Daily Life in Hardby
Hardby is run in a very organized manner with a weekly calendar created by Gynarch Maro in order to streamline the town bureaucracy. The Gynarch grants audiences every afternoon of the week except on Godsday. These meetings are in the throne room of her Manor House, five miles north of town. She meets with the landholders of Hardby on Starday afternoon. The Military Council, who meets among itself all day on Starday, has an audience with the Gynarch and her advisors on Sunday afternoon. Most of Hardby’s guilds meet in various locations around town on Starday night. Their guildmasters then meet in a closed session on Sunday night in the town hall. They hold an open session on Freeday morning, but this session is not attended by too many citizens, as they are often still recovering from the previous evenings festivities. This scheduling is believed to be deliberate. The leadership of the Council of Guildmasters then meets with the Gynarch on Moonday afternoon at her Manor. The Gynarch meets with the Hardby judges and barristers on Waterday morning in her audience chamber. The courthouse is open all day on Starday, Sunday, Moonday and Earthday. They also have a night session on Waterday. The religious leaders of the town meet with the Gynarch on Waterday afternoons. The leader of the religious council is traditionally a member of the church of Wee Jas. On Earthday afternoon, the women of the Pharast clan have a private audience with the Gynarch. What is discussed in these meetings is never revealed. On Freeday afternoon the Gynarch opens her audience chamber to the citizens of Hardby. The people of Hardby come not only to ask for her intercession on their behalf with the government, but often times to entertain, ask advice, and even to give gifts. There is almost a festival atmosphere in the court that day. While the courtiers of the Gynarchs tend to resent the Freeday audience, the Gynarchs have continued the public audience as a break from the monotony of their otherwise businesslike afternoons.
The saying “Work hard, play hard” best describes the citizens of Hardby. The city’s powerful navy, strong trade and exceptional artisans have elevated this small city to a position second only to Greyhawk in the Domain. This elevation was not simply due to strong leadership from the Gynarchy, but also due to the hard work of the people of Hardby. This work ethic is apparent in the habits of the citizenry. The day begins, at least for many of the sailors, fishermen and longshoremen, before the sun rises. It is not uncommon to see the many of the people hard at work for at least half of the day on Godsday and Freeday.
Hardby is a remarkable city in that it has the most pubs and brewhouses per capita of any major city in the Flanaess south of Stoink. While the permanent population of Hardby frequent the pubs in their own right, the large number of adventurers, sailors, soldiers and merchants that come through Hardby in their travels facilitate the existence such a propensity of drinking houses. While the pubs are open every day, the busiest nights are Moonday and Earthday, for obvious reasons. The Gynarchy’s patronage of the arts has attracted a large number of bards, troubadours and acting troupes over the years. These entertainers perform in the two playhouses, the temple of Lydia, and the many pubs and inns in Hardby.
Nights in Hardby are wild, with the waterfront saloon district being the scene of frequent robberies, fights, and slayings. Other districts are quiet and pleasant, however, and the general opinion seems to be that those in the Dock District deserve what happens to them.
Hardby is not only a town who has prospered on trade, farming and its strategic importance. Over the centuries, Hardby has become a haven for fortune hunters, mercenaries and adventurers. These fortune hunters have brought vast wealth from the many dungeons, lairs and ruins southeast of Hardby. Also of note is that there is an unwritten agreement between all of the adventurers in Hardby to help each other out when out in the wilderness. The adventurers who call Hardby boast of knowledge of hundreds of locations between Hardby and the Bright Desert that are rumored hold riches untouched in centuries. While there are many ruins have yet be plundered, the greatest buzz around the pubs in Hardby is the regarding the many adventuring groups who are searching for the 5th Star Cairn. One group lead by the half-elven undead hunter Rhiannon Lorenthade and a Suloise illusionist known only as Milrabilis claim to have successfully navigated the Crypt of Lyzandred. They have also plundered the northern most of the four known Star Cairns, recovering some ancient artifacts left there by Suloise wizards who first created these laboratories.