Gateway is Liaha’s port city. It is the gateway both into and out of the kingdom. The city may look like it is removed from the water, but the city is long and narrow along the road and towards the bay. The heart of the city is found away from the shore, but down by the docks holds a bustling and teeming city within a city.
The current location of Strata stabilized with the building of fortifications many hundreds of year ago along the road, and the fortifications have expanded towards the coast further fortifying, and defining the city. The city is still subject to bandit raids and goblin/orc attacks from Feydragon Forest and the Bay of Swords.
Gateway has existed as a concept for quite a long time. The actual location may have shifted up and down the coastline slightly, but waters with abundant fish, and deep enough for seagoing vessels have drawn the attention of traders, merchants, fisherman, and pirates.
The first nobles in Gateway were the pirates who had enough coin to hire the dwarves to build a keep where the roads met. Many descendants later the nobles now protect against such ilk, but how much of the old Pirate blood still sings in the veins?
It is bordered on the south by the Great Dwarvin Wall, and once reaching the city, the wall has a gap of about 50 feet and another (and only slightly smaller) wall is on the inside. Anything found within the gap of the two walls shot first, then questions are asked.
The fortifications have been expanding towards the bay, and towards the north over time. Groups of dwarves are still employed to shore up the walls near the port, and to expand the walls northward to protect the citizens who live at the edges of the city.
The city has temples to most known gods, though some hunting will be required to find some of them. Some of the more popular religions have more than a single temple.
There are temples to gods not commonly found in the kingdom. They appear, and often disappear as the tides go in and out. A crew may leave a man behind that is convinced he must convert the populace, only to be called again by the sea, or others may be discouraged in their efforts.
The Temple to Forge is popular in town, and Forge has three temples in town. One exclusively for Dwarves in their quarter. One near the middle of the city near Newall, and one near the port mostly venerated by those in the Navy and on other boats. Each temple reflects the differences in personality, and they do work well together.
The Temple of Mellus is based in Newall, and pretty much there alone. The temple serves as a meeting ground and as a major performance hall. Practice, administration and storage are all done at the main temple, while performers tend to perform throughout the city at different taverns and for different patrons.
A Temple to Bast is found in a former stone inn just inside the main city walls. It serves as a place for Kitra coming through town to rest before they move on, but it also serves those who sail the fickle seas. “Aye, I avoided becoming part of Bast’s catch in the last storm!”
The temple portion of the location is pretty small, as Kitra worship pretty much individually at any time of the day or night, and the rest has a larger area of simple, but comfortable, rooms.
There are some who make use of the temple’s rooms on an hourly basis.
Shrines to the Traveler/Doctor are seen in town, and they change in location as they are setup or dismantled, abandoned, etc. Normally traveling supplies that can be left, or taken are found at these sites. Staves, Rope, Tents, Blankets, and Foodstuffs are all common items left (and again, taken) from these Shrines. There have been a few reports that there is an established temple in town, but efforts to find it so far have been in vain.
The Temple of Pyr is not known to exist.
The Temple to Vanir & Freya is located near the road heading toward Stonehold. The followers of Vanir & Freya are more associated with those on the western portions of the city, than the docks and those to the east.
Shrines to Bes (Tom) may be found in town, often in or near a park/square with cryptic signs. An arrow in a snare trap, a weapon stashed in a large tree, etc.
The city is divided into several districts. From West to East:
The Dwarvin District. Here live the stonemasons, warriors, and tinkerers that help to support a city like Gateway. The majority of dwarves live within this city within a city. Buildings are sized for dwarves, Dwarvish is spoken more often than Liahan.
The Keep. The keep is more than just where the ruling lord is located. It is a complex of manors and nobles that form a greater keep. The keep at the center of this section are men, but there are as many Dwarvin nobles in Gateway as there are men. Gateway has a small collection of kitran nobility, unlike most every other city in Liaha.
The main city. The old city is on the southern side of the road and is well established, while the further north and away from the road the newer, and less reputable the shops, wares, and people become. The proximity to the docks or the keep has more to do with profession than status.
Several markets line the road with larger, and less regulated, markets tending on the northern section of the road, and smaller more specialty markets appearing on the southern side of the road.
Newall is the name for the section just past the section past the main city heading towards the docks. The area is a grey area that is between the commerce of the docks and the people in the main city. The people who live here are of both sections, and neither. The majority of the dwarves that do not live in the dwarvin quarter live here, as do most kitra.
The docks. The docks are where the ships are serviced, built, and loaded/unloaded. Also down on the docks are where Liaha’s Navy is based. The Navy is responsible for protecting the city, the docks, and the ships. Half walkers are based on the walls that can be fired up to release large ballista or catapult type weapons.
Current politics are not readily known. Some exitement has been noticed in town when the Dragon’s carcass was taken north, and sailors are a bit anxious as goblins and orcs have attempted to sail around the Great Dwarvin Wall.
Areas of Interest to the Characters
There are many small to medium sized markets with stalls that change vendors each market day, but more established businesses have permanent shops around these marketplaces. Everything from Eel eyes and shark gizzards will be available to the alchemist’s healing potions. Their value and worth is up to the players to decide.
Inns within the city:
The Lost Princess – An inn near the old city. Near one of the many small marketplaces. 3 stories tall.
The Scarlet Bandit – An inn near the old part of the city. Near one of the many small marketplaces. 2 stories inn.
Liah-Inn – Just because.
The Broken Rule – A no frills tavern near the Dwarvish section of town. Mixed population between people and dwarves. Rooms are simple. Locks are a wooden bar behind the door.
The White Rook – An upscale Dwarvish inn & tavern. Administrators, clerks, and skilled trades tend to frequent the bar. Has several tables that have inlaid chess boards.
Red Tankard – A Dwarvish bar The tankards are red, and made out of cheap earthenware.
The Brig – A tavern that stands near a small marketplace, and near a military engineer posting. 2 stories tall.
The Nixie’s Kiss. – A tavern/inn with lots of nearly lewd artwork of differing styles around the main level. Simple but decent. 3 stories. All the locks were keyed with the same key.
The Laughing Gargoyle – A tavern with a Laughing Gargoyle statue on the 2nd floor. The gargoyle has a huge crap eating grin. 3 stories tall.