The City of Wendar is the capital of the realm. Some 25,000 souls inhabit the city and its surroundings. The residents are comprised of equal numbers of elves and humans. It sits at the end of a caravan route that begins in Freiburg. The road to Kevar Pass is patrolled.
The city is a citadel. The trail leading up to the Scarlet Groves has been unfrequented by nonmilitary patrols since the war with Denagoth.
Housing and buildings typically huddle close to the three main roads that encompass each ward. Buildings are mostly high rise affairs of three to five stories interspersed with numerous towers that rise as high as six stories (the legal height maximum). Bridges occasionally span the road connecting towers to one another. Further away from the three main city arteries are numerous cobblestone and flagstone paths chaotically crisscrossing one another amidst nearly a hundred wells and fountains interspersed by ornamental tree groves and parks.
The city’s layout is that of a trikelios design encompassed by an outer ring curtain wall for protection. The city is divided into three wards: Merchant, Artisan, and Laborer. The three spirals of the trikelios are also the city’s main thoroughfares- the Golden Path (Merchant’s Ward), the Master’s Path (Artisan’s Ward), and Travail’s Path (Laborer’s Ward). Each street has a hubwards side and a rimward’s side. Typically undesirable, dangerous and otherwise lower class individuals/businesses will be pushed and end up rimwards while the more affluent and top drawer residents/premises will be hubwards.
The Merchant’s ward is made up of shops, warehouses, caravanseries aqnd higher priced inns/hostels (rimward) and includes the homes of the wealthy, the local patricians, ministers, affluent (and retired) adventurers, and higher end specialty stores & boutiques (hubwards).
In the Artisan’s ward one can find rimwards common artisans such as stonemasons, wheelwrights, blacksmiths, tanners, etc. As one travels hubwards the jewelers, goldsmiths, gemcutters, and specialists such as sellspells, sages, scribes, alchemists, etc. can be found.
Rimward’s, the Laborer’s ward is a mixture of entertainment establishments such as taverns, feast halls and courtesan tea houses interspersed with residential homes of foreigners and exotic races such as centaurs, catfolk, samsarans and kitsune. There is a small walled community of dwarves located here too. Hubwards is mostly residential with a number of pubs. The Thyatian “ambassador” residence along with the formal Darokin and Glantri embassies are located here.
At each hub where the main roads spin outward and inward is an open plaza with a trio of towers in it’s center which houses the local constabulary, magistrates, courts, records, tax collectors and other necessary wheels of government each of which is responsible for their own ward and overseen by a ward boss known as the Warden.
Wardens are elected by property owners native to their respective ward every three years and must be a citizen of that ward for a minimum of five years previous. A burgomeister who oversees the three wardens and all of the city’s day-to-day activities is elected once every nine years and must have been born in the city. While the city is nominally a freely incorporated community the burgomeister is expected to bow to the king’s wishes (something that rarely happens).
At the center of the city where all the roads meet is the Plaza of the Nine Saviors from which thrusts the Kings Spire, a multi-tiered tower rising 270 feet at it’s highest point. It houses the various ministries, the army headquarters, several vast semi-public libraries, and the Estate Assembly as well as being the personal palace of the Wizard King, Gylharen Elessar.
- Number Nine: The number nine is considered lucky by the capitol’s citizens. Any adventuring company with nine members is treated better than average. Once per session (at the DM’s discretion), one d20 roll that results in a “9” is treated as a “20”.
- Rat Catcher Folly: A rat in a tavern must be killed with a dagger, a dart, an axe, or by a cat – but never by poison, or else the floor will rot away within the month.
- Envious Sister’s Revenge: If a sister objects to a wedding, it is invalid.
- No Tavern Pregnancies: A pregnant woman must never drink alcohol – if she does, a vampire will wake her after she falls asleep and ask if it can take her child. In her disoriented condition she will agree.
- Tree Shadow: It is forbidden to plant a tree where a tree once was for a full year. (The shadows of missing trees persist in the capitol for months after the trees themselves are removed.)
- Demon Incubation Prohibition: If someone is murdered in the city, their skull must be split in half before they are buried or else a demon will incubate in its skull and rise from the grave, fully formed, after 10 days.
