Ishaela - Parts I & II

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City of North Reach

by T.A. Saunders ©2015 v1.0

Overview

Finished in 1352 AC, The city of North Reach is one of the most rapidly expanding cities on all of Ishaela. Founded by Lord General Darius Tucker, his Sengaardian Separatist Force, and all the citizens of Sengaard that he took on a mass exodus from the King-Priest's corrupt rule, North Reach represents all the uninhibited decadence, once only reserved for noble-born, all the innovation and technological prowess that quasi-religious edicts attempted to quash, and the pioneering will that represents the best of Humankind.

That isn't to say the capital of the Republic of Quivyn doesn't have its issues. With the overall pervading sense of freedom, comes the willingness from the less-than-just to exploit that freedom. Crime, while not rampant, is something of a problem in the city, and one the Lord-General carries with considerable weight. Ironically, with the formation of several local gangs, and at least two opposing thieves guilds, North Reach's trouble-makers more or less regulate themselves, save for the most notorious amongst them.

North Reach's crowning achievement is the development of airplanes, as a smaller, and less expensive alternative to sorcerous driven airships. These bi-plane style craft are manufactured by the famous aviation company, Campbell & Muirdale (Theodore Muirdale invented the airplane, Kevin Campbell crafted the steam-powered engine that it runs upon). Used primarily as a means of air defense, what the airplanes lack in size and in overall firepower, they make up for in maneuverability, speed and inexpensiveness to manufacture, giving them an edge against technology-crippled Sengaard.

For the more entertainment inclined, there is the entirety of the Gambler's District, in which to amuse one's self. With inns, taverns, gambling houses, theater, whore houses, and all manner of sundry for debauchery, this is without a doubt, the most active part of the city. Amongst the gambling houses, none are more prestigious than Riverman Rhoan's House of Chance. The establishment is a steam boat that travels up and down the length of the Ututowman River, for the stretch that winds through the city, giving gamblers, socialites and others a spectacular view of blossoming North Reach.

There has been some conjecture as to whether the owner of the establishment, the enigmatic Rhoan Sivhan even exists. Rumors persist the man was slain during the Three Way War, other stories suggest that Rhoan is an alter ego for a more nefarious sort, that has connections to the Thieves Guild that controls the East side of the city, ostentatiously called, The Riverway Rogues. Still others suggest that Rhoan is actually the avatar of Vanidyr, having a bit of fun on the mortal realm. Whatever the case, few can actually say they have seen Rhoan, save for special occasions, where he is described as a thin, tall man, likely Sengaardian in upbringing, with a taste for good quality clothing and a hawk's eye for cheats and thieves.

To address the more carnal needs of amusement, there is Pahcheeka's Parlor of Plenty. A Plainswoman, Pahcheeka shed both her given Quivyn tribal name, association with her family and her tribe, for reasons she does not discuss openly. A dark-haired beauty in her own right, Pahcheeka is shrewd, savvy and quite familiar with both Neo-Quivynite business practices and their bias against her kind. Both she uses to her advantage quite often, to gain the upper hand with those who believe her to be simply a ‘trussed up savage.' The establishment itself is highly respected, as far as whore houses go, with the whores (male and female, both), considerably clean and prices reasonable. Like most businesses on the east side of the river, the Parlor has ‘protection' given to it, by the Riverway Rogues, most of which is covered in more ‘physical' compensation.

As previously mentioned, North Reach is home to two thieves guilds, and several smaller gangs that orbit around the two guilds. The easterly half of the city is controlled by the Riverway Rogues, and the western half of the city is controlled by a gang called the Robber-Barons of the Reach. At present, there is a tentative and highly volatile peace between the two guilds. Up until a year ago, the guilds were at each other's throats, with open violence in the streets, until the Lord-General had enough, and rolled heavily armored and armed Siege Wagons into the city. Not a shot was fired that day, nor blade run across the throat of another, nor did the Lord-General make any particular announcement. With that simple show of overwhelming force, the two guilds had a secret ‘sit-down' and a truce of sorts was struck. Robber-Barons keep to the west side of the city, Rogues to the east. Crossing over means one is on their own (even if they were sent there to cause a bit of trouble) and death from crossing over goes unavenged.

