Day and Night/ Night and Day
The City of Everdusk lies at the terminator of the planet Paradigm. This leaves a constant state of dusk as the light level for the city, and is the reason for its name. Everdusk is located on the coast, at the heart of a small bay known as the Bay of Norenne, part of the Acraenn Sea. It is also at the end of the Ranflaar Valley, a valley sandwiched btween the Ipdren and Urdren mountain ranges. This position means that Everdusk serves as one of the main hub points for trade between the Day Side and the Night Side of Paradigm.
Everdusk, as it is now, has been in existence since before the last Turning, and in fact records, as well as uncovered ruins, seem to indicate that the present site of Everdusk is close to 2000 years old (Years measured as from the world of Bastion, where the year is roughly 360 earth days long). However, there is evidence from ruins outside of the city, as well as some records from carefully preserved sources (the Elven haven of Tarhal’mandor in particular), which indicates the “city” of Everdusk is in fact the latest in a series of Everdusks that have populated roughly the same region in the Ranflaar Valley for over 10,000 years. There are indications that the city has been damaged or destroyed numerous times, only to be rebuilt either on the same site, or a site nearby, with its location shifting, sometimes by miles, over the years.
The present city of Everdusk currently houses just over 15,000 citizens and their cildren, with a variable population of migrants, pilgrims, merchants and adventurers from 3000 to 10000. At the moment the non-citizen population numbers some 5000 or so, bringing the total of the cities inhabitants to 20,000. This makes it the largest city near the terminator in this region. 45% of the cities population is human, a number that is the lowest it has been for centuries, though it has never been higher than 60%. 14% or so of the population is halfling, 4% is gnome, 5% is half-orc, 10% is dwarf (excluding Duergar), 9% is elf(excluding Drow), and 6% is half-elven (including half-drow). The remaining 7% is a scattering of a few other intelligent races, including drow, Aasimar, Tieflings, Duergar, and others. Thanks in part to the actions of its leaders, Everdusk doesn’t share some of the race related troubles that such diverse cities sometimes experience. While some districts in the city definitely tilt towards one race or the other, steps have been taken to ensure that no race ever feel excluded from any part of the city. That does not mean, however, that malevolent forces do not seek to try and stir racial antagonisms from time to time.
At the moment, the city is ruled by a council composed of nine members. When a vacancy opens in the council, the other members decide who will fill in the vacancy. However, the matter is put to a vote by the citizens of Everdusk. A simple majority is all that is required for the person to be approved. At the moment, the Council of Everdusk is composed of 5 humans, 1 dwarf, one elf, one halfling and one gnome. Typically the leaders of the council try to keep the composition of the council in line with composition of the population. However, in recent years as the population of half-orcs in the city has increased, there has been an increasing demand by many for a half-orc to be on the council. Also, some half-elves has been more vocal about having one of their own on the council as well, though they have had representatives in the past.
The city itself is divided into a number of different sections, often called “Quarters”, rather than Districts, though there are in fact seven of them in the city. The term originated when the city was divided into four sections, but it has long since outgrown that. The different Quarters or Districts include:
The City Watch is the acting police force of Everdusk, and is perhaps the oldest institution existing in the city at the moment, having been around in its current form for at least a thousand years. At the moment the Watch is headquarters in The Old District. It is composed of a little over 200 Watchkeepers, who are tasked with preventing crime, investigating criminal activity, and arresting lawbreakers. Humans make up the majority of the Watchkeepers, with half-elves and dwarves being the second and third most prevalent. Half-Orcs tend to join the Guard rather than the Watch. The Watch is currently lead by a half-elf by the name of Geltis Swiftblade. At the moment the Watch only has authority inside the city limits, but as a general rule usually has jurisdiction as long as a crime or incident takes place within Everdusk itself. Watchkeepers wear leather armor and use clubs as their main implement, but also carry a shortsword or dagger just in case. In some circumstances, they also use bucklers or light shields, and light crossbows. Most of the work of the Watch consists of breaking up bar-fights, dealing with petty theft, and keeping an eye on visitors. A smaller force within the Watch is responsible for dealing with more serious crimes, which is not uncommon in a city of Everdusk’s size and nature. When it finds itself in need of additional help, the Watch will hire adventurers or mercenaries to assist it on special assignments.
