Rook is a major city state on the west coast of Eramar, near the contested north-south border of the long term hostilities between the Orc nation of Tog Nar and the Imperial Realm of Vallonde. Thanks to it's proximity to the Lentar River, the Bay of Stars, the Iron Range Dwarves, the inventive Gnomes of Mount Possible, and the Elves of the Verdant Realm, Rook has become a commercial power house and key power broker on the continent. With its enormous population and extreme diversity, Rook is an excellent location for adventurers of all levels to call home.
Heading title is link to Imgur album.
- Major metropolitan districts cover an area roughly seven miles west to east and six miles north to south
- Population: Approximately 210,000
- Population is overwhelmingly human (70%), with a decent population of elves(4%), haflings (3%), gnomes (4%), half-elves(10%), and dwarves (6%). While not particularly numerous, Rook does host more Oreads (1%) than any other city in Erramar. The remaining 2% of the population is a mixture of half-orcs, goblins, and drow. Some other races make their homes in Rook, but their populations are too low to be recorded.
The governing body of Rook is a complex organism to say the least. It is split into two major ‘houses’, the high and low councils. The high council is an elected body with five representatives, one from each major race with a presence in the town (Human, Gnome, Dwarf, Elf, Halfling). The low council is comprised of twenty five members. Fourteen members are elected from the cities districts, four are elected from the ranks of the guard, four are elected from registered guilds, two are elected from the faculty of RU (Rook University), and one is elected as the peoples champion in a citywide election.
High Council Members Edit
- Ganderlay Silver - 5th Dwarven representative, maintains office in Central Market District
- Galadia Ithrea - 3rd Elven representative, oldest representative, lives and has an office in Crown near the bridge
- Threm Rennet Whizzle - 14th Gnomish representative, has offices in Trade and Knowledge districts
- Ewis Meray - 9th Halfling representative, youngest of the high council, lives in Old Town near the bridge, has ‘offices’ in the taverns of Haven, Old Town, and Chalice
- Alard Tyne - 8th Human representative, has an office in Crown near the opera house at the intersection of Chalice and Market
Notable Low Council Members Edit
- (Leader of Guard Contingent): Renard Cashan (Human) of the Castle District
- (Guild electees):
- Davaver Millstone (Gnome) from Practical Alchemy Guild
- Elgard Trim (Human) from Inner City Merchant Guild
- Ethan Silverblaze ( Half Elf) from Honed Blade Guild
- Garth Stonefist (Dwarf) from Masons Guild
- (People’s Champion): Milescent 'Milly' Walten (Human)
The City of Rook has many names, and many titles. But it’s official title is the Democratic State of Loelondalle Rook. Leolondalle Rook was a farmer who built his homestead on a small plot of land which is now referred to by Rookers as Old Town.
The history of the city is deep, rich, and often mis-told. The reality is that long ago, long before the great King Vallonde’s father took up his sword against the Orc hordes, and war ravaged most of the central lands, there was another war. A war between all the races, for land, for resource, and for power. This war caused many refugees to flee their homes and seek shelter elsewhere. Leolondalle Rook and his small farm gave refuge, food, and aid to any and all. He asked but one thing, “that no quarrels of the outside world come to his front yard.”
Leolondalle Rook quickly became a local legend, and word spread fast across the land that a safe place was found for those who wished to escape the war. His small farmstead grew over several years into a small village, then a bustling town, and soon after a large port. What is now old town quickly outgrew the fields of the northern bank, and Leolondale was growing old. With so many people seeking his counsel he started to wonder if his hospitality had outgrown his stamina. He gathered all of his most trusted friends, one of every race who was involved in the war and he asked them a deep and heartfelt favor, in his words.
