At World's End
Across Illia, the name “Granville” evokes feelings of wonder, awe, and envy. Although it is the third largest city on the continent, Granville is undoubtedly the most famous and most cosmopolitan metropolis on the continent of Illia. Having grown rich on a steady diet of trade and industry, this crossroads city combines the best aspects of many cultures into a marvelous shining jewel. Granville’s cultural patrimony is all of Illia, and its inhabitants are much richer for it.
Granville is home to haughty nobles, diligent craftsmen, scheming merchants, daring sailors, and bold adventurers of every stripe. It has always been a center of wealth and influence where those who dream of power, riches, or artistic fulfillment can come to to realize their aspirations. Since General Eramor’s rise to power the Granville University of Science has since opened its doors to all citizens; no longer can only the rich and powerful attend the university.
23,650; another 2000 or so live in the countryside within a few miles of the city’s walls. During the summer months the population swells to almost twice its normal size. 64% human, 13% dwarf, 8% elf, 6% halfling, 4% dragonborn, 5% other races (gnomes, tieflings, half-orcs, eladrin).
There is no one ruler of Granville. In this city of riches, one only gains power through the power of coin. That leaves most of the control of Granville to the merchant princes and guild masters. However, Lord Mayor Hulicrom the city’s civic power. Elected by the populace the Lord Mayor controls the city’s defenses and cultural heritage.
The City Watch is Granville’s inner-city defense squad. Made up of 350 trained citizens, The Watch guards the streets and mediates city disputes. Citizens are cycled through in turns so that each person is assigned to the City Watch at least once, and for 6 months to a year.
The City Guard (or Gold Cloaks as they’re more commonly called) is the city’s standing military force. They are fully trained soldiers in the service of the city.
Most of the wealthy employ at least a small group of personal guards.
Being such a large and diverse city, nearly all kinds of goods and services can be found here, though some might be a bit more difficult to find. There are numerous inns, taverns, ale houses, tap rooms and hotels to accommodate travelers.
Since there is no real centralized power, a lot of the inter-city power comes from guilds. The most prominent of which are the Dockhand’s Guild, the Order Arcanum, the Fellowship of Innkeepers and the Helper’s Guild. While religion doesn’t play a huge role in the politics of Granville, temples can be found for almost any deity, most notably Avandra and Erathis.
System of Wards
Granville is broken up into several wards, mostly for security and order; two things a city this large and diverse needs. There are no formal boundaries between wards, there are eight recognized wards:
The City of the Dead is nearly a ninth ward unto itself.
The sea ward, previously known as the temple district, is the cultural hub for Granville. Temples for every deity are found in this ward, as well as parks, museums, theaters, The Ring of Heroes and the Sea’s Edge Beach. Most of the higher-end hotels and bars are located here.
Granville’s quietest ward is also one of its wealthiest. The cities wealthy merchants and lower nobles live here. Though the placid appearance hides the scheming and intrigue that goes on behind closed doors, and the number of smuggled goods that lie in basements below the city streets.
The most extravagant and and grand of all the districts, the palace ward is home to the richest of the rich. Large mansions and lush gardens dot the streets. The palace ward is also home to the administrative buildings of the mayor. The palace ward is the only ward that has a boundary surrounding it; a low wall circles the perimeter and the city watch guards the gates.
Given over almost entirely to commerce, Trades Ward lacks the feeling of community found in the more residential wards, but retains the hustle and bustle of a marketplace throughout the day and night.
This ward is focused around the Institute Arcanum: the largest public university for learning the arcane. Most other buildings are small apartments, eateries and bookstores. In the last 20 years the institute has become more and more open to the general public; no longer only available to richest of the rich. The institute is run by the Order Arcanum.
The military ward is home to the the City Guard, and the City Watch. The ward is filled mostly with barracks and administration buildings with a few taverns and bars thrown in the mix. The harbor here is where the navy docks their ships.
The south ward is the destination for most traveling merchants. Caravan City, as this oft-forgotten ward is sometimes known, is a homely, friendly, busy, and largely poor area of Granville. If anywhere in the city were to be called “slums” this would be the place. This is also the first stop for traveling merchants, because during summer months the south ward fills with caravans and wagons, filling the air with the crying of beasts of burden and the crack of whips.
Granville’s most notorious and colorful ward is also the oldest. Traveler’s tales portray it as a lawless, brawling place of drunks, smugglers, roaming monsters, and fell magic, which is not all that far from the truth. The bustling harbor scene and its attendant activities dominate this ward.
City of the Dead:
This area serves as a general cemetery for Granville, and its size nearly makes it a ward in and of itself. Many citizens visit the City of the Dead’s parklike green lawns and white marble tombs during the day, for it is one of the few places dominated by greenery that the citizens of Granville can share within the city walls. A Watch contingent keeps the cemetery peaceful, and various members of the Guild of Chandlers and Lamplighters keep torches lit around and inside a number of the tombs. The grounds are off-limits after dusk, and the gates are locked. Nevertheless, many individuals still hold clandestine meetings at night in the City of the Dead, despite the slight risk of undead escaping from a warded tomb to prowl the sprawling cemetery.