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Northface is an academic and industrial city. The city is the primary location for academic learning in the continent of Ageron. The lower parts of the of the city focus on industry and production. Northface’ industry is only rivaled by that of the city Firehammer. The three sections of the city are Alcaster, the rich academic section, Alderburn, the industrial section, and the Pox Burg, formerly known as the Arcold. Each section is named after one of the three brothers who helped found this city.
Northern Ageron is the region past the Pagh river. It generally has a colder, wetter climate than other parts of the continent. The only city worth note in this region is Northface. Several small fishing hamlets dot the landscape otherwise.
Northface is a city built in the side of and on the top of a set of cliffs in the northern region of Ageron above the Pagh river. The cliffs in which Northface resides are simply known as the Northern Cliffs. The northern region of Ageron is filled with hilly plains in the south and swampy marshes in the north. The northern cliffs run along the northwestern coast of the continent, until they meet with the Pagh mountains. There are a myriad of tunnels and natural caves within the Northern Cliffs. Northface settlers used these caves to start building their city. Much of the city is carved out of the very rock face of the cliffs.
Alcaster, the rich, academic district, sits on the top of the Northern Cliffs. Due to the height of the cliffs, their proximity to the ocean, and the large numbers of gales that affect this area, windmills have been set up to harness the winds here. Windmill innovation has not moved forward particularly fast, as Northface lacks a steady source of lumber to build new structures. Since the two cities share a fascination with technology and industry, a trade route has been set up between Northface and Firehammer Hold. This route was primarily set up for easy transport of many delicate or intricate parts between Firehammer Hold and Alcaster University .
Alcaster has one large university, with three main schools of learning within. The campus for the university lies to the south of the residential parts of Alcaster. The residential portion of this section lies at the very end of the Northern Cliffs. This is a popular summering location for the wealthy of Ageron, as the views from the top of the cliffs are fantastic during the less stormy summers.
Alderburn is the second section of Northface. This is the industrial part of the city. Alderburn stretches from just below the cliff top to halfway down the cliffside. The top parts of this section are mostly shops and small crafters. The deeper and lower into Alderburn a person travels, the more industrial it becomes. Many of the factories in this section sprung up after miners discovered several large veins of coal. Factories quickly used the coal to their advantage, and the city began to rely less on other cities for resource trade. Most of the factories are deeper within the cliffs. Much of the worker housing is on the cliffside or lower in the city.
The last section of the city is colloquially known as the Pox Burg. When the city was founded, it was originally known as Arcold. The Pox Burg sits below Alderburn, and reaches to the bottom of the cliffs into the swamps below. This section contains the vast majority of the chronically ill, destitute, or insane people in the city. Within the Burg are a multitude of substandard hospitals, asylums, and orphanages. Disease and rot run rampant in this section, in part due to poor living conditions and in part due to the swamps at the base of the cliffs.
Northface only settled in a small portion of the tunnels and caves permeating throughout the Northern Cliffs. Many of the larger tunnels and caverns past the city have been explored and mapped out; however, there are innumerable smaller tunnels that have yet to be explored. Beneath the Pox Burg is a labyrinthine network of tunnels and caverns. None of these tunnels have been mapped, as the rooms and tunnels of this maze seem to shift and change as people move through them. The city officials make it widely known that exploring these tunnels is extremely dangerous, as strange dangerous creatures have been seen wandering the tunnels. The creatures within the maze, the maddening layout of the maze, and the strange magical presence coming from somewhere within the maze all combine to make this location extremely deadly.
Northface, in general, is a very prideful city. Many of the inhabitants prefer to rely wholly on their own infrastructure to support the city. This often leads to shortages, especially during the winter months. Due to these relatively common shortages, much of the lower class in Northface is unhappy with the large difference in classes between levels. The lower a person travels in this city, the more disgruntled the citizens seem. Several revolts and revolutions have been attempted in the past, but most have failed, due to one reason or another.
The city is extremely racially diverse. Humans make up the majority of the citizens, but all other major races are nearly as prevalent. Many of the people who live in this town are laborers or academics. There is a scattering of other professions, but those are the two largest options for employment. The people of Northface are strangely unreligious. Over the years, many priests and holy orders have tried to set up temples or sites, but the public would display much displeasure whenever this happened. There are still priests who reside in Northface, but there are no active temples, outside of a set of small shrines set up around the city. However, for reasons that may have an origin from folklore, Vormaxian priests are extremely unwelcome in the city. While in the safer parts of the city, the priest may just get angry glares and a few insults, in the lower parts of the city, Vormaxian priests have been attacked and occasionally killed.
Alcaster is the cleanest, safest part of the city. Much of the city’s government resides in this section. The vast majority of the rich in this city live in this section. Houses tend to be relatively large and impressive. The city government sits in the middle of this section, between the residential district and the university. The people of Alcaster tend towards being more self-absorbed and egocentric. They enjoy the fine arts, with several theaters and museum having been founded in this district. Students and staff from the university tend to not mix with the residents of Alcaster.
