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Figured one thing we'll need is a starting city. A Greyhawk/Waterdeep/Bral/what-have-you. So here's my first stab at that. Mostly just a few notes to get us started.
City-State of Refuge Point
Ah, the City of Refuge Point. It is here that many find a new home, a fresh start for those leaving the ruin of any one of dozens of worlds behind them. For others, its deep harbor offers passage to distant lands, where they may settle in peace.
Refuge Point is a large city, although dwarfed by innumerable metropolises elsewhere. Yet the city is easily one of the most diverse, welcoming many nations and creeds into its grim, gray walls. It thrives on trade and commerce. In the last few decades it has grown considerably, both in population and wealth. Slowly, squalid slums are being displaced. New buildings rise from the ruins of the old as the citizens improve their lot.
The city occupies the plains surrounding a deep water harbor. At its flank is a series of lightly wooded hills. Game animals and bandits are found in abundance. A small keep is under construction to deal with the bandits. Opposite of the hills are fields and farms, rolling countryside that stretches for miles before ending at the foothills of the Dragonback Mountains. This breadbasket is dotted with villages and towns, tentatively under the dominion of Refuge Point. All manner of troubles plague these lands, from monsters and raiding humanoids to scheming wizards and murderous bandits. Many a young hero cuts his teeth in these lands before setting off on adventures in more distant lands.
Population – 50,000 permanent residents, rises to 100,000 during the height of the trade season. No racial majority; largest minority are human at 30%. Includes undersea races who dwell in the harbor. The dominion has roughly 250,000 people.
Location – a well-protected and deep harbor.
Architecture – anything. Literally every race and culture has been here at one point, leaving their mark in buildings new & old.
Gimmick – point of arrival for many groups of refugees. Many one-way gates dump people into the city all the time.
Climate – Warm temperate. Winters are cold, but not overly long. Summers are hot and longer. Spring & fall are mild & wet.
Watch – Roughly 1,000 men-at-arms to guard the walls, 700 watchmen to patrol the streets
Points of Interest –
The Underhalls: Refuge Point is built on top of a series of older cities; there are at least five levels of dungeons, including a sewer level. Some parts are isolated, others are connected into sprawling dungeon complexes. These are often homes to undead, monsters, and other creepy things that are best forgotten.
Goblintown: A small enclave of neutral goblins. Poor and subject to discrimination, they became prey to a ruthless goblin crime family. The goblins try to improve their image, but the crime family keeps them under their thumb. Their fortunes are on the rise thanks to demand for their excellent leather goods.
The Piazza: This large market teems with merchants hawking their wares at all times of the day, and even late into the night. Ideally, it’s a neutral gathering ground for all of the city’s inhabitants to come, trade, and exchange ideas. At times, it can be hotly contested between various factions, although this is more often a contest of words and ideals than actual combat. The Piazza is well-policed, so crime and violence is minimal. At night, the Piazza is lit by softly glowing magical lanterns, and the more light-sensitive races, such as goblins, take over. Day or night, the Piazza is always active with commerce and trade.
The Blue Goblin Inn: Run by the matronly Uthglen and her twelve daughters, this small inn caters to adventurers. Although somewhat old and difficult to find, the Inn is a clean, well-run establishment. All races are welcomed; the bartender is a cheerful dwarven lad who is rather nimble when tossing bottles around. Several waitresses are run-aways who Uthglen took pity on and gave them a job. Patrons are warned not to get too friendly; an ogre is employed as a bouncer.
Skytower 19: A century ago, a group of fourteen humans came ashore not far from Refuge Point, claiming to have flown through a strange vortex and crashed into the sea. Their wondrous flying craft were lost, leaving them stranded. Although they never gave up hope of rescue, they settled into a new life at the city, and eventually had this sky tower built so they could once again fly like birds. The meaning of the tower’s name is now lost. It is the home base of the Avenger Skyfleet Coaster, which operates four merchant sky ships. The Coaster is run by the descendants of the original fourteen humans.
Edit: just adding our agreed license to the top; seems to be the fashionable thing to do!