The Varedian District (5e Environment)
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The City of Vared
A city located to the Northwest of the country, Vared (vah•red) is sometimes referred to as the Polar Palace, due to its large ice walls protecting the city, it is fairly small in population (having only 8 000 residents) and while still being grand, it is also the smallest city in the country. The circular city is divided into two sections, located just inside the wall and covering the circumference of the city is the commercial area, filled with everything from blacksmiths and libraries to magic shops and taverns. And in the center of the city, the residential area, class seperation is minimal in the area, since the conditions of the city make having a tight-knit community essential.
The people of Vared use their water bending to great effect, with all but the taverns in the commercial area being meticulously designed igloos, however, due to the building laws of the city preventing dwellings from being made of ice or snow, all the residential homes and inns are largely made of wood, and are all fashioned after traditional, cozy log cabins.
The agricultural portion of the city is located just outside the walls of the city, it mainly focuses on animals like, Quaggoraths (who have to be kept in igloos due to their extreme light sensitivity), Bison, and different types of fish. A few herbs do grow so far north, however, like the hardy Frostroot, and the Da'n (a grain that tastes and acts similarly to wheat, but has a faint hint of spice.)
The residential district of Vared is built on top of a naturally forming hill at the center of the city, at the top of the hill is the Government House, a long, wooden building that keeps track of any filing and paperwork, and serves as a house for both the Mayor of the city and the local Lawmaster. The only prison in the city is located 3-18 floors below the Government House and has 200 cells. While the city has a sizeable population, the crime rate is astonishingly low with only about half the cells full at any one time. A recent government study showed that the residential area of Vared is the safest place in the country.
The commercial District lies directly outside the residential district, and is divided into 9 smaller sections for each type of business, going clockwise these are: Culinary, Furniture, Construction, Banking, Adventuring, Inn/Tavern, Public refuge and Events (the event district also houses and sells sporting equipment. While this system is highly regarded for being well organized, the frustration of needing two things on opposite sides of the city has birthed the phrase, "You're going from cooking to fighting." when somebody is taking the longest way of doing something or have a monumental task ahead of them that they may be unprepared for.
Outside the home of the Chieftain of the city, Hakoda, is a massive stone wall measuring about ten feet tall and thirty five feet wide known as the, "Leaders' Plaque". Each chieftain has their core goals for the city engraved into the stone, and the sigil of the city is engraved next to their name when all of the goals are completed. The wall is about two thirds full, and another will be added when it is completed, with the first going into a museum. The first was installed after the toppling of the dictatorship, symbolizing the ringing in of a new era.
Business, Exports and Reputation
Vared is highly regarded for for its first and wools, the local sheep have been bred specifically for a perfect combination of soft, strong, and long-lasting wool, and it's not uncommon to find clothing made with Varedian materials.
The Chieftain of the city is Hakoda, an old leader known for her wisdom, kindness and her advice. In addition, she is also an expert cook. Every 6 months on the solstice a large festival is held throughout the city in the Public and Event sub-districts, and Hakoda's cooking is always a favorite of event goers.
Notable Varedian NPCs
Hakoda: The Chieftain of Vared, Hakoda is an elderly human woman standing 5'3" with shoulder-length white hair, usually adorned in furs and skins, with a pipe in her mouth that she bought on a visit to Casanova. She is widely respected, but her age means that she isn't able to be as active in the community as she once was, something she has trouble getting over.
Tacoma: The daughter of Hakoda, she is a 31 year old human woman, strongly against smoking she will often attempt to pull Hakoda's pipe out. While she usually keeps a level head like her mother, she can sometimes be easily irked by other people's actions. She is in line to inherit the position of Chieftain from Hakoda and is very active in the community. She likes children, and is a gifted storyteller, although she hasn't inherited her mother's cooking ability, and often relies on her husband, Lars (from the town of Winterhelm) to do the housekeeping.
Dadeh: The Lawmaster of Vared, Dadeh (dah•day) is ruthless in his pursuit of justice, and because of the supremely low crime rate in Vared and the high number of local guards, he feels that his talents are wasted in Vared and is waiting for a promotion. He is a (comparatively) young high-elf, who typically dresses in ceremonial garb so as to distinguish himself. He is a big fan of pastries and can often be seen eating something while patrolling. His keen mind allows him to use the plentiful guards at his disposal to full effect, and the city's title as the safest place in the country is largely attributed to him, a fact he is immensely proud of.
