Ruling House: House BreakspearHouse Symbol: Broken Spear lancing a Star
City Symbol: A field of ocean blue waves
Blue Elven King: Herazodias the Elder
Dolphin Prince: Herazodias the Younger
Blue Viceroy: Gil-Galad II
Urban Prefect: Duke Hazadas the Elder
Estimated Population (including all districts): 2,000,000
Urban Prefect: The City of Lume is officially ruled by the Blue King, Herazodias the Elder. However, the metropolis of Lume, including all of its districts, is functionally governed by as imperial official entitled the Urban Prefect. This is currently the Duke Hazadas the Elder. The Urban Prefect is in charge of the adminstration, supply, maintenance, governance, taxation, and defense of the metropolis.
Urban Podestas: Within each major district, the Urban Prefect appoints a Podesta to keep order, administer justice, enforce imperal edicts, and collect taxes. Each District's Office of the Podesta has significant resources and power delegated to it in order to work with local elements within its district to accomplish it's task. For instance, the Podesta of the Tinderbox is neck-deep in the criminal underworld. The Podesta of Portus is deeply entwined with the interests of the Merchants Guild and various powerful artizans. The Podesta of Palazzo District is trades in sale of lavish palaces and residences. The Podesta of the Piazza District works carefully with a council of Aldermen of each Piazza. The Podesta of the Garden of the Gods works carefully with a council of High Priests. The Podesta of the Sky City works carefully with various ministers of the Imperial Cabinet. The Podestas of the Undervault and the Sewers are specially tasked with maintaining this secretive, magical, and eleborate supply systems to the city. However, they are assisted by Urban Wardens in carrying out their tasks.
Rural Podestas: Within the rural dependencies of the City of Lume, the Rural Podestas adminster justice, govern, enforce imperial edicts, and are in charge of various public works. For instance, the Rural Podesta of the Marshlands District is in charge of draining the marshes and converting them to farmland. The Rural Podesta of the Dikelands District is in charge of maintaining and expanding the system of dikes which allows the transport of goods the Hinterlands of Lume.
The King's Men: This an armed force under the employ of the Podesta's which is effectively the City Watch. Only pureblooded Blue Elves may be recruited, since Ocean Thone is the direct paymaster of the King's Men. The King's Men are notoriously corrupt, lazy, and ineffectual. Therefore, the Podestas often employ the services of Regulators out of the proceeds of their own office. The King's Men are the official city defenses. Despite their in dealing with internal threats to the city, they are univerally respected as defenders of the city against its outside enemies, proving invaluable and stalwart in every siege to the present day.
Urban Wardens: The office of Urban Warden is a special commission, for it is the only imperial comission within the government of the City of Lume open to those of non-Blue Elven blood. These are considered the most difficult and undesirable commissions. Wardens are tasked with cleaning up and maintaining the magical supply systems of Lume. This includes hunting undead outbreaks, destroying incursions from the Underdark, Regulating the shiftless Squatter society of the City Sewers, combatting smuggling and the criminal underworld within their districts. It also includes securing and guarding the catacombs, protecting the water supply, and registering mutants and demihumans. This is an exhaustive and thankless task, however the pay is considerable and the presitige of the office is highest within the city government, save the Urban Prefect himself. This is despite the fact that each Urban Warden actually reports to a Urban Podesta. Urban Wardens have to establish a ruthless and tireless reputation to establish a career at this level. Those who are not effective, do not last long. An Urban Warden is also charged with maintaining the Kallah. This involves its upkeep and repair, supplying it with a constant supply of prisoners, captives, and slaves, hunting escaped convicts, guarding, policing, and preventing escapes.
The City Watch: The City Watch is the armed imperial functionaries under the employ of the Urban Wardens. The Watch is open to individuals of any race and is often considered a career fast track into Imperial Service. However, the work is highly dangerous. The City Watch has a high mortality rate, but is paid very hansomely. They see most of their action in the Kallah, Undervault, Catacombs, City Sewers, Squatter Settlements, and Underdark. Veteran Watchmen usually can count on a high office within the city government, imperial bureacracy, or a lucrative contract with the Regulator's Guild or Lumerian Merchant Guild.
Urban Castellans: These are the military governors of the castle districts of the city. These include The Landwatch District, Seawatch District, Sunset Citadel, and Sunrise Palace. These are highest imperial appointments within the city government. They carry with them a castle, large garrison of Marcher Baronry and Sea Guard. They are tasked with governing their districts. Since these are military districts, this includes training, equipping and provisioning their troops. Planning and maintaing the defense of the city and also carrying out the special fuction of their district. For insance, the Urban Castellan of Seawatch is tasked with maintaining the harbor and defenses of the Portus. The Castellan of Landwatch is tasked with maintaining the pumping and purification systems of the Landwatch Complex as well as the hydraulic elevators which supply the Sky City and move its canal traffic. The Castellian of the Sunrise Palace is charged with the care and comfort of the most honored imperial guests. The Sunset Citidel Castellan is charged with the comfort and care of the Blue King, himself.
Points of PowerEdit
- Seawatch Complex: The Seawatch complex is the massive frontal fortification north of the city, where the Seaway terminates in a gargantuan cataract. It also guards the massive port-city of Portus which has developed around the colossal protected harbor, where the great Blue Fleet lies at anchor. It supplies the fresh water for the estuary which has become the harbor of Portus. This is the largest commercial port on the Jadess Coast.
