The city of Ximax, though not
the largest, is undoubtedly one of the most famous cities in the kingdom of
Santharia, noted for its eccentricity, its
mercuriality, and, most of all, its magic.
Although the Magical Academy of Ximax no longer
resides in the city itself, the two remain linked in a kind of spell that
creates an ensorcelling air through every city block. Within the city, shops
cater to nearly every fancy, filled with arcane enchantments, runic reagents,
and bewitching brews. Needless to say, Ximax is one of the most miraculous,
mystical, magical of cities on the disk.
Description. The City of Ximax shines as a beacon to all those with a penchant for the magical, elusive, and peculiar. For years, those wishing to enhance their wisdom of all things magic have journeyed far to enter through the tall gates into Ximax, which sits just east of the great Ximax Academy. Within the walls of Ximax travelers will find, quite literally, one of Santharia’s most enchanting cities.
|Image description. Dragonsbane Tower on the Outer City Wall of Ximax, equipped with various Farseer Devices. Picture from the game Mystical Empire™, used with friendly permission. Drawn by Quellion.|
As the capital of the province of Xaramon, Ximax is also the seat of the
provincial government, headed by the
Thane and the
However, it mainly focuses on provincial matters, and local issues are dealt
with by the city council, who in addition to the city proper, also handles the
affairs of the Cha'domm Peninsula in general, save those areas claimed by the
The City of Ximax, which serves as home to nearly 50,000 residents, has an old and quite unique history, due in part to the Orb of Ximax. The Orb is an object of extreme power around which the Academy was constructed. The Orb has attracted mages for thousands of years, and it and the Academy continue to draw young and eager minds to learn magic. While the Orb and Academy continue to draw business into the economy of the city, the influence is not always entirely positive. A number of explosions pock the city’s history, the most recent of which decimated the city in 1480 a.S.
The City of Ximax originally contained the Academy entirely, with a thin inner city partitioned off with walls such that the average traveler could not enter. The Outer city consisted of three separate sections: Tanaman to the east, Deurenshill to the north and southwest, and Novorhall in the south. Because of the growth of the city, Tanaman extended farthest of any of the sections.
In 1480 a.S., Ximax experience is most devastating and mysterious explosions. It emanated from the Academy, and yet left the Academy unharmed. It destroyed the inner city and outer city almost entirely, leaving only one a piece of Tanaman, to the east, still intact. Strangely, the loss of life was relatively small (about 10% died in the blast), but the buildings were almost entirely blown away. The Academy, shocked and remorseful about the incident, offered to rebuild the city to placate the anger of the denizens of Ximax. And with the help of the Zirghurim dwarves, they did just that (though the city was moved a bit farther away from the Academy, for safety).
Today, the construction of many of the boroughs echoes typical Zirghurim design, with a little magic built in. Reconstruction began in the northwest and swept quickly to the southeast as the mages and dwarves built on what remained of the city - namely the boroughs of Feldstone and Hallowhall. Much of the city, then, is relatively new, though there are citizens whose families have been Ximaxians for generations. With old resentments faded, the newness of the city has become a source of pride, a badge of honor representing the progressiveness of the city and its inhabitants.
Like the old city of Ximax, the new city has an inner and outer section, called the inner and outer boroughs. However, unlike the old city, the inner boroughs are not separated from the outer ones by walls - the entirety of the city is accessible to all who travel here. And in fact, the boroughs themselves have flexible borders, with one borough gradually melting into its neighbours. The only walls to be had are around the entirely of the city itself, protecting it in case of attack.
Key Locations. Ximax can be devided into the Inner Borough, the Outher Borough and the Outside and Under the City. In the following the various parts will be described in detail:
Surrounding the Market Square at the centre of Ximax are the six inner boroughs
of the Magic City. As with the outer boroughs, each inner borough has a
specific purpose and unique character, and each contributes to the wider
Ximaxian community in different ways. A brief discussion of the six inner
Aferburgh, home to the most renowned jewelry shops in Ximax, has also attracted clothing and accessory stores of various kinds to fulfill the needs of the clientele found in this part of the city. Additionally, those who have dealings with the Jeweler's or Artificer's Guilds will find the guild halls here. A third guild hall, the Innkeeper's Guild is found in neighbouring Hollyale. This borough is home to a high proportion of taverns and inns of various kinds and quality. Also in this borough is a Temple of Jeyriall, a refuge to pregnant women, regardless of station or support. Two additional temples are located in Dukesbury, the next borough in our tour of the inner city of Ximax. These temples are in honour of Armeros and Foiros. The Bankers' and the Librarians' Guild are also located in this borough. Governance Square, located in the heart of Dukesbury, is the seat of municipal and provincial governance in Ximax. In addition to housing the Thane's Palace, the highest ranking bureaucrats have their homes here.
Most of the middle and upper classes of Ximax live in Middleton, a walled and gated community with houses built in the Centoraurian style, marked with Helcrani influences. An infirmary, coffee house, music hall and the Dancers' Guild are all located within Middleton. The infirmary is part of the Temple of Nehtor built by the residents of this borough to care for their fellow citizens. In a similar vein, Maejsend, previously Mage's End, has a temple, this one is to the worship of Eyasha. This borough caters to the magically inclined and hosts the Mage Guild Hall. Magical, reagent and potion shops populate Maejsend and rumours persist of hidden and forbidden groups in operation in this borough. The last of the inner boroughs, Tymeside, brings us back to Aferburgh and is home to the clockmakers and watchmakers of Ximax. Tymeside is home to the Clockmakers' Guild as well as jeweler shops and magic shops.
This is but a brief description of the sights of these parts of Ximax and it is strongly encouraged that interested people should travel to Ximax and get a first hand account of the inner boroughs of the capital of Xaramon Province.
Aferburgh (Inner Borough
Nestled between Tymeside and Hollyale, and just south of Ettinsburgh, Aferburgh contains the most renown jewelry shops in the city. Here jewelers display their lovely pieces crafted of mithril, copper, silver, and gold, gleaming with all variety of gems, from the crimson heartstone, to the golden sunstone, to the green peridot. Those familiar with the city know the niche of each shop: some jewelers specialize in necklaces, while others may be expert gem-cutters, and there are even high-priced shops that sell special enchanted pieces.
The jewelry shops attract a number of visitors, particularly the opulent and affluent, and many other shops have popped up to appease their refine tastes: a number of hatters, purse-makers, and glove-makers have shops in this area of town, as well tailors and seamstresses who craft exquisite dresses from the highest quality fabrics. While the quality of products produced in Aferburgh is high, one should expect to pay in kind.
Aferburgh houses two guild halls. The Jeweler’s Guild, the smaller of the two, is rarely used, and its architecture resembles the other buildings’ so closely that it often appears like any other shop. Because the Jeweler’s Guild is not particularly active, the building is often rented out for special occasions. The Artificer’s Guild is a much larger hall, decorated on the outside with interlacing patterns, and even has statues flanking its entrance: on one side a female jeweler studying a ring, on the other a clock-maker winding gears. The building receives much use from the variety of jewelers and clock-makers who belong to it.
There are a number of small parks in the borough, where those traversing the streets may sit and rest. Some of these small parks even have elegant fountains and gazebos. Most of the population here is human, though an occasional gnome or dwarf is not uncommon.
Hollyale (Inner Borough
Located between Aferburgh and Dukesbury is the borough known to the residents of Ximax as Hollyale, due to the high proportion of taverns and inns on its streets. It is north east of the central market square of Ximax and boasts high-class taverns and inns. As one gets closer to the outer borough of Underside, the quality of the taverns and inns decreases markedly.
