Return of the Long Night
City of Kaitaine
Kaitaine is a city that has suffered major destruction and yet thrives. The markets are busy all day long, and new merchant ships arrive every few hours with more exotic goods from Thuul, Jaiman, the mainland of Emer, and beyond. It is definitely a city well on its way to recovery.
Kaitaine is run from the Palace of Bankers by a ruling council of merchants. When one dies or steps down, a new merchant is chosen by the council. The speaker, or leader of the council, is one Lady Iadonica. Other council members include Councilors Cox, Stamen, and Mazur. These are for the most part also famous family names, as the council rarely picks someone for their character alone—success in business is also a huge deciding factor.
While the richest merchants do rule the town, there is no sense of oppression from the wealthy. In fact, any enterprising young man (or women for that matter) who sets up shop and figures out how to be successful can dream of one day being chosen for the council, or seeing their child be chosen.
One does not even have to be a merchant to realize some measure of success. Even a seamstress can find fame and fortune, if her work is good enough to attract the attention of the ruling families. Exquisite boots, lamps, china, silken clothes, metal-worked gadgets, clocks, and other luxury items are all the rage, and the craftsmen who create the best have the kind of status not unlike the status we give to fashion designers in the modern day. They are invited to parties, questioned for advice on a variety of topics, and are even allowed more leeway in a social sense than the merchants allow themselves or each other.
The merchant families have created for themselves a somewhat rigid social system. Although it is not uniformly applied, marriages are arranged by contract as an alliance between powerful families. The women are expected to be smart and participate in the family business, but their fathers and brothers decide which family business that is to be. Lady Iadonica, happily for her, was widowed early on and became a successful businesswoman on her own. There are other such stories, but usually the person in question is a widow, not a single woman, and not a married woman with a husband who does something other than business.
Outside of the upper echelon of society, women enjoy a more relaxed social status. Women may be guards, assassins, tavern wenches, scribes, mages, seers, etc. These women however are below the romantic notice of a gentleman. They receive respect, though, for their trade.
Merchant houses are gracious, have courtyards and mosaics, and usually have gaming rooms and drunken “crash” rooms within easy access of the dining room. Ordinary homes are small but decent, but since the disaster plenty of lean-tos and shacks have been erected amongst the rubble.
Here are some major installations in Kaitaine:
The Order of Valris. The Order is dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge and has the largest and only public library in town (1 s/day donation). Copying is reserved for scribes who can also be hired to research various topics on behalf of characters. Extra donations are appreciated since they are currently rebuilding the destroyed part of their building. They also lost a great many books in the disaster.
The School of Magic. Staffed by devotees of Kesh’ta’kai, the School of Magic offers lessons in all mage, mentalist, and illusionist spell lists. Other spell lists may be available. Faculty may run experiments with gating, demons, and other off-the-beaten-track areas of investigation. The Mages Guild includes mages from all walks of life, not just the school, and so the Guild has definite “camps”—followers of Orhan and followers of Kesh’ta’kai. Orhanian mages often offer lessons in their own homes. However, because of Guild rules, the reason for the antipathy between mages is rarely spoken of. Scribes of Valris and scribes of the school are also divided into two camps.
The Temple of Eissa. Devoted to healing and restoring souls, the temple has none of the problems of its sister temple in Sel-Kai. This temple charges a reasonable amount for healing—incredible, since they lost so much money treating patients for free during the disaster. It is believed that generous donations keep the temple afloat.
The Rhiani Quarter. A tent city within a city, the Rhiani quarter has a marketplace all of its own where bloodstones, half-Rhiani horses, desert gear, and a variety of crafts can be found. The Rhiani generally do not haggle, and are extremely good at lie perception.
The Guild of Merchants. Occupying the space between the city gardens and the ocean, the Guild is the richest in town. It is a good place to go to lodge complaints against dishonorable dealers, or to get recommendations (for 1 silver) for the best shops for a particular item.
The Temple of Shaal. The Temple of Shaal is where all official ceremonies are conducted. That includes the induction of merchants into the council, marriages between merchant families, the yearly ceremony requesting bounty from the sea, and so on. It is not really a temple where people go for daily worship—for that, citizens are much more likely to attend the Temple of Neela.
The Great Marketplace. An incredible structure of marble and glass, the marketplace houses the fanciest and most exclusive weapon shops, clothing shops, leather shops, and so on.
The Temple of Kieron. The centre of the theater district, the temple is home to bards, poets, performers, and celebrations of every type.
The Temple of Omir. While nightblades seem to congregate around the Temple of Andaras, there is no official organization between the temple and the nightblades. The Temple of Omir keeps good control over their Guild of Magents while looking down their nose at the lazy, inefficient Andarasians. Classes in magent spells, ambush, thrown weapons, melee weapons, poison preparation and removal, and stalking and hiding are offered here. Initiates must prove they are serious about being “the hand of fate,” and that they will never reveal their clients, the punishment for which is eternal torment by Omir.
Kaitaine Gentleman. The fanciest brothel in town.
List of Selected Shops
Gaimon’s Stardust (near Great Marketplace)
D’Argon’s Magical Items and Antiquities (near School of Magic)
Edouard’s Emollients (Theatre St.)
some snake-oil stuff
The New Sensation (Theatre St.)
Euphorics, coffee, teas
Green goddess (a new drug recently arrived in town. It causes people to feel very happy and yet unfocused and befuddled. -20 the day after. Actually comes from the Agyran Alliance …)
Wild Weeds (near Theatre)
Euphorics, green goddess
Herbs that increase mental, physical, essence-wielding abilities, “the sight”
Carl’s Catalysts (near magic school)
Catalysts for magic spells, some herbs for other uses
Kaitaine Herbs (near college of the navy)
Good general herbs, curative, etc.
Herbal Cures (by Temple of Eissa)
Best for curative herbs
In the Great Marketplace
The Great Bow
Superior quality bows and arrows (magic-able), frequently inlaid with semiprecious stones or rubbed with gold leaf
The Magic Mace
Maces, cudgels, morning stars, etc., decorative, some ornamental, superior quality
Tyrion’s Swords and Daggers
Decorative, ornamental, and good quality
Great Marketplace Weapon Shoppe
Near the Great Marketplace
Laen, strange, unusual stuff, magic weapons
Near Temple of Andaras
Unusual weapons—”claws” for fingers, clawed gloves
Boots with spikes
Maces, some with lion’s teeth stuck in them
Near Temple of Omir
Lightweight weapons that give a bonus to initiative
Easily concealed weapons
Blow darts w/poison
Daggers (some with poison receptacles in the handle)
Near Navy College
The Heavy Hand
Good quality ordinary weapons
Arms of Steel1/2
Good quality, improved breakage
Naval Supplies and Weapons
Good general weapons
Mechanical Designs Weapon Shoppe
Catapults, springles, etc. etc. for boats
Plate of Kaitaine (in Great Marketplace)
Highly decorated, beautiful armor of superior quality, magic-able
specially fitted armor available
Leather of Kaitaine (in Great Marketplace)
Leather with pressed designs and ornaments, superior quality, magic-able
specially fitted armor available
Leatherworks (off Grand Avenue)
specially fitted armor available, good quality,
Plate by Durgin
specially fitted armor available, good quality
Armor of the Ages
A fancy name for a second-hand place.