The sins of the Father
The adventure begins in the city of Netherdam, the second largest city in the Duchy of Mahraine. This city is a great spot for adventurers of all types as it is the largest port and trading city in the entire realm. Scattered from right at the shore line up the hills and cliffs of the surrounding peninsula as well as outward into the bay by bridge and ferry to three small islands Netherdam is a sprawling city.
There are several major gods represented in the city but the most prominent among them are Pelor and Wee Jas. One of the neighboring islands connected by a massive multi-arched bridge is one massive necropolis surrounded by meticulously kept gardens. At the center of this is the temple of the Witch Goddess known collectively as the Macabre Acadamie. This complex encompasses the actual temple and grounds for funerary rites, a vast library usable only by specific members and even then access to certain areas is granted only by rank in the faith and study and contemplation areas for arcanists of all kinds. The library is marked by an impressive tower of gothic architecture called the Ruby Spire. It is called this because it also connects to the temple and on high holy nights it calls the faithful to worship by projecting a huge blood red skull wreathed in flames into the sky. Many of the restricted areas of the Acadamie are below ground in the crypts and catacombs that have been finished in the same gothic style of granite and gargoyles. Here the mindless undead serve the matrons of the Acadamie as guards and servants keeping things tidy and orderly. Training for the city’s laws and justice system can be obtained here as well, though this is generally done above ground. Finally a small sect of elite guardians used by both the city as well as the church resides here cloistered away from the public. These zealous faithful, collectively known as the Stern Hand are known for their unyielding adherence to law regardless of good and evil. Some train in hand to hand combat as monks while others become experts with arcane touch spells. Elite members of the highest ranks combine both of these disciplines to devastating effect.
The Temple of Dawntide is a district of the city unto itself with similar grounds and adjoining buildings along the eastern coastline of the bay. Here can be found the Cathedral of Netherdawn which is the actual temple devoted to Pelor as well as several blocks of green space kept relatively wild at the heart of which is the Hornfont; a pristine fountain topped with rampant unicorns which serves as a shrine to Ehlonna. Further inland across the plaza from the Cathedral is a vast arena of games and sport into the main floor of which is built an arcade of interconnected training and storerooms for the contestants. These are collectively known as the Halls of Challenge and serve as a shrine to Kord. Within these hallowed grounds priests and clergy of all three faiths live and work seeing to the needs of Netherdam’s common folk. Alms for the poor as well as a public dole of food and some basic goods can be obtained here. A vast arcade fronts the hospital wing connecting the Cathedral to the Arena. Here elite warriors of all kinds are trained; gladiators to rangers to pure fighters all can find some kind of education along the Dawntide. As all of these faiths share more chaotic organizational styles there is no set structure for training; seekers of knowledge will either have to have made specific arrangements with their masters or hope for the best. The Cathedral has been known to work directly with the rangers on missions against undead in the nearby swamps. As a result there have been from time to time Undead Hunters at the ready for training and advice. In point of fact the preists here seem to have a particular penchant for the destruction of the undead and their resources and skills reflect this.