A Malevolent Apparatus
The population of Vigrid and the Vigrid Plains exploded after two echogenesis zones to the north and the south devoured what was then the two largest cities on the Eddarra Peninsula. In the twenty years since The Arrival, the population increased three-fold as the trade of two different cities moved to Vigrid and the refugees who were able to escape from the lost cities made Vigrid their new home.
Vigrid at a Glance
Much of Vigrid is new construction, but the old city is visible throughout. Prior to The Arrival, the city was an attractive urban sprawl, a city within a garden. Homes and stores were built around large plazas, connected by long manicured walkways to form an open and airy Vigrid. The sprawl has been filled by dense population growth. Those with an eye for architecture can see where new buildings overtook these old plazas and filled in where gardens used to grow, old buildings surround clusters of new growth.
Most of Vigrid’s edifice is stone with an architecture that places a high priority on order and a concerted effort to use a common set of rules for construction. Vigrid’s architecture possesses a strong sense of geometry and symmetry; however, new construction and the constraints of space has made strict adherence to proportional arrangement of space somewhat impractical. New construction still adheres to the stylistic cues of the older architecture, indulging in arches, columns, and alcoves both in the interior and the exterior.
Approximately 80,000 live within the city walls and again as many live in the villages, estates, and compounds on the surrounding Vigrid Plain. Within the city walls, no race holds a majority of the population; however, human (45%), eladrin (30%), and tiefling (15%) are the largest of the racial groups. On the plains, humans are the majority race accounting for three-fifths of the population, though some of these humans are actually kalashtar. Halfling, elf and tiefling round out the other concentrated populations on the Vigrid Plain. The large eladrin and tiefling populations in Vigrid are a result of echogenesis zones devouring the respective cities of Flonne and Etna.
Much of the city self-segregates, eladrin generally prefer to deal with eladrin, tiefling prefer to deal with tiefling, etc.; however, given a large number of people in a small amount of space maintaining segregation requires dedication, which small segments of the population do try to maintain by patronizing eladrin-only or tiefling-only establishments. The human quarters are the most open and least segregated. Integrated groups are frequently seen, but it’s not what the average table at a cafe would look like. Most of the segregation occurs between tiefling and eladrin, who prefer not to be in the company of the other — the loss of their respective cities to echogenesis zones brought the two rival races and their powerful merchant houses into close proximity.
As the major trading port, Vigrid sees a lot of people foreign to the city and the citizenry has grown accustomed to seeing people from all corners of Kiru.
Dante Aurealis II took the throne in the second year after The Authority entered the world. He was a young king, having ascended on his twenty second birthday, during the idealistic phase of his life. He believed in goodwill, mutual benefit, and took the powerful at their word. The displaced merchant houses of the eladrin from Flonne and the tiefling from Etna preyed on the naivety of a young Dante Aurealis II.
His advisors could have prevented the shift in power away from the throne if all they had to contend with were the foreign merchant houses setting up shop in Vigrid, but the growth of Authoritarian sects downgraded the throne’s ability to be engendered by the populace at large. In addition, several of the noble houses took advantage of the influx of eldadrin and tiefling, creating very favorable leasing terms on the new construction on their lands, deeply filling their coffers and rising in power. Before long his rule was undermined and gutted with little means to directly exert influence on any of the power groups. The other groups had amassed enough wealth to buy influence from even those who viewed the throne in a favorable light.
The king and the nobles loyal to the throne do retain significant power within Vigrid, but it is no longer absolute and barely above any of those of the other power groups. Maintaining a balance of power within the other groups in his city has occupied much of Aurealis’ political economy. The need for business to maintain stability is Aurealis’ primary ally in his fight to retain control over Vigrid.
For the average person, the streets of Vigrid are fairly safe. There is the street crime in Vigrid that any other major city experiences and the desire to maintain order keeps the general populace relatively safe in their daily lives. Important people, affiliated people, those scratching out a name for themselves, they’re the ones who need to watch their back and keep an eye out for trouble for at some point it will most certainly start watching them.
