. The Artisans' Quarter is home to hardworking people and their families. Its major features are the guildhalls for many of those craftsmen and women.
Sure, the Artisans' Quarter has its share of taverns, but these are quiet, neighborhood places. Most of the customers recognize each other and the proprietor--who is usually the owner. Strangers are treated cordially, but any unruliness arouses the resentment of the entire establishment. The City Watch, while not a great presence here, is not neglectful.
The houses here are small. At first glance one might think they are crowded uncomfortably close together. Upon closer examination, the buildings all seem to fit snugly together, while leaving a surprising amount of space between them.
With its convenient location next to the Low Marketplace, the residents of this quarter rarely have to go elsewhere in the city for their needs. More than any other district, the Artisans' Quarter seems a self-sufficient community all unto itself.
The hallmarks of each tradesperson can be seen on the front of the house: an ornately carved balcony and railing for the woodcarver, a wide, sweeping stairway for the carpenter, an imposing facade of granite for the stonemason, and so on. Weavers, painters, metalsmiths, and the like use an example of their craft to decorate the front of the house--a tapestry, unusual color scheme, or metal rack of tools, for example.
While some of these artisans work for employers and travel to a different location for their job, the majority work in shops within their homes. Consequently, a great number of different businesses can be found in the tiny Artisans' Quarter.
Artisans' Quarter Businesses
Shipper and Haulers, Brewers, Leatherworkers, Weavers, Tailors, Metalsmiths, Jewelers, Gemcutters, Furniture Makers, Carpenters, Stonemasons, Architects, and Taverns with food
The Fat of the Hog
This friendly neighborhood bar is famous for the variety of its pork menu. Waldo Parstiche (commonly known as "Wide Waldo" NPC), the honorable proprietor, considers it a personal insult if a quest refuses to try whatever delicacy is the special of the day.
The tavern is small, with a dozen tables and twice as many seats at the bar. Open from noon until midnight, it always seems to be crowded. The prices are very reasonable and the portions more than ample.
Waldo's brother, Ernest, is lord of a manor a day's ride west of the Free City. Ernest Parstiche (NPC) has focused the attention of the farmers around his holdings into hog breeding. These hogs are regularly herded to the Free City slaughterhouse, which gives both brothers a sizable discount because of the volume of their business.
Waldo's specialties include pork ribs simmered in a spicy pepper sauce, then grilled. All but the most hardened diners must immediately wash down each bite with a mug of chilled ale, for the scalding heat of the pepper sauce is unequaled by any other public dish in the Free City.
However, Waldo also offers roasts, bacon-wrapped delicacies, pungent smoked hams, and his own invention, lard soup. Most of his menu is delightfully sumptuous, and even the latter item is edible.
Fruit of the Mill
This delightful little shop offers wine and ale for sale, together with a variety of pastries salty, sweet, or meaty. It caters to workers especially.
The proprietor is Karin Keoffel (NPC), a petite woman who has originated most of her own recipes. She hires several young women as barmaids and cooking help.
The eatery is open from dawn until an hour after dark. Meals are good and filling, with a variety of pastry for every taste. Specialties include cheese and tomato pastries, all manner of fruit pies, beef and lamb wrapped in crusty rolls, and many others. Karin employs no bouncer, nor any brawny help, but she and her maidens are favorites of the workers hereabouts. Any rude comments from customers are greeted with stern rebukes from these regulars. Those who persist in the disturbance find themselves facing 6-12 large, angry men.
10-25-2008, 09:13 AM
The city district that houses Greyhawk's universities, colleges, and schools is referred to by two names: "Clerkburg," as a reference to the students, tutors, scribes, and clerks who live here in great numbers; and "The Halls," meaning the large, airy buildings that typically house the schools.
Though it is not apparent from outside the quarter, Clerkburg is an area of plants, grassy yard, and small parks. It is second only to the Garden Quarter in the number and variety of its greenery.
The City Watch does not neglect Clerkburg. Generally a patrol arrives within 2d6 rounds of a summons. The People's Constables tend to avoid Clerkburg, to no one's disappointment.
An interesting feature of the quarter is the outside seating, or veranda, available at most of the small taverns and eateries. It may be squeezed precariously between the building and the street, barely wide enough for a single row of tables, but this outdoor dining area is required of any successful eating establishment in Clerkburg. In fact, the major attractions of this district to the citizenry of the city are these street-side tables. On Godsday with nice weather, the streets of Clerkburg swell with folk from all over the city, coming to enjoy their meal in the fresh air.
The Millstream winds its way through Clerkburg, and much of its bank has been preserved as a grassy parkway. Students often come here to study or relax.
Clerkburg is not a thriving business district--most of the buildings not used for schools are the residences of students and instructor. However, the following types of establishments can be found here:
Art Galleries, Bakeries, Boarding Houses, Book Binderies, Butchers, Inksellers, Launders, Leatherworkers, Locksmiths, Potters, Private Libraries, Scribeshops, Tailors, Taverns, Tiny Food Shops, Weaponsmiths, and Weavers.