“Now, Old Rook won’t be around much longer, and I don’t wish to see any sad faces or woes and goodbyes just yet. What I would like to see, is that we start taking care of each other more. We have to work together out here to keep the peace that I asked for when all your families came to my land not to long ago. So, I would like to propose an idea, if I may, of a Council, the five of you to be the sole members. I ask that you always decided upon things as a whole, work together on problems that your neighbors are having, and to solve the quarrels of the townsfolk. I picked ye five because I felt each of the different peoples here should have a voice, a say. You will be the face of your people, I chose you because I know your hearts would be in the right place, trust will be a very import thing to have in the many years to come. Now all in favor of this idea, please raise your left hand.” This was the first act of voting ever to take place within the Council of Rook. The birth of the Democratic Government that would found the largest independent city-state in the western half of Eramar. The early government worked hard to make Rook a place where all are welcome and nearly any pursuit can be found. Markets bustle with thousands of faces, shipyards look like waving forests, and the population has grown more diverse than the founders could have imagined. Rook is indeed a City of Many Faces.
The Arms District, is a noisy area founded around the Arena of Rook, where smiths and promoters do boisterous trade in arms and combat entertainment. Skilled weapon masters from all across western Erramar, and occasionally even further abroad, have made their homes in the Arms District over the last 70 years. This accumulation of tradition and innovation layers the district with exotic martial items and many guild halls. The largest are the training yards of The Honed Blade and the Skullbashing guilds, the owners of nearly two thirds of all arena championships between them. These guilds hold political sway by their relationship to the masses of spectators and the determined nature of their members. This yields a surprising amount of intrigue in back rooms of the arena and guild halls.
Frequent visitors to the district will notice a system of hand gestures used among the arena veterans to greet and make deals with each other. Extending a single fist to rest on someone’s shoulder is used to greet a companion who shared the arena. Holding a fist over one’s own heart marks assent and can be taken as a binding contract in the district. Using an open hand, or even worse the fingers, to strike someone is a sign of intense disrespect, and almost always results in an arena challenge. The only thing stopping warriors from settling such disputes immediately is the high guard presence in the district, an extension of the dangerous nature of the people and goods there.
The Castle District is the City's Promise to it’s many under-paid watchmen and veterans. Any member of the City Guard or army is guaranteed a home for his kin, wife, and family here. The area is packed with slate roofed half timber tenements, nearly as dense as the slums, but much cleaner. The young guard trainees from the old fort in the southwest corner of the district are made to clean the streets as part of a weekly service to their elders. One of the Guard held positions on the Low Council is traditionally a retiree living in this district.
Central Trade District Edit
The central market is in the middle of southern Rook and it feels like it. Hundreds of people and buskers can be seen mingling in the market square at nearly all hours of operation. The market does a tremendous trade in the goods of daily life and the cobblers, bakers, and other shop owners successful enough to have market front property are the envy of their peers. Most of the merchants and craftspeople are part of Rook’s Inner City Merchant’s Guild and the people with home shops away from the market rely on Guild agents to hawk their wares from Green and Silver trimmed carts.
Members of Free Trader’s, Large Haul, and Import/Export Guilds can be seen hawking wares in the crowd or advertising their guilds to people seeking less common items. Rarer items can be found about the market,usually from an independent seller or member of one of these guilds. It is only with the increase in demand from adventurers that minor potions and magic items have begun to filter their way into the daily stock.
The market is also an important public gathering place for political and festival events since it is one of the largest open spaces in the city. Processions for elections, foreign delegations, and celebrity funerals often make a point of moving through the market square. Walking around the market ring is a popular festival time activity where many trinket and seasonal craftspeople set up stalls amidst various food carts and colorful garlands and festoons are strung between stalls and buildings.
The Chalice District is the city’s home to luxury and intoxication. Here the aristocracy gathers in the many high class brothels and taverns for nightly escapes from, or covert dealings in, city politics. A place of great rumour and intrigue where many deals are made over bar counters between one rich family to another. The Chalice district is home to many high profile locations, such as the Rook Air Docks, where for a hefty price you may take an airship to several locations through the world. Owned by the Falcon Delivery Inc, it’s original purpose was to move high volumes of trade goods.The Air Docks are a favorite spot for members of Free Traders looking to make new business contacts. The Rook Opera Hall, is another place of interest, hosting concertos and box seat intrigue. Commissioned in Rook’s 100th year as a celebration of the city’s success and wealth, the opera house took a decade to reach completion and still stands today as one of the most ornate public buildings. Members of the Thorn and Rose can frequently be seen on the arm of wealthy bachelors attending performances.
