Crossroad of Artisans
Maoling is a mid-sized settlement that serves as a central city for the hills. The busy roads leading to it pass through shanty towns that surround the city walls. Inside, the red and green tiled roofs create a patchwork maze for people to hustle and bustle through. Along with the beautiful tile designs and prosperous market, this trade city attracts less desirable attention too. Home to criminal tongs, corrupt officials, and bandits; there is no shortage of plots and intrigues in Maoling.
Within the walls of the city it is mostly artisans and merchants, with some mercenaries mixed in. Outside the wall the other 60% of the population are laborers or farmers. The citizens are 90% human with some korobokuro, hangeyokai, and mixed races.
Magistrate Chen oversees the city. There is a mid-sized garrison for the town guard. It is said there are a few imperial censors working within Maoling as well. The Merchants of Maoling guild is approved by the Ministry of Public Works and controls much of the commerce here. Guilds, businesses, and other such companies pay 15% taxes to the magistrates office. Farms pay only 5%. Citizens of the city proper pay 12%, and those in the surrounding domain pay 10%.
There is a brick wall surrounding the city proper with guarded checkpoints.
Inside the walls, Maoling is comprised of mostly merchant districts. They don’t produce much raw resources, so the city acts more as a crossroads marketplace. The placement of Maoling allows this to work; on the border of Tien Lung province and Tu-Lung; connected to the Silver Road; and close to both the Hungste and Mokan River. Maoling often imports raw materials such as wood, and rice to supplement the few crops they farm.
The Temple of Shu Chia sponsored the construction of a series of firing kilns for the city. These are available for use by any artisan or group for a small usage fee. The city center is a paved courtyard hosting a large and colourful marketplace. The merchant guilds and other similar organizations pushed for its installation to help promote commerce. The roads within the walls are paved and, along with the connections to the Silver Road, kept in good repair. There is also a very finely built bridge over the small river to the south. Within the city there is a large public bath. There are also 3 public toilets, these keep things cleaner in the streets and the waste is reused as fertilizer for the few farms.
There are a number of warehouses full of handcrafted goods such as pottery and carvings. The city also maintains food stores for poor crop years to distribute.
Guilds and Factions
- Merchants of Maoling: The head merchants guild for the city.
- Sun Tong: This tong monetizes information; collecting, selling, and reworking it to suit their needs. They will often sell information at a great profit to members of the Tsui Tong.
- Daring Dhole Company: A large mercenary company for hire. Their rates are high but so is their success rate. They will travel up to 2 provinces away from their base for the right price.
- Temple of Shu Chia: A grand temple with a large patronage to the Immortal aspect of artistry. They often sponsor artisan guilds and support the growth of the arts in Maoling.
- Temple of the Plow: A modest looking but large temple devoted to Nung Chiang, Immortal of fertility and agriculture. While it doesn't have as wealthy patrons, this order is highly respected by the common citizens and magistrate. Maoling cannot support many farms, and so the suggestions and prophesies of this order are taken very seriously.
the villages and outer town in Maoling's domain are all constructed of small clay houses with thatched roof. Some of the businesses have wooden floors and roofs, the later brightly painted in reds or greens with matching doors. Inside the city most homes are clay brick family manors with tiled roofs and wooden floors. The bustling merchant districts are a mix of wood and clay brick; the beams and doors brightly painted to match the colourful tiled roofs adorned with wooden carvings of gilded animals. The temples look somewhat similar the the merchant districts, but have peaceful gardens and grand beautiful staircases leading to them. The interiors and gardens usually have delicately crafted pottery and stone carvings, a Maoling specialty.
Maoling sits on a plateau of a hill, the outer towns nestled in the rolling hills. The its south and below its walls runs a small river which connects with the Hungste and Mokan. In the spring when the rains come, the river swells and floods the paddies of the farm land.
Clay from the hills fuels a labour industry of roof tile production. In the hills millet and pigs are farmed.