The Shackled City
Welcome to Cauldron
Large Town autocracy (Lord Mayor elected 2 year term); AL NG
Population: 4,500 adults(3,500 human [1,500 colonials, 2,000 Mwangi], 400 halfling, 250 dwarf, 150 gnome, 100 elf, 50 half-elf, 50 other).
Purchase Limit 15,000 gp
Exports coffee, exotic woods, cut gemstones, obsidian, dyes, spices
Spell casting 5th level spells
Magic Items Availability Minor 4d4 items, Medium 3d4 items, Major 2d4 items
Corruption 1 to bluff checks against city officials & 1 on sense motive and sleight of hand checks)
Economy 4 on all craft, perform and profession checks to generate income)
Law 2 on diplomacy to gather information & +2 on knowledge when researching at a library)
Society +0 (no modifiers)
Qualities defensible, resettled ruins, prosperous, Danger +5
Lord Mayor Severen Navalant
Captain of the Guard Terseon Skellerang
The town’s buildings, tightly packed and built from volcanic rock and wood, line the inner bowl of a nameless, dormant volcano. The elevation keeps Cauldron’s temperatures below that of the surrounding jungle, giving Cauldron a roughly temperate climate. Cobblestone roads form concentric circles around a small lake of cold water, which fills the volcano’s basin. Although the town’s sewage seeps into the lake, local clerics routinely purify the water for the citizens in exchange for charitable donations to their temples.
A 50-foot-tall fortified wall of black malachite encircles the city, tracing the outer rim of the volcano, becoming major thoroughfares that lead to other towns and distant realms. The districts nearer the rim of the city tend to be occupied by upper class families and elite merchants. The closer one gets to the centre of town (and the closer to the pungent odors of the central lake), the shoddier the construction and the more dangerous the dark alleys. Houses directly on the lake are often built with stilts to protect against flooding during the rainy season in winter.
Smaller avenues connect the four main roadways (from outer to inner, the avenues are named Obsidian, Magma, Lava, and Ash), which form concentric terraces down to the lake in the center of the town.
Cauldron is ruled by a Lord Mayor, elected to his position every two years. The post is currently held by Severen Navalant, whose term expires in roughly 20 months. Other important individuals in the city include Terseon Skellerang, captain of the guard, the members of the noble families, and Cauldron’s few wealthy merchant interests.
Cauldron’s major exports come from two sources: mines and plantations. Both industries are based in the hills surrounding the city, and are managed by the various noble families who live in the area. Obsidian and diamonds are the primary products mined in the region. Plantations usually produce sugarcane and coffee. Most of those who dwell in the city itself are merchants, scholars, or workers in the mines and plantations in the lowlands. Water is never scarce in town, but most of the city’s food must be imported from Eledor since the local fishing and farming enterprises are meager at best.
Citizens have historically paid a modest yearly flat tax of 1 gp, while merchants and nobles pay a 5% income tax each year. In addition, a 1sp gate tax is charged for non-citizens who enter the city by any of its four gates.
All inhabitants of Cauldron that own a building, or are part of a family that owns a building, are considered citizens regardless of economic status. Most Cauldronites have a simple malachite ring made or given to them when they reach the age of majority. The ring always bears the town emblem. Nobles often purchase very elaborate rings, or have extravagant brooches made to show their citizenship.
Currency in Cauldron: Cauldron uses the currency minted in the capital city of Eleder—Nobles (pp), Eagles (gp), Talons (sp) and Commons (cp). The names are given for the picture printed upon them, but any form of currency is accepted as long as it meets the metal type and weight specifications. Trade bars in 100, 500 and 1000 gp denominations are also used.
1. North Gate
This gate is also called the farmer’s gate. It boasts a picture stone relief carved into the keystone of a farmer tending a field. Citizens of Cauldron are allowed to pass through the city gates for free; visitors must pay a 1 sp fee every time they enter the city. A frequent visitor can purchase a monthly pass after a rigorous interview and a 2 gp fee.