The workers and owners of the inns and taverns of Ximax are represented by the Innkeepers' Guild. This guild, located in the northern section of Hollyale, sets standards for the quality of taverns and inns throughout the magic city. These established standards provide the public with an indication of the quality of service and maintenance of the facility for each tavern or inn. This guild also establishes minimum conditions for the workers in these establishments. The lowest standard is called the san, with the od, the copperbard, the silverbard and finally the goldbard being the other ratings in increasing level of quality. Only the wealthiest of individuals are able to frequent those taverns or inns rated as silverbard and goldbard.
One would be remiss to leave this borough without due consideration given to the temple of Jeyriall located within its streets. This temple is pyramidal in shape and has a cup engraved above its main entry. Paths through a small, cultivated ground takes the pilgrim past a small pond of still water through the main entry into the temple. The temple is built from granite with gold on the window trim, planter boxes and capstones. The granite and gold were brought in from the Steppe of Kruswik. The priestesses of the temple assist women who are ready to give birth and who request the services of the temple, regardless of whether or not they have other support available to them. Finally, the interior rooms of the temple are a store for a variety of foodstuffs for the citizens should another disaster befall the magical city.
Dukesbury (Inner Borough
Immediately southeast of the city’s central market is the borough of Dukesbury. It houses not only the city's government, but also the government of Xaramon province. Relatively few citizens make their homes here; those who do are often high-ranking bureaucrats. Several large residences are scattered throughout the borough, the homes of dukes during their visits to the city. Insulated from the rest of the city by high walls and towers, these residences seem almost like small castles. Ducal troops guard their entrances at all times, allowing entry only to those who have business with the dukes.
Located at the centre of Dukesbury, Governance Square is the heart of the borough, containing some of its most important buildings. To the south, the Thane's Palace serves as the official residence of the reigning thane, although they often prefer their ducal residences. Inspired by the Curonesta Palace of Milkengrad, it is built of white marble in the classical Helcrani style. It was designed to impress, and does so very well. In addition to numerous rooms where bureaucrats work out the details of governance, it also houses a grand audience chamber where the thane holds court. At the other end of the square is the City Hall. Unlike the palace, it is built mostly from local granite in a more modern style, incorporating elements of Volkek-oshra and Zirghurim architecture, but the overall effect is no less impressive. The city council meet here regularly, often accompanied by local notables, to see to the administration of the city.
Two great temples are located to the east of the square. The first is dedicated to Armeros in his role as the god of judgment. While fortified in the manner typical of armourwains, it functions as a court of justice. At the head of the main court chamber, a giant statue of the Just One watches over all proceedings. Next to the armourwain stands a temple of Foiros, the God of Sun who represents the inner strength to resist lust and desire. Each day, many devotees come to pray for his help in guarding against worldly temptations. Made of white marble accented with gold, the temple presents a stunning sight under the light of Injèrá. At night, numerous small fires keep it illuminated.
Finally, two guilds have their headquarters in the borough. Not far from wealthy Middleton, the Bankers' Guild has largely taken over a street, lining it with guild members’ businesses. The guild hall is located here as well, its ornate facade displaying the guild’s wealth. A short distance away, the rather grand headquarters of the Librarians' Guild reflects the respect commanded by the guild. It has a small archive that holds some of the most valuable writings in the guild's possession, including the historical city charters. Despite the guild’s location, the guild members are more often found elsewhere in the city, or at the Academy.
Middleton (Inner Borough
Nestled between Dukesbury and Maejsend and north of Homestead, lies Middleton. The borough is easily identified by its collection of upper class, two-story houses built primarily in the Centoraurian style. These Centoraurian buildings are constructed of granite and marble, and as in other parts of Xaramon province, the style borrows heavily from the Helcrani.
In order to protect themselves from the peasants of Homestead and the seedy underbelly of Ximax’s Underside, the residents of Middleton (often called Middletonians) have followed the Helcrani practice of building walls. Rather than constructing these walls around individual buildings or houses, Middletonians have instead encircled their entire residential district. To further prevent riff-raff, they employ armed guards to patrol the inside of their gated community.
Within the walled part of their borough lies a popular coffee house. Named “Marcalm’s” after the Erpheronian who owns it, the shop serves as a meeting place for residents. After some Middletonians expressed worry for their 'poor brothers and sisters' in Homestead, a temple to Nehtor was established outside of the gated and walled part of their borough. This temple houses a small infirmary that will gladly treat any Ximaxian, regardless of station.
Finally, Middleton is home to a small music hall. Like the temple and infirmary, it lies outside of the walled and gated part of the borough. Here, the residents of Ximax watch various types of entertainment, which tend to combine music, dance and drama into a continuous story. In addition, this music hall is home to the Dancer's Guild. Despite the name, this guild serves not only dancers, but also for musicians, actors and all kinds of performers who call Ximax home.
Maejsend (Borough V)
Originally called Mage’s End, this borough has changed its name over time and now goes by Maejsend. Lying to the east of its sister-borough, Hallowhall, much of the west of Maejsend was once part of Old Ximax, and continues to tailor to the magically-inclined. The inhabitance of the borough tend to be older magi, many of whom are eccentric, stubborn, and/or ornery. All of these particular traits are manifested in the creation of a Mage Guild Hall, which few mages actually go to, but whom the old resident mages insist upon having. It lies close to the border of Hallowhall, and while it is small, its decoration is ornate with engravings of the elements of fire, water, earth, and wind. It is said that the light and shadow created by the engravings represent the dual forces of xeuá and ecua.
The heart of the borough is filled with a number of magic shops specializing in all sorts of things for the average magic-user. There are reagent shops, selling beach sand, sea water, various crystals (aquamarine, quartz, topaz, etc.), small mirrors, ether-flake, sulphur, ashes, candles, etc.. Potion shops supply not only a host of herb-related reagents, such as rosemint leaves, wizard leaf, and fa’yale sprigs, but also a host of alchemical equipment and concoctions.
While a great deal of the borough is new, much of the originally connivance of the old structures persists. And while a great deal of the heart of Maejsend is filled with magic shops, there are said to be a number of underground organizations, the most notorious of which is the mage’s fighting ring. According to rumours, this fighting ring pits young mages eager to earn a little coin against one another to fight. While strictly forbidden by the Academy, the ring continues to thrive, and is perhaps reason for the infirmary on the fringes of the borough, near a Temple to Eyasha.
The Temple to Eyasha is a powerfully peaceful place; its tall spire rises above the borough buildings, but much of the sides are opened and are designed to catch the wind, sending it spiraling through the interior, down to the garden that lies at the heart of the temple. This garden is filled with fountains, babbling peacefully, and wind chimes that turn the currents into soft, silvery song. At night candles, protected by tall glass tubes, are lit, illuminating the garden softly.
Tymeside (Inner Borough
Often called “Clocktown” or “Tick-tock borough,” Tymeside is renown for its collection of watchmakers. While the art of watch-craft is not the only business here, it is by far the most prominent, and some of the watchmakers are renown throughout Santharia for their delicacy and skill. To the south, Tymeside shares a border with Maejsend, and the eccentricities seem to pass seamlessly from one borough into another. While the skill of the clockmakers of Tymeside are highly regarded, most visitors cannot deny a certain queerness to the bunch.