Northface university plays host to three main schools within itself, The School for Innovation, The School of Research and Knowledge, and the School of History. The School of Innovation is based around developing knowledge in spell groups and how to practically apply them in the world. The School of Research is based on discovering the exact capabilities of magic and how to make more powerful magic. And the School of History focuses on the history of magic and how it has affected the world. This school is extremely difficult to get into, and has an additional screening and testing phase. Many of the students were Northface residents before attending the university, but with the recent reappearance of Ageron, there is an expected surge of off continent applicants.
The School of Innovation is the newest school within the university. Studying the practical application of magic, this school tends to be very welcoming. While it’s not necessarily easy to get into the school, this school tries its hardest to accommodate as many people as it can. The research that goes on here is intended to be used across the plane to make the world a better place. The School of Innovations, while a prestigious school in it own rite, has had trouble finding its footing outside of Northface. Due to how young of a school it is, many people have had trouble putting their trust in it. Because of this, SI is pretty eager to collaborate with other researchers to gain the level of respect they deserve. The School of Innovation is currently leading the research for a cure to the Pox that has been spreading throughout the lower parts of the city. Adventurers are welcome to apply.
The School of Research and Knowledge, or the SRK for short, is the largest and most prestigious of the schools at the university. Tasked with expanding the limits of magic, the research conducted here has aided in the creation of multiple spell groups, including some of the psionic disciplines. Adventurers are encouraged to apply, as this school is always looking for new ways to expand magic.
The School of History is the hardest school to join in the university. Along with having extremely high standards for applicants, each accepted applicant must go through a rigorous set of interviews before they may begin taking classes or working with this school. The research that is performed in the School of History is often extremely confidential, with the only way to judge what’s been done by what scientific journals they publish. The researchers are often extremely secretive, and zealously protective of their work. Any artifacts or curious objects found during their research are immediately shipped to one of their study facilities. More often than not, those artifacts will not be seen by anyone outside the school for the rest of its existence. Adventurers are not welcome in this school or any of its facilities, with the exception being the Historical Library, which contains knowledge on much of Jaernian History, the history of magic, and various research.
Alderburn is the second part of the city. It lays host to many large manufacturing complexes as well as the largest coal mine, which is controlled by the Virtus family. This portion of the city, while not the safest or cleanest, is the most calm. The majority of the people who live and work here are content to live and work here. While Alderburn is host to a large number of industrial complexes, the higher parts of the city are bustling with shops, markets, and various other businesses. The city guard has their main garrison in this part of the city.
The Pox Burg is the third section of Northface. It is also the lowest, poorest, and dirtiest part of the city. Much of this part of the city is inhabited by beggars and homeless. Arcold is host to a large amount of asylums and orphanages. While many have fallen into disrepair or been shut down, several have been kept in moderate repair. Unfortunately, the city government tends to ignore the happenings of this part of the city. This is due to several reasons, one of them being the appearance of the Pox in this part of the city. Another reason, the government does not offer much aid to this section of the city is due to the fact that much of the scum of the city has migrated to Arcold. The Thievers, a faction of cutthroats, thieves, and pickpockets, act as a form of law in this portion of the city, but they make their own laws and generally only act in their own favor.
The Theivers are excellent at sneaking, using their knowledge of the city and their own prowess. Oftentimes, whenever a fancy, important, or dangerous looking individual enters the Pox Burg, the Thievers will send a few men to follow them, and if possible snag a few coins from the unfortunate passerby. While much of the money they gain is used for the group, a fair portion of the money is distributed throughout the community of beggars, orphans, and homeless people. This helps supplement a bad day of begging. By spreading this money around, it increases the likelihood of the beggars staying in Arcold and not moving to other parts of the city. The continued high concentration of destitute people usually keeps the number of wealthy individuals doing charity work throughout the Pox Burg relatively high, which in turn lets the Thievers steal more.
This circle of robbery and charity has prevented Arcold from advancing in the same way Alcaster and Alderburn have. This cycle has also hurt the asylums and orphanages in Arcold. Since many of the good samaritans who do charity work in this part of the city are robbed relatively quickly, very little money is going towards the upkeep of these places. When Northface was first founded, Arcold was the epitome of healthcare and humanities work. However, as crime increased in that part of the city, the hospitals moved higher up into the city, but the orphanages and asylums had trouble moving. They suffered immensely because of this, with inadequate working staff and living conditions. Many of the children in the orphanages will leave during the day to beg and steal for food, and will only return to the orphanage because it is a place to sleep. But, Arcold, being what it is often prevents some of the children from returning to their abodes. Being killed over a coin, being abducted to work in slave-like conditions, or disappearing into the tunnels are all common ways children disappear in the Pocks Burg.
More information will be added to this section, as it comes up. Developments from games people run should show up in this section.