- Landwatch Complex: The Landwatch Complex is a gargantuan stronghold which resembles a large pyramind. It is the origin of the Seaway, on the southern parameter of the city's defenses. It is also the logistical epicenter of the Sky City. It has a mysterious pumping and filtration system which supplies the massive amounts of water necessary to power the flow, falls, and fountains of the Seaway, Sunway, Ocean Throne, Cascade of the Gods, Garden of the Gods, Portus, and the royal palatial complexes. It is notorious for the constant low rumble which resonates from within its interior, which can be heard across the Marshlands District. It is also famous for its complex system of locks and dams which rise supplies from the Solarzan Reservoir below to the Sky City above. The volume of traffic handled by this hydrolic elevator never ceases to amaze the eye of the vistory, from rustic to cosmopolitan. Landwatch converts the salty water pumped from the Marshlands District and the Solarzan Reservoir into fresh, cleaning drinking water which flows through ever fountain and down every canal in the city.
- Sunset Citadel: The Sunrise Citidel over looks the Jadess Ocean to the West of the city of Lume. It is perched on a volcanic neck which jutts out into the ocean. It is the military nerve center of the city of Lume and the Lumerian Empire. It is also the official stronghold of the Blue King. By tradition, the Blue King always lives separated from his heir and his lords in order to promote exclusivity and to guard against insurrection. The bulk of the city's land defenses are stationed within the Sunset Citadel. The vast citidel makes the city virtually unassailable from its west coast.
- Sunrise Palace: The Sunrise Palace is a massive palace build atop a mesa which overlookes the caldera in which Lume lies to the west. This is the palace of the Dolphin Prince, the heir to the Blue Throne. It is also the heart of the Lumerian Imperial government, which houses all of the major meeting halls for the great lordly councils (save the Grand Council of Lords Merchant). Overtime, it has also turned into a pleasure palace which succeeds in awing all courtiers and ambassadors to the Lumerian Court. It is an essential stop in the grand tour of any Jadess scion.
- Seaway: The Seaway is a massive archway which towers over the city of Lume. It runs north to south. It is made of pure adamantine. It begins at the Landwatch complex to the south and flows northward, around the Ocean Throne, and terminates at the Seawatch Complex, which over looks the port city of Portus to the north of Lume. It's mighty waterfall creates an artificial freshwater estuary in which the great Lumerian fleet lays at anchor at Portus. Along this mighty thoroughfare are the embassies of every nation in communion with the Lumerian Dominion. There are also massive guild halls for the Lords Merchant, Palaces for the the Lords Marcher and the Seagraves, and accomodations for any other dependant, courtier, hostage, or ward of the Lumerian Court. This is where the Merchants Guild Grand Council meets in the National Chapterhouse. It is also the locale for the most elite Lumerian academies.
- Sunway: The Sunway is a massive archway which towers over the basin in which the city of Lume lies. This archway is made of pure heartstone (polished white). It runs from the Sunrise Palace Mount in the east, over the city, through the Ocean Throne, and terminates in a vast cascade which dumps into the ocean at the Sunset Citadel Complex (west of the city). This is a royal thoroughfare which connects the palaces of the Dolphine Prince and the Blue King. Only royal traffic is allowed on this thoroughfare; pleasure barges, and supply skiffs, and royal taxis, etc. The thoroughfare is also used for royal processions, such coronations, baptisms, marriages, and funerals. The most famous processions are the The Rising of the Son and the Setting of the Sun. In the Setting of the Sun, a deceased Blue King is taken in a funeral barge from the Sunset Citidael to the Ocean Throne, and down the Cascade of the Gods to be committed to the Temple of Father Ulmo. The Rising of the Son is the coronation procession, where the Dolphin King is escorted from the Sunrise Palace, westward to the Sunset Citidel to ascend the Ocean Throne as the new Blue King. The Sunway is lined with all of the offices and departments of the massive Lumerian bureacratic machine. The treasury, the chancellry, the courts of justice all line this grand avenue. Thousands of imperial functionaries bustle like drones in a hive along its banks.
- Ocean Throne: The Ocean Throne is a colossal monument from an unknown age. It is considered one of the wonders of the world. It is masssive pillar of finely polished aquamarine substance which rises over a thousand feet out of the center of the volcanic cauldera in which the city of Lume has been erected. It is said to have been ancient in when Gil-galad founded the original city of Lume in the basin. No one knows its original purpose, but the name of the city itself may suggest a clue. Some scholars theorize that this was the original Pillar of Light upon which the Valar mounted the Lantern of the Sun before it was mounted on the Chariot of the Gods. This might also explain the city's continued association with the Sun, Helios, and Solaren despite its subsequent dedication to Father Ulmo and the sea after the coming of the Blue Elves. The Ocean Throne is the seat of the Blue King. At is mount is the imperial throne itself, carved from emerald and aquamarine, surrounded by a torrent of fountains, jets, whirlpools and falls. This massive, open-air platform is where the Blue King holds court. So impressive is the high seat, that the office of the Blue Kingship is referred to as the Ocean Throne. To those whom approach it at the crux of the Seaway and Sunway, they are greeted by a massive, yet tranquil reflecting pool which surrounds the summit of the Ocean Throne. Suddenly, traquil waters drop off into a thunderous, swirling maelstrom, as they cascade down the massive pillar back toward the city below. The complex of fountains, jets, and torrents, which swirl around the Ocean Throne force those whom approach it to pass through as raging arcade of water, and a tempest-tost seascape in order to alight in the open air platform. Even around the throne, itslef, there is a impressive display of jets and fountains which seems to dance in self-proscribed routines, and creat the impression of a hurricane eminating from the Blue King, himself. The Blue King by tradition speaks by holding the tip of the Broken Spear (the symbol of his office) to this throat. This magically amplifies his voice and calms the swirling monsoon around him. Many a petition swear that the waves swell with the Ocean Throne's temper and the winds upon the platfrom ebb and flow with the cadence of his voice. The Ocean Throne's Pillar is engraved with a massive titanomachy scene in which the Valar seam to be battling with the forces of Chaos, or perhaps the Age of Night in grand scale. The Victory of the Valar is commemorated in an epic scene which starts at the base of the Ocean Throne and winds is way down the column to the city below.