The borough shares its eastern edge (as well as an aesthetic of accuracy and precision) with Aferburgh, the borough of jewelers. The two boroughs share resources, and members of both the jeweler and clock trade occasionally meet in the prestigious Artificers Guild, whose headquarters lies in Aferburgh near their shared border. While this guild is the more prominent association, Tymeside also boasts its own guild hall nearer to the interior of the borough: The Clockmaker’s Guild. The headquarters, which is small but intricately decorated with metal trimmings and a floral motif, is lovely but frequently empty. Having moved into the city after the Artificer’s guild, it’s been slow to grow in size, but claims a modest membership.
Besides clock and watch shops, other stores crowd the interior of this little borough. While the number of jewelers in Tymeside pales in comparison to Aferburgh, there are still a healthy number. Closer to the border with Maejsend lay a number of magic shops selling wands, staves, robes, and small, intricate containers in which a mage may store her silver dust and other reagents.
The population of Tymeside is overwhelmingly human, though there are a few gnomes here and there. The character of the population, though, is of greater note. The entire borough seems to remain quiet until precisely 6 in the morning, at which point almost all the shops seem to open simultaneously. Around noon, the shops all close, only to open precisely half an hour later. The borough runs on a strict schedule, but don’t worry: if you’re uncertain of the time, you will most certainly find someone here to tell you.
Outer Borough. Surrounding the six inner boroughs
of Ximax City are the outer boroughs. There are six outer boroughs as well, and
as is the case with those closer to the market square of the city, each of
these add a unique flavour and flair to the city.
Ettinsburgh houses the largest proportion of dwarves anywhere in Ximax city, due to the masons and Masons' Guild being located in this borough. As a result of the high proportion of dwarves, statues and monuments to Trum-Baroll fill Ettinsburgh. Dwarven celebrations of CorunvilDen are observed monthly, and the rhythmic sounds of hammer striking stone is replaced by laughter and good cheer. The neighbouring borough of Gate Side is the main thoroughfare for people entering and leaving the city. Stables, blacksmiths and general merchandise stores are all located here. The Ximaxian Militia are headquartered here, located within a temple to the fire god, Armeros. Nearby Underside houses a shrine to Queprur, which includes a large morgue. Rumoured to also house criminal elements of various kinds, only the most hardened people dare to set foot in this borough. Even the militia of Ximax refuse to go into the underbelly of Ximax, unless there's a major disturbance. A Thieves' Guild and a Necromancers' Guild are rumoured to exist here, though no one has confirmed these rumours.
Very much in existence in the neighbouring borough of Homestead is Boyzinna Fellowship Hall, sports fields, a recreational hall, a small infirmary and an Arvinswood, sacred to Arvins, God of the Hunt. Adjacent Hallowhall has a small temple dedicated to Anilya the Everbright. The borough with the closest connection to the Magic Academy, Hallowhall has infamous taverns such as the 'Wasted Wizard' in its streets. Together with Hallowhall, Feldstone is one of two boroughs still in use after the explosion of 1480 a.S. Architects are in abundance in Feldstone and they work with masons from neighbouring Ettinsburgh on building projects. The needs of the architects are met by the Architects' Guild located within this borough.
As with the inner boroughs, the outer boroughs of Ximax City are best experienced in person and it is hoped that all will visit the cosmopolitan capital of Xaramon Province in Santharia.
Ettinsburgh is the northernmost borough of the City of Ximax, adjacent to Feldstone and Gate Side, and Aferburgh. Masons make up the largest population here, and most of the city’s granite and other building supplies are brought to this area of Ximax. Scattered throughout the borough are large family-owned workshops where a single family works together to cut granite, saw wood, and organize building supplies. Surrounding these buildings are many smaller workshops where masons put together simple parts for structures and plan out future projects.
In the center of the borough, a large white building provides a space where the Mason’s Guild can convene to plan their next large projects in Ximax. The large granite building is rectangular, with four wings surrounding the circular chamber of the commons. The building arches upward, forming a dome-like structure at the top, with a large window at the top to let sunlight in. The main meeting room is in the upper right wing, with an eatery in the southeastern wing, and a large recreational room covering the entire west wing.
Out of pride, the majority of the masons (mostly those in the Mason’s Guild) build their own houses, however simple. Most of these houses are in the southwestern corner of the borough in order to avoid the bustle of the supply roads in the north and east. Architects often visit the borough, working closely with masons in constructing and repairing city buildings. Because of the abundant masonic activity, a high population of dwarves inhabits this borough. In fact, Ettinsburgh holds a great a sizable amount of the city’s dwarf population. Dwarves make up approximately forty-five percent of the borough’s population, while humans make up fifty percent and orcs make up around three percent, leaving the other races to fill in the remaining percentage.
As a further result of the abundance of dwarves in this borough, Ettinsburgh is filled with many statues and monuments to Trum-Baroll, including a bustling temple located in the northern part of the borough. This simple square building is made with a mixture of varying metals and stones, such as copper, steel, and granite, to show respect to the Great Forger. On the night when the moon is at its fullest in every month, the dwarves celebrate the CorunvilDen. During this time, tools are put away and Ettingburgh is ebullient with laughter and cheer.
Gate Side (Outer Borough
Gate Side, also called “The Gate,” witnesses most of the traffic entering and exiting the city. A popular borough for new arrivals, it houses many of the establishments that visitors to the city most often require: stables, blacksmiths and general merchandise stores. The Ximaxian Militia keeps its headquarters here, with official guards constantly patrolling from watchtowers that rise up on either side of the gate like imposing sentinels. City guardsmen are housed within these towers at all hours with guards on the ground inspecting and questioning any suspicious character seeking to enter the city.
Upon entering the gates, visitors first encounter the stables: while mostly housing horses mostly, the stables also keep room for cattle, goats and sheep. For a modest fee, stable hands will feed and watch over these animals while their owners do business elsewhere in the city. In addition, blacksmith shops do good business making and repairing goods such as weapons, wagon parts, and horse shoes. General merchandise vendors also find Gate Side a thriving place for customers as they advertise their wares to restock travelers and wagons. Caravans and wagons may rest within the city walls near the stables under guard watch.
The Ximaxian Militia has one of their main headquarters in Gate Side and are housed within a temple to the fire god Armeros, representing warfare, conflict and justice. The temple itself, known as an Armourwain, is a grand structure made of heavy blocks of white marble with four large columns of steel along the north entrance. The Armourwain has a barracks for the Watch officers, an armoury, four guard towers on each corner of the building and its own special stables for the Militia horsemen. The Armourwain functions nowadays as a court of justice trying cases and settling disputes within the outer boroughs of the city. Clerics and paladins in service to Armeros guard the temple day and night and are ready at a moment's notice to quell trouble.
Underside (Outer Borough
The borough known as the "Underside" among Ximaxian residents is aptly named. This section of the city is said to harbour much of the seedy underbelly of the city. The Underside is poor, with mostly run down and dilapidated structures that house beggars, down-on-their-luck commoners and those who wish to keep their presence and business strictly secret. Of course, the Underside is also said to be home to many secretive criminal enterprises such as the Thieves Guild and smuggling operations. The city watch rarely ventures into the Underside unless there is an extreme disturbance, and even then, only go in when the full rays of the Injèrá can keep the shadows at bay. Nighttime in the Underside is when the rats come out to play.
