General Information on Dyvers

Dyvers is a walled city with a long riverfront. It has five districts: the Royal Grounds, which hold the homes of petty nobles, the base of the Free Army, and the palace now used as the city hall and mayor’s office; the Docks District, a low-class neighborhood along the waterfront; Old Town, the center of business, manufacture, and rogues; the River Quarter, four islands a few miles offshore; and the Trade District, a middle-class area held mostly by merchants and guild members.

Entry into the city is free, either through the docks, the two gates for road traffic, or the four minor gates for pedestrians and handcarts. A tent town of foreign merchants stands outside the eastern gates. These merchants don’t wish to buy booth space within the Trade District, but must still pay a fee amounting to a 5% tariff plus 5% tax to the watch to police the tent market.

The Magister of Dyvers is elected by representatives of the city’s noble upper class, called the Gentry of Dyvers, and carries the title His (or Her) Excellency. These representatives and most candidates for office include influential mages, scholars, veteran warriors, and priests, all of whom are freemen landowners, minor nobles, or wealthy merchants. The Gentry owns all farmland around Dyvers, and leases it to freemen to work as sharecroppers in feudal fashion.

Dyvers lays claim to approximately 2,000 square miles of land outside the city walls, running mostly east to west along the south shore of the Nyr Dyv and the Velverdyva River. This territory is known as the Free Lands of Dyvers. It includes a section of the Gnarley Forest to the south, the town of Caltaran to the west, and the town of Maraven to the east, with Castle Eastguard marking the eastern border of the Free Lands.

Dyvers owes much of its prosperity to trade caravans coming from Furyondy and Veluna. It also receives the bulk of boat and barge traffic from upriver, since it is impossible to miss Dyvers as one enters this corner of the Nyr Dyv. Its location also makes it a good stopping point for those traveling east. Dyvers has a long-standing rivalry with its neighbor, the free city of Greyhawk, and there is often fierce competition between the two for trade, property, and publicity.

The coinage of Dyvers is a modified form of that issued by Furyondy. Its gold wheatsheaves, silver wagons, and copper common shave circulated into nearby territories, while the platinum citadel and electrum galley are less common and are normally only found within the city itself.

Dyvers chief exports are ships and shipbuilding materials. It has two shipyards, one located outside the city walls to the west and the other on Great Crown Island, one of the four islands of the River Quarter. Wood for shipbuilding is cut in the Gnarley Forest, then floated down the Serault River to Caltaran, where it is stacked on flatboats or barges and sent to the shipyards.

Dyyers’s fishermen bring in pike, gar, trout, and bluefish from the Velverdyva, and bass, salmon, turtles, and a carp-like fish of golden color from the Nyr Dyv. These fish are sold to the locals and served in all the city’s inns and restaurants rather than being exported. The rest of the city s revenue comes from wool, clothing, meats, cheese, locally Slavers brewed ales, and food grown on the fertile banks of the river.

An enterprising rancher named Sejorr purchased a section of farmland three years ago and fenced it off to make a ranch for domesticated axebeaks; the beef-like meat is gaining popularity, as are the large eggs. The large feathers are coveted by the Gentry for fashion, medicinal, and utilitarian purposes.

Dyvers’s population is mostly human ( Oeridian, Suel, or a mixture of the two), with a respectable number of half-elves and a very minor population of dwarves and halflings. Gnomes from the nearby Kron Hills make frequent visits to trade in the city, and so are not an uncommon sight. The city works hard to maintain amiable relations with these demihuman groups.

The major faiths of Dyvers include: St. Cuthbert (zeal, discipline), Ehlonna (forests), Zilchus (money, business), Fharlanghn (roads, travel), Pelor (sun, healing), Heironeous (chivalry, justice), Istus (fate, destiny; brought here by the Baklunish merchants), Olidammara (music, revels), Xerbo (sailing, business), Osprem (ships, sailors), and Rao (peace, reason), with Obad-Hai (nature) having a minor following among the western farmers. There are large temples to St. Cuthbert, Zilchus, and Xerbo with smaller buildings honoring the other gods. Travelers to Dyvers are encouraged to worship at and donate to their god of choice, and some priests solicit contributions from wealthy travelers at the marketplaces. Priests of Ehlonna, Fharlanghn, Hieroneous, and Istus often recruit daring champions with heroic legends to undertake important missions for their temple or to serve the welfare of Dyvers.

Like the other nearby countries, Dyvers is concerned about the threat of the Orcish Empire of the Pomarj to the south. Several plans for a general evacuation have been formed, and a close watch is kept on the number of boats available at any time, with most people keeping a portion of their wealth close at hand in case the need for flight should arise. Most would flee to Furyondy, some to Caltaran, while few would choose Greyhawk except as a last resort.