Vigrid is a major trading port, which forms the center of its economic activity. Several of the noble houses have become banking enterprises, financing and investing in growth to other parts of the Eddarra Peninsula and beyond.
Cafes and Taverns
The populace of Vigrid enjoys a cafe culture during the daylight hours. Currently, the chai drinks once only found in establishments in tiefling neighborhoods have spread in popularity throughout the city. At midday, cafes are crowded with conversation and the soft, but somehow heavy, aroma of het’ bazi smoldering from the pipes of several human and tiefling patrons.
At night, people move to taverns and bars as the daytime cafes are prohibited from selling alcoholic beverages. Selling alcohol during the daytime is illegal and city ordinance prevents establishments that sell alcohol from being open during daylight hours, they can only operate at night. The sunset trek from cafe to tavern a tradition for an all-day affair. There are of course underground establishments for those who wish to drink during the day. The well-to-do populace prefers wines and liquor over beers. Ales are unfashionable amongst those who follow trends.
There are many organizations in Vigrid, some in the public view, some not. While many of these organizations are exclusive to Vigrid, some have spheres the extend beyond the city.
- August Union, The
- The Black Pentad
- Cantus Pella
- Kestrel Bounties
- Merchant Council of Vigrid, The
- Nobuzerri Merchant Empire
The Thousand and Their Flocks
Vigrid has twelve precincts or wards. The usage of the words precinct and ward are synonymous from a civic perspective. City map is available in the secrets section (must be logged in).
Vigrid’s central precincts are atop a plateau and surrounded by stone fortress walls.
Court Precinct is an area of old Vigrid. It is an upper middle class precinct. A great deal of attention was paid so that the new construction matched the existing structures of the city. While the homes and other buildings in the district tend toward the spacious, they are built close to one another, packed tight.
Court Precinct is named after The Court of Justice, which was one of the few courtyards and plazas preserved, rather than built over, when Vigrid’s population began to swell. Residents of Court Precinct enjoy the many cafes in the ward.
Party Contacts: Gordon Gobstopper, Tahtgui
Locations: Sweet Teeth, The Angry Dwarf
Fish Monger Precinct
Every morning before sunrise, a hundred small fishing boats shove off from the north shore of the district to make their catch along The Paradiso or the estuary of Black Harbor, returning and beaching just as the day darkens down into night. The catch of the day will be left to dry or be canned the next day.
When you enter the Fish Monger Precinct the look and feel of Vigrid changes. Instead of the ordered and considered architecture, the look of The Fish Monger Ward is more thrown together. It is easy to see the remnants of what was originally a shack village. The new construction in this precinct is dense. Very small houses are crammed together on irregular streets. As an outsider, you get the sense that some of the places in the precinct are off limits to visitors. You’re met with unfriendly stares when you round certain corners. People who were leaning against buildings, talking amongst themselves, walk into the street as a roadblock. The old fisher families who lived here before the buildup stick together closely, keeping their blocks in the precinct unfriendly to newcomers, the laborers and dock workers spilled over from The Molo Nord, that the fish mongers see as taking over their town.
Party Contacts: Shamash Aristotle
Locations: Old Fish Cannery
The stone wall around the island precinct of Kulta Seina has a golden hue during sunset. Within the golden wall is a tielfing city within a city. Many of the tiefling of Kulta Seina are content to remain in their precinct to only deal with their own kind. Geographically, there’s little reason for anyone without a purpose to enter the precinct to be there, allowing the separatists to maintain their isolation. All that connects Kulta Seina to the rest of Vigrid is one bridge it shares with the Overbridge precinct.
Kulta Seina is still on King Aurealis II’s land and the kings men are what is posted at the gates of the precinct, but it is unofficially an autonomous precinct that was mostly built out of tiefling money. The wall and the bridge was built a century ago to house a small university, which still exists, but has been swallowed up by the population shift of the tiefling refugees from Etna settling in Vigrid.
