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Chapter One: A Native's Look at Achar

The city-state of Achar is the centre of the church of Acharis. Founded 87 years ago, it was raised quickly due to judicious use of magic and of summoned creatures. In the time since its founding, it has become the model of cities everywhere, a beacon for the light of civilization and for the rule of law that makes civilization possible.

General Notes on Achar

Geography & Architecture

The city is laid out on the precepts of law and order, and all important areas (including the city perimeter) are defined as squares, the square being a shape of rightness and equality. Surrounding the city is a mighty wall, fully 30' thick and 50' high, which is pierced on each side by two gates. Each gate is guarded by a gate tower, and additional towers can be found at each corner of the city.

The foundations of the city are built upon a low, rocky plateau overlooking the mouth of the Akan River. The edge of the plateau is a line of low cliffs along the coast of Akanian Bay. The land atop the plateau is fertile, and much of it has been cleared for farmland to support the city's population.

Achar is one of the largest cities in the Realm Within, and, due to the enlightened leadership and general respect for lawfulness in the city, is relatively free of the squalor and filth representative of such large cities. As it was planned and built according to lawful precepts, it is laid out on an easily understood grid pattern, with attention paid to easy access to the various parts of the city. The larger main roads of the city are smoothly paved with brick, and the smaller streets (including alleyways) are paved with even cobblestones. The diligence of the Streetsweepers' Guild ensures that the many streets are free from excessive debris and filth.

Buildings within Achar vary according to size and usefulness to the city at large. All are sturdily built, with the ground level always being built of stone (to reduce the risk of fire). Upper levels are built of stone or wood as appropriate to the building's function. Government, church, and public buildings, especially those in Temple Ward at the centre of the city, are built entirely of stone, usually marble.

The most noticeable feature of the city is the shimmering glow that arches overhead, connecting the tops of the walls in transparent, but visible, dome. This is the visible effect of the city's mythal, and the shimmering curtain extends down the centre of each wall, forming membrane at each gate through which each visitor must pass. This mythal is a key part of the city's defences.

Climate

Located in the temperate zone of the southern hemisphere, Achar is a city of warm summers and cool winters. Due to the sheltering cliffs around Akanian Bay, only the worst of the coastal storms in any season ever disturb the city. The cool breezes off the water keep the city from sweltering in the summer months, but the winter months tend to be cold, dark, and rainy. Snow does fall in Achar, but seldom to the point of incapacitating the city.

Population

Achar is home to over 100,000 inhabitants, and the city's population can swell to nearly half-a-million during holy days and the peak of trading season. All major races can be encountered within the city, although the majority of the population are human. Dwarves can be found in respectable numbers in the city; indeed, they were instrumental in the planning and building of Achar. Gnomes and halflings are also represented, although their naturally curious and adventurous natures means that only the more reserved, law-abiding of the little folk live there. Few elves are found in the city (or in any city, for that matter), and those do that live here have a particular affinity for human culture. This has resulted in a stable population of half-breed children, and half-elves are well accepted in Achar.

Due to constant trading activity, Achar plays host to peoples of all nations. Due to the elaborate magical defences, even such "evil" races as lizard folk, giants, goblinkin, and other non-humanoids are allowed into the city to trade at times (although these are still rare, and such visitors are carefully monitored by all).

Rulers

The city of Achar is ruled by the Church of Acharis. While the Patriarch of the Church is officially also the temporal ruler of the city and its environs, the day-to-day management of the city is in the care of a council assigned by the church. A complex of system of checks and balances ensures that no one person can accumulate too much personal power. Rather each council member is chosen through an "aristocracy of talent" and is encouraged to be a servant of the people. Council members know that, if they work for their own good rather than for the good of all, they will be replaced.

People & Places of Note

Telamon, Patriarch of Achar, male human Cleric 9 / Divine Oracle 10 / Hierophant 4

Elleron, Underpriest of Achar, male human Cleric 6

Evan Stoneshard, Commander of the Watch, male human Ftr8 / Rog5

Vallen of the Shielding Orb, Wizard 18 (Abjurer)

Grimsley the Sagacious, Wizard 12 (Diviner) / Lor7

Allanon, Wizard 18 (Enchanter)

Goran Flambeaux, Wizard 15 (Evoker) / Elemental Savant 5 (fire) [pyromancer]

Jareth Wyrmfingers, Wizard 17 (Illusionist)

The Upright Man, Guildmaster of the Faceless Ones, male half-elf Rogue 15

Rogar, Lieutenant of the Faceless Ones, male half-elf Rogue 10

Laila, Receptionist of the Faceless Ones, female human Rogue 3

Temple Ward

Architecture

Landmarks

Guild Halls

Shops

Inns & Taverns

Other Places of Interest

Places of Danger

Ward of Solicitors

Architecture

Landmarks

Guild Halls

Shops

Inns & Taverns

Other Places of Interest

Places of Danger

Ward of Merchants

Architecture

Landmarks

Guild Halls

Shops

Inns & Taverns

Other Places of Interest

Places of Danger

Ward of Craftsmen

Architecture

Landmarks

Guild Halls

Shops

Inns & Taverns

Other Places of Interest

Places of Danger

Ward of Militia

Architecture

Landmarks

Guild Halls

Shops

Inns & Taverns

Other Places of Interest

Places of Danger

Forest Ward

Architecture

Landmarks

Guild Halls

Shops

Inns & Taverns

Other Places of Interest

Places of Danger

Mountain Ward

Architecture

Landmarks

Guild Halls

Shops

Inns & Taverns

Other Places of Interest

Places of Danger

Ocean Ward

Architecture

Landmarks

Guild Halls

Shops

Inns & Taverns

Other Places of Interest

Places of Danger

River Ward

Architecture

Landmarks

Guild Halls

Shops

Inns & Taverns

Other Places of Interest

Places of Danger