Traveler's Guide to Neraka
D&D 3e (3.0/3.5) Rules
A Traveler's Guide to Neraka
Neraka is the capital city of Taman Busuk and the current base of operations for Knights of Neraka. The city is settled in the middle of the Khalkist Mountain range and currently has around 11,000 people living inside its walls. The city is broken into 3 different sections with the heart of the city containing a large hole where the Temple of Darkness once stood. Currently the city is led by the Lord of the Night, Sir Baltasar Rennold.
The current city of Neraka is built near the ruins of the previous city that was destroyed during the Cataclysm. The previous city of Neraka was a city that was once called Narakid and held by the High Ogres and once was considered part of a trade route. Around 1300 PC the area became controlled by humans in a series of unrecorded events, and was home to a notable red dragon named Deathfyre.
After the destruction of the city following the Cataclym this area became the home of the Temple of Istar that Takhisis had secretly stolen. The city quickly grew as Takhisis was able to twist the temple's purpose and the settlers in the area became drawn to the evil seeds planted by the Dark Queen. The settlement grew quickly into a city and became a den of evil.
The city would become known as the capital of the evil state of Taman Busuk, and travelers would often avoid traveling to the city at all costs. With the relative isolation of the area this location would become the perfect area for Ariakas to raise his dragonarmies in 333 AC. When the War of the Lance began this city was the main base of operations for the dragonarmies throughout the war. At the end of the war the battles came to the front steps of the city and during the closing hours of the war the Temple of Darkness was destroyed.
Following the War of the Lance the city became at first the location of infighting between the surviving dragonarmies. The city was largely destroyed from the battles, with many of its surviving residents fleeing. With the widespread destruction of the city its power in the region waned and without the influence of the Lord Mayor of Neraka the city would have certainly have fallen in obscurity.
The city would slowly regrow over the years following the War of the Lance and after the Chaos War it would become the main base of operations for the Knights of Neraka (Takhisis). The city was part of the lands given to them following the Council of Fallen Heroes. As the Knights began to take control of the city a coup was led by the Lord Mayor who failed and was killed during the coup.
Prior to the War of Souls the city saw its rival Sanction growing faster and wealthier. Unable to compete with Sanction the city was unable to prevent the Knights of Neraka to moving their chief base of operations there. During the War of Souls Neraka remained relatively untouched and after the war the Knights of Neraka returned to the city.
Outside the heart of the city is the inner bailey. Here all kinds of buildings crowd together in the small area, and its own wall surrounds it with watchtowers spaced out. Then is the Outer bailey, and this was literally jammed with buildings, such as stables and markets. It is a warren of brothels, bars, shops, slave pens, huts, and hovels on narrow streets. A huge stench, squalor is found everywhere, and rowdy crowds on their streets. Outside the outer bailey are the neat barracks of the Dark Knights.
Districts of Neraka
Neraka is broken into several different districts. Outside of the inner city lie the five districts of the former Dragonarmies which are named in honor in honor to the relating army. The Black, Blue, Green, Red, and White Districts make up the outside of the city. These parts of the city are where the major battles following the War of the Lance occurred. Travelers in this part of the city can be greeted by slum like conditions, in which most citizens live in squalor. Dwellings in this area often appear abandoned but in reality house sometimes dozens of people.
The district known as His High and Mighty's Grandiose Playground of Pleasure is located just outside of the inner city. This part of Neraka has survived the bloody history of the city untouched. This part of the city is home to the city's wealthy families and large homes. Residents of the city often refer to this part of the city as the High and Mighty. Homes in this area often have personal retinues to protect themselves from the riots that erupt in the outlying color districts. Located at the heart of the city is the district known as the Inner City. This district has a very distinct feature that is leftover from the War of the Lance. In the middle of the city located on Temple Square, the Temple of Darkness once stood. After its destruction a large crater was left over and the stones that remained poisoned the ground around it. The inner city is home to the Knights of Neraka's offices. Also the inner city is home to the markets and is patrolled by the Dark Knights to ensure that their day to day operations go undisturbed.
Buildings in Neraka
The Arena of Death
This building was a popular coliseum used for entertainment in gladiatorial style matches. It is located in the Inner City within a few blocks of Temple Square. Following the War of the Lance this building was damaged extensively in the destruction of the Temple of Darkness and remained closed unless a public execution was needed. The arena has the capacity to seat 10000 individuals but currently it has only reopened with a capacity to seat 1000 spectators. It runs events during the weekends in which spectators may gamble on matches. Currently the Dark Knights oversee the day to day operations of the arena.
