Located at a "stable point" amongst the seas and blessed with a large bay and other natural resources Daunton has grown from a small fishing village to one of the largest and certainly most prosperous cities on the Shifting Seas. The flood of refugees from the fall of the Allarian Empire brought a vibrant, thriving culture focused on inclusion and education; the best parts, they felt, of the land they loved but could not save. Half of the city is human, mostly descendants of the original colonists, while the other half is drawn from a broad spectrum of races.
The island itself is a bit more than thirty miles long on the N/S axis, featuring a deeply forested interior and sheer cliffs around all sides. The cliffs recede to sea level only at one point, the large double bay around which the city of Daunton is built. With the linkages to Arcadia apparently reopening the interior of Daunton has become increasingly difficult to map; the effects are sporadic now but there are persistent rumors the interior of the island is warping. New (or at least not seen since the days of Arga the Black) valleys, rivers and other features have been reported -- in some cases causing trips to the interior that would take only a few hours to take days or more.
The name "Daunton" is used interchangeably to refer to both the city and island it dominates.
The City and its DistrictsEdit
The city of Daunton has grown from a small fishing village to be one of the largest and most prosperous metropolises on the Shifting Seas. The city itself surrounds an unusual double bay; the outer bay is used for primarily for commercial shipping, the inner houses berths for local fisherman as well as a number of wealthy seaside neighborhoods.
The unofficial arcanists ward of the city. Located on top of of a steep and winding hill the neighborhood is a maze of steep, twisty streets leading up to Shattered Spire is its most notable landmark. A description of Cobblestop.
The Breaded Bun is a tea and bun shop run by Halflings along Magi Walk over in Cobblestop. It’s a bit noisy in the day, but comfortable and the owning family let rooms to shorter races that don't mind the stairs in the upper reaches of the building. Rumour has it that it is haunted by benign spirits of some sort.
Gen's Tailoring over on Clacker's Run, another Halfing family-run establishment, is a high-end bespoke tailoring, dressmaking and beauty care operation overseen by the founder and family Great Grandmother, Gen. The firm caters to Gentlebeings of all shapes and sizes who have the wealth and inclination to indulge in the high standards of craftsmanship that are practised here. Sometimes, quite rare source materials are used in some of the more elegant creations.
A district located on the small penninsula between the inner and outer harbors. Also known as "Old Daunt'n" and "The Gateway to the City", this area is the site of Daunton's original settlement.
The Commons is a popular marketplace to visitors and locals. Due to its proximity to the outer harbor, there is an abundance of goods just in "off the boats" available for sale by vendors (not to mention the constant influx of "colorful characters" in port from exotic locales)... and the district's close proximity to the wealth and influence of the inner harbor, guarantees the safety & security of its patrons.
Most business is conducted in the streets; where the vendors, artists and performers ply their respective trades. One of the specialized vendors of the area is refered to as a "Cafe". The first was opened by a retired sailor, named Caf e'Barista, and was essentially an outdoor tavern that doesn't serve alcohol (but instead specializes in serving a hot, brown liquid; made by passing boiling water through a specially-ground, roasted bean). The energizing beverage soon became a hit with both visitors & the locals, and cafes began springing up all over the district.
An area on the northeast side of the city, near the forest that surrounds the inland side of Daunton. The area was built quickly (and some say cheaply) to accommodate the influx of new citizens and merchants during the early days of The Five. It used to be quite affluent, but since The Five gave their lives protecting Daunton the crime rate has increased as gangs of thieves and ne'er-do-wells have set up shop in the area. This coupled with the danger from the forests (with the weakening of the Great Seal) has meant that only those who cannot afford to live elsewhere (or those who are up to no good) live in this maze of ruined buildings and lawless alleys.
The are some scholars that believe that there was once a small outpost or colony of a Savage Lands kingdom located where the overgrowth now stands, they cite old Allarian documents that recount the discovery of an ancient shrine to Maraz (the savage aspect of Maros) by the first colonists on the isle. However, the location of this rumoured shrine is not recorded in those documents.
A group of settlements on the extremes of the Outer Docks and bordering the sea, the Smears is a group of workaday neighborhoods notable for their lack of notoriety. They are also known for their smell: A rancid mix of sharp salty sea water and sewage from the many drainages along the Big Smear that borders the Smears. Featured in A Boy and His Dog.
One of Daunton's wealthiest districts, settled in the hills above Daunton. It only contains one winding street, High Lane, that loops back and forth through the district. It is heavily patrolled by the city watch, especially at night. (Featured in The Hunted)
Places of note Edit
The Big Smear Edit
A set of mud flats that border the island on the extremes of the Outer Harbor, the Big Smear is a major outlet for the complex sewer system of the city. Since the sewer was added upon by different groups at different times, each outlet is a system in and of itself. Odd wildlife has adapted to the Big Smear, though little of it has proven dangerous to the nearby Smears.
