The City State of Gizzor Del
Welcome to the Independent City State of Gizzor DelGizzor Del is one of the closest port cities to Freehold on the continent of Eton. As such it receives a wide number of travelers each month from all over the world. Rule, for all intents and purposes, by the legendary Duke Swery, Gizzor Del is known throughout the world for its shipwrights. The crowded, noisy, dirty, bustling, commercial, smelly, charming, indifferent city of Gizzor Del began much the same way it remains today. Pilgrims coming to Soth Ammon’s Temple needed places to sleep, food to eat, wine to drink, and entertainment to pass the time. A few opportunistic individuals set up trading posts and tent hotels along the banks of the River Kallath and began to soak the pilgrims. Over time, worship at the temple eventually ceased, but the trade center continued to grow. As the area became more prosperous, pirates and brigands came to plunder, and the burgeoning merchants had to invest in protection. They built a wall around the camp and began to erect permanent structures of stone. Today, merchant families dominate life in Gizzor Del, controlling commerce, politics, the constabulary, and to an extent the churches. Money rules the city and anything is for sale. Relatively inexpensive goods can be found in the bazaar, while the southeastern section of the city provides many services. As a sea port on a navigable river, Gizzor Del brings in goods, knowledge, and travelers from many lands. The southwestern portion of the city contains warehouses for the goods, while those seeking or bringing knowledge visit the merchants’ homes in the northwest section. People in Gizzor Del generally engage in trade rather than manufacturing, but the city does produce some fine products. The Pyromancers’ School turns out magical knowledge and arcane devices, while many gemcutters call Gizzor Del home. Religious aspirants study in the city’s temples, gladiators train at the Hall of Champions, and Animages hone their skills at the Temple of the Mind. Less skilled individuals fish in the rivers Kallath and Ferl or Gizzor Del Bay. Several farmers dwell near the city and bring their goods to market in the bazaar, while foresters fell trees and float them downriver to the Gizzor Del shipyards. All told, there may be as many as 13,000 who call the seedy city home, though not all of them live on the city streets. A densely-populated tent city of horseless barbarians occupies the west bank of the River Kallath, and the farmers whose lands are close sometimes spend the night inside. An uncountable populace dwells underground in the sewers and many sailors have a girl in this port. There aren’t many public services for these people, but there aren’t many controls on them, either. Commerce is taxed, but not consistently, and unless a crime disrupts commerce, the constabulary doesn’t enforce many laws. For those who can appreciate its lifestyle, Gizzor Del provides an opportunity to grow wealthy, but for those who need a more open, cleaner atmosphere, it can be stifling for more than a few days. In any event, a trip to Gizzor Del is never boring.
Features of Gizzor DelWhen travelers come to Gizzor Del by land, the first sight they see is usually the twin towers of the Pyromancers’ School and the Sages’ Library. As they arrive, the city walls come into view, rising up about fifty feet from the sandy hills. The River Kallath sweeps through Gizzor Del from northwest to southeast, deep enough to carry heavy barges and even warships upstream. Entering the city through the northern overland gate or the eastern or western river gates, a traveler instantly realizes that this is a crowded, busy area. The broadest walkways are 20′ wide, while most are less than 10. Humans, dwarves, halflings, and even a few elves are everywhere, most apparently busy with something. Housing is crowded and probably not even close to adequate. There are blocks of two- and three-story row houses, each home sheltering as many as fifteen people. Even the merchant families are a bit crowded, having to devote much of the ground floor of their houses to their horses, while they dwell in the two or three levels above. Below the city, itself, the sewers teem with life. Some of the wealthy families of Gizzor Del have secret entrances into the refuse-removal system, although most of the dwellers below are extremely unsavory types. Manhole covers provide access and egress to those who would visit the sewers which empty into Gizzor Del Bay to the east. Ships approaching the city from Gizzor Del Bay have to come upriver in order to dock, since high cliffs drop straight into the water, making any sort of harbor impractical. The city walls stop where the cliffs begin, as Hezron the Sage felt that the 80′-high cliffs would be enough of an obstacle to invaders. During its history, Gizzor Del has been besieged three times, but never successfully invaded, due to its ready access to food and water. The River Kallath provides a wealth of fish, while ample, if not conveniently-located wells ensure that the city will not run out of fresh water.
