Northend (High Chapel)
Standing on the site of Ena Norbe’s original stockade, the Northend, also called Highchapel, is the wealthiest and most beautiful district of Hardby. The aristocracy and very wealthy merchants make their homes here in exquisite mansions. The Northend sits over some active geothermal springs that have lead to the development of the Hardby Baths, a gathering place for the elite.
Northend is a warren of original buildings, including the Palace of the Gynarchs, the City Watch House, and the Law Courts. Hardby’s garrison is largely billeted here also, with the barracks for the Hardby Marines, Greyhawk Mountaineers, and Hardby Militia all crammed into the crowded district. It is actively, and one could argue, zealously, patrolled for troublemakers. There is also a temple of Joramy located here because of the steam springs and underground lava beds.
1. Palace of the Gynarchs: Richly adorned and built in the circular, domed Suloise Classical style, the Palace of the Gynarchs stands in the center of Northend. Formerly the seat of power of the Despotrix, the palace has become a monument to Hardby’ s lost independence. Though Wilbrem Carister rules from the Arsenal, the granite and marble Palace still plays host to meetings of the Gynarchy. These take place in the great echoing Chamber of the First Mother, which houses the Throne of Wood, a minor artifact devoted to Ehlonna and the traditional seat of the Despotrixes of Hardby. The Trade Council also meets in the Palace, though it has for many decades convened in an antechamber, leaving the Chamber of the First Mother as the sole domain of the Gynarchs.
2. The High Chapel: The Temple of Pelor in Hardby is one of the oldest religious structures in the city, its golden dome soars high over the rooftops of Northend, giving the temple the name it also lends lo the district as a whole. The High Priestess is Mother Storanna (NG female human Cleric of Pelor L9), a woman in her late sixties, who has resided in the city for forty years and overseen the temple for the last fifteen. Under Mother Storanna’s direction, the priests distribute healing, food, and alms to the poor of the city. Unusually, the temple enjoys the patronage of all factions in Hardby, largely due to Storanna’s strenuous efforts to avoid involvement in the city’s politics. Many of the clergy are female, though the church does not discriminate on grounds of gender,
3. The Law Courts and Watch Barracks: Standing opposite the Palace of the Gynarchs, the Law Courts and Watch Barracks are housed in a single massive edifice. Despite attempts by the Directing Oligarchy to impose Greyhawk’s legal code upon the city, the Justicar has fiercely defended Hardby’s own code of laws, formulated in its original form by Ena Norbe herself. The Sundries Court deals with petty misdemeanors and disputes, while the High Court deals with serious crimes. The Judiciary is exclusively female, and many judges are also members of the Gynarchy. Wizards and priests (also predominantly female) are employed in all but the most minor cases to determine the veracity of testimony and evidence
Captain Kateran (LN male human Fighter L6), a native of the city, commands the Watch. Kateran is a stern man who, while being loyal to the Gynarchy, fulfils his duty to the Military Governor to the best of his ability. The Law Courts also house a small temple to Wee Jas, who has been worshiped in Hardby since the city’s foundation. The Stern Lady has a considerable following among members of the Judiciary.
4. The Arsenal: The Arsenal houses the garrison of the Greyhawk Mountaineers and the Militia. Originally built to house only the Militia, the walled compound has expanded to fill an entire city block. The Arsenal stands on the waterfront, close to the Great Wall and overlooking a small naval dock, where at least one Marine galley is always moored. The dock can accommodate the entire fleet, if need be, with facilities for minor repairs and refitting. Wilbrem Carister at least nominally rules Hardby from his spartan offices in the Arsenal. Day-to-day governance, however, is in the hands of Retep Mandel. Mandel is as unpopular with the Marines as he is elsewhere in Hardby. His orders are followed, however, albeit reluctantly at times.