2. East Gate
This gate is also called the Merchant’s gate. It boasts a picture stone relief carved into the keystone of a scale balancing coins. Citizens of Cauldron are allowed to pass through the city gates for free; visitors must pay a 1 sp fee every time they enter the city. A frequent visitor can purchase a monthly pass after a rigorous interview and a 2 gp fee.
3. South Gate
This gate is also called the Noble’s gate. It boasts a picture stone relief carved into the keystone of a mounted knight. Citizens of Cauldron are allowed to pass through the city gates for free; visitors must pay a 1 sp fee every time they enter the city. A frequent visitor can purchase a monthly pass after a rigorous interview and a 2 gp fee.
4. West Gate
This gate is also called the mayor’s gate. Upon selection of a new mayor, the procession rides through the gate and into the city signifying the mayor serving the people and kicking off festivities. The gate boasts a picture stone relief carved into the keystone of a gavel and crown. Citizens of Cauldron are allowed to pass through the city gates for free; visitors must pay a 1 sp fee every time they enter the city. A frequent visitor can purchase a monthly pass after a rigorous interview and a 2 gp fee.
5. Town Hall
Cauldron’s town hall is a single-story building and one of the oldest structures in the city. The building serves as a place for the Lord Mayor and his advisers to hold meetings with the nobles and important people in the city. Records of ownership, historical documents, and similar archives are held here. It is located on Obsidian Ave. Access to these archives is possible but requires some convincing. It grants a +2 on knowledge (history) for any of the local history for Cauldron and surrounding area. The location is regularly guarded by the best town guards.
6. Town Guard Barracks
These buildings house the bulk of Cauldrons town guards. The central area of this walled compound is used for training, and the low, single-story keep is the aboveground facade for the Cauldron Prison, a five-level underground facility that can hold hundreds of prisoners. Currently the prison is about a quarter full. The guard captain, Terseon Skellerang, lives in a one-story green-roofed house in the south-western corner of the compound. It is located on Obsidian Ave, next to the Town Hall.
7. Church of Iomedae
The two-story Church of Iomedae, its white marble walls suffused with veins of vivid blue, stands in stark contrast to the buildings of bare black stone that flank it on the north end of Obsidian Avenue. A pair of white marble statues depicting armored warriors stand on either side of the temple’s heavy oaken doors. Each of the statues raises a longsword to the sky. Above the door’s marble architrave are boldly inscribed the following words: “SO LONG AS THERE IS JUSTICE, THERE IS HOPE.”
Since the church’s high priest or First Sword Knight Sarcem Delasharn is on an extended visit to the city of Port Peril (a city in The Shackles), the day-to-day tasks of tending to the church have fallen to one of his Second Sword Knights, Jenya Urikas. She has eight clerics and paladins serving within her Second Circle, including the paladin Alek Tercival who helps guard the church and protect the city. While several clerics and paladins can always be found within the church resting, tending their wounds, or assisting citizens, most are out defending Cauldron or the outlying towns as part of the town guard.
The church holds public service every Sunday at 9am and Moonday at 7pm for an hour.
8. Maavu Warehouses
Local merchant Maavu Arlintal keeps several warehouses in the city. As with most other merchants, about 50% of the holdings here are various foodstuffs for the city that are kept and sold by the Grocer’s Guild.
9. Slippery Eel Tavern
The Slippery Eel Tavern is a favorite tavern for miners, plantation workers, and other working-class citizens. The food and drink are cheap, and the town guard tends to ignore the place, making it a handy site for illicit deals and clandestine meetings. It is located on Magma Ave, and run by Fallo Grymkin. It offers the best gristle stew in Cauldron.
10. Cusp of Sunrise
This high-society club on Obsidian Ave is a favorite place for Cauldron’s rich and powerful to meet and relax. It is owned and operated by Ophelia Knowlern .