Location of the Bridge of Entwined Hearts. Tradition holds that this bridge is the finest setting for romance in all the reaches of the Free City. During all hours of day and night, in weather fair and foul, one can always find a couple, or two, or occasionally three couples, engaged in quiet romantic conversation.
Of course the bridge serves as a thoroughfare and carries a fairly significant amount of traffic each day. The Millstream separates Clerkburg into two parts, and the bridge is the only one in the district. Each of the mills has a dam, with a walkway across it, but this bridge is the only crossing that can carry a horse or coach across the Millstream during its entire course from Temple Row to the Processional.
But travelers use the roadway, and lovers use the balconies set off the road at the highest point of the bridge. One of these balconies overlooks each side, and each has a small bench in it, large enough to hold only two. If a couple comes along, but there is already a pair on each balcony, if the time is right, the space will be there--or so go the stories.
Rumor state that a marriage proposal made and accepted upon the bridge will lead to a life-long union. The theory has been tested thousands of times, but no one has compiled the results. There are no magical effects present on this bridge, but the view is lovely, the passers-by friendly, and who knows what a rising moon might foreshadow.....
Originally a small adjunct to Grey College, the Bardschool broke away nearly a century ago over a dispute in the curriculum. The college attempted to channel students into a specific area of expertise, whereas the Bardschool offered a much broader, more general program. As it happens, many of the Bardschool's graduates have gone on to become great bards of the harp, lute , or flute.
Though small, with only 30-40 students at a time, the Bardschool features superb instructors in each of its fields. These are men and women motivated more by a desire to spread knowledge than to live well, for their skills could command high teaching fees.
The tuition at the Bardschool roughly approximates that of Grey College. There is no set period of instructions at the school, though students generally can gain little more after five or six years here.
The Bardschool has an impact on the city that goes far beyond its size, however. The practical jokes performed by its students (and by other, in revenge upon those same students) are nearly legendary. Bardschool students never cease attempting to embarrass the students and faculty of Grey College, which is their most constant rival. The Bardschool fields teams for every competition and college game at the arena, again overcoming the limitations of its small size. The student body is composed of splendid specimens of physical fitness and wit, so they more than hold their own against the larger schools.
The High Tutor and headmaster of the school is Lactile Furlo (NPC), a master bard. His ribald sense of humor sets the tone for the pranks of his students and faculty.
But the bards serve a serious role as well, particularly in chronicling the day-to-day life, and the grander historical march, of the Free City and its people.
True, the scholars in the Great Library perform much the same function, with access to a greater wealth of facts and figures. One who wishes to learn the exact value of the jewels traded through the city during a specified year will indeed do better by consulting the library's history. But for one who wishes to remember the sunsets that blazed during a misty autumn, or the lyrics of a song raised in celebration of the fall harvest, there can be no substitute for the History of the Bards.
Black Dragon Inn
This is the largest inn in Clerkburg, offering 60 rooms for rent as well as good food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner---and all night long, for that matter. The Black Dragon Inn also has a large common sleeping room, where a traveler can rent a straw pallet, together with his supper and a pitcher of ale, for 2 sp. A good private room can be had for 5 sp, and the inn offers several comparatively luxurious suites for 1 to 2 gp.
A small stable is located behind the inn, with stalls for a dozen steeds and a courtyard large enough to hold several carriages. The inn employs many young men and women, mostly students, during the full 24 hours of the day. At any one time there might be two stable hands, four cooks, three bartenders, 10 or 12 serving maids, four bouncers (NPCs), and four housekeepers here.
The proprietor of the Black Dragon Inn is Miklos Dare (NPC), a retired adventurer who loves to share stories of his experiences with interested listeners. A great red-bearded bear of a man, with a peg leg and numerous scars, Miklos is affable but assertive in maintaining his establishment.
Miklos has knowledge of the city and has been seen to impart this knowledge with ale and a tentative listener to his tales.
The front of this building, facing the Processional, is a grand sweep of granite walls and tall columns. Three wide stairs lead to a pair of massive front doors, suitable for a castle or fortress.
The building beyond the facade is not so grand, but its true worth lies in the treasures kept within its wall. And indeed, the Great Library of Greyhawk is repository for more volumes than are gathered in one place anywhere else in the Flanaess.
The library is unlocked during the hours of daylight, and all free citizens of the city as well as foreigners are welcome to enter the library and browse through its cool, musty halls. Silence is expected of all visitors, and weapons and armor are not permitted.
Any visitor is welcome to peruse the volumes in the six public halls in the front of the buildings. Only those who are Contributing Members of the library board can remove these volumes, up to three at a time. Contributing Members must donate at least 100 gp annually to the library in order to maintain membership status.