Gizzor Del Areas of Interest
Artisans' Guild (O-5): This organization controls the artisans who work and sell in Gizzor Del, providing them "protection" for money, maintaining price levels, and offering artisan training.
Bat Blue's Bar (N-14): Perhaps the worst wine in the city is served here, but the place boasts a dedicated clientele, probably due to the quality of the entertainment. The most exotic dancers perform on the raised stage at the back of the bar. Two drink minimum.
The bazaar (R-11): Anything except slaves (illegal in Gizzor Del) can be bought or sold here. Farmers sell their crops, traveling minstrels entertain, thieves pick pockets, ladies of the evening entice gentlemen, churches try to spread their word, and the city riffraff peddle their wares. The market is open all hours.
Brim Tad's House of Cards (M-10): All patrons who visit this establishment must have their fortunes told by one of the house's tarot readers. Those who are found to be particularly lucky are discreetly persuaded to visit another gambling house, while those who are deemed likely to lose their shirts are told that they will undoubtedly win a fortune tonight and wouldn't they mind tipping the fortuneteller who revealed this to them? The games here feature all sorts of cards with a few contests of skill like wrestling and ale-drinking thrown in.
City constabulary (U-8): About 100 armed guards call this building home, although most of them sleep in the watch towers, not here. The constabulary holds very tenuous control over the city's affairs, usually intervening only when blood is shed. The average guard can be bribed for 5 gold crowns, while a sergeant would require about 20, and a captain more like 200. Several spies work for the constabulary, providing them highly-accurate information on the secret deals of Gizzor Del's back alleys and smoke-filled rooms.
Church of Torean (U-11): This altruistic, compassionate, lawful church is somewhat out of place in the indifferent, every-man-for-himself Gizzor Del, but really caters to travelers who come to the city from other lands. Adventurers are often worshippers of Torean and can stay at the church and be healed for a small tithe.
Church of Zbibik (U-14): This amorphous building is home to the worshippers of the slime deity Zbibik. They constantly feud with other religions and seek to make theirs the most influential church in the region.
Clever Chimera Inn (N-4): This is by far the poshest hotel in Gizzor Del, the place where nobles and wealthy merchants like to stay. The cost is 10 gold crowns per night, but those who can afford the cost feel they are getting their money's worth. The most attractive (i.e. magically- enhanced) ladies of the evening work here, some of them daughters of wealthy houses who wish to spite their families.
Corner Casino (N-10): Travelers usually gamble in this establishment which practically grabs people off the street to wager in its seedy chambers. The most popular games here are bones, cockfights, and knife-throwing.
Druids' Refuge (E-8): Any druids who come to Gizzor Del may stay here. The place is actually much larger on the inside than it is on the outside, being about 100 yards in diameter. The compound is densely wooded and filled with wildlife. There is a secret exit into the River Kallath, but only Mezron, the caretaker, knows about it.
Duke Swery's Palace (T-2): Gizzor Del's leading citizen, the unofficial mayor, lives here. "Duke" is his name, not his title, but he enjoys the ambiguity and doesn't correct people who treat him like royalty. Swery seems to have very subtle control over the city's affairs, and although he doesn't issue proclamations or coerce people, a word from him brings instant action. Duke Swery has, nonetheless, made many enemies and the fact that he has survived many assassination attempts is a tribute to his skill at self-preservation.
East gate (F-9): The city constabulary can raise massive chains out of the water, spanning the archway between the two towers through which the River Kallath flows. They almost always leave the passage open, unless they feel like blocking the channel in order to collect some revenue from those who would pass through. In times of war, the guards can drop long iron poles down through holes in the causeway above the water down into the river bed below, preventing ships from entering the city. See the west gate (E-2).
