Velhorod, the City of Eons
- Rivspit, Oldbrotha of the East Underarch Ganggob
Living in the Endless City
“No one is ever ready for their first look at the old bitch,” the salty captain remarked, joining him, “Ain’t no fortune to be had there, boy. Velhorod swallows men and beast alike. I can take you on to the Sandy Coast after we make port there, if you changed your mind.”
The chaos of the place was evident even from this distance. Vast catwalks and buildings on stilts gathered around the water, while gleaming buildings were perched upon a great platform supported by gigantic stone arches, almost as tall as a mountain, while beneath a hundred upon hundred buildings grew up this way and that, without any unity of style or construction.
It was intimidating, and it almost made Gavril change his mind. Almost.
The City of Eons sits on a peninsula, jutting out into a bitter saltwater sea. The only green on that outcropping that remains is cultivated in gardens. The place is a sprawl, where hundred of thousands, millions, of men and others make their daily lives. Many who live there have never seen outside of it. Even more have never seen outside of their own district.
It’s said that the only thing the city sits on is more city. There might be some truth in this – the place is old, really old, and has been made with many seismic and magical upheavals over the centuries. Entire districts have sunk into the sea, while great plateaus have risen up suddenly, tearing the parts of the city up with them. The Undercity is vast, full of wet tunnels, forgotten sewers, huge warrens and unmapped chasms.
Well, unmapped. So little of the place is mapped period. A halfling guide is worth the trouble when you go into the nastier districts. Everything is underdug and overbuilt. Entire districts are built on top of other districts, like the Whitemarket Quarter hanging over the infamous Underarch.
Scores of egotists, tyrants and madmen have made their mark on the landmarks and palisades of the City, but the city always grows organically, like moss overtaking anything. Disused grandiose stairways slowly build over with houses, an ancient wall is reused to make a new home. Everything traded around, reused, rebuilt. And the streets and alleys just get tighter and tighter.
And then there is the more… interesting way the City grows and changes. The Mists have plagued, or perhaps blessed, the City since time immemorial. These clouds, gathering from nowhere, dispersing just as quick, carrying things. They bring things to the city and they take away.
The City always finds a way to grow.
The city has hundreds of districts. Some small, some large. Here are but of a few of the most important.
- The White Market, the grand marketplace of the city, the truly cosmopolitan heart of the city
- Highfang, infamous prison and headquarters of the Vigilant
- Southwatch, home of the Guardians and the city’s strongest citadel
- Archon’s Hill, where wealth and splendor resides
- The Hill of Temples, the alleys of a thousand idols and sanctums
- Silvertree, an elven stronghold.
- Underarch, the goblin-dominated district and hotbed of crime
- Fend’s Alley, den of thieves, cons and pleasures
- Deadmount, cemetery, necropolis and golgotha of the City
- Ronvadok, the hollowed out cliffs of dwarven make.
- Redforge, where a thousand anvils strike each day
- Ormach’s Ghetto, a goblinoid hive
- The Canals, where once sunken streets now form a maze of canals
- Rattlewood, planks and rickety houses stretch out into one of the massive bays
- Undercity, where only the brave and stupid go
- Tidewater, half-submerged and sunken district that was built over, home to lizardmen and sailors
- Blackstone, shady alleyways and cryptic shops hide the darker magics practiced here
- The Patricians, lords and nobles, men of wealth and station
- The Prefects, the supposed authorities
- The Collegia, where the line between businessman and criminal blurs
- The Vigilant, watchmen of the night
- The Guardians, soldiers and peacekeepers
- The Masked Ones, the caste of judges
- The Ganggob, the goblin underworld and masters of Underarch and every alleyway
- The Dwarven Guilds, the only true authority in the dwarven warrens
- Street gangs
- Mystery cults
- Scivians, an ancient bird-like race of great knowledge but sinister purpose
- Elder Ones, an extinct race, perhaps the builders of the foundations of the City
As is to be expected, Druids and Barbarians are rare sights in the urban landscape of the City.
- Undertalk, a lexicon of the slang of the Velhorod underworld, a mish-mash of goblinoid, halfing and human.