Miles


Miles-Map-9x12.jpg

CONTENTS

Introduction
The Upper City
Pillar Hill
The Altar of Eleia
The Faberlaine Wall
The Imperial Domus
The Pillar of Miles
The Temple of the Lawkeeper
The Red Palace
The Span of Swords
The Walk of Honor
Sword Hill

The Middle City
College of Healers
Temple of the Seven Gates
The Anarian Aqueduct and Cistern
The Grotto of Raya
The Anarian Wall
Temple of the Star
Temple of the Wild
Statue of St. Evelyne
Signe of the Frothing Mug
The Arch of Judges
The Inn of the Sacred Way
Temple of the Stony Heart
Imperial Granaries
The Blue Stag
The Wyrmsfoot Inn
Temple of the Four Winds
Dinismayl’s Bower
Temple of the Sacred Fire
The House of Insitor
Temple of Tuwayne
Chapterhouse of Flowers
Arch of Kings
St. Evelyne’s Tholos
Avandra the Healer
Tulion the Alchemist
Golden Lamp Tavern
Guildhall of Mason’s and Carpenters
Tower of Wrath
Guildhall of Carters
Judge’s Wall
Alayne’s Tower
Salan’s Brewery
Smithy of Lorevan
Fine Goods Appraised
Red Shield Inn
The Axe & Handle
Manor of Theolus Amvor
Riverway Trader’s Guild
Temple of Fortune
Raya’s Embrace
Baths of Aras
Broken Bridge Inn
The Cup & Coin
Company of the Crossed Swords
House of the Sealord
Knight’s Watch Commandery
The Saucy Slattern
Baker’s Guildhall
Caravaneer’s Guildhall
Hearthland Trader’s Guildhall
Guildhall of Baudy Workers
Blacksmith’s Guildhall
Seastone Armory
Thanrik’s Weapons
The Fishmarket
Sulyeman the Clerk
The Company of Ashes
The Square of Fortune
Miklaus’ Friendly Guides
Northgate Stables
Gatehouse Bawdies
The Thunderhammer Armory
The Golden Glimmer
The Silvermoon Smithy
Emperor Norandor’s Boarding House
Fleshmarket
Gradius the Fletcher
Judge’s Poleturning
Lagarius the Jeweler
House of Spices
Scrolls Deciphered
The Aedium
Magnir Arnsson’s Home

Wyrm Hill
Dragonmarket
The Tour Wyrmais
The White Lilly Theater
Gold Dragon Livery
The Edifice of Claustrum
Shrine of Fortune
Myrean Fortress
House of Three Sorrows
Dragon’s Roost
Knight’s Sword
Wyrmrest
Finger’s Oddities

Wizard’s Hill

The Lower City

Characters from Miles

The Hearthland, the Third Empire, Regions and Places, or *Main Page

Metropolis Population: 2.5 million Defenses: Escurae Varani Government: Maior of the Palace Delenda de’Saxos

Introduction

“Miles! Center of the World! City of Wonder, City of the Pillar! He who has not been to Miles has not lived!”

Haymor the Fence, Master Fleecer of Travelers

Situated in the imperial hearthland on a tributary river of the Noros called the Annorius, Miles has been the cultural fulcrum of the mannish kingdoms of the North since time out of mind. While, during some Ages, focus may have been pushed onto other cities as Miles waxed and waned, men’s minds have always returned to Miles. Perhaps this is because it is legendarily the site of the first northern mannish civilization, or perhaps it is for a more obvious reason: Miles bears the Pillar in its heart. The Pillar is a towering construction from the old First Empire, one of the few structures that is still in tact. It sits on a hillock that was purpose-built to support it; the hill itself is false, and all of stone coated with a layer of loam. There is a chamber beneath the Pillar, and eight tunnels that empty into it. The hillock itself is surrounded by the crumbled ruins of the ancient imperial palace.

The Pillar is carved with strange ancient writing that scholars believe is related to Maïdic, the language of magic. It is made from Zeshimite Bloodstone and stands at least five times as tall as the tallest building in all of the Empire. Some mages believe it was made to support the heavens. Others believe it is an ancient artifact, designed to give power to wizards. Still others, the Conclave magi in particular, believe it to be an approximation of the World-Tree Asca-Irminsul. Whatever the truth may be, only the Conclave inhabits the (purportedly) haunted palace ruins. Their meetings are held in the chamber below the Pillar by ancient custom, established by Crisby the Magnificent Himself at the Founding.

The city of Miles is divided into several major sections: These are the Upper, Middle, and Lower cities. The Upper City is closest to pillar hill and is where most of the nobility resides; this is also called the Acropolis or the Great Hill. There are six other major hills within Miles, each of which is its own district. Winding down from the pillar hill is a stairway-street which, while in the Upper City, is called the Walk of Honor (from the Varan honestiore which means noble) and when it enters the Middle and Lower city it is known as the Adventurer’s Stair.

