The Seven Cities
As 102 RA draws to a close, M’ziir remains the smallest of the Seven Cities, but not by much. Like each of the other Cities, it is ruled by tieflings. That is not to say that tieflings are the most numerous race. Humans and halflings, still make up most of the population, followed closely by dwarves, with the (largely elite) tiefling population only coming in around 600 There are also a relatively large number of goblinoids, mostly hobgoblins, which is unsurprising given that goblinoid tribes and raiders roam throughout Mokiir, particularly in the Gandoran Foothills and the Smoking Wastes. There are also a smattering of other races, with most of the dragonborn in M’ziir being Shepherds
M’ziir is really more of a large town than a city, but it bustles with trade. The foothills around it are home to a large number of mining operations. That, combined with its proximity to the dwarven cities of the Silverlands leads to it’s high dwarven population.
M’ziir’s position on a waterway combined with it’s relatively central location a midst the Cities has made it a major thoroughfare for trade. Most of the Trade Guilds that don’t have their headquarters in Azeth have their headquarters in M’ziir. Most importantly, the Shepherds’ Guild maintains it’s headquarters in M’Ziir. The Church of Tulvar is also building a grand new Temple on the western edge of the city, and rumors suggest that it will be the high Temple of Tulvar in Mokiir.
The Kazzar of M’Ziir is Queen An’Ikaal Az’Guzuur She took the throne in Mid Tulvan, 101 RA, after a populous uprising and botched devil summoning ended the reign of the former king Thuz’Ur Az’Guzuur, also known as The Vassal King. An’Ikaal was named Kazzar the same day she married her husband, Kazzar’Ul Chur’Ikaal Az’Guzuur. It is an open secret that An’Ikaal and Chur’Ikaal collaborated with the Blood King, Isra’Asiel Az’Aziil, and it is no coincidence that their ascension, and Thuz’Ur’s fall, coincided with the arrival of the Blood King’s army outside the City.
M’ziir lies in the broad Aven valley on the northern shore of West Lake Aven. Rugged, semi-arid hills surround the City on three sides, with the eastern roads leading out onto the open expanse of greater Mokiir.
The City itself is arranged around two hills. The estates of the teifling nobility sit in terraced grandeur surrounding Crown Hill, which stands at the rough center of town. To the west stands Temple Hill where the gods and their priests keep their places of worship.
The city also lies on the shores of Lake Aven, which is actually two lakes connected by a broad, slow river that runs through a large, boggy wetland called The Flats
Lake Aven provides water for irrigation, as well as opportunities for fishing and a means by which ore can be barged west to the River Fane, though land travel north to L’ekar is often safer. Much of the ore mined in M’Ziir makes its way east to Okorian, and south to Arkassan and Shek’zur.
Until recently, Temple Hill was the unquestioned center of religion in M’Ziir. In the spring of 102 RA however, the priests at the previously unassuming temple of Tulvar announced that they had purchased an old, abandoned temple of Khalipanofax on the western edge of the quickly gentrifying Pale Quarter, and that they planned to rebuild a grand new high temple of Tulvar on the site. Since then, the priests of the other gods with temples on the Hill have become preoccupied with the question of why the Tulvarans are moving, and whether they should move, or build up their temples as well.
The Tulvarans aside, the church of Karys remains the largest and grandest place of worship on Temple Hill, with a large (for M’Ziir) domed temple, typical of Karystran style, crowning the rise. The western gods other than Tulvar all have more modest churches or shrines, but the total number of worshipers still outstrip Karys at least three-to-one.
Gods represented on Temple Hill include:*
- Karys (a medium-sized, domed temple)
- Marideur (a subterranean complex of unknown size with a small shrine at the surface)
- Tulvar (until the new Temple is completed)
- Aerus (a modest shrine)
- Jehnahn (a modest shrine)
- Kelisia (a small but well-appointed temple adjoining a modest hospital and atop an extensive crypt favored by humans and halflings)
- Ohlen (a modest but well-appointed temple with the traditional glass dome)
- Sevalia (a modest shrine in a well-tended park)
Outside and west of the walls of the Old City lies the Pale Quarter, so called because virtually no tieflings (who tend to be bronze to ebony in coloring) live there. It is mostly populated by humans and halflings, who tend to be pale of skin relative to most other races. Once a muddy shanty-town, the populace of the Pale Quarter was instrumental in the 101 RA uprising that put the current Kazzar (not to mention the Blood King) in power. In gratitude and recognition, the Kazzar has named a magistrate to govern the district, and has begun a number of public works projects meant to make the Pale Quarter into a proper part of the City. There is a new wall is being built west of the Quarter, and new sewers have been built to route the waste from the rest of the City under rather than into the PQ.
The Pale Quarter is fairly large, making up about 20% of Mz’iir’s population.
The worst parts of the Pale Quarter are still made of lean-tos, grass huts, and vagabond camps. As 102 RA draws to a close however, many of the structures are stone and adobe like the rest of the City. Crime, once rampant, is kept under effective control by a Waaz Ora’adz (in the tradition of Okorian) called The Shade, a former street gang elevated to official status by virtue of their aid to the current Kazzar and Kazzar’Ul during “the troubles” of 101 RA.
The gate commonly known as The Gap was once a roughly 40 foot hole in M’Ziir’s west wall that leads between Crafter’s Row inside the city and the The Pale Quarter outside. The once suspiciously persistent hole still carries an air of mystique, and city guards dislike being assigned duty guarding it. Members of The Shade don’t seem to have such discomfort.
About two miles east of M’ziir, beyond The Flats, on the eastern shore of East Aven (part of Lake Aven) is the small settlement of Aven. Aven is a settlement of about a dozen druids and initiates who live in simple huts and caves clustered in a lush, verdant, garden. Aven runs rampant with animals and all manner of plantlife, and the surrounding farmland is some of the most productive around M’ziir.
Since “the troubles” in the late summer of 101 RA, Kazzar An’Ikaal has declared Aven a formal “Quarter” of M’ziir. This has given the small druidic enclave the same technical status as the Pale Quarter and Westrick. Unsurprisingly, other than the naming of a formal Magistrate of Aven (an elf named Aluenthel), this change of status has had little effect on the relationship between the City and the druids.
The garden and village abuts the lake just where the massive freshwater spring bubbles up from the depths. The druids of Aven guard the spring jealously and with violence if necessary.
The druids of Aven aren’t hostile, and they certainly do their part to foster and protect the farms around M’ziir, but neither are they friendly. Most residents of the area only go to the druids in times of great need, and it is said that a druid’s price is rarely worth paying, and never what it seems.
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