New City

The south and western sections of Kaddish. The foundations were built after the end of the last war with the Hill Elves, but it was only after the revolution drove the peasantry into the city that the New City became important. The orthocrats have built up the various districts to display their prestige and status, and to erase the memory of the old regime. It is composed of between twelve and fifteen districts.

Landmarks / Districts:

Snakes – Home to the awe-inspiring temples to the Red and Blue Snake Cult, carved stone snakes that stretch hundreds of feet in the air, kept upright by powerful enchantments carved into the stone, and with great obsidian eyes. The temples of the Red and Blue Snake Cult are led by the high priest Cassius, widely believed to be the most avaricious man in Kaddish. The dragonborn veterans he commands (both as head of their cult of choice, and as leader of the College of the Scaled Martyrs) periodically form into raiding bands that roam the city’s other districts stealing whatever they please. This inevitably provokes riots, which in turn require his veterans to be called out to put down, providing the opportunity for more looting. Everyone in Kaddish without scales wants him dead. He is lavish with his followers (Since he can ask for anything he pleases of them), and has enough money to buy his rivals off when necessary.

The Square of Justice- The nominal meeting ground for the elected assembly that theoretically governs Kaddish. It is a broad, flat square meant to hold thousands that mainly sees use as a cattle and slave market, and occasionally as a mustering ground for one faction or another. Every year, the heads of the Collegia gather for a ceremonial parade around the square which culminates in the lottery. The poor, desperate, foolish, rash, and extremely lucky enter. All criminals who are not killed are automatically entered by the College that caught them (Clemency becomes more common as the festival approaches to provide a suitable number of entries).

The selection system is complicated, but “prizes” range from fabulous wealth, magical gifts or the ability to ask any College head for a single favour which he is honour-bound to grant to death by a variety of fascinating tortures, mere drudge work, and the right of a College head to ask a single favour of the entrant which they are honour-bound to grant. Everyone gets something, whether good or ill. Rigging the contest is as time-honoured as the tradition itself.

The assembly has not met in the square since the second year after the revolution, and elections have not been held in over a century.

Greyward – Greyward is the factory of Kaddish. Almost a fifth of the city’s population is crammed into the mere eight km^2 it occupies. Tenements crowd together, holding one another upright through the resistance of their mutual collapses. Almost every free space is filled with a shack or lean-to. Workshops, smithies, warehouses and lumber mills crowd the banks of the North Canal, presenting an impassable wall of industry. Most of the city’s halfling population lives here, working in tiny airless rooms too small for humans, sharpening spear heads, sanding barrel staves, weaving cloth and attending to hundreds of other products. The great fires that give the ward its name turn raw wood into charcoal for the blast furnaces, and light the entire ward at night. The district extends downwards as well as upward, and many buildings collapse as their foundations are mined out for new living quarters or work space. Slave labour, including press-ganged citizens from other districts, is common.

Greyward is ruled by alliance of several guilds, its native College (the College of the Righteous) and Marcion of Greyward, high priest of the Black Vermin Gods, who has enthusiastically taken over responsibility for keeping the peace. Lone dragonborn are killed on sight and their heads are posted at a spot on the North Canal that can be seen from the Snakes district as a warning to the rest. Marcion and Cassius are slowly moving towards open warfare with another.

King’s Head – The old execution grounds of the kings of High Kaddish, and the mythic origin point of the revolution. When the last king was killed, his head was placed upon a spike at the centre of what is now King’s Head. The head and spike are long gone, stolen in the dead of night. Occasionally, rumours circulate that the head, now undead and sometimes still impaled on the spike, wanders the canals at night, eating the soul of anyone it encounters. The masters of the great Kaddish gambling halls offer even odds on such a possibility.

King’s Head is contested by three different colleges (the College of the Wondrous Murder, the White Square College, and the West Canal College). Barricades have been thrown up over every bridge, alleyway and road. Only the central festival route to the former exhibition place of the king’s head remains open, guarded by fanatical temple guards from the city’s cults.

Every year the grand procession of the festival commemorating the revolution ends here, having wandered through each one of the city’s districts distributing bread and beer to the citizens to buy their loyalty for another year. The former king is burnt in effigy along with any convenient criminals or slaves, and drunken citizens line the streets. The colleges take full advantage of this drunken stupor to rob and enslave anyone they can.

Grave – The Grave District is where the bodies of plague victims are burnt, denied the more traditional disposal of submersion or inhumation. It has a peculiar style to its plazas due to this purpose, with each one being a sort of reverse ziggurat into the ground with wide tiers on which bodies can be stacked and burnt by the hundreds of if necessary. Wide bridges span the mouths of these pits and all traffic past them. Vampire cultists frequently engage on another atop the bridges, the losers plunging to fiery deaths. In winter, large fires are built at the very bottom of the pits even when there are no dead and the district locals crowd into them to conduct their business.

The district is also the centre of the vampire cults in Kaddish. The first vampires were created over a thousand years ago in Kaddish by the soulforgers, and though tolerated by the Kaddish, they remain few in number. Many have left the city and rumours return of vampiric warlords and undead domains in the mountains. Those that remain are generally mighty warriors and wizards, and use their personal power to assemble followers. Life is cheap, and blood easy to get, and most vampires are less fixated on drinking blood than apotheosis to the ranks of the vampiric heroes, ascended demigods who feed off numinal energies of their faithful followers.

Pit – The Pit District is built around a series of sinkholes which serve as garbage dumps, theatres, and gladiatorial rings. It is the home of culture in Kaddish and more peaceful than other, more central, districts. It is the home of the Burnt in Kaddish, with more drow and tieflings than anywhere else. The List of Collegescollege of the Pit District (the College of the Bolstered Spirit) is wealthy from owning some of the finest and most popular brothels in the city, and it spends this money freely on warriors, whores, bread and games to keep the district under control.

The Pit District was originally sacred ground (Local legend has it that the Wolves of the Earth are responsible for the sinkholes), and it is a popular place for parleys between opposing factions. Spies, adventurers, mercenaries, actors, demagogues, poets and other scum crowd the taverns. Gossiping, information trading and demagoguery are ways of life.

Guardhouse – The Guardhouse District is the southern section of the New City that runs along the wall of the Inner City down to the south river that feeds the city’s southern canals. It operates as the southern harbour of Kaddish, and along with Greyward, it is one of the manufacturing and trade centres of the city. Rows and rows of concrete warehouses protect precious goods from the frequent riots and raiders that sweep down to collect them. The hills across the river, safely protected from the rest of Kaddish, are idyllic and many orthocrats have villas there to enjoy themselves with debauchery, or to flee to during a riot. They are using sparingly because they are a popular place for assassinations.

New City

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