In the second part of this DFRPG urban setting, we’ll be covering specific locations of the city itself.
The following areas of Feuterre-Eau’air are meant to be “set piece” locations, where the adventurers may encounter important individuals or an important event in their current adventure. The GM should not feel limited to just the following areas, however. Most areas detailed below (interesting features of neighbourhoods) have their District given in parentheses. The Undercity and The Four Elemental Towers of City Hall are their own fleshed-out sections.
The Main Road
Between the two gates into the city, this 15-yards-wide paved-stone road goes straight in a line from north to south, through multiple Districts. Every hour of every day, The Main Road is walked by travelers and citizens alike, constantly patrolled by the city watch. Merchants arriving and departing from Feuterre-Eau’air will taxi their goods up and down The Main Road, occasionally stopping at marketplaces along the way or getting stolen from by thieves. Anyone who walks The Main Road from one end to another will at least get a look at various landmarks and easily access basic city amenities like taverns. It makes for a good meeting place and the first location to go when you want to start looking for common shops or services.
North and South City Gates
At both ends of The Main Road (in the Beaucoup-Bijoux and Les Dents Districts), the north and south gates are heavily guarded openings in the fortified city walls, the only two legal entrances into Feuterre-Eau’air for anyone not a part of the aristocracy. The city-state’s military controls the gates, only opening up and allowing passage during the day, performing searches and questioning people coming in and out of Feuterre-Eau’air. A successful Smuggling or Holdout skill roll is necessary to avoid getting caught with contraband, unless they can charm the soldiers manning the checkpoint well enough to avert suspicion. A big buildup of people camping out is on both sides of each gate every afternoon and night, usually due to passage schedules conflicting with physical departures and arrivals. In the morning, the crowd is gingerly processed and allowed through by the guardsmen drinking their breakfast coffee. As a result, a kind of shantytown has encrusted the two gates, a hive of merchants and wanderers congealing in hanger-ons, service people and pickpockets.
The Main Bridge
A central part of The Main Road, where the river going east to west across the city crosses the big line up and down from one gate to the other. A large bridge (20 yards long) just as wide as The Main Road lets people and their land transportation over the river. The river is host to many ships entering and leaving the docks, so The Main Bridge must be regularly raised to allow the boats past. The Main Bridge is just as heavily policed as The Main Road, watchmen typically perform stop and searches whenever the bridge is being lowered or raised while everyone waits. Raising the bridge and lowering it both takes 10 minutes as the chain mechanism is activated. Watchtowers at both ends of the bridge double as lighthouses and city guardsmen stations.
Vast Market (Brûleuse District)
An open market with hundreds of stalls selling foods, clothes, and household commodities. Bustling with people, this market offers basic to fanciful goods that meet the needs of most.
There is a threat of a riot brewing here the first time the party visits.
Abandoned Blocks (Toux District)
Broken windows and an eerie silence grip the area. Entire blocks have been abandoned and left in disrepair, leaving behind perfect locations to camp out in or even set up a hideout.
One such hideout is a secret magical laboratory of a water wizard, now abandoned when the mage died and left to grow out of control. The place has become flooded, overgrown with thick kelp forests and perhaps featuring strange animals.
The first time the adventurers arrive here, city watchmen are patrolling the streets.
Canal System (Amicale District)
Deep canals take the place of streets and causeways. Gondolas, barges, and individual rafts make up a majority of the traffic, while bridges and piers are tightly packed with pedestrians.
The first time the adventurers arrive here, people are celebrating a wedding.
Dining Mile (Tristesse District)
Rows of restaurants and cafes form a more “upscale” dining experience. The insides have a pleasant ambiance and seating for a more relaxed dining experience. The food is alright. Every surface is covered in bright, garish designs and colours.
The first time the adventurers arrive here, city watchmen have grabbed someone and are interrogating them right out in public.
Docks (Ecchymose-Latérale District)
Strange ships and mountains of cargo. Busy traders, weary travellers, and hopeful immigrants congregate on the crowded docks and piers. Exotic goods can be found here at wholesale price as well as fare to distant lands by boat. Makeshift miniature lighthouses are maintained by dock gangs, to help guide the boats.
The first time the adventurers arrive here, street hooligans are brawling in the street.
Drinking Mile (Eau-Savonneuse District)
Rows of pubs, taverns, and breweries. From cheap grog to strange and mysterious brews, there is a variety of common and uncommon beverages to imbibe and enjoy. Garbage has been left to pile into massive steaming drifts. Every surface is covered with fliers and graffiti.
The first time the adventurers arrive here, two upper class gentlemen are duelling each other with fencing swords.
Entrance to Undercity (Pierre-Brisée District)
A road to the city buried below, accessed through an innocuous broken wall in a cellar. Entire communities live below these streets, sunlight being a rare treat to many that call the Undercity their home. (See section on The Undercity below.)
Gated Community (Médaille D’or District)
Manicured homes, quarantined by thick walls and iron bars. Affluent businesses and homeowners have created a place to escape from the “violence of the city.” Encounters are less common here as residents are quick to report “troublemakers” and folks who seem out of place. Pillars of stone hold up all of the buildings with an air of overarching oppression.
The first time the party arrives at this place, someone is getting executed by city clerics and their bodyguards for offences against the patron God of the city.
Necropolis (Quatre-Péchés and Porte-Monnaie Districts)
Two Districts have unfortunately found their most interesting feature is a neighbourhood reduced to ad-hoc mass graves. Tombs and crypts take the place of homes and shops. An expansive resting place for the dead has been built alongside the living. Enterprising necromancers and grave-robbers frequent such places for “materials” and cash. Peppered with hundreds of memorials from plague deaths.
The Stacks (Ventre-Bas District)
Monoliths of stone and wood, crumbling housing that blots out the sun. A complex of high-density and cramped living quarters for common folk. Multiple families or generations live in a single unit as coin meets the needs but doesn’t allow for luxuries. Sewer pipes run close to the surface causing near constant flooding. As soon as the sun sets, packs of wild dogs pour out from alleys.
Entertainment Mile (Les Dents District)
Theatres of all kinds line the streets of this area, from intimate shows to grand performances. Actors and musicians intermingle with attendees at elegant soirees after the program. There is a public square in the middle of the crossroads where people are being publicly tortured and left in hanging cages to starve to death.
The first time the adventurers arrive here, someone is robbing a shop.
Villa (Amour-Eternel District)
A single grandiose estate takes up the entirety of a city block. Grounds framed by trees, topiaries, and intricate landscaping; the interior is adorned with gems and gold leaf. Only those with connections or an invitation may visit this private mansion. Eerie screaming visages are set or carved into every doorway.
Vintner’s Gallery (Couteau-Bien-Aiguisé District)
Wineries and breweries with historic renown. Establishments offer tasting tours of award-wining and sophisticated brews, with some vintages costing as much as a mansion. Each vintner guards their trade secrets, even at risk of their lives. No one leaves their homes, instead travelling by covered walkways. Dark and ominous statues watch the street from pillars.
Zoo (Beaucoup-Bijoux District)
Exotic animals are placed on display to entertain the wealthy. These creatures are adorned with jewels and cloaks to appeal to the clientele. Rumour has it that live and dead specimens can be procured for a price…
TO BE CONTINUED