Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Settlement

DnD Settlement Specularum

Dungeons and Dragons – Mystara

Karameikos Settlements – Specularum

Specularum – Overview

  • Settlement Type: City
  • Location: Karameikos(0, 0)
  • Ruler: Duke Stefan Karameikos. Day-to-day activities are handled by the Townsmaster, Lord Lucas Tormandros
  • Population: 50,000 (AC 985). It has grown since then

Specularum: The capital city of Karameikos has a population of 50,000 or more (the Traladarans don’t willingly cooperate in the census). It features a great deep-water bay through which much shipping moves, the well-defended royal palace of the Karameikos family, a foreign quarter, a dangerous slum called “The Nest“, several merchant districts, the walled-off Duke’s Park, and much more.

Its name means The Mirror City​ and used to be called Marilenev. Built just west of the point where the Highreach river enters the sea, Specularum is a trade city, with a good harbor, ample accomodations for traders and other visitors, and most visitors, and most of the comforts of civilization.​ The city is surrounded by the farmlands of the Estate of Marilenev, and the lands of Philip Vorloi border the Estate of Marilenev to the southeast.​ Specularum is ruled (through subordinates) by Stefan Karameikos III. Additional political power lies in the Merchants Guild, in the Church, and in wealthy families such as the Vorloi, Radu and Torenescu clans.​

The city, though large, is a crowded, noisy, dirty place – the epitome of the medieval city. The streets are mostly earthen, quite narrow (except for the major streets shown on the map), twisting, unlit and often unsafe. “Sanitation” consists of a small trench cut in the center of the street. Buildings are one- or two-story constructions made of crude brick or wood; a few are made of fired brick or stone.

Specularum – Laws

Laws: All weapons (except daggers) must be tied into their sheaths (or otherwise bound) by cloth ties. Carrying a weapon unbound is a Class 2 crime; murder by unbound weapon is automatically tried as a Class 7 crime. It is permitted to cast magic, but casting a spell on an unwilling party is a Class 2 crime (or greater if the effect warrants a greater punishment). In times of festival, each person entering Specularum must pay a tax of eight crona.

Specularum – Military

  • Military – Karameikos – Specularum
    • 1st Division (Guard Phrosis/City Guards) – Good quality human troops. 8 guard houses (4 with 1 squad, 4 with 2 squads). (GAZ1 p23)
    • 2nd Division (Duke’s Guard) – Good quality human troops. 4 companies. (GAZ1 p26)
    • 2nd Division (Elvenguard) – Excellent quality human troops. 2 companies. (GAZ1 p26)
    • 3rd Division (Royal Navy) – Below average quality human troops. 8 Ship Companies. (GAZ1 p26)

Specularum – Organisations

  • Thieves Guilds: Kingdom of Thieves – A thieves guild known to operate in Karameikos out of “The Palace” in the Nest of Specularum (GAZ01 p18, p27), Veiled Society – A thieves guild known to operate in Karameikos (GAZ01 p18, p27).
  • The Magician’s Guild: Located in The Magicians’ Guild Hall in Specularum, Karameikos
  • Other Personalities: Duchess Olivia Karameikos, Lord Lucas Tormadros (Townmaster), Lord Dmitrios (King of Beggars)

Specularum – Travel Routes

  • To Ruins of Krakatos (Duke’s Road north east ) Distance: 16 miles – Location: Karameikos (0,0) to (0,2)
  • To Village of MarilenevDistance: 8 miles – Location: Karameikos (0,-1)
  • To Radlebb Keep (Westron Road north west) Distance: 64 miles – Location: Karameikos (0,0) to (8,-8)
  • To Gulf of Marilenev Wharf (Duke’s Road south) Distance: 16 miles – Locations: Karameikos (0,0) to (-2,0)
Mystara Karameikos 8m

Specularum – Locations of Note

gaz1 Specularum

Important note: except where a wall is shown, the transition between neighborhoods is gradual, not sharp. When traveling from the rich Hill area to the affluent Bricktop neighborhood, all the traveler notices is that the dwellings slowly become less costly, slowly become smaller. Continuing on toward the Merchant District, the traveler will slowly see more and more businesses along the street, until they gradually crowd out residences altogether.