- Cascade of the Gods: The Cascade of the Gods the monumental temple complex which inhabits the landscape of the Ocean Throne's column. It's main feature is the raging torrent of cascades, watercourses, fountains, and cataracts which spiral down the surface of the the massive column from their origin a the base of the Ocean Throne to the Garden of the Gods below. This is a massive temple complex which winds its way down the face of the column, in between the massive effigies of the Valar in combat with the forces of Chaos. Along the Cascade of the Gods, there are pleasure gardens, sacred shrines, statuariums, holy crypts, monastic institutions, and labrynths. These are sacred spaces devoted to the dedication of all the Valar and the Maiar from great to small. Access is stictly limited to the priestly and monastic orders which are dedicated to the veneration of each diety and the maintenance of their respective rites, ritual observances, and sacred spaces. Limited access is granted to pilgrims for special holidays and festivials. The only person allowed on the water course itself, is a deceased Blue King who is floated down the Cascade of the Gods to be intered at the Temple of Father Ulmo during the Setting of the Sun ritual.
- Garden of the Gods: The Garden of the Gods is the massive sacred precinct at the center of the city. It surrounds and guards the approaches to the base of the Ocean Throne column, itself. At the center of the Garden of the Gods is the Sea of Souls which as a praternaturally placid reflecting pool which recieves the thunderous output of the Cascade of the Gods. An eerie ocean mist always looms over the Sea of Souls, regardless of weather conditions. The Temples of all seven Valar are arranged in a spoke pattern around the shores of the Sea of Souls, surrounding the base of the Ocean Throne. All temples must be accessed through the main gate of the Temple of Father Ulmo. From there, pilgrims and faithful must catch a ferry across the Sea of Souls to the temple of their choice. It is considered death to touch the Sea of Souls, few test this belief. It is also believed that he Ferrymen, the order of black-cowled monks which operate the ferries in the Garden of the Gods may be supernatural beings, themselves. The Garden of the Gods is widely believed to be the only place on the Jadess Coast where all Valar are venerated. It is certainly the center of Valar worship on the Jadess. The Garden of the Gods has made religious piligrimage the second largest industry in the city after maritime trade (which is mainly in Portus).
- Notable Temples
- Valar: High King Manwe (Sky), Aule the Craftsmen (Earth), Father Ulmo (Water), Orome the Huntsmen (Forest), Mandros the Judge (Death), Lorien the Dreamer (Dreams), Tulkas the Strong (War), Varda the Rekindler (Stars), Yavanna the Giver (Fauna & Flora), Nienna the Compassionate (Mercy), Este the Healer (Health), Vaire the Weaver (Fate/Fortune), Vana (Love), Melkor the Enemy (Chaos), Osse the Charioteer (Tempests)
- Maiar: Osse the Charioteer (Tempests), Usse (Sailors), Olorin (Wisdom), Helios the Charioteer (Sun), Ithil (Moon), Indra (Fire), Morpheus (Nightmare), Haedra (Prophecy)
- Notable Temples
- Temple of Father Ulmo: This is the principal temple within the Garden of the Gods. It acts as a gate into this holy precinct. A large, freshwater canal, the Grand Canal, flows forth from the temple, through the Palazzo District, and ultimately to the sea. Within this mighty sanctuary the Blue Kings are interred in full state beneath a colosal fountain sculpture of Father Ulmo mounting the waves of a violent storm. His charioteer, Osse, driving the tidal stallions with his fierce whip. The majority of the city's civic and religious events and festivals are held within the Grand Rotunda of this Temple, which is dominated by this scuplture. The rest of the temple consists of massive vaulted ceilings, colonades, and outdoor porticos. There is a massive amblutory which encircles the Grand Rotunda. This is the only Valar temple in the Garden of the Gods that does not contain an inner sanctum. It is purely a place of public and private devotion to the patron Vala of the city. There are many ad hoc chapels which have been errected in various nooks and crannies of the ambulatory which surrounds the Grand Rotunda. Hawkers selling religious trinkets circulate, pestering pilgrims. Monks representing the various orders which dwell within and service the Garden and Cascade of the Gods man stalls offering various religious services and information. The abulatory is often considered a religious bizarre, in this right.
- Watcher's Peril-by-the Tide: A tower which stands on Watcher's Ridge protecting the west coast of the city from the Jadess Sea. The Watcher's ridge is a natural rock ridge which extends southward from the Sunset Citadel, acting as natural rim to the cauldera in which the city of Lume is built. Watcher's Ridge has been built up with massive levy works, dikes, and riprap to hold the stormy Jadess Sea at bay: for most of the Lume actually sits in a basin which is below sea level. The area around Watcher's Peril-by- the-Tide is a salty marshland filled with tidal pools. The tide is imfamous around this Watcher's tower. At dawn it rolls out faster than a galloping horse and at dusk is rolls in twice as fast, breaking violently against Watcher's Ridge. During the day there is a landbridge which connects Watcher's Peril-by-the-Tide to Watcher's Ridge. At night, after the tide crashes in, it turns Watcher's Peril-by-the Tide into an island. This mighty tower is the sole defense in this part of the city's defenses and is mainly serves as a strong point for the maintenance of the dike and pumping systems of Watcher's Ridge. It also serves as a watch and signal tower, which can easily spot an approaching fleet well in advance of the rest of the city's defenses. It is often the sport of the local youth to attempt to race the tide in, with questionable results.
