Sundown City Guide
by T.A. Saunders ©2010 v1.2
Sundown at a Glance
Because of this rapid expansion in such little time, one will note immediately that the city has very differing levels of urban development, with the Old City having the most run-down and neglected structures, while the Financial District and the Garden District seem to have the most upkeep. The Wharf District shows signs of rapid growth, with an eclectic mix of older structures with newer and better maintained buildings peppered throughout. Because of the big boom however, many of the more run-down places in the Wharf District are being replaced or renovated for new occupancy (in many cases, the previous occupants either having died without an heir or lost the building to gambling or debt).The city of Sundown is a thriving port city with a population of over 40,000 people that has gained notoriety throughout the length of its relatively short existence as a rough and tumble frontier city. Her citizens are hard-working, plain-speaking folk that consist primarily of Humans, Half-Eves, Moon Elves and a handful of Asyndi. Having just emerged from a civil war, Sundown is entering a boom phase in its economy, with people feeling a new sense of freedom and opportunity of both of the legal and illegal sort.
The Old City is a special project of the new government of Sundown. The hardest hit during the civil war and the vampire safe house sweeps shortly thereafter, there are buildings that have been utterly destroyed by cannon-fire, Witchfire blasts and every imaginable form of offensive spell being hurled across the streets. The Old City is also a haven for most of the scum of Sundown; once controlled primarily by the vampires, it is now often plagued with turf war violence between rival vampires and other bandit clans attempting to seize control of the ripe criminal element and bring them all under one banner. This had been something Nevi`sasha Stormwillow, the eldest childe of Ko had begun to do, but with the news of her very recent death, quite literally all hell has broken loose between rivals without her firm hand to control the chaos.
The showcase of the city is the Garden District. Here, a great deal of the city’s Elvish influence can be seen here, with lush gardens lining the brick face streets with fauna winding up the length of the gas lamp-lit streets. Many statues of various Elvish and Human heroes mark the center of the city, leading up to the city square and the Sundown Coliseum. The other important structures in the Garden District are the Hall of the Setting Sun, which is Sundown’s City Hall and the very recently added Uth Braegon Public Library, which was privately funded by the city’s Regent Governor, Kithanis uth Braegon. The Garden District overall is very well-kept and meant as a place that Sundown’s citizenry can go, relax and enjoy recreation like picnics, walks and other leisure activities.
The Financial District is home to most of the commerce in Sundown, including the venerable Merchant Guild. Virtually untouched during the civil war, the Financial District is as well-maintained as the Garden District, though instead of greenery and statues everywhere, this section of the city is packed with large, sprawling buildings and businesses where one can find nearly any service or item they might seek, if it can be found in Sundown. A particular point of recent pride in this district is the addition of Sundown’s School House. Previously, citizens were expected to home school their children or send them off to Vale, Windsong or elsewhere to gain higher education.
The Wharf District is perhaps the busiest part of Sundown and the most diversified. With nearly all foreigners, visitors and adventurers entering the city at this point, it’s not entirely uncommon to find a Dwarf from Ishaela or a Voraath from Zoda meandering the same street. With the abundance of airship traffic Sundown receives from Anthalas and Farwind, the city enjoys a great deal of multiversal traffic as well, with people traveling from other planes of existence often coming to Sundown in hopes for a new beginning in their lives. The central hub of most of this activity is the Whispering Raven Tavern, where many of these travelers and adventurers go to find rest or perhaps trouble.
The Elvish Quarter is a very recent addition to the city, with construction completed at the beginning of 1322 AC. Built to address the cultural needs and desires of the city’s significant Moon Elf population, the Elvish Quarter’s architecture is quite reminiscent of Am-Raynia or some of the other older Elvish cities on Shalzaar.
The two most popular attractions here are the Yimir ri Sado, or School of Blades and the Dorna ri Aslyon, or the Hall of Music. While traditionally, those looking to learn how to use a blade were directed to the gladiators continually practicing at the Coliseum, but with the addition of this Elvish fighting school, a wider array of advanced techniques are now open to the public. The Dorna ri Aslyon provides Sundown with a year-round place to enjoy live music.
Sundown has something special to offer the discerning traveler or adventurer. It should be noted that there are several other smaller businesses and localities in Sundown, but these are the most prominent. The breakdown of these points of interest are done by district, below:
The Sundown Shipyards: A post civil war addition to the city, the Shipyards have been constructed under the edict of Regent Governor Kithanis uth Braegon III in an effort to both bolster the city’s economy by creating new jobs and to build a sizable naval presence. Several sorts of sturdy sorcerously reinforced wooden sailing ships of both military and merchant variety are expected to come.
