Welcome to Praxis
Although the city is ruled by Praxis, a young adult gold dragon, most of the decisions come from the town council, and at its head is Whel Donmillion, the Royal Governor, a representative of the Kingdom of Aug. The ohter main council members are Jovan Petrovic, the High Priest of Saint Kord; Sister Dalla, the High Priestess of Saint Yondalla; the elven mage Ganron; Colonel Ian Silverthorn, elven ranger, Garrison Commander and Military Adviser and the Druid Cedric. The other council members (with less influence) include guildmasters, the heads of the noble houses and a few wealthy merchants.
Population and Districts
The population of Praxis is thought to be around 8,180 people. One third of the population is human (2,700); one third of the population is halfling (or folke, as they prefer to be called (2,700); and the remaining, in order, are half-orc (2,180); elven (300); dwarves (200); gnome (100). Other races in the city include one kobold sorcerer and one centaur bard/ambassador.
Tne districts of the city include the following:
The Noble's District - The Noble's District is located around the Church of Saint Kord; Monastery; Wanderer College (Bardic) and Ganron's School of Conjuring. (Pictured to the right). This is where the noble estates are situated, as well as the homes of the wealthy and the services that cater to them. This district is well patrolled by both the Town Watch and armed servants of the Noble Houses.
The Guildsman District - The Guildsman District is located close to the Customs House and Bay Market. Here the dwellings are smaller than the Noble's Districts, but vary from ornate to ordinary. The Guildsman District is also where one is most likely to find large industrial and storage centers - foundries, textile mills, graineries, paper mills, brickmakers, bookmakers, tanneries and woodworkers. The people that live there often join a guild for protection. A few of the guilds in this district include:
Textile Dyer's Guild
(Tbe Fisher's Guild, Shipwright's Guild, Shrimper's Guild, Scriber's Guild and a few others are headquartered elsewhere in the city)
Folketown - Folketown is full of the Shires Folke, the Sanctuary of Saint Yondalla and many Folke business establishments. This part of town is famous for its gardens. Folke are commonly farmers, merchants and entertainers - a cross between the nomadic view of the halflings in 3rd edition, and the traditional Tolkien Hobbit. The main religion is Trugod, but there is a strong druidic tradition to the Folke; many families worship both religions, going to Trugod services and praying to the Earth Mother during farming season. They also celebrate the holidays of both religions.
The Orc Quarter - The Orc Quarter is home to the city's Half-orc population and is considered by many to be the slums. Although all Half-orces are descended from other Half-orcs for many generations, they are still commonly referred to as Orcs by the other residents of Praxis. In the Homelands, three Orc invasions left many Half-orc children. These children were taken care of by Church orphanages, but Half-orcs are treated like second-class citizens. Half-orcs make up the common laborers and dockworkers of Praxis City. Criminal activity is fairly common in the Orc Warren but is only evident on the gang level of violence. Although regularly patrolled by the Watch, non-residents and non-Half-orcs are recommended to stay clear of the Quarter after dark. The Orc Quarter is home of the Orc Cafe, a restaurant that specializes in Half-orc cuisine; and Hell's Belles, the town's only burlesque bar.
The Bay Market and Warhouses - Tbe Bay Market is where fishermen, shrimpers and sea-traders peddle their wares. The smell of fresh fish and exotic products from the Homeland and other colonies make this market a colorful place to visit. The Bay Market also has better artisans and industry than the Farmer's Market. Phaeron's Bathhouse is a very popular place in the Bay Market, as well as several taverns, including the infamous Doom Lounge. This district is also the home of many warehouses and granaries, as well as the Fisher's Guild, Shipwright's Guild and the Shrimper's Guild.
The Farmer's Market - The Farmer's Market is where the farmers and native traders sell their products. Livestock is also in abundance here. This area also has many retail shops. While some craftsmen and tradesmen work here, there are far fewer of them than there are at the Bay Market. There is a good bakery here (Widow Rohl's); a good clothier (Endle's Finery); and the best weapons shop (Mitoren's) in town (Ebbert's Supplies).
The Alleys - The Alleys are the places to avoid. Filled with beggars and the mentally disturbed, this is also the main conduit to the sewers below. There is an illegal Opium Den tucked away in the basement of an old hotel, accessible only through the Alleys. Known as the Iron Dragon, it is a haven for the disenchanted, and the end result of the illicit Opium trade within Praxis.
