Al'Adeaf (founded as Denaria, after Waukeen) is a an ever-sinking city and trade hub in the central Pteris area, linking much of the southern and northern parts of the continent together in commerce and culture.
Citizens from Al'Adeaf are often called `Sinkish people.
History[edit | edit source]
Almost a thousand years ago, the “city” of Denaria was nothing more than several dozen squalid huts perched on a few islands in the fine granular sands of the Delta Serpentine. The city’s most worshiped goddess, Waukeen, soon pushed the mountains aside to provide large, flat, and fertile land for settling. Times have changed: close to 100,000 people dwell here now and the population soars during festivals or major market days. Long since renamed Al'Adeaf (Trudgeon for "Ever Sinking") the city looks westward onto a the dangerous and mysterious Badlands of Pteris, and still stands by its merchant goddess who promotes trade and profit. Al'Adeaf is the second largest city of The Seven Cities, a trade union formed by several cities on the Pteris continent and wields unmatched economic power among the seven.
In Al'Adeaf, the ringing of bells occasionally drowns out the din of endless hammering and the cries of merchants hawking their wares. Pennants of golden sandblasted coins (depicting a white Aarakocra) flutter from rooftops and poles. Priests and merchants are everywhere, statues adorn every building in sight, wild animals burrow and crawl on and beneath hundreds of stone or wooden bridges, and brightly painted buildings with breathtaking architecture ignominiously stand half-sunken into the sand. Say what you want about the heat or the smell, it’s a memorable and beautiful city.
About[edit | edit source]
The People[edit | edit source]
Al’Adeaf is full of families who have immigrated over many centuries, often intending to visit for a few weeks and choosing to settle there instead. Appearance varies amongst the population, with taller stature and darker skin tones prevailing in Al’Adeaf’s oldest families, physical traits passed down from the ancient Snobbite Regality. A good number of 'Sinkish, however, carry the traits of the northern Hobgoblins, including orange-red skin, large ears, and stout faces. Al’Adeaf takes great pride in considering itself cosmopolitan — the citizens may pay close attention to the appearance of wealth and social class, but discrimination based on race, color, or gender is considered heretical by the church and is strongly discouraged by the community.
‘Sinkish organizations tend towards a matriarchy, especially in the church; as a rule of thumb in Al’Adeaf, women are in positions of prestige and power as much as or more than men.
Architecture[edit | edit source]
The city is full of color. It’s a jumbled mess of stone spires, wooden shacks, brightly painted manor houses, grand open plazas, teeming marketplaces, roof gardens, harbors, and soaring bridges over omnipresent canals. The tallest noble towers are decorated with ancient jeweled windows of breathtaking beauty, but that doesn’t necessarily distract from the unevenly sinking hovels of the poorer districts that house many common families in a small amount of space. There are even a few remaining buildings above ground from ages of sorcerous wonders, made from unbreakable crystal or other unspeakably beautiful substances.
Al’Adeaf's architects have a taste for the classical. Columns project strength, and strong foundations distract from sinking edifices. Among the clean lines are overwrought gothic windows accompanied by exquisite stained glass. The Aarakocra motif is everywhere, jumbled in among gargoyles and thousands upon thousands of funerary statues. Embossed Aarakocras decorate stone pathways between marketplaces, enormous stone aarakocra statues grace the apex of Mercanti rooftops, and Commoners scratch Aarakocra into their shacks hoping for a small taste of Waukeen's Blessing.
With land at a premium, locals take advantage of height. Laundry lines dangle from rooftops 80 feet in the air. The outsides of solid stone towers become a warren of rickety wooden ladders, hand-built platforms, and cantilevered walkways as people try to conjure up more space from thin air. Too many Commoners live in these precariously placed wooden shacks, hoping not to crash to the ground during one of the many storms that sweep in from the ocean. Similarly, there are those who take advantage of depth. Those with the least coin often live in moldy and leaking sub-basements below ground, clambering up five or six stories each morning just to reach street level. Collapses, floods, and fires in such dwellings are usually deadly.
Public and private gardens are a symbol of wealth and power. Those who can afford it prefer roof gardens of rare and exotic flowers, but you’re likely to come across small hidden (and well-defended) vegetable gardens grown on other people’s roofs by those who need the food most. Hedge animals are currently fashionable on the estates of the rich; hedge mazes are so last generation. More than one small island is entirely given over to public gardens, with any building within their borders deemed illegal.
Buildings normally lose about 8 cm to the sink each year, or roughly one floor per generation, but a sudden sink is not an unheard-of phenomenon; if you’re tremendously unlucky, a laundry line a comfortable story up today might lie on the ground tomorrow. Sinking buildings add complications, with sidewalks of varying heights and stairs leading up to (or down to) a building’s current front door. Architects work constantly to repair, modify and reinforce buildings.
All but the most recent buildings reach deeper underground than they do vertically above street level. Descending through usually flooded basements brings you back through the building’s history one generation at a time. Many such levels are flooded with quicksand, but sometimes good drainage, airtight construction or ancient pumps keep most of the sand out. Anything might be forgotten down there, and it isn’t unusual to discover that your supposedly secure basements are being used as an underground highway by smugglers. Paranoid homeowners pay architects to seal off their basements and then live in a state of denial, trying to forget that those basements even exist.