The City of Quine
The city of Quine is built in the crook where the Venger River flows southward past Barg Mountain. The city is positioned with the river to the west and the mountain to the north. The river is both the city’s source of water and its connection to the wider world through trade. Nearby cities include Dukeport to the north, Rosewall to the south, Rainhaven to the east and Baedchester to the west.
Quine was originally established to be a mining colony approximately 400 years ago. The original plan involved mining into the mountain for iron and copper and then shipping the ore by river to be sold. Housing for the miners was constructed and mining began. Fifteen years later, the mining operation was bankrupt. The mountain was much poorer in minerals than initial prospecting had indicated, and the high injury and fatality rate in the mines forced the colony to continually recruit new miners and raise wages. Approximately 200 years ago, the last of the miners collapsed the tunnels and abandoned the site.
Fifty years after the mines were closed, a group of traveling merchants noticed the abandoned buildings and sensed opportunity. They began using the site as informal lodgings and storage. The position on the river and in the middle of many major trade routes gave them easy access to many different cities and townships in the region and the group began to flourish. As wealth flowed in, the traders repaired the existing buildings and began to build new ones. As the business grew, the need for more employees led to more people moving in, and before long a city was born.
The Raykh Quarter
The northern quarter of the city is home to the group known as the Raykh. The homes here are incredibly large and opulent. These were originally the miner’s houses. When the original merchants moved in, they were squatters, but as the wealth flowed in, they remodeled and expanded the houses. When they ran out of horizontal space, they began expanding up the mountain. Many of the homes are cut directly into the mountain at large expense, with large windows on the exposed side overlooking the city. Stairs cut into the mountain connect these homes to each other and to the rest of the city below. Goods are brought up to the homes above by a system of pulleys and counter-weights installed at great expense.
The Shvakh Precinct
The southeasterly quarter of the city is home to the group known as the Shvakh. The homes on the northern edge of the precinct are modest houses where relatively successful Shvakh citizens live. As you move farther south, the homes turn to cramped apartments. People in this area live very close together. A few large streets run from the outer edge of town towards the Raykh quarter, but aside from those, the precinct is a maze of small streets and alleys, many barely wide enough for two people to pass one another. It is not infrequent that two carts travel down the same street and a fight breaks out about who will have to go backwards to allow the other to move through.
The Wharves and Commercial District
The western edge of the city (against the river) is dominated by wharves for trading ships and fishing boats. Next to the wharves are warehouses for storing goods, as well as the offices for various trading companies. The eastern edge of the commercial district (bordering on the two living districts) is dominated by shops. The shops tend to cater to the nearby residents, so the southern side of the commercial district is dominated by cheaper goods and frequented by Shvakh, and the northern side is dominated by luxury goods and frequented by Raykh.
Most commerce in the city happens in this area of town. Aside from some public houses and restaurants in the living areas, if you want to buy or sell something, you go to the commercial areas.
On the southernmost tip of the commercial district is the ruins of the Academy of the Arcane. The site is still considered extremely unsafe, both magically and architecturally, so the area is blocked off and guarded while the council works on finding a safe way for construction crews to clear the rubble.
City laws are made by an elected council of seven members. The council holds public hearings on a weekly basis where anyone can voice opinions, but ultimately the job of deciding what will and will not become law falls to the council alone.
- Ovelia Harrington (Raykh)
- David Movachre (Raykh)
- Gyles Rolnik (Raykh)
- Joyce Peché (Raykh)
- Gerrod Smith (Shvakh)
- Gileon Holte (Raykh)
- Freda Burne (Shvakh)
Because of the city’s status as a trade hub, there is a wide variety of religious belief in the city – intolerance is bad for trade. The majority of permanent residents are The Scales adherents. There is one large temple on the Raykh side of the commercial district and several smaller prayer centers scattered throughout the residential areas.