Fostervilla is the third largest city of Raleigh, and is located just to the east of the Dragon’s Bane mountain range which functions as the country’s western border. A vast desert extends to the city’s east and south, while the mountains protect it upon its west and northwest. Fostervilla is considered one end of the country of Raleigh. Sentinel is far to its east north east, Atalatha lies to its east, and Viscosa is southeast of Fostervilla.
Despite the barren environment surrounding Fostervilla, the town is fairly self-sustained. An immense oasis lies south of the city, attracting tourism and helping to irrigate the nearby farms that provide for the 33,000 inhabitants in and around the walls of Fostervilla. Tourism is also high because of scholars and historians seeking to find the remains of the great dragon Batrura, who was rumored to have been sealed away somewhere in the Dragon’s Bane range. The populace of the city is able to make money based on this tourism, and their trades in spices, jewelry, and weapons are known to be some of the highest quality throughout Raleigh.
Fostervilla, the City of Orphans, is also known as the WalledCity. It is segmented off at several places, guards specifically stationed within certain zones. Walls do not exist upon its west side, where the mountains themselves function as a blockade.
Fostervilla is known to many as the City of Orphans. When it was first founded, a great fever rolled through its people, claiming many lives, and leaving its children outnumbering their elders by far. Though Fostervilla is a fairly old city, having been founded on the 21st of Nehr, 487, it had taken a great time to mature, all the descendents of the first inhabitants learning crafts at a very introverted pace.
The fever that had claimed the lives of Fostervilla’s adults resurfaced several times throughout history, and it was not until the research of Merrick Wheeler passed that the city was able to successfully combat it. Wheeler suggested that walls would keep the plague away, claiming that foul winds were what brought death upon the adults. On the 23rd of Sunspire, 581, the exterior wall of Fostervilla was completed, and the amount of illnesses cited dropped drastically. Wheeler was praised unanimously for the success, and was elevated into a position of leadership, becoming the city’s first sultan, the people claiming that he heard the whispers of the gods, and used that knowledge to save them.
As time went by, later leaders segmented the town with more walls, which helped to deter crime, and further isolate sickness whenever it would break out. The walls were eventually built taller, as more people settled within the city, but it was decided that, to deter unnecessary ailments, windows would not be permitted to face the city walls, and thereby the outside world, on the outermost domiciles.
Because it was widely believed that the wind carried evil spirits upon it, for a long time, no building within Fostervilla exceeded one story, not even the palace. With that in mind, many of the buildings that needed to expand were built down, into the earth. This included Fostervilla’s temples, which were dug several dozen feet deep.
Fostervilla is a primarily human city, but dwarves have lived there at the inns for brief periods of time when excavating needed to be done.
After Merrick Wheeler successfully became the first sultan of Fostervilla, most of the succeeding sultans followed in his footsteps. Any time a great event helped to transform Fostervilla into a better place than it had been, the men who came up with the idea are thrust into the forefront of the people’s hearts and minds. When the current sultan is ready to retire, a popular vote is made by the people for his successor.
Each segmented section of the city is specifically governed by a zone officer, and each of these officers represents the people of their section at a small weekly gathering at Fostervilla’s palace. In this regard, all sectors of the city are supposed to be accounted for equally.
Places of Interest
The Desert Tear is a terrific venue which was erected in the southwestern political zone of the city, hugging the center of the zone’s south wall. Its reach is wide, and there are actually two bars within the building, one at its east and west sides. The center of the Desert Tear is reserved for the entertainment that performs within. Often times it is a musician, or gathering of several players, but occasionally a skit has been known to play out there. The Desert Tear is a popular spot that the sultans have enjoyed, and a special area has been constructed in the rear of the building in case they visit.
The Dragonscorn Pub is a well known tavern that also makes a good deal of coin based on its secondary function. Because of the popularity of visitors to Fostervilla due to the Dragon’s Bane mountain range, the Dragonscorn’s owner, Bacchus Hemet, has started safety tours to the mountains at a discount to any patrons who open their purse to the tavern. The Dragonscorn can be found within the southeastern entry zone of the city, and is one of the first buildings that can be seen upon the west side when visiting Fostervilla.
For people who are a little more pressed for money, and are willing to take on all manners of risks, the Sandy Omen stands stoically beside the road just southeast of the city. It is one of the only buildings which brave the terrible sandstorms that incessantly pelt the nearby city. The Sandy Omen is kept afloat by many unsavory people, who block the windows and doors of the establishment with sturdy wood and available furniture.
