Tuesday, December 11, 2012
A Grand Tour of the First City of Men: Part One
Uz, the First City of Men, is roughly divided into four parts. The first part is the Acropolis that looms high over the rest of the city. It is here that one may find the large, marble temples to the deities of the Uzites with their golden domes and their squat columns. While the inner workings of these temples are secret to all those except for Priests of the 7th Circle, they still provide quite a few services for lesser priests and laymen. The service that is likely to be of most interest to adventurers are the libraries of cylindrical texts that each temple maintains. These texts typically concern the nature and history of their deity and related entities, though it is assumed by most secular scholars and wizards that the most accurate texts are hidden away from the public and reserved only for priests of the highest circles.
The Acropolis is also home to many of the palaces of the cities noble houses. Most of the population of Uz belongs to a noble house in one way or another - with foreigners and the small minority of freemen that make up the adventuring classes being the only exceptions. It is only with the cooperation of these houses that King Dagazar is able to maintain any order in his realm, and it is they who are responsible for the complex system of conflict resolution that serves as the "law" in Uz. Their palaces are typically multi-building compounds bustling with slaves and free craftsmen that serve as clients to the larger house.
While there are at least a few free neighborhoods on the Acropolis, most of the free people and even many of the slaves actually live in its shadow. The Lower City is the second part of Uz and it is the largest part of the city-proper. It contains most of the cities markets, wine houses, hostels, and houses. Many of the neighborhoods within the Lower City are associated with the noble houses of the Acropolis; however, one neighborhood is under a completely separate jurisdiction. The Street of Sins is actually divided up among a large number of Getherite Slave Lords that use its market to sell their goods.
The Docs lie outside the walls of the city and are poorer even than the worst sections of the Lower City. There are few markets here, and most of the people who live here are slaves who unload cargo for their noble masters; however, this is also a common place for foreigners to remain when not attending to their business within the city. In fact, until the capture of Uz by the Phutians - many kings ago - those not of Uzite lineage were confined to this quarter unless they were in the service of one of the great houses.
Finally there is the large suburban area that surrounds the First City of Men. This is where the copious farms are located that provide the grain and meat animals eaten with in the city. Most of these farms are worked by slaves in the service of one of the noble houses - which usually have an accompanying villa to manage the nearby farms. These suburbs spread for a days ride along the arable land near the river, which is about 20 miles at its widest and about 10 miles at its most narrow.
In the next post, I will discuss places where the PCs can debauch as well as the homes of several notable "wizards" that live within the city.