Free City of Redmark
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(population: 37,000) Large fortified independent city that serves as the capitol of the Freehold of Norwald, located on the banks of Granite River in the Vast. Redmark is the largest and most famous settlement in the Vast, with a reputation as a seedy hive of mercenaries, unscrupulous merchants, and adventurers of every sort. Towering over the city is the famous Castle Redmark; home of the Viscount Argus Theed.

THE FREE CITY


From the darkest alleys and most fetid cellars of the Old City, along the alabaster spires of temples and the Lhazar Academy, lining the great length of the Promenade, and on to the regal grandeur of the Noble District and the looming towers of the Grand Citadel of Castle Redmark beyond, the Free City beckons. Redmark, grandest jewel of the Vast, 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 the region known as the Vast. The barren slopes of the mysterious Cairn Hills loom to the north of the city, some within sight of the high stone walls. The placid expanse of the great Granite River meanders past Redmark's bustling docks, giving the city its primary claim to strategic significance, for it lies along that waterway between the great Axehead Mountains to the north and the cities of Marigold and Chelstad to the south. The City of Redmark and its domain are ruled by a appointed Viscount, supported by a representative legislative body known as the "Grand Council." For the last twenty years, Argus Theed has been the Lord-Governor of the city and the ruler of the Freehold. So far, he has been one of the best.

The various guilds of Redmark 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 able 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 day of every month, the Grand Council of Redmark meets at City Hall. All the city's Guild-masters are required to attend (and must send deputies should they be unable to do so). This meeting is used to discuss petitions and legislation before the Viscount that may affect the trade or 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.

The City is protected by high stone walls, and there are seven entry gates: Highway Gate; the city main gate, is located on the southern edge of the city
Wharfgate, Marsh Gate, and Cargo Gate, are located (from N to S) along the west side of the city, and handle the river traffic
Druid's Gate is located on the east side of the city, near a stone-circle monument (thus the name)
Garden Gate is located on the east side and leads to much of the city's surrounding farmland and agroculturla plots.
Berevroms's Gate and Duke's Gate are located inside the city, along the Promenade; the main thoroughfare that divides Redmark roughly in half.

LAW AND ORDER


To keep order, the Free City has a large force of soldiers at its disposal, called the City Watch. The Watch numbers 350 officers and men, divided into three shifts. There are ten watch stations; one located in each city district. In addition to the watch, a force of over 1,500 heavily armed troops are garrisoned at Castle Redmark, under the viscount's personal control. The primary differences between the Freehold Army and City Watch are equipment and training. The City Watch is armed with studded leather armor, short swords, and truncheons, while the army soldiers have heavy plate and chain mail, long swords, and pole-arms. The army soldiers are professional mercenaries with excellent training, whereas the watchmen are poorly trained and paid very little.

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CITY GUILDS


The City of Redmark has many trades, some are highly educated, others based on craftsmanship. Every major trade or profession must be licensed within the city to practice their chosen vocation, and each has their own Guildhall. The largest guild-halls found in Redmark are: Alchemists, Apothecary, Architects, Armorers, Artisans, Bards, Carpenters, Cartographers, Cartwrights, Dyers, Gemcutters, Merchants, Performers, Sages, Scriveners, Shipwrights, Smiths, Stonemasons, Tailors, and Tanners.

CITY DISTRICTS


The City of Redmark is divided into ten districts:

Artisans' District


This small District of Redmark is one of the most peaceful, lacking the wild taverns and crowds of most other districts. The Artisans' District is home to hardworking people and their families. Its major features are the guildhalls for many of those craftsmen and women. Sure, the Artisans' District 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 District rarely have to go elsewhere in the city for their needs. More than any other district, the Artisans' District seems a self-sufficient community all unto itself. The hallmarks of each tradesmen 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, metal-smiths, and the like use an example of their craft to decorate the front of the house with 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' District.

Notable District locations: Temple of Shua, Temple of Aleyssia, The Clay Dragon Inn, The White Deer Inn, the Nite Owl (tavern), the Green Frog (tavern)

Clerical District

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The city district that houses Redmark's famous Lhazar Academy, Redmark College, and several other schools and academies is referred to as the "Clerical District." The term is a reference to the students, tutors, scribes, and clerks who live here in great numbers; and the large, airy buildings that typically house the schools. Though it is not apparent from outside the District, the Clerical District is an area of plants, grassy yards, and small parks. It is second only to the Garden District in the number and variety of its greenery. The City Watch does not neglect the Clerical District. Generally a patrol arrives within a few moments of a summons. Ruffians tend to avoid the Clerical District, to no one's disappointment. An interesting feature of the District 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 the Academy District. In fact, the major attractions of this district to the citizenry of the city are these street-side tables. On most days with nice weather, the streets of the Clerical District swell with folk from all over the city, coming to enjoy their meal in the fresh air. The Millstream winds its way through the Clerical District, and much of its bank has been preserved as a grassy parkway. Students often come here to study or relax. The Clerical District is not a thriving business district—most of the buildings not used for schools are the residences of students and instructors.

