The Rock of Braal Geographic Location in The Spacefarer Guild | World Anvil
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The Rock of Braal

Bral is a city built on an asteroid, typically reffered to as 'The Rock'. Bral is populated by an outlandish collection of traders, rogues, mercenaries, pirates, nobles, and entrepreneurs. General lawlessness prevails in much of the city, but that’s not to say that order doesn’t exist. Simply put, most citizens police themselves. No city watch patrols the streets. Tavernkeepers hire muscular folks to break up fights and toss out drunkards. Market vendors trust their own eyes to spot shoplifters. Every person on the Rock is expected to have enough sense to hang onto their purse and not be taken in by a swindler.   Serious crimes, such as arson, can be reported to one of the city’s three magistrates, who preside over the Low City, the Middle City, and the High City, respectively. If the magistrate concludes that the situation warrants their attention, the Magistrate’s Watch is dispatched to investigate and take offenders into custody, if necessary. Reporting crimes is voluntary, and many folks don’t bother to do so, since the resulting investigation and legal proceedings are likely to take up too much of their time.  

Government

The monarch of Braal is the human man Prince Andru and his court, though his power is hardly as absolute as most monarchies across the seas. He is contested by four 'underbarons', who compete for power and money across the city. Most people in the middle and low city live within the domain of an underbaron and pay 'insuarance', a guarantee that the baron's forces will not harm them as well as reimbursion if a rival underbaron causes harm.   The four current underbarons are as follows:   Ozamata: a cruel but reliable human who controls the docks and most of the Low City.   Meredin Sandyfoot: a cheerful halfling based in the neighborhood known as 'the Burrows' who mostly works with craftspeople.   The Juggler: a chaotic elf who works from the shadows, dealing in both informatino and stolen goods.   The Unknowable one: A smuggler, presumably operating from the interior.  

Gather your bearings

The Rock of Bral is roughly 1 mile long and half that in width and depth, oriented front to back, with a leading edge and a trailing edge. A gravity plane bisects the length of the Rock, separating it into a topside and an underside. The city of Bral is spread across the topside. On the trailing edge rises the High City, which includes the royal palace of Starhaven and its grounds, the noble estates, and Lake Bral. From there, the geography of Bral slopes down toward the Middle City, the financial and mercantile heart of the city. At the leading edge of the Rock is the Low City, an area populated by folk of modest means and the businesses they patronize. New arrivals at Bral typically disembark at the Low City’s docks.   The underside of the Rock is off limits to the general population and not part of the city per se. It is where Bral’s military forces are based. Most of the ground on the underside is used to grow crops to feed the populace. These fields are tended by convicted criminals who are housed in barracks and guarded by soldiers.   The interior of the Rock, which stretches half a mile from the surface of the topside to the surface of the underside, contains a network of caverns and tunnels. These are typically used for clandestine meetings or otherwise criminal activities such as smuggling.  

High City

Rising above the rest of Bral on the trailing edge of the asteroid, the High City is a green, spacious expanse that holds Prince Andru’s palace, called Starhaven, and various noble estates.   Starhaven
Standing at the highest point topside, Andru’s palace of Starhaven crowns the Rock. Enclosed behind a wall, the seat of the ruling prince is a sprawling structure of gleaming domes and climbing vines. The palace has many windows, all rendered shatterproof by magic. Attendants in impeccable livery see to the needs of the palace’s occupants, while armored guards stand vigilant around the grounds.   Lake Bral
Lake Bral fills a chasm and provides most of the water that sustains Bral’s population. The chasm extends through the gravity plane of the asteroid, so that Lake Bral has two surfaces—its topside surface and another in a cavern deep inside the Rock.

Although the lake means that a shortage of water isn’t normally a concern on Bral, the water supply becomes depleted every few years. To replenish it, the Bralian navy embarks on an expedition to latch onto a nearby ice asteroid and bring it back. Before being brought into the Rock’s gravity plane and lowered into the lake, the ice is broken up into manageable pieces.   A natural stone formation, called the Stonebridge, spans a narrow part of the lake.   Festival Ground and Arena of Frun
The Festival Grounds is a broad parkland used for public gatherings on holidays and as a recreation spot at other times. Once a year, the Arena of Frun is the site of a series of athletic games, though it is seldom used for organized events otherwise.

Libary of the Spheres
The Library of the Spheres boasts a vast collection of tomes, scrolls, and other manuscripts. The library doesn’t contain any books or scrolls of a magical nature, and none of its contents can be taken off the premises.   The Man-o'-War
For those feeling fancy or for whom fanciness is a way of life, the Man-o’-War, with its view overlooking Lake Bral, is the finest restaurant and inn in the city. The establishment has a strict dress code, and guests are not permitted to carry weapons.   Royal Theater Company
The Royal Theater has been in operation for over sixty years. The company’s lavish stage productions often feature magical illusions and pyrotechnical special effects.   Temple District
The temples in the Temple District are devoted to various gods, faiths, and pantheons. The priests here are willing to cast helpful spells in exchange for a donation in coins, gems, or art objects of a certain value.  

