Grey Streets Building / Landmark in Lapis of Nicodem | World Anvil

Grey Streets

The Grey Streets are a poor district in Jiy.  
  After Jiy became a propserous trade center, merchants with cash to spend chose to create a district near the nobles and the royal family. They founded Brightside, representing their outlook and the potential they believed they possessed in acquiring more wealth.   Brightside, once Dentheria invaded, became as much a dead zone as the Stone Streets. However, the utter destruction found near the royal palace did not completely take the neighborhood. Some structures remained intact, and those that fell were rebuilt during the push by Dentheria to reestablish the trade center. One cannot trade without traders, after all.   While Brightside weathered the war better, the merchants did not wish to live next to the remains of the noble and royal. They picked up and left, moving across the river and to the hilltop opposite Brightside, throwing their lot in with the puppet king. What remained was divided among the desperate from Stone Streets, who saw opportunity rather than yet another blow. The merchants who had left claimed that Brightside had withered and greyed after their departure, and the name stuck--Grey Streets.  
Modern Times
  The Grey Streets is still a poor district of Jiy, but not as poor as the Stone Streets. It is a place Stone Street residents aspire to, and down-and-out merchants reluctantly reside in.   The Grey Streets has more businesses than the Stone Streets, and they have more custom. Inns and taverns are plentiful, the living accommodations more substantial, the streets bustle with traffic. Smithies, tanneries, and other businesses that do not necesssarily make good neightbors due to the smell, are found in abundance. The residents are laborers, household staff for richer househoulds, poor religious affiliates, low-income merchants, street performers and chasers. The streets are safer for the street rats, so a substantial homeless child population lives there. Many guttershanks prefer the Grey Streets to the depravity of the Stone, so find small, out-of-sight abodes in which to live.  
Lells Market by Vimal Mehra from Pixabay
The Grey Streets has two very large merchant centers: the Lells and Candycakes. Both sell cheaper merchandise than the fancier markets across the river, which attracts a lot of custom. They have street sellers as well as stall owners, interior businesses, food, drink, and street performers. Tourists tend to visit these places because they think they are getting the authentic "Jiy experience", and no one says a word otherwise. Dentherion tourists are especially interested in anything they can claim is folk art, and the Lells has several sellers who qualify as artists.
  Like most of the money made in the Grey Streets, the bits these very large outdoor malls generate does not stay there--it makes its way over the river to the wealthy merchant landowners and their bank accounts.   The Grey Streets are better situated than the Stone, and the residents have a stronger sense of community. They still have their fair share of extreme poverty, crime and underground activity, however.
Grey Streets by Виктор Сапожников from Pixabay / Shanda Nelson
Large mansions litter the Grey Streets landscape. They once housed merchant princes and lower nobility. Those families did not want to lose their land to the less prosperous, so refused to sell, but did not wish to live there, either. The places have fallen into disrepair and become overgrown with plants.   Some have been turned into apartment buildings. Others house the embarrassing family members. Still others have inheritors living witin them, and they have puprosefully let driveways and gardens become overgrown, hoping to hide their home from casual view. They want nature to provide a natural barrier between them and the criminal element.

Cover image: by Виктор Сапожников from Pixabay / Shanda Nelson


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