Candle Hill Monastery Edit
The residence and work place of The Order of the Divine Pen. Originally built in a solitary location on a hall just outside of town. The Monastery got it's name from the candlelight pouring from the windows as the monks labored long into the night. The monks here are historians, religious scholars, and scribes, spending most for their time copying books for preservation and to add to the library.
However, due to their knowledge, many an adventurer has made friends with the monks, in order to gain insight to many mysteries and legends.
The Chapel of the Obolus Edit
It is named for an artifact that is said to rest within its inner temple, the black coin, Obolus, which legend tells Vulkar forged from the soul of the shadow titian and used to pay for the return of the Sky Thunder, a weapon prepared for Joven and which Vulkar foolishly lost to Lauto in bet. It's said that the coin allows the dead to be raised without paying Lauto... and that the temple's wealth comes from the fees paid by adventurers seeking to be raised.
Under the Chapel are extensive catacombs called The Mausoleum.
The Dauntonian Customs Authority Edit
The Custom's Bonded WarehouseEditThis Warehouse in the Commons is where the Customs authority store the goods that have been confiscated because the duties weren't paid or simply because they were illegal. They await either eventual destruction or the payment of a fine before being released. Some items have been stored there for years. The site has recently been the site of large battle between the heroes of Fisherman's Alley and Rinch's Gang.
Daunton Customs OfficeEditLocated a few blocks from the inner docks, this office is where Chief Customs Officer Farnsworth Fairview and his small staff of clerks process Customs violations, accept payment of fees and import taxes, and hold samples of suspicious goods pending their review by the Alchemists' Institute. The office is poorly secured however as Farnsworth, out of the goodness of his heart, employs his idiot nephew Festus as the nighttime security guard to save the poor lad from working as fishmonger's apprentice. Following a recent break in at the office during which all evidence samples awaiting review were stolen (along with a small amount of coinage collected in fee payments), Festus was found the next morning in the adjoining alley, badly hungover and spinning stories about an oni attack in the office, and a beautiful tiefling maiden that he rescued. Though Farnsworth was seen kicking his nephew all over town that day, somehow the lad has managed to maintain his employment as the night watchman.
Dauntonian Fine House of OrationEdit
The Dauntonian Fine House of Oration, is one of the older establishments in Daunton. It was at first a stage for traveling performers as well as a meeting house for groups, and politics.
It slowly fell into a bit of seediness and was a House of Burlesque for as long as anyone around can remember. While the average show was of low caliber and taste, due to the lack of private performance spaces on the island it was occasionally the home to more advanced arts.
It is said that Mauros himself was a Patron of the House when the finer entertain net came through, and there is a story of the five clearing it of a haunting early on in their career.
More recently, it has been purchased by the Merchants of Bacarate and is set to become an opera house for the high class citizenry.
Doghead Alley Edit
Alley about half a block away from the Great Library. Sometimes used as a meeting place for local gangs.
On one side of the alley sits a cheese shop, it's roof flat, with a very short wall around the edges. It's only one floor, with about teen feet to the top. The other side contains an old residence, most likely once one large home now seems to have been broken up a bit, though only one entrance is in view. This building has two living floors making its roof about 20 feet up with a peak of about 25 feet. The windows of the cheese shop are made of a treated paper, and those of the home glass. The glass windows on the first floor do not look like they were made to open.
In the shade of the alley a type of ivy has sprung up on some walls and a balcony rests about ten feet up in one corner.
Fisherman's Alley Edit
This used ot be a public place built around a statue of Arek Steelsheath and dedicated to her memory. It is now squatted by peddlers and vendors. It is featured in the adventure Zombies and Crooks
The Fisherman's Alley market had sprung illegally in the most convenient location; it was officially a public square dedicated to Arek Steelsheath, one of the Five, the heroic swordmistress. A magnifient statue, 20 feet high, still reminded everyone of the place's original purpose. But the location was ideally located near to the docks and on a well travelled street toward the heart of the city and so soon vendors and peddlers were squatting the square. No effort to clear the square had ever been successful and soon the authorities just gave up. Now it was a sprawling affair with stands and tent everywhere and a thick crowd that made navigating the area difficult at best.