Contributing Membership is often granted by sponsorship. For example, a rich merchant or powerful noble or businessman might not be a member, he will certainly make sure to purchase a Contributing Membership for his scribe.
The high desk of Gratius Saghast (NPC), head librarian, sits upon a raised platform inside the front door. Gratius is always found here. He is crusty and irascible, but a sage of great repute. He shares his knowledge (including simple directions on the library's contents) only reluctantly, though the flattery of a pretty young woman always gets him to open up.
Six wings lead off from the main entry hall--three to the right and three to the left. Each is separated from the entry by an open arch. These are labeled History, Geography, Artistic Studies, Poetry, Science, and General. Each, of course, contains volumes on the listed topic. There are 3-18 thousand books in each wing.
Funded through the good offices of its contributing members, the library is well able to acquire new volumes. Indeed, it has several sages and scribes under contract to actually write books, mostly detailing current affairs in the Free City itself. This surplus of capital also enables the library to maintain a selection of exquisitely rare, even magical, tomes, and to protect those treasures accordingly.
The rear of the library building is a stone edifice, layered over on the outside to look like wood. Only Contributing Members are allowed back here, and even they may never remove any book from these chambers.
An iron door leads to a narrow hallway behind the head librarian's desk. Several scribes labor constantly in here, not so much from scholarly diligence as from duty. Their true purpose is to serve as sentries, for their hallway guards the three locked, iron doors to the Library Vaults. These large metal chambers, surrounded by heavy stone, are the repositories for the library's most valuable works.
Below the library are several cellar apartments. Gratius Saghast lives here in several austere rooms, and other tiny apartments are kept to offer scribes and scholars whose labors keep them in the library often for days at a time.
Free City Arena
The arena began as a joint effort between Grey College and Lord Mayor Zagig ( past mayor ), to be used for college assemblies and events as well as entertainment for the citizens of the city. It provided somewhat of a bust as the latter--apparently the citizens of Greyhawk had plenty of ways to entertain themselves without the grandiose spectacles hosted by Zagig. And indeed, the arena can seat but 18,000 souls, of they squeeze together, so the bulk of the city's population had to miss each event.
As a college focal point, however, the arena has been a grand success. It serves as a neutral ground for representatives of all the schools in Clerkburg, as well as self-proclaimed fraternities of students using individual tutors, to gather and face off in the endless series of games and contests these students use to amuse themselves.
In addition to these contests, the arena is still used by the city for those occasions when a grand celebration is required. Many holidays are commemorated with a service here. Illusionist shows, offered once or twice a year, are extremely popular. And every few years a traveling circus comes to the Free City, remaining for two or three weeks. These festive occasions are cause for nightly crowds in Clerkburg, even though they occur over Midsummer when the colleges are not in session.
Also, the men of the City Watch hold drills and mock battles here. Only twice a year are the mock battles performed before an audience, once in spring and once in autumn, but the troops often practice here during the day, or even under the light of a bright moon.
The grand stone edifice was once a gleaming white circle of limestone. The color first faded to gray, and then one day nearly 20 years ago, suffered the indignity of a practical joke by the students of the Bardschool: the citizens of the Free City awakened one morning to find that their coliseum had been painted all over a throbbing, vibrant shade of pink.
Of course, it has mostly faded by now, but in places an observer can see a streak of pink running though a seam in the limestone. And from a distance, the entire edifice seems to take on a rosy hue when the sun hits it just right.
The arena is capable of hosting all sorts of functions. Its field is large, and normally covered with hard-packed sand. However, it has been covered with lush turf of filled with enough water to float small boats--both transformations accomplished with the aid of powerful priests--on more than one occasion.
Spectators can enter the stadium by any one of a dozen gates spaced around its outside wall. Seating occurs in 12 banks of 1,500 seats each. All the seats offer splendid views of the field, as they are not very far away.
Below the seats is a complex labyrinth of dressing rooms, cages for wild animals or prisoners, and storage halls for the equipment that is sometimes employed in the events of the arena. The short, narrow skiffs used by the various college teams for the rowing races and mock sea battles fought in the flooded stadium, for example, are locked up under a section of the stands.
The arena floor itself has only two entrances, one at the east end and the other at the west end. Each of these is 20 feet wide by 16 feet high, and can be secured with massive wooden doors. These doors fit so snugly that water barely trickles under them when the arena is awash.
Above the western entrance rests the Grand Box of the Lord Mayor. This luxurious accommodation can seat 100 personal guests of the lord mayor. During college events, the box is used by the student and faculty leaders of the college that last triumphed in the event.
The arena floor is surrounded by a wall 15 feet high on each side, and 20 feet high in the east and west ends. The front rank of spectator seating reaches almost to the edge of this wall. In fact, an observer in this row who leans too far forward may find himself flat on his face in the arena.