Neighbourhoods of Note

  • Bricktop – This is a more or less affluent area of town, halfway between the posh residences of the Hill and the Merchant District. It’s named for Bricktop Road, a major thoroughfare so called because it is made of brick. The Specularum slang term “Bricktop ” also indicates anything that’s of good quality. This area is characterized by small to medium-sized, expensive homes; the population here is mostly of Thyatian descent. Many merchants, ministerial aides, and other well-paid persons live here.
    • Bricktop Road – This is the road for which the Bricktop area (above) is named.
  • Duke’s Park – Not really an area of town, this is the walled-off forest park maintained for the Duke by his cousin, Lord Alexius Korrigan. The Duke and his family do some riding and hunting here; it’s like a small game preserve for the royal family.
  • Duke’s Stronghold – This is the castle of the Duke.
    • The Duke’s Residence (High Palace) – The High Palace is where the Duke, his family, his servants and their families live. It’s the highest point of the Duke’s Stronghold and its walls command a breathtaking view of Specularum, the Mirror Bay, and the surrounding countryside. The large building shown is the palace proper; it’s a three-story dwelling. Here is where the family’s quarters are, where Duchess Olivia conducts her numerous balls and parties. The small building to the northeast is the family’s personal stables. The small building to the southeast is the “gardeners’ palace,” where the gardeners live and where all their tools, seed and equipment are stored. The building further down the slope from the stables is the ruin of the old Marilenev palace, abandoned for a hundred years (since the original Thyatis invasion of a century ago). It’s a crumbling stone dwelling thought to be cleared of all goods and inhabitants years ago; but, of course, you can always install an ancient dungeon beneath it.
    • The Garrison – Further down the slope from the Lower Palace are the Garrison buildings, where the Elvenguard and the Duke’s Guard are housed. They are sprawling single-storied buildings; the western building houses the Elvenguard, while the eastern houses the Duke’s Guard and the armory. The meeting rooms and the administrative offices are in the northeast building (opposite the Gardener’s Palace.
    • Naval Docks – ​Down below the Garrison are the Naval Docks, where ships of the line are docked when in Specularum.​
  • Foreign Quarter – This area of town, built outside the original city walls, is where most foreigners in Specularum live – this includes not only humans from other nations, but demihumans living within the city as well. As you might expect, street gangs tend to belong to one ethnic group or another and have heated clashes. Note: Thyatians don’t end up in the Foreign Quarter; they’re too much like the ruling Karameikians to be discriminated against.
  • The Hill – This is the posh area of town; the streets are all brick, the neighborhood broken up into numerous small walled estates. These estates belong to many of the most powerful persons in town – although the mighty Radu family does not live here. The Hill actually does, in part, lie on the lower slopes of the hill where the Duke’s Stronghold is built.
    • Ambassador’s Quarters – This part of the Hill is the Ambassadors Quarter. Duke Stefan eventually acquired about three blocks of this area and set its estates over to be the dwellings of official ambassadors to Karameikos. All of the ambassadors live in manors here​. (Area 1 on the Map)
    • Hill Market – This small marketplace services the Hill; in addition to ordinary foods and services, you can find many businesses selling delicacies, expensive imports, and the like.​ (Area 2 on the Map)
    • Torenescu Territory – This is part of the Hill owned and controlled by the Torenescu family.​ (Area 7 on the Map)
  • Lesser Merchant District – This isn’t a district for lesser merchants; it’s just the smaller of the two merchant districts in town. Because of its proximity to the Foreign Quarter, this is the district to come to for exotic foods and crafts; though smaller than the other district, it has a much wider range of goods.
  • Merchant District – This is the main merchant district of town. It’s the part of Specularum that never sleeps; many inns and taverns are open all night, and few shop owners – who mostly live above their places of business – will turn down a late-night sale when some frantic buyer comes hammering at their doors. All sorts of businesses and goods are to be found here: Mercenaries for hire, stables and livery, bakeries, meat-shops, sweet shops, jewelers, smiths, goldsmiths, silversmiths, fortune-tellers, carpenters, bricklayers, engineers, hostels, scribes, sages, alchemists, magic-users, thieves, entertainers, and just about anything else can be found here.
  • The Nest – This is the oldest, narrowest, dirtiest, and poorest section of town; the population is mostly Traladaran. The guardsmen do not venture here when they can avoid it, crime is king. When you want to have your characters beset by thieves and robbers, trapped in a labyrinthine maze of indistinguishable streets, this is the place to bring them.
    • The Palace” – This is not part of the Duke’s holdings; somewhere in this area is the headquarters of the Kingdom of the Thieves. it’s generally known that characters can get in touch with the Kingdom by dropping word in this area of the Nest.​ “The Palace” is supposed to be an underground headquarters filled with lavish decorations and furnishings; Flameflicker does not come here often, but his “princes and princesses” operate out of this HQ.​ (Area 4 on the Map)
  • North End – This is a mostly residential section of town; many people who work as servants within the city or as seasonal laborers in the surrounding Estate of Marilenev live here.
  • Old Quarter – This is what the Nest was about thirty years ago. It has the same narrow streets and same tight-packed humanity, but crime, while frequent, is not quite as prevalent as the Nest. The population here, again, is mostly Traladaran.
  • South End – This area is basically the same as the North End. This is a mostly residential section of town; many people who work as servants within the city or as seasonal laborers in the surrounding Estate of Marilenev live here.​
  • Trade’s Corridor – This strip of land, right on the shore, is not protected by the city’s old tide wall. It is where the major shipping and shipbuilding businesses are located; there are also several fish-markets along this strip of territory. In general, this area has numerous piers, warehouses, and merchant-related businesses; overseas passage is booked here; international messages pass through here; cargo from all over the world is received here, and reciprocal cargo is sent out from here.
  • Westron Ally – This is a thick gauntlet of businesses serving the North End and South End, not to mention travelers coming to Specularum via the Westron Road.
The Dukes Stronghold
gaz1 The Dukes Stronghold