In addition, facilities have been added to begin construction of the first ever Human-designed and constructed airships under the watchful tutelage of the best airshipwrights of Farwind. With the increasing threat of pirates equipped with airships and pressure from Windsong to produce them for the whole of the Republic, funding from the national coffers has been granted to Sundown to see this particular endeavor to fruition.
The Docks: The busiest place in Sundown is the docks. People from every walk of life, from local adventurers coming off a long voyage from wild Shalzaar to planar travelers leaving a merchant airship to get their first taste of Imarel to simple folk coming to a growing frontier city, to start a new life with the hope to strike it rich come through the docks at any given point in the day or evening.
Guarded by the Sundown Regulars as a measure of civil defense, the docks can still be a hot-spot for violence at times with more than one traveler often bringing trouble with them. It’s usually wise to remain wary of both one’s words and one’s step while at the docks for this reason alone.
Ships coming into the harbor to dock are charged a docking fee of ten gold Keshra to dock for the night and fifty gold Keshra to dock for the week. On the rare occasion that one wishes to use Sundown as a harbor longer than this, arrangements and all payments are made at the Port Authority. In cases of foreign vessels in Sundown to bolster its defense or acting as diplomatic vessels, all docking fees are waived.
The Port Authority: Anything and everything involving Sundown’s port is handled by the Port Authority. Docking complaints, payments for docking in the harbor, issues with the harbor and the like all get sent to the Port Authority. Additionally, the Port Authority also issues the city’s weather forecasts and warnings with the assistance of Weather Witches that spend hours at a time in trance to help predict the weather. In dire circumstances, these Weather Witches also act to change the weather if catastrophic weather is heading for the city.
The Port Authority also acts as a point of welcome for newcomers to Sundown, where information about the city, maps and other essential bits of information can be found. The building itself houses the office of the Port Master, his assistants, the Weather Witches, along with any Sundown Regulars assigned to that post.
The Whispering Raven Tavern: A fairly recent addition to Sundown, the Whispering Raven was once a halfway house that was abandoned when a mysterious series of murders claimed both the owner and his two daughters. Sold at a loss, due to its bloody past, Kithanis uth Braegon spent a small fortune renovating, cleaning and making additions to the tavern to suit what would become its dual purpose in the City of Sundown.
Meant to be a safe house for Shadow Hunters during the days where being a Shadow Hunter was no different than being an outlaw, Kithanis took great pains to make the establishment both well furnished and equipped with the latest techno-magical amenities, while making the structure itself a veritable fortress. The cover of this endeavor was the tavern business which turned profits Kithanis would then use in part, to buy weapons and armor for the Shadow Hunters.
The tavern side of the Raven’s purpose turned into a booming business that continues to this day. With the conclusion of Sundown’s civil war and the overthrow of Ko and her vampire regime, the tavern still maintains a weapon stow for the Shadow Hunters (and often patrons defending the tavern on more turbulent nights). Despite this fact, the Whispering Raven is perhaps one of the biggest success stories of Sundown in regards to success in the quickly growing city.
Harbor Side Imports: A post civil war addition to Sundown, Harbor Side Imports sports the strangest and most unusual variety of items from across Imarel and beyond. Owned by a far-traveled Moon Elf trader named Macai “Mac” Tan-Wyrr, the newly opened import business was built on profits won through gambling across Imarel. Mac is something of a character and almost always has a story to tell about a particular item found in his motley collection of items.
The shop itself is run by Mac, with the help of his business partner and ‘bouncer’ Yugatai, Daughter of Shrikah, a female Voraath Shaman that took a liking to the quick talking and adventuresome Moon Elf. Yugs, as Mac often calls her, is a very capable combatant, having been a veteran of more than one campaign in the Burning Lands and distant Zoda, which has proven useful more than once when a would-be thief has tried to help themselves to the merchandise.
McAllister’s Wheelwright: Perhaps one of the oldest businesses in Sundown, the McAllister family has been running this business, generation to generation for nearly as long as the city itself has stood. Fixing wheels on wagons, carriages and carts of all shapes and kinds, the current McAllister tradesman, Liam runs the business with his wife Elanor and their four children. It is one of the most respected businesses in the city, not only for quality workmanship but for being fair on prices and being willing to work with people in a pinch. It’s said that Liam’s father, Harold once took a man’s signet ring as an I.O.U. on good faith; that man happened to be the Grand Duke, Armando DeBellicose, former ruler of the Kingdom of Moonfall (formerly the Grand Duchy of Brookshire).
The building itself has begun to show its age, but this does little to detract from its rustic appeal. A simple wooden building, with large displays of the McAllister wheel-work are prominent throughout, with the McAllister children often tending the storefront, whilst the father works away in the back of the shop. There is also a place out back to park wagons, carts or the like in need of repair, though this lot is more often than not, crowded with those things that require attention.
