For the Glory of the Black Dragon
Small city, pop. 9,500
(human 88%, halfling 11%, other 1%)
Gold piece limit: 15,000
The seat of the Jandalorun duchy, Drehl is home to some of the greatest intrigues held away from the Mirror courts. The only thing a Jandalorun loves more than his own comfort is a chance to lord it over someone else, and Duke Drady’s legendary soirees permit Jandalorun nobles to flaunt their wealth in each other’s faces – and to scheme about how to upstage their rival’s peacockery at the next party. Decadent in the extreme, Drehl wants for little, and those who do want – well, don’t look upon them or you’ll sully your eyes with their squalor.
Drehl is a fully functional city, yet it appears to have been built largely for the pleasures of the aristocracy. Politics, intrigue and status are mainstays of culture in Drehl, this attitude, cultivated by the noble classes even seems to have filtered down to the merchant and peasant classes, with shopkeepers vying to outshine or discredit their neighbors or housewives spreading filthy gossip on the down-low about the goodwife next door’s loose morals.
This culture is cultivated and fed by laws designed to maintain the status quo, to maintain the comfort of the noble and leisure class. Punishment is stern, but ranges toward slavery as opposed to imprisonment or death, the better to put able bodies in positions of productivity. Non-violent crimes tied to typical Drehlian culture by far outnumber acts of violent crimes; extortion, embezzlement and fraud are far more likely to occur than rape or murder.
The city itself seems too large for its relatively small population; state buildings have been erected on a grand scale, using white marble transported from the Toe Islands. Imposing domes, columns and statuary decorate the palaces, temples and state buildings that are so important to running the day to day operations of Drehl. Huddled in dark, dingy neighborhoods between the glistening, monumental structures of white marble are the neighborhoods of the common folk, who live and work in simple one or two story dwellings of dark stone packed together and served by narrow streets and alleys that seem to lead the rabble away from the wide and grandly decorated main roads that serve to import the necessities of leisurely living.
One of the largest and greatest temples to Chardun in Calastia, Fiendsthrone is surpassed in size and beauty only by the Great Cathedral in Vashon. A large square of white marble lays before the temple itself; laws forbid begging, peddling or loitering in White Square, those guilty of such crimes are swiftly added to the city’s outgoing slave caravans. Wide stairs rise from the square to the columned porch or podium that grants access into the temple. Relief sculptures decorate the outer facade of the structure, all of these depicting incidents of religious signifigance; mounted atop the temple in various locations are black iron sculptures of images glorifying Chardun, from sinister fiends to armored knights.
Castle Jandalore –
Situated at the highest elevation in the city, Castle Jandalore pre-dates the formation of the city and it looks down from a treacherous height at the rooftops and walls of the city that has grown and is still growing around it. From within the lavishly decorated halls, Duke Drady the younger rules his duchy with the efficiency and strength of one deeply loyal to Chardun.
His citizens fear him and avoid the castle if at all possible, yet the nobility flock to his presence, each one trying to raise themselves in his eyes or, failing that, to lower their rivals before their mighty duke.
The castle grounds are made up of forested walkways, grassy meadows and boasts a large shrine to Chardun. Surrounding the base of the hill upon which the castle rests is a ring of well-manicured grasses and sculpted topiary. Known as The Dead Ring, this ring of land has become a place of interment for many of the city’s dead, who lie within shallow, unmarked graves throughout the garden-like ring. It is believed that should the city ever fall these dead will rise to reclaim the land for Chardun and Calastia.