5223 humans, 106 halflings. The townsfolk of Dlante are universally heavyset, and the wealthiest of them have a definite tendency toward corpulence. By custom, the town citizens wear blue cylindrical hats with a very slight taper, essentially a fez without a tassel. The higher a citizen’s social status, the taller the fez. Rich merchants strut around town in hats more than a foot tall, spangled with semiprecious stones and decorated with ostrich feathers, sometimes trimmed with blue-dyed fur. Ordinary laborers wear a modest fez decorated with a guild badge or a decorative copper button.
Dlante is the seat of the Governor of the Region of Dlante, which reaches to the border of Eastreach Province west along the Wain Road. The Regional Governor is Azile de Palaintre (female human), a noblewoman of Foere appointed to her post by the Overking’s court in the city of Courghais. She is ill-tempered and rude to those of lower social status, but she has the redeeming quality of being less rapacious than any of the other regional governors in Aachen Province. Certainly she benefits greatly from local taxes and from her share of judicial bribery, but she keeps these sources of income to a modest sum rather than amassing whatever she can get. As a result, Dlante has managed to keep itself in good condition despite the slow decline of trade on the Wain Road. This section of the road is relatively well-patrolled, the milestones are maintained, and roadside inns are careful not to charge exorbitant prices to travelers. Dlante is well-regarded by the caravan merchants of Westden, and they always make stopovers here to re-provision and rest their horses.
Although Dlante is a small city, it offers temples to those who would worship, goods for those who would trade, and products for those who would buy.
Temple of SefagrethThe god of cities and trade possesses the most significant of Dlante’s temples. Priests assigned to the temple are not granted citizenship, so most of them wear medium-sized yellow fezzes with the god’s holy symbol embroidered on the front. The temple is a circle of buildings around a small courtyard where the city’s gem-traders and moneylenders congregate during the daytime hours to conduct business.
Temple of ZadasthaThe temple of the goddess of love is Dlante’s other major temple, although it is smaller than Sefagreth’s fane. Virtually all of the priestesses are originally from Dlante, and visiting priestesses are granted honorary citizenship for the duration of their stay, so all of Zadasha’s priestesses wear the blue fez of a citizen. The temple is a walled courtyard with three delicate towers. One tower is for the secret rites of the goddess, one is for the priests and priestesses, and the third contains a number of private trysting rooms where secret lovers can meet away from the prying eyes of other citizens (and sometimes, their actual spouses). All the citizens know that the temple has three tunnels leading to it from other nearby buildings that are used by the Zadasthan priestesses to smuggle couples into the temple unseen. Unless the priestesses of Zadastha are particularly entranced by a tale of love, which does happen frequently, the rooms in the trysting tower are usually reserved for wealthier couples who can make substantial contributions to the temple.
Street of SumptuariesThe Street of Sumptuaries is a broad avenue that runs from the gates to the city center. It is Dlante’s main market, lined with booths, shops, carts, bales, and cargo. Most of the wares sold in the street are either foodstuffs or caravan cargo; more specialized goods are sold in the shops. Dlante produces excellent brandies and cordials, in addition to high-quality marionettes, beautifully tinted paper, and highly decorated cloth items from elaborate surcoats to fabulous (and very expensive) pavilion tents suitable for all strata of the nobility.
Guilds and Factions
Visitors to the city are cautioned at the gates not to wear blue hats, for this privilege is reserved to the citizens. However, the social status of visitors is also defined by the height of a fez-like hat and the splendidness of its decoration, as long as the hat is some color other than blue. It is quite a sight when a caravan from Westden arrives here as everyone in the caravan, from cattle drovers to rich merchants, produces a red or green fez and dons it before proceeding through the city gates. Regardless of a visitor’s social status in the outside world, they find that the citizens of Dlante measure their guests by the hat. Those who wear tall, splendid hats are treated with respect; those in ordinary fezzes are treated cordially; and hatless individuals are treated as lowly peasants. Fortunately, a variety of fezzes is available to rent near the city gates, although all of them are fairly drab and short (and are not blue). The high-crowned, decorated fezzes of the upper classes are not rented, although they can be purchased in several haberdasheries throughout the city.
- Large town
- Inhabitant Demonym
- Location under
- The Borderlands
- Azile de Palaintre
- Owning Organization
- Aachen Province