Posted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 8:25 am Post subject: The City of Pendleton
This is a work in progress, but Pendleton is the primary base of operations for my own D&D/Pathfinder/Greyhawk campaign. Located in the former Dutchy of the Tenh on the shores of Lake Abanfyl, this small city of eight thousand souls houses plenty of adventure for low-to-mid level parties. I did the image in MS Paint (hey! It is free!).
Should have some more information on Pendleton up later this week, but I've got to dig through my old books and campaign logs. Until then, enjoy!
And here is the link to the image of the city! Thanks to the help from you folks for telling me how to do this.
Joined: Jul 26, 2010 Posts: 2426 Location: LG Dyvers
Posted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 9:04 am Post subject:
A few comments on your map, masterarminas.
First, it is a very nice looking map. I bet it took a lot of time to put together. Kudos on the quality work.
I really like the variety of terrain in the near vicinity: urban, water (lake and river), islands, forest (evergreen and decidous), swamp, and cliffs. the topography indicates cliffs surrounding the city which makes it a highly defensible position. From a military viewpoint, the Point penninsula would require a serious commitment from defense because it is the easiest landing spot for an amphibious assault upon the city. Additionally, Raven Heights across the Zumker could be the key to the city's defeat. Just as George Washington forced General Gage to abandon Boston by positioning cannon on Dorchester Heights south of the city after being driven from Bunker ( Breed's) Hill in Charles Town north of the city, an enemy commander able to place catapults/trebuchets, perhaps even companies of longbowmen, on those heights would be free to rain destruction upon the entire city of Pendleton. I see that a fortress is, indeed, built there to protect against just such an eventuality. Smart. Just considering all angles.
Now, a criticsm regarding reality and your map. The Rock forces the Zumker River to divide its water into two very narrow channels relative to the size of the river at that point as it passes that island. This would make those channels, especially the southern one where the majority of the water would run based on what I can see of the map, to be extremely deep and the water would be moving very quickly through them. The narrowest points of those channels combined are less than one fifth the width of the river before them which means that if the channels are only as deep as the rest of the river, the water would have to be moving at least five times as fast to get through those channels as it is moving in the river proper. This would naturally create short waterfalls at the east end of these two channels because of the backup of water west of the channels. All this means that no river traffic could make the trip from Lake Abanfyl up the Zumker farther than The Rock without portaging around it.
One solution is to simply say that the channels are very deep, but that makes the river below the channels (east) much lower in elevation which, again, creates short waterfalls which prevent river traffic. It is not very realistic to say that a river the size of the Zumker is traveling so slowly that increasing the speed of the water through the channels does not make it too swift for river traffic. The best solution, in my mind, is to alter the map slightly to make the channels north and south of The Rock a little wider. In addition, change the coloring of the river to indicate depth through the channels equal to the deepest, central, portion of the river. This will speed up the current a bit through the channels, but not so much that it will hinder river traffic.
Very much so, and each of the elevation changes represents 20 feet of vertical height. As per your suggestions, I have 'slimmed' The Rock and both widened and deepened the Zumker.
Here is a bit more info on Pendleton itself.
Type: Small City
Humans, Suel-descent: 2,200
Humans, Flan-descent: 1,200
Humans, Oerdarian-descent: 2,300
High Elf: 100
Gold Piece Limit: 25,000 gp (Yes, this is higher than norm)
Built on the shore of Lake Abanfyl where the Zumker River has its headwaters, the city of Pendleton is part of the Duchy of Tenh. In this campaign, the Greyhawk Wars did not rip the Tenh apart; it is still a unified realm, albeit one that is surrounded by potential foes on every side. Founded two hundred years ago by Malachi Pendle as Pendle’s Town, Pendleton is a wealthy city that attracts adventurers and commoners alike. Three major mines nearby employ many of the cities inhabitants and provide a constant flow of silver, gold, iron, copper, and brass into the city’s coffers. The lake (and city) is within a large valley deep inside the Griff Mountains. Primordial forests surround the lake on the slopes of steep hills, and provide an abundance of game, as well as the presence of monsters. There is a thriving lumber industry here, as well as the harvesting of game, and the Lake itself is the home of a significant fishing industry.