11. Maavu’s Main Warehouse
Maavu Arlintal devotes most of his smaller warehouses to food storage; this location is where he keeps the majority of his actual business holdings. Maavu’s primary imports are foodstuffs, entertainment, alchemical and medical supplies, books, and magic items. He sells most of his magic items imports through Skie’s Treasury (see below).
12. Tygot’s Old Things
Tygot Mispas, a 120-year-old halfling retired from adventuring for two decades, owns a small but well-stocked antiquity shop on Lava Avenue. Tygot’s Old Things specializes in nonmagical art objects gathered from across the known world. Tygot is reported to have excellent commercial contacts in the capital city of Eledor, and frequently buys old documents and art objects from local adventurers. Tygot’s best customers include the lord mayor himself and many nobles in Cauldron.
His shop is a two-story structure with a small flat on the upper floor and a well-organized business area on the lower. Tygot shares the place with Lepook, an elderly and lazy blink dog that agreed to spend his old age with his “civilized” friend. Lepook keeps a watch on the shop and on Tygot as well.
13. Maavu Imports
The modest two-story building has several meeting rooms and a bookshop on the ground floor, and a small apartment on the upper floor.
14. Drunken Morkoth Inn
This is perhaps the most popular inn in the city of Cauldron. A regular stop for many merchants and traveling adventurers, the combination of comfortable beds, good food, and reasonable prices make it a favorite among the city’s returning visitors. Each of the rooms is decorated with a humongous painting of Cauldrons legendary lake monster, a large morkoth. The paintings depict the morkoth in any number of embarrassing and ridiculous scenes, always with the morkoth drunk and confused, and often in incongruous locations. It is located on Obsidian Ave, and is run by Halpeen Welvihk.
15. Tipped Tankard Tavern
This tavern is generally regarded as the best place in the city for common folk to get a drink. It’s a favorite place for off-duty city guards, and as such, brawls are fairly rare. It is located on Ash Ave, and is run by Rivek Mol.
16. Garthun Imports
This well-kept building houses the offices of Adrick Garthun, a prominent merchant whose import of alcohol, tobacco, exotic sweets, and seafood has catapulted him to the height of success. Adrick often travels to Eledor to import special items for customers. It is located on Obsidian Ave.
17. Skie’s Treasury
Numerous stores in Cauldron sell magic items and gear, but only one of them makes its sole business buying and selling magic items to adventurers: Skie’s Treasury. Skie’s Treasury is a modest building crafted from blocks of volcanic stone. The facade of the building bears dozens, if not hundreds, of symbols and sigils that have been carved into the face of the stone with chisels. One door and a pair of tiny windows face the road and overlook the lake below. Above the door, a sign proclaims the establishment to be Skie’s Treasury, but more impressive are the numerous items of treasure-rings, coins, wands, necklaces, rods, potions, scrolls, and more-that seem to slowly orbit the sign and shine with a soft golden light. Every now and then, two of the items bump against each other, ringing softly like a wind chime. Skie’s Treasury is run by Skie Aldersun and is located on Lava Ave.
18. Lantern Street Orphanage
The orphanage rests on the corner of Lantern Street and Lava Avenue, its charcoal-colored stones held together with mold-encrusted mortar. The windows on both stories are tightly shuttered, but a few slivers of light manage to escape from within. Lanterns hang on either side of the oaken front door, mounted to which is a green copper knocker shaped like a smiling gargoyle’s visage, its nostrils pierced by a copper ring.
19. Coy Nixie
The Coy Nixie is a high-class tavern and dancehall on Obsidian Ave owned and operated by the Aslaxins. Although prices here tend to be double the normal asking price, the food and drink are rivaled only by the Cusp of Sunrise. These two locations have a healthy competition – while the Cusp is generally held to have better food, drink, and entertainment, there are no membership fees at the Coy Nixie.