The arena is used once nearly every week, except during the heart of winter, for some function or another. Usually these are small college competitions, such as the "Sea Wars," or a major city functions such as the welcoming of a new ambassador, draw enough people to fill the arena to capacity. All Clerkburg bustles on these occasions, as graduates return to cheer for their school, or the influential folk of the High Quarter journey here in their carriages and coaches.
Roc Oliphant Inn
This boisterous tavern is a favorite of students, renowned for cheap drink and ample portions of tolerable food. It is busy at mealtimes, and during most evenings. Earthday evenings are the wildest, usually with music from some group of minstrels or bards. Since most colleges do not hold classes on Freeday, the carousing goes on until well past midnight.
The large building consists of a huge main room heated by a central fireplace, and several smaller rooms to each side. The kitchen is in the rear. The whole place has a distinctive odor combining wood smoke, stale beer, and human perspiration.
Grey College Park
This renowned institution has long produced many of the best-educated men and women in the civilized world. It has rigorous entrance requirements and offers scholarships to excellent students from distant lands or poor households.
The main buildings of the college are centered around University Street. But certain parts of the school are scattered throughout other small buildings in Clerkburg and even beyond, for the small observatory of the Astronomy School is located outside Garden Gate.
The largest buildings of the College are the Hall of the Dean, College Hall, and Timber Hall.
The Hall of the Dean is the largest; its tower is visible along the Processional for much of its length. It is a mazelike building of classes, libraries, laboratories, closets, and storerooms. Like a grand mansion it rambles up and down wide staircases, with here the faculty offices of the School of Geography, and there the laboratory complex of the School of Alchemy. Since it is the original college building, all departments are represented here, but none is entirely contained here.
The cellar under the Hall of the Dean is a pleasant, quiet tavern and restaurant. Its prices are very high, but students and faulty of any school or tutorial service in Clerkburg are granted a 90% discount. It has become the focal point of literary discussion and liberal ideas within the city. Those not associated with the college community in some way rarely come here.
College Hall is a building of fine, classic architecture. Here are the offices of the faculty, the college library, and some classrooms and meeting halls. Timber Hall, the other structure, is an uninspired block of brown boards, containing most of the classrooms of the college.
Other classes, most notably the School of Music's chambers for both instrumental and vocal education, and the School of Sculpture's studios, are spread among the smaller buildings on the university's park-like grounds.
Grey College has an average of about 400 students during a term. Like the other colleges in the city, a Grey College term begins a month after Midsummer, and ends the following year a month before Midsummer. During the intervening 10 months, classes and school exercises are pursued six days a week, every week except for a break of a week or two in midwinter.
The college offers courses of study ranging form two to eight years in duration. Its schools encompass most of the great realms of learning--Alchemy, Engineering, Healing, Geography, Economy, Architecture, Painting, Sculpture, Theatre, Literature, and History.
Tuition varies, based on the level of program sought. It begins at about 50 gp for the first term. The total tends to double each subsequent year, so the later years of schooling become very expensive. However, each student can be assured of receiving instruction from knowledgeable and motivated professors. Classes are small, with individual attention common during the later years of schooling.
10-25-2008, 09:14 AM
What a grand array of buildings and personages await the fortunate traveler who decides to stroll down the Promenade! What marvels of architecture! What splended grace and beauty, such impressive style!
The grand edifices of the Free City's High Quarter are, in general, mansions that would be fit for the ruler of most political entities. In Greyhawk, however, such homes are the just rewards for successful merchants, important ambassadors, the city's own Directors, and others of wealth and station. (Actually, in the Free City, wealth is station.)
The mansions sprawl over large estates--an equivalent amount of property might hold the homes of 1,000 souls in the cramped confines of the Old City.
Stores and shops are not found in the High Quarter; the residents can usually find everything they need at the city's High Marketplace. The only businesses in the quarter are those gambling houses, taverns, and clubs that cater to a wealthy clientele.
The noble district is the best illuminated of the city's quarters after dark, for each mansion maintains a lamp on the road before it, and the city maintains other lamps at frequent intervals along each thoroughfare.
In addition, the guard patrols of the city watch are diligent and common in the High Quarter. A standard patrol will arrive within 1d6 round following any loud cry of alarm in the High Quarter.
Also, the private agents of the Nightwatchmen are employed throughout the High Quarter, sometimes to watch a single mansion, and other times to patrol a region of several estates. When the Nightwatchmen from such roving patrols, they go in groups of five, accompanied by two great hounds (war dogs).
The roads of the High Quarter bustle with crowds only on the occasions of parades and festivals. The qurarter receives a lot of traffic every Starday, attracted by the grand array of booths and stalls in the High Marketplace.