The Guard acts as the military force of Everdusk. Around 300 strong, the force is composed mostly of humans and half-orcs, with a few members of the other races as well. Currently, its leader is a female Half-Orc named Balma Rockfist, a former adventurer. Most of the members of the Guard are fighting types, with Warriors and Fighters being the most common, though some Scouts, Rogues, and Rangers add their skills as well. The Guard does have a small core of magic users who are members, mostly Sorcerers and Wizards, though a few Clerics of The Warrior Twins also work for the Guard as well. The standard equipment of Guardsmen is Scale Mail or Chain Mail, and along with a longsword and shield, or a halberd. While it is mostly a foot force, the Guard also maintains a decent sized stables, and can field a hundred mounted troops in a single sortie. Mostly, however, mounted units run patrols outside the city, where they help ensure trade routes are clear, as well as keep an eye out for possible enemy movement. The Guard maintains several watch-posts outside the City, supported by their headquarters in The Uplands. Usually a third or so of the force is outside the city at any given time, while another third is inside the Guard compound. The other members are either on leave or stationed at the city walls. It is the Guard which handles admittance into the city, something which sometimes brings them into conflict with the Watch. Like the Watch, the Everdusk Guard will sometimes hire adventurers or mercenaries to assist on special assignments.
In times of conflict the Guard is backed up by the Everdusk Militia. The militia, numbering close to 900 citizens, is composed of volunteers who support the Guard when they are called up. Membership in the Militia is voluntary, but those who volunteer are given tax breaks for their service. Those in the Militia train every few weeks at the Guard headquarters in the Uplands, where they receive instruction similar to that of the Guard itself, though much briefer. Fortunately, it has been decades since the Militia has fought to defend its city, though call ups have been more recent, including one a decade ago.
Guilds are a powerful force within the city of Everdusk, and many wield considerable political power. However, they are far less powerful than they were some 400 or so years ago, when they were the dominant force within the city. This general weakening of their power is due to several factors: laws limiting the power of guilds, the division of a few guilds into smaller guilds, and the absence of some truly charismatic and driven guild leaders which marked the previous era. Some of the guilds that currently reside in Everdusk include:
Thanks to troubles in the past resulting from the hiring of adventurers, a special permit is required in order for someone to be a Patron of Adventurers. This Writ of Patronage is issued on behalf of the Council of Everdusk, usually costs a decent amount of gold, and also requires that Patrons supply certain information to the city with regards to their Patronage. Right now that information includes the names of all those hired, the basic sum being paid out, as well as a very general explanation of the mission, which usually is as simple as “rescue mission” or “exploring old ruins.” There is a very stiff penalty, usually monetary as well as possible prison time, that is applied to those who hire adventurers without a permit. Due to this, those without a permit will often approach those who do own a Patronage Permit and pay them a fee in order for the Patron to contact would-be help. There are two exceptions to this rule, however. The first is that all members of the Council are permitted by law to hire adventurers whenever they wish, as long as the business is done on behalf of the city, and as long as the rest of the council is told of this activity. The heads of The City Watch and the Everdusk Guard are also permitted to hire adventurers as needed. The second exception is that non-patrons are allowed to hire the services of registered Adventuring Companies in Everdusk, as they handle much of the documentation themselves that a patron would.
At the moment, the law in Everdusk states that no adventuring group can be larger than 8 members without registering as an official Adventuring Company. Registering requires submitting documents and information to the Council of Everdusk. paying an annual fee(which is not small), as well as having a permanent headquarters in the city. There are two registered adventuring companies in Everdusk at the moment: The Crimson Shield Adventuring Company, and The Sons and Daughters of Liton. A third adventuring company, Travelers on the Edge, recently dissolved, thanks to a combination of many of their members dying in a mission gone bad and disagreements between the surviving members. As a result of the regulations on adventuring in Everdusk, most adventurers will actively seek out and curry the favor of one or two powerful Patrons as the surest source of work in the city. Powerful and influential patrons will often be approached by those without a permit, ensuring that they have a steady source of jobs for many adventurers. Barring that, they may seek to join one of the two major adventuring companies. Those who seek to get around the regulations concerning adventuring may wish instead to head to the nearby villages of Watch and Edge, where the authorities don’t mind the extra help as much.