Notes of Lowport
Lowport is a large city on the east coast of the great continent. It is more correctly classed as a metropolis, boasting a regular population of 50,000 people. The true count of people in the city can be as high as 70,000 depending on trade seasonal influx. Low port used to be part of a trio of city states, being the southern most city of the three. Ten days of travel on the coast road to the north is Shabbad, the coastal port of the dragon king Kazzurog. Ten more days on the road to the north brings one to Rendgard, little more than a surface trade city serving the needs of an Underdark collection of races in the ample caverns below this small walled city. Of the three cities, Lowport is by far the biggest, wealthiest, and most secure. An impressive navy is complemented by an effective guard and army corps in the defense of Lowport's interests.
Lowport is mostly humans and dwarves, but there are several races that call it home. Of course, as with any major port, nearly any type of creature could be here.
10% 1/2 orcs
5% 1/2 elves
2% 1/2 dragon humans
1% 1/2 dragon ogres
Above all else, Lowport is a trade hub. It has a large number of exports, as follows. Lumber, ore, refined metals, jungle produce, salted fish, gems, fine crafts and finished goods are all major components of Lowport's wealth and trade. The city's docks rival any for the finest docks in the world. Expansive and well guarded by the navy, as many as fifty ships can be at dock. Separate from the ocean docks are the river docks set in the city within the Low River, which bisects the city as it empties into the ocean. This river drains a massive lake far inland and further south, a lake that has come to be known as Elf Lake. This lake is home to two other cities, a city of elves called Elfhome, and a city of ferrations called Haven. Being down river, Lowport serves as the trade hub for those communities, and any others along the Low River.
With such diversity comes many points of view, but generally the city has an alignment of lawful nuetral, with 14 major public temples. Ra, the Sun God is the most popular church, worshipped by humans, dwarves, and half-elves in three different temples. Most dwarves, especially those of wealthy or minor noble status worship Moraddin in a grand temple located close to a volcano dwarf embassy. Kord is paid homage to by humans, dwarves, half-dragons and half-orcs in two different temples. Fharlanghn is just as popular as Kord, worshipped in two different temples by sailors, dwarves, gnomes, halflings, half-elves and humans. Boccob and Hecate each have a temple that serve the wizards and sages of the Coast, regardless of their ethos. Set has one temple that serves the needs of rites of death, and the evil plotters of Lowport. Erythnul and Gruumsh each have a temple, each being worshipped by violent humans and half-orcs. Nearly all half-orcs that live in Lowport still worship their all but forgotten god Pelor, a sun god, in a fairly large and richly appointed temple.
As mentioned, the city is cut in half by a river, and the two halves are set apart by a number of differences. The northern half is older, and the original site of the city. Most natives call this area "Old Port". This area is riddled with sinkholes that open up to the sea caverns below the soft limestone surface. The southern half, known as "New Port", is built upon much harder stone, and was carefully planned and constructed by the humans and dwarves that settled this city nearly 1000 years ago. It sits upon a marvel of dwarven engineering, an expansive sewer system that continues to serve as well now as it ever has. Although Old Port has a large number of fishing docks and a few trade docks, the navy and large trade ship docks are in New Port. Old Port has a large number of business districts, a few middle class neighborhoods, and a lot of lower class and slums, especially around the dangerous areas around sinkholes. New Port is home to most of the temples, government buildings, military housing, upper class and middle class neighborhoods. New Port has been built up and expanded much more over the centuries than Old Port. It has a couple of inner walls that shows its growth, and is surrounded by a sturdy outer wall. Old Port is also surrounded by a great outer wall, but it has not expanded nearly as much, so there are some buildings and commerce outside of that wall. Both sides of the river are covered with river dock and hippopotamus holding pens.
As a city state built upon trade, it's highest government authority is The High Trade Council. Nine councillors sit on this board, and serve ten year terms once voted in by the sitting councillors. It costs ten thousand gold pieces to enter an election, and councillors are the only ones to vote. Most councillors are wealthy merchants or senior guild leaders. To accompany the rule of the council, the Minister of Lowport is the highest office in Lowport government. It also has a term of ten years, and only navy, army, or guard officers may serve. They are voted on by navy, army, and guard members, and then by the councillors. The candidate presented need only win four votes from the council to be confirmed; that is to say it takes six negatives to deny a candidate. The minister runs the defense and navy of Lowport, and he also has the authority to call for a vote of no confidence on any councillor at any time. When this happens, that councillor must go before the council and win a simple majority of five votes to keep his seat. No one may serve more than one term as Minister.
There are a few threats for the city to defend against. Kazzurog marks his border by the Coast Road and Five Tower Road. Although not in his kingdom, the port city of Shabbad is his for all intents and purposes. The ultimate antagonist, his subjects and minions are too dangerous to not guard against, though they rarely make trouble or go against law or even their own word. Inside the Dragon King's lands, it is rule through force and and will, ever watchful for friends and enemies alike to usurp what is yours.
Piracy has been a particular scourge the past 300 years or so. They literally come from all over to poach the shipping lanes to and from the port city.
Horcton is a ruined city upriver. It used to be the home of a culture of noble half-orcs that strangely and suddenly suffered drastic decline 500 - 300 years ago. It is often whispered by some that the city lost some divine protector, and that loss poisoned the bloodlines of these good peoples and caused them to revert to the more violent ways of their orcish heritage.
Not to be discounted is the ferocity of the weather and the landscape of the continent. After all, it's a jungle out there.