The Book of Many Things
Writeup from before destruction.
Portham is a large semi-circle ringed city. Its population density is concentrated mostly near the flat eastern edge that runs along the river banks. Its basic layout is a remnant of its historical reliance on the river for trade and travel. This means that the majority of the structures along the river edge are essentially docks and warehouses that make up what would be commonly referred to as a Harbor District.
West of the harbor is The High City. Towering above the rest of the city, it is seemingly built on top of the surrounding structures. The towers of the castle that house the city council, gleaming in whites and gold, are visible over the horizon for miles before the rest of the city.
Radiating out from The High City are the colloquially named Richer Districts. A conglomerate of trade, shopping, and living sections adjacent to The High City encapsulated by a ring of high, reinforced fortifications (the inner walls).
Finally, reaching out for miles beyond is the life blood of Portham. The heart of the city is its blue collar residents. Don't be fooled by the pet name those in the richer districts prefer to call them, the residents of the poorer districts are far from poor themselves. And it is here, at the farthest edge of the poorer districts that the first line of defense of Portham stands. A ring wall around the entirety of this massive city, spotted with towers and ramparts that silently keep watch.
The Ringed Walls
Portham's primary form of defense is a series of walls that ring around the major districts in the city. The outer most wall wraps around the poorer districts, sealing the residents inside. There are three main entrances that correspond with the primary roads that converge within the city limits. Each of these entrances can be barred via large fortified gates, flanked on either side by a pair of battlements (towers). Every gate and tower outcropping along the walls both inside and out of the city are manned by the town guard (separate from the city police force).
The Western Gate
The Western Gate is the largest of the three main gates into Portham. It opens out to the western side of town and corresponds with the main route of travel from the coastal regions into the interior of the continent. The majority of subsidiary towns, plantations, and other gatherings of individuals can be found somewhere adjacent to this road. The path itself heads directly due west until it reaches the foot hills of the Mammoth Peaks (mountain range surrounding Portham) before heading south and through Dirnladur (Dwarven run City under the mountains to the southwest, provides easy passage beyond the mammoth peaks into the continent's interior).
The Southern Gate
Where the Western Gate is the largest gate, the southern is probably the smallest of the three. Separating the city from the Swamps far to the south, the southern gate sees the least amount of traffic. While its sibling gates provide access for large amounts of traffic on major thoroughfares, the Southern gate's primary road quickly diverges into many smaller distribution paths that ferry its travelers to modest homes and farms in the countryside beyond the gate.
The Northern Gate
The Northern Gate is the most heavily guarded of the gates. Similar in size to its southern sibling, the northern gate is only a few days travel from the northern pass. This pass is infested with bandits and unsavory types that cause havoc for travelers and merchants alike that wish to utilize the only road that runs through their pass.
The Auxiliary Gates
To the northwest & southwest there are a few smaller gates that allow for foot and Small Cart traffic through them. These gates are no less fortified than their large cousins but have a fraction of the daily traffic.
The Harbor District
The Harbor District is many times larger than the High City, as it spans the distance from the northern city wall, along the river banks, all the way to the southern city wall. Despite its adjacency to the High City, the Harbor District is full of thieves, smugglers, and pirates. Only those businesses directly adjacent to the High City itself are remotely reputable. The city Police make an attempt to regulate activities going on around the docks, but due to its sheer size and lack of entry choke-point, it's nigh impossible for them to regulate people coming in and out of the district. The end result of this is that the walls inside the city that separate the districts from each other also separate the Harbor District from everyone else. (This keeps the bad stuff quarantined to just the harbors).
The introduction of airships has greatly lessened the reliance on naval transit for trade, due to their increased speed and ability to follow more direct courses. Yet airships still do not match the sheer quantity of goods floated up or down the coast. Along with the introduction of airships came the need for more space in and around the harbor district but with the High City directly behind it, the builders decided to build vertically instead. The result is that the harbor district climbs quickly from the river's edge up to similar height with the High City in less than a half mile total distance.
The High City
The High City is the crown jewel of not only Portham but pretty much any city along the eastern coast. The district is only large enough to house ShopS and Services required by the Council to live, houses (mansions really) for them to live in, and a military force should any of the outer walls be breached. There are also lodging and services here for the servants and workers for The High City, essentially making it a standalone city within another city, hence its name. Inc. Of Sever, The Council of Seven is a group of unknown individuals with access to The High City that Server to govern the city as they see fit. The Council's job is to keep the city prosperous and on track with its planned alignment (lawful good). The council members have residence outside of The High City but also within if necessary. Their identities are kept secret for their own safety as not everyone will agree with everything they rule, no matter how much it leans towards "The Greater Good". | χρο γηρα Ι The only permanent residents of The High City. The Knights are a group of elite protectors for the town against threats both foreign and domestic. There are 10 Knights with their 11" member being their high Commander, loun Hart. 此or oun Hart Executor loun Hart is the leader of The Knights Exemplar. Both he and the knights have been preferential rights equal to the highest law of the land (for both church and state) while he himself has the title 'Executor'. This title grants him the faculties of both judge and jury and requires him to answer to no law. The Rich (er). District (S) The term "The Rich District" is a slang for the conglomerate of all the districts that fall within the interior defensive wall. More accurately, this slang came from a shortening of a Common place description of all the districts behind the inner wall, "the Richer Districts". Increased security and proximity to the High City drives up the market value of real-estate and therefore only well off individuals reside here. A taste for the finer things and a noticeable lack of anything dirty or uncouth has left the residents with a well deserved stereotype of being stuck up Snobs. This is the Only place Within a humanoid civilization where you would commonly find Elves. The POOr(er) District (S) The only thing the rich district and the poor district have in Common is the similarity in their slang. Where just with the 'Richer Districts' became 'The Rich District', the common place name for the 'Poorer Districts' became "The Poor District'. While its name in such a way due to its relation and proximity to the richer districts, the moniker 'Poor' doesn't accurately describe the residents. This is where you would find middle class Society, from the blue color worker to the "doing Okay" accountant, the citizens of the district are normally far from "poor". The Sewer System Beneath the city is a vast network of utilities piped directly into each and every building. Below that there is a series of manmade carved sewers to flush those utilities back out. These Carved tunnels are large enough for a person to walk around in for maintenance and such for both the inbound and outbound Systems. They also tie into the naturally forming cave system that branches out underneath the city. These natural caves are vast and a wild as the enchanted forests nearby. En Chante C F Orest The primary means of building all the buildings and ships required by a city this size sithe enchanted forest that encompasses the city and the lands to the Southwest. Tree, brush and even animals grow to immense size and/or with immense speed due to the magical residue that infuses everything within. Nearly as quickly as the lands can be deforested, sapling begin to grow in their places leaving a nigh infinite resource in wood. Those places that have been cleared make for excellent farming lands as the CropS/animals that reside there grow at an astonishing rate. There are many plantations outside the city that utilize this natural effect to get large quantities of good from relatively small acreage.