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|Population: 95,000||Neutral City|
| Genova is nestled in the mountains of the mainland portion of Nekorb. It is the largest
city on METAPHAZE. It has a population of 95,000 inhabitants. Sprawling slums and
overcrowding because of the lack of level ground has produced a city stacked upon itself.
Racked by poverty, it is one of the dirtiest cities as well. If any city were breeding
ground for opportunists and evil, the city of Genova holds that title.
Travel in the city is slow due to it's overcrowded streets. Anyone wishing to cross town, will spend at least a day in travel. There is no alternative to travel from one end of town to the other due to the city's position in the mountains. There are two approaches to the city's location which allow travel to occur through the city, from one side to the other.
As part of the Nekorb alliance, it has one year of prosperity in every 21 when the great Nekorb market comes to town. Poor and rich alike turn out in droves for the massive event that lasts for weeks. Other than that one year, the rest of their lives are stuck in the ruts of poverty and the toil of oppression.
The city is divided physically into several quadrants. The lower city in the main valley is known as the sprawl. It contains the most concentrated of the population, houses and apartments stacked three and four stories high in almost all of the usable land area. The entry into the city is via the gap to the western side of the sprawl.
North and east of the Mount Zirconium, is the Royal Demense. The center of which contains the royal complex and the oldest part of the city. Rumored to have secret tunnel accesses to ancient dwarven caverns under the city, this complex is the seat of the puppet ruler of Genova. The second entrance to the city is to the northeast of the Royal Demense.
South of the Sprawl and the Royal Demense is a ridge topped by more housing and parts of the city known as the Plateau. Along the city side of this ridge are the premier estates of the city. Each estate is like a minifortress unto itself, each defending against any insurrection the others might bring against it. Inside of these minifortresses, the sprawl of the city continues with a middle-class sampling of overcrowding. The buildings are newer, larger and in better shape than their counterparts in the sprawl.
Access to the plateau is by one of two switch-back roads, one on the west end of the plateau, and the other at the northeast end of the plateau. Both are guarded by armed individuals from two of the more powerful factions in the city.
Genova is one of the few cities in Metaphaze that does not have a port and is not located on the ocean. All trade to the city must cross treacherous mountain roads and be carried by beast of burden. Almost all goods brought into the city bring premium prices if they are not first subverted by the corrupt marketers and pirates that lie and wait for easy targets to their subversion.
Genova as a trading center is impoverish and poor. Although products that successfully make it to market bring premium prices. The risk is high and most mediocre or amateur merchants have little or no chance of bringing a product to market. Only the large merchants seem to be able to bring products safely into the city market. Only with luck and ingenuity can others accomplish this same feat.
Genova is a major center for the quarrying of stone. The subjugated populous is further humiliated and used to work the many stone quarries around the city.
Its main exports are poisons, finished stone, magic armor, and string.
Its main imports are linen and magic research.
Genova is one of the cities whose location would promote the assumption that it was a dwarven city. However, in this case, Genova is not. It is primarily inhabited by humans. Almost 80% of the population is human with a mixture of the other races composing the other 20%.
Genova is governed by chaos. The lord of the city is a puppet, with no power over the majority of the population to do anything about their condition. Ichabad von Pankin, a tall elven figure, obviously an impeccable dresser, and socially upper-class, but limited in power and is only able to maintain his personal guard, sufficient to protect his compound, and his personal safety, but unable to extend his control to any significant portion of the city. As a ruler, he is well liked among the populous, but does not possess enough charisma to motivate them into throwing off their oppressors in lieu of his own rule.
The various factions in the city that control the majority of incoming and outgoing trade goods maintain their superiority through the lack of any semblance of order in the government of the city. While the city collects almost no taxes, the other special fees collected by the factions more than exceed any reasonable tax on goods and personal safety within the city.
Because of this disarray, the city is at the mercy of the main factions. Some of the factions are religious in nature, most are motivated by the monetary gains allowed by the total disarray within the city. Each maintains it's boundaries and strict patrols and frequent disputes erupt when encroachment occurs.
There is no single military unit in control of the city. Instead, gang-like factions control areas of the city commensurate with their overall power. Center garrisons of control are established in each of the factions territories and in most cases is a center of activity unto itself.
Greyson, a dark wizard, has control of the "plateau" region of the city. Probably the largest portion of the city, he rules this area with an iron fist. His men also control the Northeast road to the plateau.
Also known as Ollie the Fat, this gargantuan of a man is vile, corrupt, disgusting and one of the most adept thieves in the world. His demesne consists of the North sector of the sprawl. His hired mercenaries extract every coin his sector can afford. It is the rankest and darkest of any of the areas of the city.
A distinct, and ever present faction, these dark robed figures claim no one particular area, and seem to be able to disappear into thin air. Their exact intent is unknown.
The Financiers are a well connected, merchant guild, headed up by a fellow by the name of Richenwald Seth. They are teutonic in appearance with the exception that their surcoats are a black with red annulet.
The second largest of factions in the city, Hades Hoards control the lion's share of the sprawl. They also control the western road to the Plateau.
Located in the southeastern area of the sprawl, below the cliffs of the Plateau, Guido, a small time thief and imp of a man runs his quadrant of the city. They control all the money-making businesses in their area and exclude any incoming products and materials if it is not under their own control. Guido is an efficient manager and has the most technical operation in Genova.
Laying claim to the area west and south of the Royal Demense, Scardino's Bilkers are a gang to be reckoned with. Their primary mode of operation is to collect protection money from all the merchants and populous who find themselves in their territory. Those who do not pay are ruthlessly dealt with and sometimes do not live to regret their situation. Because of their reputation, this rarely happens.
Tolsun, a particularly devout cleric to a particularly evil deity sends his followers out into the populous to recruit and enslave members of the population to his religion. It is rumored that he is the darkest and most ruthless of the evil caretakers of the city. His dark eyes and dark beard send shivers down even the bravest of souls.
Outright, ruthless in their methods, Jihared and his men are known thieves. They call a large part of the outskirts of the city as their own. Many of them have been seen in all quadrants of the city, their unique skills giving them the advantage over others who might wish to capture or otherwise detain them. Members of this gang, rumored to number around 40 or so, typically wear a tightly wound blue turban on their heads.
Vinnie's Red Hats
Vinnie, a dark dwarf with underground connections, is a purveyor of goods inside the city. You want something, Vinnie and his other dwarven compatriots can come up with it. The only rule to their acquisitions is to not ask where it came from. Many of the members of this faction sport bright red stocking hats.
A particularly ruthless group of individuals, they rove from quadrant to quadrant in the city attempting to convert followers to their cause. The usual reaction people have to their approach is to turn and run from their vigorous campaign.
In the balance of evil versus good, the members of Christian's Cross try to maintain the good side in Genova. Their white and grey robed members are the good Samaritans of Genova. They can be seen in all quadrants of the city, usually helping the poor and the sick with food and medical attention. On occasion, they have been known to have connections that allow them to perform other necessary services for good clients.
Opressed and impoverished with little or no hope of rescue from their situation, the populous of Genova find solace in their gods. Temples are almost as plentiful as the people of the city. Constant feasting, fasting, celebrating and processions are seen throughout the city almost all the time.
Wang Mu Niang-niang
Gandharvas The Ashvins Kama Shitala Varuna Vishnu
© Robert J Becraft, 1995, 1998. All Rights Reserved.. No portions of these web documents may be reproduced or copied without the expressed consent of the author.