19. Rotanna’s Menagerie: Tucked away down a backstreet close to the walls is a small menagerie owned and maintained by Rotanna Maynem (NG female human Aristocrat L5), one of the Gynarchs of the city. A devotee of Ehlonna, Rotanna has dedicated her life to the collection of animals and beasts of all forms, mundane and exotic. Her townhouse and its courtyard are crammed with cages and pools to house her not unsubstantial collection. Rotanna is in contact with the eccentric Lord Henway of Greyhawk City and has in the past exchanged some of her more exotic specimens for items from his collection.
Other Locations in the Northend:
Sign of the Rose: This brothel is a high-class establishment that caters to the tastes of the elite of Hardby, both male and female. This house of ill repute was sorely in need of repairs (both to its structure and its reputation) when it was purchased by Madame Trejon (a.k.a. Slippery Ketta) and her assistant Madame Brianna (the owner of the original Sign of the Rose in Suderham) in 578 CY. In addition to being a clean and beautiful den of inequity, it is also a front for a Scarlet Brotherhood slavery ring. The Sign of the Rose is an access point to the catacombs.
The Hardby Baths: The Hardby Baths are a group of beautifully housed pools and baths heated by the steam springs of Hardby. The baths were first built near the end Gynarch Norbe’s reign. They are a gathering place for the elite of Hardby to relax and discuss the issues of the day. The Gynarch and her ladies-in-waiting have their own private pool where they meet almost weekly.
The Vault of Joramy: The Temple of Joramy is a large underground grove and shrine consecrated to the goddess of volcanoes. The entrance is found here, in North End.
Hardby Academy: This prestigious academy is where the children of the wealthy of Hardby are educated. In addition to being a fine school, the Hardby Academy is where the daughters of the Pharast family are taught in the ways of spellcraft by Kendo Merdex (LN male human Illusionist L11) the headmaster and resident illusionist. Kendo is the first male schoolmaster in the Academy’s 237 year history.
The Hard Bay Inn and Tavern: This large inn and tavern has the biggest rooms in Hardby. The rooms can be rented by the day, the week or the month. There are even a few suites available. The Hard Bay in has excellent security and the rooms can be glyphed by local priests for a nominal fee. The Hard Bay Inn is the temporary home to many adventurers who seek their fortune in the hundreds of ruins of the southeastern domain.
The Triumphant Temple of Trithereon: The Cult of the Summoner has had a following in Hardby since its earliest days, as several of the sailors who came to Hardby with Ena Norbe were followers of Trithereon. The Triumphant is unique in its triangular shape. The current High Priest is Zando Jaboth (CN male human Cleric of Trithereon L6), who comes from a long line of fiery and passionate leaders of this church. He is assisted by several priests and acolytes.
The Golden Fane of Myhriss: The priestesses of Myhriss play an important role in Hardby society in that they have the exclusive right to legally marry any couple within city limits. The chapel is decorated with flowers and stained glass windows. The High Priestess, Chrystalia Navo (LN female human Cleric of Myhriss L9) always performs the ceremony if members of the Gynarch’s court or the aristocracy of Hardby. Rumor has it that no man has ever strayed from his vows if married by the High Priestess of Myhriss.
The Gynarch’s Crest: The only pub to bear the Gynarch’s title, this establishment is the finest pub in Hardby. Paneled in the finest hardwoods, decorated with tapestries telling of the history of Hardby, the interior is pleasing to behold. The ale and wine are excellent, as is the entertainment. The pub is always filled with the wealthy of Hardby, visiting merchants and dignitaries and those trying to rub elbows with them. Prices are approximately three times greater than average.
Harborhall of the Waveking, Shrine of Procan: This small shrine dedicated to the sea god Procan has a small but loyal following in town. Its pastor, Scep Vidda (NG male human Cleric of Procan L3), is one of the finest sailors in Hardby.
The North End Playhouse: One of two playhouses in Hardby, the North End Playhouse is well known for its plays and operas. The current playwright, who goes only by his first name, Lothran (NG male human Bard L12) is only a mildly skilled author, but his use of illusionary lights and sounds have been nothing less than spectacular. Lothran and his acting troupe have only been in town since the end of the war. His current play is a history of the Battle of the Plains of Pesh.