Districts (with Points of Interest)Edit
The Palazzo District is a part of the city in the basin beneath the colossal causeways, outside the Garden of the Gods. It is the quarter inhabited by the wealthy and the noble of all nations which chose to reside within the great city of the Blue Elves. It is packed with opulent stone mansions, palaces, and chateaus, and villas of every description, architectural style, and culture in Aetherea. This is the most cosmopolitan section of the city where the elites from every nation mix and mingle in luxury and style. Most of these private complexes are well-fortified, guarded by strong gates, towers, and reinforced walls. These give their residents an air of privacy, exclusiveness, and a feeling of protection. The streets are wide, paved, well-lit, and protected by the King's Men. Many of these complexes have private gardens, pools, and parks where great galas are held in the twilight hours. These are fed by the Lake of the Gods.
- The Grand Canal: this wide canal flows from the Lake of the Gods through an ornately decorated gate, sealed off by a golden portculus. The grand canal is very wide, three warships can sail up it abreast without colliding. It flows out through the Palazzo District, dividing it in half. Nowhere is it transected by a bridge. It must be crossed by boat or ferry. The masters of the Palazzos sail right up to their houses in their pleasurecrafts and ships and dock. A strong gate protects the seaward approach to the Palazzo district, sealed by a strong set of gates to obstruct any seaborne incursion into the center of the city. Often these gates remain open, but a toll must be paid to enter the Palazzo District by canal. The Grand Canal continues straight westward from the Ocean Throne where it bends around the Watcher's Ridge and empties into the Jades Sea.
- Rosenberg Villa: The personal estate recently constructed by the prince of Rosenwaeric, one of Lume's rivals against the day that his fleet captures the city. The Ocean Throne, for unknown reasons, granted the sale of the land and permitted its provocative construction. It operates as the de facto embassy of Rosenwaeric in the city, fully-staffed by Rosenberg retainers, simply awaiting occupancy by its master.
- Laird Caynard's Keep: One of the oldest palazzo's in the city, it operates as a stronghouse for illicit operations within the tight-knit Celdsi Lairds within the city.
- Lemorea's Leap: A famous balcony from which, local legend has it, a star-crossed lover leaped to her death after hearing that her favorite suitor drowned at sea. this grand staircase overlooks the Grand Plaza at the end of the Palazzo District. It is the favorite spot for heartbroken lovers to take their last leap.
This is a sprawling working class district in the shadow of Landwatch Mount, within the city walls. It contains ancient towering stone buildings, narrow winding alleys, and pulsing local commerce and life. It's most defining feature is the multiplicity of neighborhoods which are centered around a local piazza. There are literally dozens of these neighborhood squares. They operated a neighborhood parks, public monuments (especially crowned by ornate fountains), gathering places, neighborhood markets, and places where local businesses serve the neighborhood. Each neighborhood is a tight night community in its own right. With it's own flag, colors, crest, and motto. The members of each Piazza wear the colors of their neighborhood on a daily basis. And intense rivalry has developed between all of these Piazza's over the centuries. Passions often run high. All neighbors wear swords with tassels the colors of their piazza whenever they travel outside of their district. Every year the Piazza District holds the Piazza Games where each district sends its champions to compete in various events. These are traditionally held within the Grand Piazza, the largest in the Piazza District. The most famous events are the joust, the melee, and chariot, and horse race. Only Piazzas of Lume may enter, but there are no restrictions on who is recruited to represent the neighborhood's colors. Many champions travel from all over the Jadess Coast seeking adoption into a Piazza to participate in the games. It is easy to get lost in the Piazza District, because of the winding streets, overhanging roofs, and walled corridors between Piazzas and bizaars. This is one of the originals reasons for each Piazza to adopt its own symbols and colors and fountains so that locals could find their way by day and night. But over time this naturally lent itself to intense sectionalism.
- The Grand Piazza: By far the largest piazza in the district, this massive square is occupied by a massive fountain of Father Ulmo riding on a wave, getting ready to throw is trident at some unseen foe.
- Noteable Piazzas:
- Grand Piazza (Sea Blue and Gold)
- Royal Piazza (Royal Blue and White)
- Imperial Piazza (Royal Purple)
- Fountains Piazza (Light Green and Light Blue)
- Piazza of Solaren (White and Goldenrod)
- Piazza of Osse (Gray and Light Blue)
- Piazza of Ulmo (Emerald Green)
- Piazza of Usse (Red and Orange)
- Piazza of Varda (Red and Yellow)
- Breakspear Piazza (Green and Yellow)
The City of Lume is powerful, prosperous, and beautiful. A large portion of it's society gets to enjoy the blessings and benefits of Lume's imperium. However, Lume is a city of two extremes. The Tinderbox District contains the gargantuan slums of the city. There is no official count of how many souls reside in this squalorous deathtrap. The residents of the Tinderbox are referred to by those fortunate enough to live beyond it as the "Head Count." This pejorative term is said to arise from the fact that most of the Head Count can only pay their taxes in sons for the imperial fleet and army. This district is called the Tinderbox because it is haphazardly built out of wood, wattle-and-daub, and thatched hay. A normal fixture in any other city on the Jadess Coast, it is disparity within a city as grand as lume. Fire is a constant threat in this section of the city because of how closely packed and haphazardly built most structures tend to be. The most common type of structure is the "insula" which is a large tenement block, which stands six stories tall. Crime, disease, and poverty are high. Conditions are grim. This section of the city tends to be run by extra-legal elements. The City Watch and the King's Men tend to avoid certain sections of it altogether.
