Anyone who had grown up in the great port city of Vhalen, would not at all unaccustomed to the hustle and bustle of these urban trade societies. This metropolis, however, had a culture all its own. Vhalen had always been a nation of laws. Trade was regulated, taxed, and distributed in accordance with strict governing doctrine. Chelderyn, on the other hand, couldn't be more the opposite. It was a country of free trade and free enterprise. This has led to an extremely successful economy. Although, it did also have its downsides. Tremendous wealth also bred severe poverty. It was not uncommon to witness upstanding businessmen negotiating a deal just beside a family begging for coin. Some believe Chelderyn to be a magical place of opportunity while others feel as if they live in a black abyss they cannot escape.
The great port city of ChelderynEdit
Many from all over Dvulvash flock to Chelderyn seeking employment and a new life. Some are aspiring to greater riches or glory while others are modestly hoping for a fresh start. Chelderyn is a melting pot of all kinds of races from around the globe. Some believe the Jewel of the Subtle Coast is a metaphor for this very reason. The open gates and freedoms provided to its inhabitants offer a quicker, however, competitive playing field for one to make it on his or her own. A much more appealing alternative to the strict immigration laws and taxations imposed by the city, Vhalen. The extremely wealthy see Chelderyn as an opportunity to secure and generate more wealth. The middle class and poor view the city as guaranteed source of income for those who seek it, or, just the lesser of the two evils.
Chelderyn is widely known as the Jewel of the Subtle Coast for a variety of reasons. Most apparent would be the coral spires jutting up over the city like gigantic stalagmites glistening under the bright sunlight. These coral spires serve as living quarters as well as commercial real estate for the many citizens of the city. Their vibrant colors play off well against the neutral white limestone structures that make up most of Chelderyn. These beautiful towers provide alluring color and life to this great nation of the seas.
To the north is the Coral Spire, a massive tower of coral constructed by sea dwellers rising high over the ocean waves. Some of the coral crafters have been enticed to settle in Chelderyn. As a result, many buildings in Chelderyn are constructed at least partially of coral. Nowhere is this more evident than the coral district. Homes, businesses, even streets built out over the water, entirely of coral.
Coral is not the only exotic (at least to land dwellers) material worked on by undersea craftsman. Shells and chitin from a variety of mollusks and crustaceans can be used to construct armor and weapons. The fact that they aren't made from metal makes the popular among druids and those who have taken similar oaths against wearing metal, as well as sailors since they don't rust. Shell armors are relatively cheaper than a metal equivalent, though they are more fragile and prone to shattering. Also, many complain that they smell fishy.
The Court of ThirteenEdit
Chelderyn is ruled by money and the streams of wares that make it. And of course there are rules. And these rules are being made, watched and bent by the Court of the Thirteen. It consists of representatives of the thirteen major guilds of the city. There are always quarrels between these thirteen and their chapters and charters. And more often than not a merchant finds himself in the line of these conflicts - not getting the market stand he wants being the least problem he could wish for.
Acquisitions and Logistics: Considered by some as a bunch of petty thieves. But the truth is, that they are not only thieves and robbers but also the everyday people dealing with the many transportation the city so desperately needs. Be it ships, wagons, horses - the members of this guild will help you out, for a fee of course.
Chroma Conclave: This guild of dragon fanatics consist of Dragonborn, a few Kobolds, and even Humans. However, instead of following the metallic dragons in protecting, serving, and helping, they instead follow the example of the Chromatic Dragons. Following the ideals of the Black, they keep a very close eye on the other guilds so as to maintain their control. Following the example of the Blue, they hire brutes to imprison and beat any who speak "wrongfully" of the Conclave or of any member. Taking hints from the Green, they lie to those beneath them and bribe their equals to keep their power. Following the Red, they place high taxes on any and all "exotic" and "local" items that goes through their doors, which unfortunately, is everything outside of the docks. Following the White, the Conclave keeps to itself except for Council meetings, and even then, it is rare for the Conclave to speak up. Even less so to speak up for the people.
Military and Security: Guild in charge of local security and defense of Chelderyn and its territories. Although they do not often involve themselves in the political or business discussions, when they do speak their opinions carry tremendous weight. It is for this reason they are believed to be the most powerful guild. Fortunately, this power is rarely abused.
Architecture and Maintenance:
The people of ChelderynEdit
Ground water in Chelderyn is too salty for normal people to consume. No natural river or stream feeds into the city either. So, the urban center must draw its water from three grand aqueducts that draw water from the far away Ogre's Back mountain range. Construction on a fourth is underway right now, to continue to hydrate the growing metropolis. Occasionally, adventurers are hired to go to the Ogre's Back reservoirs for "clean up duty". The Engineering Guild is seeking mercenaries for hire to help quell an ogre clan assaulting an aqueduct repair site deep in their territory.
"Good. It's settled then. Two members from the Legal Department of Acquisitions and Logistics. Two members from the Naval Division of Military and Security. They will depart in three days time for Coppershine to renegotiate our contract for the remaining two vessels in-construction for this flight. All in favor? Opposed? And abstained? Identify the members and secure funding for the mission. Meeting adjourned." -Varinoff Saltbeard, Naval Division Coordinator for the Military and Security Guild during a Thirteen Court meeting You have been identified as one of the four representatives assigned to this mission. Are you up for the task?
"Some would ask why we would ply our craft for land dwellers. The reason is simple: you are as exotic to us as we are to you. You may have noticed, but where you have feet, I have fins. I cannot travel over land just as you cannot travel under sea. But there are so many things on land that cannot be found under water. And we of course want them. And you may be thinking 'but these things you want, they are so mundane to us, they can't possibly be worth these exotic treasures? Let me tell you a secret, that's what we think too."
-A Merfolk Coral Crafter on bartering
Seek out the Merfolk of the Architecture and Maintenance guild for some trade opportunity. There is almost always a guarantee of profit when working with this faction.
The inhabitants of one of these coral homes has been known for being troublesome at best. It is not so much a tangible detail that makes it the unlucky coral spire. But during the last few years surprisingly many crimes and mishaps were recorded in this area. Maybe it's just coincidence, but some tongues do mumble about an upstarting guild of sorts, or fear another organized evil might be behind this troubles spire 13. The city guard did form a special unit just for this spire and is known to fill the ranks with adventurers to investigate further. The local guard is seeking skilled mercenaries to investigate a riot that had recently broken out in Spire 13.