It was bordered by worn out apartment buildings that rented cheap due to the persistent odour of fish driving down the value. This was a problem that Harann, a somewhat well known elderly retired adventurer, had used to his advantage. The sophisticated and cunning half-orc barbarian had bought for cheap a location near the market and had opened a restaurant without kitchens! His waiters had arrangements with the nearby vendors. He even mitigated the odour problem with the use of a curious enchanted statue of a sea gull that acted on the mind of people to convince them they were smelling and hearing the sea. His ancient partners had thought he was crazy to claim it as part of his loot instead of an enchanted weapon, but now he enjoyed a much more prosperous retirement then they did. He had named his establishment, logically enough, the Raging Sea Gull.
The Great Library Edit
The Library of Daunton is but a pale shadow of the Great Library of Allaria. Some say that one book in ten was carried to safetly. Some say less. Even so the mighty dome that looms over inner bay is the largest building in the City by an order of magnitude. Though they may call her the "ol' egg" even the hardest Dauntonian heart can't help but skip a bit in pride when the sun breaks over the white marble ovoid.
The library has been the target of many thieves but the formidable defenses including an ever shifting array of puzzles and combination locks backed up by immobilizing traps (initially) and more dangerous guardians presents a challenge even to the most seasoned thief. It's said that Mireva took great affront at the destruction of the Library of Allaria and thieves among the stacks often earn her ire; most serious bibliophile scoff at reports of the library shifting about to confound the thief, but there are few among the rogues of Daunton who would accept such a mission.
Daunton's Census' and city records that are over three years old are filed on the third floor of the Great Library, transferred there from the Officia Politica.
The staff of the Library are organised in a hierarchy:
Novice - Those who have only recently joined the Great Library's staff, they spend much of their time learning the filing systems of the Library and the arts of scribing and illuminating.
Acolyte - Forming the most common rank of Library worker, the Acolytes have completed their training but lack the necessary talents to lead or travel in the dangerous wider world. They spend the majority of their time keeping the Great Library running day-to-day, keeping the many tomes in order and transcribing those that are beginning to loose information to age. Most acolytes are responsible for a certain section of the Library.
Journeyman/woman - These academics have a knack for finding and valuing rare tomes and scrolls. Journeymen travel the Transitive Isles; and have been known to go further, in search of volumes to return to the Great Library (or to copy for the Library). They are generally versed in the adventurers ways, having to protect themselves while travelling.
Maester - The highest rank for those working in the Great Library. The Maesters lead the staff and are highly respected academics throughout the Shifting Seas. Once one has become a Maester it is a title one would hold until death.
The Hanged Man Inn Edit
The Hanged Man Inn is notorious for attracting adventurers from all over the world, and many a tale told starts with an anxious employer entering the rowdy common room of that establishment. The best known inn in town it has not one but two "authentic Old Vic skins" decorating its walls.
The shingle of the Hanged Man currently sports a hobgoblin corpse, suspended from its beam. This was Sinruth, a local gang boss who made the mistake of trying to shake down the bartender in front of a group of liquored up and bored adventurers. Some locals have taken to referring to the tavern as "The Hanged Hob". Sinruth was actually killed by an arrow through the throat (from Mikara), and his corpse was strung up by Sound of Stone
The Hanged Man Inn contains a portal to the Drowned Man, a tavern on Bacarte. It functions much the same way save that the Hanged Man charges significantly more for the three drinks required to get through the portal reliably.
The Last Forge Edit
The birthplace of Dauntonian warforged the forge is a crumbling building resting in the ruins of the the Great Library. A pair of rusting and battered iron golems stand on either side of the wide entry way. A century ago they would animate and assail any non-warforged who approached, but now they simply turn their iron heads to watch those who approach.
The inner courtyard holds an open fire, supposedly continuously lit since before the fall of the kingdom. An ancient warforged named Tender guards it day and night; those who respect the ancient traditions of protection and defense that guided the warforged and placed them among Allaria's greatest defenders feel that the devoted Tender reflects all that is good. Younger more forward minded individuals, including a few younger warforged, argue that he should be doing more productive things.
All warforged have a room of their own within the Forge, though some have not used it in decades.
The creation forge itself is located beneath the Last Forge; only a handful of warforged are able to bypass the powerful wards protecting it and enter its presence.
The Officia PoliticaEdit
On the corner of the intersection of Cobblestop’s main street, the Street of Flags and the Lord’s Quarter (the estates of Daunton’s upper class), is a large imposing public building. The Officia Politica is the centre of Daunton’s administration, the place where current public records are made and kept (for a few years before they are transferred to the Great Library), where the Lord’s Council meets four times a year and it is also the base of operations for the Politica.
The Politica are the younger members of the founding families that are more involved in the day-to-day running of the city and its interests than their rich Lords and Ladies, who are more interested in the extravagance and fineries that their status brings them.