Other Locations of Notes

  • Duke’s Wall – When Duke Stefan came to Specularum 30 years ago, the city was already growing out beyond its original walls. This is the wall he had built to protect the formerly defenseless citizens of ” outer Specularum;” as you see, it runs from the east end of the Foreign Quarter around the city to the southeast end of the Church of Karameikos district.
  • Duke’s Road – It’s here that the Duke’s Road – which runs all the way from the city to the northern border of Karameikos – enters Specularum.
  • Granaries – This is a large stone structure where grains, dried meats, and other foods are stored against the chance that the Stronghold is ever besieged.
  • The Grand Market – This is the largest open marketplace in Specularum. It is thickly infested with stands and rolling carts selling goods during the day; all such stands must be disassembled and removed by full dark, and may be set up again at dawn. It’s here that “Lord Dmitrios,” the king of beggars, performs.
  • The Hightower – This is a combination of watchtower and lighthouse. Guardsmen are always on duty here, watching for troop movement on land and watching incoming ships on the sea; the tower houses many runners who are continuously sending information about incoming ships to the garrison. Also, at night, a large oil fire is lit here to guide wayward ships into the bay.
  • Low Palace – This long building is where the actual ruling of Karameikos takes place. The Duke and Duchess have their true throne room here (there’s a lesser one in the High Palace); the ministers have their central and subordinate offices here. It’s here that petitioners come, from here that all decrees are issued; it is, in effect, the nerve center of the Grand Duchy.
  • Naval Docks – Down below the Garrison are the Naval Docks, where ships of the line are docked when in Specularum.
  • Old Wall – This is the old wall which surrounded the old city of Marilenev. It’s still sound and is perfectly fit to act as a defensive wall should Specularum ever be attacked​.
  • Street of Dreams – This is the prophetic and magical centre of Specularum, it has the highest concentration of fortune-tellers and freelance magicians who offer services in Specularum.​
    • The House of Alya – ​This is one of the fortune-tellers’ shops on the Street of Dreams.​ Notable only because it is the shop of Alya, also known to have connections with Flameflicker, the Thief-King.​
  • Westron Road – This is where the Westron Road enters Specularum​.
  • Black-Heart Lily – One of Specularum more notorious inns.​ For a hundred years, the Sforza family has operated the Black-Heart Lily (named after a woman who broke the heart of an early Sforza), one of the better taverns of Specularum.​ The current operator is Luthier Sforza, who was raised knowing that he would run the Lily and who wanted nothing more.​ ​The Black-Heart Lily corresponds to the Typical Large Tavern.​
  • North Market – This is an open marketplace serving the north end of town; it has characteristics similar to that of the Lesser Merchant District.​ (Area 5 on the Map)
  • Radu Territory – Just east of the Grand Market, the Radu Family owes several blocks of residences and businesses.​ The clan has its own home here, and everyone in the neighbourhood is either employed by the family or bound to it by debt or blood ties.​ (Area 6 on the Map)
  • Navy Shipyards – ​This is where the shipyard which constructs the navy’s vessels is located.​ (Area 8 on the Map)
  • Guardhouses – These are the guardhouses of the City Guard.​ ​Of the twelve guardhouses in Specularum, eight are shown on the map; locate the others where it suits your purpose.​ ​The guardhouse nearest the Grand Market and the Old Quarter each house two squadrons of guards.​ (Area 9 on the Map)
  • Great Church of Karameikos – Here is the towering cathedral that acts as the spiritual centre of the Church of Karameikos.​ Patriarch Olliver Jowett, Alfric Oderbry and Magdel live and work here.​ (Area 11 on the Map)
  • Great Church of Traladara – In a massive, low church building is the spiritual centre of the Church of Traladara.​ Patriarch Aleksyev Nikelnevich lives and works here.​ ​(Area 12 on the Map)​
  • Hall of the Order of the Griffon – This is a large church building with a walled enclosure (to keep down the noise of training); this building acts as the centre and chief training facility of the Order of the Griffon, the military order of the Church of Karameikos.​
  • Magicians’ Guild Hall – This is the formal office of the Magicians Guild of Specularum. It’s a simply decorated tower with an attached barn-sized building; the tower is the residence of Teldon, the guildmaster; the building acts as a school building and general laboratory for the Guild.​

Content Updates

  • 2021-08-26 – Update to the layout and menu.
D&D Settlements

Glantri: Glantri City,

Karameikos: Highforge, Kelvin, Marilenev, Specularum

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By thedarkelf007

I am a long term gamer, I run 6 RPG's a fortnight, host board game, card game and LANs each about once a quarter and have an addiction to buying more games. Games I am currently running are Pathfinder (1st and 2nd Edition) and Dungeons and Dragons (5th Edition).

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