House-wise, Ashtan plays host to a bevy of adventurers, including the Occultists, Shadowsnakes, Warlocks, and Ashura monks, as well as an array of Houseless rogues enticed by Ashtan's promise of freedom. The city-state is actively guarded by the likes of War Witches, golden-armoured Knights of the Illuminati, Shadow Amazons, and the occasional Freedom Fighter, Ashtan Joker, or Soldier of the Golden Apple Corps.
Laws and Policies
Ashtan's laws are known as the Pillars of Ashtan, so named due to the fact that they may be read upon seven pillars on the Parade of Zarathustra within the city. While freedom is valued above all, a basic-though-minimal system of laws is required, if only to protect the well-being of the citizens.
Government and Political History
??? AF - Lord Babel replaced Lord Matsuhama.
City Leaders - Overseer
On the eastern side of the city, across the Accra River, lies the historic Cyclade, the hill upon which the monastery of the Ashuran monks is seated. The hill originally held the "Minorus Basilica," built by the Church during Shallam's occupation of Ashtan. Easy access to this Basilica was what the Church had in mind when they built the Sanctuary Bridge across the river. In 172 AF, the Kharon monks took the fortress as their own, and when they moved to Hashan, they took the fortress with them. The Ashuran Monastery took its place.
The Arboretum of Enlightenment, de Vermiis Art Gallery, and Loving Hearts Orphanage were all built by the legendary Occultist Servelan de Vermiis. The Arboretum contains many strange and exotic plant species. The de Vermiis Art Gallery, while receiving critical praise, has been said by some to depict the Church in an unfair light. The Loving Hearts Orphanage is where children are led to be slaughtered so that their pineal glands can be harvested.
The Iron Citadel was the former fortress and guildhall of the now-defunct Infernals guild. It was burned down by the angry citizens of Ashtan after the guild rebelled against the city. The guild tutor's magically-preserved head may still be seen piked before its ruins, a warning to all other potential turncoats.
The Accron Overlook, through which the Accra River flows, is the upper-class residential district. It is here that the houses of the merchant princes reside, as well as those of wealthy adventurers in nearby Golden Apple Estates. The Dowager Montagenet lives here in her classy but simple, Dorian-style mansion. Lady Korkill was known to reside here, resting on the laurels of her father's coal-mining company's meteoric rise from the ashes. Also of note is the estate of John Bailin, who made a fortune selling inks and dyes across the land.
Polygnotus Way is the middle-class residential sector.
The Descent marks the beginning to lower-class sections of the city, which start with decaying old mansions and meld into cramped but tidy dwellings.
Martin's Sorrow, with its disease-ridden streets and dilapidated buildings, caps it all off as the dead-bottom rung of the social ladder. The sculptor Cornelius von Storung once lived here. He is better known as the Unknown Artist and now resides in the upper level of the de Vermiis Art Gallery.
Aside from the various guards and orphans found along the streets in Ashtan, there are a few notable citizens worth mentioning:
The Nicator Archives, Ashtan's news archives, may be found in the Great Library of Nicator.
Just off of the northern Parade of Zarathustra, which juts through the vertical centre of the city, are the Postal Office of Ashtan and the Royal Bank of Ashtan.
Off of Market Street is the cluttered workshop of Schliemann the Unlocker, Ashtan's resident locksmith.
The slaughterhouse of Ashtan is located just north of the Descent.
Orphans may be enrolled at the controversial Loving Hearts Orphanage, located southeast of Dockhand Square.
The news of the day can be purchased from Lucca, the city's paperboy.
All of these facilities are available for use to citizens and visitors alike.
Just a stride away from the city gates, Central Market and the surrounding shops are most popular among and readily accessible to tourists and citizens alike. One of Rurin's many outlets, it offers a wide array of utilities that would appeal to any adventurer, from inks and commodities to basic food and clothing. Just outside the Merchant's Quarter, on the east end of Market Street, is the shop S'dorrah, world-renowned for its trade in precious gems and other exotic goods. Famous also for its extravagant clothing culled from the finest haute couture, this outlet is equally infamous for its exorbitantly matching prices. In the northwestern corner of town can be found Dockhand Square, a popular crossroads of sorts. Aside from being the most frequent haunt of the Ratman, this seaside district is dotted with many odd adventurer-owned shops catering to all manners of taste. Venturing east and south from here, one might find a cluster of adventurer-owned shops along a particular curve of Croce Lane, as well as the smithy of Listar, the Royal Blacksmith. On the far east side of the city, steeped in the upper-class elegance that is the Accron Overlook, is Amadia's Jewellery Shoppe of Ashtan.
Dining and Recreation
Should you find your palate a bit dry, stop by the nearby Seadog Tavern on the northwest corner of Dockhand Square, where a good flagon of mead is always on tap. For those in the mood for a more unique taste, Fire and Spice, located just one room west of the tavern, might be more to their liking. It is here that Dagon, the barkeep, mixes all manners of drinks unique to the city, from Golden Apples to Electric Demiurges, and beyond. Warm meals are also available at the Fire and Spice, prepared by local culinary master Chef Cornelios. Across Anza Street from the Loving Hearts Orphanage is Cinnabeth's Creperie, where one may indulge in crepes, tarts, and pastries of all varieties. In the northeast section of the city, steeped in the shadowy Descent, is the Ugly Humgii Bar and Grill, where the more laid-back eater can settle down and buy burgers, ribs, and other such grillside staples; patrons may even partake in the relatively unique chance to create a custom burger with toppings of their choosing.
In the northeasterly section of the city, just off of Deer Grove Road, lies the Pheidas Gambling Parlour, where one might tempt fate with Dielia, the cardshark, or Croesus, the roulette attendant. In Dockhand Square at Fire and Spice, one can enjoy the unique artform of exotic firedancer Naodia. Or, if books are more your style, the Great Library of Nicator might be for you. Just off of Lycaeneum Avenue lies a solarium where acupuncture from Aiden and massage from Jael may be purchased through Julio. If the outdoors strike your fancy, perhaps a bit of fishing in the Accra River or a swim in Lake Balaton is in order; the latter is also where the submerged ship of Sinope houses the hall of the Shadowsnakes.
More than a few famous faces have hailed from Ashtan:
Streets: Anza Street, Aurelian Crescent, Croce Lane, Elm Street, Golden Walk, Guardian's Avenue, Lycaeneum Avenue, Manike Way, Market Street, Merchant Street, Parade of Zarathustra, Pine Street, Oak Street, Outlaw's Alley, Polygamus Avenue, Polygnotus Way, Protean Way, Radiant Path, Stagira Boulevard.
Shopping Districts: Croce Lane, Dockhand Square, Merchant's Quarter.