The Big City and Everything Else
The Quarter is a district in the city of Flotsam that is located inside the River Gate and is dominated by the Ishtar Road and the Plaza of (insert God name here). It contains the majority of the cities guilds and several wealthy merchant houses. The residents here consider themselves to be the most important citizens a city based on trade and resent how the citizens in the Upper District and the Keep look down on them.
Broad streets dominate The Quarter, with the the Ishtar Road being the largest and most impressive with 12 full carriages able to ride down the street side by side. The Ishtar Road end in the Plaza of (insert Gods name here) dominated by the large fountain devoted to (Gods name) and the founders of Flotsam. Peddlers line the square hawking foods and trinkets to the citizens of The Quarter. On the other side of the Plaza lies Port Street, that takes goods going out on the Ishtar Road or in toward the Port over the Port Bridge. Beyond the Plaza wide boulevards dominated by the Guild Houses, banks, and merchant’s homes make up the district.
By edict the Guilds have the right to license and regulate their profession. This gives them vast and far reaching leverage in the city. Each Guild, with the exception of the Masons, is headed by a Guildmaster who is chosen from within the ranks of the Guilds. Also each Guild is located in complexes called Guild houses, though these house more resemble small scale castles then mere houses. Most houses have their own walls and made up of several buildings.
Housed along the Estar River where try can barge in the materials to run their large forges the Smithing Guild is the oldest Guild in Flotsam. It controls all metallurgy in the city, from the lowest horseshoe repairs to the finest armors.
The Artisans’ Guild is the largest and most diverse of Flotsam’s guilds because controls so many different professions. Among these is carpentry, tailor, culinary arts, cobblers, archetiers and it also has received the rights to bow makers and fletchers from the Smithing Guild. Its guild house is the largest estate in the city apart from the temples and the keep.
The current Merchants’ Guild is composite organization formed by the union of the traditional Merchants’ Guild and the old Bankers’ Guild. It s responsible for all money lending, investment, shipping, caravans, and insurance with Flotsam. Its’ Guild house is small and unassuming due to the fact that most of member prefer to remain independent and do most of their business in their own trade houses, shops, and banks.
Free Masons’ Guild
Two things differentiate the Free Masons’ Guild from the other Guilds. First, its Guildhouse is a single small unassuming building built into a corner of the cities walls, almost hidden behind the grand facade of the Academy and only accessible by a side street. Secondly, it is only a branch of the continent wide Guild whose organization and privilege is recognized by every Lord who wishes to keep the castles which the Masons have built for him.
The Academy is housed along the wall separating The Quarter from the Upper Districts. It serves a both a place of learning and as a Guild for all the arcane arts, scribes, and scholars in Flotsam.
While not a Guild proper, the Fighters’ Guild is an institution in and of itself. When an old mercenary company rode to the rescue of a former Lord of Flotsam the company was allowed to set up offices and eventually an entire estate within the The Quarter, a privilege given to no other mercenary group (most of whom are required to locate across the Estar River). Though many subsequent lords have tried to oust this military force that resides in their walls outside of their control, the wealthy lords and merchants who make up the clientele of the Fighters’ Guild have leveraged to let it remain in the city.
Other then the Guild houses there are several other landmarks within The Quarter.
The River Gate -this wide gate opens up onto the Ishtar Bridge, which crosses the Ishtar River and lets the Ishtar Road into Flotsam. The gate itself is a magnificent work of carved wood, the tradition being a new gate be remade with each new lord of the city.
The Ishtar Bridge many a traveler will note how flimsy and ill made the Ishtar Bridge compared the finely made Ishtar Road and the exquisite River Gate. But the gate can only remain a work of art because the bridge is designed to be easily torn down and rebuilt in case of a siege.
The Ishtar Road the Ishtar Road is the main trade route connecting Flotsam with the interior of Kemen. It is made fully of cobble stones with deep drainage ditches on either side for the full hundreds of miles that make up the road.
The Plaza and Fountain of () -Located at the center of The Quarter the Plaza with were petty street vendors other sells their wares. The Fountain is massive being 25 feet in diameter and the tallest statue, that of (), reaching 50 feet into the air. The Plaza itself is home to many city festivals and is the traditional place for travelling troubadour companies to set up in the city.