Into the Pit
Metropolis standard (imperial
government); AL LE
GP Limit 16,000 gp
Type mixed (87% human, 9% halfling,
2% tiefling, 2% other)
Egorian spent much of its history
as a small fishing and trading
city, hugging the edge of Lake
Sorrow. As first Taldor, then
Cheliax rose to be the dominant
power of western Avistan,
Egorian rose with it, becoming
a major trading hub. Until the
Thrune Ascendency, Egorian
was Cheliax’s second-greatest
city. With the establishment of
the new order, Egorian achieved
its current place as the capital and
true center of the empire.
Before the Ascendancy, Egorian
was a typical Chelish city with
twisting, organic roads. When
Thrune made it the new capital,
one of the first things they did was
embark on an urban renewal program
to remake the city in a more orderly image.
They added a 20-acre plaza, Thrune Square, right in the
middle of the city, and built four giant boulevards (the
Prospects) straight out from the square, one in each
cardinal direction, without any regard for the existing
layout of the city.
The result is countless intersections where the new
streets intersect the old at odd angles. The West, South,
and East Prospects even pierced the outer wall, and
great gatehouses were erected for these new roads. The
government plans to slowly rebuild the entire city in its
image, and has made some small progress just west of
Thrune Square, where the new grid pattern intersects
in maddening and complex ways with the surrounding
streets and alleys.
The Old City (as the locals call the northeast portion of
Egorian) was largely untouched by the building program,
though the outer wall has been broken by gates to the point
of indefensibility. Architecture has changed as well, with all
civic buildings and many noble dwellings being plated with
red and black Arcadian marble. The gothic Egorian School
style of architecture (which predates the Thrune
monarchy by centuries—see page 21) is now used
for all new buildings on pain of official
disapproval, and even preexisting
structures are often renovated, to the
extent of painting the plaster on halftimber
buildings dark red, to provide
a more appropriate color scheme.
The Old City is the least compliant in
this regard, with locals dragging their
feet and using all sorts of bureaucratic
loopholes to minimize the impact of the new
imperial culture. Consequently the Old City is
the least oppressive-looking section of the city,
and the most popular with foreigners.
Government and Politics
Egorian is home to the most powerful members of the
Chelish nobility. All of the great noble houses have relatives
and agents seeded throughout the Mayoral Executive, the
city guard, and the imperial bureaucracy headquartered
in the city. Generally, high-level executive positions fall
to talented members of the lesser houses—House Thrune
doesn’t deign to do the actual work of governance, and doesn’t want any of the other great houses to hold the reins of government. Most of the municipal leadership
spends a great deal of time placating the Thrunes and
balancing the other great houses against each other while
simultaneously trying to actually run the city.
Egorian is divided up into districts, both official and
unofficial. Most residents use the older, unofficial district
designations, of which there are 23. Of these latter, only
11 are described here, with each district bearing its own
Briarpatch: This middle-class district has embraced the
new style of architecture, though its residents lack the finances
to make a full conversion. Citizens use red and black paint
liberally on even the most unlikely buildings and add spikes and
gargoyles to every rooftop, no matter the original style.
Bridgeside: The bridge that gave its name to this district
is gone now, but the market remains, as do the giant pilings
which serve as the anchors for shanties and wharfs.
Cheapside: This is actually a generic term for all lowerclass
portions of the city rather than a specific district. When
nobles say “Cheapside,” they usually mean anything other
than Aspex Garden, Riverside, Suitor’s Cross, Thorntown,
Thrune Manor, and Thrune Square, though more generous
nobles might not call Briarpatch, Triumph, and Parley
Circle by this condescending moniker.
Devil’s Dance: The incidental arrangement of streets
into a pentagram makes this a routine haunt of diabolists.
Patriotic young nobles frequent the district’s drinking
establishments, and wizards and conjurers rent out lofts,
hoping the layout will help them with their summoning.
Dice End: This district is given over largely to gambling
dens and similar entertainment establishments, and a
small bribe or a drink bought for the right vagrant can get
you an invite into an underground club that doesn’t have a
Hellknight informant watching.
Hell Hound Hill: Climbing up the hill toward Thrune
Manor, this district is for the wealthiest of the patriotic
nobility. The term “hell hound” is used by the rest of the
populace to refer to those citizens who will do anything to
get in good with the ruling diabolical regime.
Longmarket: Home to Egorian’s most eclectic market,
Longmarket is a chaotic and noisy place, typified by shops
and stalls of all descriptions.
Mireside: This quiet residential district is the home of
the longshoremen who work the Riverside docks. It is mildly
prosperous in an unfashionable sort of way, and “gone
Mireside” is used to mean “turned respectable and boring.”
Thorntown: This wealthy district prominently features
Egorian School architecture. The district’s skyline looks
like nothing so much as a bed of thorns, with narrow spires,
towers, minarets, and rooflines all made up of points and
Trick Alley: The twists, turns, and tunnels of this district are
home to most of Egorian’s brothels, bordellos, and flophouses.
Anybody living here is probably too poor to live anywhere else.
Triumph: This residential district is home to the more
patriotic among the middle class. The central square
features a giant bronze statue of Queen Abrogail I climbing
a stairway of adoring men and devils to attain the throne.
Whipcrack: This district houses the Egorian slave
market, along with industries and businesses with constant
labor needs. About half of the district is filled with halflingproportioned
dwellings of the rudest sort.