Otherwise, the quarter is quiet, with only a few people moving about at any one time. These travelers are nobles in carriages, on horseback, and afoot, their servants (with or without their masters), craftsmen hired to work in the High Quarter on their way to and from the job, and many others. Travel is allowed to and from the High quarter with no restrictions, but a visitor to the quarter who appears to be up to no good (loitering about, acting furtive, associating with known criminals, etc.) is quickly accosted by a guard patrol. If the visitor can produce no good reason why he is in the High Quarter, he is escorted to the Garden Gate with orders not to return without a valid purpose
10-25-2008, 09:15 AM
The Garden Quarter marks a great arc about the city's High Quarter, In truth, an untutored observer could not tell where one district ends and the other begins. But the boundaries are clearly defined in the collective social consciousness of the city's elite.
If the estates in the Garden Quarter tend to be a little smaller than their uphill neighbors, if their statuary is less exquisite and the architecture more plain, these deficiencies are more than made up for by the brilliant profusion of blossoms grown here. The sweeping expanses of manicured beauty have given the quarter its name and its character.
On a pleasant spring day the fragrance of lilac is carried by each passing breeze, while in summer a stroller can sample the dewy aroma of the lilies, and so on.
The patrols of the city watch are as diligent and common here as in the High Quarter, though there are fewer hired security agents in the Garden Quarter.
There are no shops in the Garden Quarter, save for the region of the High Marketplace. Several fine inns and clubs offer fine cuisine and often gambling to wealthy patrons.
10-25-2008, 09:20 AM
This is the most crowded quarter of the New City, not just because this is the residential district assigned to all those who have not inherited or adopted Greyhawk citizenry, but because it is a nice place to live. It offers a variety of eateries and taverns, as well as tiny shops of many unique types.
It has long been city policy that visitors who take up residence in Greyhawk should not be allowed to inhabit certain areas, particularly places adjacent to the city wall. Thus, all foreigners who actually rent a residence (as opposed to taking a room in an inn, even for many weeks) must find such a residence in this quarter. Of course, foreign nobles and official guests of the city are exempt from the restriction.
Foreigners are not permitted to purchase property in the Free City. After seven consecutive years of residence (at least six months each year) in the city, a foreigner can apply for citizenship. Provided he has two citizens to vouch for him, and no record of troubles with the watch or any influential guilds, citizenship is granted.
Certain of the Foreign Quarter's shops and inns retain a distinctive character reflecting their owners' origins. But for the most part this district has blended very well into the rest of the Free City's character.
The City Watch is here, but not in any considerable numbers. The People's Constables on the other hand, are a common and bothersome presence during daylight. At night, the Nightwatchmen's Guild puts regular patrols through this and the neighboring River District. In many ways it is representative of the city in miniature, with its diversity of shops, its theatre (the Pit), and its mix of people from all places and all levels on the social scale. Indeed, the Foreign Quarter even has its own nobility, in the form of The Duke.
Every type of business can be found in this quarter. Problem is though if you asked someone where to find what you are looking for, half the time the directions are wrong.
Mercenaries Guild Hall
This sturdy block of a building contains the headquarters of the Free City's organization of hired swordsmen and other warriors. While the guild cannot claim the membership of all mercenaries in the city, a great proportion of them make certain to pay their dues immediately upon entering the city, though at ten gp per year, theses are more costly than most guild memberships in the city.
Membership in the guild gains for mercenaries several advantages. Firstly, the guildhall maintains a well-stocked bar, with drinks at no cost to members. A bunk in a community sleeping room is also offered, free, for a member who needs shelter for a few nights. Those mercenaries in town for a week or longer are expected to eventually arrange their own lodgings.
But even more importantly, the guildhall is the most commonly used employment center for mercenaries. Hired fighters who betray their employers are forever barred from guild membership. The guild requires most prospective members to pass a combat test (requiring 1st-level fighting skills). Thus one who seeks hired fighters can be fairly certain of finding skilled, reasonably loyal troops at the guildhall.
Certain mercenaries offering skills other than pure fighting knowledge, such as healing ability, magic use, horse training, or scouting skills, are often exempted from the combat test. These individuals, while still mercenaries and guild members, are referred to as "specialist."
Arms and armor may be worn in the hall, but a rigid code of discipline prevents any fighting--even fisticuffs--within the guild headquarters. Though a pair of warriors may have come here from the same battlefield where they fought against each other, all such differences must be set aside as they pass through the door of the guildhall. Fighters lacking the discipline to observe this restriction--and there are quite a few--generally have the good taste to avoid the guildhall when the potential for trouble exists. Again, violation of this tenet results in banishment from the guild.
Silver Dragon Inn
This is the grand inn of the Foreign Quarter, often the first place sought by new arrivals in the city. Prices are average and servings are huge. From the spicy bean recipes of the south to the seafood delicacies of the wild coast to the rice and vegetable concoctions made across the plains of the Flanaess, every manner of food and every means of preparation is available here.
Weapons larger than daggers must be checked at the door, together with shields. Customers wearing metal armor are not admitted. A pair of bouncers stands at the door politely enforcing the rule.