Forest of the Dead (C-12): Only the very bold or very stupid venture into this dangerous wood. The same beings that haunt the ruins of Soth Ammon's Temple dwell here among the densely-grouped trees. Aside from ghosts, revenants, and bean sidhes, the forest is reportedly the home of two liches and several werebeasts.
Gizzor Del cemetery (R-14): Only nobles and wealthy merchants are buried here. Commoners are lain to rest at sea. See Morgrim's Mortuary.
Gladiator pits and theater (R-2): Six days per week a public event occurs here and with inexpensive admission (1 copper piece), the place is always full. Feuding families carry out private duels, the Houses of Rynd and Morve sponsor singing and poetry exhibitions, convicts try to win their freedom through gladiatorial combat, archers compete with each other, and falconers put on displays.
Gold Coin Pub (P-11): In this gambling establishment, the stakes have been set high in order to discourage the wrong element. The wealthier merchants and travelers test their luck here, but the place still is not opulent. It is really a place for the well-off to go slumming.
Guild court (O-3): The wealthier families and the guilds have claimed the best and cleanest part of the city. They conduct business with each other and with neighboring cities, relying on a highly-efficient courier service to move messages and correspondence. Adventurers are often hired for this task.
Hall of Champions (R-2): Aspiring gladiators train here as well as mercenaries, knights, barbarians, and other martial types who wish to learn weapons and combat skills. Sometimes travelers to Gizzor Del apply to fight in the pit, earning 100 gold crowns if they can defeat the day's convicts.
Hall of Justice (Q-6): Since the entire purpose of Gizzor Del is commerce, those accused of crimes are quickly found guilty and charged a fine. If they cannot pay the fine, the guilty are allowed to compete in the Gizzor Del gladiator pit for their freedom where speculators wager on their lives. The jail holds the guilty until their combat.
Hendul's Church and Hospital (T-12): The worshippers of Hendul are gentle, healer types who strive to fight disease, poverty, and squalor in the city. Anyone wounded or sick will be treated in the hospital for free, but will be expected to repay the church through good deeds. The actual members of Hendul's Church often carry out expeditions to acquire new wealth to bankroll the free services the hospital provides.
House of Belleren (T-7): Female elven enchanters run this house which has an uncanny ability to capitalize on contests staged in the jousting grounds and gladiator pit. Some believe that they influence the outcome to reflect their bets, while others think they simply can forecast the results.
House of Bevari (H-12): This reclusive family is thought to be involved in necromancy. They rarely receive guests and even more rarely venture out.
House of Bixoram (O-3): These halfling merchants have interests in all areas of Gizzor Del commerce, especially banking. This is about the only place in the city where commoners can get a loan, although interest levels run a little high at about 5% per month.
House of Blum (H-9): This is a family of dwarven mercenaries who love to compete in the Gizzor Del gladiator pit and jousting grounds. They usually win, but their generous nature keeps them from growing rich, as they give most of their prize money to the poor.
House of Exdami (H-8): Heavily involved in fishing and shipbuilding, this family appears to engage in legitimate business. To supplement its income, however, the House of Exdami participates in thievery, usually hiring out to accompany adventurers, but occasionally infiltrating another merchant house.
House of Foor (T-7): Dwarven women control this family of metalworkers and weaponsmiths, the finest in Gizzor Del.
House of Hezron (V-6): One of Gizzor Del's first residents, Hezron the Sage designed the city's sewers and his descendants continue to plan and build stone structures today.
House of Hom (T-7): This family's claim to fame is that it owns many of the bars and inns in the city's eastern quarter. Many of the members are thieves who increase the house's coffers by swindling other merchant families or by robbing them. Occasionally, the Merchants' Guild expels the House of Hom, but they always buy their way back in.
House of Johode (T-6): This family sends its sons and daughters to serve as Duke Swery's Palace guard and to bolster the ranks of the city constabulary. To be a part of this house is to be a mercenary, and probably a good one.
