War of the Burning Sky
The Free City-State of Gate Pass
A medium-sized city built within a rocky mountain pass, Gate Pass is the bridge of trade and travel between the Ragesian Empire and Shahalesti, the kingdom of the eladrin.
Population 17,000; another 2,000 or so live on the countryside and upper mountain slopes within a few miles of the main gates. The citizens of Gate Pass are mostly human. A sizeable orc and half-orc population represents about 20% of the city. A small elven refugee population is the only other significant group, with half-elves, dwarves, and gnomes filling out the rest.
Government A half-orc individual named Merrick Hurt is the city’s governor. He presides over a city council represented by individuals from each ward and district in the city. The council is responsible for managing the military, commerce, and public projects. According to most of the populace, the council is largely ineffectual and is easily swayed by citizen groups, wealthy merchants, religious concerns, and military groups.
Defense Numbering in the hundreds, the guards also act as constables. Most guards are responsible for watching the gates and kill zones around the city. A small unit of twenty griffon riders patrols the farms in the outlying area and represents the only cavalry.
Inns Inns are most often found at the outermost districts of the city with the exception of a few around the grand square. The quality of accommodations lessens the farther away the inn is from the Emelk Way.
Famous locations: Dassen Arms (5 stars, the best); Griffon Suites (4 stars); Harrigan’s Inn (1 star, the worst).
Taverns Some well-known taverns are Flaming Forest Alehouse (5 stars); Seaquen’s Spirits (3 stars); One-to-Go tavern (1 star).
Supplies Two-Winds Trading; Menash’s Provisions; Adventurer’s Trove.
All sagas begin somewhere, and Gate Pass is the starting point of this story. What is contained herein is common knowledge. Anyone visiting the city and staying for about a week would either know these facts by experience or could easily learn by asking questions in local gathering places.
Gate Pass lies in a rocky mountain pass running east to west between Ragesia and Shahalesti. Sheer cliffs mark its northern and southern borders, and fortifications built over centuries have made the city highly defensible, making it difficult to be annexed by either nation that surrounds it. These same fortifications, likewise, make it equally difficult for anyone to leave without going through any of the numerous gates that give the city its name.
Though the city’s borders to north and south are tightly limited — less than a mile wide at the widest point — the mountain pass is nearly twenty miles long, giving the city a lot of room to grow eastward and westward. The older districts of the city lie in the center of the pass, with different eras of development sprawling out gradually in both directions. Additionally, various small farms and ranches dot the mountains around the city proper, though these people are generally hostile to foreigners and relatively well-armed. Gate Pass has only been conquered once, and its citizens managed to drive out the invaders and regain their freedom, so many of the farmers and ranchers view themselves as the first line of defense for their city.