The Rod of Seven Parts
Despite the wide, open streets, the spacious gardens, the lush forests and the elegant towers and soaring highrises that have given Concord its reputation as the City of Spires, the city is known more for its unique citizenry than for its urban architecture. While humans are not uncommon in Concord, it’s the only one of the Seven Cities where they form a minority. (Even Drakkenhall has more humans than anything else; it’s just that there’s a whole lot of “anything else” in the City of Monsters.) Even more puzzling is that rather than dividing into racialized districts like in many other cities, the largely demihuman citizenry has divided itself into numerous egalitarian boroughs.
The largest district, Centro, lies at the heart of the city, on a lightly forested hill. The combination of High Elven spires and Wood Elven treetop dwellings, interspersed with squat dwarven structures, and all shot through with halfling burrows, strikes many first time visitors as a chaotic, confusing mess, but the people of Concord don’t seem to notice anything strange about the arrangement of government buildings, fine businesses and upscale housing.
Kingsthorne, so named after a man who was both a lover and a rival to the Elven Queen in a bygone age, is an expansive old-growth forest. No one’s really sure if the city grew up around the wood, or if this district is the result of a long forgotten park overgrown with ambition. Wood elves predominate the dwellings built into the branches and canopy, but anyone who would make their home or business either on the forest floor or among the limbs and leaves, is welcome.
Homes of all shapes and sizes, as well as many parks, plazas and public spaces, all ring the lake that gives Lago Norde, Concord’s wealthiest district, its name.
The district of Blackholde is made up of a network of caves, tunnels and burrows that stretches under nearly the entire city. As one might expect, all manner of disreputable housing and business can be found in Blackholde, but an ever present guard detail (posted to protect the subterranean financial district) ensures that this is actually one of the safest districts in town.
Much like how Blackholde is evenly distributed below the city, the district of Supreturo comprises the highest reaches of the city’s spires, towers, and treetop structures, regardless of where they are geographically. Given that most residents of Supreturo are high elves who often teleport as a matter of course, many visitors find the architecture somewhere between bewildering and beautiful, but most home and business owners adhere to a civil code that requires public spaces be accessible to people who lack high elven mobility.
While the City of Spires’ human citizens can and do live in any and all of its districts, Axistown is the sole borough with a predominantly human population. The good parts of the city provide a slice of Imperial life for its residents, tourists and homesick travelers, while the bad parts rival worst squalor of the most violent and poor streets in the Imperial Capitol’s Rabbleward. Whether you’re looking for a gladiatorial game or a good pocket (the meat-stuffed bun that epitmoizes Axis street food), this is the place to be.
Doko Maro, the waterfront district, is sometimes also known as Little Drakkenhall, due to the fact that most of Concord’s few monstrous denizens make their home here, as does the second largest human population. While this district was thought of as little more than a ghetto, in recent years its seen a surge of gentrification. While some of Concord’s less open-minded citizens still aren’t ready to invite a kobold over for dinner, nearly everyone can agree that anyone who can learn Concord’s manners and take them back to the Blue’s city is doing the sort of work that this world needs more of.