Drachenruh is a city that can be described as colourful in terms of both races and social classes. Although there seem to be clear borders, they are not as conspicuous as in other countries. In Drachenruh not even the poorest of the poor suffer from hunger, which can be due to the fact that the local temples take their tasks seriously.
Similar to other kingdoms and cities, Celestria also has several social classes. Due to the wealth of the country, however, the middle class in Celestria, and thus also in Drachenruh, is unusually large.
The upper class of the city consists of the aristocracy, the rich merchants and leaders of the local guilds and organizations, as well as the high clergy, which consists of paladins and clerics. This upper class consists of a good 1% of the inhabitants, who each have an average income of 30,000 Platinumdragons per year.
The middle class consists of the merchants and wealthier citizens of Drachenruh, the middle ranks of the guilds and the middle clergy and accounts for about 50% of the total population. On average, a member of the middle class has an income of around 6,550 Platinumdragons per year.
The lower class is made up of various other people, such as day labourers, sailors, prostitutes and others. It accounts for 49% of the total population and has an average income of about 100 Platinumdragons per year.
Unregistered criminals are estimated by the guards at about 10% of the population, with these criminals paying no personal taxes. However, the unwritten law in Drachenruh is that these elements are members of a guild, such as the Thieves' Guild, and pay taxes there. The guild in turn pays taxes from these levies.
Within Drachenruh there are over 600 temples and shrines, a large part of which are dedicated to the Pantheon
of Andrawyn. There is also a temple for Kelemvor, Helm and Mystra
, which were imported from Toril and have a religious community in the city.
From the local Pantheon, Nys
makes the largest religious community in the city with the Children of the Night
. In addition, each god in the Pantheon has at least one temple and one shrine, which are administered and maintained by his respective clergy.
The government of Drachenruh seems a little strange at first sight, as it also includes the criminals of the city and the representatives of the lowest social classes. On the other hand, this circumstance is understandable considering the influence of the Order of Light and Shadow on the whole kingdom.
Drachenruh is governed by a city council chaired by an elected mayor. During this term, the Lady Alistra of Sevenhope
is in office for the second time. The Council is re-elected every seven years
and is composed of representatives from all major groups and social classes
within the city.
The clergy, which represents the highest deities of Andrawyn and their religious communities within the city, are entitled to seven council seats. For this term of office they are:
- Gareth Shone, High Priest of Nys
- Deryn Carey, High Priestress of Solaya
- Cadoc Bloyd, High Priest of Maritae
- Siorys Cadogan, High Priest of Varennia
- Ioan Greenway, High Priest of Shaladar
- Alison Bryce, High Paladin of Nereus
- Enid Palin, High Priestress of Lisanda
The aristocracy has two seats in the city council, which are awarded by a secret ballot among the aristocrats. However, it is considered a tradition that one of the two seats is occupied by the Count of Drachenruh, who is the Duke's deputy on the spot. Currently, the Count of Drachenruh is Taliesin of Drachenruh.
Each local guild, including the Merchant Guild
, the Thief Guild
, the Weaver Guild
, and the Blacksmith Guild
, has a seat on the City Council occupied by a high-ranking member of that guild. There's also a seat for the Guild Master of the Shadow Network
, known only as The Blade
, and no one knows who's behind that name.
Three seats in the Council will be allocated to each of the elected representatives of the middle and lower classes. These members are selected by secret ballot, to which only registered members of the respective classes are admitted. It is therefore not possible for a member of the upper class to influence which member of the middle class is elected to the Council.
Another three seats
on the City Council are for members of the Order of Light and Shadow
, which appoints its members from its own ranks. However, the city ordinance stipulates that one seat of these three must be occupied by a Scalebearer from the current age. Since the Scalebearers of the Time of Fate are still too young, Mariella Shadowwhisper
currently occupies this post.
The voting procedure for the city council is very complicated. For the seats of the clergy, each temple of a high god votes for a member of the clergy who is to represent the temple on the council. Guilds also vote internally on their representatives on the council, although the procedure may vary from guild to guild.