Mostly comprised of manor houses and comfortable living quarters for the many upper class inhabitants of the city, the Crown District’s most known attraction is the Grand Council Chambers, a large building located on the north-west coast where the river meets the ocean. This is where the council conducts business and where all of the political views the many city officials are publicly projected. The Crown District is also home to the Mason’s guildhall, a fine masonry work hall where craftsmen and drafters toil on the components of major buildings. The upper level of the hall contains meeting rooms, plan libraries, and the guild offices, while the basement contains material storage, the guild coffers, and a private vault for important meetings.
Eastern District Edit
The Eastern District is nearly a mirror image of the Southern District, the main difference is it has a much higher half-orc population compared to any other district in the city. This concentration is mainly due to the heavy, unspoken distrust that other races have for the half-breeds. It is plagued by gang turf wars and the overlapping underground factions trying to carve out their own sections of this largely lawless district. The semblance of law visible on the daytime streets is not due to the minimal guard population, who certainly have no effect at night, but rather the bounty hunters.
The rough and ready members of Rook’s Hunting Club have a pseudo jailhouse and a number of safe houses hidden amongst the buildings of the slums. While not a popular guild in the city proper, the guards let them operate with little interference in the slum because they stabilize the district to a certain degree. Even still the streets of the eastern slums are considered to be the most dangerous in Rook.
Farmstead District Edit
The wide spanning Farmstead District is where many farmers, lovers of the wilds, and country folk make their home. It is the least populated of the districts governed by the City of Rook, and its physical separation from the city center leaves its residents free to live without too much concern for the politics of the council. On the north eastern edge of this district lies Silverstone Manor, home to the Grey Guard and Ganderlay Silver. Besides operating the Grey Guard and his own family trade business, Ganderlay holds the Dwarven seat on the high council.
The Hearth District is the humming heart of the city, full of basket weavers, potters, and other minor craftspeople making a living. It is also the modern incarnation of the founding principles of the city; accept your neighbor and help each other succeed. Here the low-middle class makes there home, under the protection of the city watch, protected from the worst worries of the slums, and often insulated from political worries by the endless demands of daily life. The Hearth District is proudly said to be the embodiment of what Rook stands for.
The Knowledge District is home to many scholars, professors, researchers, scientist, and mages. Here is where the many practices of magic and science come together to further their understanding of the world. There is a single massive university, home to some 2000 students, where they teach many subjects including calligraphy, cartography, alchemy, ethics, mathematics, and the musical arts. The university is located in University plaza, a large green space near the outer walls of the city. The inwards facing forms of the university’s arcing buildings are reminiscent of religious cloisters, giving an air of focus and privacy from the swarming city outside.
The Lost District first started construction in 50 ARW. Originally based around a mine found beneath Rook which contained many valuable metal and mineral deposits the district and its rare materials quickly drew the attention of the more magically gifted amongst Rook’s populace. Seeing the underground cavern as the perfect way to separate their dangerous hobbies from the average citizens, the council urged them to move into the new district en mass. By 65 ARW the district was thriving on the both it’s magical and mineral trade. During a routine mine expansion dig in 68, a team of miners breached a large cavern which unleashed a flood of deadly gas and a wave of negative energy. Most of the miners died immediately in the initial breach, and the rest could not escape the undead that quickly flooded the mine. The magical community rallied and tried to fight off the sudden unexpected invasion, but the combination of deadly gases and negative energy quickly brought the valiant defenders down.
Faced with a catastrophe that could spread into the city proper the council opted to seal the entrance to the Under District, posting a strong guard to make sure that none of the undead monstrosities managed to escape the blockade. Over the months that followed nothing managed to escape the sealed doors to the Under District, but no expeditions past the sealed doors returned alive. Eventually the doors were permanently sealed, and the record was filed in the city’s records. Over the years the entrance was lost, sealed behind new construction in Old Town. Some old residents still make gestures of reverence when they walk along that block, referring to “a terrible plague, that struck down so many people in this neighborhood generations ago.” The doors still exist for those curious enough to dig, but the memory of the failed district has faded from common parlance.