The Underside does have its uses, despite the nefarious reputation it possesses. Of importance to the city is a shrine of Queprur, Goddess of the Scythe. The borough locals call the temple by another name, "The Deader House" or, less respectfully, "The Ratqueen's Hole.” The shrine, located in a slightly more respectful area of the borough, houses a large morgue where the citizens of the city may bring their dead (or dying). Situated almost directly in the center of the borough, the shrine is an imposing structure made of rough, black stone that seems carved of night itself. Pale red windows stained with dust block most sunshine from ever entering the shrine. Inside, the clerics prepare corpses for burial, and inter them behind the borough walls in the massive city cemetery known as the "Cold Ground”. Clerics guard the cemetery at all times lest unsavory dead worshipers rob the graves of their inhabitants. Many whisper that necromancers sometimes haunt the Cold Ground at night, casting spells of sleep upon the guards. This has given rise to rumors of a secret necromancer guild somewhere in the borough, sanctioned by certain mage guilds. Such proof has never been discovered, however, but the rumours never seem to die.
The so-called "Thieves Guild" is also said to call the Underside home. No one has ever discovered proof of the guild's whereabouts or members, but like the necromancer’s hovel, rumours continue to circulate. The borough is a sure place for such underhanded organizations since the city watch rarely patrol the area and most citizens of the borough know to keep their mouths shut about the business of the various shady taverns and brothels. It is said that the notorious Erpheronian outlaw Seejay the Pincher runs a profitable business of smuggling within the Underside. Locals say Seejay will smuggle most anything around the city using the sewers and back alleys as routes to wherever she needs to go. Her trade includes nightshade powder, magic relics, stolen goods and even corpses. Some say she has control over much of the criminal activity of the city, even influencing certain nobles and powerful magi of the Academy. The city watch has declared Seejay a wanted criminal to be put to the death if caught, and those who follow her.
Homestead (Outer Borough
The borough of Homestead lies south of Middleton and is situated between Underside and Hallowhall. It is here where most of the people who work in the various shops and guilds in Ximax live and play. Unlike Middleton, with its ordered streets and gated community, Homestead has open spaces around the borough’s one- to two-story houses. Like Middleton, these houses are built in the Centoraurian style. On days when Grothar causes the wind to blow from the nearby Wavewand River towards Ximax City, the distinctive stench of Tanners' Bend can become quite overpowering to the citizens of Homestead.
There are two locations of note within Homestead borough that are rather close to Wavewand River. Closer to Hallowhall than Underside, lies a grove of trees comprise a sacred shrine to Arvins, God of the Hunt. The Centoraurian Rhodjah Vandageldah tends to the grove in order to keep it in pristine condition for the worship of Arvins. Tanners' Bend is located in a bend in the river, rather close to Underside and this is where the conversion of animal skins to leather takes place. This is the location of the Ximax Tanners' Guild, and the building in Homestead proper that is closest to Tanners' Bend is Boyzinna Fellowship Hall. This hall serves as a home to boys who are orphaned, abandoned or otherwise unwanted and was built in the aftermath of the infamous explosion of 1480 a.S. The boys who live here are employed by the Tanners Guild to collect human waste products from the citizens of Ximax City which are then used in the leather making process.
The children and youth of Ximax City enjoy playing a range of games in the streets, as well as in the recreational hall and on the recreational field of Homestead. Such games include Breakitdown, Kikkitdown, Goal Ball and Kikkit, and most of the guilds throughout Ximax City have teams of young apprentices that compete against one another in the various games. There are even occasionally sports competitions with the younger mages from the Academy. Finally, Homestead has a small infirmary, but because of the better stocked and resourced infirmary in Middleton, it is only occasionally used. When it is used, it serves the community by caring for those injured in sports played in the recreational field or recreational hall as well as attending to the medical needs of the boys who reside in Boyzinna Fellowship Hall.
One of the two boroughs still in use following the infamous explosion in 1480 a.S. (neighbouring Feldstone is the other), Hallowhall is the only outer borough associated with the Academy of Magic to any visible and admitted degree; or, more precisely, with its students. Found along the streets and alleys of its tall, stately buildings are several taverns including the infamous “Wasted Wizard” and “Valgure's Magical Emporium.”
Hallowhall’s buildings are all very square structures. Made of local granite, they do not feature much of the fanciful construction found in newer districts, though some old buildings have been extended or "renovated,” much to the distaste of some older citizens. Notably, the borough’s structures have rather flat roofs, and the buildings themselves grow taller toward the old inner city to the west. Most of the older streets within the district wind and twist around buildings in a maze-like way, except near the borders where the newer construction has forced them straight. This causes the innermost roads to take on a shadowy appearance. Fortunately the darkness is minimized by legions of lanterns hanging from brackets on walls and outside storefronts, which are lit much earlier in the evening than in other areas of the city.
By night, Hallowhall is one of the most luminous and bustling districts: the inns provide weary travelers a cheap place to rest, while the taverns attract many from neighbouring boroughs after the day’s light has grown dim.
Hallowhall also houses a very small temple, located not far from the Wasted Wizard, dedicated to Anilya the Everbright. The small building that houses the Everbright Cult seems rather unassuming from the outside, but upon closer inspection, it is festooned with glittering lanterns and candles both inside and out. The temple itself is built over one of the more extended sections of the old catacombs, and extends underneath the streets in addition to its modest aboveground fixture. Rumours abound about magical monstrosities living in this section of the catacombs but despite several recent searches, the existence of these creatures remains unproven, and they are presumed fictional.
Much of Hallowhall’s population is human, though its inns and taverns easily attract more exotic clientele to the region. Many of the residents of Hallowhall live above their establishments, and the region is closely tied with its neighbour, Feldstone. Any stonework or building done in Hallowhall makes almost exclusive use of masons and architects from Feldstone because these workers are considered to be more familiar with the designs than "outside" help. Workers from Feldstone were the first to help repair damage within Hallowhall after the catastrophic destruction of the city.
Feldstone (Outer Borough
As with its neighbouring borough of Hallowhall, Feldstone is one of the two boroughs still in use following the 1480 a.S. explosion. Other neighbouring boroughs include Ettinsburgh and Tymeside. Home to the architects and masons of Ximax, Feldstone has an eclectic set of buildings that displays the origins of the builders and architects. Nowhere else in Ximax, or indeed Santharia, can you see the building styles of the Kyranians, Avennorians, Centoraurians, Erpheronians, Helcrani and Zirghurim Dwarves side by side. The studios and shops of the architects together with the shops of the masons of Ximax are located in Feldstone.
The Architects' Guild is also found in this borough, and is an impressive three-story building made of granite and sandstone. Although this guild exclusively deals with the interests of the architects, it has a close working relationship with the Masons' Guild located in nearby Ettinsburgh. Many of the architects who work in this borough go to either Middletown or Homestead, based on where their houses are, although most architect's studios and shops have sleeping quarters attached, in case the architects have to 'light the darkreign candle' and work through the night to complete jobs for clients.
A small, rough tavern has been built in recent times in the centre of Feldstone. This building is highly regarded among the architects and masons for having cold ales, tasty stews and the occasional Fymbel floozy seeking to learn the trade of masonry or architecture from the master artisans among the local trades.
Outside and Under the City. The famed
Magical Academy of Ximax, once at the very heart of
Ximax city is now a few minutes walk south west of the outer borough of
Hollowell. The twelve towers of the best known
magical school in Southern Sarvonia is seen for
strals as one approaches
Ximax from the north, or from the peaks of the nearby rugged ranges of the
Zirkumire Mountains. Between Ximax and
the Magical Academy are the remnants of old Ximax
city, the parts of the city destroyed by the 1480 a.S. explosion. Some of these
remnants have become pastures, and in other parts of this area, the buildings
have been left to fall into ruin, the various plants that have taken root and
are growing over the buildings that once were houses, shops and other
facilities are rumoured to hold treasures and secrets that attract adventurers.
