Storm of Shadows
Pacedon – Capital
The city of Pacedon is more culturally diverse than most other places in Pacedonia, but even so, it is dominated by a predominantly human population. The city is located at the mouth of the river Pace, and has the majority of its buildings located on the north side of the river. The river, about half-a- mile wide at its mouth, is spanned by a massive bridge, built in eons past by unknown epic level mages and supported by a series of huge pilings that disappear down into the waters below. It is considered one of the wonders of the world and has stood for centuries. A second even more massive bridge starts to lead westwards as well, but is broken, and only the remnants of its ginormous pilings remain, sticking up out of the ocean heading towards the setting sun. These are known as locally as Truth’s Teeth, and apart from being a major shipping hazard, are known to have once led to the lost lands of Maztrica – destroyed some 300 years ago.
The city north of the river is divided into wards. The city is well defended with seriously high walls all around it – though on the north side, the buildings have spilled over and there is a sizeable shanty town outside the wall. From time to time, this is demolished in times of political tension when there is the threat of war, but it soon springs up again. It is rumoured that there are magical protections on the city that prevent teleportation from outside – to prevent an enemy force from magically appearing inside the walls, though this may be propaganda rather than reality.
Obviously, includes the docks and warehouses of the busy port. At any one time, there are probably twenty large sea going merchant ships berthed here, and numerous smaller fishing vessels are always coming and going. A large section of the docks is considered off-limits to civilians, reserved for the Pacedonian Navy – which boasts a sizeable fleet. There are moorings on the south side of the river, but as the majority of the population live on the north, only the poorer (and shallower draught) merchant vessels dock there. The ward has numerous taverns and inns to cater for the sailors etc, a small shrine (come soup kitchen) to Mater the Injured God, and a good sized temple to the Esstélla the Starbinder, tended to by a mix of elven, half-elven and human priests.
A large number of merchants have their offices and shops here, along with a major temple to Volstar the Merchant, which also acts as a “bank” of sorts, though there are other non-affiliated other finance houses as well. The Trade Ward has the Dock Ward on its southern edge, and the Palace Ward on the east. On the north side, a large open market place, packed with semi-permanent stalls as well as sections for livestock, forms the boundary with the North Ward. There are no taverns in the Trade Ward due to a decree from the emperor banning the mixing of business and alcohol, but a number of tea-houses have sprung up instead to enable more “enterprising” businessmen to perform their business out of view of the street. There are a few inns and restaurants for accommodation and food, though as they aren’t allowed to serve alcohol, they do not see as much business as those in other wards.
This ward is dominated by the large market on its south side and the smell of livestock. Cheap housing is interspersed with stables and cattle yards. There are numerous cheap inns for farmers and others agricultural traders to stay, and a fair number of taverns and eating houses as well. A couple of shrines to Gaeda the Earth Mother can be found in this ward, along with another one to Mater the Injured God.
The large Palace of the Emperor, built at the top of an up-thrust of rock that dominates the view over the estuary and harbour, towers over this quarter. Up the three sides of the hill that don’t face the water, various nobles houses vie for the best view over the city, with nearness to the Palace being taken as a status of the rank of the noble house. A temple to Veritas the Truth Seeker is based at the bottom of the road that winds its way up towards the Palace, right next to the Halls of Justice and lesser courts of law. A temple to Sven’haeden, the God of Song is also in this ward, though it is attached to an upmarket festhall and is well known for the riotous parties that happen there. This ward also houses various embassies to other nations. The Jade Jugg is in this ward.
The East Ward is primarily filled with housing for the middle class, although small wizard’s towers rise here and there amongst them, with property prices being equally depressed or elevated due to the reputation of the wizard in residence. A small temple to Azimaar the Wise is at the western edge of this ward, and there are only a few taverns and restaurants, and no inns.
South of the river.
At the southern end of the bridge, the land opens up almost immediately into gently rolling hills, populated thickly with farms with dry stone walls, grazing sheep and cattle. Nearer the bridge itself, a number of inns cater for those travellers not prepared to cross the bridge before stopping, plus a number of tanners, brewers and alchemists – industries noted for their unpleasant smells. There is a growing number of middle class housing here as well, those who can’t afford to live in the East Ward and don’t want to live in the Dock or North Wards.
Law in Pacedon
Pacedon has strict laws, and the Pacifiers do a reasonably good job at enforcing them, though more so in some districts than others. As one would expect, the usual laws protecting property and life are in place, as is a relatively new libel law – new since the invention of the printing press and the broadsheets that have sprung up around the city. Prostitution is legal, but moonshine is not – all brewing is closely monitored and taxed.
Taxes in Pacedon
There are numerous taxes in Pacedonia. Land/Property tax is the main one, with differing rates depending on the size of property and what it is used for. There is a small % “transaction tax” that is applied to those industries where meticulous records (eg money lending/brewing/alchemy/livestock) are kept, and a poll tax based on census information is also included. Most people will have some form of identification papers that relate to the past census, and these need to be presented under certain circumstances – major money exchanges, police investigations, court appearances etc.