Recently the gate to the Lost District has been reopened and it was discovered that a colony of Ratfolk have been dutifully defending Rook from subterranean threats for many years. In 138 ARW a drunk, minor councilor, named Roland Temerius made contact with a band of Ratfolk that had found their way into Rook through a series of naturally occurring tunnels under the city. In a stupor he promised the Ratfolk that they could keep whatever they found below and that Rook would send them materials in payment for services rendered if they kept the “area below” clear. The Ratfolk for their part took their vow to Roland, who claimed to be the King of Rook during their dealings, seriously and took it to mean they would defend Rook from all attacks from below.
The Ratfolk have been on duty in the Under District ever since, fighting a silent war against anything that would threaten Rook. They moved in to the abandoned buildings in the north end of the under district and have maintained them as best they can. This makes their home an eerie echo of the Old Town Rook above. The streets and homes are as clean as can be expected for a cavern, showing the great care and pride the residents take in their home. They have also expanded the old mine shafts into a massive cavern network where they had begun building newer buildings of matching styles. The colony has come into contact with the city above again as battles with the cult of Sassthrillon have brought search parties to the area.
Northern Docks & Trade DistrictEdit
The Northern Docks, commonly called the Free Docks, or Rook Dockyard, is a section of the river where the other neighboring nations send trade vessels to exchange all manner of goods. It is a very old district, and keeps true to most of the original treaties drafted with the other nations many years ago. The district is home to the Rook Imports/Exports Guild, which maintains a number of gated warehouses near the waterfront and outer wall gate. Each warehouse is painted with a hand lettered gold sign on a navy backdrop stating the name of the guild and the warehouse number. Smaller copies of these warehouses can be found near other high end economic centers of the city, but without fail they are ringed by a tall iron fence and patrolled by armed guards with dogs.
Old town is the foundation on which Rook was built. The people here take pride in upholding the accepting values of the original founders and greet others on the street with pleasantries and nods.The buildings and landscape here resemble a well kept and prosperous farming town. The town is located north of the River of Rook, and south of the farmsteads and Elesian Forest. The pace of life strikes a comfortable balance between the farms and city.While most of the residents are families who have long made their livings in Rook there are some vacation villas along the coast.
In the north end of Old Town the Rook Estate still stands, the stone farmhouse and additions maintained as a historic site and museum of sorts by the council. Copies of important founding documents and historic curios are left on display inside and many older residents from around the city make a point of visiting the estate to see their history. There is a small memorial to Rook on the site and it is a common urban myth that he is actually buried beneath it.
The Bronze Flask is a well reputed inn at the south end of Old Town and is a steady and popular site for more traditional fare. This is where the farmer’s guild Rook Abundant holds its meetings, although these meetings are more like dinner with friends than formal business meetings. The Hammer and Anvil Guild is also centered in this district and exercises a more formal organization and control over their specialty within the city. Several old smithies exist in the town including Toric’s, one of the guild leaders.
Southern District Edit
The South District, called by it’s local populace the South Slums, is a vast and rugged landscape made of shanty shacks, poorly maintained buildings, tight roads, and dark alleys. Constantly a place faced with many criminal problems and local troubles, mostly due to it being located outside the main walls of the city. It was erected during the “Year of Plague” when the city had to close it’s gate’s to the outside world while the University worked tirelessly to cure a dangerous plague that threatened to wipe the southern regions out in their entirety.
Filled with small shops, and hovels, and dirty children, the over-populated South District is a living example of the divide between the rich and poor. This district is home to the Golden Plow, an establishment owned and operated by Big Duade, a retired human adventurer. The plow doubles as a brothel and an Inn and is an exceedingly loud, rough, and rowdy place. It has become 'the' place to hire adventurers and so one may find folks not typically found in this environment along with the usual fair. Big Duade has adapted to his new, wealthier clients and over time the beer has gotten better, the available company comelier, and the prices more expensive. Even still, the old rowdy crowd fills this place on a nightly basis, making for quite the hang out.