Another attraction to those of the adventurous or curious bent are the sewers of Ximax. As with the remnants, these are said to hold treasures and secrets, but they are also said to hold dangers to trap the unwary. Rat Brownies live in the sewers, according to the noted Rat Brownie researcher Gratcha Swath and the sewers are also rumoured to be home to gangs from the outer borough Underside. These sewers run under all the boroughs of Ximax. On the outskirts of the city, close to the borough of Homestead is the cemetery known as the “Cold Ground”. Most of the citizens are buried or cremated here. Finally, the Wavewand River, which flows rather close to Underbelly and Homestead boroughs, is home to Tanners' Bend, where the members of the Tanners' Guild ply their trade.
The Sewers (Rat Tunnels)
Ordinarily, the sewer system under the city of Ximax would not be something worth documenting. Sewers, by nature, are dank - full of horrid odours and dangerously large rats. However, the sewers of Ximax, also affectionately called the Sludge Pits or the Rat Tunnels, hold many secrets unknown to those living above on the surface. Sightings of strange creatures, mysterious ruins and hidden treasures have lured many an adventurer into the city's dark underworld. It is said that parts of the sewers are actually ruins from an ancient under-city that modern Ximax was built atop of. The nature of this supposed under-city has yet to be determined and is disregarded by most sages of ancient lore as mere rumour.
Of the many sightings of creatures that stalk the tunnels, the ones most familiar to most surfacers are the Rat Brownies. Gratcha Swath, a noted Rat Brownie researcher, claimed to have documented over twelve clans of Rat Brownies, all living in various sections and depths of the cesspools. One of the most documented is the Lurks-in-Bone clan, a relatively friendly and oft-sighted group. Rumour has it that the Lurks-in-Bone clan have a sort of trade relationship with some of the beggars and homeless children of the Underside borough. According to Gratcha, the Rat Brownies take offerings of scraps and food in exchange for lost coins and trinkets that they find in the depths of the drainage outlets.
The sewers also have a nefarious reputation among the citizens as being a convenient hideout for criminal gangs and smugglers. The sewers run underneath every city borough and the tunnels often function as means of travel for those who wish to avoid attention, or more specifically, the city watch. In addition, many a story has been told of dark, shadowy creatures who dwell there. Ghosts of those unfortunate victims dumped in the sewers, zombies, Mystrans and slimers all are said to live in the deep recesses and broken tunnels. To keep the sewers safe guarded against curious trespassers, the city watch locks all sewer entrances and posts warning signs not to venture within.
On days when Grothar makes a good strong wind to blow from the bend in the nearby Wavewand River towards the city of Ximax, the stench of Tanners' Bend is smelled by all in the city, particularly those of Underside and Homestead. Tanners' Bend is home to the workshops and storage facilities of the raw hides, tanning agents such as urine and dung, hides in various stages of readiness and finished leather products waiting for distribution to those who would use the leather in their own products. Additionally, the tanners have a Tanners' Guild in the area that look after their interests as well as the 'Boyzinna Fellowship Hall' which houses the downtrodden, forgotten, orphaned and abandoned boys of Ximax city and the surrounding area who gather the dung and urine of the citizens of Ximax, a useful product used in the creation of the leather.
The process followed by the tanners of Tanners' Bend is rather standard for those elsewhere in Caelereth, but is repeated here. Firstly, the raw hides are brought to Tanners' Bend, the hides may or may not be already removed from the dead animals, usually kyrattin cattle, wolves, wargs, draught horses or Centoraurian horses, that are to be used in this process. The hides are removed from the dead animals if necessary and then any fur or hair still attached to the hide is removed by the tanner. The tanners achieve this covering the hides with urine gathered by the boys of the Boyzinna Fellowship from the citizens of Ximax. After the hairs are removed from the hide, the tanners pound dung into the hide and kneed it with their hands and feet, gradually loosening the hide and turning it into leather. It is the combination of dung and urine used in the process of making leather from rotting animal hides that gives Tanners' Bend and the people who work there their distinctive fragrance. After the leather is manufactured, it is sold by the tanners to makers of weapons, armour, clothes, jewelry and equipment around Ximax city. Any leftover leather is dropped into vats of water and left to deteriorate over a number of months. Following this time, the mixture is heated to create glue.
With the exception of the old Shrine of Queprur in the borough of Middleton, where the town‘s famous persons are resting in elaborate sarcophagi in a vast crypt under the shrine, all citizens of Ximax are buried or cremated at the large graveyard called “Cold Ground” in the southeast of the town, near the outer borders of the borough of Underside. A broad road leads from the temple of Queprur in Underside to the main entrance gate of the cemetery, stretching further on till the far end, where the crematory is located, dividing the burial ground this way in two halves.
The cemetery has walls, about two peds high, around its entire area to protect the graves against unwanted intruders, be it wild animals or thieves. Inside are more walls, higher, better built and often decorated. They divide the cemetery in several areas, so that each class has its enclosed place, where is ensured, that the wealthy of any race can rest in piece, undisturbed by the frequent visits of the lower classes.
When entering the cemetery through the main entrance gate, the view is immediately drawn to the centre, where tall dark slender fir trees are flanking the two areas on each side of the road. Here the rich and famous have found their last resting place. Here can be found family tombs, little house-like buildings out of polished granite and marble with pillars, statues and arches. It is possible to enter these little houses, often some stairs lead to a lowered ground inside. There one can see, one above the other and side by side, panels with the name of the deceased, behind them the corpse preserved for a long time. Outside each tomb is framed with a small, decorative fence out of blackened iron, a low wall or a neatly cut hedge. Around the monument flowers and small shrubs are arranged as in a tiny garden. Once, when the graveyard was opened and the first of these monuments were built, some of the citizens of Ximax called it Bones‘ Residency. This name stuck, and many refer to this area as the Residency.
Closer to the town, right between the wall bordering the borough and the one enclosing the area of the rich, called necropolis, the middle class lays their relatives to rest . There, each coffins has a little space in simple, rectangular buildings, which are build around a small yard. Those who have not enough money to buy the space for a grave are cremated, but might have a plaque with their name on the outer wall of the graveyard.
Remnants of Old Ximax
What is now called “Old Remnants“ or just “Remnants“ was once the outer city of Ximax during the time when the Magical Academy was still in the centre of the town. Now there are two main areas: the Southern Pastures and the Western Orchards.
From the Southeast to the Southwest, where the poorer people had lived before the destruction, are wide pastures, with a scattering of shrubs and an occasional tree or copse. These pastures provide Ximax with milk and meat from the livestock who call it home.
The North, West, and East of the ‘Remnants‘ were where the richer people had had their houses, build of stone and other good materials. In these locations, often just the roofs and the upper stories were damaged, while the lower stores and the cellars stayed more or less intact. Not knowing what caused the explosion and fearing a magical taint, no areas except Hallowhall and Feldstone were rebuild. So vines and creepers of all sorts conquered the ruins including wild ivy, climbing roses, the false heart vine and the night shimmer.
For a longtime the place was considered haunted and dangerous. The false heart vine was said to draw its colour out of the dead from the explosion. Worse is the night shimmer vine with its strange qualities, the milky white radiance of its flowers with their shivering dance and the addictive fragrance, as these have caused death to those who were unwary of the vine. However, there are other plants, too, such as vine wines, especially the sweetsip. Nowadays, the ruins are still covered with climbers in every shade of green, with pink, red and white dots where the roses grow, but in-between, the area has been cleared and fruit trees, tomatoes and other vegetables are grown in a sheltered environment, ripen much earlier than elsewhere and last longer.
