Campaign of the Month: March 2016
Ptolus, City by the Spire
The Market Gate has some fairly ramshackle storehouses built outside the walls for merchants to store goods without taking them through. A small settlement called Tent City is growing around that gate as well.
This minor gate in the south wall is a more recent addition for the sake of convenience, and thus does not offer much in the way of defense. It consists of iron-bound wooden double doors each about ten feet wide. There is no gatehouse (and no portcullis or murder holes), although the gate stands next to a tower that is used as offices, storage, and off-duty areas for guards assigned to gate duty.
Each gate is guarded, but the guards almost never close the gates. Most of the five, in fact, are so old and have not been closed in so long, the hinges have rusted in place. Typically, four guards from the Watch are stationed at a given gate at any time, although, should any trouble arise, up to a dozen more guards from the nearest Watchhouse will appear within just a few minutes in an emergency.
The guards at each gate demand to see Imperial Identification Papers from anyone wishing to enter the city. They record each person’s name, reason for entering, and point of origin. They also demand a 2 cp toll per person, plus an additional 1 cp for a horse or other sizable animal (such as livestock) and 3 cp for a wagon. This is a daily toll, so someone entering, leaving, and returning in the same day pays only once. The guards do not stop people leaving the city unless ordered otherwise. This happens from time to time, usually when there is a search for a criminal who might be looking to leave.
On all goods brought into the city to be sold merchants must pay a levy: 5 percent of their accessed worth. Merchants without a gate receipt showing they’ve paid the taxes on goods for sale can face fines of 10 gp or more plus have all the goods confiscated.
On most days, a long line forms at each gate, particularly in the mornings as people wait to be allowed access to the city. Around each gate outside the walls, vendors sell goods to those entering the city—and to those stuck waiting in line. These goods include food, water, ale, and maps of the city (with varying degrees of accuracy).