Thursday, November 15, 2012

The City by the Spire

Whether you approach by land, sea, or most unlikely, air, the first thing that strikes you about the city is the unnatural and unnerving Spire. A towering shaft of stone that rises high above the city, it is clear that it was formed by no natural process.  One need look no further than the Spire to know that Ptolus is a place of magic and mystery.

At street level, it is also clear that Ptolus is no ordinary city.  While humans are the predominant race they share the city with a elves, dwarves, gnomes, halflings, and a smattering of even more unusual creatures, the leonine Litorians, half-orcs, even the occasional civilized troll, minotaur, or lizard-folk.  You immediately notice that weapons are more casually carried here than in other places you are familiar with.  This is hardly surprising though, since the lure of adventure is probably one of the reasons that you, yourself came to Ptolus. Perhaps you have heard of the vast treasures that still await discovery by intrepid "delvers" in the seemingly endless tunnels below the city--known to locals as "The Dungeon."

As you enter the city, it is likely that you find your way to The Ghostly Minstrel, in Delver's Square.  In any event when people get the inkling that you might be an adventurer, they point you in that direction. You pick up tidbits of gossip, of things stirring in the dark-- unusual things even for Ptolus, of evil cults and dastardly plots, of political machinations and widespread corruption.  One story has a ring of truth to it, and (if you can read) it is confirmed by several of the "broadsheets" that circulate in the city.  Only two weeks before your arrival a group of adventurers was slaughtered in a melee at the Cloud theater.  Though unconfirmed in the press, rumor has it that they were killed attempting to protect the star of the show that night "The Boy Who Could Sing."  As it turns out that boy (who rumor also has it, couldn't actually sing), was none other than one Dullin Balacazar.  While this name doesn't mean much to you at first, a helpful townsperson explains that the Balacazar family are one of the most powerful and feared crime families Ptolus.  As such, whispers of an impending street war are frantically spread through the city as the citizens wonder who would be foolish enough to so brazenly attack the Balacazars. 

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