|Head of State:||His Grace, Sithire Marcion Aldenbar|
Julius ul-Arduin Malbraxa,|
Branth ul-Alfrith Truxton,
Simpelta ul-Sankord Marnix, and
Marnuth ul-Porre Elgabralk
The City of Drache (in Arangothek: Drekith) is the present-day capital of the Kingdom of Arangoth and lies at the mouth of the Darian River. The name, although now spelled under draconian influence, probably comes from the Arangothian word dreki, meaning a port.
Origins & History
Twelve years ago there was virtually nothing in Drache but trees and fishing hovels; its population exploded after King BLKDRAGON and Queen AngelSin established the place as the new capital of Arangoth. There was little time to plan its streets and quarters, and so there are no wide avenues or boulevards, with the sole exception of Market Street. Rather, Drache is a spontaneously-generated city of convoluted, twisted alleyways, abrupt dead-ends, strangely-shaped "squares," and mismatched skylines and rooftops.
Very few people are natives of the city; the average "native" citizen grew up on a farm somewhere to the north in Transdariania, and at least half the population was not even born in Arangoth. It is a very cosmopolitan place: one finds Elven restauranteurs and Khalar horsebreeders setting up shop next to "silfemevas" devoted to exotic Leturian tail-dancing. If not for the high number of magic-users and healers, Drache's cramped conditions would have long since led to terrible epidemics, but as it is, few die of illness in the city, and the excrement and garbage is removed from the streets each morning by a corps of magical gongfermers who "portal" it to a vast landfill in Ruthmarna.
Arangoth was originally a confederacy of Grand Duchies before King Tagran became the first king of Arangoth. Sithirel, or Dukes, have been the traditional rulers of the various Arangothian provinces for centuries. When Queen Alysia (called AngelSin) and her consort King BLKDRAGON established their new capital in Drache in the year 465, they ruled it directly from Castle Black for a small number of years, a change from Arangoth's older traditions.
After their abdication, The Raven took over as Regent, though he too soon disappeared. A Regency Council rose to take on the mantle of government in the year 469. After a powerful controversy sparked a political uprising in Drache, the Council was disbanded in 473, and one of its last members, Lord Marcion Aldenbar, named Lord Chancellor. King Arlok eventually restored the traditional forms of government and appointed a new Sithire to govern the South on his behalf.
Layout and Architecture
Drache is divided by river and wall into a set of districts, each with a style and a purpose in the bustling city.
The BlkDragon Inn is in the heart of the city, the BlkDragon District, which lies on the eastern bank of the Darian River, surrounded by the city docks all along the waterfront. This area, directly east of the mouth of the river, is the most reputable and this is where some of the most important buildings of the city are located: the Inn, the central offices of the Arangothian Royal Guard (under Captain Lucius von Stahl), the Royal Chancellery and the Arangothian Royal University. This is also where the better houses and mansions are located, most with tall walls and towers to discourage intruders. There is also a public park, the "Forest Reserve," located between the river and the Inn, preserving a section of the thick woods that covered the whole area only a few years ago.
East from the river, through the heavily-guarded Iron Gate, is the Wharf District, a place of warehouses, shipyards, net makers, and the like. This district has cutthroat bars and opium dens, and is home to the Red Lantern District, the streets with most of the town's brothels. The Wharf District is what remains of the old fishing town of Drache, and although it's safer than it has been it is still a dangerous place at night. Even worse is the Back Alley, home to the most disreputable elements of Drache's underbelly.
Leading north out of the BlkDragon District is Market Street. Passing by the free hostel known as Rilpoki's Corner, this thoroughfare ends at the Merchants' Square, the heart of Drache's bustling business district. This is the address of Jessie's Bakery, Rummi Gummi's Magic and Pawn shop, Desert Moon Imports, Braxton's Interdimensional Emporium, and Tinny's Repair Shop, among other establishments. The square itself is a vast farmer's market in which produce from the back country is carted every morning just before daybreak. Also facing this square is the Drache Municipal Theatre, used for various purposes.
East of Merchants' Square, and northeast of the BlkDragon District, is a section of the city set aside for religious structures, and here one finds the Royal Church of Arangoth.
The west bank of the Darian is more sparsely inhabited than the east. Straight across from the BlkDragon Inn stands the Castle Black, the official (and rather mysterious) seat of the Arangothian monarchy. North of this spot is the suburb of West Drache, which centers upon a large Royal Arangothian Ironworks producing tools and weapons of various sorts. Further north still is the Mingit District, home to the Drache's displaced Mingit population.
Further out from the city center are smaller settlements vaguely resembling suburbs, some permanent, others mere shanty-towns, and these gradually pass over into the village-dotted countryside of Transdariania, the farmland on either side of the Darian River. One such suburb is the so-called Gessi District, formed when members of the Cult of the Silver Flame decided to settle in Drache after the Cult's dissolution.
Off the Coast
Off the coast of Drache is a small, island chain. The water around the island chain is full of thick, viscous sediment of a particularly black shade. Thus, the area is called The Black Water. The islands are relatively uninhabited, rocky crags that serve no societal or strategic value. They can be accessed via ship, or a smaller boat, if the sailor is particularly skilled and capable of navigating the treacherous currents and sheering winds that surround the chain. The Black Water is known for foul weather and rapid changes in wave height and frequency, making them particularly dangerous and avoidance is recommended on all navigational charts. Many shoals in the area are unmarked. While several of the islands feature caves and wreckage that are perhaps worth exploring, only one island has a permanent structure, the infamous Black Water Asylum, home to rumors of human experimentation and the criminally insane.