I’m on the verge of starting a new project (yay!) and wanted to put out there the broad description for the little area I’ll be focusing on first. This will involve using and extending the rules from WR&M as well as using my setting for Immortals’ Wake. I’m hopeful that by breaking the setting down and focusing on using the simple, yet versatile rules of WR&M, I can release a number of small projects using the Gamer Lifestyle approach.
Anyway… Here’s Rivergate. I’d love feedback. Yes, I know it’s very high-level right now, but it’s supposed to be. I want to avoid going to the Nth degree with a setting description that doesn’t allow GMs the flexibility to put it where they want it or use it at all.
Welcome to Rivergate!
Welcome to Rivergate, a backwater port on the edge of civilization where the authorities may be a little more lax than most. This port town is a known stop for travelers seeking a less crowded entryway into the Kingdoms. Most ships loading and unloading here are more interested in discretion than creature comforts, which is good since the town provides little more than food, drink, and flea-infested flophouses.
The town is divided into two major sections – Docktown and Uptown. Between them is a retaining wall standing 20 feet high that provides protection from stormy seas. The Open Market rests at the top of the wall where the two halves meet, and inhabitants have found many ways to transport goods over the years that manage to bypass the Kingdoms customs agents keeping a lazy but watchful eye over merchandise entering Uptown.
The dockmaster and undisputed ruler of Docktown, old Dyn, is rumored to have been a smuggler in his glory days, but now seems satisfied providing services for negotiable fees. Shrewd, but fair, he and his goons on the docks are much less prone to following the letter of the law if there may be a few gold in it. But there are rumors of lines even Dyn won’t cross, so people tread lightly when transporting certain goods.
Meanwhile, in Uptown the Mayor, Madam Cyan is concerned with one thing… making sure her people and customers are safe. Her Reeve – Lelas – operates a police force concerned with keeping the peace. As such, the Uptown jail seems to have a revolving door for some characters in town.
Dockmaster Dyn and the Reeve Lelas have been known to conduct thorough joint investigations from time to time if a merchant or ship captain gets too greedy or if good people are hurt through their transgressions, but for the most part each polices their own areas. Outside the town wall there is a small outpost of guards from the Kingdoms that inspects caravans and travelers traveling in and out of the city, but any illegal contraband is usually shipped via different routes.
The Magus and the Church of the Mother both can be found in Uptown, though they do not work together well. Too many philosophical differences between them hamper any collaborations they may have. However, both provide services to locals and travelers alike, and can often be seen coming and going with trade ships following the tides.
Though thieves have attempted to get a foothold in the city, Dyn has an agreement with the Reeve to manage any and all illegal activities. Dyn and his thugs do a fine job of keeping general crime to a minimum in favor of buying and selling contraband from the docks and running a number of gambling games in taverns throughout the town. That said, a thief known as Rebus has recently been named in a rash of burglaries. One of the dock enforcers is working with the Reeve to root out this new threat before Rebus or his men do more damage.
The population of the city varies depending on how many ships are in port, but it holds between 800 and 1000 people on a fairly regular basis. The exception is the annual Harbor Lights festival held to celebrate the birthday of the current ruler of the Kingdoms, though in truth the festival is merely an excuse for a big party and merchants and craftsmen to show off their best wares.
True artists are rare in town, though a shipwright/carpenter, rope maker, and a blacksmith do a brisk business in town. Most other goods are brought in from outside and traveling talent for particular tasks arrives and departs on a regular basis.
Rivergate presents opportunities for folks from all walks of life and occasional dangers for those seeking trouble.