Picture description. The lobby of the Academy's Water Tower with its smooth, blue-veined black marble walls, featuring an immense ornamental fountain in its center. Picture drawn by Seeker.
The Magical Academy is the foremost school of magic in Santharia, as well as one of the best known parts of the city. Indeed, when one thinks of Ximax, the Academy is often one of the first things to come to mind. This is not without reason, for the Academy is an important part of the city, and its magi often played important roles in the city's history. The typical citizen will be quick to point out, however, that despite this close relationship, they do have their own distinct identity, and do not appreciate being grouped together with the magi, whatever their personal feelings towards them might be.
Originally, the Academy was located at the center of the city, protected by the fortress-like buildings of the old Inner City. This changed following the 1480 a.s. incident, which saw most of the old Inner City destroyed or damaged beyond repair and lead to the city being rebuilt a safe distance from the Academy. Now, the Academy is no longer located within the city proper, but instead a few minutes' walk southwest of Hallowhall borough - close enough to be easily accessible should one need to do so, but far enough for the rest of the city to avoid being damaged any potential magical accidents again.
Places of Interest. Following is a list of specific places of interest found in an around the city of Ximax:
The Wasted Wizard
The Wasted Wizard, located twixt Shard Street and Xazure Lane in Hallowhall, was purportedly built on the original campsite of the founders of the city, a claim several rival establishments dispute quite hotly. The Academy has given no credence to any of these rumors reporting instead that the old records are “painfully inaccurate and fragmented." Regardless, all agree that the Wasted Wizard is the oldest tavern still standing in Ximax, a fact which residents from other boroughs do their best to ignore. Established ca 150 a.S. the tavern has survived several dozen incidents of accidental property damage, at least one attempted arson and the usual wear and tear associated with a tavern, in addition to any “strangeness” attached to its arcane patronage.
Valgure's Magical Emporium is an old, established store located in Hallowhall, catering to the magi of academy. The store is quite large, equal in size to a small manor as the store is built both above and underground. While not the most meticulously organized store, Valgure's is well known for it's ability to have almost any relatively common supplies in stock, bet it clothing, parchment or vellum, books, staves or reagents. The proprietors are also willing to procure less common items for the right price. Valgure's has been established long enough that the Academy has done a brisk if minimal trade with them since 1400 b.S.
Jethro's Northerly Noshes, a small, hole-in-the-wall eatery can be found in the borough of Hollyale. What makes this place special is not the food, nor the location, or even the owner and cook. No, what makes Jethro's famous is the history behind the place. The original Jethro (as over the years, there have been several "Jethros") was a man from the far north; a Remusian it was later learned. How he had made his way to Ximax, or why, is long forgotten. But, Jethro had built himself a fine reputation for creating fine exotic food. It soon became the place to eat for the elite magi of the time. What no one at the time knew, but were soon to find out, was that Jethro, like most Remusians, had a deep seated hatred of magi and magic.
It started innocently enough, a few magi became ill. Then more became ill, and the degree of the affliction was to become much worse. When deaths began to occur, an investigation was started. It did not take long to discover that all those who were succumbing to this mysterious illness were all regular customers of Jethro's establishment. After a quick interrogation of the Remusian, who not only did not deny the charges but was rather proud of what he had done, even disappointed that he had not succeeded in killing more magi, he was imprisoned. This imprisonment only lasted for a few weeks, however, when his body was discovered in his cell, a look of absolute terror frozen on his features.
The mystery of his death, and the notoriety of the crimes to begin with, made Jethro's eatery a place of fascination. Many people came just to see the place where these murders happened. So, rather than shut it down, an enterprising Ximaxian kept the place open and resumed selling meals.
Over the years, the menu has changed. No longer is exotic Remusian and northern food served, though some of the names of dishes still hearken back to that time in the eatery's history. Wicked Wison Stew (which contains no wison meat) is still a local favourite, as is Remusian roasted taenish and a snowy salad (a green leaf salad with a generous topping of white cheese grated on top).
The Boyzinna Fellowship
On the outskirts of the Ximax borough of Homestead, almost where Homestead meets Underside, is a large building, allowed to become somewhat derelict, called Boyzinna Fellowship Hall. This is the building in the city of Ximax proper that is closest to Tanners' Bend, and its history is closely tied to the tanning that takes place in that location. Believed to be established by a coven of White Nehtorians (Dalorins) in the aftermath of the 1480 a.S. explosion, Boyzinna Fellowship Hall takes in those boys of Ximax and its surrounding territories who have been orphaned, abandoned or otherwise left to fend for themselves. The people, mainly men, who run this building see to it that the boys who reside there are fed, sheltered, clothed and cared for. While the building and the boys were originally managed and looked after by the Dalorins, they later gave the building and the care for the boys to a consortium of tanners, who formed what is today called the Tanners' Guild.
Initially, the boys were allowed to live there and help run and maintain the building; however, after a while things changed for the residents. When Tanners' Bend started operations, the boys began to be worked hard day in, day out, from the time in Injèrá's rays are seen at Firstflame until at last they vanish at Lastflame, collecting the waste products of the citizens of Ximax and the Ximax academy. This sewerage is then brought back to the hall where it is separated into solid and liquid waste and in time used for fertilizer and tanning agents. As a result of the trade of tanning in the nearby Tanners' Bend, not to mention the work undertaken by the boys who reside in Boyzinna Fellowship Hall, the hall and the boys themselves have a distinctive stench about them, similar to that of Tanners' Bend, and most citizens of, and citizens to, Ximax give the building a wide girth.
The Grove of
Within the borough of Homestead, close to the bank of the Wavewand River is a Grove of Arvins. This small copse of eu’r-oak trees, a good 30 or so peds from the recreational fields of Homestead, is tended by a Centoraurian outdoorsman named Rhodjah Vandageldah who has been caring for the Arwood and offering up worship to the Lord of the Hunt for at least thirty-five years now. In recent times, the grove's caretaker has taken on an assistant to help him care for the trees, a young Kyranian boy named Garopan Talisik. Garopan was found in Homestead and he wandered into the Grove and hasn't left. Rhodjah took it as a sign as Arvins giving him an assistant, and accepted it with great pleasure, as it meant the boy could assist him with tasks around the grove. Together, the Centoraurian and Kyranian make the Grove their home and are on hand to create a pleasing tribute to Arvins and a welcoming environment to those who would seek to pay their respects to the Listening Lord. While some suggest that Rhodjah is a druid, he refuses to accept that title, instead insisting that he is merely a man who loves the outdoors and wants to give back to the Lord of the Hunt.
Location. The Magical City rests atop the Ximaxian Plateau, a wide stretch of flat land surrounded by the Zirkumire mountain ranges on the Xaramon Peninsula (also known as the peninsula of Cha'dómm). The Wavewand River flows past the southeastern part of the city before joining up with other rivers further in the north and turning east towards the Bay of the Sky. It is the capital of the Santharian province of Xaramon. From afar, the city stands tall, only party shaded by the tower of Ximax Academy just southwest of where it lies.