House of Mipimin (S-6): A rare breed of urban elves, this family moved to Gizzor Del after acquiring lands conducive to growing grapes for wine. They are prominent in the Vintners' Guild and supposedly have stockpiled enormous quantities of wine in order to manipulate prices. House of Morve: see "Houses of Rynd and Morve."
House of Mrend (M-3): This family specializes in musical instrument craft, providing harps, drums, lutes, etc. for the Houses of Rynd & Morve.
House of Parellen (U-6): These are the city's finest mechanicians. The family designed the water locks that control the flow into and out of Lake Tymor, as well as having engineered the lake, itself. All the crossbows made in Gizzor Del come from this house, as do the siege engines that defend the city walls.
House of Paremyn (L-2): This is the preeminent matriarchy in Gizzor Del, one of a few houses ruled by a woman. Most members of this family are knights, being excellent riders and swordswomen. The house is often nearly vacant, since the daughters are usually involved in faraway adventures.
House of Prad (N-3): The dwarves who live in this squat, stone building are gemcutters of the highest skill. They also boast the services of a skilled rune wizard who has laid wards to protect the house's valuable collection of jewelry.
House of Rangil (S-6): Forestry brought this family its wealth and its members continue to bring quality trees downstream into Gizzor Del's shipyards. Many of this family are rangers and spend their time away from the city in the woods.
House of Rednor (Q-4): This family ruled the surrounding lands 450 years ago, but are not nearly as powerful now. Their greatest influence comes through their diligent tutelage of assassins. This is where one comes to become an assassin, to hire one, or to learn their skills. It is the unofficial "assassins' guild."
House of Remmo (T-0): This family has two interests in Gizzor Del: shipbuilding and control of the ladies of the evening who work the eastern quarter. Both enterprises are profitable, but it is uncertain which brings in more money.
House of Rynd: see "Houses of Rynd and Morve."
House of Tarren (H-11): Led by an ancient elven female, this house specializes in training archers and martial artists. They are closely allied with the Temple of Krinna.
House of Viznir (P-3): The House of Viznir is remarkably wealthy, considering its members don't have many merchant or artisan skills. They, of course, steal in order to make a living and are among Gizzor Del's most successful fences. This is the best place to learn thief skills, although many thieves live in the city and would "be glad to teach you the finer points of pickpocketing" (by demonstration, no doubt).
House of Vydd (U-7): This house, the farthest from the River Kallath, dominates the fishing industry of Gizzor Del.
Houses of Rynd & Morve (L-4): Bards are everywhere in Gizzor Del, but this is their official gathering and training place.
Hungry Hearthean0000000000000 (M-13): Plordo, the legendary adventuring hearthean, reportedly established this restaurant and others like it in neighboring cities. For 1 silver lunar, a person can eat his or her fill and the place is always open. The food is not bad, but is always overcooked.
Jail (S-1): When the Hall of Justice (F-7) dispenses justice, the guilty wind up here, although their stay is usually brief. Nearly every sentence includes a trip to the Gizzor Del gladiator pit (E-4), so the jail's inmates only remain here a few days. Since nobody in the city really cares about justice, there are no efforts to torture convicts into a confession or to reform them by trying to teach them that crime doesn't pay. If they win in the pit, they are free, and if they lose, they were guilty, anyway.
Jousting grounds (T-4): There are weekly jousts here which carry great importance among the wealthier Gizzor Del power blocks. Certain temples, guilds, and well-off families sponsor champions who compete for prestige and prize money.
Kendorin's Place (N-13): For 1 silver lunar per person, travelers can spend the night in a no-frills room. This is a pretty typical Gizzor Del hotel, so guests are advised to watch their belongings.
Lake Tymor (J-4): Water locks control the water flow into and out of this artificial lake. The calm, deep waters here allow shipbuilders to work on vessels. In times of war, the wealthy families pay the Shipbuilders' Guild quite handsomely to dock their precious ships here, safe from harm.
Lucky Toad Bed & Brothel (P-13): The name says it all. A room without "room service" is 5 lunars per night, or 10 with someone to warm the bed.
