Larith, The Cauldron
Larith, The Cauldron. A city built into the caldera of an extinct volcano. The peaks of the mount chain of which Cauldron is a part reach far above the steaming subtropical jungles. This city of only 4500 inhabitants is nearly completely autonomous from the Capital city, almost two hundred miles to the north. At least, as long as Cauldron Merchants provide the capital with an abundance of fruit, spices, exotic animals, rare ores and gems
A Visitor climbing one of the four steep roads up the side of the volcano first notices the 50’ high wall, set with watch towers half again as high as the wall. But it is not the wall’s height that makes first-time visitors hold their breath in awe. As the sun reflects off the wall’s malachite stones, the entire wall becomes bathed in a dark-green hue. Once through the massive city gate, the visitor notices a dark lake at the center of the crater. Closer to the lake’s shore, the sulphurous air, mixed with the smell of raw sewage that runs directly into the lake is difficult to endure. Unsurprisingly, this part of the city is houses the poorest part of the population.
Four major throughways form concentric rings along the volcano’s crater, and separate the poorer from the richer areas. From the inside out, these roads are: Ash avenue, Lava avenue (also called lava lane, although no more than an occasional tree lines this road), Magma avenue and Obsidian avenue. Although most travel occurs on foot, merchant caravans and carriages carrying nobles Can occasionally be seen on Magma and Obsidian avenue.
Houses are constructed mainly from local (volcanic) stone and hardwood from the subtropical forests. The houses near the lake stand on wooden stilts, sometimes rising as much as 20 feet above the lakes water. Houses closer to the malachite wall are built from exotic stone sometimes contain vast courtyards.
The Lord Mayor Severen Navalant, a human, is the current primary political leader, though he does not act without the consensus of the most powerful nobles in the city. Captain of the Guard, Terseon Skellerang, also a human, is a stern man, but with a reputation for even-handed justice.
Much of the trade in the region involves deals brokered from Larith or the regions capital, Capital city, but ore and crops mostly come from surrounding villages.
Larith is also a popular destination for traveling wizards who wish to measure the magical energies of a volcano without exposing themselves to the harsh conditions of much of the surrounding region. These academics are usually welcomed, but the Bluecrater Academy is careful to keep tabs on such dabblers, and has been known to intervene if their “examinations” pose a threat to the city.
The politics of the region are complex at best. The largest political and military threat to Larith continues to be the Scarlet Brotherhood, while the logistics of waging any sort of military campaign up the side of a volcanic cauldron have thus far defended the city from even the notion of a siege, the Brotherhood can be a devious and dangerous foe regardless of the availability of military options.
A token stream of “slaves” is exported annually from Capital city and Larith to mollify the Brotherhood’s slavers, and part of the “tax” that Larith pays to defend the roads between Capital city and larith is the contribution of two people, normally criminals, each year to this trade. In some cases, there are some that say such slaves have even returned from the lands of the Brotherhood, but for most, the journey is one-way. This is something that the churches of Pelor and St. Cuthbert have been trying to end, but so far they have been unable to devise a better way that all agree would work.
The relationship between the Cauldron and the Hold of the Sea Princes used to be fairly strong, but since the Brotherhood took control of the Hold, communications have dwindled to the point that goods are the only substantial form of communication today, and most of those come through Sessarine.
Cauldron is the home to four temples. The three most powerful are to Kord, St. Cuthbert and Wee Jas. There is also a smaller temple to Pelor.
Other gods, especially those of the demi-human races are worshiped in Cauldron, but there are no specific temples to them within the city limits.
The city Cauldron has been built on top of the ruins of many older civilisations. The catacombs are still accessible through some of the city’s older buildings. Rumours speak of abandoned underground complexes deep under the city’s streets. And some lava tubes even seem to grant access to the Underdark.
Places of note: (name – location – proprietor)
- Temple of Lordly Might (Kord) – Obsidian avenue – High Priest: Asfelkir Hranleurt
- Church of Wee Jas – Obsidian – High Priestess: Embril Aloustinai
- Church of st. Cuthbert – Obsidian avenue & Magma avenue – High Priest: Sacrem Delasharn
- Shrine of Pelor – Magma avenue – High Priestess: Kristoff Jurgensen
- Drunken Morkoth – Obsidian Avenue – Halpeen Welvihk
- Tipped Tankard – - Rivek Mol
- Slippery Eel Tavern – Magma avenue -
- Surefoot Livery – Ash avenue – Tippys Surefoot
- Weers Elixers – Ash avenue – Vortimax Weer
- Skie’s Treasury – Lava avenue – Skie Aldersun
- Guernezarn’s Treasury – Obsidian avenue – Philias Guernezarn
- Zanathor’s Provisions – Obsidian avenue – Bjellkir Zanathor