The Sewer - The Sewer is based on an old cavern system that existed before Praxis City was settled, a base for the elusive Etiwah native human tribe. Prone to flooding from the high tide, these caverns were thoroughly explored and converted to become the sewer system for Praxis City - however, several creatures have made their home in the Sewer, including dire rats, large spiders and "Sewer Worms" (smaller grey cousins of the dreaded purple worm). These creatures are tolerated because they rarely venture outside the sewer, and serve as a defense from below.
Outside the City Walls
Many farmers live on the outside of the city walls, trying to make a living while fearing the inevitable raids of ogres, unfriendly natives, or Glith Raiding Parties. Although some protection is afforded the farmers, their best plan upon attack is to attempt to flee back into the city. The farmers therefore feel some resentment to those who dwell in relative safety, "hiding behind the city walls." There are some establishments outside the city walls that cater to those brave enough to live in the Wild Lands themselves.
Farmer's Garrison and Stables - A large contingent of the Town Watch is always stationed here with their horses, to counterattack any small contingent of raiders into the farmlands.
The Evil Monkey Tavern & Printing House - This tavern has the oddity of being run by Drystein, a chimpanzee that received his intelligence by some magical means. Not generally welcomed in the city, Drystein found acceptance among the hardscrabble human and halfing farmers. He also runs the only printing house in the area, and publishes the 'Dragon's Messanger,' a weekly newspaper. Town records show that Fafnir Savage owns the property the tavern is on, and has a significant investment in the paper as well.
The Bloated Goat Tavern - Frequented by Half-orcs and rougher humans, this is the place to go if youwant to brawl. Non-regulars are definitely not welcome here
The Old Burying Ground - Previously a native burial ground, this property became sequestered by the Town Council to bury its dead when the Church Burial Ground became too crowded. The Burying Ground is protected only by the Groundskeeper and the occasional militia member who is being punished. The locals believe this place to be haunted, and avoid it at night. It is a priority for the site not to be used to generate undead, but then again, it is a long way from the city walls.
The "Grove" of Cedric - The masked half-elf druid Cedric has a home here, with a barely managed garden. It was his mission to set up a grove near the outskirts of Praxis City, but he has been unsuccessful in recruiting any creatures or intelligent plants. His lean-to is here, as well as a really nice bird sanctuary, where many of the colorful wild Chicora parrots come to feed.
Chapel of Saint Candice - Heretics to the mainstream Trugod faith, this small order of clerics is dedicated to non-violence. Not finding acceptance within even the colonies, the followers of Saint Candice moved outside the city gates to practice their faith without ridicule. Many of the farmers and city dwellers however, expect the Chapel to fall first when the next anticipated invasion occurs.
The Mushroom Grove - The Mushroom Grove is a forest made up entirely of mushrooms of different sizes. The shriekers and violent fungi discourage most visitors. This is also the home of Emen, the Half-orc barbarian weaponsmith.
Rook Outpost - This is a Kobold outpost with the mission of keeping an eye on any expansion on the part of Praxis City into the territory of the Glith (Lizard) Empire. This outpost is the furthest north establishment of the Empire. Currently run by Su'rella Rook, a sorcerer/rogue.
Ruins of Fort Dor - The former keep was built in order to keep an eye on the Kobolds, encourage trading with the native himan Federated Tribes of Cacica, and to protect Praxis City from any threats from the north. After the Wizard Druze was caught experimenting on prisoners from Rook Outpost, the Glith Empire - to the great emberassment of the House of Dor, razed this settlement to the ground. The Kobolds and natives believe this place to be haunted.
The Sand Hills - A slice of Martian landscape; the red sand of this desert is interrupted by the occasional red rock. A dangerous place, with large Purple Worms and other monsters, it is taboo to the human natives and avoided by the Centaurs. Jelnik Firemane, Centaur bard, tells us that the Sand Hills were built by Formians, large intelligent ants bent on taking over teh known world. An alliance of Centaurs, Natives and Lizardfolk destroyed the invasion, but the tunnels of the Formians are still said to exist.
The Federated Tribes of Cacica - The Federated Tribes of Cacica are Native human tribes loosely allied with Praxis City for trade and mutual protection. Praxis City is hesitant to let the tribes gain too much technology and magic, as there are many unfriendly tribes that trade with the Cacica. There are also signs that the Cacica were once a greater civilization, but there are no indications as to why they are now in a more primitive state. There is also a persistant tale that at least some of the Cacica are werewolves.
