Campaign of the Month: March 2016
Ptolus, City by the Spire
Ptolus was founded three centuries ago as a small community surrounding a fortress called Dalenguard. The fortress’ original purpose was to keep the area clear of evil creatures drawn by the power of Jabel Shammar, the citadel at the top of the Spire. It also sought to watch over Goth Gulgamel, the fortress halfway up The Spire built by Ghul, the Half God. Dalenguard was constructed more than seven hundred years ago, just after the defeat of Ghul, to serve as a symbol of the union of elves, dwarves, and humans in that war.
Over time, the community grew into an important port, and the need for Dalenguard as a wilderness bastion waned. Today the old fortress is still used by the Imperial-appointed ruler of the city, the Commissar, and the area surrounding it on the city’s near west side is known as Oldtown. It sits atop a ridge higher than most of the rest of Ptolus, but still lower than the Nobles’ Quarter.
The stone and marble buildings of Oldtown reflect a grander, earlier age. Graceful columns, majestic entrances, tall stone towers, and buildings of three or even four stories are common sights here. Yet all bear the signs of age and wear. Today many of these buildings house the bureaucracy the Empire forces upon the city. Still others are museums or homes for the wealthy (those not quite wealthy enough to live in the Nobles’ Quarter). There are wonderful theaters, auditoriums, and even a grand Arena in this large district of the city. The Arena provides a spot for tournaments, fairs, and sporting games of all sorts. Nearby, the Inverted Pyramid mages’ guild sponsors a magical ball sport simply called “the Mage Game,” held in a large indoor coliseum in Oldtown.
This is where citizens go to get licenses, like those needed to carry a firearm. The City Courts are located here, and as are the City Council’s meeting chambers. Both the Delver’s Guild Library and Maproom (but not the guild’s main office) and the City Library are here. Oldtown has a fair number of parks, monuments, and other touches of class and beauty as well.