While there is plenty to do in North Reach (both legal, illegal and downright naughty), it is a city that never quite stopped being ready for war. As such, there is always a considerable city watch, and most of the watch are veterans of the Three Way War, which means they aren't to be taken lightly. Despite this heavy armed presence, there is a sort of unspoken respect between the felons of the city and her defenders. While pockets have been made lighter on more than one occasion, and perhaps punches traded, no man or woman of the North Reach Watch has been ever slain by the ‘usual suspects' of the city, and by and large, with a little ‘monetary consideration,' the Watch is happy to look the other way for small time mischief.

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City Guide

Capital District

Capital Building: A large, hexagonal shaped structure that matches the outer walls of the city, the North Reach Capital Building is an architectural advancement not seen on Imarel, with each wall of the structure honeycombed and set with Parthyte crystal (a strong, clear crystal native to Ishaela, but otherwise unfound on Imarel), to allow a panoramic view of the city from the inside, while giving the building a glittering appearance from the outside.

Much of the day to day business of the Republic is handled here, which includes Chancellor Armonis Cayne's personal offices. As can be expected, given the secretive nature of the Chancellor, aforementioned offices are not open to the public.

North Reach School of Magic: In the flavor of the Schools of Magic on Imarel, North Reach has established its own school of magic, and is a part of the collegiate fellowship the various schools share, as to level of standards, educational practice and the like, this is a particularly large victory for the Lord-General's fledgling government, as such a school doesn't exist in Sengaard (the King-Priests of recent decades wouldn't hear of it).

The structure is a simple five level tower, that overlooks the city at large. Fashioned from the same Parthyte crystal that the Capital Building is, the magi took a little effort to have some fun with the clear, tough crystal and enchanted it so it has a blue sheen to it at dawn, pale yellow at midday, and finally transcends to lavender by evening, completing the same cycle. So accurate is this enchantment, one can tell the time of day by it.

Because of the limited facilities of so young a school, only a select group of Magi are selected each year, with many of the professors either visiting from Imarel, or volunteering their time. The government pays the instructors a stipend and provides free food and lodging, but can provide little else. It's not a lack of funds in the government, but rather a policy Channcellor Armonis chooses to employ, as means to “keep the school from becoming bloated, and filled with mediocrity.”

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Gambler's District

North Reach Theater House: While not exactly known for the quality of their theater and arts, North Reach does host a small, but upscale theater house that caters more to visitors to the city than its residents. Having everything from copper pence shows, to five gold-a-head full dinner theater presentations, the tall, domed building boasts four balconies, one thousand, five hundred chairs and accommodations for an entire acting troupe, their costumes and their stage props.

Often used as a social venue for clandestine meetings between visitors to the city and the Riverway Rogues, who control the portion of the city that the theater house is located at. Madame Pahcheeka can often be found here as well, enjoying various shows, her love of acting well known amongst both the thespians and her own clientele.

Pahcheeka's Parlor of Plenty: Modeled after the architectural styles popular in Sundown and Brookshire, on Imarel, Pahcheeka's Parlor is a four floor structure, with a wine cellar. The first floor contains the foyer, the lobby, private viewing rooms and the main parlor itself, where guests and the ladies (and gentlemen) of the evening mingle. This area also doubles as the billiards and gaming room, which is off to the left side of the main parlor.

Drinks are served at a bar that's situated between the main parlor and the billiards room. Clientele can pick the doxy that interests them, where a room is arranged and the ‘rules' are explained. These are common sense rules, that include ‘inspection' of the client's condition, the ‘there is no tab, you pay' rule, and the ‘you bruise ours, we bruise yours' rule. The last of course, being the most important rule, that more than person has been removed from the parlor for breaking in less than stellar condition.

The second, third and fourth floors are all rooms for clientele, and the occasional guest that Pahcheeka allows to stay. Of these, many are people attempting to lay low to avoid notice from the city or just wayward sorts the Quivynite Madame has taken pity upon. The fourth floor however, is off limits to everybody but Pahcheeka, her employees and their personal guests.

