LiT - Brightport
Ahh Brightport. Jewel of the east coast. Canonically, Brightport was founded about 80 years before the first episode of D&R. This city is closing in on it’s 100 year anniversary and has changed drastically since its founding.
Originally it’s purpose was to act as a trade dock for both sailors and salesmen alike. The city has the largest dock in all of Theria and can dock several dozen small to medium sized ships at once. At the time of it’s founding it was a major boon to the nearby towns and settlements. The massive dock made it possible to import many items from across Theria that locals had either no access to or had never even seen before. As a result, it didn’t take long for Brightport to become both prosperous and profitable. Over the years it has grown into the largest city on the east coast and has been a destination for many who seek to make their fortune. With growth however, comes crime. There are many who, even to this day, make their living off of robbing local traders and large caravans coming in and out of the city. Bandits line the forests outside of Brightport constantly on the lookout for an easy target.
This brought on the much sought after occupation of body guarding or “Shield Handing”. Merchants would hire on these body guards in the city to help keep them safe should an attack occur. Many times, the mere presence of these body guards would be enough to keep bandits from attacking. Sadly, shield hands discovered that they could simply be the ones to rob the merchant once they knew they were out of harms way and thus the occupation took a large hit. It wasn’t until a group of ex prisoners and thugs formed “The HammerHand Guild” that the job of Shield Handing regained some of it’s luster. HammerHand was built on a single principle and that was to guard the client at all costs until the job was complete. They found that they stood to gain more money with return costumers than simply knocking over someone and taking his goods once. The business model worked out very well for them as there was never a shortage of thieves and bandits in the area.
A less desirable group had a similar theory. What are those who seek a certain item or wish vengeance on someone to do if they do not possess the skills to complete the task? There were of course many thugs that one could hire to beat someone to death or rob a persons home while they were away but there was a group who thought themselves much better than that lot. The Order of the SilverClaw. This group of assassins and master thieves saw great potential in Brightport as a permanent base of operations. Just like HammerHand, they had no trouble finding jobs within the city and soon amassed quite a reputation in the seedy underworld they called home. Of course both HammerHand and SilverClaw would meet many times as they would often be contracted at the same time by two different people. One person would hire them to steal an item from a merchant or flat out kill them and HammerHand would be hired to protect said merchant. As a result, there was no love lost between the two factions but both understood that without the other, there would be a major source of income lost from contracts.
However, there was one faction in Brightport that no one seemed to care for. The Darksbane Warlocks were an order of banished wizards from the city of Uman Yiro, a mages training ground and source of great power. These banished members were deemed too dangerous by the high mages and sent to live elsewhere. Normally this was due to a hunger for power or an irresponsible use of magic. In the case of Darksbane, it was both. Among these wizards, none was more deadly and ambitious than Emon Thermack. He organized the band of magic users into a twisted version of the Uman Yiro magic college. A school of dark magic set right inside Brightport. Darksbane quickly gained a monopoly on the herb and potion trade within the city and carved out their own niche of power.
As you could imagine, being a city guard in Brightport is a thankless and dangerous job. Many are chased off during training and the ones that live long enough to be able to make a real difference are either murdered or bribed. Several mayors were also brought into the town, all of which promised to clean up filth and eradicate crime. None lasted longer than a year. The only system that seemed to have any effect was to offer the three largest financial bodies chief say in the economic welfare of the city. As a result, the three house system was formed. Houses HammerHand, SilverClaw and Darksbane were given a golden dragon statuette as a symbol of their power within the city. They were all given a percentage of certain shipments coming and going throughout the city and all three houses had a meeting once a month to discuss trade routes and to hash out any problems openly. At these meetings, each house must present their dragon statue and if they cannot provide it, then that house loses all decision making power until they can once again present it.
In exchange for this power the houses had to agree to certain rules set in place at the outset. Firstly, no house may make an act of aggression against another without just cause. Secondly, no house may harm any member of the city guard. A tribunal of officers were appointed to make judgements over rule violations within the city. The system stopped most of the larger acts of aggression with city limits and was deemed a success by many. It wasn’t perfect by any means though and crime is still a major factor within Brightport. Given the nickname “The City of Thieves” by it’s inhabitants, it’s a place where you can make your fortune or meet your untimely end all depending on what alley you walk down.