Monday, September 13, 2010

Neighborhoods: Staircase District, Flotsam Harbor

A sprawling, packed-earth courtyard enclosed within Staircase Keep’s walls, Flotsam Harbour takes its name from Upsider disdain for the crowds of Driftdowners who fill it each day. Travellers moving into or out of Flotsam Harbor must pass through one of the three gates around its perimeter. By day, the guards at each gate allow anyone presenting a watermark to pass freely, methodically searching and questioning all others. At night, the gates are sealed and only those bearing watermarks may pass. Most evenings, groups of guardsmen hold training maneuvers in the harbor and once a month they join with the Spellwatch to practice tactics against supernatural opponents. On rare occasions, mages from the Black Crown join the fun, the impromptu mage duels that follow attracting onlookers from across upside, as well as the Downers attending the stores. A number of permanent shops set up within Flotsam Harbor sell foodstuffs in bulk, bolts of cloth and other sundries to the rich households of the Upside.

Eddermark’s Emporium: This is the largest store in Flotsam Harbor, selling cloth, torches, rope, and other essentials at higher than average cost, they claim due to their quality and reliability.

The Red Grape: This store stocks a wide variety of wines, ranging in cost from a single silver a bottle to vintages costing 100 gold pieces or more. The proprietor, the matronly dwarf Klavidia, is a wine collector who pays handsome commissions for rare bottles. She operates a tent in the Carnival selling her most expensive and rare wines.

The Paper Door: Taking its name from it’s owner’s view that books are “paper doorways to the vault of knowledge”, this store sells sheaves of blank parchment, journals, inks, and sealing wax. Weasel-faced, arrogant, and given to pompous, long-winded speeches, the gnome owner Marius is nonetheless a respected scholar in the field of STormhaven nobility’s lineages.

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