Enforcing these rules is a doorman named Duke, along with his cadre of enforcers, that include Half-Giant twins, Kimjo and Jimko, a Voraath named Thegas. Duke often serves as Pahcheeka's personal escort through the city.

Riverman Rhoan's Ship of Chance: The crown jewel of attractions in the Gambler's District, Riverman Rhoan's Ship of Chance is a three deck steam boat that travels up and down the Ututowman River, as it flows through the city. While a popular tourist attraction, and certainly a hit with those whom are loose with their coin purses, the well-to-do of the city often comment that the ship floats with the rest of the refuse and waste that sputters from the sewers, to be taken out to sea. And while the ship, (named the “Jewel of North Reach,”) is certainly a beauty of a steam boat, referring to many of the sorts who linger aboard as social refuse certainly wouldn't be out of order. All but the top deck of the vessel, that is.

The first deck of the ship is for tourists, light gamblers and the thieves who con and often, rob them. Security is loose here, with purpose, as tailoring to the sticky-fingered of the city helps keep the the second and third floors relatively pest free.

The second deck is for higher stakes games, that require five hundred gold for a minimum bet. This can be anything from games of chance, card games, or betting on the bare-knuckled boxing that takes place at the center of this particular floor. Security is noticeably tighter here, and the local criminal element is discouraged from disrupting the gaming here, though most will just get roughed up, and cleaned out if caught.

The third floor is for special exceedingly high stakes games, often organized by Rhoan Sivhan himself, and are by invitation, or a minimum 1,500 gold minimum bet. Fights between champion boxers, gladiators and the occasional down on their luck hero are waged here, along with special gambling tournaments. The latter has seen purses reach over 40,000 gold for an invitational game of King's Ransom, a popular card game that decides its winner out of a hand containing as close to a complete suit of a particular type as possible (ex. a Jack, Queen, King and Ace of Hearts is a winning hand). Mixed suits can also win, numerical cards aiding the hand, the higher their numerical value (ex. a hand with an Ace of Spades, Queen of Hearts, Jack of Diamonds and a Ten of Spades, will beat a hand that as a Jack of Clubs, a King of Diamonds, a Six of Hearts and a two of Spades).

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Industrial District

Bennett's Weapon Emporium: If it shoots something, stabs something, cuts something or smashes something, it's quite likely Bennett Belmore probably sells it. A veteran from the Three Way War, the former soldier for the Republic Army just couldn't stomach civilian life, or taking orders from Chancellor Cayne, so he opted for the middle ground of buying and selling the weapons he loves so much.

The unremarkable two story building is also a front for fencing illegal weaponry, mostly for the Robber-Barons of the Reach thieves guild, but he has been known to work with anybody not directly affiliated with the Chancellor. This of course, includes the rival thieves guild, theRiverway Rogues (who he charges staggering prices to, out of respect to the Robber-Barons), and of course adventurers, who bring him all the best toys.

The City Watch and the constables leave Bennett and his thinly veiled ‘legitimate business' alone, for the same reason most of the thieves are left alone; many of them are former veterans of the war as well, that had fallen on hard times, or in good old Bennett's case, couldn't suffer the arrogance of the Chancellor Cayne.

Campbell & Muirdale Skyworks: The epicenter of Quivyn's aeroplane manufacturing, the Skyworks is as modern and innovative a factory as the world has ever seen, with clockwork assembly lines, precision part casting, and a host of engineers working constantly to improve their designs. While the Skyworks was made primarily to bring air superiority to the Quivyn war machine, against less maneuverable airships, domestic shipping aeroplanes have been a post-war result of this grand invention.

While not exactly shunning the use of magic, much of what Theodore Muirdale and Kevin Campbell create is decidedly ‘magic-light,' having only elemental fire heat elements for the engines, and some of the aeroplanes are fit with Radiance or less likely, Witchfire weapons.

The factory employs nearly a quarter of North Reach's 25,000 people in some capacity, or contracts them, making it the staple business of the capital. Because of this, there is also a great deal of pride in the aeroplanes the people of North Reach build; more than one Shei has been punched out in a bar brawl, for insulting them for being ‘noisy.'