The Lycanthrope (L-15): This inn charges 1 gold crown for a week's stay, but they will not accept payment in silver coins. Oddly, the place is closed during full moons.
Merchants' Guild (Q-2): This is the city's most prominent guild. Gizzor Del's wealthiest members conduct secret deals here, some of them legal.
Mollusk Bridge (G-7): There is no charge to cross the bridge, but the city's more enterprising youth often try to dupe travelers into paying a fee. For the particularly gullible, they may try to invent a scheme in which the travelers can actually purchase the rights to collect this fee from those who would cross. For the abysmally stupid, the con artists may sell the bridge outright.
Morgrim's Mortuary (Q-12): Morgrim takes care of deceased nobles and wealthy merchants. Some of them commission mausoleums, but most can only afford wooden coffins and sandstone headstones.
North gate (V-8): Two portcullises bar the way into and out of this fortification, the only land portal in the city. The constabulary mans this post with about six guards who are here mainly to make it known to travelers that there is a guard force watching them, not because they have any actual duties to carry out. The gates close at sunset and open at sunrise but for 5 crowns, one can usually buy a way in or out.
One-eyed Owl (M-14): This was Gizzor Del's first stone structure, originally serving as an armory for the area's first armed guard company. It costs 1 silver lunar per person to spend the night or 2 silver lunars for meals with a room.
Pirates' Rest (L-14): A complete misnomer, the Pirates' Rest is a hotel filled with boisterous sailors and thieves who don't do much sleeping when they come to town. The cost to stay a night is nominally 1 silver lunar, but drunken sailors with heavy purses are often allowed to have a bed "for free, compliments of the house." "No, sir, I don't know what happened to the 15 gold crowns you had when you came in here. Maybe you should fetch the city constabulary."
Plixie's (N-15): This is a charming little inn with a great view of the bay. The rooms are spartan, but clean. A night's stay including meals is 1 gold crown per night.
Pyromancers' School (O-6): The mages of fire have the franchise on wizardry in Gizzor Del, the result of long-ago political machinations. These wizards prevent any other elements from organizing, but do allow thaumaturgists, enchanters, etc. to study at their school, to travel into and out of the city, and to live in Gizzor Del. Some say that Duke Swery is a pyromancer, himself, and doesn't tolerate other realms of magic.
Restollor's Island (I-15): The mad mage Restollor erected an 80' high tower here hundreds of years ago and continues to pursue arcane research on the isle today. Perhaps once per year he ventures into Gizzor Del for supplies, but no one ever visits him unless they wish to become permanent guests.
Rockworm Hotel (L-12): The owner of this establishment has installed various magical scrying and clairaudient devices in every room to be able to spy on her guests. This is common knowledge among the more sinister elements in Gizzor Del, and they often invite guests to the city and offer to pay for their stay at the "opulent Rockworm Hotel, the city's finest inn" just to gather secret information. The rooms cost 3 gold crowns per night, not including the price for whatever information can be gleaned.
Ruined bridge (B-9): This used to be the only access to Soth Ammon's Temple by land from areas north and west, but has been in disrepair for decades. The gate just to the west is now sealed shut.
Ruins of Soth Ammon's Temple (E-12): This once-splendid church is now something of a necropolis, a city of the dead. Ghosts, revenants, bean sidhes, and other supernatural entities have been seen haunting the ruins. Fortunately, they can't cross running water and haven't been able to venture north into Gizzor Del.
Rum Barrel (Q-12): This is a sailor's bar and a hangout for the women who love them.
Rum Barrel (0-12): This is another place for sailors and their girlfriends.
Rum Barrel (K-13): This is the nicest of the Rum Barrels, meaning it has the least rats.
Rusty Rune (L-11): If an adventurer has a good story to tell, he or she can stay here for 1 silver lunar per night. A lack of a good tale doubles the price. This is a good place to hear about potential adventures.
Sages' Library (R-4): This is where one comes for knowledge. The cost is high if you are paying with gold, but quite reasonable if you have information to trade. The building has six stories, making it the second-tallest structure in Gizzor Del.