Fostervilla has many inns, as it is a prime location for tourism, thanks in no small part to the adjacent Dragon’s Bane mountain range, as well as the nearby oasis, which is said to have magical healing properties.
For many of the visitors to the city, the Crimson Star is an ample choice. There are plenty of rooms, and they are all a fair price, but the Crimson Star sits differently than any other building in the city, and it is thought that they are the worse for it. The inn is three stories tall, and though there are strong windows upon its third floor, it has been said that several times the glass has shattered, and the tenants within have become sick and perished. Furthermore, rumors abound that those who died because of the deathwinds haunt the third floor of the place. The Crimson Star is in the central zone of Fostervilla, the rear of the building hugging the Dragon’s Bane mountain range.
The SecondPalace lies on the opposite side of the political zone from the desert tear, and is quite popular among those with much coin to spend. The rooms are large, and the windows are fitted with tempered glass so that the occasional sandstorms that break their way into the city can not shatter through and deliver the sickness. There also are few vacancies, as the inn is only one story high.
If a room must be found, and can barely be afforded, there is a nameless inn within the poor sector at the north side of town. The populace calls it the Black Worm The place is mostly situated underground, and has the most vacancies throughout the city, and also happens to be the cheapest. The inn is mostly utilized by laborers who mine in the Dragon’s Bane mountains. It is called the Black worm because death is often brewing beneath the street level building. The basement floors are not walled off, and instead are merely carved earth, only held up by sturdy crossbeams. Many of the laborers do not have the ability to safely combat the deathwinds, and succumb to fever or plague once they return to the Black Worm.
The Temple of Animus hugs the western side of the city, specifically the Dragon’s BaneMountains in the political zone, though originally, it was not even above ground. The temple was built entirely underground, its subterranean congregation first used in an effort to plead for an end to the relentless deathwinds. As the walls were built up around the city, the temple too grew in magnitude. It now sits two stories high, though the basement floor was converted to slope downward and allow for stadium style seating so that more people could comfortably give their thanks to the god of life.
The Temple of Galvan is in the north section of the city, in the zone just below the poor zone called the laborers zone. Many of the people within the laborers zone find themselves either working within the Dragon’s Bane Mine, or utilize the materials found there for crafting the exquisite weapons and goods that Fostervilla produces. The temple of Galvan is partially underground and partially above ground. The congregation takes place above ground while worship and tithing generally takes place beneath.
The Temple of Cebrum lies northeast outside of town, and is the only self sustaining temple at Fostervilla. Its acolytes must travel through the short span of desert on foot or by horse, and pray that the deathwinds do not rise up while they are on their way to or from the place. The temple was erected to beg mercy upon the lord of death, hoping that the deathwinds would cease their battering upon the city. It also faces Fostervilla’s cemetery, and the Tomb of Fleeting Souls that is hidden within the great desert.
The Temple of Hudorian is another temple outside of the walled city of Fostervilla; however it is unique in that one can actually travel to it without ever leaving the walls. A subterranean span was built directly south through the political zone of the city which leads to the temple, which is partially underground, and partially above ground. The temple was built facing the great oasis, giving thanks to the water god for blessing the people with it. There are no windows, but are two grand doors that block the deathwinds fairly well, keeping the priests and parishioners there safe in the event that a sandstorm rises up.
Wheeler Manor lies within the political zone just south of the walled complex of the palace of Fostervilla. The building is two stories tall, and was originally the home of the first sultan before the people of the city decided to build the palace which Merrick Wheeler would govern from. Now, Wheeler Manor is the home passed down through the generations of Merrick’s family, should they not aspire to be somehow involved in government.
The Del Reyes Estate lies upon the opposite side of the road as the Wheeler Manor. Before its renovation, the building has been a modest home, but when the wealthy Cho Del Reyes took office as Sultan Solomon’s vizier, he purchased the lot and saw to its plentiful improvements. The Del Reyes estate boasts a garden behind the building, which houses Cho’s scrying pool which he uses to best aid his ruler.
Jarvis Teutoa, the captain of the guards at Fostervilla, has an estate within the central zone of the city. A talented swordsman from Rattan, Jarvis relocated to Fostervilla seeking the promise of more wealth with which to provide for his family. He used his acquired capital to establish a large home within the city, which he shares with several of the guards he trains and employs.
