Ravenspire

The metropolis of Ravenspire is the capital city of Duskwood in Mortavia. The city stretches along both banks of the Shadowfall River and around Shadowcrest Castle, which looms over the city like a looming, stone giant. The iconic, blood-red streetlights, narrow streets and narrow, tall buildings give the city its distinctive character, which attracts and frightens visitors at the same time.

The Surrounding Landscape

Ravenspire is nestled at the foot of the Ebonpeak Mountains, surrounded by dense forests and mist-shrouded moors. While the mountain range stretches to the west of the city, providing both protection and fertile soil, the Duskwood extends to the north of the city, winding its way to the eastern side. To the south lies the Blutmoor with its treacherous mists.

Flowing from the Ebonpeak Mountains, the Shadowfall River runs through the city and continues eastward, meandering through the dense forest toward the coast. The surrounding woods and moors, as well as the villages in the vicinity, provide the city with the necessary supply of food and goods it requires.

The Shadow's Embrace Road winds through the Blutmoor in the south, following the course of the mountains to reach Eichenberg and the Veilwood Enclave. The Bloodstone Highway, on the other hand, follows the Shadowfall River, connecting the city with towns and villages along the river all the way to the Blackshore. Winding through the northern forest is the Twilight Bridge Road, which links Ravenspire to the dark northern realms of Mortavia.

City Layout

Like many old cities in Duskwood, Ravenspire is built upon the ruins of Ravenspire. Deep beneath the winding streets of the metropolis, there are the catacombs. Today, they serve as hideouts and temples for dark cults, performing their perverse and twisted rites there. Even on the surface, far away from the dark rituals, remnants of the ancient city can still be found. A statue here. A hauntingly well-preserved building there. A path, that leads nowhere but is paved with ominously glowing runestones. Ravenspire may have been built upon Ravenspire, but it was also built into Ravenspire.

The Crimson District - Thousand Things to Buy

The modern city center is the Crimson District. Here you’ll find the river harbor, the grand market, taverns, inns, and other things a traveler might need within the city. In this district, the beating heart of Ravenspire, you can find anything if you will pay for it. Or at least you’ll find somebody who knows somebody who can get you what you want.

Tall and narrow buildings define this district, as well as the blood-red gaslit streets. Merchants from near and far gather to buy and sell their wares at the Grand Market, while artists show their craft in the corners and taverns of the district. Different languages and dialects mix, to form the unique city dialect of Ravenspire. Street preachers preach whatever their church believes in, from eternal damnation to the fires of the nine hells. But don't worry. The same preachers will move on to the Scarlet Veil District as soon as the sun goes down.

The Golden Goblet: Master Alaric Blackwood, a Dhampir Alchemist and Herbalist, runs the Golden Goblet Apothecary. The shop offers potions, reagents and rare ingredients for spells and rituals. Rumor has it that he will sell even forbidden materials if the price is right…

The Silver Scales: Roland Ironforge is a skillful blacksmith, with a passion for his craft – and for beautiful women, wine, and food. In his blacksmith shop, he offers melee weapons and armor, suitable to the warriors and adventurers of Mortavia.

The Dusty Pillow: Esme Winterthorn opened this inn a few years ago. The elven woman offers clean rooms, cheap food, and some “company” for her guests. Nobody knows how she can afford the expensive rent at those low prices.

Shadowkeep - Castle, Villas and Aristocracy

At the highest point of the city, you’ll find Shadowcrest Castle, and surrounding it, the residences of the city’s elite. The district called “Shadowkeep” is surrounded by thick walls that protect the center of power within its walls. Here you can find villas, parks, and even smaller city palaces. Buildings that stood here for a thousand years and will continue to do so.

Shadowkeep is a city within the city, where only the aristocracy and their servants will have access. What happens behind the fortified walls is a matter of speculation. The aristocrats don’t want to talk with lower classes, and the ones who are allowed inside don’t talk either. But of course, there are rumors. Rumors about secret passages, hidden chambers, perverted rites, and twisted tastes of the inhabitants. How much of that is true? Who knows?

The High Families of Ravenspire

House Blackthorn: Those who are interested in dark magic and twisted rituals have heard of house Blackthorn. Especially of Lord Cedric Blackthorn, the current Lord of Shadowcrest Castle. While he might be the best-known family member, he is not the only powerful sorcerer in its ranks…

House Nightshade: Ambition and the right contacts characterize House Nightshade. From their ranks come excellent spies and assassins - which makes especially the young head of the family, Lady Elaine Nightshade, a woman to be taken with extreme caution.

