Lockhinge City Settlement in Jewels of Lockhinge | World Anvil

Lockhinge City

The Kingdom's Lockbox




No other city in the Scarlet Kingdom is as racially diverse as Lockhinge. The ruling power of House Thriyan has made the city a bastion for tieflings from all walks of life, and it remains one of the only places that recognizes and celebrates any sort of unified tiefling culture. Many other "monstrous" lineages have followed suit and established a community for themselves within the city, to the point that it's far more likely to run into a hobgoblin, kobold, or lizardfolk than than it is to encounter a human.   There's a surprisingly large population of halflings for such a rough-and-tumble city, but much like the tieflings, Lockhinge is one of the only places where their culture is acknowledged and celebrated rather than amalgamated into the surrounding majority. Goblins travel to Lockhinge for the chance to attend the Kingdom's only goblin college, and a fair number of disenfranchised half-elves and dwarven folk have been attracted to the city's reputation as a haven for the otherwise-downtrodden. While not as numerous, there are even pockets of dragonborn, gnomes, and full-blooded elves who simply enjoy the lack of pressure to assimilate.  


Where the city excels at cultural diversity and inclusion, it lacks in wealth diversity. Very few people in Lockhinge can truly be considered "middle class," and a majority of its citizens live close to poverty. It's not impossible to bridge the gap with the right skills or connections (or a series of terrible decisions, in the case of the wealthy becoming destitute overnight), but for a city that's considered the biggest seat of wealth in the Scarlet Kingdom, very little of it actually leaves the same few inner circles for long.  


The wealth divide is fueled largely in part by the city's unique job market. While a large portion of the economy is propped up by trade merchants and funded by various warring guilds, Lockhinge is also one of the only cities in the Kingdom where you can make a viable (and surprisingly honest) living as a hired thief, assassin, or spy. Unlike trade or politics, the numerous organized crime outlets in the city provide ample opportunity for individuals to sign on build their own career through skill and hard work, regardless of their previous station or familial affiliations. Because this thriving microeconomy exists, many Lockhingians are of the belief that anyone "stuck" in the lower class is either too unskilled or too cowardly to take matters into thier own hands. In reality, this work is exhausting, dangerous, and often requires one to give up much of their autonomy just to be accepted into the field.   Those who gain power and status through organized crime or contract work are eventually encouraged to leave the city and set up shop elsewhere. While this ultimately keeps the city from becoming too dangerous to function, it also means that most new wealth in Lockhinge doesn't stick around long enough to put any of their money back into the city or the working-class jobs that support it.   Said working-class would be more up-in-arms about the wealth gap were it not for the pervasive sense that Lockhinge is basically only standing through the collective effort of every single one of its residents. Keeping an entire city alive and afloat in Greymantle is an insane feat, so the collective culture has very little room for freeloaders, even among the wealthy elite. There is gratitude to be found, also, in the shared knowledge that for most denizens of Lockhinge, they would rather be poor and welcomed than struggling against discrimination in any other part of the Kindgom.  


Only a fraction of Lockhinge is actually built on solid ground. The Thriyan Estate is built defiantly on a rocky cliff overlooking the Ossiun Sea, and the aptly-named "Stone Quarter" takes advantage of the rocky ground that stretches from this cliff back towards the muddy waters of Greymantle Marsh. After that, everything is either floating, propped up on stilts, or slowly sinking into swamp.   Despite the feats of engineering it takes to keep it above water, the city seems to stretch a little farther every year. Most buildings are packed closely together, joined by any number of tangled walkways, piers, bridges, and ladders. Very few people get the luxury of personal living or working space, with most shops and stalls squeezed in wherever there's concievable room. It wouldn't be strange to find a cobbler, a butcher, a bar, and a detective agency right across the street from one another, or even sharing the same building.   Since space is at a premium and the wetlands don't exactly lend themselves to easy terraforming, many have transformed their own rooftops into produce gardens or spaces for relaxation. Lockhinge also has a surprisingly advanced aqueduct system, with some noble homes boasting interior plumbing. Rumor has it that the Thriyan Estate even has a heated water resivior that runs without magic.   Where the land is simply too wet to build on, many have turned to house-boats and personal rafts. While hardly spacious and constantly in need of repair, their mobility makes them valuable simply because they can be moved if needed. There are strict regulations about where you can park your floating home or shop, as well as weight limits on cargo or structural additions to your vessel--but for many, it's an affordable alternative to living in a proper building, even with the frequent risk of sinking.  



The Gallows drinking game.





Noteable Areas

The Stone Quarter
The Drowned Quarter, aka "Little Blindwater"
The Docks
The Floating Market
Floating Gardens
The Nondenominational Temple  
Alternative Name(s)
The Kingdom's Lockbox
Large city
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