Aluna’s Apothecary: Formally one of Sundown’s famous Weather Witches that are employed by the Port Authority, Aluna K`Miro decided to go into business for herself rather than suffer the often stressful job of both predicting the weather and hampering the damage it will do when its bad. Finding alchemy and herbalism more to her liking, Aluna now tends to the medicinal and alchemical needs of most of the citizenry.
The building itself is interesting in that it’s actually an old watch tower from the days of the vampire regime. Abandoned during the Civil War, nobody seemed to have an interest in reclaiming it or renovating it, so the Moon Elf witch simply moved in sometime between when the vampires were overthrown and the provisional government too power. Given all that has happened, nobody really seemed to care too much that the woman just commandeered a watch tower from the city!
Having since gone through all the legalities since then, to make it hers, Aluna has done a great deal to refurnish the tower to be both her shop and a place to live. While living space is somewhat small, she is alone and quite content with the dwelling, claiming it as ‘cozy.’ Because she lives above her shop, Aluna can often be summoned at odd hours for emergencies that require her alchemical talents.
The Midnight Serenade: The Midnight Serenade is the second brothel to stand on these grounds and is the third owner. The first, which had been run by ‘Naughty’ Nevi`sasha Stormwillow was destroyed in the Sundown Civil War, was later replaced by another, that was poorly mismanaged and quickly fell into neglect and disrepair. With the girls working there not properly protected or looked after, a serious concern about another attempt by the vampires to take over another brothel developed.
Enter Natasha Loranda. As one of the girls who worked at the brothel, she took it upon herself to take charge of matters, since the previous madame and her mate simply disappeared without making any sort of arrangement. After a lengthy process of ownership exchange with the city government and several hundred gold in her own coin, she restored the establishment to a classier venue and renamed it The Midnight Serenade. Natasha is looked upon as a mother figure by the other girls, though she herself is quite young and is known for her surprisingly cunning business savvy.
The Serenade looks quite a bit like a proper Victorian style home, with a garden and statues to decorate the lawn. The house itself is painted white with tasteful furnishings and accommodations within. The entire theme of the establishment is meant to make the clientele feel as though they are royal guests, with the girls in question done up much like courtesans with elaborate dressed and powdered faces, to give the girls a doll-like appearance.
Sundown Infirmary (Description by Jaleeya): The Sundown Infirmary is located near the heart of the Old City district of Sundown. As such there is some disrepair to the building though it has stood against attacks, bombings, and other methods of destruction. The building itself forms a little ‘T’ with a bell tower as the center-connecting joint. Two stories above ground and one below. Many inset windows line the second story while archways form the first floor. Only one main entrance in the front while there is a smaller door leading into the bell tower area and one out the back of that.
The first floor, the one entered on, is called the Floor. This is where most patients are seen. Rows of beds line both sides as well as the middle. Each bed has been equipped with a side table and a rack that could be placed over the feet of a patient connecting it to the bed. Fire places, one on either side, are in the middle, this is the same on all three levels. In front of each is two soft chairs and a table. Near the back and the left is the office of the Director. Beside that is the back door, then a ramp leading up, the door to the bell tower, and a ramp leading down. Next to that is the floor privies complete with tubs.
There are two more floors, a basement and a second story. The basement is much like the first floor except with reinforced foundations and one cell. Another difference is that the left side is storage rooms instead of beds. The second story on the other hand holds four rooms, and a kitchen. The rooms line the sides of the building and in the center is book stacks for quick reference. The bell tower has been explored and a few room discovered there but those are currently being renovated for use for the staff. The bell also is being repaired.
The Heavenly Grace Cemetery: Perhaps one of the oldest (and most troubled) places in Sundown, is the Heavenly Grace Cemetery. With rows upon rows of graves dating back to the settling of Sundown, this place of final rest tends to suffer the haunting of more than a few restless dead at night, primarily taking the form of ghosts, wraiths and the occasional blood shade. Not surprisingly, a few zombies will stumble out of the graveyard as well, but generally speaking they are the rarity in this particular section of the Old City, not the commonplace.
It is often a proving ground for initiate paladins and acolyte clerics of Kaal the Flamebringer to enter the cemetery at night and take part in a cleansing ritual that is meant to drive the undead that linger here to Oblivion. While this is largely successful, there are a few stubborn (and powerful) spirits that these newly anointed of Kaal’s faith are warned to not trouble. One such spirit is a wraith known only as ‘Old Madge.’
