Campaign of the Month: June 2012
Each of Cartenden’s seven fiercely proud neighborhoods, positioned on seven different hills, believes itself the original settlement and the other six mere additions created as the city grew. In years past, fractious disputes between the hills sometimes erupted into vicious street fighting. This forced succeeding governments to station more and more troops in the city simply to keep the peace. Even now, long after Cartendeners have arrived at their own unique way to settle the quarrel, tradition still makes it one of the larger military stations in Drusas.
Narrow cobblestone streets wind their way amid elongated buildings of rosy brick and dark wood. The highest stories sometimes actually lean against each other like old comrades, making rooftops a thrilling playground for the city’s children. Each hill also boasts a full complement of identical public buildings arrayed on the open square at the top. However, only one set gets used during any given year; something determined by the moonmelon festival.
Cartendeners prize the obscure moonmelon, despite the fact that their city earns its reputation as a source of fine wine and other delicacies, not to mention furniture, musical instruments, and other pieces of quality woodworking. With a rind of ghostly silver, the moonmelon quickly ferments on its own once plucked from the vine. Though this makes it almost impossible to preserve, it also gives it an increasingly potent kick before finally becoming inedible. During the hottest days of summer, cartloads of moonmelons pass through Cartenden’s gates — ammunition for a citywide food fight. Over the 5-day festival, when the great moon Faro is full and the melons are at their ripest, everything in town shuts down. All of the neighborhoods celebrate another year and strategize for the festival’s final day, on which every resident runs riot with overripe moonmelons. Squads from each neighborhood barrage each other with pulp and juice in a contest to decide which hill gets to claim primacy for the next year. At the end of the festival, the Consul Marshall declares the winner by moving his headquarters to one of the hills. As a sign of their superior status, winning citizens wear red hats for the following month and lord their victory over the other six hills.
Cartendeners love spectacle and usually choose the finest things they can afford. They avoid wearing red, except of course when their hill wins the moonmelon festival, and frequently experience an instinctive dislike for visitors who do. When facing aggressive or demanding people, Cartendeners sometimes blurt out, “Who gave you the red hat?” They also spend a great deal of time musing about genealogy and referencing their own family trees, and often use their own family trees as metaphors. Most Cartendeners claim the ability to trace their ancestry back to the founding of the city, and that the residents of the other hills came from somewhere else.
The Seven Boroughs of Cartenden
- Saleh: Called Cellars.
- Felrah: Called Fallers.
- Beginah: Called the Beggars. They call themselves the Beginners.
- Razleh: They call themselves the Razzlers.
- Sodbal: They are called dirt balls.
- Forstime: They call themselves First Time.
Other Notable Places
- The Leather Feather – A posh inn in Razleh Borough.
- The Temple of the Four Muses – A traditional Drusan temple. Led by Lyricist Jacqueline, a cleric of simple means and skill.
- Silver Chaser Restaurant – An eating establishment of impeccable taste in the Felrah district.
- Eye of the Peacock – An entertainment hall featuring music and dancers, catering to foreign visitors. Located in Veglas.
- Theoroderick’s Alchemy Shop – In the Forstime neighborhood. Run by a normally cynical and dour Theoroderick Windlass Fromme. Fromme enjoys his “cordials” during festival time. He is known for making Glitterbombs, an explosive entertainment based on the glitterdust spell, which is used during the Moonmelon festival and other celebrations during the year. When Fromme partakes of his cordials, his hard edge softens and he becomes quite silly.
- The Argent Rind Tavern – A low bar with dubious clientele. The hangout of the underworld boss, known only as “The Wharf”. There are no wharves in town, for it is a land locked location.
Other Notable People
- Bartholomew the Hermit – also known as Bart the poisoner, this personable druid lives in the hills well outside of the city, where he grows many things, including herbs and poisonous plants. His moonmelons are known far and wide as the juiciest and finest. Bartholomew, at the Moonmelon Festival, sells his formidable skills as a melon-chucker to the borough who bids the highest amount for his services.
- Count Gerish Marbrand – A local noble with considerable wealth. One of the primary sponsors of many events during the Festival of the Arts when it came to Cartenden.
- Niklas Robiland – A peasant boy who was taken by the Bogeyman, and subsequently saved by a band of visiting heroes.
- Captain Golrond – The former captain of the Razzleh parish guard. He was slain by the Bogeyman, and is not a follower of the Lords of Heaven.
- Captain Bjorgornson – Of Northman blood, he captains the Sodbol parish guard.