The Silver Dragon Inn has three different restaurants on the first floor and in the cellar, specializing respectively in frying, grilling, and baking. Much of the cellar is given over to the kitchens. The second floor is a vast drinking hall always crowded with an assortment of dwarves, halflings, ruddy barbarians, dusky sailors, nomads in furs, other nomads in turbans, even half-orcs and squinting mercenaries from unknown distances.
The proprietor, Olaf Al-Azul (NPC), is an odd mixture of a barbarian mother and desert silk merchant father. He speaks a dozen languages fluently and rules the inn with bluff good humor. He can almost always break up a fight before it starts, generally with a round of drinks for the instigators. Like as not the would-be combatants part the inn as fast friends.
When such tactics don't work, Olaf is swift and sure with the use of force. The two bouncers also quickly respond to disturbances.
The upper level of the inn offers two dozen sleeping rooms, ranging from chambers with one large bed to those containing a dozen straw mats. Cost is reasonable, but not cheap.
Blue Dragon Inn
The owner of this inn, Felipe Namarhz, doesn't have a lot of originality, but he knows what he likes. And he likes the Silver Dragon Inn.
Felipe set out to copy the Silver Dragon in every way possible, from the appearance of the building to the contents of his menu.
He has succeeded in every aspect save one: quality. The Blue Dragon Inn is indeed a poor sister to the grand establishment next door.
Nearly everything available at the Silver Dragon is available here, in imitation form, though the price is an exact replica of the Silver Dragon's. Consequently, the Blue Dragon Inn is rarely crowded. Even so, the service is still terrible.
Felipe imposes the same dress code as does Olaf Al-Azul at the Silver Dragon, though his bouncers are less formidable.
The Pit is a large and distinctive building in the Foreign Quarter. Various forms of gladiatorial-based entertainment are held here: both warrior against warrior (lethal and nonlethal), and warrior against monster. The Pit is visited by the respectable and well-to-do, whenever they feel like slumming and indulging their jaded tastes, and by the common rabble, simply to satisfy their lust for mindless violence. The Pit is owned by Andrade Mirrius (NPC), but the day-to-day business of the Pit is run by Petain Morvannis (NPC).
Pietain is 5'11", 170 lbs., 32 years old with red hair and a fair but somewhat weathered complexion. A native of Jetsom Island in the Hold of the Sea Princes, after a fairly disastrous career as a merchant seaman (privateer). Penniless and in a strange city, he was drawn to the Pit. His skill with the trident (a fairly rare weapon proficiency) was highly useful in gladiatorial combat, and he won two good purses in one day. This success caught the eye of Andrade Mirrius, who, recognizing Pietain's potential, summoned the young man for a drink and a discussion. Impressed by his intelligence--unusual in a fighter--Andrade offered him a permanent position at the Pit. Peitain has never looked back since.
As Manager of the Pit, Peitain is responsible for regular combats (Andrade occasionally organizes special events), hiring a firing all staff, the procurement of monsters, and the establishment's finances. Pietain runs a tight ship; he is harsh but fair.
Entertainment at the Pit
There are four basic types of entertainment at the Pit. The first is nonlethal gladiatorial combat, typically fought with blunt weapons such as clubs and shields or nets. The second type is full-blooded gladiatorial combat which can be fought with any of a variety of edged weapons. This is where the real money is; these events are the biggest crowd-pullers. The third form of combat is warrior(s) against monster, the most common monsters used being large humanoids (such as bugbears), trolls, owlbears, and others such. The management frowns upon the killing of any of the monsters because of the replacement cost, although the death of a gladiator is regarded as an occupational hazard. To this end, the warriors are equipped with blunt weapons and are expected to beat the monster unconscious. The exception to this is combat against trolls, in which edged weapons can be freely used due to the trolls' regenerative abilities.
Monster combats are always well attended, and for the last two years the Pit has featured regular fights against Oswald, their resident manticore. The manticore's tail spikes have been docked (although he has learned to use a sideswiping, clubbing action with his tail), and his wings have been clipped to prevent escape. Oswald is a firm favorite with a faction from the River Quarter who cheer him on, hiss and boo his opponents, and purchase exorbitantly priced leather and feathered models of the beast for their children as presents.
The fourth type of event is unarmed combat between wrestlers and pugilists. For these contests, which are very popular with the older generation. Rashif Iqbal being the champion wrestler, 33 years old, 6'4" tall, 430 lbs., with a shaved head and a bound topknot. Rashif has black hair and eyes, and the deeply tanned skin of his native Tusmit. This man can even wrestle the owlbear into submission. He keeps strict discipline and accepts no nonsense or fooling around from his gladiator minions.
Gambling is a major activity here. The bookmakers take up stations around the lower tier, signaling changes of odds to their companions with a special and secret sign language because of the noise, while the workers clamber from tier to tier collecting the bets. Monies place as bets are exchanged for colored tickets that serve as receipts, and after each bout, winning bettors wave their tickets and scream for their winnings.