North Reach Shipworks: If the Skyworks represent the most advanced processes of manufacturing Quivyn has to offer, then the Shipworks stand as the representation of traditional, hand-made ship building. Each seafaring vessel made here, is individually designed, and assembled by hand, by a team of thirty shipwrights, many of whom are either members of, or married into the Esterwood family.

The Esterwoods began the business in Sengaard, making vessels for the King-Priest's Royal Navy, but with the advent of the Three Way War, the family pitched in with Lord-General Tucker, took twenty of their best ships, and sailed him, his soldiers and as many civilians as they could pack in their vessels, in a mass exodus. When North Reach was founded, in 1352 AC, the Shipworks was one of the first buildings to go up, and the first to start providing goods and services to the people of North Reach.

Esterwood-made vessels are highly sought after by old sea dogs, clandestine pirates, merchant shippers and navies across Ishaela alike. Given the moon is covered in 70% water, and both aeroplanes and airships cost thousands of gold more to purchase, sailing remains the primary mode of transportation between continents for most Ishaelians. This, heedless of their admittedly slow manufacturing process, gives the North Reach Shipworks a steady flow of business.

Sela's Steam Rides: Perhaps one of the first steam-powered vehicle dealers on Ishaela, Sela Izella Lee, daughter of the famous Hazjid assassin, Alexandre Lee, designs, fabricates, and builds all the steam-cycles, steam-buggies, sedans and roadsters herself, with her business partner, a Dwarf by the name of Michath Gungadirk, of Clan Kuergan, and their small staff of fifteen people.

While some automation and use of sorcery is necessary, Sela's custom vehicles are made with the sort of craftsmanship one would expect from an Esterwood seafaring vessel, with a fair bit of efficiency brought on by golemized automation. The sprawling, single level property houses several ready-made vehicles, prototypes and replacement parts, as well as garages where the vehicles are worked upon.

Still something of a novelty on Ishaela, the steam-powered vehicles come at a premium cost, especially for the quality of the manufacture. Some of Sela's best work has sold for costs higher than a standard issue Republic aeroplane. With that cost however, comes both quality and the assurance that nobody will have one just like it, anywhere.

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Memorial District

North Reach War Museum: The largest structure in North Reach, the War Museum houses a fully reconstructed Sengaardian airship, the first war-ready Quivyn aeroplane, some of the first examples of the P-Series Shadowhawk auto-pistol, and several other unusual relics from the Three-Way War. Along with these exotic relics of war, there are more mundane items, such as uniforms worn by all three factions in the Three-Way War, various firearms, and some of the trophies taken from the King-Priest's stronghold, at the height of the war.

Tours are given here throughout the day, for those interested in learning about the Quivyn Republic rendition of events during the war. There is also a sectioned off area, not normally open to the public, where special, exceedingly rare items are on display. New recoveries can also be brought here as well, for inspection and verification of authenticity, which the museum usually pays handsomely for.

Quivyn National Library: The fount of the Republic's civic studies, the National Library houses all the books, scrolls and documents from everything to national law, to city sanitary code. Those who wish to gain a position in the fledgling government would find everything they could possibly require to study up for the exam that's given once, every three months.

Also housed here are books of national and local history, or rather…the Quivyn rendition of national and local history, much of which, if they could read it, would likely be mocked and spat upon by both the native Plainsmen, the Sengaardian Holy regime and at least a few historians. While colored heavily in favor of the government, there are at least on some level, a few accurate portrayals of events amongst the books kept here.

Republic National Archives: This particular building was constructed at the insistence of the Chancellor, so there would be a record of every citizen of the Republic, including skills, professions and place of residence. The census to gather this information was done when the city was founded, and is updated once every two years.

The census is taken very seriously by the Chancellor, and people have been stripped of citizenship, and accused of seditious behavior for simply not filling out the questionnaire that is delivered door to door, to every citizen of the Republic. The Archive building itself is a veritable vault, with thick Vocorium plated doors, anti-scrying sorcery enchanted upon the stone it's built upon, and round-the-clock guards patrolling it.