Dyversian Law is fair and practical, though they tend to view contract breaking and theft more harshly than vandalism, assault, or murder. In most cases, hefty fines and confiscation of property or forced services are used as punishment. Branding, imprisonment, dismemberment (cutting off ear, hand, or foot), and execution are reserved for the most egregious of crimes. Weapons are legal in the city, but each use of destructive magic within the township carries a fine and mandatory public service (100 gp and 1 hour per spell level x experience level of caster). Failure to pay fines results in enforced service or conscription in the border militia until the debts are worked off.

Thieves in Dyvers do not have an organized guild. Most thieves willing to work together belong to a criminal gang called the Alliance. The Alliance of Dyvers was formed 200 years ago when several criminal families joined forces to eliminate their rivals. The Alliance has several legitimate business fronts and maintains a low profile with its criminal activities. It controls most major criminal operations in the city. The Alliance has even been known to execute criminals who stir up trouble (such as murderers or those who steal from the nobles), since those activities are bad for business. There is an ongoing deadly feud between the Alliance and Greyhawk’s Thieves Guild.

Slavery is illegal in the Dyvers region. Indentured Servitude, however, isn’t. Thus, there are those that sell themselves into indentured servitude for a period of time to either pay off a debt or get a grubstake. There is, of course, witnessed paperwork to be signed. The choice to enter indentured servitude is one of the factors that marks the difference between it and slavery. In a perfect world the line between slaver and indentured servitude would be clear. However, life in the Dyvers region is often less than perfect, and some poor souls claim they were forced into indentured service. Unfortunately, if there is a valid contract, the burden of proof is on them. In some cases, there have been numerous complaints and the constabulary takes a deeper look into the matter.

Dyver’s City Watch: The main police force of the city is the Watch of Dyvers, about three hundred fifty in number and known for the large, flashy coat of arms they wear on their surcoats. The watch is strongly backed by the church of St. Cuthbert and handles such duties as patrolling the streets, managing prisoners, and running nuisance courts for minor complaints and fines. Justice here is less strict than in Greyhawk, with most punishments involving forced labor (street cleaning, waste removal, and so on) or fines. When conflicts between the watch and the Alliance threaten to become too dangerous, high-ranking members of both groups have an informal meeting to resolve the problem.

The Free Army of Dyvers: The Free Army of Dyvers numbers about two thousand soldiers and officers all well armed and equipped, although their training is rather uneven, with many soldiers working only part-time and meeting for monthly drills. Most of the troops are natives, although nearly a third are immigrants who signed up for five years in order to be eligible for low-cost leases on land. Most of the Free Army is stationed at the Free Army Barracks in the city, with garrisons in Caltaran and Eastguard. Heironeous is the most favored deity of the soldiers, and the church is heavily involved in military affairs. The Free Army patrols the eastern side of Dyvers’ s coast frequently, with western patrols taking place less often. The Rhennee (an olive-skinned race of gypsies that live most of their lives on barges) and pilots of other small boats are allowed to anchor anywhere along the river and come up to 100 feet ashore (limiting the amount of crops trampled and livestock stolen). Shore visits are overnight only.

The Rovers: The Rovers are a small force of twenty rangers who work along the border of the Gnarley Forest. They refrain from going in too far so as to avoid patrols from Celene, the isolationist elven nation to the southwest. Ehlonna is the patron deity of the Rovers, and they are strongly allied with the sylvan elves, swanmays, and Gnarley Forest Rangers.

The Free Marines of Dyvers: The Free Marines of Dyvers number almost a thousand, including officers, and are well equipped and well trained. The Free Marines are made up of sailors and warriors. They operate a number of oared galleys, small cogs, and other boats out of a base on one of the four islands in the River Quarter. Their headquarters is on the waterfront in the city. They often cruise north to the coastal Furyondian town of Willip as part of their training, even though the Furyondian navy patrols the Nyr Dyv for pirates. In general, the Free Marines do not like the Rhennee. Outlying farms suffer occasional raids from humanoids (typically orcs, gnolls, hobgoblins, or ogres). Bandits and wolves from the Gnarley are also occasionally a problem, with stranger creatures such as ankhegs, giant beetles, giant snakes, large spiders, and owlbears being even less common. Evil cults based in Verbobonc and southern Furyondy are rare but dangerous, worshiping evil deities such as Iuz, Vecna (evil secrets), Tharizdun (entropy, insanity), and the Elder Elemental God.


General Information on Dyvers

Greyhawk Samaryllis Samaryllis