Party Contacts: Cruelty
Locations: University of the Nobuzerri
This precinct of the city is built around the open air market, which is situated by the gates leading to The Molo Nord, the Cantiere Acque Nere, the Fishmonger’s Precinct, and the docks from the Centeral Precinct. Stalls and tables crowd the alleyways of the market, selling niche goods often ignored by the larger merchant houses. Naturally, the larger houses and businesses within Vigrid also have a presence in the open air market. It’s very competitive and rivalries abound, causing many to hire protection. In spite of the in-fighting amongst the merchants, it’s relatively safe for the average citizen, just keep an eye on your coin pouch and only bring as much as you’ll need.
There are dozens of eateries interspersed within the controlled chaos of the market. Everyone has a favorite stall for fried noodles from Nilnhan or Lacriman spiced stews, which are among the most popular destinations during the past year.
Party Contacts: Shamash Aristotle.
The Molo Nord
The Molo Ward consists of the eastern side of the north piers, warehouse complexes, and a working class neighborhood with dwellings of near identical design with minor cosmetic effects to differentiate them. Between the old city wall and the piers is almost entirely new construction, often made from wood. The inhabitants of The Molo Nord came from other parts of Nordglund, sent to Vigrid to fill in the trade void after the former hubs of Etna and Flonne were sealed by echogenesis zones.
Ship crews from various Nordglunder ports often remain in The Molo Nord during their layover in Vigrid. Several of the inns and taverns cater to sailors from specific Nordglunder regions. These taverns are often “locked” during the day, meaning they’re serving alcohol behind closed doors to an entire ship’s crew. Prostitutes are about as abundant as drunken sailors in certain parts of the precinct.
Party Contacts: Thursday.
Within the Nousi Kartano are manor homes and estates connected by wide cobbled roads bordered with cultivated hedges of roses and cypress trees. The precinct most closely resembles the Vigrid prior to The Arrival. A handful of the estates have opened their gardens to the public.
Many of the estates are rarely occupied by their owners on a continual basis. These estates are the urban dwellings of the dukes and barons who own the lands of the surrounding Vigrid Plain or of wealthy merchants who have several homes across Kiru. This doesn’t mean that the estates are empty. Almost every estate houses important guests. An army of servants tends to these guests and maintains the appearance of the grounds of their masters.
Locations: Lord Simón’s Home.
Old Temple Ward
There used to be a dozen temples and large shrines here, but with the expulsion of the gods from Kiru the temples lost their purpose. Few continued to pay tribute to The Expulsed and those that did found themselves less willing to express their devotion in public.
Today there are two dominant features of the Old Temple Ward, The Authoritarian Cathedral and scaffolding. The nearly finished cathedral is massive, with its spires reaching high toward the sky, and can be seen from most parts of Vigrid. There is a lot of stonework involved with the new construction in the ward, so the rate of completion is much slower than in some of the newer precincts. However, scaffolding doesn’t just surround the new construction, but around the deconstruction and re-purposing of the old temples and their associated structures.
Overbridge is an affluent precinct filled with a lot of new money, and with new money comes new power. It is a dynamic population with travelers, adventurers, and transplants from all across Kiru.
The buildings in the precinct are all well constructed and decorated in the tradition of old Vigrid. Many of the new hotels and resorts have undergone treatment to look weathered and antique. There are many conveniences in Overbridge of magical creation, such as when it rains, as it often does, unseen servants hold ladies’ umbrellas to keep them dry. A canal runs in a loop through Overbridge, which was expanded and beautified within the last decade. Overbridge attracts wealthy visitors from around Kiru who come for the festivals around the canal. With each new guest hosted by the precinct’s hotels, another piece of intrigue seems to insert itself into Vigrid. Some dismiss the precinct as one simply of high priced real estate, entertainment and vices, but those who do likely haven’t spent much time getting past the facade.
Party Contacts: Janne Machivel.