The Secret of Lightbringer
Arathea, located on the coast roughly due west of the village of Neshoor, is a city of about 5,000, about 3000 of whom are slaves, or near enough. The city is a theocracy, ruled by the current theocrat, Ing Doela, high priest of K’Tahl. K’Tahl is viewed as a god of calamity, and his worshipers serve him to appease his wrath. Some within the city view the recent defeat of Dragon King Aegon as the hand of K’Tahl at work, and some think that the beastly Garuush is his avatar, or at least one of his servants. Many of the cultists that follow Garush around are from here.
The city is radial in design, centered around the great temple in the center, with all of the priests’ palaces in close proximity, along with marketplaces where slaves and offerings to the god are sold. From there, the districts grow increasingly dirty and derelict, starting with the wealthiest merchats and the businesses that cater to them, and then working down through the skilled laborers to the unskilled laborers and slaves. The city’s docks are located in an isolated cove protected by protruding cliffs. It’s primary exports are reavers and virtually no foreign vessels travel there willingly. There are three main gates – on the east,northeast, and southeast faces of the fifteen foot sandstone wall. Each is manned by burly eunuchs in dirty armor, who watch over traffic in and out, but don’t seem to ask for identification or purpose of travel.
Within the city, there is a clear caste system, and Players should be required to make a Sense Motive check, DC 12, or a Knowledge: Local/History etc DC12 to identify the customs of deference and how to recognize higher casts. The amount of hair on one’s head is apparently a sign of power and status. The more of one, the more of another. Therefore even bald old men with any money, go about with piled high wigs in outrageous colors and fashions, and sometimes even have painted on beards, while slaves are clean shaven – even the women. Priests are afforded the highest degree of deferrence, and are identified by course robes lined with thorns and burrs, and often bearing disfiguring scars or even amputations.