20. Lakeside Pavilion
This open pavilion is one of the oldest structures in Cauldron. Said to have been formed via magic cast by Surabar Spellmason himself, the pavilion is traditionally where the lord mayor issues announcements and decrees. When this isn’t happening, the pavilion is the entertainment hub of Cauldron. Every night you can find live music, plays, lectures, demonstrations and more. Late at night, this is a favorite place for illicit meetings. It is located on Ash Ave.
21. Vanderboren Manor
This large manor houses the members and servants of the Vanderboren family, Cauldron’s newest nobles. Premiach and Aeberrin Vanderboren are the equivalent of real estate tycoons. Less respected by the other nobles because they’re self-made. They also own and fund the Lantern Street Orphanage. Both Vanderborens got their start on their feet; Premiach as a runner for a messenger service and Aeberrin as a server for a tavern.
22. Minuta’s Board
This low-cost inn and flophouse caters to anyone who cannot afford to stay at Cauldron’s better inns. Prices here are 75% normal, but the owners make no guarantees against theft or loss. It is located on Ash Ave.
23. Sure Foot Livery
Resting on stiles near the south shore of crater lake is Sure Foot Livery. The largest and only, Livestock and Livestock Accessory business in the city. The business is run by a no-nonsense halfling woman named Tippys Surefoot. It is located on Ash Ave.
24. Gurnezarn’s Smithy
This smithy on Magma Ave is generally regarded as the finest such establishment in the city of Cauldron. Its owner, Phalian Gurnezarn , has long held his own against his competitors, the Lathenmire Smithies. Due to the reputation and quality of Phalian’s work, his prices are 125%.
25. Temple of Gorum
Temple of Gorum (Obsidian Ave). Currently headed by Asfelkir Hranleurt. Asfelkir runs the temple like a military barracks and the followers regularly hire themselves out as mercenaries and security for large events.
26. Lord Mayor’s Residence
This walled compound is the oldest structure in the city. The traditional seat of power for the town, the estate’s ownership has been held by the Navalant family for the past 200 years. The current mayor, Severen Navalant (male human) is well-liked.
27. Weer’s Elixirs
Owned and operated by Vortimax Weer, this cramped shop is the preferred place in Cauldron for potions and alchemical items. Vortimax himself is a cranky old curmudgeon who has little patience for youngsters and even less patience for those who try to haggle his high prices (150% of normal). Vortimax is one of the most powerful wizards in Cauldron and spends much of his time teaching alchemy and magical theory classes at the Bluecrater Academy. It is located on Ash Ave.
28. The Brass Trumpet
Once a lively tavern, it has been boarded up for years, and despite several attempts, it has never been reopened.
29. Church of Pharasma
This towering structure is one of the most impressive and beautiful in Cauldron. The church of Pharasma has always been powerful in Cauldron, but not as well liked as the churches of Gorum or Iomedae, since the clerics of this church tend to be standoffish, curt, and even creepy. The clerics of Pharasma are responsible for dealing with the unclaimed dead of Cauldron, and maintain vast catacombs for anyone who’s rich enough to afford the burial but doesn’t have a personal crypt. Most of the dead of Cauldron are cremated. The cathedral is run by Embril Aloustinai, although she rarely sees visitors and leaves the day-to-day operations to a cleric named Calmus Vel.
30. Gheive’s Locks
A small turret dominates the facade of this two-story black stone building. Iron bars are embedded in the thick window frames. Beyond the turret’s ground floor windows sits a lovely display of locks, from large to small, simple to complex. To the left of the turrent, above a heavy oak door, swings a simple sign that says “Ghelve’s Locks”. Ghelve’s Locks is owned and operated by Keygan Gheive. The shop opens at sunrise and closes at sunset.
31. Orak’s Bathhouse
Orak’s Bathhouse is a squat windowless building of dark stone owned and operated by Orak Stonehaven. Orak charges 1 sp for a bath and another silver piece for a bar of soap. Use of a towel is free and Orak doesn’t allow weapons or armor inside the building. The baths are open from noon to midnight every day.