The south slum is frequented by members of the guilds focused on crafting daily goods who either live or sell their cheaper goods there. It is also the area where many members of the Bone and Antler guild and Explorer’s Lodge come to relax after their time afield. These men and women have more in common with the adventurers who frequent the Golden Plow than many of the city folk and may even interact with them after an evening of liquid relaxation.
Owned and operated by the many Aristocrats of the Crown District, and protected heavily by the Council, this trade port is Rook’s link for private shipments and chartered trade missions The small bay-side merchants here sell various high end goods and services and the Large Haul Guild keeps their naval library and main storage vault in a old manor near the docks. This is usually the port of choice for foreign diplomats arriving by sea, and many citizens and travelers will brave the displeasure of the aristocracy for a glimpse of these important visitors.
Rook Military Edit
- Ravens Guard
- Lantern Guard
Guilds (Name; Specialty; District)Edit
Guilds marked with a double asterisk ** have a member elected to the Low Council of Rook
- Hammer & Anvil; Blacksmiths; Old Town
- Real Crafting; Everyday Craftsmen; Hearth District
- Rook's Imports/Exports; Wholesale & Exotic Goods; Trade District
- Free Traders; Less Regulated Trade Goods; Chalice District
- Large Haul; Old Naval Trade; Crown District
- Bone & Antler; Provisions; South Slum
- Rook's Abundant; Farmers; Farmstead District
- Skullbashing; Powerful Combat, Martial Prowess; Arms District
- Explorer's Lodge; Exploration, Mapping; Outside South Slums
- Thorn & Rose; Enforcement, Prostitution; Chalice District
- Rook's Hunting Club; Bounty Hunting; East Slums
Other Notable Sites Edit
Bronze Flask Edit
Located in the center of Old Town the inn is a two-story building, half-timber over field stone, with a small walled horse yard and gated kitchen garden. The interior is decorated with local memorabilia and hunting trophies and is lit by glowing gemstones set in lanterns about the space. The inn is a popular end of day meeting place for the smiths and other shop owners about Old Town and the farmers even make it in on market days for a drink. Accommodations consist of several large rooms with beds and feather mattresses. The innkeeper is a friendly male dwarf named Arulf. He is a retired blacksmith, who decided to pursue the crafting of ale and mutton after metals lost their luster for him. He sells some exquisite brews and happily discusses brewing with anyone who shows interest.
Rook University Edit
The university is nearing its 100th anniversary after opening it’s doors in 95 ARW. Founded by a collaboration of elven and human scholars as the city began its second rapid expansion, the university has since been surrounded by the city and bustles with researchers. Since its origin in the first small library hall it has grown to encompass four arcing redstone buildings surrounding a set of small debating forums and laboratory demonstration spaces. These smaller pavilions are crafted from creamy limestone with domed roofs. The larger buildings are three stories with gray slate roofs, and embellishments at the roof edge hiding the built in gutters. These larger structure now house the library, extending from the basement to the second floor of one of the buildings with staff offices on the third floor. The other three buildings house the primary study, lecture, and student housing spaces. One of the buildings has a kitchen and dining hall on the ground floor that serves simple fair and has at least one staff member at all hours of the day to deal with the odd hours of the scholars and students. The entire university is surrounded by a park like area giving it some separation from the city streets as well as room to expand.
Silverstone Manor Edit
Home to Ganderlay Silver and oft-used retreat for members of the Grey Guard. Located north of the Farmstead district, on the edge of the forest. The manor itself is a more like a fortified keep but the grounds are so incredibly manicured as to give the place a peaceful and aristocratic feel. The manor’s outer wall is built of creamy limestone blocks perhaps 12 feet high with the precise jointing of dwarven masons. The outer wall includes a two story gatehouse on the south segment and a two story barracks/tower on the north wall. The manor itself is set back from the wall some 80 feet leaving room for a manicured lawn in front, a true luxury in maintenance costs, that is used to host social events or stage the guard in emergency events. Behind the manor is the kitchen garden and a paved stable yard that doubles as a parade ground for guard exercises. The manor house is built of the same creamy stone as the walls and has an elegant, square formed symmetry that has influenced several other aristocratic properties around the city.