The Shadow Network and the Order of Light and Shadow, on the other hand, do not elect the representative, but determine him. While the Shadow Network always sends its leader to the Council, the Order appoints three of its members, at least one of whom must be a Scalebearer of the current age.
The social classes elect their council members in a secret election, to which only taxable residents of the city from the respective class are admitted. Once the Council has met in full, it appoints the Mayor for the coming term. The mayor must have a good reputation, must not be a member of the Order and must not be a member of the Council. In addition, he needs at least 50% of the votes of the council to be able to be appointed at all.
The Council has the right to enact laws as long as they do not violate Celestria's laws. However, the city ordinance stipulates that no law may be enacted that would unduly disadvantage a particular social class. If a social class feels disadvantaged by the laws, it is possible to have the relevant law reviewed by the Order of Light and Shadow.
The tax system in Celestria and thus also in Drachenruh is kept very simple. It has only a few steps and, surprisingly, is perceived by everyone as fair and just. Here the main tax burden is on the middle class, which is also the largest group in figures, while the lower class is rather relieved of its taxes.
Drachenruh collected a total of 2,391,772,920 Golddragons in personal taxes last year. The largest part of this comes from the middle class, followed by income from the upper class and finally from the lower class. The tax rates for personal taxes are 5% for the middle and upper class and 1% for the lower class. When calculating taxes, only the income of money counts; costs and the like are not included in the calculation.
A further 1,798,000,000 gold dragons came about through the taxes paid by churches and guilds. These institutions are taxed at a flat rate of 15%, and can only reduce their taxes by demonstrating social services such as welfare for the poor.
Distribution of Revenue
Of this revenue, 75%, i.e. approximately 3,142,000,000 Golddragons, remain in the city itself and are available to the city as a budget. Once a year the city has to give an open account of the expenses as well as the content of the city treasury.
One of the biggest items for the budget are the expenses for the guards. Drachenruh currently employs 11,560 guards, each of whom receives 1,500 Golddragons a year in salaries. In total, the guards cost the city 17,340,000 Golddragons per year.
In Drachenruh you can find almost everything. Silk from Ruabrim, horses from Arfordas, rare fruits from Mynad and fresh fish from the sea. There is hardly anything you can't buy on the market, thanks to the trade routes. Oh yes, and when I say fresh fish, I mean fish that was caught that day. None that was artificially kept fresh by a cold spell.
The city of Drachenruh is located at the junction of Celestria's two major trade routes, although it is not the case that the city was built where the routes intersect, but that the routes are built so that they lead through the city. The most important trade route of the country is the mountain road, which leads from Arfordas in the north to Mynad in the south.
The well fortified and guarded road leads along the Dragon Tooth Mountains in the north, but turns south of the city towards the coast to escape the dangerous area around the Murderer Lake
The second major trade route leads from Madarast, Celestria's largest seaport, to Castle Rabenwacht
and follows the course of the Raven River. The river is mainly used by ships and ferries with little draught to carry goods upstream.
The goods that require less transport time are usually transported to Drachenruh by Magic Aerial Railway
, which connects all the major cities in the country. Zeppelins are available for journeys to other continents and more distant kingdoms and are operated with magic just like the rail.
The individual districts of Drachenruh do not merge into each other as smoothly as one knows it from other cities on Eivrune. Instead there seems to be a clear cut, the one street you cross and are in a completely different place than two minutes ago.
Today Drachenruh consists of 24 districts. Of these, 12 are assigned to the old town, while the other 12 belong to the new town. The subdivision of the old town was not carried out strictly with the ruler, but according to the largest accumulations of certain professions and occupational groups within the quarters. While the administration speaks of 12 districts in the old town, the inhabitants of the town speak of only 11 districts. For them, the inner and outer temple districts merge seamlessly.
The Harbour District
When a visitor comes up the river with one of the numerous ferries, the first district he reaches is the harbour district. Although the sea is a good 60 miles away, it smells of salt and seaweed all the time, partly due to the overseas goods that arrive. Away from the docks where the ships are loaded and unloaded, there are a number of tall, narrow houses. The ground floor is usually made of solid granite, while the upper floors are half-timbered.
