The City of Doerstadt

Map

The sun sets slowly over the ocean, glinting brightly off the gothic, sharply-pointed towers of the Citadel of the Magos; the first few glints of gas lamps appear, brightly piercing the twilight sky. The city of Doerstadt is still bustling with activity, though, and will be long into the night. The chatter of voices and the clipping of horses' hooves against the cobblestone streets echo off the buildings and into the night sky.

Population: 204,153 (39% human, 58% gnomish, 3% other)
Land Area: 10.4 mi2
Population Density: 19,627/mi2

History: Doerstadt was one of the first cities founded by humans after their mysterious arrival on Thrynn. Constructed in 1138 F.A. (First Age), Doerstadt is set overlooking the mouth of the Banrod River; the original city was built practically on the water's edge, due to the large abundance of rock near the water's edge and laziness on the part of the builders. Unfortunately, what the original city-builders didn't realize was that the old city was built directly in the center of a fairly large floodplain. Several times every year, the area experiences abnormally large tides, which sweep over the flat, rocky old city, covering everything in 2 feet or so of water for about a week. However, rather than doing the logical thing (moving the city), the people decided to build several large breakwaters to keep the tidewaters out during these periods, called great tides. These breakwaters worked fine for about 5 years, until an especially large amount of precipitation caused the Banrod to flood, covering the entire city in several feet of water for the better part of two months.

It was about this time that people decided to move their city to the top of the cliffs half a mile away.

The gnomes, always looking for new business enterprises, and ever curious about this new race of bipedal morons, had already set up a small town on the islet to the north, so in 1139 F.A., the humans picked up their city and moved to the southern mainland. The gnomes (always willing to exploit the stupidity of others) offered their services in the construction of the new city.

Thus the reason for the exquisitely realistic false doors and twisty dead-end passages in the older parts of the city.

However, all things considered, Doerstadt quickly grew into a large center of population for many humans. It is home to the oldest human-built university in Thrynn, and some of the finest artisans in the world have set up shop in Doerstadt. Though the city itself is not an important trade city (there are too many dangerous reefs and rocky outcroppings for it to be safe for ships), somehow being the first city attracts a good number of people in and of itself.

About fifty years after its construction, a massive earthquake tore through the countryside, destroying the last of the dams and the old city for good.

At the beginning of the Second Age, it was chosen as the capital of Bhan and the seat of the Magos. At this point, the gnomes and humans agreed to live under the same system of government, and the gnomish town was annexed into Doerstadt, in exchange for the allowing first Magos of Bhan to be a gnome (well, there was some other stuff there, too, but really, the gnomes took control of the Magos Seat without giving much back). Indeed, most of the Magosi of Bhan have been gnomes. The city has lost some of its population since the dawn of the Second Age, as the great flying city of Ashkelath attracted many of the wealthier members of society. However, Doerstadt is still a grand, respectable city, for everything it's been through.

Places of Interest:
1. Citadel of the Magos: This towering, imposing structure occupies the highest point in the city of Doerstadt. Set on a rock outcropping in the middle of the Banrod, the Citadel is more than a quarter mile above sea level, with large cliffs plunging into the river. The architects apparently had a flair for the dramatic; several large stain-glass windows face the south, and the building is covered in thin, sharp spires and stone gargoyles in various degrees of facial expression. The entire building looks like a cross between a medieval castle and a large gothic cathedral, albeit remarkably cleaner — the local pigeon population has learned to stay well away from the Citadel after having lost many of their brethren to the magical electric charge running through the majority of the upper walls and structures (this is an effective defense against thieves and would-be assassins, as well!) Across the river to the north is the main administrative district of Doerstadt. The local courthouse, jail, city center, bank, and other “official” buildings can be found here.

2. Old City: The remnants of the first structures built in Doerstadt; this area is covered in water almost year-round, and most of the buildings are very structurally unstable, due to the frequent earthquakes in the area. The old city is now completely uninhabited, though it is rumored that some of the most unsavory members of Doerstadt's society have safehouses here. Several investigations by the local police into this matter have turned up nothing, however.

3. Temple of Ild'ess: The Temple of Ild'ess is one of the most noticeable buildings in the entire city. It is constructed entirely out of smooth white marble and granite, as opposed to the rough grey-black stone that is used throughout the rest of the city. It is home to many ascetics who have devoted their lives to the godess Ild'ess; services occur regularly several times a day throughout the week. The priests impose a hefty tithe on anyone wishing to worship in the temple; thus, primarily the upper-class choose to worship there. A single square, tall bell-tower rings out the time on every hour throughout the day.

4. Temple of Lystra: The Temple of Lystra is on the lower part of Doerstadt, and as such takes advantage of the abundance of water in the area. The main temple is no more than a grassy grove surrounded by tall willow trees. A few smaller buildings lie on the outskirts of the temple, but for the most part the temple resembles a park much more than a place of worship. It is open to the public at any time; a few elves serve as priests, but the Temple has few services. Most worshippers choose to meditate by themselves in the midst of nature.

5. Doerstadt University: The Doerstadt University is the oldest human university on Thrynn. Originally founded as a monastery, many of the oldest buildings are very sparse, with hard, uncomfortable wooden pews and large wooden lecture halls. Many of the newer buildings follow the more typical stone architecture of Doerstadt. The University is still regarded as one of the best in Thrynn; many of Thrynn's most learned philosophers, lawyers, magicians, and healers teach within its halls. It is home to roughly 5,000 students from all across the continent.

6. Library: The Doerstadt library is more well-known for its bizarre architecture than its repository of books (while respectable, the Great Library of Silasuir a few days' journey to the north far outshines Doerstadt's library). The library is 7 stories high, and has a very amorphous, fluid structure. A large staircase encircles the outside of the building, providing the only access to the various levels. Each floor of the library is color-coded: the first floor is red, the second floor is orange, the third floor is yellow, the fourth floor is green, the fifth floor is blue, the sixth floor is azure, and the seventh floor is violet. Each floor has very uniform lighting, making it exceedingly difficult to tell where the floor ends and the shelves and walls begin. To complete the confusion, none of the floors have any sort of sensible layout; it is not uncommon for patrons of the library to curse vigorously after running into a wall/shelf/random useless obstacle on the floor for the umpteenth time. Rumor has it that the entire library was an enormous prank by the gnomes, but this has never been independently verified.

7. Arena: The arena is one of the main sources of entertainment for the citizens of Doerstadt (see also the Senexene Theatre, below). It used to be used for mainly gladitorial contests, until these were banned in 145 S.A. by the government. The only trace of its original purpose now are the occasional fights between rare and exotic animals that are captured by groups of hunters (one of the most popular “fighting” animals is the Moortail, native to the grasslands of Sayyida, which kills reversing gravity underneath its opponents and dropping them from 50 or 100 feet in the air). Now the arena mainly houses various sporting competitions; the most popular being Garou, which is a complicated game involving teams of spell-casters trying to propel small reptiles through a series of hoops spread around the outside of the court.

8. Senexene Theatre: The other major source of entertainment in Doerstadt, the Senexene Theatre appeals to the slightly more upper-class members of the city. Musical performances, plays, magic acts, dances, and other forms of mass public entertainment occur here. The theatre offers children's plays and concerts during the daytime, and more formal events during the night — every night. Something for everyone can be found here, for a fairly hefty price.

9. Military Barracks: Here's where a good portion of Bhan's army comes to train. There's a nice contingent of well-trained fighters that stay here year-round, and they host all kinds of military exercises and training grounds and so forth. The local guards of Doerstadt also train here. Finally, the Temple of Bhan can be found on the barracks grounds, as well.

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