People. The people of
the City of Ximax are known for being a friendly, if not slightly eccentric,
group. They take pride in being so close to the famous
Magical Academy, which houses some of the most powerful magi in all of
Caelereth, and yet they do not consider themselves a
town of magi. They have an identity connected to but not identical with the
Academy: both sprung from similar roots (Ximan and the Ximax Orb), but since the
formation of the city, the citizens have forged a independent identity all their
The Academy and the people of Ximax have a love-hate relationship. While the people of Ximax share roots and take pride in the Academy, the institution has also caused trouble enough to give the people of Ximax plenty of reason to complain about it and its occupants. In 1480 a.S., an explosion from Ximax disintegrated most of the old city, leaving the citizens without shelter. The magi of Ximax helped to rebuild the city at a distance from the Academy, but some resentment still remains. It should be noted that, while this explosion was the most destructive, it was not the first accident originating from the Academy. In fact, even today, most citizens of Ximax avoid the boroughs frequented my magi.
With so much magic in and around Ximax, the city is a place where just about anything can happen, a quality of which most citizens are extremely proud. While many cities and peoples suspect magic and magical arts, the people of Ximax more or less embrace it, and such approval seems to somehow make the city all the more magical and exotic.
Like most large cities in Santharia, Ximax is primarily human (about 70% of the total population). Many of these humans are Centoraurians who gave up their nomadic ways for the city life, but the city also harbours a healthy population of Erpheronians - mostly merchants and traders who came to Ximax on business and decided to stay.
While the humans may make up the majority of Ximax’s population, the Volkek-Oshra have dwelled in the city longer than any other race. To this day, they make up about 15% of the population, but this percentage may be skewed as they are difficult to count because of their living habits. Volkek-Oshra live primarily underground in the catacombs that underlie the city and the Academy, and in the boroughs frequented by magi. There they find greater acceptance by the local magicians who respect them for their knowledge and skill. There is also some rumours that the Volkek-Oshra run the Necromancer’s Guild that allegedly exists within the city, though no one has affirmed its existence.
Among the founder of Ximax City and the Magical Academy is Ungur Firehands. The Zirghurim Dwarves are said to be his descendants, and though they were the primary builders of the city during its original construction, many had returned to the Zurkmire Mountains surrounding the city in the years following its completion. When the City began reconstruction in 1480 a.S., after the explosion that wiped out most of the old city, many Zirghurim Dwarves were employed along with Ximax magi, and many of these builders remained, becoming denizens of the city. These dwarves, which may make up as much as 10% of Ximax’s population, reside primarily in the northern boroughs.
Hobbits, Brownies, and gnomes also occupy the city, though at a very small minority. Many of the smaller citizens, particularly the hobbits, are actually of mixed blood, usually part human. Hobbits are more commonly seen around the inns and taverns, where they work running establishments famous for hospitality and good cooking. Though most of the Brownie residents are Rat Brownies, there are a few Brownies who live and work in the banker’s boroughs, being experts in accounting and numbers. Gnomes, particularly Daran gnomes, occupy parts of the northern inner boroughs, and parts of the magic boroughs, commonly working as watch-makers and potion masters. All together, these small citizens are estimated to make up 4 or 5% of the city’s population.
Elves make up a very small minority of the city’s population, and in fact any resident you might find is no doubt somehow connected to the Ximax Academy. Elves are generally viewed as suspect by most of the citizens of Ximax, and while the city may not be inhospitable to members of this race, the general tendencies of elves keep them from blending in or socializing well with many other occupants of the city. Elves, on average, make up less than 1% of the city’s population.
Guilds. Ximax City is home to a plethora of guilds. Below is a list of those within the city:
The Masons Guild
One of the oldest guilds in the city, the Mason’s guild was founded by the Zirghurim Dwarves who constructed the original city, and has always been run, more or less, by these dwarves. Like most guilds, their old building was destroyed in the 1480 accident, and the building in Ettinsburgh is relatively new. This guild includes masons and textile producers. While the guild functions autonomously, it has a very intimate connection with the Architect’s Guild.
The Architects Guild
One of the newer Guilds, the Architect’s guild was founded sometime before the 1480 incident, but has only only been around for a few hundred years. It was created by both dwarven and human architects who noticed differing architectural styles working their way into newer constructions in the city. Following 1480, the guild grew in numbers as many individuals employed for the city’s reconstruction, including a large amount of Zirghurim Dwarves, joined. The Architect’s Guild lies in Feldstone, where most of the city’s architects have their shops and studios. While the guild includes architects exclusively, it works closely with the Mason's Guild.
The Jewelers Guild
A rather small and less active guild, the Jeweler’s Guild operates out of a small building in Aferburgh. While the guild has a fair number of members, it remains fairly unused. Because the population of jewelers works closely with and often overlaps the population of watch-makers and clock-workers, the larger Artificer’s Guild tends to be more active than either the Jeweler’s Guild or the Clock-Worker’s Guild.
The Clock-Workers Guild
Smaller than even the Jeweler’s Guild, the Clock-worker’s guild is relatively inactive. It includes all those who make time-pieces, including clocks and watches, and has traditionally been run by a small, recluse gnomish family. The guild is relative new, created in the early 1400s well after the Artificer’s Guild, which probably affected its flagging popularity. Located in Tymeside, it suffers from many of the same problems as the Jeweler’s Guild and members are often more active in the larger Artificer’s Guild.
The Artificers Guild
The Artificer’s Guild, located in Tymeside, includes members of both the Clock-worker's Guild and Jeweler's Guild, and tends to be more active than either of these smaller guilds. Until the 1200s b.S., the Jeweler’s Guild was more prominent, but as more and more individuals took up making watches and clocks, a group from the Jeweler’s Guild created an off-shoot that could include the new trade. The Clock-maker’s Guild came later, and never really found its niche. The Artificer’s Guild has grown quickly, and today is one of the largest and most active guilds in the city.
The Librarians Guild
The Ximax chapter of the Librarian’s Guild, one of Santharia’s oldest guilds, has a rather grand building in Dukesbury, and houses a number of historical texts. The guild has existed in the city for many centuries and remains one of the most respected. While the guild’s building is surrounded by governmental buildings and banks, many of its members live at the nearby Academy in the Library Tower, or else in the many bookshops in the southwest boroughs frequented by magi.
The Bankers Guild
Located near the Librarian’s Guild in Dukesbury, the Banker’s Guild remains a respected but extremely secretive guild, sharing information on investments and interests. While the guild deals primarily with banking, it includes accountants and number-crunchers, as well. Though respected, the guild does not have as old a history as, say, the Librarians Guild. The guild itself was formed in Ximax from the root guild in New-Santhala around 1350 a.S.
The Innkeepers Guild
One of the most expansive guilds, the Innkeeper’s Guild has a cozy building in Hollyale. Although active, the guild is not necessarily taken seriously. Most guild meetings involve gossip among the many convivial members of the guild, who share tea and delicious baked goods. The guild is fairly old, originally started in 1285 a.S. by a half-hobbit innkeeper and his wife.
The Dancers Guild
An off-shoot of a Bardavos Guild, the Dancer’s Guild has a small building connected to a theatre in Middleton. Despite the name, the guild accepts all performers, including actors and musicians, who occupy the city, primarily because the population of dancers is extremely small. Because of how informal and small the guild is, and because its building contains a theatre stage and music hall, no one is quite sure when the guild came to Ximax.
The Merchants Guild
Supposedly containing most shopkeepers, innkeepers, and bankers, the Merchant Guild seems impossibly huge. However, because of its size, it is also utterly dysfunctional. The guild had been fairly active when the city was still small, but as Ximax grew, it became too big to manage, and has since fallen apart. The guild does have a building in Aferburgh, but it is often rented out for gatherings and receptions, and is otherwise rarely used.
