West Drakesdoom is the older portion of the City predating East Drakesdoom by circa 10 years and a grand old 30 years of age. It has not flourished like the larger eastern portion of the City mainly because of the surrounding millennium old Necropolis – what has kept it expanding is the City and Mark authorities which are based there and draw of the Necropolis to scholars, savants and others. North of Philosopher’s Square it has underground plumbing and in the rest of the bank open gutters.
The Rubble Wall
Protecting the West City is a wall built haphazardly out of looted masonry from the nearest tombs and monuments of the Necropolis. A bank twenty foot high around the citadel falling to around four foot about alley town. It is patrolled by the Paladin Century of the City Guard and frequently breached by grave robbers, archaeologists and academics raiding the Necropolis and sometimes by other things coming the other way.
1: The Five Points
This is the principal political civic space of the City. It is dominated by competing newsreaders, lolling Guards from various companies, leading merchants and guildsmen travelling too and from meetings with the Margrave or his Officers. Guard units parade here before going to their duties. It is dominated by the Citadel. Livestock and produce bought centrally
2: Philosopher’s Square
This is a quiet gardened square. It is somewhat notorious as the scene of cuckolding romances between Guardsmen and the bored wives of Merchants who live on Bloody Ridge. More routinely the nannies and wet nurses of Bloody ridge take their charges there for exercise. Furthermore it is frequently by scholarly and clerical types for constitutionals and picnics. It attracts flower sellers, buskers and trinket venders. The Margrave in his infinite wisdom has appointed a ‘Speaker’s plinth’ in the centre of the garden were anyone may speak freely without harassment.
3: Volkplatz (People’s Platz)
We’re academics, students and the desperately poor mix – with predictable results. It is also the principal market that serves the residential districts of West Drakesdoom with produce and livestock from West Bank farms.
Fishfields is a respectable working class district with a population of fisherman, dockers servants and clerks working in the Citadel. It is dominated by ‘the Circle’ a theatre which has an established company ‘Nideno’s men’ sponsored by the Caravan Baron as well as hosting itinerant visiting companies and the occasional sporting contest.
Hosts the fishing fleet of Drakesdoom – small fishing vessels run that fish the lake and provide fresh food. Some land their haul on the Eastbank selling to the more populous part of the City but avoiding the tolls of the Troll Bridge and charges of the Ferryman. This ‘avoidance’ is tolerated by the City authorities.
Hosts the Drakesdoom Fleet – in fact three vessels who operate under Letters of Marque from the Margrave :
The Crimson King a two deck rowing galley under the devil-may-care Captain Ryhert Julio
The Angry Duck a nimble ballista armed sloop captained by the business like Maria Von Hesselring
Nimble Nancy a sailing gallery armed with a catapult commanded by the stern Captain Horus.
It also entertains the yachts and barges of the wealthy including The Drakesgrave the Margraves yacht.
Protected by a 30 foot high brick wall and dominated by Fort Selford this is the administrative heart of the Drakesdoom and the wider Midmark. It contains:
Fort Selford: a stepped triangular brick keep with a tower on each point with a powerful ballista. A tall central tower has the Drake Selford’s skeleton wrapped around it acting as a stair case as it topped with the light house seeminging erupting from the Drake’s skull’s jaws. As well as a defensive structure it also serves as the Margrave’s frugal palace.
The Trying Space: an open area with awnings, chopping plinth, jail pen and a dais with a rustic throne on which the Margrave or his Magistrates sit when passing judgement on criminals or civil cases.
The Chancellery: A small building which houses the growing Law library of the Midmark. A balcony with standing desks oversees the Trying Space and clerks of the court sit there to record precedent from the cases that occur in the Trying Space.
The Livery Martial: Broad stables and exercise paddock that hosts the Margrave, his family, officers, household cavalry and agents horses.
Baliff Broadhall: a Wide hall-cum-warehouse – the rear contains the treasury of the Midmark while the front house is the offices of the Margrave’s Baliffs.
The Guildhall: A central office for the various guilds of the City. It is also used for state functions.