The Noble Houses of Praxis City
Most of the Noble Houses were once the seats of real power in the Kingdom of Aug before the dragons came. A number of them still exist and wield influence, usually through their prodigious wealth. New families have joined the ranks of the Nobles. The Noble Houses have charters for the land around Praxis, which they rent to the farmers. They also arrange the overseas markets for the farmer's produce (Such as Chicora Indigo). Many of the Noble Houses also maintain the military outfits of the Town Garrison and Militia. Praxis City generates revenue by taxing the Noble Houses 25% of their profits, although many families pay more than their persentage, as currency buys influence from the dragon and Town Council. In return, the Noble Houses try to maximize their money-making opportunities among the town's citizens, which makes the people love the dragon and distrust (or hate) many of the Noble Houses based on their business practices or landlord policies. A list of the more prominant Noble Houses, in order of influence, includes:
Donmillion - Often said to belong to "House Dragon", the members of this human house dress in dragon armor and use dragon regalia. This hous also maintains the Dragonclaw Company and the Town Watch, and has the largest holdings in terms of land grants. Their members have been Chancellors, Aides and Royal Governors for the Dragons of the Kingdom of Aig since the Pact began. Whel Donmillion is the current head of the House, and hails from the Province of Tusmit in Aug.
Koda - These Folke "Bluebloods" held the monopoly on Folke affairs until the entrance of the Umbertoes into Noble politics. House Koda has land charters and also has interests in the Farmer's Market, the Seafarer's Market and shipping. There are rumors that the remnant folke 'Thieve's Guild' known as "Uncle Odo's Consortium" is secretly controlled by House Koda, but these rumors were discounted in an official Council investigation. Lady Daimon Koda, the femail head of the House, makes her dislike for the Umbertoes well known. Koda House is custodian of the folke Shield Company (Folketown Company), which includes warriors, fighters and scouts.
Silverthorn - Silverthorn is the only Elven House in Praxis. It is heavily involved in encouraging the arts and is a rather substantial contributor to Wanderer College. House Silverthorn also acts as Custodian for the Ket Company of Elven Archers and is a staunch supporter of the Elven High Council. The Master of this House is Colonel Ian Silverthorn, an elven ranger, military advisor and Militia Garrisson Commander. Since Ian is involved in the defense of Praxis, most of the day-to-day operations of the House fall to his sister and fellow ranger, Gwen Stormshadow. There are slivers of land that have been granted to the House, but Silverthorn makes its profits through trade with the Federated Tribes of Cacica. As a result, they are always pushing for further exploration of the Wild Lands.
Dor - Famous for its military heritage, House Dor consists of arrogant boors and self-righteous warriors. Dor is the custodian of the Blackhelm Co. (Axewood Co.), from which the House and the majority of its members originated. Dor was recently discredited due to the fall of Fort Dor, which was intended to protect Praxis City from the nearby Kobold Rook Outpost. Additionally, House Dor lost some of it's chartered lands to Umbertoe, due to Dragon Decree. Lord Cantrell Dor is the current master of the House, and is constantly on the lookout to restore the honor and holdings of his House.
Mudd - A mercantile House lead by Lord Tandor Mudd, the House Mudd is extremely wealthy. Mudd leads the shipping industry concerning the Indigo trade, as well as controlling its share of land grants. The Mudd family is often loked down upon by the other Houses for their extensive dealings with the Half-orc population. House Mudd is the primary landlord for Half-orc farmers; the Custodian for the Orc Striker Teams and the Orc Warrior Company.
Tisdale - A Human House, Tisdale is taken more with the trappings of nobility than the actual politics of rule. WIth no land holdings, Tisdale funds are earned through trade, primarily the wine and ale trade (though it is rumored to have dabbled in the Opium trade as well). Most of the restaurants in the city are also either owned or supplied by House Tisdale. Tisdale also profits from capturing smugglers and Esani pirates through their Custodian ship of the "Praxis Navy'", which consists of a single warship named the Crescent Moon. The Master of the House is Lord Edward Tisdale, assisted by his major-domo, the extremely obese Orthello, who is a fair-weather friend of the House Dor.
Manian - The Dwarven House is the smallest, but is greatly respected due to their architectural and engineering prowess. They have close ties with the Donmillion House, and are Custodians of the Company of the Keep (Dwarven Engineers) and the Stonethrow (Catapult) Battery. The Master of this House is Captain Mently Manian, who is more interested in the defense of Praxis than politics; although he sees the importance of making sure Dwarven interests are represented in the city. Captain Manian is commander of the Company of the Keep and Fort Stormshadow. The House Manian also assists Gnome affairs, since Gnomes do not have representation on the Town Council. Like most of the Dwarves in the Aug Colonies, he is very interested in the exploration of the Misty Mountains.
