The City-State of Kreth. Jewel of Civilization. City of Divine Light. Home of the God-Emperor.
The City-State rests along the banks of the Kreth River, slightly west of a great range of hills which dominate the region known as the Kreth Verdant. Beyond the City-State walls lay fertile farmlands, orchards, plantations and dozens of villages. The vast majority of the City-State’s 1 million-strong population resides on and works the Crescent Lands. Roughly 350,000 folk live within the city walls, but only about one-third are legal citizens.
The City-State of Kreth is the largest, richest and most diverse realm of the Wastelands. The City-State’s markets teem with goods—from the local to exotic, the mundane to mystical, and everything in between. If it can be bought, sold, or traded, it can be found in the City-State.
Everyone is welcome in the City-State—just pay the Freedom Levy to enter and abide the law once there. Anyone may become a legal citizen too, so long as they convert to the worship of Odamaar and pay the Free Citizen’s Trust, an annual tax for the administration, beatification and security of the City-State. Humans dominate the population by a wide margin, but all races are found within the City-State.
The City-State’s districts vary widely. From the slum-shanties of the Havens to the utilitarian simplicity of the middle-class Old City, from the colorful market stalls of the Bazaar to the immaculate estates of the Villa Optima—the sheer diversity of social classes, architecture and functionality in the neighborhoods of the City-State is often bewildering to first-time visitors.
The City-State is ruled by the God-Emperor Aristan. His citadel, the Empyrean Palace, dominates the cityscape. Floating a quarter-mile above the streets, the Empyrean Palace’s golden towers and crystal spires gleam in the sunlight of day and sparkle radiantly under the night stars.
God-Emperor Aristan’s official title is grandiose: His Divine Majesty, Eternal Overlord, Conqueror of the Sky, Earth and Underworld, Savior of the Free Peoples, The Grandly Gracious, Magnificently Majestic, Infinite and Invincible, Aristan—Holiest Prophet of Odamaar the Lord of Light, and God-Emperor of Life, the Universe and Everything. His Divine Majesty is a mercatian human and has ruled the City-State of Kreth for well over 1,000 years.
There are nine districts of the City-State, each summarized below.
- Bazaar: A bustling market district. Locations include Rodric’s Provisions, Feglio’s Beasts, Golad’s Exchange, Shalek’s Curios and Shayla’s Signs & Portents. An adventurer’s respite is the Medusa’s Bane Inn & Tavern.
- Coliseum: A recreational district dominated by Aristan’s Colossus, a 200-foot statue of the God-Emperor, and the Coliseum, a 50,000-seat stadium. Other locales include the Gladiator Pits, Strongman Square, Qortha’s Gaming Emporium, the Blood Kin Guildhall, Jinjad’s Shisha Parlor, and numerous gambling houses, feasting and drinking halls.
- Empyrean Palace: The massive citadel floats a quarter-mile above the city streets. Fliers and airships are the only means of access; designated berths are heavily guarded and controlled. Bright spotlights surveil the city at night.
- Grand Imperial Gate & Caravan Grounds: A gargantuan causeway rises 50 feet to the Grand Imperial Gate—the only city entrance and heavily guarded. Inside the gate are wide grounds for caravans to deploy and temporary bazaars.
- Haven (Slums): Sprawling ghetto of slum houses, shanties, ruined buildings and dark streets. Ruled by gangs, criminals and a sinister group called the Syndicate. The city watch rarely, if ever, patrols the Haven. Notable locales include Cutthroat Alley Market, the Blood Pit, Too Dark Park, Sash’s Cantina, Madame Jasmina’s Velvet Vices and the Rat’s Ass Tavern.
- Old City: The Old City features residences for lower and middle-class citizens as well as hundreds of artisan and specialty shops. Notable shops include Dinzil’s Arms, Saala & Zadar’s Scriptorium, Wunderbad’s Gargoylery and Ooglat’s Brews & Delights.
- Temple Square: Administrative district of the city, including courts, bureaucratic offices, temples and houses of healing. Prominent locations include Odamaar’s Celestial Temple, Imperial Courthouse, Registrarium of Free Citizens, Splendor Baths and dozens of masjids, pagodas and shrines to the gods.
- Undercity: Not a true district, but the Undercity is known to adventurers as a vast, sprawling network of sewers, tunnels, tombs, crypts and forgotten chambers.
- Villa Optima: This district houses noble and wealthy families and their well-groomed, slave-built estates. The Hanging Gardens feature lush parklands, exotic flora and spirit pools.
- Gold-pressed Black Iron (gpbi): Trade bars worth 1,000 gp
- Mercatian Steel Piece (st): 10 pp
- Sapphire Star Gem (ss): 5 pp
- Blood Ruby Gem (br): 5 gp
- Obsidian Moon Gem (om): 5 sp
- Jade Bits (jb): 5 cp
- Years: Each year has 366 days.
- Months: 12 months of 30 days each.
- Seasonal Days: Every second month has a non-calendar season change day.
- Weeks: 5 weeks of 6 days each month.
- Days: Each day is 24 hours long.
CRIMES & THE LAW
The City-State of Kreth punishes criminals in multitudinous ways. Common punishments include (in approximate order of magnitude) citations, fines, public humiliation, enforced servitude to the City-State, imprisonment and death.
Some well-known aspects of City-State law include:
- Only Citizens Have Rights: Citizens are afforded full rights of protection and representation under the law. Non-citizens have no legal rights.
- Peace Bonded Weapons: All weapons worn within the walls of the City-State must be tied or bonded securely. Using a weapon of any kind during a crime carries an extra sentencing term.
- Magic is Restricted: No one may practice or use magic within the City-State without being approved and registered by the Imperial Guild of Dwimmercrafters. The guild’s dues, fees and levies on magic use are complex, often obscure and arcane themselves—and expensive.
- Sorcery & Witchcraft Forbidden: The use of magic to commit a crime or to influence, deceive or otherwise harm citizens or their property is considered sorcery and witchcraft. These acts are punishable by various means, including death. The City-State employs powerful Spellbinders—silver and black-robed wizards of notorious repute who hunt down unlawful magic users and enforce the Empyrean Edict Against Sorcery and Witchcraft.
- Tax-evasion is Seriously Bad: Of all the laws in the City-State, failing to pay proper taxes is the most heinous. The punishments are worse than for murder as tax-evasion is considered treasonous and a crime against the God-Emperor himself.
- Forgery is Almost as Bad: Producing and distributing fake currency and documents are serious crimes. The punishments are severe and the social stigma carried by a forger in business and social circles is ruinous.