The Shattered Spire Edit
Once a thriving hub of transit and communication the Brothers of the Spun Staff (a group of arcanists devoted to Hermethis) the spire, with its twisting double shape now lies in ruin; a victim of a savage attack by suicidal cult members (a failed attempt to prevent the Five from returning and stopping their hideous ritual).
The gates from the spire lead far and wide and access, covetously guarded by the Brotherhood, was much desired by the adventurers. The brothers were quick to deny use to any who couldn't pay their hefty fees or those of a more military bent.
The Brotherhood all perished in the attack, and with them knowledge of the codes and sigils they used to activate their portal system. However rumors persist that the cult may have taken a complete set of code books with them before they destroyed the spire; recovering those books could be the first step in regaining access to the priceless portal system.
The Street of FlagsEdit
This well tended street is named for the many embassies that line the road. Many of the far flung powers of the Shifting seas; like the Jade Kingdom, maintain an embassy here nestled among small green gardens that are frequented by political visitors to Daunton.
The Temple of Night and Day Edit
This unusual temple is dedicated to both Peresefa and Dayna and espouses a number of religious positions that are rejected by the more orthodox churches. The is priesthood predominantly female and very inclusive, provided you adhere to the groups militant stance on a variety of issues. A small group of drow, liberated by a raid fifty years live around the temple and operate it during the night.
The Temple of Open Hands Eyes and Minds Edit
A testament to Daunton's open-mindedness the Brother and Sisterhood of Open Hands, Eyes and Minds Seeking The One Exalted Truth (usually just called the Open Brothers) is considered a mystery cult (at best) in most other lands (The Imperium punishes membership with "imprisonment and reeducation until the deluded has recovered their good sense, plus an additional ten years").
The Open Brothers ascribe to the heretical idea that teaches that Mireva teaches a "secret method to enlightenment". Even most adherents don't understand all the convoluted meanderings of logic in the order's teaching but the basic gist is well known among the knowledgeable: Orthodox teaching suggests that Mireva was born of idea, Joven's divinity rational though that became an independent entity. The Brothers believe that Mireva is both more and less: is actually the idea of self-actualization, of self-enlightenment and of personal ascension. That through studying clues that Mireva has hidden in the world, and through the use of arcane logic, they can reach some sort of exalted state. The Brothers themselves, decry, a more radical sect, one that teaches that Mireva is of a new age of gods, who will overthrow the current Pantheon.
Doctrine is not clear on what this "exalted state" is. Anyone who reached it would, necessarily, find themselves constrained from speaking of it. Many brothers feel that the state itself change in some fashion depending on the individual, much as the path is supposed to be different.
Most Dauntons know the Open Brothers as good, if muddled people. The more extreme members, who wear simple robes and prowl the streets asking people "questions designed to inspire insight" (but mostly seem to spout gibberish in a good matured way) are the targets of gentle derision. They believe that they should offer help to those in need (not unusual) but also feel that all physical action is inherently equal. So many of the more devout spend their days cleaning the streets around their shrine.
The Shrine itself is a simple building built around a ten-side open courtyard dominated by a statue of Mireva's enlightened form (she has 20 arms breaking into innumerable hands each one forming a specific hand sign, each of which is supposed to be a clue). The statue also has 20 eyes, which were recently defaced by vandals.
The Tower of the Five Edit
The people of Dauton were always pleased that the Five captured evil artifacts (and according to some rumors, creatures that were too powerful to kill, or cursed victims they hoped to redeem) and locked them safely away. Only a member of the five could open the tower once it was sealed, insuring that the town would never be threatened by the darkness contained within. With their sudden death the sealed tower poses a problem for the city. It is a symbol of brave heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice for the city and a potential threat no one knows how to deal with.
The Island InteriorEdit
The island itself is a bit more than thirty miles long on the N/S axis, featuring a deeply forested interior and shear cliffs around all sides. The cliffs recede to sea level only at one point, the large double bay around which the city of Daunton is built.
At least the isle is 30 miles long if you sail around it. With the linkages to Arcadia apparently reopening the interior of Daunton has become increasingly difficult to map. The effects are sporadic now but there are persistent rumors the interior of the island is growing in size. In some cases causing trips to the interior that would take only a few hours to take days or more.
New valleys, rivers, mountains and other features have been reported; some of them closely matching geographical features not seen since the days of Arga the Black.