Points of Interest: -
- The Arena of Tulkas: A rowdy and rickety wooden, open-air areana where the blood sports of the Head Count are held. This could range from dog or cock-fighting, wild hunts, mock battles, all the way to gladitorial combat. The most popular sport is the "rumble" between rival Vigilantee Committees and Regulator Squads. These are the self-deputized "civilian watches" which "keep the peace" and "administer justice" within the Tinderbox. They are best described as combination of a fraternal club, criminal organization, a fire and rescue brigade, and a street gang. A Vigilance Committee is formed from occupants of neighborhood to administer their neighborhood. A Regulator Squad is typically hired by a local strongman, business leader, or royal functionary to do the same task and engage in the same illicit activities within the same neighborhood. The annual Guild Games are a particular favorite within the Tinderbox. These games are organized by the Preacher's Guild. The recognized guilds have a series of "Alley Trials" against each other. Recognized guilds include: Thieves, Smugglers, Assassins, Regulators, Preachers, and Vigilantees. The Guild Games are considered the olympics of the criminal underworld on the Jadess Coast. They are surrounded by a saternellian round of celebrations, festivals, feasts, and riots.
-The Chambers of Vana:
- The Chambers of Vana are a secretive underground ritual complex that has been excavated under the city sewers of the Tinderbox. The Chambers were created and expanded over hundreds of years by the adherents of Vana, the Vala of Love, Beauty, Fertility, Creativity, and Art. It was created for a popular round of festivals and ritual observances venerating this widely beloved Vala. These festivals are called the Vana Mysteries because the people of the Tinderbox gather in the Chambers of Vana, sealing themselves away for extended periods of time to participate in the secret observances. Rumor has it that they are often wild. The Cult of Vana is in charge of running and organizing the Mysteries annually. This is truly a grassroots religious movement. Members must be inducted and pass through a ritual test. Then they most undertake a secret initiation ritual in order to participate in the Mysteries. The priestesshood of the cult is popularly elected and very powerful within the Tinderbox. The Mysteries are officially under the jurisdiction of the Preacher's Guild.
-The Hoster House: Walled Villa:
- The High House Hoster used to rule over the tenents of the Tinderbox. Through several generations of absentee landlordism, they allowed the Tinderbox develop into the ratrap it is today. As long as rents were collected within the Tinderbox, Hoster Lorders were satisfied. During the social upheaval that accompanied the breakup of the Horizon Empire on the Jadess Coast many people flocked to Lume for protection and refugee. The Hoster Lords, owning much of the good land around Lume Proper welcomed many of these refugees into their land, hoping to boost income through rents. They hastily converted the poor farmland into large blocks of tenement housing by building cheap insulas. The Tinderbox was ravaged twice during the last round of Dynastic Wars between the Elves of the Jadess Coast and quickly rebuilt and rents were still collected. This created a very bitter relationship with the Head Count within the Tinderbox, which was financially ruined during the Dynastic Wars. So the rent was collected in children, who were sold to the slave traders. The Head Count rose up against High House Hoster in mass riots, which were brutally crushed by the mercenary group the Blue Hand Band, hired by the Hoster Lords. The Hoster Lords decided time had come to set a watchful eye over their suburban estate, so they razed a huge section of insulas in the center of the estate and began construction on a massive walled villa. A young Hoster scion moved in as construction was completed and quickly adopted a lavish lifestyle of wild parties and excessive debauchery. By this point, the Tinderbox has developed a cryptocracy of extra-legal associations which ran business and settled scores within the Tinderbox. When the Hoster scion summarily banned this grassroots institutions and sought to exert firmer control over the Tinderbox, the Head Count declared a commune of the people and rose up in revolt. Hoster Power was overthrown, but the Commune quickly lost control of the rebellion and mass riots swept across the Tinderbox. The Ocean Throne, finally sent troops in and stamped out the revolts. The Blue King stripped High House Hoster of its title to the Tinderbox in payment and began collecting the rent directly for the Blue Fleet slave galleys. The Hoster House, as the villa is now known, sits as an unusual monument in the center of the Tinderbox. The Villa is still abandoned. It is still fully furnished. However, by an unusual custom of unknown origin, no one dares occupy it or steal from it. Several times a year, the Imperial Podesta organizes a large festival and flings the door open and hosts a large feast for the residents of the Tinderbox, which is widely, and respectfully attended. Otherwise, the imperial machinery operates in newly renovated offices within each district and avoids the villa altogther.
- Lynch Court: This is the forum which stands outside of the Hoster House. During the Hoster Era, it was bustling forum filled with petty merchants and street vendors. During the Dynastic Troubles and the Communal Uprising it became a place of public executions. At its head is a High Bench where a tribunal may sit in judgement. It also has a series of platforms which may function as a place for defendants to be examined, advocates to pontificate, or plantiffs to plead. It also has a raised set of stands which can hold an assembly of up to 500 jurors. The rest is tiered wooden benches which fill the forum, as if it were seating at a sporting event. This includes an upper gallery built into the insulas which surround the Forum. At the head of the Forum is massive set of gallows. Everything in this Forum is scrapped together haphazardly from wood. It now functions as the quasi-official court of the Tinderbox, which as devloped an elaborate, but informal set of conventions for how an angry mob must lynch an individual. These public executions are illegal, but are largely ignored by the Imperial Podesta, who acts as an imperial observer at its proceedings. Often times, respecting its decision. The Podesta occassionally dissolves the court when its proceedings threaten peace and order within the Tinderbox. Lynch Courts are often seen as a public event and draw an exciting crowd of spectators. They are full of spectacle, ritual, and drama and often seem like an elaborately staged play to an outside observer. The idea behind the elaborate customs is to provide social cohesion within a politically unstable district, provide public entertainment to amuse the mob, and to hold court without public expense to the district.
