City of the Magic Towers
Bex-City of the Magic Towers (City-State on Goblin Coast)
Population 40,000 within city limits, 4,000 in surrounding farms
Human 60%, Halflings 3%, Half-Orcs 20%, Dwarves 3%, Gnomes 2%, Tieflings 10%, Elves 2%.
Notable Imports: (Grain, Mercenaries, scholars)
Notable Exports: (Magical ingredients, People! Many poor try to emigrate, work on ships and caravans; become pirates, Magical Potions, scrolls, wands, staffs, some weapons. Mushrooms)
When the latest group of off-world adventurers entered Bex they found a city of high magic and high intrigue. They had to deal with the after effects of a deadly mudslide plus the arrival of the Hobgoblin Hegemon himself! These events pushed the fractious city to new levels of gang violence and caused another power play between rival members of the Inner Circle of Conjurers. The adventurers ended up rescuing local wise woman Jonti and a family of four from the mudslide, defending the ruined neighborhood from looting gang members and then entering the deadly cave that the mudslide uncovered.
The Inner Circle of Conjurers rule Bex. All five wear blue cloaks with a Gold Chain of Mastery. Each Conjurer rules a section of Bex called a Quintana. The size and influence of each Quintana depend on the strength of each Conjurer and how well they play the deadly game of rivalry with the other Conjurers.
Bex is a magical meritocracy. One must be able to summon and control an elemental, a devil, a demon, a celestial and a djinn to sit for the council. This, “Trial of the Five Challenges” is supervised by the Outer Circle of thirty mages in the Conjurors Crypt. Needless to say those that summon such creatures and fail to control them usually die in ways not known to creatures of this plane. After passing this grueling test they must get a majority of votes from the Outer Circle. This produces rulers of great magical power, ambition and cutthroat politics.
Each Quintana has its own guards, central bazaar, tribute collectors, small claims civil court and a magic Tower. These Towers, some over 500 hundred cubits tall, were raised two hundred fifty years ago by earth elementals. They house apartments, privately run arcane libraries, shops filled with magic and mercenary quarters. The penthouse of each tower is reserved for each Quintana’s Conjuror.
Bex is known throughout Midsea for making magical items, potions and scrolls. There are so many small alchemists and scrivener shops throughout the city that each Quintana has full time force of firefighters. These busy markets are where many of the mages of Bex get their start. They are supplied with ingredients from the Enchanted Orchard and the Spellstruck Farms. Both these rural areas were created by mages who experimented on plants for over two hundred years. Some parts of the Enchanted Orchard are no longer habitable, with carnivorous plants and poisonous fruits. There is a rumor of a small village run by the “Green Folk” but it is unconfirmed.
Many magical items such as staffs, wands and some weapons are forged in the tower called, “The Torch Eternal”. Originally a beacon for ships to find their way to Bex, The Torch Eternal’s direct portal to the Elemental Plane of Fire allows for supernatural temperatures and magical processes unmatched in Midsea except for the Firefall Mountains.
The Doro Docks, the Conjurors Crypt and The Torch Eternal are areas that are ruled jointly by the Inner Circle. They are protected by the City Constables. The City Constables are hired by the Outer Circle with the High Constables being appointed from them by the Inner Circle. These High Constables have both arrest and judgment powers. They cannot lose their office without a unanimous vote by the Inner Circle and given the intrigue that goes on amongst the Inner Circle this almost never happens.
Consequently many citizens of Bex vie to live in these neighborhoods since they are relatively peaceful. The High Constables have recently called for the Inner Circle to consider making a standing army but were rebuffed. The City of Bex has relied on mercenary troops for most of its existence. Some say this is to let them focus on magical matters while others say it stops the populace from being armed.
The opposite of these areas are the Gnarls, poverty stricken terraced dwellings on the slopes of the Gnarl Mountains. These areas are run by gangs who inhabit the caves and tunnels that honeycomb them.
It was a mudslide in one such Gnarl, caused by Agathour the Lich that brought Turibel the Sorceress, Edwin the Paladin of Vengeance, Greysworn the Monk, Aerdin a Paladin of Lathander and Painter the Druid to Midsea.
The adventurers had been assembled at the Waterdeep Mansion of Cedric Coinraker for his top client Alexandra the Summoner. Cedric’s sage Turibel had been busy delving into the magical eruptions on Midsea when she was summoned to the main study to meet a strange group.
First there were two Paladins. One was Edwin a Paladin of Vengeance who embraced the idea of traveling to a world where he could die. The other was a Aerdin, a Paladin of Lathander, who was going to spread joy and support the growing church on Midsea. The mysterious monk Greysworn seemed to know more about Midsea than he let on and kept his own council, while the supportive and altruistic Druid Painter had a friend who was already well known in Midsea as a deadly archer.
The meeting with Alexandra was terse and tension filled. Hundreds had died in her Quintana from a mudslide and more were being harassed by rival gangs. To make matters worse deadly monsters were coming from an uncovered cave.
The group traveled on the back of Segoy, a sixty-cubit plane travelling Sea Turtle. After a turbulent trip through the Elemental Plane of Water Segoy paddled to the Doro Docks under the watchful gaze of the Hegemon Flotilla. Their mission was two fold, stabilize the Gnarl neighborhood and then stop the creatures coming from the strange cave covered in Visnor Runes.
On their arrival they found that a newly formed Church of Lathander asking for donation on the Doro Docks. Much to the consternation of the Inner Circle they were setting up charitable institutions like community kitchens and emergency relief for the Gnarl neighborhood. The newly Awakened showed joy at meeting a Paladin of their Church and Aerdin felt his mission was succeeding. Alexandra was summoned to meet with the Hegemon so she could not go with them. Her face paled when she looked at the Red Crown flag the Hegemon Flotilla was flying.
The party traveled to the Gnarl and dug out a local half-orc wise woman called Jonti and a family of four. Edwin’s strength of body and strength of purpose came to forefront during the rescue efforts. Painter turned into a crow and looked overhead, seeing a group of local toughs arrive from the rival Tower Levar. He quickly warned the group.
The party put down the gang with brutal efficiency for ones who had just met. The monk Greysworn showed his ability to deflect missiles and confound an invisible foe. Painter supported those in the melee much like he does with the Archer GFoot. Afterwards Edwin obtained the fabled Sword of Rage from one of the men he defeated. Turibel gathered up twin magical daggers and later was given a volume of the Tome of Time, which she used to enter the Cave.
In the cave they defeated monsters and met up with Schrödinger the Cat. Schrödinger, a black cat with green eyes who first spoke to Aerdin, told them he was the familiar of the Ash River Sage. He had been sent to figure out why the cave had appeared near Visnor below the Firefall Mountains and in Bex. He warned them of a demon who inhabited a temple just around the next bend of a far tunnel.
During all this Turibel kept getting disturbing visions of the future and the past from her newly discovered golden book.
They looked down the tunnel and…