The only major city on this side of the Greytide Gulf, Silvershoal is a remnant from prior to the cataclysm, in fact standing upon the tumbled ruins of an older city of the same name. Any spoils of commerce from the Ardeian Peninsular finds its way through the port of Silvershoal to other citystates abroad. In past decades the main flow of goods has been of ores from the Shudderspike Mountains, gold from the Wearying Hills, and pearls from the many pearling and fishing villages along the shores of the gulf. The most recent boom, however, has been in quality White Oak from the Ramswood, currently plentiful, though many seem aware that it won’t last long. Several humans and halflings have made their fortunes on the river trade and then moved to the city to lead the high life. Other stayers have done well and don’t seem to be ready to retire anytime soon. More and more city folk are moving to Whiteoak or to the logging camps in the foothills of the mountains.
Life in the city is hard for most. The multitudes seek safety behind sound stone walls from the ravening wilds, but a majority find little enough work and as many dangers on the meanstreets of the slums. The shipping boom, an offshoot of the the burgeoning lumber trade, has seen many youths kidnapped from the bustling Harbour District and thrown into forced labour as ship’s crew. Gangs of urchins roam the Shellflats, Silvershoal’s slum, trying to eke out enough to survive. Few are brave enough of late to try their roguish skills in Market District though- patrols of civic watchmen pay heed to the same crimes they ignore in the slums. The Highcliff has even less crime. Here dwell those smart or powerful enough to capitalise on the flow of trade in the city state.
Of late, the Tiefling aristocrats who operate main power in Silvershoal are finding themselves challenged on many quarters, not least by the developing merchant class and the previously subdued Knightly Orders. Powerful factions like the Drayman’s Guild, The Seacaptain’s Brotherhood, The Shipping Guild and the Ardeian Mercenary Conglomerate increasingly find fault with the apathetic policies of the Duke and his favourites. The Aesthetic Committee for the Engrandeur of Civic Monuments, with its bizarre conventions of incomprehensible limitations on movement of traffic through key old city areas, is one body recently put in its place by strike action from several quarters. The city seems to be growing at such a rate as to outstrip the aristocracy’ ability to manage it.
The Slippery Slope
This road is not slippery or sloped at all, but it marks the unofficial line between the Harbour district and the Shellflat slums. The civic watch suddenly become vigilant to the north of this road, while to the south, they seem blind to crimes taking place.
Although not much of a cliff, the oldest and most wealthy part of the city is certainly situated at the highest point. Steep roads wind up the natural hill here, with the residences generally getting more grandiose the higher one climbs. The houses here are old and stone, with a Gothic look favoured by the Tiefling Aristocracy when they were the ruling class. On lower parts of the hill many merchants have bought properties and have begun to restore formerly faded dwellings. A highlight of the Area is Duke Fuldirmar’s keep – an imposing structure that looms over the town. It is huge and decaying far faster than the nobility can afford to repair.
This is the area of the city reserved for beggars, vagrants and the unemployed. Dwellings are a combination of whatever the owner could find washed up on the beach or discarded from richer parts of the city. Some of these structures are quite impressive in there own right – The Albatross for example has been on the same sight for near a hundred years, and it’s ever changing architecture contains half a shipwreck, bricks from a long for gotten castle and a wall made completely from old bottles. The people of the Shellflats are dirt poor, desperate and always looking for a chance at something better (legal or otherwise) and the civic watch that patrol here (who are usually drunks, corrupt or have been stationed here as punishment)seem far more concerned with keeping the residents from straying too far into the city than upholding any law.
“Harbourside” contains the homes and workplaces of many city folk who make a living from the sea, whether it be from fishing, ship building, sail making or one of the many other professions on offer. Work can always be found here for those willing to work cheap, provided the worker can prove that they have a permanent place of residence (that isn’t in the Shellflats). The area features a number of large warehouses used for storing imports and exports.
This district has the usual wares for sale for passers by – fruit and vegetables, meats, fish and oysters, tools, weapons and armour. It also caters to bigger purchases of lumber from the west, and bulk orders of food, provisions and other trade goods. Larger items are not stored in the market – small gazebos act as a store front, but larger items are kept in the harbour district
The Northern and Southern Norms
These areas are where the majority of Silvershoal’s residents make their homes, living in small dwellings made of logs and occasionally stone. Extended families often live in one house, with extensions being made to accommodate new additions. The only feature of note in these two areas is the northern and southern Norms’ dislike of each other.
This pleasant and well kept parkland features a small dam, a wooded area and seating for the more well to do residents of Silvershoal. The park is fairly well patrolled by the civic watch during the day (who move along vagrants and beggars), but at night the park is sometimes a location for more shady dealing.