- Regulator Row: The Regulators are a bizarre institution unique the Tinderbox. These are social clubs of peacekeepers for hire. It is primarily through hiring regulators that the Imperial Podesta. These clubs tend to be made up of locals or the Head Count, but all the riffraff, hooligans, or washed-up mercenaries of the Jadess Coast flock to gain membership and employment within them. Most of these clubs have a chapterhouse on Regulator's Row, which is one of the main streets which leads away from Lynch Court. Not every Regulator's club has a security contract with the Imperial government. However, they are widly hired throughout the city for various security efforts. The Regulator's Clubs tend to be well-equipped, provisioned, paid, and trained. Most have extensive military and private security experience.
- Regulator Lodge: The Regulator's Lodge is the official guildhall of the Regulator's Guild, which represents all of the Regulator clubs within the Tinderbox. This is a mix between a large social club, a stronghold, and an arsenal. The Regulator's Guild set the standards for admission to the guild, gathers contract opportunities, acts as a bank for members, and sells equipment as discounted prices to members. It also organizes extensive training exercises, which guild members are required to attend to maintain their membership within the guild.
- Chapel of The Vigilant Commune: The Chapel is a converted Temple of Vaire (Vala of Fate). It was converted during the brief reign of the Commune into a civic chapel dedicated to the Head Count, which had taken destiny into its own hands. It became the governing center for the cryptocratic civic clubs known as Vigilantee Committees which developed to restore order during the chaos of the Commune. These committees were a strange mixture of social clubs, street gangs, crime syndicates, police and fire precincts, and neighborhood watches. These were mainly a neighborhood phenomenon, but began to stitch themselves together into a districtwide shadow organization known as the Vigilant Commune. This shadow government is largely responsible for keeping order and promoting business and safety within each neighborhood of the Tinderbox. It also is in charge of running the Lynch Court and works closely with the Imperial adminstration within the Tinderbox. It has a particularly close relationship with the Office of the Podesta. In a sense, the Chapel opperates as a guildhall for the many neighborhood Vigilance Committees. The Vigilant Commune is increasingly taking on a guildlike structure as it evolves in cooperation with the imperial government.
- Smuggler Guild: The Smuggler's Guild is one of the recognized extra-legal associations of the kryptocracy which runs the Tinderbox. However, it is the only one of the guilds which competes at the Guild Games which is actively policed by the Office of the Podesta, often with little success. Because of this, the Smuggler's Guild has no singular guildhall, and is the most diffuse of the six guilds of the Tinderbox. Most of the Smuggler Guild's activities actually take place in the ancient and extensive sewer systems which run below the city of Lume. The Smuggler's Guild has great influence within the city, as it is the main source of the rare, dangerous, and forbidden artifacts which grace the secret stores of most shops and the private collections of most imperial courtiers. The Smuggler's Guild also specializes in bringing in supplies which evade hefty imperial taxes on most items. Buying through a Smuggler, one of their agents, or connections often leads to close-out deals. The Smuggler Guild and the Regulators Guild have an especially close connection within the Tindebox, because the Regulators are often contracted to provide security for Smuggler operations. The Smugglers also make extensive use of the Undervault below the suburb of Portus. They are considered to be one of the ruling factions in this location. They bring most of their wares into the city via the Undervault, through the City Sewers and into the Tinderbox.
- Assassin Guild: Assassins Guild is, perhaps, the most internationally powerful of all the factions which are a part of the krypocracy which controls the Tinderbox. According to it's members, there is only one Assassin Guild on the Jadess Coast, and it has it's headquarters in Lume. It is actively endorsed and used by all major fixtures of power, from the Margraves, Seagraves, Grand Council of Merchants. It is enthusiastically utilized by the Royal Family, especially by the Dukes and the Ocean Throne, in pursuit of their petty rivalries and international powerplays. The Lumerian Merchant Guild, however, is it's fatest contract internationally. However, for it's most lucrative contracts the Guild is regularly awarded contracts from clients far-a-field, as it reduces the risk of them being implicated. The Assassins have there Guildhall next to the Office of the Podesta and are required to register their bounties with his office, even if they are international. This convention, surprisingly, is the most rigorously enforced imperial edict within the Tinderbox. It has greatly increased the reputation of the Assassin's Guild internationally. As a result, the Assassin Guild is probably the most selective and exclusive of all guilds within the Tinderbox. The Assassins Guild conducts its yearly entrance examination as a part of the alley trials of the yearly Guild Games. It is for this reason that the Guild Games have taken on such an international demension. The Assassins Guild is the most cooperative faction with Imperial authorities within the Tinderbox. Many believe it is largely through the prestige that the Assassins Guild lends the Office of the Podesta, that imperial authority has started be become more established within the Tinderbox. The Assassin's Guild tightly patrols its exclusive rights within the Jadess Coast. It often seasons its new initiates through retalitory assassinations for those who commit political killings without contracting its services.
Thieve's Guild: The Thieves Guild operates mainly within the underworld of the Tinderbox, Sewers, and Undervault, where it has plenty of business to keep it occupied. Occassionaly it receives a contract within the Palazzo District dealing with matters between rival Houses. However, recently it has seen a great expansion in operations within the Sky City as it has proven very useful a very useful instrument in the poltical intrigues of the imperial court. The Thieves Guild runs it's operation through a local inn called the Pursestrings Inn. This inn operates, in effect, as it's guildhouse. However, it also operates as a stronghouse for all of the Guild's stolen goods and information. The Guild has developed a strong banking and lending business out of this Inn which operates a front for its illicit loansharking. It is considered the safest bank in the city outside the imperial vaults, themselves, since it's defenses are designed and operated by master thieves. The Guild has also expanded greatly into the business of trafficking inforation and intelligence. The Podesta has contracted with the Guild to be his spy service. Various agents within the Imperial intelligence services utilize the services of the Thieves on a permanent basis. In fact, the Guild recently established permanent offices within the Imperial Ministry of Information. Also the Guild has a permanent association with the Lumerian Merchants Guild, providing a spymaster at every significant port of call on the Jadess Coast.