On closer inspection, the houses look gloomy and cramped, with their small smoky pubs in the ground floor and the rooms with the whores on the upper floor. Here one finds mainly members of the lower class and a lot of criminals. Company, rooms and food are cheap and not of the best quality, not even average. The middle class is rarely found here, the upper class not at all, unless there are problems with their ships.
Around the actual harbour there is a high presence of guards, but this decreases rapidly the further you venture into the side streets of the quarter. Away from the guarded harbour, the quarter belongs to the whores, the thieves, the tricksters and above all the sailors who want to sweeten their time ashore.
The Blacksmith's Quarter
If you walk upstream from the Harbour District, you will arrive unerringly at the Blacksmith's Quarter of the city. This district can be recognized from afar by the smell of iron, burning coal and the sharp clink that the forging hammer causes when it hits the steel of the anvil. The houses here are lower and built entirely from the granite typical for the city. Narrow, high houses with dozens of flats where the workers of the district live are rarely found.
More common are blacksmiths, with only one or two upper floors, in which the flats of the blacksmith and his employees are housed. This is also the location of the industrial heart of the city, the blacksmiths who produce and process the rare and extremely valuable Black Steel. For this reason alone, there is a high presence of city guards here, although the recognised guilds, such as the Thieves' Guild, also hang around here and maintain order. Nobody is helped if the production of Black Steel no longer works.
The Blacksmith's Quarter is dominated by craftsmen who have both feet on the ground. Their customers come from all social classes, even if the aristocracy does not usually show themselves in the quarter. In addition, however, you can find all kinds of customers and merchants, be they locals or traveling merchants. Even spies find their way here to find out the secret of Black Steel.
The Weavers' District
The Weavers' District is directly adjacent to the Blacksmith's Quarter and the Harbour, and represents a sharp contrast to both districts. The houses here are further apart and have a greater variety of architectural styles and colours. From converted factory halls, in which a community of artists lives, to a blacksmith's shop, which has been converted into the city's most famous tavern, everything can be found in the Weavers' District. Well, almost everything.
This district is home not only to the city's tailors and weavers, but also to the many artists who make it one of the most colourful and lively districts in the city. Here you can find men's and women's tailors, shoemakers and painters living next door to a writer. Fashion shows, exhibitions and of course the annual Summer Camp are among the most important features of the district.
Just as colourfully mixed as the houses and inhabitants are the customers who get lost here. From a small boy from the lower class who has his shoes repaired by a shoemaker to a paladin in glowing armour who wants to enjoy a jug of World Ember in the tavern, you will find everyone here sometime.
Huge department stores and colourful market stalls dominate the market, the largest quarter of the old town. To reach the market, one turns south from the weaver's district until the colourful houses of the quarter give way to the wide squares and stalls of the market. Here you can hear a babble of voices in the most diverse languages, praising goods or cursing customers, that probably depends entirely on who is currently speaking.
In Drachenruh, nobody can avoid a visit to the market, so it is not really surprising that this is a paradise for pickpockets, despite the constant presence of the city guard. After all, they disappear into the crowd immediately after the crime, as if they had never existed.
The market district is certainly one of the most cosmopolitan in the whole city. Here you can find members of all races and social classes from all over the world who buy and sell, trade and haggle.
The Alchemist Quarter
When I visited the Alchemist Quarter, I was impressed and shocked by the diversity of the little remedies that can be found and bought here. I had heard rumours about one or the other, I had never even dared to dream about another. There seems to be hardly any aches and pains, hardly any blemishes that one does not take care of.
A bit south of the harbour and west of the market lies the Alchemist Quarter with its small pharmacies and shops offering everything from perfume to Contraceptive Potions
. If you are looking for a potion or tincture, you are in the right place - and you can buy it for the right price.
The buildings in the Alchemist Quarter are usually two-storey and made of solid granite. The laboratory and shop are on the ground floor, while the owner's family lives on the first floor.
The clientele and thus also the visitors of the quarter are colourfully mixed and come from all ethnic and social groups in the city. There is hardly any presence of guards in the alchemist quarter, as the Shadow Network is holding its protective hand over the quarter (and collecting the corresponding protection money).