Middle City

The financial and mercantile center of Bral, the Middle City is home to thousands of Bralians who can afford to live outside the Low City but don’t have the privilege or means to dwell behind the walls of the High City.   The Donjon
The Donjon is a walled fortification near the shore of Lake Bral where some offenders and malefactors against the crown are held. In addition to its role as an auxiliary barracks for the Royal Guard, the Donjon is where those judged too dangerous to serve sentences working the fields on the underside are imprisoned.   The Edge
One of the largest and busiest taverns in Bral is the Edge, an establishment that’s popular among space travelers visiting the Rock.   Elamandar's Star Charts
Elmandar, a retired elf adventurer, is Bral’s most accomplished astronomer. The star charts that he and his staff of cartographers create are highly sought after by navigators. These maps don’t come cheap, each one priced between 300 and 800 gold pieces, but the owner of an Elmandar map can bring it back to the shop at any time for an update at no charge.   Great Market
A chaotic expanse of small vendors, street performers, beggars, orators, merchants, and customers of all descriptions, the Great Market is the hub of the Middle City. During business hours, throngs of people swarm the area, and pickpockets dart among them to ply their own trade.  

Low City

The beating heart of the Rock lies in the warren of streets and crowded markets of the Low City. It buzzes with activity at all hours, its streets choked with boisterous peddlers, clamorous beggars, and sneaky thieves. The Low City has a preponderance of taverns, inns, alehouses, shops, and crafting establishments and an equally staggering number of vacant buildings.   Docks
Most ships approach Bral at the asteroid’s leading edge, where a set of wooden docks extends into Wildspace to provide berths for new arrivals. Caverns at the gravity plane have been cut into the Rock’s edge and turned into storage areas. Many of them are fitted with hoists used to transport cargo to the warehouses topside.   The Drydock
Referred to as the drydock, the shipyards, or simply the yards, this large, flat area along the leading edge is where ships are built and repaired.   The Happy Beholder
This prosperous tavern is owned and run by Large Luigi, a locally famous beholder. Luigi has encyclopedic knowledge of all sorts of topics, and he’s more than happy to share information with just about anybody. He is a civic-minded, well-liked citizen who has no political ambitions. His tavern is rarely troubled by bullies or thieves.   Lesser Market
The Low City’s marketplace is much smaller and shabbier than the Great Market of the Middle City. Most of its structures are rickety stalls where small merchants peddle their wares. Though it draws its clientele mostly from the surrounding neighborhoods, the Lesser Market also attracts new arrivals, fresh from the docks, who are looking for a bargain or perhaps for something more sinister.   Mercane Agency
Mercanes recently established a presence on the Rock by taking over an unmarked, inconspicuous building near the Lesser Market. The place is occupied by a small staff of agents who act as an intermediary between the mercanes and those who want to do business with them. Such business typically involves the purchase of spelljamming helms and other magic items.   The Rockrat
Of all the taverns on Bral, the Rockrat has the reputation of being the most dilapidated and filthy. Its only concession to decoration is a few hanging pieces of damaged nautical gear. Its owner and proprietor is a friendly, foul-mouthed wererat named Maya.  

Underside

The underside of the Rock is under the purview of the prince. No private citizens are allowed to reside here. The surface area is devoted mostly to fields that are planted and cultivated to replenish Bral’s supplies of food and air. It also contains the headquarters and docks of the royal navy, barracks that house prisoners, and the army headquarters known as the Citadel, which overlooks the entire expanse. The underside is under military control. Unauthorized visitors who get themselves apprehended are generally assumed to be either spies or prisoners trying to escape.

History

The Rock traces its roots back to roughly 170 years ago, when the eponymous Captain Bral established a pirate refuge here. The asteroid became a haven for thieves and cutthroats, and among them a few merchants and entrepreneurs set up shop. Even in a climate of lawlessness, the place evolved into something resembling a settlement of citizens. After Captain Bral’s death, the burgeoning city became known as Bral, in his honor, and its location as the Rock of Bral. For the next several decades, various pirate captains held sway in the city, but none of them demonstrated an interest in trying to take over sole leadership of the city.   Eventually, the merchants and tavernkeepers who made their livings on the Rock became as numerous as the pirates and brigands who sought refuge there. One of the pirate captains, Cozar, sensed that times were changing on the Rock—that the days of lawlessness were coming to an end. Through a series of strategic alliances and shrewd business deals, he consolidated his political power and dubbed himself Prince Cozar, the Rock’s first overlord. Under Prince Cozar’s long reign, the city evolved from a pirate hideout into a major city, attracting profit-seekers, adventurers, and other more respectable types.   Upon Cozar’s death, the rule of Bral passed to Frun, his son and heir. Frun was far from an able politician. Rather, he was a hedonist whose overindulgences compromised his authority. Business leaders and other influential types grabbed power where they could, and by the end of his reign, Frun was little more than a figurehead. His only notable accomplishments were the renovation of the royal palace and the construction of the arena that bears his name.   Frun was succeeded by his son, Calar, whose bearing and tastes resembled those of his father but whose time as the overlord lasted only days. Calar died six years ago under mysterious circumstances shortly after taking the throne; his body was found floating in space just beyond the asteroid’s air envelope. Leadership of the Rock passed to Calar’s younger brother, Andru, who had a group of malcontents arrested and executed for the crime within days.
Alternative Name(s)
The Rock
Type
Asteroid
Owner/Ruler