Preacher's Guild: After the Communal Uprising, in which all temples and shrines within the Tinderbox were descrated and destroyed, the Preacher's Guild evolved from the more pious segment of the Head Count, headed by the Cults of Vana and Tulkas. The Preacher's Guild has worked hard to restore many shrines and places of worship. They also have assumed the responsibility of maintaining them and serving their local neighborhhods through charitable works. This is perhaps the most sorely needed guild within the Tinderbox, however, it is by far the poorest and least powerful. It funds all of its endeavours through the proceeds made from the Vana Mysteries, the Guild Games, and the spectacles held in the Arena of Tuklas. It finds some support from donations of the faithful, but most of those go to the Garden of the Gods. It also receives hefty subsidies from the Office of the Podesta, which has a vested interest in providing spectacles and festivals to placate the restless Head Count. Where is holds the most social influence is in controlling which guilds recieve and invitation to compete in the Guild Games and the ability to blacklist individuals from the Vana Mysteries. Exclusion from the Guild Games is incredibily detrimental to the reputation and functioning of various factions within the Tinderbox since these are so central to life within the District. Therefore, the threat of exclusion often is helpful in maintaining the delicate balance of power within the Tinderbox. The Priests and Priestesses of Vana tend to do most of the ministerial responsibilities of the Guild, whereas the Priests and Priestesses of Tulkas, tend to serve the more martial interests of the Preacher's Guild.
City Sewers: The City Sewers are an important fixture of life in the Tinderbox. This elaborate complex which lies below the city is critical in minimizing the otherwise choloric conditions within the Tinderbox. It provides clean water to each neighborhood. It also drains the miasmic streets. It also supplies the fountains, canals, and plumbing of the city of Lume. It is a curious mix of mysterious water filtration, pumping, and plumming, waste disposal, and water purification. It is also an extensive settlement of squatters, which are a society all to themselves. These people are known as the Squatters and many have lived in the Sewers for generations. If possible, they live in even more destitution than the Head Count of the Tinderbox. This is also where the criminal underground of Lume operates, with all the Guilds of the Tinderbox having extensive operations, connections, and associations, throughout. The Head Count, not able to afford burial within the Garden of the Gods, has also created an elaborate system of catacombs which is intricately intertwined with the sewer systems of the city and the grottos of the Squatters. This close convergence of magical filtration, demi-humans, and crypts leads to a very interesting interactions. Sporadic outbreaks of Undead, Restless Dead, and other viles, such as Kobols and Bugbears occur frequently. Also, because intense exposure to such toxic forces and magical wastes, many Squatters have taken on unspeakable and grotteque mutations.
The Kallah is a small, but very unique section of the City of Lume. It is a walled ghetto in which the original population of Sylvan Elves which inhabited the Basin of Lume before it was conquered by the Blue Elves is confined. According to legend, these Sylvan Elves practiced ritualistic cannibalism and venerated the Vala Melkor the Enemy, Lord of Chaos. As a result they bear an ancient and deep curse which makes them hunger after the flesh of their Elf Kin. These Sylvan Elves have been segregated for so long that they do not speak a language discernable to their inland kin of Sylvesta. In fact, they are largely incapable of communicating with the outside world. Over time, the Kallah as become a storage place for disgraced political rivals and enemies of the Ocean Throne. There is no greater disgrace in Blue Elven society than to be placed in the Kallah among the Sylvan Elves. It is especially famous as the holding pin for eight former High Kings of the Sylvan Elves of Sylvesta. Only Elves are allowed to be sentenced there. Once they are committed, they are committed for life. First they are permanently disfiguired. Their ears are clipped to resemble a human's. Then they are branded with the marks of a galley slave across their faces, neck, back, and hands. Trees are expressly forbidden. The King's Men and City Watch regularly conduct raids within the Kallah and destroy any sapplings that are in sprout to insure that the Sylvan Elves have no recourse to worship. There is also a yearly festival called the Stoning of the Kallah, in which the citizens of Lume gather before it's main gates and hurl rocks yelling insults. Often, the most enthusiastic find ways in, via elaborately dug tunnels. Usually a night of terror ensues within. It is widely believed that the Kallah receives it's food through via smuggling. However, the popular rumor is that the population regularly cannibalizes its new members, which explains why most who are sentenced there in disgrace seem to disappear permanently. This is reinforced by the panic the King's Men fall into whenever one of the Sylvan Elves escapes. A manhunt usually ensues on the scale of that for a serial-killer. Stories abound about how the Blue King occassionally mounts the walls to personally watch one of his rivals be committed, in order to see them ripped to peaces by the ravenous natives.
The Marshlands District is a suburban district outside Lume Proper. It lies within the shadow of the Landwatch Complex. It's most prominent feature is Lake Solarzan which is a large saltwater lake, from which the Landwatch Complex draws the water for its massive hydraulic elevators and pumping and purification systems. This is a vibrant and bustling commercial district filled with barge traffic from the extensive canal works which connect Lake Solarzan with the Hinterlands and the Civitae. It is called the Marshlands district because Lake Solarzan is at the center of a massive saltwater marsh, which the Landwatch Complex continually drains, purifies, and pumps into the inexaustible water systems of Lume. An extensive grid of canals are cut through these marshes. Small villages and hamlets are tightly clustered within this crosswork of swampy canals. Most are raised on stilts and surrounded by coffer dams. The Rural Warden of the Marshlands District is in a continual campaign to extend the Marshlands District into the sea. As the canals are dredged they are piled into the coffer dams. Evenually, the hamlets are transformed into arable, solid ground, but the canals are maintained. So travel between them is conducted via barge of flatboat. The Marshlands is largely a district that has been reclaimed from the sea, so the It is built in stages. The Dikelands District, slowly is converted to a new ward within the Marshlands District once it pumped and prepared.