The Broken Barrel
This establishment is located in the Blue District of the city. It is a tavern known for its rowdy crowds and dark ales. The inn is said to be home to many of the cities less desirable citizens and for a few coins things can be easily forgotten. The current owner of the tavern is Stol Blackguard, a former sergeant in the Dark Knights army.
The Great Market
The largest market of the city is located in the Inner City. This market is open early on days of events in the Arena of Death. It is a large sprawling plaza in the city and on most market days it is three quarters filled with merchants. Merchants who wish to display their wares in this plaza must pay an extra tax to operate, those who do not face a stiff penalty from the Dark Knights who patrol the area.
Hair of the Troll Tavern
This tavern is located in the Green District and from the outside resembles a collection of crates and tarps put together. The inside of the tavern is run down with mismatched furniture. Patrons will notice that the bar's owner, a sivak named Tyrol, is often sitting near the door lamenting to customers what caused the defeat of the Dragonarmies. Minotaurs are also not tolareted in the tavern.
Located in the White District is the pawnshop Lute's Loot. This pawnshop has been in operation since before the War of the Lance and currently houses an inventory of curiosities from all the following wars. The owner of the shop, a human name Lute, is rumored to be the original owner.
Lord of the Night's Keep
This keep was formerly called the Pink Palace prior to Baltasar Rennold's coming to power. Currently this building is the main seat of power for the Dark Knights in the city. The keep also serves as living quarters for the Lord of the Night.
This area is located in the Inner City of Neraka. Historically this area was a slum area, but in recent history this area has been cleaned up and the businesses and taverns that line this area are of the highest quality.
The Red Handed Pawnshop
One of the largest pawnshops in the city is located in the White District. This pawnshop has been a family owned business characterized by its sign showing three red hands. Goods in the shop are rather mundane in nature. The pawnshop was built upon the ruins of a former inn that many citizens believe has access to a secret tunnel.
People of Neraka
Sir Baltasar Rennold
Lord of the Night, Sir Baltasar Rennold, has made his home in the city since 425 AC. He moved the knighthood back to the city to attempt to unify the Dark Knights. This move though created more splintering in the ranks. Although Rennold has taken large strides in reuniting members of the knighthood in recent years, there still remains a level of animosity between the various warlords of the Dark Knights. Currently Rennold is attempting to rebuild Neraka to return it to its former level of glory. He has arranged work gangs in the city to help clear out the slums in the color districts.
Lord Adjudicator, Galen Nemedi is the leader of the Knights of the Skull. This paranoid and angry knight has refused to take the title Lord of the Skull fearing that he will meet his end like the previous two lords did. He currently has an alliance with the Lord of the Night but has secretly been inserting his own men into the ranks with his agenda. Galen's dragon mount, a black dragon named Raventheras, lives in the ruins of the Black District.
The current gladiatorial champion is a minotaur named Rahk Toerg. This warrior whose past history is unknown has never been defeated in the arena and is known for his blue painted horns. It is rumored that this gladiator once was caught spying on the Lord Adjudicator.
The current head of the thieves guild of Neraka is a young individual whose ruthless climb to power included murdering the three most senior members of the guild. This young man is rumored to be part elf but all those who mention it are met by Tictan's anger about the subject. He is currently expanding the thieves guild into the arena to pay gladiators to take a dive.
Possible Adventure Sites and Plots
Hidden Light's Chambers: Located underneath the city of Neraka is a system of mazes used by the members of the Hidden Light during the War of the Lance. These tunnels were a fiercely guarded secret but the entrance was rumored to be held by an innkeeper named Talent, who had an inn in the White District. It is rumored that these chambers were used during the Chaos War to store wealthy families treasures and that the earthquake that struck the following the Battle with Chaos sealed those families inside with their treasures.
The Dark Sword: A rumor has surfaced in the training camps around Neraka of a powerful weapon called the Dark Sword. This weapon is rumored to be the weapon of the future leader of the order who will reunite the factions. It is believed that the weapon was in the Temple of Darkness with its destruction and many of a young knight has quested to locate it but so far none have found it.
The Color Districts: These districts have been for a long time a lawless area. Currently the Dark Knights have begun to "recruit" individuals to clear out these ruffians and to serve as the law. Rumors have also arisen that in each of the five districts contain hidden dungeons that the Dragonarmies and Dark Knights found and used. As to what is found in each dungeon stories contradict each other, but many citizens feel that the Dark Knights are searching for the lost entrances to them.
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