in Delzimmer, Part 1
we know what Delzmaer eat, the general character of the hot and either
dusty or damp (usually the latter) trade center, and who lords it over
the place. Were I inclined to pedantry, I'd now take ye on a tour of the
clingvine pits outside the city, where offal, nightsoil, and refuse --
not to mention the more-than-occasional hastily and somewhat discreetly
disposed-of corpse -- are devoured by hungry plants that turn such noisome
leavings back into earth. From then 'twould be but a logical turn to survey
the local groundflowers and most plentiful trees and bushes, saying which
was edible and which shaped and determined the look and life of Delzimmer
and its environs.
see thee a-yawning already. Patience, as the famed seer Alaundo observed,
is the armor that shields many a throne -- but ne'er mind. Ye want to
hear news and rumors, scandals and tales of adventure -- and I can give
ye those, too. Hearken, then.
and everchanging enthusiasms of the satraps I described earlier serve
as a sort of spotlight on unfolding events in Delzimmer. Where those four
families turn their attention, so follows the general public regard and
interest. Yet beneath what they've yet noticed, in the bustle of trade
that makes Delzimmer what it is, other happenings befall. I'll deal later
with the latest passing fads and matters of gossip, but first 'tis best
to understand underlying local themes -- "ethrael," for instance.
past shoddy workmanship (usually related to building structures too high
without adequate footings -- or with none at all) caused many building
collapses in the city. More than a few folk were killed, and public anger
grew. When such collapses became fewer but specific (that is, occurring
only to personal foes, creditors, and trade-rivals of certain builders
or satraps, at inconvenient times), fury reached a height. Certain citizens
took to paying children to watch by night in the darkness, with lamps
and horns at hand.
a crew was caught -- in the light of many lamps, with horns blowing to
rouse neighbors and bring witnesses running -- covertly removing key support
stones to cause a collapse. They were slain on the spot by enraged citizens,
and the city erupted into angry debate. Building collapses swiftly became
much rarer, but it wasn't long before the now-wary citizens noticed two
things: night fires within bedchambers of citizens who never awakened
to escape the flames had drifted from something unheard-of in Delzimmer
to a once every two tendays or even more frequent occurrence; and often
after either a collapse or such a fatal fire, an important builder or
a satrap would somehow acquire the site and erect a new and grander structure.
of merchants descended upon a high-ranking cleric of Tyr when that priest's
travels brought him through the city, and prevailed upon him to convene
a Council of Delzimmer. At that long and often heated meeting (which lasted
the better part of three days and was marked by public fights, several
knifings, and "disappearances" during the nights between session),
the participating citizenry hammered out two things: the "kauladd,"
a rough code of conduct with enforcement and justice, and the system of
"ethrael" (deeds to properties). I'll say more about both of
these things in later ramblings.
the previous Elminster Speaks
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