- Lake Solarzan: Lake Solarzan is a very deep lake supplied by ocean water rising up from the continental shelf below. It is the reservoir for all water used by the water systems of Lume, as well as the inland harbor which concentrates all barge traffic into Lume coming from the Hinterlands and the Civitae.
- Marshtown-on-Solarzan: This is the largest planned settlement within the Marshlands District. It sits at the base of the Landwatch Complex next to the foot of the hydraulic elevators. It is full of quays, docks, and warehouses. It is where the barge traffic into the city is organized. It is also the commercial heart trade within the Canal Hamlets and the Hinterlands.
The Landwatch District consists of the Landwatch Complex, the Hydraulic Elevators, and the Water Pumping and Purifcation Systems. It seems to serve a municipal fuction of supplying the city with its water and barge traffic, however it is a critical strongpoint in the defenses of the city.
The Seawatch District overlooks the bustling commerical district of Portus. It includes the massive citidel which functions as strongpoint within the Northern defenses of the city. It also includes an inclosed harbor, where the Tributary and Blue Fleet lay at anchor. It is famous for its massive cascade which discharges the used water of Lume's Water Systems into the ocean. One of the curiousities of this waterfall is that this "used" water seems crystal clear. The Seawatch stands on a large cliff guarding the commercial district of Portus on the coastal plains below. The enclosed military harbor stands at the head of the artificial deep-water port which guards the approach to Portus itself. The walls of the military harbor have been extended to protect Portus from a seaborn assault, however the landward side is open to the Hinterlands and closely connected to it via canal works.
The Dikelands District is a complex system of windmills, dikes, and drainage systems and defensive bulwarks built out onto the continental shelf Southeast of the city. It serves two purposes. It makes this region impervious to attack by sea. It also reclaimes this land, which is below sea level from the sea. The Dikelands are periodically expanded into the sea, and the old Dikelands is converted into a new district of the Marshlands. However, the defensive bTheulwarks, and pumping stations are left intact and maintained in order to provide a buffer against the tumultuous sea and seaborne incursions against this district. The Portus Commercial District
The Portus a suburban district of the City of Lume, falling outside the original city walls. It also functions as the main international port of commerce witihin the Lumerian Empire. It contains a large artificial deep water port which is wall off from the sea by the enclosed harbor of the Seawatch District. Therefore, it functions as freshwater estuary, supplied by the Seawatch Cascade. It can handled an large volume of traffic. Not only does it contain a plethora of quays and docks, It has an extensive system of dry docks, shipyards, and warehouses to support the Lumerian marine industry. Portus also contains very artizan's row immaginable: from Bookbinders to Arcane Artificers. These all carefully organized into guilds which fall under the jurisdiction of the Lumerian Merchants Guild. Portus is considered one of the best places to purchase artifacts and supplies of the highest quality, variety, and craftmenship on the Jadess Coast. General stores and Imporiums dealing in imported goods from across the breadth of Aetherea are in abundance. Many visitors are stunned by the noticable absence of a public market or bizaar within Portus. This is because in order to operate within Portus one must have an imperial license and a physical store or workshop. This careful regulation perserves the quality of the items sold. The Lumerian Merchants Guild and the Office of the Podesta rigorously inspect goods for quality, measure weights, raid moneychanging operations, and confiscate street vendor merchandise. The sheer quanity of competition within the Portus insures competive prices even on the most niche market items.
The Undervault is a large cavernous district which lies directly below the Portus. It was originally created by the criminal underworld of Lume. It the intersection of two major subterranian thoroughfares. The Darkway, which leads directly into the Underdark, terminates at within the Undervault. The Darkway carries extensive trade between the Lumerian Empire and the denziens of the Underdark, especially the nearby city Drow city of Ruin. The other major thoroughfare which terminates in the Undervault is the Goldenway which links the Lumerian Empire to the mighty kingdom of magical crafsmen, the Golden Dwarves of Belegost . Furthermore, the Undervault sits at the mouth of a large subterranian riversystem. This mighty water course is its own tradenetwork, connecting many subterraninan layers in an informal trade network. This riversystem is known simply as the Rush for is fast and dangerous flow it empties into the Jadess several miles Northeast of the Portus, beyond the Mountains which back the coastal plain where Portus lies. It's entrance is tucked within a tight rift in the sea cliffs and is very difficult to see from offshore. It is even harder to attain by land. This has made it an ideal haunt of pirates, smugglers, and banits for centuries. It also offers a discreet entrance into the city. Over time, the Undervault developed into a small city in its own right: a nest of thieves, assassins, smugglers, corsairs, and other undesirables. During the last round of Elven Dynastic Wars, the Ocean Throne successfully invaded and captured it via the City Sewers and direct amphibious assault through the entrance and up the Rush. For about a century the Ocean Throne expended vast resources garrisoning, fortifying, and subduing the Undervault. It operated exculsively as a military trade zone. Overtime, the Ocean Throne realized the utility of allowing the local inhabitants to return. This curried good trade relations with the denziens of the Underdark and the Rush, especially the Drow of Ruin. The imperial garrison still exists to patrol the Rush, guard the Darkway and Goldenway. However, the Undervault has once again grown into a rough and tumble frontier settlement with close connections to Ruin, the Rush, and the Tinderbox. However, now the Imperial Bureacracy regulates its trade, an Imperial Garrison provides its security, including an extensive gateworks at the entrances of the Goldenway and Darkway. The Ocean Thrown also fortified the both entrances to the Rush, from the sea and from the interior. Currently, the Empire is at war with the independent denziens of the upper Rush, but trade still continues largely unhindered.