The Red Serpent
This restaurant specializes in an assortment of pepper-and-rice dishes, all of which are exceedingly spicy to the unprepared Greyhawk palate. The Red Serpent has a small but slowly growing and very loyal clientele. Also served here is an assortment of strong, cold drink, much recommended for soothing the fiery burn that lingers long after the food is gone. The meals are expensive but proclaimed very much worth it by the restaurant's loyal customers.
10-25-2008, 09:21 AM
This maze of alleys, shacks, boarding houses, and everything else is the true soul of Greyhawk. Herein lie the city's roots, and herein also live its most volatile citizens.
The Old City, separated by the Black Wall from the New City, has taken on a life all its own. If the New City should suddenly disappear from the earth, the Old City would function much as before. The same cannot be said for the reverse.
The Old City sees less of the City Watch than do its neighboring districts. Crime and misery are commonplace here, but so are gallantry and decency.
Thieves control the bulk of the business ventures and other activities, but nowhere else is the proverb "honor among thieves" more in evidence.
The Nightwatchmen maintain two regular stations here, and many families devote a proportion of the precious incomes for the additional protection provided by the guild. And the Nightwatchmen in the Old city take their duties very seriously indeed--their fee is always money well spent. The City Watch patrols are scarce to nonexistent, but the Nightwatchmen usually respond quickly, but only when the alarm is raised by one of their clients.
The People's Constables are a major nuisance here during the day, nit-picking every possible weapons violation, subjecting disreputable-appearing characters to searches, and quoting an assortment of vague and obscure regulations. ( "And that'll be another two silver, oaf--you should know better than to blow your nose on the same street as waves the city banner! Be thankful I don't run you in!")
The balance of power in the Old City centers on the Thieves' Guild, which controls the major sources of income here, except for the Public Bath, which is owned by the city. The Beggars' Union is a force to be reckoned with in the Slum Quarter, however, and the Merchants and Traders are also well represented in the Old City. The patrols of the City Watch move unchallenged here during the daytime, but at night two patrols always march together. Even then they remain on the lighted thoroughfares of the Processional, Caravan Street, and other major avenues.
The border within the Old City between the Thieves' Quarter and the Slum Quarter is ill-defined.
Armorers, Bakers, Bawdy Houses, Blacksmiths, Boarding Houses, Brewers, Butchers, Carpenters, Embalmers, Expedition Supplies, Inns with Food, Jewelers, Laundry Services, Leatherworker/Tanners, Livery Stables, Locksmiths, Pawnbrokers, Potters, Scribes, Shipper and haulers, Stonemasons, Tailors, Taverns, Warehouses, Weaponsmiths, and Weaver/Dyers
Dragon Turtle Tavern
This small inn is surrounded by large, shady oak trees. It has a remarkably rural atmosphere for a place located on a backstreet in the city's dingiest quarter. This is the cheapest tavern in the Free City, though its fare is far from the lowest in quality. True, the straw beds are lice infested, the ale warm, and the servings of food small. But that same food is delicious, and the warm ale flows many pitchers for 1 sp, and as for the beds, they're usually left for those who have had too much of the warm ale.
10-25-2008, 09:23 AM
This most riotous district is centered around the great curving avenue known as the Strip. With its taverns, brothels, gambling dens, and worse, the Strip at night is a cacophony of noises, a shadowland of flickering torches and blazing lamps. And always, day and night, it teems with drunks and toughs, rivermen and cityfolk.
Always there are many who fight at any implied slight, and never are there enough patrols of the City Watch to keep the peace.
People's Constables are common during the hours of daylight, especially near the Cargo Gate. There these tinpot enforcers of law and order nab many people just off the river, before they have a chance to adjust to city life.
Naturally, adventurers love it here. Lodgings are cheap, and news from the world beyond is plentiful. There are numerous merchants and innkeepers willing to relieve a traveler of his heavy load of treasure.
Behind the Strip the River Quarter is a mixture of boarding houses and warehouses. While much cargo brought up the river is stored on the wharf, many small warehouses are offered for rental here as well. Cargo moves quickly in the lively economy of the Free City, so a load generally remains in a warehouse only for a week or two.
Armorers, bakers, bawdy houses, boarding houses, boats/nautical equipment, boot maker/leatherworker, butchers, eateries, expedition suppliers, shipper and haulers, tailors, taverns, warehouses, and weaponsmiths.
Green Dragon Inn
This is a favorite haunt of adventurers and of those seeking adventurers for various tasks. It offers relatively mundane fare, but in copious quantities. Its location on Blue Boar Street, just off of the Strip, insures that it stays a little quieter than most of the establishments in the quarter. Occasionally a bunch of students may be found here, or a Watch party hunting some criminal.