Pendleton is largely self-sufficient, and for the most part the Grand Duke of Tenh leaves Pendleton alone, as long as the Lord Mayor pays his annual taxes. The founder of the city, Malachi Pendle, has been Lord Mayor since its beginnings more than two centuries ago. Appearing to be human, he attributes his long life-span to magical waters of a fountain that he once drank from deep in the interior of Hepamonland. A powerful sorcerer, Malachi (often referred to as ‘Mal the Mad’ because of his occasionally crazy ideas) and several of his former adventuring compatriots ensure that the city is safe for the common folk. In reality, Malachi Pendle is an old Greyhawk dragon that has adopted the city and persona of Mad Mal as his own. The real Malachi Pendle died more than 180 years ago, but his friend (the dragon Scorpius) decided to carry on his legacy; not wanting to risk having others ruin his friend’s vision of the city, he became Malachi. Only a handful of people within the city are aware that Mal is in fact a dragon—and quite a powerful one as well, being able to wield spells as a 15th-level sorcerer in addition to his other dragon abilities.
The original Malachi Pendle was quite a paranoid, and designed his new city with the help of Dwarves to make it difficult for an attacker to overcome. The city itself is placed on a high, rocky promontory overlooking Lake Abanfyl. With the assistance of Scorpius and the beholder Miakaevoy (also known as Mikey), the Dwarves carved a massive moat through the promontory. This moat drops around sixty feet to the water below, and continues down for another twenty; it is thirty feet wide and the walls are sheer and smooth (carved from the bedrock with disintegration rays).
Behind the moat, the entire city is surrounded by a twenty-foot high wall, fifteen feet in thickness, with several thirty-foot high towers placed along its length. It is divided into four parts: the Commons (where most of the common people live and the local shops are found), the High Quarter (for the nobles), the Upper Quarter (a more up-scale neighborhood than the Commons), and the Citadel. Vaults beneath the Citadel can house up to three quarters of the cities population in the event of a catastrophe, and massive supply rooms and cisterns contain enough food and water stockpiles to resist a siege of up to a year’s duration.
Outside of Pendleton’s walls, are four more districts of the city: the North Docks (the true slums of Pendleton, often referred to as Pendle’s Down), the South Docks (a low-income section that includes fish markets and tanneries), the Farms (a sprawling complex of fields and ranches that occupy most of the promontory and supply much of Pendleton’s grain and meat), and the Dwarven Fist (a separate walled complex across the Zumker River to the north where most of Clan Blackhammer live and work). The Farms and Docks are protected by four small forts that guard all of the approaches to the city, whereas the Fist is walled and isolated away from the remainder of Pendleton.
Two roads lead south-east to the rest of the Duchy, one each on the north and south banks of the Zumker. From the north road, one finds the Corvina Ranch, a large ranch that has its own walls and is populated by the Corvina family and their 120 retainers. Here, they raise porcuswines and sell the meat and quills. The north road also leads to the three mines: Barak’s, Donal’s and Tyrel’s, all of which are not-so-friendly competitors with each other. The north bank is home to the Frozen Forest, which is governed by the Druidic Circle of the Moon. Recently, the druids have expressed some concern over how expansive Pendleton has become, although Mal has shrugged off their dismay with the statement that the town must grow. If nothing changes, soon, the druids anger at the hunting and logging could spark a guerilla war between the two powers.
South of Pendleton lies the Glitterstream, so named because of the gold dust that fills the waters, and the reason that originally brought settlers here. Prospectors still pan the waters and retrieve gold each year, but the larger output of the mines on the north bank has steadily reduced those willing to brave the freezing water for profit. On the far shore are the Cold Marshes, a large area of wetlands that are the home of thousands of waterfowl and other creatures, including several trolls. Deep within the Cold Marshes are the ruins of an ancient Elven town, but the common people of Pendleton insist that these ruins are home to the Undead.
Offshore, in Lake Abanfyl itself, there are several large and small islands. The most noteworthy of these is Sorcerer’s Isle, which is home to a Chapterhouse of the Monastic Order of the Ebon Rose. Another mystery lies in the mysterious tower on one of the smaller islands; this structure, known simply as The Spire, has no visible entrance and is made from a polished stone that none have been able to so much as chip. It climbs more than a hundred feet into the air, and is etched with eldritch runes that few today can read. Visitors to the Spire report feelings of unease and dread from the moment they set foot on the island—sometimes raising to the point of panic.