The low hill where the Drake Selford bled to death and it’s ground is still red with his blood. Given it’s prominence with soon attracted the wealthy of the new community and is where the oldest and most wealthy citizens now live. As such it is dominated by villas and courts of a dozen or so magnates each with their private guards to ensure their wealthy peace is undisturbed. Nideno for example has his villa here. (See https://clarkythecruel.wordpress.com/2012/10/05/rpg-podcast-drakesdoom-scenario-1-1-love-marriage-in-drakesdoom/)
Home of the barracks of the 4 of the 5 Centuries of the Margrave’s Guards (the Trolls residing in Troll Bridge over in East Drakesdoom.) It also has clusters of whorehouses, inns, taverns as well as a collection of blacksmiths and armourers at ‘Clamour Corner.’ High class bravos and sell-swords also make their home here so much easier to pick up jobs from the rich of Bloody Ridge, the grave-robbers of West Wall and the authorities of the Midmark. It has a number of gymnasiums which act as club houses, accommodation, bath houses, exercise yards and dojos for warriors who pay a membership fee including the House of Scorpion and the Temple of the Nine Yards. It also holds the local (Temple 464 ‘En Militant’) for the Order of the Seven Stars: https://clarkythecruel.wordpress.com/2012/12/28/drakesdoom-the-order-of-the-seven-stars/
Scholars of the unseemly arts too black of heart for the Houses of Wisdom, failed students and fallen priests gravitate to this district. The ground is rank and unstable – soil reclaimed from the Necropolis some say. Cheap tenements which would disgrace Alleytown drunkenly totter and lean against each other often cloaked in a fog of incense and charnel smells. Some of the decaying odours come from the City Crematorium whose chimneys loom over the district. What Barrack Barrio is to the marital man and the Houses of Wisdom to the scholar West Wall is to the necromancer and the grave-robber. Amongst the fallen scholars are the truly desperate poor, whorehouses for the most depraved tastes and the odour of desperation. West Wall is tolerated as the rich and the authorities sometimes have need of such dark arts
The Religious Quarter / The Holy Banks
A cluster of churches and temples
Squeezed into twisting crammed tenements and terraces the original poor which serviced the river docks and provide labour to the other areas of the town live here in rented accommodation. The buildings are built on land which belongs to old Drakesdoom families but is formed off slum properties rented on a daily basis. As such the area attracts itinerants the poor, desperate or devil-may-care enough to live in an area weakly protected from things that dwell in the Necropolis for a cheap roof over their head. Amongst the residences there are pokey kiosks serving beer to customers that shelter under awnings over the narrow alley ways for shade. Pawn brokers, loan sharks, drug dealers, card sharks and bookmakers run their businesses from narrow doorways and cupboard like rooms under the Mob who also run protection for the prostitutes in the area and provide ‘insurance’ for the residents.
The Houses of Wisdom
The Margrave in establishing the City welcomed sages, savants and scholars who wished to study the secrets of the Drake’s hoard, the Necropolis and ruined Caracosa. Growing with the City was a cluster of philosophers, magicians and scientists each with their own apprentices, students and adepts. There is no particular university or academy and a certification of the a students learning is a matter for his individual teachers and less important than the reputation he develops amongst his fellows. The best healers and surgeons also live in the area. While particular scholars and their students tend to dominate courts in the area the largest building is the Hospital. Supported by the Order of the Seven Stars and getting the services of healers on a pro-bono basis it refuses to treat combat injuries and its position in the East City limits the number of poor that can use its services.
The Lane of a Thousand and One Delights
Starting humbly by the North Quays and the Fishfields with basic taverns and a couple of discreet bordellos the roads transforms along its length. Stretching between the Barrack Barrios and the Bloody Ridge it features high class inns, tailors, refined bath houses and ‘The Illuminated Emporium of Mr Vendfrozen’ a wondrous store of multiple luxuries that sells to the wealthy lit by a thousand lanterns. Navigating the divide between West Wall and the Houses of Wisdom it is dominated by the City Crematorium, esoteric and scholarly book shops. Finally in Alleytown the road narrows as hawkers and farmers selling from barrows and carts cluster along the street jostling and blocking the occasional bakers, bakers and other small stores serving the poor of the area. Leaving the City it becomes the Silk Highway that follows the River Halit south along its banks. It eventually splits the Highway turning West to the Jade Coast and beyond while the Tawny Road continues South.