Vincent Yamil owns a large building in the laborers zone of Fostervilla, just north of the central zone, which overlooks the streets. Yamil manor is larger than even the palace of Fostervilla, the extent of many decades, perhaps centuries, of financial endeavors. No one can say how Vincent or his predecessors managed to fall upon so much money, as no one can say for sure what Vincent’s occupation actually is.
The Palace of Fostervilla inhabits its own zone within the city, just north of the political zone. While all of the other zones have no wall upon its western side, if adjacent to the mountains, the palace zone does, for the protection of the leader of the city and his council. The palace itself is large and attractive, spacious on the inside, and catered to by many laborers. The exterior of the place almost seems to glow, as it has exquisite marble pillars that accentuate a garden that extends on its southeast side. Grand tapestries hang on the exteriors of the pillars, on the southwest and northeast sides of the garden. A large pool and fountain was constructed at the center of the garden.
The current inhabitant of the Palace of Fostervilla is Sultan Solomon Denaar, who lives within with his son Samir and his daughter Iris.
The Dragon’s Bane Mine
Southwest of the great oasis that is south of Fostervilla, there is a deep artificial cavity within the Dragon’s Bane Mountains, which is quarried by the civilians of the city, and occasionally by dwarven archeologists, geologists and excavators who come to the site. Especially ambitious people of excessive wealth hire teams of laborers to try and find the remains of Batrura, the great black dragon who terrorized the continent some time before.
The dwarves who constantly work the Dragon’s Bane Mine claim to find rare and expensive metals within its deepest veins. These include titanium and mythril.
The oasis, south of Fostervilla, sometimes referred to as Deepwater Oasis, is a prime attraction for visitors to the city. The oasis, which sinks sharply towards its center, is said to have healing properties. Studies persist there for all manners of nature-based spell casters, including shamans and geomancers, though druids are known for being the most in depth in their research.
The oasis is quite wide, its diameter measuring nearly one thousand feet across. Boats are forbidden on the surface, and as such, no one has ever been able to gauge its depth.
While most other cities have shops and stores sprawled out sporadically over the extent of their reach, Fostervilla has an entire walled zone dedicated to shopping. The bazaar was created to help cull the effects of the deathwinds, the idea being that anyone incapacitated by fever would be festering within their own zone, as the effects of the fever are brought on nearly instantaneously.
All manners of merchandise are sold in the bazaar, from food to weaponry to luxuries.
The only entrance to the bazaar lies between the central zone and the political zone.
The Dragonscorn Mountain Tour
Bacchus Hemet is a successful bard who has made good choices with his finances. First, he bought up a plot within the entry zone of Fostervilla, and built the Dragonscorn Pub there. After raking in more money than his performing ever did alone, he stepped forward for another entrepreneurial feat. Bacchus, together with a dwarf and gnome duo from Daltain, named Grommit Deepglass and Phineas Many-Favors, respectively, came up with the idea for a covered wagon that is surrounded by mythril on all sides, and reaches out far enough to cover a set of horses, or other driving animals. The horses within press forward on a track, which propels a set of four wheels. Bacchus and his companions used the idea to safely transport tourists from Fostervilla to the Dragon’s Bane Mine and Mountains in complete safety. The design of the vehicle prevents the deathwinds from penetrating to the inhabitants inside.
One drawback is the great cost at which the vehicles are made. After several years of touring, Bacchus only has two of the carriages, and he is thought to be perhaps the richest man in all of Fostervilla. Another disadvantage is the speed at which the vehicles travel. It takes much longer to arrive at a destination through Bacchus’ tour than it does by unburdened horseback.
Bacchus calls his vehicles Mythril Tents.
The Cemetery and the Tomb of Fleeting Souls
To Fostervilla’s northeast, a sprawling cemetery pierces the wide expanse of sandy desert. It is rumored that because of the sheer number of deaths Fostervilla has toiled with over time, the cemetery is haunted, though it is also whispered that the city has its own share of ghosts. The rumors persist, perhaps in part because of the history of the crypt within the center of the graveyard, aptly named the Tomb of Fleeting Souls. Supposedly, the voices of those who have passed onto the next world can be heard uttered from beyond the stone hall leading to the tomb, but once a living person steps foot into the crypt, the voices dissipate.
Because of the deathwinds and sandstorms that Fostervilla has had to endure, a great number of underground facilities had to be built. Over time, many of these tunnels have collapsed under their own weight or have been closed off, but there are supposedly several areas throughout the town where one can access the catacombs underneath the city, arriving safely somewhere far off from where they started. This theory has been both supported and debunked by the city’s sewer system, which allegedly utilizes many of the subterranea’s original tunnels.