The seven hills of Miles are defined as follows: Pillar Hill (which encompass much of the Upper (walled) section of the city), River Hill (which stands astride the Annorius river in the northwestern segment of the city), the Hill of Swords (which stands west of Pillar Hill and is the residence of most of the knights and nobles within the city who do not live on Pillar Hill – technically, the Hill of Swords is part of the Upper City and a bridge connects the two without forcing nobles to pass through the Lower City), Wyrm Hill (in the southerly section of the city, where burns the great Beacon of Miles in times of war), Peasant’s Hill (which stands in the extreme southeast of the city and where the poorest of Miles dwell), Shadow Hill (which stands in the eastern section of the city), and Wizard’s Hill (which stands in the northeast).

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The Upper City

The city has grown haphazardly throughout the centuries and burst the bounds of many of the former walls meant to defend it. The first and smallest of those walls is the one which now encloses the Upper City, known as the Faberlaine Wall (ostensibly built by Konom Artefax, one of the first settlers). It is in fair repair, kept that way by the emperor and the ruling nobility to help define the borders of the Upper City. During the day, the Upper City is generally open to traffic, but at night the gates are shut and one must disclose one’s business to enter.

The Upper City has few inns and those that do exist there are quite expensive. Several of Miles’ major temple-complexes are located here, however; these include the massive Temple of the High Lawkeeper (which itself has several sub-sections inside it and houses the minor temple of the Sacred Heralds), the Temple of the Daystar, and the Altar of Eleia.

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The Altar of Eleia

This massive stone slab serves as the center of the Eleian cult within the Empire. It is attended by several noble clerics of high station and birth who live within the Upper City. During the great festivals of Eleia sacrifices are made there to ensure the coming of fall and the return of spring. The altar is not generally serviced as a temple, and there are no services to be had there during most normal times. Wealthy landowners often come to leave offerings of grain, meat, and wine at the altar, however, and to burn candles. For this reason, it is often attended by at least one of its clerics to help distribute offerings and collect donations.

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The Faberlaine Wall

This wall surrounds the Upper City; it was, at one time, built of the fabulous Bloodstone of Zesh but repairs over the centuries have replaced the stone there with the much less fabulous granite of the Goldhook range. The Faberlaine Wall was said to have been built by Konom Artefax the Maker. The area encompassed by this wall was, long ago, the entire extent of the city. It is not usually manned, though there is a wallwalk and several towers. The gates are never closed, though the guard will stop and question pedestrians at night, seeking to learn their business.

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The Imperial Domus

The residence of the emperor, known as the Domus or House, is a large palace complex at least as large as the Temple of the Lawkeeper. Like the temple, it is a conspicuous display of wealth and power. It is graced by three tall towers that stand, sentinel like, looking out over the city as well as five small domes, each of which is plated in hammered gold. Few outside the inner imperial court ever see the interior of the domus though there is a “public” section of the house which is where the emperor holds his outer courts. There is a separate entrance to pass into this portion of the domus, and entry into the main palace is strictly forbidden those who have not received the express permission of the emperor.

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The Pillar of Miles

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The Temple of the Lawkeeper

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The Red Palace

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The Span of Swords

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The Walk of Honor

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The Middle City

The Middle City encompasses most of the rest of the city barring the large poor districts near Peasant’s Hill and the outwall city. The Middle City contains several sets of ruined walls, most of which are in concentric circles radiating out from pillar hill, but some of which snake through routes that are now of no importance. These walls have been re-purposed into aqueducts which help carry water down from the Goldhook mountains to supplement the river water used in the cisterns.

River Hill: River hill stands outside the final circuit of current walls, an island astride the river that divides Miles proper from the suburban town of Aripa. While not technically part of the municipality of Miles, Aripa is a large settlement in which there have settled many merchants and foreigners. River hill maintains this link with the outside world; it is the location of many important riverine warehouses and all the docks maintained by Miles are located there as well. There are a profusion of cheap inns on river hill as well as wolf-dens for sailors and travelers who need a good night’s entertainment.

River hill is also graced by the presence of a large fortification known as the river keep. It was built some time in the early eighth age to repulse sea-raids made by elf reavers up the coasts and deep inland by following the rivers. It currently serves as the residence of the River Warden and his garrison, a knight who collects all riverine taxes as well as patrols the waterways for bandits or other dangers. The current River Warden is Ser Ector Crestley, one of a long line of Crestley’s who have served in that position.

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Hill of Swords: While some consider the hill of swords to be part of the Upper City (particularly due to the large soaring bridge that connects the hilltop with the pillar hill) it is in actuality simply part of the Middle City. However, the residences here are only slightly less opulent and massive than those located on pillar hill. Most of the second tier nobility (counts, barons) reside here rather than on pillar hill itself which is reserved for the Dukes and the most important or in-favor members of the imperial court.