Umbertoe - A relative newcomer to the Noble Houses of Praxis, the family of Folke Paladin General Talbo Umbertoe was granted land chartgers due to General Umbertoe's role in defeating the Lizard army's attempted invasion of the Aug Colonies a generation ago. The Umbertoe House maintains the Folke Sacred Dagger Scout Detachment.
Organizations of Praxis City
There are other important organizations besides the Noble Houses. In brief, these include the following, in order of prominance:
Church of Saint Kord - The Church of Saint Kord is not only the spiritual center of the city for humans, the Church is also the unifying force for the different military companies, providing training for the Militia, Garrison and the Town Watch in the nearby grounds of the Citadel.
The Sanctuary of Saint Yondalla - Managed by Sister Dalla, the Sanctuary is the center of Folke culture and community activity. The Sanctuary is often in competition with the Earth Mother (Druidic) religion, although this is lost on many of the congregation of Saint Yondalla, who freely worship both.
Ganron's School of Conjuring - The School of Conjuring is headed by the Town Mage Ganron, an elderly Elven wizard specializing in transportational magic and the conjuring of elemental spirits. Ganron has many apprentices, who are required to shave their heads until they attain second level. Protected by a massive Shield Guardian, the School of Conjuring is also home to the only Kobold resident of the city, a sorcerer named Del Rook, who has abandoned the nearby Kobold Outpost to study with Ganron. There are rumors, however, of stranger things than Kobolds in Ganron's keep. There are at least two warriors from the Town Watch that daily guard the only entrance to the tower.
Wanderer's College and Theater - The Wanderer's College is a Bardic institution of learning, which includes representatives of the College of Archeological Studies and League of the Boot and Trail. The College is run by Shanty the Wanderer and the Sage Octavius Savage. Not only are Bards trained here; education is free to the children of the townspeople. The Wanderer's College has a recent addition; Jelnik Fireman, a centaur Bard who is also an Ambassador for the Centaur Territory. Wanderer College has a large outside amphitheater for discussions and the occasional evening play. Inside, there are extensive libraries and classroms, as well as living quarters for the College staff and many of its Bardic members.
The Monastery - Overseen by the Church of Saint Kord, this fledgling gathering of monks under Jonah Savage is trying to establish an Order in Praxis City. The townspeople muse about secret orders within the Order itself, but then again, the people of Praxis will gossip about anything.
The Customs House - All sea traders and visitors who sail into Praxis are required to register at the Customs House. Regular ships that check in here include the Rebel Law, a cargo ship that regularly goes between Roanoke and Praxis City, and the Chicora Belle, a transport ship that ferries between Praxis and the Kingdom of Aug.
Porticullis - Porticullis is the only gate into Praxis City. Those who would enter the city myst cross one bridge over a moat into the Porticullis, where they are searched and positively identified by Watch warriors and at least one Watch Officer (fighter). Residents of Praxis, farmers and native traders all possess a bronze coin-sized disc that identifies their status. These disks are checked with the registry for a description and name, which are in turn checked by the Town Watch, who keep records of all traffic in and out of the city. After being both identified and verified, the visitors must cross another bridge over the moat to enter the equally guarded Main Gate, where they may be double-checked by the Town Watch.
Fort Stormshadow - Named for the famed elven ranger Dalomer Stormshadow, a hero of the Lizard War who is said to haunt the battlements, Fort Stormshadow is mostly staffed by dwarves from the Stonethrower Company and the Ket Archer Company. The Fort is commanded by Captain Mently Manian, whos is also the head of House Manian
Goldwing Bastion - Equipped with Elven archers, Dwarven catapults, Garrison and Augmented militia members; this is another integral part of the city's defenses.
Mistletoe Bastion - Near the Orc Quarter, this bastion is identical to the Goldwing Bastion in terms of personel, except for its slightly larger contingent of Town Watchers.
The West Watchtower - The West Watchtower is the forward headquarters for the Garrison, and where at least two Orc Strike teams are on duty at all times.
Half-Moon Earthworks - Located forward of the North Wall, these crude battlements are home to at least one Orc Strike Team, although sometimes augmented by members of the Orc Company. Since no threat is expected from the Centaur Territory, there is no priority to strengthen the defenses here, although a nominal force always mans this approach to the city.
The Gideon House - Located within the Orc District, Gideon House is a safehouse for Half-orcs that have been mistreated or abused by society. Founded by Brent Tully, an Acolyte with Saint Kord's Church; the Gideon House preaches racial equality and equal rights for the Half-orc population of Praxis. It is currently being run by a half-elven woman named Sela.