Mad Mal maintains a permanent city Watch of some five hundred persons. These guards are all equipped with chain mail, shields, and helms, and armed with a variety of weapons, including longswords, longspears, maces, daggers, and composite longbows. Both the Citadel and the Fist boast of several trebuchets and ballista as well. In addition to the Watch, there are another five hundred members of the Militia, who have pledged to take up arms to defend Pendleton in the event that the city is ever attacked. The Watch has its headquarters in the Commons, with the City Prison beneath it.
Last edited by masterarminas on Wed Nov 02, 2011 4:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
Pendleton has seven temples within the city and its outlying areas. The largest is a Temple of Pelor located in the Upper Quarter. Formerly a Temple of Pholtus, the Pholtans were expelled from the city fifty-four years ago when they attempted to ‘clean up’ the inhabitants morals by enforcing their own laws instead of laws of Pendleton. Mal ordered that the Pholtan priests and clergy be tarred-and-feathered, and then run out the city when they stormed a brothel and charged the girls there with violations of the Lightbringer’s Creed. Presided over by Bishop Stannis Fel (11th level cleric), the Pelorans have learned well the lesson taught to the priests of Pholtus and make no attempt to change the nature of the city, other than by example.
There are three smaller temples in the Commons: one each of Blerred (the Iron Mule; Father Gavin Orne, 9th level cleric), Olidammara (the Laughing Rogue; Monsignor Adrian Belk, 10th level halfling cleric), and St. Cuthbert (of the Cudgel, Inquisitor Lars West, 9th level cleric). Plus, there are three more temples in the Farms district, one for Beory (the Oerth-Mother, 10th level cleric), and Kord (the Brawler; 12th level cleric). Kord’s ‘temple’ is not a true temple, but a coliseum that his clergy erected for the people of Pendleton, paid by for Mal. The final temple in the Farms district is the Necropolis of Wee Jas (the Ruby Socereress, the Witch Queen), which includes all of the graveyards of Pendleton and is surrounded by a wall. Natasha Shadowbane, a 14th level cleric is the Prelate here, and the single most powerful cleric within Pendleton.
Several darker gods (including Hextor, Nerull, and Syrul, as well as various Abyssal and Infernal powers, have secret cults in the city, but these faiths are never publically admitted to or spoken of. Further, the Fist has a small shrine to Moradin and other Dwarven deities, and the halfling inhabitants also have numerous shrines to Yondalla.
In the High Quarter, is a magic academy dedicated to Boccob (the Uncaring). Run by the wizard Karalis (11th level elf wizard), the academy trains aspiring wizards in the ways of magic. Funded partially by Mal, the Academy also houses the city library and that section is open to the public. In exchange for establishing his Academy in Pendleton, Karalis has pledged to contribute the cities defense.
The Rogue’s Guild
Pendleton has a very expansive rogue’s and assassin’s guild. However, unlike most such, this one is run by a very unusual creature: Miakaevoy the beholder, also known as Mikey. The victim of a helm of opposite alignment early in his life, Mikey is chaotic good (although lately he has been tending more and more towards neutral) and quite sane. He runs the pub ‘Eye of the Beholder’ in the North Docks where he serves as the bartender, bouncer, and owner. However, he is also the Guildmaster of the Pendleton Rogue’s Guild. Mikey keeps a very close eye on the activities of his rogues, and while not adverse to a little theft and a nicely run con, he doesn’t allow any actions that would place the city itself in jeopardy. In addition, he maintains a list of individuals that the Guild is not allowed to target—including Malachi Pendleton and the senior members of the clergy. Others on the list are those who have helped the beholder in the past, or simply have been nice to him. He gets very upset when rogues in his guild break his rules. He also prohibits some of the more heinous criminal activities, including rape and kidnappings. Any rogue operating in Pendleton has to join Mikey’s Guild and abide by his rules—the penalty for not doing so is death.
Every week, the temple of Kord hosts a series of bouts and physical competitions at their temple. For the cost of two coppers, anyone can be admitted into the coliseum to watch the fights and partake of good food and drink. Bouts range from bare-knuckles boxing to fully armored fighters with sword and mace to noble jousts, and can change from week-to-week.