The Green Dragon is a rough, tough place; any weapons and armor can be ( and often are ) worn in here. There are six members of the bar staff, of whom three are on duty at any one time. One of the six is Imogen Gellett (NPC) who does night shifts. The proprietor of the establishment is Ricard Damaris (NPC). He is 36 years old, 6'3", 236 lbs., with thick black hair worn to shoulder length and brown eyes. He has a small triangular scar on the left side of his chin, and the fourth finger is missing from his left hand.
Fistfights, and even broken-glass and dagger fights, do not bother Ricard unduly, although he may wade in with his club to subdue people if matters are getting out of hand--his regulars know when to stop. Ricard also has a wife, Florence, who is not seen in the inn--she does the bookwork and prepares the plain bill of fare served as food here. He also has a nine-year-old daughter, Clarissa, of whom he is deeply proud, and his spoiling of her has made her a quite intolerable little brat who has temper tantrums and kicks and screams a lot.
Low Seas Tavern
This place has a well-lighted porch and lively sounds of laughter coming from within. It is a favorite of the River Quarter, though its standards are a trifle higher than most of the inns in the district. Weapons longer than daggers, for example, must be checked at the door.
Good food in small portions is available here, as is expensive but very high-quality drink. In addition to the wide assortment of adventurers usually encountered here, the inn is a favorite haunt of the wealthier Rhennee bargefolk.
The Low Seas Tavern is the domain of One-Eye Halloran (NPC), a man that, to hear him tell it, was at one time wizard, high priest, lordly knight, and master thief during his travels across the Flanaess.
One-Eye is also known as One-Leg. He proudly explains the history of each injury to anyone with the lack of judgment to ask, as well as the origins of each of the several dozen scars across his body. The stories always change.
Halloran has indeed lost an eye ( he wears a patch ) and a leg, which he has replaced with a sturdy peg. He retains order pretty much by himself, but if real trouble threatens he asks for help from the regular customers.
The River Rat
The River Rat is the central gathering place of the Rhennee in the Free City, when they leave their barges, that is. Located in the busiest part of the Strip, the River Rat never closes and never seems to want for rowdy customers.
The proprietor, a Rhennee who has lived in Greyhawk for decades, is named Zalkan Sooth(NPC). He never intervenes to break up fights, preferring to bill those involved for damages in the harsh light of the morning after.
This is another of the thriving taverns on the Strip, a favorite of dwarven visitors to Greyhawk. Generally about 50% of the clientele consists of these stocky demihumans, the rest being humans of the city, bargefolk, mercenaries, and sailors.
The largest inn in the quarter, the Barge Inn occupies a commending curve on the Strip as well. Thus it is one of the busiest and rowdiest taverns in the city.
The owner an manager, Brack Snagtooth, is a dwarf originally from Greysmere, banned from that stronghold a century ago for some forgotten slight.
He has made a new home for himself, becoming the most highly regarded dwarf in the Free City. He is unofficial arbiter of disputes between dwarves here.
Brack and his "waiters" are also the enforcers of what little order there is at the inn. They move quickly to throw troublemakers out the front door with profane admonishments never to return. Of course, the brouhaha will be forgotten by the following day.
The Silver Garter
This grand house is one of the most infamous social establishments in the Free City. While its exact nature is too delicate to be discussed in a scholarly study such as this, it must be stated that the name of the establishment pretty much sets the tone.
But for all this the Barter is a friendly, convivial establishment. The invitations to handsome passers-by from the hardworking ladies perched on the house's second floor balcony are nothing if not sincere. And the welcome given one who steps through the door is even warmer. The proprietress is a battered old ogress known only as Rhina. She has a handful of musclemen discreetly available to help in times of disturbance.
10-25-2008, 09:25 AM
Hanged Man Inn
This grand inn services as motley a collection of thieves, assassins, cutthroats, river scum, and the like as any honest citizen could hope to meet in a lifetime. The outside maintains its splended appearance, with gold paint splashed over trim, and the walls whitewashed regularly.
Inside, the rugs are threadbare, and it smells more like a river dive than a comfortable club. One can usually find many of the Free City's most important thieves and assassins here, though the inn is occasionally visited by respectable merchants, officers, and even a rare noble. Located in the deepest heart of the Theives' Quarter, the Hanged Man Inn is considered by the privileged to represent the purest sort of "that Old City atmosphere."
Theft is forbidden within the walls of the Hanged Man. Any thief apprehended here (including cheaters at the gambling games often played between customers) is killed on the spot. It goes without saying that these must be nonguild thieves, since teh prohibition against theft is universally observed by members.
The manager of the inn is Kymm Warde (NPC). He has no bouncers or other hired muscle because he can always count on up to 20 guild members in the crowd to come to his assistance.
In general, the inn is a safe place to visit (though the trip to and from the inn is another matter), but a customer who goes out of his way to be obnoxious or vain will quickly become the butt of practical jokes and ridicule. The abuse grows until the insulted oaf leaves or gets into a fight and gets kicked out.
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