Seaview Inn (P-14): This is where well-heeled merchants who don't have connections with the city's leading families stay. The cost is a hefty 5 crowns per night, including meals.
Sheep's Foot Inn (P-12): This is a seedy food & drink establishment, specializing in cheap wine and mediocre singers. Rooms cost 1 silver lunar per night.
Shipbuilders' Guild (M-2): The shipbuilders are the second-most-important participants in city commerce.
Shipyard (H-4 and Surrounding): Shipbuilding is one of Gizzor Del's most important industries and employs hundreds of workers. There are drydocks for building and servicing hulls and piers for mooring ships needing repairs.
The Sullen Dwarf (j-11): Dwarves pay 1 silver lunar per night, while all others pay double. The rooms are stark but tidy, the food bland but wholesome, the conversation serious but pithy.
Swill Stein (K-12): This is a charming little drinking establishment where the unwary are equally likely not to finish their first drinks because they can't keep them down or because someone opens up their stomachs with a dagger. The beer is cheap, though.
Temple of Krinna (U-9): Krinna is the Dragon Goddess whose devotees are primarily martial artists with a few clerics present to channel mana to her. Some animages also pay Krinna homage. In general, members of this church mind their own business which usually doesn't involve the rest of the populace except to recruit potential members.
Temple of the Mind (M-5): Mentalists study here in relative peace. Visitors are welcome to guided tours, but most are uncomfortable having their minds scanned when they enter the temple. Nobody disturbs the students and teachers who wear the yellow robes of the Temple of the Mind as they conduct their business around the city.
Tent city (P to G-0 to 1): This is the temporary home of a tribe of barbarian refugees who lost their horses in a battle with the mountain dwarves a few years back. They came to Gizzor Del by floating downstream clinging to whatever belongings would float, which fortunately included their tents which they traditionally packed in watertight trunks. While they aspire to save enough money to buy new horses and return to their way of life, they currently subsist by fishing in the River Kallath. Many of the tribe have been assimilated into the city, but the traditionalists cling to their communal lifestyle.
Two Crying Clerics (J-13): A night's stay here is free for those who can guess the origin of the place's name. Otherwise, it costs 3 silver lunars per night per person for a soft, warm bed and two meals. The owners don't have any correct answer in mind, but whenever an attractive female tries to guess, she always guesses right.
Vintners' Guild (0-2): These individuals set the prices and standards for Gizzor Del's famous wine. Many of the area's farms are dedicated to growing grapes or the herbs used to flavor the wine.
The warehouse district (D-1): Incoming ships offload at the docks and store their goods here or pick up items from the warehouses. The Merchants' Guild controls the warehouses and charges rent to the influential families who use them.
Weary Dragon (M-12): The cost per night here is by room: 1 gold crown. How many people use that room is of no concern to the owner. The only thing he will not tolerate is ladies of the evening working here, as he has his own staff for this purpose. This service costs another 3 gold crowns per night, and the same rule applies to the women as applies to the room.
West gate (R-0): The city constabulary can raise massive chains out of the water, spanning the archway between the two towers through which the River Kallath flows. They almost always leave the passage open, unless they feel like blocking the channel in order to collect some revenue from those who would pass through. In times of war, the guards can drop long iron poles down through holes in the causeway above the water down into the river bed below, preventing ships from entering the city. See the east gate (O-11).
Wexeneter Hostel (N-12): This a safe, cheap place to spend the night. Travelers must check all weapons and offensive magic items, but don't have to worry about theft. The cost is 1 silver lunar per night per person but there are no meals.
The Wolf Lair (Q-11): This decent-quality pub seems to attract mysterious sorts of characters. The darker element keeps a strong presence in this bar that closes at sunrise and opens at sunset. Rumor states that most of the clientele are lycanthropes.
The Wyzenda (K-14): Silver cages hold live wyzenda in the foyer of this inn. A room costs 2 silver lunars per night because of all the amenities (the live wyzenda in the foyer).