Dahdeh recently went missing during a routine patrol, civilians questioned say that Dadeh was last seen en route to the Blight Trimmers' headquarters, a medicinal guild focusing on natural remedies, who are currently studying a mysterious, potentially enchanted, pox upon the rare and dangerous Manchineel trees in the Tiger's Den; although how they were able to get samples of the trees in the first place is still unknown, since their highly acidic bark tends to make transportation difficult.
527 years old, 1430 people
Crestfall is located to the east of Vared, and shares much of the city's design structure, however, the wooden cabins of Vared aren't present because the climate is too harsh not to destroy them. Thusly, the Water Benders of the town will routinely fix any damage to the igloos if and when it occurs.
The chieftain of Crestfall is Hacoma (not related to Hakoda), an elderly half Elf woman with a very strict way of running things. She lost her son a long time ago to a blizzard and has since been highly cautious to try and make sure none of her other residents meet the same fate. Curfews are employed, the local guards are constantly guarding the perimeter, and it overall has a more militant atmosphere.
≈2000 years old, 1400 people
The local Legends of Gonar's Landing tell of a hero (Gonar) who was able to strike down Lolth using his tactical mind and military might, and then take her place as a God. Whether the legend is true has been debated since time immemorial, but some say that Gonar watches over the town to keep it from harm, and that that's why it's lasted so long.
The chieftain of Gonar's Landing is Kahadi, a middle aged male halfling. He is relaxed in most situations but fiercely passionate about the legend of Gonar, which is partly the reason he was sworn in. He declared every Endes a holiday where people are to drink to their heart's content, it has been met with slurred, positive feedback.
220 years old, 150 people
Isolation is so called for exactly the reason that one might expect. It's located in a Valley that makes it near impossible to reach unless you take the one road that diverges front the main highway. Unfortunately, most of the people have moved out of the town, and the remaining residents are beginning to wonder about officially leaving. The town has a council open to all residents, rather than a specific leader. They meet on the second week of each month to discuss the town. The town's small population allows effective change to be made even with this system, however with recent worries about the future of Isolation, recently, the discussions have been on the negative side.
Isolation is formed at the bottom of a colossal frozen lake, in a location where the massive ice sheets blanketing the land have been split open in a canyon type fashion. While the ice has historically held strong without leaking or crumbling, it is also only a few feet thick, and at night, the residents are treated to fantastic views of fluorescent jellyfish and other nautical creatures swimming through the other side, dimly lighting up the town with hues of blues and pinks for a few hours every night. While Isolation as a town has struggled to stay afloat recently, the night migration is considered by many to be an essential wonder of the world, and tourists, adventurers and the like are known to stop by frequently, providing a valuable boost to the economy.
Additionally, Isolation has an unusually high population of deep gnomes, about 1 in every 3 residents have a majority of deep gnome blood.
119 years old, 860 people
Created originally as a government stopping point during the time of the previous King, Lushville's name was partly ironic. However, it is the warmest place in the Varedian district, and the only major civilization in the district to be below the tree line, during the summer, there are 1 and a half months where the snow has melted, and the people celebrate this time with a carnival full of different sporting events. Not many crops grow in Lushville, but Frostroot, a tough plant with a quick growing period is the primary vegetable that doesn't have to be imported, they also have fluffy cows and cow-bison like creatures called Quagoraths.
Lushville is built roughly around the central government building of the town (which doubles as barracks and training grounds for the younger guards), after that are a collection of shops, and further from that are the houses of the villagers. A few minutes West of the town proper is a dock in an inlet of the ocean, and a few minutes South is the boarder that connects the Varedian district to the Docacean district. These days, it's not typically difficult to get through the boarder, and travelers only need to submit themselves to a quick check for any unreasonable weapons or contraband, and be of an "unsuspicious air and full physical and mental capacity within reason".
The Chieftain of Lushville is called Tanrak, a middle aged half-elven man. Tanrak is a skilled hunter who doubles as an experienced field medic. He used to work for Matías's Army, but once Matías was killed, he left and joined Lushville's community.
Northern Beachblush is colder by far than it naturally would be, due to a cold front that comes in from the Northeast, for that reason, the summer temperatures can often only reach 1-2 degrees at the height of summer, and in the northernmost points of the country can be as low as -60 degrees in the winter, those temperatures would only be expected in the Impossible Range however, the coldest place inhabited by people in the region, Crestfall, typically has a winter no colder than -45.
Northern Beachblush is the harshest place in the country both in terms of temperature, and the beasts that roam the district. Hags, Flesh Golems, Ancient Dragons and far more, both wandering the tundras and lurking like troglodytes below the surface of the ice, equally as likely to steal a glare as a soul. The ranges of Northern Beachblush are nothing to scoff at, and only the most battle hardened adventurers should attempt to stray even a few feet from the paths that have been laid out.