The City of Cauldron
Cauldron is a small, conventional city with a mixed population of about 7,500 adults (79% human).
Cauldron is believed to have been founded some 700 years ago by Sundabar Spellmason. The story goes that Surabar led a small army inland and fought to rid the region of an ancient demonic taint. The events of which are re-enacted every year at the Demonskar Ball.
Taxes in Cauldron are light. Citizens play a flat tax of 1gp per year, usually at the year end holidays. Merchants and nobility are charged a 5% income tax over the course of the year. There is a 1sp gate tax charged for any non-citizen entering one of the gates. Monthly gate passes can be purchased for 1gp, and the purchasers must submit to a rigorous background examination.
All inhabitants of Cauldron that own a building, or are part of a family that owns a building, is a citizen regardless of economic status. Most Cauldronites have a simple malachite ring made or given to them when they reach the age of majority. The ring always bears the symbol of the city, a mountain with a chunk taken out of the top, inside which is fitted a staring eye. Nobles often purchase very elaborate rings, or have extravagant broaches made to show their citizenship.
During the rainy season the central lake overflows, often putting the lower rings of the city at risk for flooding. The yearly Lowering of the Waters ceremony uses rituals of control water to reduce the risk.
Cauldron’s buildings, tightly packed and built from volcanic rock and wood, line the inner bowl of a nameless, dormant volcano. Cobblestone roads form concentric circles around a small but deep lake of cold water, which fills the volcano’s basin. Although the town’s sewage seeps into the lake, local clerics routinely purify the water for the citizens in exchange for charitable donations to their temples.
A 50-foot-tall fortified wall of black malachite encircles the city, tracing the outer rim of the volcano. Four roads descent the volcano’s slopes, becoming major thoroughfares that lead to other towns and distant realms. The regions nearer the rim of the city tend to be occupied by upper class families and elite merchants. The closer one gets to the center of town (And the closer to the often pungent odors of the central lake), the shoddier the construction and the more dangerous its dark alleys become.
Most people get around Cauldron on foot, although the town has its share of wagons and carriages, most of them owned by merchants and nobles.
Cauldron’s major exports come from two sources: mines and plantations. Both industries are based in the hills surrounding the city, and are managed by the various noble families who live in the area. Obsidian and diamonds are the primary products mined in the region. Plantations usually produce sugarcane and coffee. Many of those who dwell in the city itself are either merchants, scholars, or workers in the mines and plantations in the lowlands. Water is never scarce in town, but most of the city’s food must be imported from outside of the Cauldron area since the local fishing and farming enterprises are meager at best.
More information can be gained throughout Cauldron by different checks in different locations.