Madge Wellbridge was one of the original settlers of Sundown the legend goes, a gifted seer and caregiver to the sick and troubled travelers that came from across the sea from Brookshire. She was raped then slain by mercenaries that had come on one of the colony ships for the food she had brought for the hungry. The legend says if you leave Madge a basket with food in it, she will let those who venture the graveyard pass unharmed. To all others, her vengeful wrath from beyond the grave is said to be terrible to behold.
The Holy Temple of Kaal: In Sundown, it is said that the brightest light is in the middle of Hell; the phrase of course in reference to the Temple of Kaal and its unfortunate placement in the middle of the Old City. The current head of the temple, Archpriest Giovanni DeBellicose (who is the cousin of the Grand Duke of Brookshire, Armando) tells the faithful differently, having been quoted as saying “What better place to touch the lives of those most in need, than where they come to fester?” Perhaps no truer words said by a shepherd to his flock, though the success the temple that serves both worshipers of Kaal and to a lesser extent Zorah, has enjoyed speaks for itself.
The temple itself is the second structure ever built in Sundown and has endured the vampiric regime that forced all worshipers to never speak, dress or promote religion in any way, save within the temple’s own walls, then the continual destruction of the civil war, where an errant cannon ball is said to have bounced through the open doors and rolled to the Archpriest’s feet to a stop, without so much as a few scuffs on its stone floor, a popular story goes. Some say the generally unscathed condition of the temple is pure luck, others say it is the hand of Kaal ensuring his house remains unblemished in the face of darkness.
The building is a pyramid, which gives it a very unique look amongst the many close together row homes, run down buildings and generally tightly-fit conditions of the Old City, with a great flame that burns continuously at the top, as a symbol of the Flamebringer and the light he brings the world. It is fashioned from marble and protected by wards and spells of various kinds, though the great double doors of the edifice are always unlocked for those seeking shelter in the dark.
Aero’s Parlor of Servitude: Slavery is a word that carries a double edge in Sundown. While legal, with the restrictions of no captured slaves and no child slaves, it is considered one of the ‘gray’ businesses the city. Most of the populous turns their nose up at any professed slaver, regardless of the legality, though more than one wealthy merchant in the Financial District has bought a slave from Lord Aero Lyons.
Of Aero himself, little is known. He is a middle-aged Human and has had a long-standing association with ‘Naughty’ Nevi Stormwillow. Some believe Aero may in fact be a secretly kept Childe of Nevi’s but the truth of this has never been determined. He is a gregarious man, to those he meets and is content to listen to the hateful words and sugary compliments of his profession alike, with the same care and attention. Doing business at the Parlor requires discretion and subtly. Aero is not known to suffer the brash and the arrogant for long, realizing his stock of youthful male and female slaves are the most attractive and well-trained in the whole republic.
The building is an exotic villa that stands out almost as much as Kaal’s temple does in the midst of all the poverty and ruin in the Old City. That does not however, confer the structure has been as lucky as the temple in avoiding damage. More than once Witchfire Cannon fire was ‘accidentally’ directed at the villa during the civil war. The damage was quickly repaired however, proving just how much secreted wealth the mysterious Lord Aero has tucked away.
With the recent death of Lord Lyons at the hands of the infamous Arisyeema the Deceiver, the Parlor remains vacant as slavery has been outlawed across the Republic as of the latter part of the year 1322 AC. It is rumored that the building, despite damages recently incurred upon it, has been purchased in a city auction of the property.
The Inn of Nine Daggers: Reputed to be the base of operation for the local Thieves’ Guild, the very name is homage to the Lords of Chaos, with a sign that has eight daggers pointing outwards and the ninth, pointing downwards midst the other eight. The establishment, whether or not the rumors are true, is still considered one of the rougher places in the city, where all manner of folk of ill repute go to conduct unscrupulous business of all kinds. Freelance harlots, who do not work at the Peach often frequent this establishment as well, along with mercenaries and bounty hunters of varying degrees of moral ethic.
Like many buildings in this part of town, it is both old and showing signs of age, though it is still quite serviceable. The strong wood and sturdy craftsmanship tell the tale of the Inn of the Nine Daggers before it had that name. When Sundown was still a colony, the inn was called the Inn of the Wandering Moon and was owned by a fellow named James Cartwright and his Moon Elf bride, Nihluana. The Inn had been theirs, then ran by Nihluana herself for many decades after her husband passed away, having the advantage of long life. Having one child die of disease and another who kept no association with her or what remained of the family, the Nihluana sold the establishment to a fellow named Kinayr Jinn and took to wandering the world again.