- Day of Wolves: On the longest night of the year the city gates are thrown open with live goats staked just inside. Wolves from the nearby forest, often starved, will enter the city and roam the streets on that night. Many citizens will leave small animals or hunks of meat outside their doors for the wolves to devour for luck. At dawn, the city’s watchmen will gather for hot cider, toast the wolves and then beating pans, yelling and prodding with blunted spears corral the wolves back out into the wild.
- Ophidobibliology: There is a specialized branch of natural science that has made the discovery that the skins of all snakes can be read like books. As they grow, the animals continually revise and expand themselves, shedding old knowledge for new. The most common and convenient method of reading a snake is to have it slither through an ivory serpent-reader, (a sphere with ornately carved orifices and channels).
- The Wyrm in the Well- Located in the Plaza of the King, at the bottom of a large well sits a massive magical serpent who is both wealthy and wise. For reasons lost to history, once in their life, a citizen can climb down the well and demand an answer to one question from the Wyrm. In exchange for this (always correct) answer, the supplicant must provide the Wyrm 900 gold pieces and, in turn, answer one question of the serpent’s. What the Wyrm does with the answers (or the gold for that matter), or why it- an apparently omniscient being- needs to ask is unknown.
*Black Blade Tavern- A spacious, sprawling affair, the tavern was originally founded by none other than the epic elven magus Elarianthus Black Blade. The tap has ales and meads from all over the world (and some other planar too). The walls have frecoes of maps of long pillaged dungeons, black monastaries and forgotten cities, Carven pillars of some of the greatest adventurers in recent history (often mentored by Black Blade himself) animate and can regale listeners with tales (and occasional advice). The tavern is defended by nine intelligent, dancing magical swords. It is the place to be seen and meet up with fellow adventurers.
- The Lucky Lady- A converted flying ship, it is a galley with two levels that hovers chained with adamant roughly 8-9 feet off the ground accessed by a gangplank. The Lucky Lady is the greatest gambling house in the realm. The favorite drink of the establishment is Lucky Draw, a randomly selected alcohol known only to the bartenders. If the drinker can guess what it is and where it’s from, they win the Royal Treatment: a free night in the luxury suites with all meals and drinks covered.
Guessing right isn’t easy, as the staff regularly imports the finest, most rare and exotic liquors for the Lucky Draw. Every night, the owner, Corwyn Taresdale, tacks up the first gold piece (with sovereign glue) won by the house, and now the Lucky Lady’s bar glitters with the coinage of many realms. Because of that, the Lucky Lady is a tempting target for would-be thieves, but all those who sneak into the Lady intending to rob the place, never re-emerge.
- Sharra’s Survivalist Sanctuary- Cold weather gear, desert survival equipment, potions, and magic items designed to help the wearer underwater, even gear to help adventurers survive the deadly heat of a live volcano: Sharra has it all—or can get it if she does not have it on hand. No one has ever been rebuffed in a request, though it may take Sharra time to procure more unique or obscure items.
Getting into Sharra’s sanctuary is not easy. Even a Hero of the Realm isn’t guaranteed easy entrance, though Sharra (thought to be a female hin) knows her clientele well enough to let them in eventually. As well-protected as the average dungeon vault, Sharra became a survivalist due to acute paranoia. Even her clients don’t know what she looks like. Instead, upon entering Sharra’s, they run a gauntlet of chamber after empty chamber, finally reaching a room that contains only the items they specifically requested in advance.
- The Immortal Menagerie- A sealed tower, the menagerie belonged to the wizard Arcadius and has been abandoned for some time. Inside are said to be unique (and inevitably dangerous) creatures such as the Flailaceratops and the Xortoise, that reside within cages that make such creatures immortal. The wards and defenses also make the place dangerous to enter and the creatures themselves are no picnic either.
- Eshrigel’s Manse- Eshrigel is a medusa that befriended the legendary Hero of the Realm, Elarianthus Black Blade, and she, with her twelve sisters, lent their might and fought in the War of Two Wizards on the side of Wendar. Her sisters have since moved on but the Eshrigel stayed and has a thriving business carving and painting beautiful wooden masks which she sells through an agent. By city law, she may defend herself with her petrifying abilities and keep the thief as a warning to others. Uninvited visitors are rumored to be part of her collection as well as the occasional foolish burglar.
- Dwarf Town- On the furthest edge just off of the rimward side of Travail Path is a walled compound known as Dwarf Town. The city’s small (less than fifty), dwarfish population lives inside where it is rumored they drink the blood of stolen infants, run around in animal skins and beat each other with scourges or gibber in corners.