32. Bluecrater Academy
One of the tallest buildings in Cauldron, Bluecrater Academy is also the primary place of learning here. The building has five stories, each of which is dedicated to an increasing level of education. Financed partially by tuition fees (but also by the support of nobles like Ophelia Knowlern , Zachary Aslaxin, and Ankhin Taskerhill), Bluecrater Academy is where the lucky youth of Cauldron go to learn a trade. The upper floors consist of extensive libraries and researcher’s offices. Access to these libraries is difficult requiring either a 2,000 gp bribe or a 500 gp membership after an extensive interview process. Once access is gained, the books in these libraries grant a +2 circumstance bonus on Knowledge checks with their aid.
33. Church of Sarenrae
This small yellow tower is tended by a single cleric of Sarenrae named Krisof Jurgensen. His resources are limited of late. The shrine to Sarenrae has always been fairly small and minor in Cauldron, especially since Kristof’s three superiors recently died under mysterious circumstances leaving him in charge of the entire shrine. The Church of Iomedae have been lending some of their clerics to assist with healing the ailments of the town, so the Church of Sarenrae can keep it’s doors open until new priests arrive.
Public service is held every Sunday at noon for an hour and a blessing of Sarenrae is held everyday at noon for all who wish for her guiding light. The temple is open from sunrise to sunset for any who need them and there is always someone on call for emergencies. While the church would never charge someone for their services, donations are greatly appreciated. It’s said the town guard pays monthly tribute to the Church for their services. The church will help anyone of good heart but they reserve their healing magics for moderate to serious injuries and use mundane healing for the rest.
34. House Vhalantru
Home to Cauldron’s newest noble, a generous human named Cassius Vhalantru. He donated huge sums of money to fund the rebuilding of the Town Hall and several other ancient structures that were starting to fall apart.
35. Westkey’s Map Emporium
Dundar Westkey runs this small shop on Obsidian Ave that sells maps. It is a new shop, and as such generally only stocks general maps of the area. Westkey makes it a strict practice to not sell maps of private businesses. He does, however, have a fair collection of treasure maps, some of which are local, and some of which might actually be legitimate.
36. House Rhiavadi
Another of the noble houses in Cauldron belonging to Thifirane Rhiavadi. It is ostentatiously decorated, well-guarded and otherwise non-descript.
37. Taskerhill Manor
This massive manor is four stories in height, and is easily the most ostentatious of Cauldron’s noble homes (with the possible exception of House Rhiavadi). The manor is home to the fantastically rich Ankhin Taskerhill and his daughter Annah Taskerhill. They own several mines in the nearby mountains, as well as a prominent workshop that ships exquisitely crafted obsidian furniture and knick-knacks to Eledor and the jungle cities of the Mwangi Expanse.
38. Zanathor’s Provisions
While to the untrained eye there may seem to be nothing unusual going on at this general store, its owner, Bjellkir Zanathor has the unique honor of being the only living citizen in Cauldron who has seen the Crater Lake Monster. He’s always ready to tell the story of how his small fishing boat was attacked late one night and sunk by the fantastic creature several years ago. The thing bit off his leg and left one of its teeth lodged in his hip. Zanathor’s willing to show off his scars, wooden leg, and the tooth, which he’s mounted on a wooden display that hangs above his counter.
39. Lathenmire Manor
Given another few years, the Lathemires could be inducted into Cauldron’s nobility. As it stands, the family is as rich as most of the other nobles, having effectively cornered the local arms and armor trade. The manor is a sprawling structure with several training rooms and trophy halls on its ground floor. Beswink Lathenmire lives here with his family.
40. Entrance to the Lava Tubes
This is a known hole into the lava tubes of the volcano. It is considered off limits by nearly everyone as it is known for cave ins, perilous drops, and razor sharp volcanic glass.
41. Half-Orc Mercenary Camp
This is a camp of half-orc mercenaries for hire that live and work outside of the city. Visiting them without plenty of coin is considered suicide for most people.