The West Road
The new West Road is a well constructed highway that rises out of the western marshlands and hopes to cut a easy path into the Ramswood. The road is only partially completed however, and it’s cost and the time that it will take to complete are constant topics of debate amongst Silvershoal’s politicians.
To the north and south of Silvershoal there are a variety of farmsteads which grow potatoes, corn and leafy greens as well as cows, chickens, pigs and goats. The closer these are to Silvershoal the more heavily patrolled the area, so the safer they are.
Places of interest
1. The Wayfarers Juction
This sturdy and welcoming inn rents good, clean rooms at reasonable prices, so it is always booked to merchants and travellers who frequently pass through Silvershoal. They pride themselves on their Ale and Oyster pies.
2. Ardeian Mercenary Conglomerate
This imposing stone structure is of recent construction, and already it shows sign of further expansion under way. Large, heavily armed and armoured men and women patrol this area – which serve as advertising for the services on offer inside.
This group handles a variety of jobs including caravan security, bodyguard work and the hiring of small squadrons of soldiers to those who can afford the fee (usually up to 100 men and women can be hired for major jobs). Their prices are high, but their troops are well disciplined and equipped.
The company will also post work for “specialist jobs” which requires adventurers. The company charges 50gp a month to register an adventuring company with the conglomerate, but will refund the money if the party does not find a job with them in this time.
3. Poly’s Adventure Supplies
This Ramshackle little curiosity shop is host to all manner of curios from far and wide. Other than the many trinkets on offer (most of them useless) Poly sells sturdy rope, weapons and anything else a potential adventurer could need.
4. The deep well
This ancient stone well has provided the city with fresh, clean water for hundreds of years. The and ornate engravings create the illusion of people dancing around the 10ft wide hole, although the stonework is so old that the race of the figures cannot be determined.
5. The Civic Watchouse
This sagging and worn out looking building is where the grey cloaked city watch make their home. There are at least twenty watch on duty here at any given time, and three times that number patrolling the streets.
6. The Master’s View tavern and guest house
This establishment caters to the city’s ruling class, so is frequented by man tieflings and others rich enough to earn their place. The tavern is dimly lit, comfortable and expensive; the rooms are surprisingly small but offer exceptional views of the ocean and the city below.
7. The Wobbly Boot tavern
A large and ancient sign pilfered from a bootmaker advertises this rundown drinking hole that is a favourite for tradesmen and dockworkers. The ale is cheap but watered down (as a deterrent for the all too common fist fights that break out). This tavern does not really close – the drinkers often pass out where they sit.
8. Fairwinds Playhouse
This ornate building has seen better days, with faded bunting and a large sign promising “Performances to astonish and amaze.” Nowadays the playhouse is more brothel than theatre, offering bawdy and shallow entertainment to sailors and Silvershoal’s more easily amused residents.
9. The Albatross
The Albatross is a sailor’s tavern that is as shoddily built as the slums that surround it. The tavern caters to the tastes of it’s clientelle; providing all forms of activities for a cash rich sailor on shore leave.
Many of the people who are lucky enough to be employed in the Shellflats work in the oyster farms that have risen up in the brackish estuary where the Oakrun dribbles into the Greytide Gulf. Those who can afford a “Skipjack” (a small flat bottomed boat) often live on board – ever watchful of oyster pirates looking to make some quick gold or pilfer a meal. More than one oyster farmer of this area has made their fortune in pearls and managed to buy their way out of the slums – the hope of this of this keeps competition between farmers fierce.
Meat in a bun, meat on a stick, or meat in a small edible bucket; “Roadmeat” vendors working out of small stalls or carts are a common sight in Silvershoal. The quality varies from vendor to vendor… but especially in the Shellflats, where a common joke is that these meals “squeak with freshness”. Many of the locals haven’t eaten anything anything but roadmeant for years.
A Scumflusher a employee of the city who make sure the ruins beneath the city which serve as the city’s sewers don’t become clogged with waste. The work is low paying and the mortality rate is high due to disease and the occasional monster lair, so only the desperate and poor are prepared to do the work. The Scumflishers will take almost anyone as an employee; the ability to use a shovel and a resistance to odour are the only qualifications required.
The Scumflushers have extensive knowledge of the upper sewers of Silvershoal. They are also allowed to keep anything of value that they find in their duties, leading to unlikely tales of lucky Scumflushers that have retired on the proceeds of one good find.
The scumflushers also tell tales of a mysterious ex scumflusher that disappeared in the sewers long ago who looks out for scumflushers while they do there duties. He is known as the “Scumflusher King”.