Cauldron, The Shackled City
Welcome to 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 from the recently founded city of Sasserine. He fought to rid the region of an ancient demonic taint. The events of which are re-enacted every year at the Demonskar Ball.
Cauldron was built in the caldera of an extinct volcano. The caldera provides both natural defenses and a supply of fresh water. The elevation keeps Cauldron’s temperatures below that of the surrounding jungle, giving Cauldron a roughly temperate climate. Cauldron is the most populous area in the Cauldron Region. Nearby villages include Redgorge, Kingfisher Hollow, and Hollowsky.
Cauldron is ruled by a Lord Mayor, elected to his position every two years. The post is currently held by Severen Navalant, whose term expires in roughly 20 months. Other important individuals in the city include Terseon Skellerang, captain of the guard, the members of the noble families, and Cauldron’s few wealthy merchant interests.
Cauldron’s buildings are relatively tightly packed together, and made primarily of volcanic stone and wood. The four main roadways are cobbled and wide enough to support several wagons abreast. Smaller avenues connect the four roadways, which form concentric terraces down to the lake in the center of the town. From outer to inner, the avenues are named Obsidian, Magma, Lava, and Ash. Sewage from privies runs underneath the streets in specially built trenches, which all houses feed into. The runoff outlets are dug deeply into the heart of the lake, which is periodically purified by the clerics of the town to ensure that any sewage that doesn’t sink into the volcano’s depths is neutralized.
A 50 foot high wall of black malachite surrounds the outermost ring of the city. The closer you are to the wall, the nicer the accommodations and the more likely you are to encounter nobility. The closer you are to the lake, the shoddier the construction and the more likely you are to get your coin-purse nicked. Houses directly on the lake are often built with stilts to protect against flooding during the rainy season in winter.
Cauldron boasts temples to Bahamut ( Church of the Righteous Blade), Kord (The Temple of Lordly Might), The Raven Queen (The Spire of the Stern Lady), and Pelor (The Mirror of the Shining One). Though other gods are worshipped, none have temples dedicated to them within the city.
Coins can be exchanged for trade bars and gems at Alameda Moneylenders, just off of Obsidian Avenue near the South Gate. Bars are also available from the Lord Mayor’s office. No surcharge is levied for exchanging coins for trade bars or gems.
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.