This effect has led credence to the theory circulating in arcane circles that Arga's rituals were never permanent and the death of her student Esthanapiros has some how allowed Arcadia to slip into sync with Daunton's interior again. Prognosticators warn darkly of the not so distant past, when Daunton's interior was so heavily warped by overlaps into Arcadia as to have been massive, and hordes of viscous humanoids from the savage lands poured through the fey realm to assail Daunton in unending waves.
Personalities and creaturesEdit
The Mayor, Gunter Brunt Edit
Gunter Brunt; or simply "The Brunt", has been Mayor of Daunton for ten years.
A legendary monster, an old miser supposedly transformed by one of the gods into an immense crocodile for a forgotten crime. The creature has supposedly been killed several times (no less than three gigantic crocodile skins adorn local inns) but it always seems to return; bound by the curse.
An ancient dragonborn matron, the first permanent settler from the The Kingdom of Jade to move to Daunton she has a reputation for politiness, education, and egocentricity as well as one of the most architecturally remarkable houses built in Daunton in recent memory.
Arga the BlackEdit
A swordsman and rake; early adventuring companion of the Five. For more see here.
Retired adventurer-turned-enigmatic gang lord, and former head of the Reckoners, one of Daunton's gangs that specialized in bodyguard and protection work. Nearly one-third of the taverns in Daunton employed a bouncer on Marley's payroll. A piece of green cloth tied to the right forearm was seen as a sign of allegiance to him. Missing, presumed dead at the hands of rival Hyann (see http://www.enworld.org/forum/living-4th-edition/250005-adventure-echoes-o.html for details).
Rinch the RiserEdit
Rinch, an underworld figure with otherworldly connections is a growing menace to the welfare of Daunton, dabbling in crime and necromancy.
Gouki is an enormous bear of a man hailing from the Kingdom of Jade. Bald, menacing, and barrel-chested, Gouki oversees the Iron Ring, Daunton's premiere underground fighting circuit. Everything from common dogs to exotic gladiators fight within the ring, and Gouki watches every match from a throne made of bronze. Gouki also heads the Iron Vanguard, a gang who cares specifically to the Iron Ring. Vanguard spokesmen do everything from book gladiators to forcefully collect debt from bad bets to cater hand and foot to the more wealthy spectators. The Iron Ring has no set location, and Dauntonian authorities are becoming increasingly frustrated with the rumors they hear of blood spilled in these bitter street fights. There are few rules within the Iron Ring;
- All fights are to the death.
- No ritual magic of any sort is allowed.
- No one outside the ring may help those inside.
- No one inside the ring may harm someone outside of it.
Any infraction of the rules is dealt with swiftly and publicly by Gouki, who is quick to enter the ring and punish the transgressors. Gouki fights with no weapons or armor, only his fists, and he is the longest-living gladiator within the Iron Ring, having never lost a match.
Gouki was dispatched from the Kingdom of Jade by the Iron Shogun to Daunton in order to help finance the war effort against the Oni. Gouki sells the dead bodies from his fighting circuit to Rinch the Riser, who in turn sells them to various necromantic forces across the Isles. The cash flows back to the Shogun, paying for food, supplies, and foreign mercenaries. Were the Shogun to learn of the exact method that Gouki was using to secure this income the consequences could be dire.
Castor is a successful Fence operating near the docks. He owns an inn, called Castor's, that he uses as a front. He is a dark haired human, reasonably charming when he wants to, sometime caustic but never vulgar. He knows most of the players in his field and is in touch with organized crime. He used to be backed by the gang of Rinch the Riser but they had a falling out and now he uses his accumulated wealth to hire mercenaries for protection instead.
Game Notes: Castor can move pretty much any heroic tier items though he doesn't keep more than 3 to 5 on hand at any time. He can take requests. He can also be used a source of Knowledge on pretty much anything underworld related. He knows everything criminally related around the docks and is acquainted with what is happening abroad through many smugglers and burglars he maintain contact with.
Grlak the Giant TrollEdit
No one really knows how such gigantic creature managed to reach the isle of Dauton, but recently, this gargantuan creature made his home in the nearby forest that surrounds the city. Several patrols of guards have been massacred by the creature, and not wanting to spend more resources on it, the authorities have warned the population about the troll. The reports suggest that the creature is undefeatable, even for normal troll standards. Acid and fire supposedly were the only way to kill these beasts, but this creature defies that rule. The giant seems to dwell in a rocky outcrop, where it has excavated a large cave for himself. Its nocturnal wonderings seem to include the Lover’s waterfall, and the Old Oak, a giant oak next to the northern edge of the Forest. If there is a connection between those sites and the troll’s presence, it’s unknown. Whoever tries to reason with the creature gats the sensation that something is making him mad. He/she also gets a giant club in the face.