Geography--The Cite of Claw
Claw is a large city in a great position, overlooking the plains and hills. Much of the city is surrounded by walls, including part overlooking the ocean. The south wall has a moat, and two staggered entrances, the space between them ripe with traps from below and easily attacked from above as well — a frontal assault would have to be massive.
Elves were the first to settle in this part of Scorpion Island, and the first settlers landed in Claw, home of the City Tree. This not only drew them, but kept them in Claw, as it could easily house hundreds just inside of it, not to mention the magical powers of the tree. London is a younger settlement, but both cities have grown dependent on each other for trade and for curing the Red Sea problem.
The important stuff: Merchandise!
Claw is a huge importer and exporter of everything Scorpion Island produces. Items up to 20,000gc and occasionally even higher are available, but prices fluctuate greatly. Haggling is very common, and huge open markets are set up not only in the South of Claw near the inn and stables, but all along the walls of the arena.
Many innkeepers will dabble in trade to supplement their business, particularly in things easy to trade like jewellery and magic. Supplies of poison are regularly confiscated by the guards, and then first, a fining. Second, jail. Then the executioner’s block.
Certain magic items that would threaten the Baron are also forbidden, but largely the market in Claw is wide open, including the black market.
At least 15,000 are known to reside within the walls, and many more on farms in the country.
5000 humans, 2000 male
1500 half elves, 1400 male
700 dwarves, 400 male
500 gnomes, 200 male
1000 halflings, 150 male
500 others, 500 male
Navy/Sea Life in Claw:
The navy keeps at least 10 warships either docked or nearby, many others maintain the seas further out. Each warship has a crew of at least 26: 18 seamen, 5 siege engineers, 2 taskmasters, 1 captain.
The entire fleet has 40 Cargo ships, and each has at least 15 crew. They are designed to travel in convoy not only to London, but faraway places. Only 10 to 20 are usually docked or in close waters.
Highest ranking officers:
Sea Witch and Zek’s advisor/wife Lashala. Their ship — the Mighfly
Trade Fleet Vice, Yves-Pyer, — Endeavour
Captain of Mercenaries Skymuir – Piratesbane
Leiutenant-Recruit Prime Sishtula – Lucky
The navy gets a 2 week visit in summer and a 1 week visit in winter from Vice-Admiral Fazir, the King’s Brother. — Manifest.
Should the Archduke arrive in the RS Seafare, suddenly everything is tight and serious.
Army/Magic (even more intertwined than in London):
3 shifts of 150 men each
The keep has powerful mobile cavalry, artillery, and infantry ready for training and for emergencies.
There are 20 pieces of siege equipment spread through the city with 4 engineers each.
8 archer towers are also positioned around the city wall.
Highest ranking officers: General Akbar, Captain of Mercenaries Conag, Master Gaoler Karrik, Bounty Hunter Gare, and Evokess Trystin.
The mage tower is young, as is the evokess, but her apprentices are quick studies, they are positioned in a tower within the privy of mystic scholarship.
The Noble Houses:
Summer in Claw is a time of balls, Ladies, Lords, gambling, sex, and even the occasional assassination. Countess Anazi has her summer home in the West of Claw, across the lane from the richest houses in the city, hers the most grand. In addition to noble priests and magi, she keeps a staff of 20 “Guardeners” who maintain her grounds and are also well-trained in the arts of defence against thieves. They qualify as monks and are trained by the steward, who is the master of the house in the absence of the Countess.
The Baron’s house is just as well kept as the Countess’, but his plans are different. He has 12 dedicated gardeners without any guard responsibilities. The army maintains a direct presence on the Baron’s estate, including the “Abbey of the Oracles” priesthood, a special following of an elite 6 oracles always divining out any danger to the Baron and working on the Red Sea problem as well.
The Baron has bounty hunters trained and residing in his estate, led by one of his sons.
Priestess Lady Myrtle’s beautiful “City Tree” sits in a valley, overlooking the South market. Its lush branches extend over numerous buildings in the Privy of Mystic Scholarship, and weave over the chimney pieces of homes across the lane. It sits at the lowest part of her land, with a healthy pool of 3-6 foot water at the roots. The tree stands over 200 feet tall and just as many wide and it plays host to over 200 folk, who almost never leave.
The Lady is difficult to find an audience with, but she is revered for her wisdom and beauty. She attends Anazi’s balls in Summer. (lol girl balls). Her branch of the Dimorph religion keeps many mysteries. It believes in natural bounty, but it also believes in preserving the life/death cycle of nature. Here, there are said to be druidic rituals, providing to community, nature, balance. It is said there are even sacrifices of many degrees.