Kinayr, who had been a Half-Elf enlisted in the Sundown Regulars as a reservist, was called to duty during the Battle of Champion’s Path, in 1090 AC where he was slain by musket fire, while holding a line. The inn went to his less-reputable brother Malin who was at least able to keep it running, though was running in part, as a brothel before Naughty Nevi’s House of Pleasure had been constructed, where the Peach stands today. It is now owned by Malin’s great, great grandson, Tilar Jinn who only seems to be concerned with making a profit on the establishment and only putting enough gold into it to keep it standing, earning it the nickname, The Inn of the Nine Missing Nails.
Winfred’s Public Bath House: One of the oldest buildings in Sundown, it is believed that the bath house was built when Sundown was still a colony, to address a need for personal sanitation amongst the growing population. The bath house has long since become a place of gathering amongst Sundown’s more unsavory characters and is considered neutral ground between rivaling criminal factions. While many citizens use the bath house during the day without trouble, it is known that coming here during the evening hours without the right friends can lead to trouble.
Winifred Fairweather has owned and maintained the bath house for the last two decades, having inherited it from her father James Fairweather, who won the establishment in a game of chance. A wealthy family, the Fairweathers have invested several thousand gold into the bath house to get elemental plumbing, heating and cooling in place, much like the Whispering Raven Tavern in the Wharf District has, giving a reputation for being posh while maintaining its rustic roots. Along with these amenities the bath house boasts polished marble floors, brass fixtures and an open view sorcerously-reinforced stained glass ceiling.
Little is known of Winifred herself, who maintains her residence in the Garden District of the city and largely keeps to her own affairs. It is strongly believed that her entire family has a hand in the darker dealings of the Old City, but as a respected and well-to-do family, it would seem the right people have been paid the right amount of coin to speak little of the Fairweather’s business in Sundown.
Sundown Sanitarium: The Sundown Sanitarium is a throwback to the height of Ko`rashae Ri’s rule of the city, which was built with the guise of offering mental wellness to those who would seek it to cover its more nefarious purpose as a means to dispose of political rivals and those who mettled too much in her affairs. With the end of the vampire regime’s control over the city, the Sanitarium was largely forgotten about, having been reported abandoned during the Civil War.
With the effort to rebuild the Old City under way, the Sanitarium’s history was hushed by certain figures in the government that did not want the city’s crusading new governor, Kithanis uth Braegon to discover the dark secrets of its past, fearful that connections would be made between themselves and the old regime. Staff was either paid off or removed from position and all was forgotten. The tortures of those unjustly kept within continued, along with immoral and brutal experiments on those who truly did need the help the Sanitarium was supposed to offer.
This dark status quo was maintained for over two years, until very recently when six patients of the Sanitarium escaped into the Old City. With the governor himself present, Heroes of Sundown stormed the Sanitarium and restored order and recovered several incriminating documents in the process. With nearly all of the staff replaced and the building itself being renovated, there is hope that the Sundown Sanitarium can become the place where those who are mentally troubled can become well again.
The Kithanis uth Braegon Public Library: Another post civil war addition to Sundown, the library is a diverse collection of books from Lord Kithanis uth Braegon’s personal library and books others from across Tal`Rah have donated. It was an unspoken truth that Ko and the vampire regime purposefully chose to not allow a library or a school to be built in Sundown prior to this, in an attempt to keep the population from becoming educated on a large scale. Upon her overthrow however, the second thing Kithanis did after instituting the Shadow Hunters as the city’s peace keepers, was to covert this former hall of records into a library for the people.
A large structure, with bleached stone walls and columns that span three city blocks, the library houses a wide variety of books of Imarel lore, history, mathematics, science and other various subjects of interest. Also to be found is a very generous fiction section, with many old fairy tale books that Kithanis himself had read to him when he was a child. There is also a small section of magical lore and spells, but this was purposefully controlled as to avoid misuse of very powerful magic.
The Hall of the Setting Sun: This building holds the distinction of being the only one destroyed utterly during the Sundown Civil War in the Garden District, as retaliation for Ko`rashae Ri’s killing of an unborn child the Asyndi Skye was carrying. Upon discovering this cruel attack, Lord uth Braegon sent word to the Anthalaen Airship, H.M.S. Vendetta to level the Hall in hopes that it might catch Ko there. While the attack failed at killing the legendary vampire queen, it did succeed in killing two of Ko’s oldest blood slaves and destroying countless gathered munitions that had been secreted away within the Hall.
After the war however, the structure was rebuilt essentially as it had been, brick per brick in appearance. This was intentional as the Hall itself was and still is one of the most prominent buildings in the Garden District, with huge flagstones of white marble, veined with gold that catch the light of the sun as it rises to the east, then give the building an unusual orange cast as the sun sets in the west. Perhaps the largest building in Sundown, next to the massive Coliseum, the Hall of the Setting Sun is meant to serve as Sundown’s hall of records in its west wing, center of government in the center hub and court of magistrates the eastern wing.