The Park District
Across from the harbour, on the other shore of the river, lies the Park District. Here live the aristocrats who are rich enough to afford the overpriced plots in the inner city. Surprisingly, this circumstance seems to be especially important for the old-established families.
As in so many other residential areas, a large part of the buildings here consists of typical Celestrian Townhouses
, although entire rows of houses have been combined into a single residential house. In contrast to the other districts of the city, there are also large, spacious gardens that belong to the buildings.
In the Park District, the City Guard has very little presence, as most residents employ their own security forces. The guard's presence here is considered too intrusive and therefore not desirable, which leads in a nice regularity to the guard taking plenty of time when called into the neighbourhood.
The Inner Temple District
The Inner Temple District borders the Park District to the north. It is the older of the two temple districts and contains the most important temples of the city. Here you will find the Temple of the Pantheon, the Church of the Night and the Temple of Healing. There are also other temples dedicated to the individual gods of the Pantheon.
Most of the sacred buildings are made of marble, with the black marble from the quarries of Arfordas being particularly popular. Their airy, columned construction is reminiscent of the city's Auditorium
, which was built similarly to the temples.
Remarkable is the oldest temple of the city, which was not consecrated to a native god. It is a small church with an adjacent cemetery dedicated to Kelemvor. The priests living here change at regular intervals and there are rumours in the town that the Kelemvor Temple is under the protection of the castle.
The Red Light District
The Red Light District is the northernmost district on the harbor side of the Raven River. But while there are cheap whores in the harbour, the prostitutes in the red light district are clearly more expensive. They usually have a good education, are literarily educated and speak several languages fluently. This pushes up their prices, which in turn raises the standard of the clientele. Under these circumstances, not surprisingly, not only prostitutes have settled in the red light district.
In the expensive restaurants you can get the best wine of the whole city, the theatres here have the best program and the most capable actors. In addition, tailors and cobblers have settled here, who have focused on the special preferences of men and women from certain groups and races.
A unique feature of the district, which has a reputation beyond the borders of the country, is the gender equality within this sector. Not only are there companions of all races, but also of both sexes. There are male prostitutes, as well as female prostitutes, for heterosexual and homosexual partners. Some, extremely well paid, are flexible as far as the gender of their partners is concerned.
Surprisingly, the "illegal" guilds here take special care that no prostitutes are forced to sell themselves. Anyone who tries to gain control over a brothel or a particular prostitute in order to gain their earnings often wakes up quite dead the next morning. And amazingly, the guard regularly detects suicide in these cases.
The Mage Quarter
The strangest position has probably the mage quarter of Drachenruh. Not at the edge, where one could expect that old men in fluttering robes would research magical theories, but directly at the border to the red light district. From time to time even wizards are said to have enjoyed the company of ladies and gentlemen from the red light district!
In the southeast, the Mage Quarter adjoins the Red Light District. Here it is much quieter, the plots with their turrets and academies are much more spacious and you meet very serious young people discussing the Song and the complex manipulation of the Song. Every now and then you even meet one of the older city magicians, who explains a theory in a pub. It even happens that a whole group meets to debate which form of Song manipulation should be regarded as magic - and which not.
The Military District
The southernmost old town district is the Military District. Here the guardsmen of the city with their families and the recruits are accommodated, who perform the obligatory quarter of the military service within the city. Armouries, training grounds and large barracks alternate with smaller residential streets, and give this quarter a very impressive appearance.
Directly on the other side of the river is the Campus. Although it is not really a contiguous campus, but a district dedicated to education. It houses the city's schools and universities, boarding schools and dormitories for students from outside the city. This district is the only one that has a strict curfew after midnight under the guard of the guards. Younger children in this quarter are not allowed on the streets after sunset.
The Temple District
Attached to the Inner Temple District to the north is the second, larger Temple District. The two quarters are separated by name, but they are usually treated as a single district of the city. Here are newer shrines, community houses and smaller temples dedicated to the lower gods or newer gods. Due to the rivalry that breaks out despite the laws from time to time, the guard presence here is very high.
The twelve districts of New Town are exclusively residential districts, which are separated by social origin, but not by race.