Rainy Night in Ptolus
PTOLUS AT A GLANCE
Population: Approximately 75,000 people live in Ptolus. Most are human, with elves, dwarves,and halflings making up the majority of the remaining populace (in that order).
Government: The Commissar, Igor Urnst, is an appointed Imperial governor whose military position makes him the highest authority in the city. He chairs the City Council, made up of various nobles, guildmasters, and persons of importance. Ptolus is a part of the Tarsisan Empire, which has existed for over seven hundred years.
Law Enforcement and Safety: The City Watch keeps the peace in Ptolus, with Watchhouses placed throughout the city (marked with a Won the city maps) as well as warning bells on poles to sound an alarm and all guards to the location. The Fire Brigade stationed in Firehouses (marked with a fon the city maps) watches for fires and helps keep them from spreading once they start.
Independent of the government but still an officially sanctioned law enforcement body, the Sisterhood of Silence patrols the city, apprehending criminals and dealing out justice. Their help in keeping order in Ptolus is without measure, but not without recognition.
Economy: Ptolus is a trade city located on the Emperor’s Road as it runs south toward Tarsis and on the edge of a bay in the Whitewind Sea, which navigators use to conduct trade all along the northern edges of the Empire. Farmers and herders from both north and south of the city bring in wheat, cattle, sheep, goats, and more. With the gradual decline of the reliance on technology and innovation, the city is not as industrial as it once was, though it still produces goods of leather, wood, and iron in great quantities.
Geography: Ptolus is defined by a series of sharp inclines: cliffs marking the edges of many districts, and the King’s River Gorge cutting through the middle of the city. The Spire marks the western edge of Ptolus; the city slopes down toward the sea from there. The Nobles’ Quarter— the highest part of town—rests on a shelf on the base of the Spire. The Jeweled Cliffs separate it from Oldtown, which itself remains a bit apart from the rest of the city atop Dalen’s Cliffs.
The King’s River cuts through the center of town within a deep gorge that runs to the Cliffs of Lost Wishes, overlooking the sea. The Docks district lies at the bottom of those cliffs, right at the edge of the water.
Religion: The primary religion of Ptolus, as of the rest of the Empire, is Lothianism. In fact, the Prince of the Church, heir apparent to the Holy Imperial Throne, lives in Ptolus. That said, folks also practice hundreds of other, smaller religions in Ptolus, and the Temple District is infamous for its many varied temples.
Organizations: One can find many important organizations in Ptolus, including the world renowned Inverted Pyramid, a guild of sorts for arcanists with a long and interesting history. Knightly orders such as the Keepers of the Veil, the Knights of the Pale, and the Knights of the Chord are influential in Ptolus, as are the city’s many guilds, and quasi-religious orders like the Brotherhood of Redemption and the oracular Fate Weavers. Less savory organizations, such as the demonic Fallen and the death-loving Forsaken, also wield considerable power.
Noble Houses: There are ten noble families in Ptolus, their lineage extending back to ancient Palastan, long before the Empire. Although no longer the official rulers of the area, the noble houses even today are accorded the respect due to families of such influence—not to mention wealth.
Criminals: Unfortunately, Ptolus teems with criminals. Two are of special note, however. The first is Menon Balacazar, of the old and entrenched Balacazar family, which has long run a powerful and influential criminal empire based in Ptolus. Second is the family’s chief rival, a newcomer and outsider named Kevris Killraven. She has swooped in and usurped a great deal of “business” in the city in a very short time, carving out her own empire.