Life in Cauldron
Cauldron’s buildings, tightly packed and built from volcanic rock and wood, line the inner bowl of a nameless dormant volcano. Cobblestone roads form concentric circles around a small but deep lake of cold water which fills the volcano’s basin. Although the town’s sewage seeps into the lake, local clerics routinely purify the water for the citizens in exchange for charitable donations to their temples.
A 50-foot-tall fortified wall of black malachite encircles the city, tracing the outer rim of the volcano. Four roads descend the volcano’s slopes, becoming major becoming major thoroughfares that lead to other towns and distant realms. The regions near the rim of the city tend to be occupied by upper class families and elite merchants. The closer one gets to the center of town (and the closer to the often pungent odors of the central lake), the shoddier its construction and the more dangerous its dark alleys become.
Most people get around Cauldron on foot, although the town has its share of wagons and carriages, most of them owned by merchants and nobles.
Cauldron’s major export comes from two sources: mines and plantations. Both industries are based in the hills surrounding the city, and are managed by the various noble families who live in the area. Obsidian and diamonds are the primary products mined in the region. Plantations usually produce sugarcane and coffee. Most of those who dwell in the city itself are either merchants, scholars or workers in the mines and plantations of the lowlands. Water is never scarce in town but most of the city’s food must be imported from Sasserine since the local fishing and farming enterprises are meager at best.
The taxes are fairly light in Cauldron. Citizens pay a yearly flat tax of 1gp, while merchants and nobles pay a 5% income tax each year. In addition, a 1sp gate tax is charged for non-citizens who enter the city by any of its four gates.
Over 600 years ago, the towns of Redgorge and Cauldron were founded by Surabar Spellmason, a great wizard from Sasserine. Numerous profitable mines attracted prospectors and adventurers to the area.
The rim of the extinct volcano acts as a natural defense against the local monsters. This, along with the discovery of underground complexes below the city, favored Cauldron’s growth over the centuries.
Several decades ago, rainy winters resulted in massive flood damage to the lower reaches of Cauldron. As the local churches have successfully dealt with this annual problem, The Flood Festival was founded.
Seven years ago, a plague of filth fever struck Cauldron. Several hundred people die before the plague is brought under control.
Common Knowledge about Cauldron
- Obsidian Avenue (outer most)
- Magma Avenue
- Lava Avenue
- Ash Avenue (inner most)
- Crater Lake – lies at the center of the city
- Obsidian Ave southeast
- impressive tower, one of the most beautiful in Cauldron
- responsible for dealing with unclaimed dead, and maintaining catacombs
- maintained by a large staff of about 25
- Obsidian Ave north
- two-story church with white marble walls with veins of vivid blue
- inscription above doors: “Within law lives hope”
- maintained by a medium sized staff
- Magma Ave south
- simple yellow tower, 60 feet tall
- maintained by a solitary cleric
- Obsidian Ave southwest
- simple stone two-story church; lower floor is mostly a large open air arena
- many statues depicting creatures in competition
- sponsor sporting events throughout the year
- maintained by a large sized staff
- Coy Nixie: high-class tavern and dancehall
- Cusp of Sunrise: high-society club; membership by invitation only
- Drunken Morkoth Inn: caters to traveling merchants and adventurers
- Laughing Horse Inn: lower cost inn catering to adventurers
- Minuta’s Board: low cost inn and flophouse
- Slippery Eel Tavern: working class watering hole
- Tipped Tankard Tavern: best food and drinks for common folk
- Garthun Imports: specializes in alcohol, tobacco, gourmet sweets and seafood
- Gurnezarn’s Smithy: regarded as the finest smith in town; independent of the Lathenmire family
- Lathenmire Smithies (four locations): association of blacksmiths, weaponsmiths and armorsmiths; under the control of the Lathenmire family; near monopoly of arms and armor in Cauldron
- Maavu Imports: specializes in rare and unusual books
- Skie’s Treasury: buys and sells magic items
- Sure Foot Livery: the only livery in town
- Tygot’s Old Things: well-stocked antiquity shop; frequently buys old documents and art objects
- Weer’s Elixirs: alchemical items and potions
- Westkey’s Map Emporium: good selection of regional, local, building and treasure maps
- Zanathor’s Provisions: general store with reasonable prices
- Bluecrater Academy: one of the tallest buildings in Cauldron; where most youth go to learn a trade; upper floors consist of libraries and research offices
- Town Guard Barracks: the guard hires mercenaries; offers martial training; houses an underground prison
- Town Hall: land, property and historical archives are kept here
- Lakeside Park: park along Crater Lake; includes pavilion where the Lord Mayor makes occasional announcements