Independent City


Who Rules: Queen Neashche Starshine (LG, Human Female, W17) is a very attractive, regal ruler who is overly concerned with the wellbeing of her citizens. However, she is quite naïve and has a habit of spending too much time with the common folk. Because of this there is a bit of a backlog in the government, but the Queen always gets around to it.

Who Really Rules: Prince Consort Yaran Starshine (NG, Human Male, F12) makes sure that a lot of the daily business of running the government doesn't get bogged down while the Queen is seeing to her people. He is extremely loyal to his wife, and to Shadowmere, and as such doesn't use his position to further his own desires.

Population: 17,500 (92% human, 7% lizardman, 1% mixed other races).

Major Products: Trade, teak, peat, lanterns, books, Silverplank Ale, a reed/sugar-distillate known as Shadow Rum, and Swamp-Gas, a brandy that is filtered through peat moss that is very strong and has a unique, musk flavor that is very pleasing.

Armed Forces: 1,300 (350 light infantry, 350 archers, 150 artillerists, 250 marines with assault boats, and 200 scouts, half of whom are lizardmen). Shadowmere also maintains a navy of 2 heavy warships, 2 light warships, and an ad hoc fleet of 25 various small boats for patrolling the swamps around the city.

Notable Mages: Iraya (CG, Human Female, W15) spends her days studying the more exotic creatures of the swamp. She makes a tidy profit selling some of them as pets, and others she studies to learn how to protect against them. She specializes in snakes and is currently trying to learn more about the Séshell race that is new to the area.

Chath Manern (NE, Human Male, W12) is a small man with a big ego. He works for a local merchant and can be found down on the docks acting as foreman and chief of security. He bullies the guards working for him and he is very rude with anyone who gets in his way. His weakness is fine wine. If anyone is ingratiating enough and has a nice bottle he will tone down the ego and be very friendly and accommodating. His area of expertise is smuggling, and he knows a lot about most of what goes on down on the docks.

Notable Churches: Waukeen, Tempus, Milil, Tymora, Silvanus, and Lathander.

Notable Rogues' and Thieves' Guilds: The Governor (LN, ½-elf Male, T14/W10) runs a very tight, efficient organization which is simply known as The Guild. He expects professionalism, and he gets it. He is also very friendly and knows all of his thieves personally and knows quite a bit about them. He does this to create a relaxed atmosphere, and to turn up any potential dirt on them. He is almost always available to his guild members, and he is the first to go and help save someone if things get ugly. If the thief screwed up, though, he is very harsh and is not above physically reprimanding them.

Equipment Shops: Full.

Adventurers' Quarters: The Sunken Chest is the favored inn for adventurers as it is near the docks and is a cheap establishment with a good reputation. Two inns, The Fallen Star and Captain's Helm, refuse adventurers.

Important Characters: Draek (N, Gnome Male, F2) sells cooked fish on sticks from a booth down by the main market. He also acts as a drop off and pick-up point for people looking to exchange information. Draek is completely neutral and accepts his fee for the job and that's it. He never tries to find out what information is being exchanged.

Andreas Wisp (LG, Human Male, R14) is an expert on travelling through the swamps. He knows something about nearly every life-form that lives there and he is an expert on lizardmen and will-o-the-wisps. He frequently hires out as a guide or as caravan security.

Sam'mosu (CN, Lizardman Male, F9) is Andreas' lifelong friend and companion. It is through him that Andreas became so knowledgeable. As Sam is not particularly fond of strangers he doesn't mind letting Andreas take the credit.

Old Draos (LN, Human Male, F6) owns a fleet of barges that he rents out to merchants travelling inland up the river. He provides crews for the boats and basic security, which is all included in the price. Additional security costs extra, and when things along the river are hostile, he is not above refusing to on customers. If he already has a contract, though, he sticks to it and gets the job done.

Henry Starshine (N, Human Male, W11) is an expert on Divination and Alteration spells and his knowledge and scrolls are highly sought after. Henry is also a wild mage and while he has the magic mostly under control from time to time he simply vanishes for weeks or even months on end. He never reveals where he disappears off to. Henry is also convinced that he is cursed because despite his best magic his home is seemingly a magnet for half of the wild cats in the city.

Allen of Bakki (LN, Human Male, P11) is a member of the local constabulary and he is ever vigilant in upholding the laws of the city. He is also a favored emissary of the Queen and he spends as much time travelling on official business as he does patrolling the streets of Shadowmere. On his personal time he can often be found out in the swamp with a small number of friends playing some bizarre game where they hurl colored sling stones into small nets that are placed in various locations throughout the swamp.

Important Features in Town: Most of the city of Shadowmere is built atop stone pylons that are sunk deep into the ground, with only about 15% of the city actually built on dry land. The main streets of the city are built at a height of 20' off of the ground, with basement structures being built just below. Basic necessity prohibits any structure from being more than 4 stories tall (including the basement). The river runs right through the center of town and is crossed with a lot of bridges. Traffic beneath the city is quite common and a lot of buildings have private docks "down below." The city is not walled, but it is surrounded by a palisade which extends down into the ground beneath the water. Along the exterior of the town there are only four access points beneath the city, and they are guarded at all times and access is restricted to residents. There is a half-mile wide "killing ground" of cleared space around the city. This killing ground is a jumble of jagged boulders and snags which have been placed so as to prevent large boats from crossing it. There is also a 100' wide clear area of "dock space" just inside the palisade which is kept clear for security reasons and is a popular place for people to walk. Throughout the entire city are millions of potted plants, a local species known as Sweet Scent, which help to keep the city relatively insect-free. Insects can still be a problem, but not often.

Local Lore: Rumors of lost caravans of gold and ancient ruins deep within the swamp are as common as the trees. Most of the rumors are false, some are true, and on occasion caravans do disappear. There are also a good number of ruins throughout the swamp that are waiting to be explored. Lizardmen are very common throughout the swamp, as are some tribes of goblins and orcs that have adapted to the swamps. Dragons are also a problem and there are standing bounties for dragon heads by the local Queen.

At the far southern end of The Addersswamp are a small series of rocky crags that jut out of the water. These crags are spread out over an area of a hundred square miles and straddle the Adder River. Some of these crags are home to tribes of lizard men who are generally hostile to all travelers. Some of the crags, though, contain caves and some of those caves connect to the realms of the Underdark. This area is the deadliest area of the swamp and is commonly referred to as The Dread Water. It is also a magnet for adventurers.


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