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Neighborhoods and Districts of Skara Brae Part One

J Harper

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Here's the first half of a write-up describing in brief compass the various neighborhoods and districts of Skara Brae. Further details will hopefully emerge as my players explore and adventure in the Heart of the World.

Neighborhoods and Districts of Skara Brae Part One

Thunder Tower Hill – The hub around which Skara Brae revolves, Thunder Tower Hill is the physical and governmental center of the city. Surrounded by its own walls, this district contains the Thunder Towers, the fortress that serves as the dwelling place of the Veiled Sovereign, the Palace Sonnvanne, the bureaucratic offices of the city-state's government, and a few manors of the political elite. Thunder Tower Hill is heavily guarded and patrolled by elite members of the City Guard – proven men and women who are skillful, alert and all but incorruptible, if only because they are well paid and the penalties inflicted on corrupt guardsmen are truly horrendous.

The Storm Market – Located southeast of Thunder Tower Hill, this market district caters to the wealthy and powerful.

Cheap Hill – Located west of Thunder Tower Hill, Cheap Hill (or Cheap Hell, the name given to it by its residents) is a dangerous slum populated by the poor, the criminal and the desperate. Its dens and stews are notorious, and non-native venturing there best be strong and well-armed, to avoid being waylaid. Cheap Hill is also the location of the Mammon Market, a floating black market dealing with smuggled goods and illicit trade.

Wander Rest – Located in the western section of Skara Brae, it is also known as the Foreigner's Ward. It is the final stop for travelers and caravans coming from the west, along the Skaran Road. Wander Rest is home to a mix of people, many foreign, and even more citizens who make their living catering to the needs of tourists and visiting merchants. The wealthier sections tend to the north and east, the working class to the west, anchored to the Skaran Gate, and grows seedy to the south and south-east, where the ward eventually bleeds into...

Rookway – A slum to serves as a home for the poorer class of foreigners and immigrants. Once known as Saernway, it was renamed some fifty years ago when it became the home of a large community of kenku.

Marnhome (The Murks) – Northwest section of Skara Brae, it is the largest neighborhood of the city and is the home to much of the plebeian and working class population. It is usually a safe place, but some sections are rough and even dangerous.

Chandlershrop – A neighborhood north of Thunder Tower Hill, Chandlershrop is a working class area that is the home to many of the various various servants, clerks and functionaries that serve the government, guilds, merchants and well-to-do of Skara Brae.

Sword's Sheath – Military district. Site of War Guards, the administrative offices of the Skara Brae military forces, the Watch Hall, offices for the City Guard, and the Harrowhaunt, the offices of the Veiled Vigilants. Most of the city's blacksmiths, metal smiths, and armorers work and live here. The major market for weapons and armor is called Sworders' Path. The Legion Gate, Skara Brae's south-most gate, is located in Sword's Sheath.

The Silent Ward – Located north of Chandlershrop, the Silent Ward was once the wealthy neighborhood of Knightkind. Thirty years ago it was decimated by a swift acting plague of unknown origins. Those who died of it rose from the dead, attacking those who still lived. Knightkind's plague was contained at great cost to the city, which managed to wall off the district. It is now known as the Silent Ward. Adventurers and thieves often enter it in search of 'easy' loot. Some of them come back, battered and bloody, but valuables are brought out with enough frequency to encourage other ne'er-do-wells to try their luck.

The Stiletto – A narrow district caught between the Silent Ward and the Northern Wall, the Stiletto is mostly deserted. Proximity to the Silent Ward and the cramp confines makes it unpopular. Most of its inhabitants are squatters occupying some of the larger houses, people wishing to hide from the world, and dangerous individuals of varying legitimacy who value their privacy. Most adventurers wish to make forays into the Silent Ward do so via the Stiletto, traversing tunnels either ancient or recently excavated.
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