Walk of Champions: Created as a memorial for those who died during the Three-Way War, the Walk of Champions is a garden walkway of one mile, that has, in total, twenty-six statues of fallen Republic heroes, that ends in a stone monument, that contains the name of all 4,723 soldiers lost in the brutal fighting.

Often visited by survivors, tourists and those looking for a bit of solace, the Walk is also patrolled by an honor guard at all times, and all weather conditions. The changing of the guard happens four times a day, and is something of a ceremonial affair.

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Residential District

Lord-General Darius Tucker's Residence: As a man who believes to be amongst his people, the Lord-General maintains a surprisingly modest residence within the Residential District. Darius' home is a three level townhouse, with a small garden and an orchard behind the house, where he grows the red apples he is fond of. Often seen at the residence, are his wife Anna, and his two small children, Darius Junior and Sonetta.

Not seen as easily, is the elite guard that keeps an eye on the Lord-General's home in his absence, and the incredible collection of weapons and armor kept somewhere within the residence. There is an ongoing joke amongst the soldiers of the Republic that Darius could arm a revolution in his own city, with the collection rumored to be kept within.

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Temple District

Arboretum of Zorah: While not nearly as popular as Kaal, or Hiron amongst the citizens of North Reach, Zorah's following has many native Quivynite converts that have forsaken the Elemental gods of their people, and embraced Zorah's way. For this reason, there is an inordinate amount of Plainsfolk tending the trees, wildlife and ponds of the Arboretum.

Fashioned in similar style to many Sivanoshei structures in Am-Shei, the Arboretum is a single, giant Hirsalas tree, that has been encouraged to grow and flare out its branches to form a canopy of leaves over the smaller trees of the Arboretum. There are different levels, within the giant Hirsalas tree, but these must be traversed by rope ladders, or climbing vines that wind their way along the thick trunk of the tree.

Cathedral of Kaal: While there is no national religion in Quivyn, nearly 45% of the population follows Kaal, stemming from the traditions stemming from living in Sengaard. While this is a fluid figure, with the growth and diversity of religion in Quivyn, the Church of Kaal is an extremely influential presence in the city. It is then, probably little surprise that the cathedral dedicated to the Flamebringer is the second-tallest structure in the city, surpassed only by the War Museum.

Taken with a decidedly ancient Kaal'Kor design, with tall spires, flying buttresses, and large, circular stained glass windows, depicting various acts of Kaal throughout history, the cathedral does much to inspire awe to those who look upon it. On days of service, and at midday, the great boromandite bells can be heard ringing throughout the city.

Holy House of Hiron: Second only to Kaal in overall worshipers in the city, the Holy House of Hiron is a reserved, but stately, two floor structure that has a small monastery and a Chapter House for the Knights of Hiron, the Order of the Truthsayer, attached to it.

The Holy House becomes a particularly busy place mid-week, as services are held then, in the mornings and in the afternoon and evening, the House opens its doors to address civil complaints amongst the people, who wish the priesthood's arbitration over what would come of a dispute, if brought before the justices of North Reach.

Temple of Jadaia: Like her mother, Zorah's followers, those who follow Jadaia in North Reach are primarily Plainsfolk who have shrugged off the nomadic way of life of their people, and have embraced the gods of the Sengaardians. This temple is not only tended by priests of the Goddess of Vigor, but shaman as well, that reflect more of the Plainsfolk influence on the religion as a whole, here.

The temple is an open-air glade, sheltered by a simple shingled wooden dome, where those who wish to worship may come and go as they please, and enjoy the small brook fed by the river and a wild garden. Of the latter, fruits and vegetables are grown, and are free for those who wish to partake, to eat.

Finished in 1352 AC, The city of North Reach is one of the most rapidly expanding cities on all of Ishaela. Founded by Lord General Darius Tucker, his Sengaardian Separatist Force, and all the citizens of Sengaard that he took on a mass exodus from the King-Priest's corrupt rule, North Reach represents all the uninhibited decadence, once only reserved for noble-born, all the innovation and technological prowess that quasi-religious edicts attempted to quash, and the pioneering will that represents the best of Humankind.