House Bloodmoon: 'Honor and loyalty' is the motto of House Bloodmoon. Nowadays, the warriors of the house interpret the concept of honor rather flexibly, and loyalty is due to the one who pays the bill. Lord Alexander Bloodmoon is an unscrupulous, brutal warrior who takes what he wants. No matter what that may be.

House Ashcroft: This house seems out of place among the aristocracy of Ravenspire when approached with a more traditional notion of "art." However, the artists of House Ashcroft, led by Lady Genevieve Ashcroft, create works infused with lust and desire, shaping Mortavia's sensual culture significantly.

House Ravenwood: Prostitution, decadence, and debauchery are the associations most commonly linked with House Ravenwood. Less known is the fact that the house holds and guards the city's most profound secrets. Lord Sebastian Ravenwood possesses a precise understanding of which secrets to acquire and how to employ them to expand the house's influence.

House Darkmore: While House Blackthorn focuses on magic that influences the living, Lady Morgana Darkmore and her family harness the power of necromancy, bending the dead to their will. Rumors circulate both within the city and beyond its borders of undead servants and deceased family members who continue to roam the halls of their ancestral home.

The not-so-hidden markets in Whisperwind Alley

Nestled within the streets of Ravenspire, you'll find the Whisperwind Alley. This place is known for the secrets and intrigues flowing around here. If you wander through its narrow cobblestone alleys, you'll find yourself in a labyrinth of alleys, sideways and hidden corners that can be hard to navigate.

You can find a wide array of shops and services in these narrow streets, but you should not expect the everyday wares you'ld find in the more public shops of the Crimson District. The wares you can buy here are more vile and dark in nature - or straightway illegal in wide parts of the world. If you are searching for that actually-working spell to wed the man you long for, this is the place you'll find it. A poison that will make your enemies die in agonizing pain? Sure. That one secret, that will ruin your aunt so you can take over her place in the family business? If you can pay, you can get it.

Perverted Knowledge of the Mistborn Quarters

Mistborn Quarters stands as the epicenter of knowledge in Ravenspire. It is here that one can find schools, academies, and most notably, the renowned Darkwood Academy, a magical university that embraces even the most twisted and perverse branches of magic. As a result, there seems to be little taboo when it comes to the knowledge one seeks, nor in the magical services one can avail themselves of in this district.

The quarter is characterized by sprawling school grounds, surrounded by accommodations for faculty and students. Interspersed among them are bookstores, reagent merchants, and scribes offering their services. At the fringes of the district, one can find alchemical laboratories and the practices of healers who do not rely solely on the blessings of deities to carry out their work. The Mistborn Quarters serves as a haven for those who yearn to delve deep into the mysteries of magic, fostering an environment where curiosity and exploration are celebrated.

Names of Ravenspire

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OGL
by Susanne Lamprecht via Midjourney
Type
Metropolis
Population
500,000
Included Locations
Characters in Location
Related Plots

Demographics

Human: 40%
Elf: 25%
Dwarf: 10%
Halfling: 10%
Dhampir/Vampire: 5%
Gnome: 5%
Other: 5%

Aristocracy: 2%
Upper Class: 10%
Middle Class: 30%
Working Class: 45%
Lower Class/Outlaws: 13%


City Districts

The Crimson District
Shadowkeep
Whisperwind Alley
Mistborn Quarters
The Scarlet Veil (Adult Only)
The Shadow Serenade


Factions

The Shadowscales
The Iron Fist
The Arcane Brotherhood
The Sisters of Lust (Adult Only)
The Cult of the Blood Moon
The Order of the Scarlet Flame
The Coven of Shadows
The Lost Court



Cover image: by Susanne Lamprecht via Midjourney

Comments

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Jul 18, 2023 00:43 by Keon Croucher

A dark and interesting city to be sure, with some very intriguing locations an queries to be asked. Especially of note to me Mistress Esme Winterthorn and her mysterious missing coin. How does she pay for her facilities, the math simply does not work, and that leads me to believe there may be....questionable business afoot.

Keon Croucher, Chronicler of the Age of Revitalization
Jul 18, 2023 08:20 by Susanne Lamprecht

I am glad that you have these thoughts, it tells me I did something right. Ravenspire is definitely a city I want to expand - and will expand!

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