The basement of the Hall was converted from a war shelter to a museum dedicated to Sundown’s local history, including relics from its original settlement, which include the first flag of Sundown and a mast from the Primrose Jane, to some of the cannons used in the Sundown Civil War. Meant to lure citizens to the hall that was closed off to them during the vampiric regime, this particular attraction has become quite popular and gains new relics and items of interest each day.
Court of the Evenfall: This building serves as the local presence of the Nahara in Sundown. An opulent structure with a golden dome and marble walkways and columns, the Court is meant to be as pleasing to the eye as the Nahara that live and train here. Often music can be heard playing from the lavish gardens that line the court that blends perfectly with the gentle sound of the water from the extravagant fountains found within. A veritable paradise cut from the rough of Sundown, the Court perhaps one of the most beautiful structures in the city.
While rarely seen in other parts of Sundown, the Nahara often escort heads of state, visiting diplomats from elsewhere and powerful merchant lords. As their credo notes, they do not involve themselves in politics, wars or disputes, preferring to stay above such things. Because of this neutrality, more than once the Court was put at odds with Ko and the vampire regime. The height of this conflict sparked during the civil war, when two Nahara were found brutally slain for refusing to surrender information they reputedly had. The retribution was swift from the Nahara that resulted in a great deal of information being brokered to the Sundown Rebellion.
Shadow Hunter Guard House: Once the barracks for the since-reformed and reorganized Sundown Regulars, the Shadow Hunter Guard House serves as both a prison for Sundown’s criminals and a headquarters for the city guerrillas turned lawmen. While Ko had control of Sundown, the Guard House often served as a place to torture uncooperative prisoners and enemies of the state alike. Since the civil war, the new government has removed and destroyed all implements of torture, literally scrubbed the walls, floor and ceilings clean, added an armory for the Shadow Hunters and heavily bolstered the building’s sorcerous defenses. The gallows and the chopping block for executions still remains however and is open to the public for such events.
A looming structure that sports four guard towers, thick boromandite-plated gates and a Starmetal-reinforced holding area that adds an anti-magic effect, this headquarters for the Shadow Hunters is somewhat ironic, since many Shadow Hunters were incarcerated, tortured and killed here under Ko’s regime. Upon claiming the structure and placing Kaal’s blessing upon it, Samuel ‘Old Sam’ Brookholte stated that “Claiming this building on behalf of the Shadow Hunters justifies all the blood we have lost here and serves to remind us what corruption can bring.” Indeed, many of the veteran Shadow Hunters hold a certain measure of cold respect for this building for that reason.
As mentioned, the Guard House has an anti-magic effect built into the very walls of the structure, by way of large amounts of Starmetal filings mixed in with the mortar that seals the flagstone. This makes it impossible to dispel and impossible to overpower due to the vast quantities of Starmetal flake in the mortar itself. This particular countermeasure was added to prevent magic-using prisoners from either escaping or communicating with the outside world. While break-outs are still possible, such attempts will require guile and wit, rather than brute magical or explosive force.
Sundown Coliseum: The Sundown Coliseum is one of the older structures in the Garden District, originally used by the vampire regime as a convenient way to dispose of troublesome individuals in the form of gladiator games. The Coliseum also serves as a place for public gathering and political rallies. Traditionally, if there is a meeting of citizens of the city to be had it is done at the Coliseum.
The tradition of gladiatorial combat has not ended with the change of regime but prisoners are no longer executed here as a means of entertainment. Prisoners can however, volunteer to fight in the arena to gain a lightening of a sentence or in the case of smaller infractions of the law, have the charge lifted all together. Commonly, professional gladiators and fighting slaves are brought here to fight to the death in bloody glory with one another, when some other more civil means of entertainment isn’t taking place here.
A huge, open-air structure that spans several city blocks, the Sundown Coliseum represents the hub of city activity and social interaction. The walls themselves are fashioned from bleached stone and have weathered generations of the population. Within, there are seating arrangements for over 15,000 people and can accommodate many more in crisis situations, where the population of the city must be brought together. (Click here to join our coliseum channel and here for the game rules for participating).
Locherbee’s House of Chance: Another example of a new business created from the post civil war boom, Dugan Locherbee was a soldier in the Sundown Regulars, during the Ko regime. Considered by many as one of the few honest guardsmen of the time, Dugan had acted as an informant for the Shadow Hunters and when the civil war broke out, good Dugan found himself fighting side by side with them in the thick of the fighting.
