City of Aslov
Aslov lies at the edge of the Jagged Peaks and is the first settlement of note south of Hellfrost Pass.
The city has far exceeded its capacity to house refugees. Hundreds of desperate souls live outside in tents, surviving on charity and what little food they can scavenge from the surrounding countryside. The area has become known as Tent Town. The city gates are closed at night, but the city guard patrols the perimeter around the clock, for in Tent Town, a scrap of black bread or sliver of rancid meat is enough motive to commit murder.
Inside, the city is divided into the High Quarter, which houses the rich and powerful, as well as the merchants’ warehouses, and the Old City, where the majority of folk live.
Whereas the High Quarter remains uncrowded (the citizens have refused to allow refugees to live there), the Old City is teeming with people, the majority of which are refugees fleeing their homes in the High Winterlands. The wealthy of Aslov never walk the Old City without armed guards.
Disease is a constant problem, as is the ever-increasing crime level. Murder rates have doubled, with citizens killing each other for a crust of bread, and theft has risen by many times as citizens rob each other to pawn goods so as to buy food. Dozens of citizens vanish each night. Many are simply murdered for their few possessions and their bodies dumped in the overworked sewers, but some are sacrificed by the growing number of cultists or, more sickeningly, become part of the food chain.
Despite being surrounded by good farmland, the shortening summers and influx of people has led to very low food supplies and starvation is a constant problem. Food riots have broken out several times, the last one having to be quashed with lethal force to restore order to the town.
Aslov has always been ruled by a baron. The title is hereditary, passing to the eldest child regardless of gender. By tradition, the baron’s children are awarded the title Knight. While nobles with higher titles may reside in the city if they so choose, they must acknowledge the authority of the baron.
Wealth and influence matters in Aslov, as does the illusion of wealth. The upper class, who reside in the High Quarter, is made up of wealthy merchants, senior courtiers and bureaucrats (though rarely council member), senior clerics, powerful mages, rich or influential guildmasters and businessmen, and the like.
Beneath them are the middle class, whose houses lie close to (and occasionally within) the High Quarter. They are clerics, mages, merchants, businessmen, master craftsmen, courtiers, and so on.
The come the lower classes, the apprentices, laborers, soldiers, junior clerics and wizards, common businessmen, bureaucrats, and tradesmen, the masses who keep the city functioning at its most fundamental level.
At the bottom of the social pile are the refugees. The “lucky” ones managed to enter the city before the order was given to prevent any more refugees clogging the streets. The earliest arrivals were given lodgings in disused buildings, but most are forced to sleep rough in the streets. Work is scarce, though some can find employment doing dangerous, filthy, or illegal jobs for a pittance. Slavery is illegal in Aslov, but indentured servitude, which is only a step above slavery to most, is not. Those who arrived later are forced to reside in Tent Town. Since it is outside the walls, there is little opportunity for finding employment.
The streets of Aslov, whether the main thoroughfares that cut through the city or the narrow alleys of the Old City, are crowded with pedestrians and carts day and night.
Despite the entire city being razed during the Blizzard War, the citizens have refused to expand their homes outside the city walls, trusting in the walls to protect them. While some have houses retain fancy carving, and indication of Aslov’s former grandeur and wealth, most houses are in need of repairs and a lick of whitewash.
Most houses have two stories, a few have three, but in the Old City only families who run a business occupy multiple floors. Furnishings are minimal, most families having sold off all but the essentials to guarantee they can afford food. Tallow candles light most homes, with only the rich being able to afford oil lamps.
In order to support the weight, lower floors are made of stone, with the upper floor wattle and daub. Due to the abundance of potters, roofs are covered in clay tiles.
Although Aslov has a primitive sewer system, the increased population means the streets are regularly inches deep in human and animal filth, at least until the rains wash it away down one of the drains. In warm summers, the stench is unbearable, forcing citizens to buy strongly scented herbs, which they carry around in small bags. Flies become a nuisance as the temperature increases. In winter, the dirt and muck forms a frozen crust, making walking treacherous.
In the High Quarter, gloomy nights are broken by oil lanterns hung from tall poles at road intersections. In the Old City, the only street lights are those citizens hang outside their homes. Since the refugees began flocking in, that practice has largely stopped except outside the temples and buildings watched over by armed guards.
Aside from the High Quarter, which is centered on wealth rather than occupation, the city has no distinct quarters or wards. Traders and craftsmen open up shop on the ground floor of their homes, and similar crafts are thus scattered throughout the city.
Aslov has five marketplaces. Each is little more than a flat square with spaces for stalls and animal pens marked out on the ground. A typical stall measures some ten feet long and is covered with a colored awning to keep rain from spoiling the goods.
Markets are typically open from dusk to dawn every day of the week, though Marketdaeg is always the busiest day of the week. Generally, around one-quarter of the stall holders bother to set up on Heafoddaeg and Healfdaeg through Endedaeg. Around half the traders open up on the other days of the week. The exception is Raestdaeg, which is treated like a Marketdaeg. On public holidays, the markets are open from dawn until noon, regardless of what day of the week it is.
All foodstuffs are subject to enforced rationing. Each month, every household is given a piece of parchment detailing its monthly allowance. Rations are based on the number of occupants, not their social status. As food is purchased, items are crossed off the list. Typically, the calorific intake allowed by the restrictions is just enough to avoid starvation, so long as citizens are frugal with their meals and waste nothing.
This does not mean that food is free in the city. Far from it – citizens must still pay for every ounce of grain, bread, meat, and vegetables they consume. Thus, while employed citizens can just about cope, the refugees, many of whom have no source of income beyond selling their few remaining possessions, must resort to crime to feed their empty bellies.
The price of cheap and average meals and dry rations listed in the Player’s Guide is quadrupled. Expensive meals cannot be purchased legally.
- Gate Tax: A flat rate of 1 silver scield per leg or wheel applies to all persons, animals, and vehicles entering Aslov from dawn to dusk. From dusk to dawn, the rate increases to an extortionate 1 gold scield.
- Sales Tax: All prices in Aslov except weapons carry a 10% levy.
- Weapon Tax: All sales of weapons are charged a 20% levy.
Map of Aslov
See also: Campaign Map of Aslov
- Walls and Gates
- Tent Town
- The Healing House
- Wall & Gate (High Quarter)
- Baroness’ Residence
- Guard Barracks
- Council House
- Mint & Treasury
- Embassy Alley
- High Market
- Trade Market
- The Trade Hall
- The Academy
- Academy of the Four
- Warehouses & Granaries
- Temple of the Fields
- The Brown River
- The Iron Hall
- The City Mill
- The Guildhall
- Bothi’s Pawnshop
- Last Chance Tavern
- Food Market
- Livestock Market
- Temple of Beasts
- Old Market
- Thieve’s Square
- Holy Square
- Soup Kitchen
- The White House
- The Wooden Fortress