That isn't to say the capital of the Republic of Quivyn doesn't have its issues. With the overall pervading sense of freedom, comes the willingness from the less-than-just to exploit that freedom. Crime, while not rampant, is something of a problem in the city, and one the Lord-General carries with considerable weight. Ironically, with the formation of several local gangs, and at least two opposing thieves guilds, North Reach's trouble-makers more or less regulate themselves, save for the most notorious amongst them.

North Reach's crowning achievement is the development of airplanes, as a smaller, and less expensive alternative to sorcerous driven airships. These bi-plane style craft are manufactured by the famous aviation company, Campbell & Muirdale (Theodore Muirdale invented the airplane, Kevin Campbell crafted the steam-powered engine that it runs upon). Used primarily as a means of air defense, what the airplanes lack in size and in overall firepower, they make up for in maneuverability, speed and inexpensiveness to manufacture, giving them an edge against technology-crippled Sengaard.

For the more entertainment inclined, there is the entirety of the Gambler's District, in which to amuse one's self. With inns, taverns, gambling houses, theater, whore houses, and all manner of sundry for debauchery, this is without a doubt, the most active part of the city. Amongst the gambling houses, none are more prestigious than Riverman Rhoan's House of Chance. The establishment is a steam boat that travels up and down the length of the Ututowman River, for the stretch that winds through the city, giving gamblers, socialites and others a spectacular view of blossoming North Reach.

There has been some conjecture as to whether the owner of the establishment, the enigmatic Rhoan Sivhan even exists. Rumors persist the man was slain during the Three Way War, other stories suggest that Rhoan is an alter ego for a more nefarious sort, that has connections to the Thieves Guild that controls the East side of the city, ostentatiously called, The Riverway Rogues. Still others suggest that Rhoan is actually the avatar of Vanidyr, having a bit of fun on the mortal realm. Whatever the case, few can actually say they have seen Rhoan, save for special occasions, where he is described as a thin, tall man, likely Sengaardian in upbringing, with a taste for good quality clothing and a hawk's eye for cheats and thieves.

To address the more carnal needs of amusement, there is Pahcheeka's Parlor of Plenty. A Plainswoman, Pahcheeka shed both her given Quivyn tribal name, association with her family and her tribe, for reasons she does not discuss openly. A dark-haired beauty in her own right, Pahcheeka is shrewd, savvy and quite familiar with both Neo-Quivynite business practices and their bias against her kind. Both she uses to her advantage quite often, to gain the upper hand with those who believe her to be simply a ‘trussed up savage.' The establishment itself is highly respected, as far as whore houses go, with the whores (male and female, both), considerably clean and prices reasonable. Like most businesses on the east side of the river, the Parlor has ‘protection' given to it, by the Riverway Rogues, most of which is covered in more ‘physical' compensation.

As previously mentioned, North Reach is home to two thieves guilds, and several smaller gangs that orbit around the two guilds. The easterly half of the city is controlled by the Riverway Rogues, and the western half of the city is controlled by a gang called the Robber-Barons of the Reach. At present, there is a tentative and highly volatile peace between the two guilds. Up until a year ago, the guilds were at each other's throats, with open violence in the streets, until the Lord-General had enough, and rolled heavily armored and armed Siege Wagons into the city. Not a shot was fired that day, nor blade run across the throat of another, nor did the Lord-General make any particular announcement. With that simple show of overwhelming force, the two guilds had a secret ‘sit-down' and a truce of sorts was struck. Robber-Barons keep to the west side of the city, Rogues to the east. Crossing over means one is on their own (even if they were sent there to cause a bit of trouble) and death from crossing over goes unavenged.

While there is plenty to do in North Reach (both legal, illegal and downright naughty), it is a city that never quite stopped being ready for war. As such, there is always a considerable city watch, and most of the watch are veterans of the Three Way War, which means they aren't to be taken lightly. Despite this heavy armed presence, there is a sort of unspoken respect between the felons of the city and her defenders. While pockets have been made lighter on more than one occasion, and perhaps punches traded, no man or woman of the North Reach Watch has been ever slain by the ‘usual suspects' of the city, and by and large, with a little ‘monetary consideration,' the Watch is happy to look the other way for small time mischief.


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