Notable District locations: Temple of Atanavar, Temple of Nerydia, Millstream Bridge, Lhazar Academy, Redmark College, Redmark Library, the Arena, Black Dragon Inn, the Maimed Dwarf (tavern), the Old Crone (Tavern)

Noble District


What a grand array of buildings and personages await the fortunate traveler who decides to stroll down the Promenade! What marvels of architecture! What splendid grace and beauty, such impressive style! The grand edifices of the Free City's High District are, in general, mansions that would be fit for the ruler of most political entities. In Redmark, 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. In 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 Noble District, the residents can usually find everything they need at the city's High Marketplace. The only businesses in the District are those gambling houses, taverns, and clubs that cater to a wealthy clientele. The Noble District is the best illuminated of the city's Districts 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 District. A standard patrol will arrive within 1d6 round following any loud cry of alarm in the Noble District. Also, many private mercenaries are employed throughout the High District, sometimes to watch a single mansion, and other times to patrol a region of several estates. When these mercenaries make such roving patrols, they go in groups of five, accompanied by two great hounds (war dogs). The roads of the Noble District bustle with crowds only on the occasions of parades and festivals. The district receives a lot of traffic every single day, attracted by the grand array of booths and stalls in the High Marketplace. Otherwise, the District 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 District on their way to and from the job, and many others. Travel is allowed to and from the Noble District with no restrictions, but a visitor to the district who appears to be up to no good (loitering about, acting furtive, associating with known criminals, etc.) is quickly accosted by the City Watch. If the visitor can produce no good reason why he is in the Noble District, he is escorted to the Garden Gate with orders not to return without a valid purpose.

Notable District locations: Temple of Ator, Iron Dragon Inn, the Pale Mare Inn, Elyria Embassy, Erindar Embassy, Alveron Embassy, Ammarind Embassy, Orrek Embassy, Derianor Embassy, the Patrician (private club/brothel)

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Garden District


The Garden District marks a great arc about the city's Noble District, 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 District 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 District 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 Noble District, though there are fewer hired security agents in the Garden District. There are few shops in the Garden District, save for the region of the High Marketplace. Several fine inns and clubs offer fine cuisine and often gambling to wealthy patrons.

Notable District locations: Temple of Karmalok, Wise Wizard Inn, Silver Dragon Inn, the Jester (tavern), Lady Luck (tavern)

Foreigner's District


This is the most crowded District of the New City, not just because this is the residential district assigned to all those who have not inherited or adopted Redmark 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 Redmark 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 District. Of course, foreign nobles and official guests of the city are exempt from the restriction. Foreigners are usually 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 District'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, except at night, when they put 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 theater (the Pit), and its mix of people from all places and all levels on the social scale. Indeed, the Foreign District even has its own nobility, in the form of The Duke. Every type of business can be found in this District. Problem is though if you asked someone where to find what you are looking for, half the time the directions are wrong.

Notable District locations: Temple of Berevrom, the Pit (theater), Steelfist Mercenary Guildhall, the Silver Ravens Guildhall, Blue Dragon Inn, the Copper Crown Inn, the Red Serpent (tavern), the Merry Fool (tavern)

Old City District


This maze of alleys, shacks, boarding houses, and everything else is the true soul of Redmark. 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. The Old City is actually two districts, known as the Slums and the Thieves' Quarter. The two are divded by the Promenade; the largest street in Redmark. 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 more of the City Watch than do its neighboring districts. Crime and misery are commonplace here, but so are gallantry and decency. Thieves' Guilds control the bulk of the business ventures and other activities, but nowhere else is the proverb "honor among thieves" more in evidence. The City Watch maintain two regular stations here, and many families devote a proportion of the precious incomes for the additional protection provided by various private mercenary outfits. The City Watch in the Old city take their duties very seriously indeed; their fee is always money well spent. The City Watch patrols are scarce here, but will usually respond quickly, but only when the alarm is raised by one of the locals. The balance of power in the Old City centers on the Thieves' Guilds, which control 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 District, 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 between the Old City and the Slums is ill-defined.

Notable District locations: Temple of Etahr, the Brass Dragon Inn, the Painted Lady Inn, the Notched Blade (tavern), the Grinning Gargoyle (tavern), Lefty's (tavern), Red Mary's (brothel), the Vixen (tavern/brothel)

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River District


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 shadowy land of flickering torches and blazing lamps. And always, day and night, it teems with drunks and toughs, river-men and city-folk. At any given moment, there are many who fight at any implied slight, and there are never enough patrols of the City Watch to keep the peace. Mercenary guards are common during the hours of daylight, especially near the Cargo Gate. 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 District is a mixture of boarding houses, brothels, taverns, 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.

Notable District locations: Temple of Myrival, the Green Dragon Inn, the Crow's Nest Inn, The Rusty Anchor (tavern), the Bargeman (tavern), the Silver Garter (brothel)

OUTSIDE THE CITY WALLS


The City of Redmark actually has nearly one-quarter of its population living outside the tall grey-stone walls, in three distinct areas. These three small districts are: Barge End, Farbank, and Greenfield, and all three cater to commerce coming either by horse-cart or river-barge.

Barge End


A very rough part of town; this is essentially the wharf district, with dozens of river galleys, pleasure craft, and cargo barges docking daily. Because of the overflow from the Granite River, most of the streets here are muddy quagmires and the folk who reside here are usually filthy and miserable. Locals stay dry and clean only via narrow wooden plank-ways that crisscross the district.

Farbank


This collection of modest homes and small businesses cater mainly to the surrounding agricultural community and rural merchants that come from the west and north to trade with the city folk. Aptly named, the settlements are on the west side of the Granite River. There are many small ferries that move both people and goods across the Granite River.

Shantytown


This poor district, locate directly south of the Main Gates, is made up of mostly wooden warehouses, shacks and shanties, and is home to two gigantic caravan parks, which can hold up to 1,000 wagons. At all times of the day and night, this area is teeming with activity.

The Sewers


Almost a city in itself, the city sewers are a maze of underground passages , magically created to remove the city waste, but over the centuries, the passages have become home to all manner of seedy characters. There are rumors of burials crypts, secret wizard societies, and even demons to be found in the underground network below the city streets. There are few public entrances, and many secret ones. Officially, it is strictly illegal for anyone to enter the sewers, but that hasn't stopped the criminal element of Redmark in the slightest.
MAP OF THE CITY

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