The Opium Den - Tucked away within the dark and sinister alleys off the Bay Market district, is a small lounge known simply as the Opium Den. Run by the Halfling unaffectionatly called Mister Moneybags, it is a home away from home for the disenchanted opium addicts that need to feed their addiction. This is not a place for the feint of heart.
The Town Watch - The Town Watch consists of Warriors, lead by Fighters as a means of defending the city and enforcing its laws. The Watch includes Watch Detectives and Warriors, with a few Fighter Officers. Joshua Savage is the Captain of the Watch. Members of the militia augment the Watch in three-week tours of duty, providing income to many farmers during the winter months.
The Town Garrison - The Town Garrison is made up of permanent military forces, and is used to protect the city. These military forces include the Ket Company of Elven Archers; the Dwarven Company of the Keep (Engineers); the Dwarven Stonethrower Battery (Catapult); and five Orc Striker teams.
The Militia - The Militia includes the Human 'Dragonclaw Company'; Folke 'Shield Company'; Human 'Blackhelm Company'; the Orc Warrior Company; and the Folke 'Sacred Dagger Scout Detachment'. The militia draws its members from the poulation of Praxis, both male and female, most of whom all have full-time jobs as farmers, shopkeepers, etc. Although there is no compulsory membership in the Militia, many residents feel obliged to fulfill their duties in defense of the city. The proximity of the Glith Empire and the Goblin Tribes of the Misty Mountains are the primary source for concern, and the reasoning behind the obligation to serve.
The Warship HDS Crescent Moon - Granted to the colony by the Kingdom of Aug as a means of protection against Esani pirates, Dragon Turtles and other seaborne threats, the Crescent Moon and her crew are maintained by House Tisdale and its family. The ship is responsible for regulating smuggling and assisting ships in distress. The Crescent Moon is rarely over a day's sail from the city.
The Order of the Dragon - The Order of the Dragon is an honorary title bestowed upon adventurers who have proved their prowess as recognized by Praxis himself; these individuals are given a small silver disc to wear around their necks. This disk grants them instant respect and fame within Praxis, as well as entitling them to special privileges reserved for heroes (including not being searched by the Town Watch when entering or leaving the city, access to Town Council buildings and audiences with the Noble Houses.) The Dragon Praxis has been known to grant special favors for members of the Order should they complete a mission critical to the success of the city. The Paladin Kelith of Tusmit, for example, was given a headquarters for helping establish peace with the Centaur Territory.
Peel - Peel is a tall, lean, dark Human in charge of the mafia in Praxis. Peepl oversees most of the city's organized crime, including all the organizations mentioned below. He runs a gambling ring, as well as extortion, blackmail and smuggling activity within the city walls. He is sometimes referred to as the 'Elven Mafia' due to the number of Half-elves within his inner circle.
Uncle Odo’s Consortium - Remnant Folke thief guild, which used to be the predominant criminal organization of Praxis City, famous for cat burglars and lock picking, until former Watch Detective Remy Vancord and paladin General Talbo Umbertoe waged a successful campaign against them, exiling many of their leaders to other colonies. The Consortium still owns a few massage parlors and minor gambling rings in the Folke quarter, and they still have a few lock picking experts around. As the lesser organization, they pay a percentage of any profit to Peel. And except for the occasional lock-picking job, they rarely operate outside the Folketown.
Kidymkus - The leader of a were-rat rogue gang, loose association with Peel. His territory includes the Alleys and the Sewer.
The Shadow Fist Gang - The Shadow Fist Gang is a band of Half-orc thugs that prey on visitors to the Orc Warren and the Warehouse District at night. Organized illegal fighting matches and cockfights, as well as the most common place to look for a "thug for hire."
The Paper Dragon - A spy network, or "Information Merchant Clearing House, the Paper Dragon is the place to go to find anything the criminal element knows - as long as you don't mind them knowin that you're interested. You never know, you may discover something that may be of interest to the criminal underworld - and they're always willing to pay. The Paper Dragon is run by Fafnir Savage, proprietor of the Doom Lounge in the Warehouse District.
Roanoke Smuggling Cartel -
This is an outside organization that exerts some influence on Praxis City,
based in the nearby northern Aug colony of Roanoke. No one knows who is ultimately
in charge of the Cartel, although a half-elf pirate named T’nar is definitely
an important player. This organization smuggles fenced pirate goods, Esana
products, the occasional monster, and anything else the Praxis government
has deemed contraband. They have several contacts with Peel’s organization,
in order to deliver goods.