The Ebon Rose
Kurt Avon (13th level half-elf monk) is the Master of the Sorcerer’s Isle Chapterhouse of the Monastic Order of the Ebon Rose. Currently some seventy persons reside on the Isle, thirty monks and forty noviates. Having a wonderful voice, and a thirst for good ale, Avon can often be found in the Eye of the Beholder, leading the patrons in a rousing ballad as he drains mug after mug of ale. Observers have noted, however, that regardless of how much he drinks, he always appears to be quite sober.
Last edited by masterarminas on Wed Nov 02, 2011 4:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
Dereck Blackhammer, an 18th level dwarf soulknife, is the Lord Marshall of Pendlton. Despite oftentimes disagreeing with the 'loose' manner in which Malachi Pendle runs the city (and vehemently objecting to the presence of Mikey!), he is quite good in his job at preserving the peace. Serving as the head of the Watch and Militia, the Lord Marshall oversees both organizations, as well as the City Prison. He is also responsible for the City Rangers that patrol the outlying farms and forest, as well as supporting the small hamlets along the shores of Lake Abanfyl. The Lord Marshall is one of the few who are aware that Malachi is a dragon, and he has agreed to keep the secret because it could be a vital ace-in-the-hole in the defense of the city.
The Laughing Rogue
Mile's D'Avout, a 17th level halfling swashbuckler is one of the prominent characters of Pendleton. Chaotic good in alignment, he has 'retired' to Pendleton, where he regals pretty young listeners at various pubs with tales of his exploits across the Flaness and beyond. In his free time, Miles serves as the enforcer for Mikey's Guild, and makes certain that there are no 'foreign' rogues or assassins in the city. Although deadly with a blade (and his wit), Miles would prefer to settle matters without drawing blood--and he can usually intimidate or convince rogues and assassins not aligned with the Guild to join. But he has no compunctions about resorting to his rapier if the unaligned rogue does not agree.
The Weekend Fair
Every other Starday, the Necropolis invites anyone who wishes to attend to a 'dinner on the grounds', where the visitors can visit the graves of their loved ones and enjoy a hearty meal prepared by the temple staff and offered free of charge. Picnic baskets and blankets are given to the visitors, who then have dinner near the grave of their loved ones. While the other temples in the city have complained about how this practice is buying the faith of many commoners, the poorer members of the city are grateful for the free meal, without even having to sit through a sermon. Merchants pay the Necropolis a commission to set up a booth on the grounds for the day, selling trinkets and additional food and drink. This program of outreach has resulted in the temple of Wee Jas being the most attended religion in the city, even if their temple is not the largest.
True, but while he regularly engages in chaotic activites with the rogue's guild, he runs it according to his rules. Perhaps making him neutral would show him slowly 'slipping' back to his species alignment of Lawful Evil? One reason I have him so protective of the city is that this is one of the few places that have accepted him. I mean, in most cities, a beholder would be attacked on sight, right? But here, despite his extra-curricular activities, he is a valued part of the community, so he doesn't allow anything that would jeopardize himself and the relationships he has established: not because of law or chaos or good or evil, but because it would be bad for him personally. I just don't know.
Joined: Jul 26, 2010 Posts: 2426 Location: LG Dyvers
Posted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 7:59 pm Post subject:
Well, I admit, it makes for a boon to the city and its people to have the power of a beholder on their side. Plus, having such a Thieve's Guild leader that is powerful enough to protect the citizenry for over-predation by the guild is another boon. However, it seems a time-bomb waiting to happen. What if Mikey is somehow divested of the Helm of Alignment Change, or whatever it is that has magically changed his alignment? If (when) that happens, the city is going to suffer terribly.
I guess it would make for a great story arc for a group of PCs.
The helm is an instantaneous magic item--once its effects have occured, they are done. And with the snap of a pair of fingers, Mikey went from being insane (all beholders are considered insane, according to lords of madness) and LE to sane and CG. But it doesn't prevent future alignment changes from happening. And slowly Mikey has been 'slipping' back towards his species alignment. It might take a century for him to fall all the way back, but eventually he will.
Joined: Jul 10, 2003 Posts: 1232 Location: New Jersey
Posted: Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:36 pm Post subject:
I must say you have been busy. This is yet another possible article submission. You even have a map and the basis for the city. I always like to see alternate oerths.