The Necromancer's Guild
Ximax City is said to host a Necromancer’s Guild, though no one has been able to confirm its existence. The many rumours of this dark, underground guild place it operating from a number of different boroughs, from the old Hollowhall borough, to the sordid Underside, to beneath the city in the serpentine tunnels of the catacombs. It is said that, should a guild of necromancers exist, it must certainly be connected to the True Vision Cult.
The Thieves Guild
It is rumoured the Ximax harbours a Thieves Guild. Many of the inns, taverns, and brothels in Underside are said to act as fronts to the guild, which has supposedly operated in the city almost from its beginning. The guild is said to be underground, secretive, and very selective of its members, ensuring that it remains safe from those who seek to extirpate the organization.
The Tanners' Guild
Located in Tanners' Bend, outside of Ximax City proper, the Tanners' Guild looks after the interests of those who are involved in the tanning and curing of dead animal hides for a living. Established in the 1550's a.S., the tanners guild quickly took advantage of the nearby relatively cheap labour of boys in Boyzinna Fellowship Hall. The guild quickly took over ownership of this Hall, which was originally managed by the Dorians who founded it. The Tanners' Guild in Ximax was originally an offshoot from the Tanners' Guilds in the cities of Horth, Caelum and Naios in Xaramon province, but has in time developed its own identity and practices.
Coat of Arms/Sign.
The Coat of Arms of Ximax has experienced multiple revision since its founding;
however, before the explosion of 1480 a.S., Ximax's coat of arms reflected the
city as it was with the presence of the Academy in its
heart. This Coat of Arms consists of two concentric circles. The outer was split
into white, black, red, blue, indigo, and green, representing the six chief
forces of the cár'áll (the four elements,
and ecuá). The center was transparent, with a twelve-pointed star laid over it.
The Ximaxian Coat of Arms was changed in the decades that followed the explosion of 1480 a.S. to reflect the changes in the city. Today, the coat of arms is divided into quadrants by a silver cross. The upper right and lower left quadrants are yellow, while the opposite are a dark green. The upper right quadrant contains a sickle with a black handle in upper right quadrant. Opposite, in the upper left, is a xazure twelve pointed star. In the lower right quadrant, lies the oremark of the Zirghurim dwarves. In the lower left quadrant, is a black X before a flame, the coat of arms of the Volkek-Oshra. At the intersection of the cross is the symbol of the linked hands.
The split marks the separation between the city and Academy of Ximax, while acknowledging that they share not only a common territory, but a common history. The sickle represents the Magic Sickle, while the black handle remembers the lives lost in the explosion (Queprur's Sickle). The star marks the Magical Academy, while the Volkek and Zirghurim symbols acknowledge the significant work by those tribes in and around the city. The yellow and green hail as the colours of Centorauria and Kyrania, the kingdoms that have influenced the growth and development of Xaramon province. The symbol of Linked Hands marks it as a capital.
Climate. The City of Ximax rests atop the Ximaxian plateau and, despite being on something of a peninsula, is surrounded on all sides by the Zirkumire mountain ranges. While coastal cities generally experience humidity and rains from the ocean, the unique landscape around the city prevents frequent rainfall and humidity. Most of the air’s moisture falls as rain before storm clouds can pass over the surrounding mountain ranges. However, the surround waters do allow Ximax a rather temperature climate.
The city is generally cool, due to a higher elevation, though rarely experiences freezing temperatures, which may only come once every couple years. Because of the low rainfall, the land is relatively dry, though the area is rich is aquifers just below the surface. These aquifers, along with the Wavewand River that flows by the city, provide water to the citizens of Ximax and to the livestock grazing just beyond its borders. Much of the flora on the plateau are hardy grasses and trees able to sustain themselves on very little rainfall, which may come only 5 or 6 times per year.
Resources. Of all the resources of the City of Ximax, the most notable is magic. The magi residing in and near the city supply a great deal of magical items, particularly potions and enchantment. Enchanting necklaces, rings, armour, etc. sell for a high profit, and the high population of magical alchemists provides potions for aches, depression, and even love. The city is also filled with merchants who import good from around Santharia and sell them to foreign emissaries for a higher price.
In addition, the area around Ximax provides the city with valuable resources. The mountains surrounding the city provide a plentiful abundance of grey-white granite. Because of its appealing color, the granite is prized as a building material for many castles and buildings throughout Caelereth. However, the city itself displays the richest abundance of the material: many of the most notable buildings in the city are constructed from it; even the renown Ximax Academy itself is built primarily from the grey-white granite.
While enchantments and granite serve as lucrative resources for Ximax City, in the end, its most valuable resource is the population of skilled artisans within the city. The City holds a great number of famous and skilled architects, many who served as apprentices to those who helped rebuild the city after it moved northeast of Ximax Academy after the accident in 1480 a.S. While these skilled architects are a relatively new addition to the city, the population of masons has has been strongly represented for hundreds of years, and the Mason's guild is a well-known fixture of the Ximax community.
Partially connected to the magic resources are the great number of metal-workers, particularly jewelers and watchmakers. While the area around the city has only sparse amounts of natural precious metals, many materials are shipped in raw form to the city and become valuable pieces under the skilled and practiced hands of these artisans. While few of these artisans practice magic themselves, the rings, necklaces, earrings, watches, and other pieces made from Ximax artisans are said to have a magic quality to them.
Because of minimal rainfall, the area around Ximax is not conducive to substantial crop growth, and most of Ximax’s food is important from the Diamond Lake area. The Wavewand river running southeast of the city as well as wells tapping the underground aquifers provide water to the citizen, but these source don’t supply enough water for crops. Only the most hardy grasses can grow around the city itself, and much of this area is used for livestock. Cows and goats and even some horses graze in the areas surrounding the city.
Myth/Lore. Ximax is a town rich in history and lore - some of these tales are collected below:
The Alsgammon Abomination. In the many centuries before Ximan Xuran's discovery of the Orb of Ximax, many believed that the Cha'domm Peninsula housed some dangerous supernatural force. The peninsula was frequently associated with all manner of unusual phenomena, most of which were harmless and involved things such as unexplained lights and noises. However, some were considerably more deleterious. One example is the incident of the so-called Alsgammon Abomination.
In 2533 b.S., the people in and around the town of Alsgammon, at the northern end of the Bay of the Sky, discovered some of their livestock had gone missing. Peculiar as this was, the situation soon turned stranger when, not long after, people started disappearing as well. Searches soon turned up partially-eaten bodies, and the townspeople began to fear some demonic creature had emerged from the peninsula to hunt them. When one search party came across the culprit, still feasting on a recent kill, these fears were confirmed. Though the creature was somehow driven off in the ensuing chaos, the disappearances continued.
The beast, which gained the appellation 'Alsgammon Abomination, was described as vaguely resembling a dog, though of much greater size, being longer than a man is tall and standing over a ped in height. It is described as being entirely hairless, its grey skin being tough and scaly like that of a lizard or snake.
The terrified peasants sought help from their lord, and from the clergy, and soon a great hunt was organized. The Abomination was finally cornered a week later. After a deadly battle in which three hunters were killed and many more injured, the Abomination was finally brought to death.
There was much celebrating. The lord took the body back to his castle and from the skin of the beast made himself a grand cloak which he displayed in his throne room. However, several days later, two men disappeared on the way to a neighbouring village. Other reports of disappearances quickly followed, and it was feared that they were being haunted by the vengeful spirit of the Abomination. The lord was forced to relinquish the cloak, but despite all attempts, could not destroy it. The cloak was placed in a iron box upon which clerics performed rites to keep the spirit contained. The box was tossed into the waters of the bay, and only then did the Abomination's rampage end.