Wyrm Hill

Wyrm Hill is where the ancient Mileans built the warning-tower known as the Tour Wyrmais, which curls serpentlike into the heavens and is etched with the cosmographic writings of the old Avars. It is the least claustrophobic and developed of the hills of Miles, featuring some open land alongside its houses (such as the Gold Dragon Livery).

This marketplace on Wyrm Hill is a favorite of weaponsmiths and armorsmiths, and much visited by mercenaries. The Dragonmarket is surrounded by old stone buildings that were once used to house the Knights of Miles in the days before Tamerin.

Dragon’s Roost

Edifice of Claustrum

Finger’s Oddities

Gold Dragon Livery

House of Three Sorrows

The Knight’s Sword

Ruins of the Myrean Fortress

Shrine of Fortune

Wyrmsfoot Inn

White Lily Theater

Wyrmrest

Wizard’s Hill

The Library of Tarsus

Pandar’s Procurements

The Ivy Vine

The Grounds of the Imperial Schola

The imperial schola is a wizardly campus situated behind high walls of black marble which themselves are set with golden magical runes that bespeak ancient power. Within the Schola’s outwall there stand a number of large and impressive buildings, mostly constructed in a revival-imperial style. The schola library is made of granite and has a roof of red tiles, sweeping buttresses, and a massive drum-tower where dwell the leaders of the school. Other buildings include scriptoria, ink-making centers, granaries, stables, spice storage houses, kitchens, dovecotes, rookeries, smithies, and servant’s quarters not to mention the forbidding tenements of the apprentices and lower ranking members of the Schola. Running along the back wall, behind the library, is a peaceful garden of the elvish type, complete with running water fountains and ancient trees from before the time the city was constructed.

Only members of the Schola or those under their direct protection are allowed to pass within the enchanted gatehouse. The magical wards on the buildings are said to be strong, but they have never been tested in living memory.

The Adventurer’s Stair

The Adventurer’s Stair is a continuation of the Walk of Honor into the Middle and Lower Cities. A narrow, claustrophobic stair-street, it is well known to be a place that adventurers frequent. While there may not be a great many adventurers in Miles there are enough to support a small industry of boarding houses and at least four or five small stalls on the stair that sell lanterns, candles, rope, and other “necessities.” Due to the constantly crowded conditions of the Stair, this is a very good place to lose one’s purse.

  • The Taberna Poveri -

At a sharp turn in the Stair stands one of the cities many sunken taberni; the Taberna Poveri Homini, or the Poor Man’s Tavern. Like the other taberna of Miles, it’s first floor is its foundation and thus below street level. This tavern, run by Lukius the Jester, serves as a gathering place for many of the adventuring class that live in the city and in the empire. Here wizards and warriors can rub elbows, brush up against one another, and talk about business. From the smallest halfling thief to the doughtiest dwarvish warrior, all adventuring types attend this tavern. Many a party has been formed over beer here.

The tavern has a low roof and a cool interior, kept so by the plaster walls and the windows that open out onto the street. In the winter, braziers are placed around the room to provide some warmth and in the summer the doors are thrown open (front and back). The tavern has a main taproom and several smaller private rooms for adventuring parties to hold private functions or simply eat a meal. The kitchen is located behind the tavern and up a flight of stone steps (coincidentally overlooking the bend in the Adventurer’s Stair).

The tavern has few actual rooms available for rent – a single loft common-room is the only one they ever rent to people who need some place to stay. However, right across the street is the Old Dwarf’s Boarding House, equally as famous as the tavern.

  • Old Dwarf’s Boarding House

The Old Dwarf is an iron dwarf with a great big nose and a pair of solemn eyebrows. His name is Hrothr Aldarsson Ingir Stoneson of the Goldhook Stoneson clan. The boarding house is a large building with over fifty rooms, though most are of less than optimal quality. Staying at the Old Dwarf generally costs around six silver for the rooms on the higher floors (which are badly furnished and often drafty) and upwards of fifteen gold for the lower floors (nicer rooms, much more well furnished) for a stay of a month.

The Alaren Wall

The Arch of Judges

The Beacon Tower

The Gate of Kings

The Road of Ashes

Temple Road

Tower of the Watch and Noranor’s Tower

The Lower City

Peasant’s Hill

Shadow Hill

Shadow Hill is named for the narrow lanes and looming roofs that overshadow the streets, though it has acquired a more sinister tone in its lifetime. A densely built region with little access to running water or the aqueducts of the Middle City, Shadow Hill exemplifies the dangerous slum.

  • The Kneeling Knight

A tavern and winesink, the Kneeling Knight boasts a signboard depicting an Avarine lord vomiting. The Knight is a disgustingly ill-kept tavern and is stocked in cheap drinks that are often sold by the gallon or the tun. The tavern is owned by Regnault Tapster, a local who is as surely integrated into the Milean underworld as it is possible to be.

  • Leaning Alley

The Field of Festivities

Road of Eleia

Hangman’s Square

Sickle Street

Tower of Wrath

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Miles

Abridged History of the 10th Age Idabrius