A big, strapping Hillsman with a fiery crown of ginger hair and a beard to match, good Dugan had decided to turn down an invitation to join the Shadow Hunters and instead took the gold he had earned as a soldier and opened this gambling house. Many forms of entertainment can be found here, from various card games to an array of dice games are continually in play, with bards and dancers often providing entertainment for those who win or lose their fortunes.
Merchant Guild: The Merchant Guild is a huge tower in the eastern end of the Financial District that houses various craftsman for hire, looking for work as well as hire-swords and mercenaries looking for monsters to kill or a caravan to guard. It also serves as a location where people who wish to conduct commerce in Sundown pay to get a license to do so, where disputes of unfair or unsavory business practices are heard and where the Merchant Lords of Sundown meet weekly to discuss financial matters for the city.
The Merchant Lords consist of five elected representatives from the various businesses throughout Sundown that are chosen to represent them in trade and commerce matters. These Lords often act as liaisons to Sundown’s government when discussing fiscal matters with the Ministry of Trade. This is one of the few measures that was not changed over with the overthrowing of Ko’s regime, as the policy of limited government where it applies to private commerce has proven successful for Sundown.
It is commonly known the Merchant Guild has its own agenda and that agenda may or may not coincide with the city’s government. While this clash of principals was certainly more predominant during the last administration, it does still exist. It is not unheard of for the Merchant Lords to hire thugs to help adjust the attitude of a less than cooperative business owner or city official, though such corruption is now closely watched by the Shadow Hunters.
Sundown Regulars Barracks: With the institution of separation between peace keeping within the city and actual military activity, the restructured Sundown Regulars were moved out of their venerable guard house and given new barracks inside the Financial District. The building itself is a large, boromandite reinforced flagstone structure that sprawls several city blocks.
Meant as a place the Regulars can meet, congregate, plan and train, the Barracks are a post civil war addition to the city. With the flag of Sundown flying high over it, citizens are often welcomed to come watch the Regulars perform training and combat exercises in the yard within. It also houses a great deal of weaponry and armor should there ever be a city crisis where they must mobilize and arm quickly.
Where the Shadow Hunters work to keep the peace throughout Sundown, the Sundown Regulars are solely for offensive and defensive military operations. Jurisdiction often comes into play between the two groups; where a Shadow Hunter could arrest a Regular for public drunkenness, he or she could not do so, if the Regular was engaged in some kind of military assault within the city. Likewise, Regulars couldn’t detain a Shadow Hunter for roughing up a suspect, but could if one interfered with a military operation.
Blackhawk Arms: Owned by the legendary mercenary, Scrapulous Blackhawk, Blackhawk Arms is the single biggest supplier of flintlocks pistols and rifles and black powder, as well as a large array of melee weapons and armor. Scrappy as he’s called by friends is also an accomplish blacksmith and is presently the only individual in Sundown that can smelt boromandite and understands the process of rune-etching weapons and armor.
A Half-Elf of indeterminate age, it is commonly known that Scrapulous is not originally from Imarel, but a far-traveled mercenary that has seen many planes of existence and has gone on many adventures. A darker skinned male with silver-chased black hair and a neatly trimmed goatee and stern gray eyes, it’s been said more than once that Scrapulous is likely partially made of metal, for how iron-headed he tends to be. His prices for exotic weapons and armor reflect that, as it is commonly known that he simply will not haggle for a price on his best equipment.
Retired from adventuring and general trouble-making, Scrapulous has had Blackhawk Arms nearly since the Merchant District was first zoned roughly one hundred years ago. Considered the place to go for exotic weaponry, it’s rumored that he even carries some very hard to find bane weapons in his interesting stock.
Sundown School House: One of the many post civil war additions to Sundown, the School House was a long fought for and very sought after addition to the city. As previously mentioned, Ko wished to keep the citizenry as uneducated as possible to ensure she could easily dupe and control them. With the overthrow of that regime the School become a possibility at last.
A fairly small structure in comparison to some of the other buildings in the Merchant District, the school teaches history, language, writing, mathematics and science but does not delve past a good, well-rounded basic education. Whether this will change or not remains to be seen, with more educated people moving to Sundown, the possibility of an expanded curriculum grows, since the potential for more teachers grows in kind.
Sundown Banking House: With the collapse of the vampire regime and the adaptation of the Keshra monetary standard of the Windsong Republic, the need to have a central point from which coins from other nations can be converted, earned coin could be stored and bank writs honored became a necessity. When Sundown was a freehold, most had adopted the T`ah standard that the Quar`Vess and the Shar`Vaire use since most business was done with relatively nearby Anthalaen cities. Where coin could not be applied, trade of goods and services could be.