You have done this for a while. If you haven't already I would invite you to post in our welcome to greyhawk forum. If your further inclined to get in on some Grey Hawk goodness please join the Thursday night chats you will see the link to your left.
Lastly I would like to welcome you to the boards and share what you like with the community.
...Built on the shore of Lake Abanfyl where the Zumker River has its headwaters, the city of Pendleton is part of the Duchy of Tenh...
-I was never wild about listing everyone as "Suel-" or "Flan-" or whatever based in most places, since by the year CY 575, most of the the people themselves wouldn't have much of a clue, and would be mixed anyway. But, in this case, Tehn is heavily Flan, and the Rovers to the NW are overwhemingly Flan. The northeastern BKs (Artonsamay, Rookroost, Grosskopf) are a mish-mash, probably a mix of Flan and Oerid. The tribes in the mountains are probably Flan. So, I'd boost the Flan to number one, "Mixed Flan-Oerid" to number two, Oerid to three, and other humans (including Suel, mixed or otherwise) to four. Either that, or you need an explanation for the odd racial make-up (deliberate recruiting? planned immigration?). If Mal/Scorpius' connection to Hepmonaland is real, did he bring a few with him?
I'd also say that the demi-human count seems a tad high.
...Mad Mal maintains a permanent city Watch of some five hundred persons. These guards are all equipped with chain mail, shields, and helms, and armed with a variety of weapons, including longswords, longspears, maces, daggers, and composite longbows. Both the Citadel and the Fist boast of several trebuchets and ballista as well. In addition to the Watch, there are another five hundred members of the Militia, who have pledged to take up arms to defend Pendleton in the event that the city is ever attacked. The Watch has its headquarters in the Commons, with the City Prison beneath it.
-An active duty force of 500 men is pretty heavy for an adult population of 8,200, unless the (still intact) Duchy provides some of the troops. Even 200 is a bit heavy. The 500 man (voluntary) Militia is reasonable. Perhaps some of the Militia do turns on active duty to supplement the strength to bring active duty strength up to 500 at any one time?
...The Rogue’s Guild
Pendleton has a very expansive rogue’s and assassin’s guild. However, unlike most such, this one is run by a very unusual creature: Miakaevoy the beholder, also known as Mikey. The victim of a helm of opposite alignment early in his life, Mikey is chaotic good (although lately he has been tending more and more towards neutral) and quite sane...
- I love doing character background! I was going to ask "Any chance that ole' Mikey is accidentally going to be "cured" one of this days?" but:
... it seems a time-bomb waiting to happen. What if Mikey is somehow divested of the Helm of Alignment Change, or whatever it is that has magically changed his alignment? If (when) that happens, the city is going to suffer terribly. I guess it would make for a great story arc for a group of PCs...SirXaris
..to which you (Master A) posted:
The helm is an instantaneous magic item--once its effects have occured, they are done. And with the snap of a pair of fingers, Mikey went from being insane (all beholders are considered insane, according to lords of madness) and LE to sane and CG. But it doesn't prevent future alignment changes from happening. And slowly Mikey has been 'slipping' back towards his species alignment. It might take a century for him to fall all the way back, but eventually he will.A ticking time bomb, indeed...
...Perhaps making him neutral would show him slowly 'slipping' back to his species alignment of Lawful Evil? One reason I have him so protective of the city is that this is one of the few places that have accepted him. I mean, in most cities, a beholder would be attacked on sight, right? But here, despite his extra-curricular activities, he is a valued part of the community, so he doesn't allow anything that would jeopardize himself and the relationships he has established: not because of law or chaos or good or evil, but because it would be bad for him personally...
-Evil doesn't mean stupid. Even if Mikey returned (?) to LE, he's not just going to start disintergrating random bar patrons. A beholder is smart enough to see that he has a pretty good deal going in Pendelton. However, it's possible that for a better deal, he might be willing to betray it...
I would think that Mad Mal and the Dwarven Marshal would be doing alignment checks on him, just in case.
BTW, you write that it happened "early in his life"- did Mikey ever actually function as LE? By this time, CG might simply be a habit for him- the only way he's ever really known.
BTW, how do you fit a helmet on a beholder (besides "very carefully"?)
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