The bank building is a newer structure in Sundown as one may expect, with at least seven Sundown Regulars guarding the building at all times. It is constructed out of thick flagstone walls with Bormandite plate reinforcing various points within the structure. Despite this nearly siege-proof design, the Banking House maintains a certain measure of eloquence, with tall columns and a sweeping, tiled roof that overhangs with a tasteful curl at the edges to give it a temple-like feel.
Going inside, one finds themselves within the spacious structure complete marble columns and floor, complimented by large tapestries and patterned throw rugs throughout. The vault where all the coin is kept is not within plain sight and is said to be protected by an eight inch thick Moonsteel door.
Yimir ri Sado (School of Blades): When the Elvish Quarter was commissioned at the conclusion of the Sundown Civil War, one of the first structures to be placed within the newly added section of the city was the Yimir ri Sado. One of the important aspects of Moon Elvish culture is the intricate and beautiful fighting styles developed from their natural ambidexterity. While boasting to be the only place in the Windsong Republic Blade Dancers can be instructed, other more mundane fighting styles are taught, for those seeking more grace than the brutal tactics of the gladiators at the Coliseum.
The building itself is quite large, with a great dome in the center, with four smaller domes comprising the four points of the compass. Each dome has a sorcerously-reinforced glass roof so participants can practice in all weather conditions. Each of the adjoining, smaller domes are training areas while the center dome is reserved for actual combat. While a place of violence, the interior is decorated with many elaborate fountains and garden arrangements, reminding those who walk within the school of the ancient magnificence of Am-Shei.
The building is a wonder of architecture to behold; it is a round structure, with risen and vaulted walls and tiers to accustic purposes, with a massive golden dome that can be opened and closed with the weather conditions. Seating is comfortable with the tiers fitted with cushions and up-swept armrests. The center, where performances take place, has a risen stage in the middle that can be lowered to mesh with the Kassoa wood floor.
As previously mentioned, performances take place here year round and all are welcome to partake of the Dorna, though as with any performing arts function, those who attend are expected to dress properly and show respect for the performances taking place. Each week a new play is conducted here and each weekend a new music performance is offered, giving a wide range of events to choose from.
Alua ri Zorah (Light of Zorah): One of the great disservices paid to the Moon Elves of Sundown was the fact that their matron goddess, Zorah was barred from worship within the borders of the city. With a vast majority of Humans in Sundown and most of them claiming Kaal as their patron god, it was almost required that Ko allow at least a temple to the Sun Father to be built. With no desire to have further divine influence in her city, all other religion and worship of Deities and Spirits of Imarel was prohibited.
With the ousting of the vampire regime and the new government, worship of all Spirits and Deities was allowed, providing that worship did not bring danger to the citizenry (such as the Cultists of Khavos had done). With that new freedom came a great calling to build a temple dedicated to Zorah, to match the one built for Kaal. With the commissioning of the Elvish Quarter, the Alua ri Zorah was built with magnificent crystal panes, reinforced with magic so they could be molded and shaped together to form a great, shining spire. Within the spire, Elementalists and Druids worked together to stone-shape a natural terrain that gently ascended the interior of the crystal spire. Wild animals roam freely, amongst a thicket of carefully managed trees and grass.
The Druid who tends the Alua ri Zorah, Misa L`Tayro, is fairly new to the auspicious rank of Hierophant (the Druidic equivalent of a high priest amongst those who follow Zorah) and had taken the position here with great humility, knowing what it meant to her fellow Tallis-Shei who before now, did not have a place of worship they could culturally identify with, until now. As such, she is most dutiful in tending to the exotic spire-grove and is often available for council.
Shei Dorna ri Virys (Elvish Hall of Lore): In establishing a district of the city that addresses the cultural ties of the Tallis-Shei people, it was unanimously decided that a library of some sort that contained works of art, literature and relics had to be established. Part museum, part library, the Shei Dorna ri Virys has been filled with works and relics that were donated from various personal collections across Imarel. Many of these books and items can be dated back to when Am-Raynia was first constructed and the Kingdom of Shei was the name of the territory now known as the Kingdom of Vyss now stands. Other, older items are thought to have crossed the Forgotten Portal from ancient Am-Shei; these particular items are protected with great zeal by Tallis-Shei honor guards assigned to the Shei Dorna ri Virys.
The building, like many Tallis-Shei structures is domed, with a gold roof and pillars that have sweeping, leaf-like flanges that rise beautifully from the tops of each pillar with flowering vines decorating the length of each. Within the structure, there are four floors plus a basement, where the most valuable and rare items are kept by the honor guards mentioned previously. Each floor is constructed of a rose-colored marble and is dedicated to a certain aspect of Elvish culture. The first floor is dedicated to history and lore, the second art and music, the third is dedicated to customs and culture and the forth is dedicated to weapons, armor and military history.