Bones of the Dead Eleven
The Citadel District
This district encompasses all of the wealthiest and most powerful of Zoa’s citizens. In this northernmost district, the wealthy are elevated to the status of nobility. They have land, servants, large estates—everything but noble titles. These are the highest-ranking clergy, guild officers and leaders, military commanders, and the families of the elders.
Homes here have at least two stories as a rule, although some smaller homes are limited to a single level. Homes feature several bedrooms, including at least one guest room, and many feature a private chapel so that the wealthy don’t have to brave the press of the crowd at the Circle every week. While most other people in Zoa walk wherever they go, carriages are common here, especially on the prestigious eastern side.
The wealthier folk in Zoa bury their dead in a series of catacombs underneath the hill on which the Citadel stands. It has access points inside the Citadel’s gates. Its maintenance falls under the purview of Caretaker of the Dead, an appointee of the Master of the Citadel. The current Caretaker is a respected cleric of the Parish of Love.
Bodies in the Catacombs are often buried with a fair amount of wealth; tradition says that they should be buried with 1/10th of their wealth with them when they die. However, their survivors don’t seem to follow this tradition very closely. Still, token treasures are common, and Zoa’s rich and powerful can usually expect to hear the jingle of coins and see a sparkling when they attend a final ceremony. One bored scholar estimated the total wealth of the Catacombs at over 15,000,000 gold pieces. His theory has yet to be tested. Partially because of such speculation, the Catacombs are thoroughly guarded. No one has ever been known to break in and survive to tell about it.
This castle holds a force of 400 infantry soldiers and the 100 cavalry of Zoa. It stands on the promontory and is used to watch for any threats from land or sea. Unauthorized civilians are not allowed in the place.
The Citadel provides barracks, smithies, stables, and officer quarters for the standing army. It also holds apartments for the Masters of the Army, Navy and Marines. The city’s standing military forces are barracked in the Citadel, and they frequently train in its yard. The Citadel is one location into which the people of Zoa can retreat in case of danger. For this reason, it holds substantial stores of food, fresh water, pitch and ammunition.
Near the northern wall, where the Coldwater River enters the city, a little-used field serves as the meeting ground for an everchanging cluster of the Citadel District’s youths. While other such areas around the city change as dictated by Shield patrols and availability, this area has been unofficially set aside for such activities by its owner. Signs warning against trespassing keep out the timid, and the Shields avoid line of sight to the grounds.
The area is about 40 feet on a side, allowing for four comfortable matches with a spacious fighting area or up to two dozen in tight quarters. Those who have them bring servants, refreshments and healing kits. Bringing a date to watch a dueler’s prowess is not socially acceptable; with the exception of the hired help, everyone is expected to fight.
A 90 foot-tall lighthouse stands atop Zoa’s north promontory (which itself is 160 feet high). This structure is one of the few like it in the world and boasts a large magnifying glass and huge whale oil lantern in its highest room. Prisoners are used to turn the massive light during darkness and other times of poor visibility, warning ships of the land that juts out into Reanaaria Bay. Its clear light is visible almost 20 miles away. The Lighthouse has a broad stair cutting through the crag from the Citadel side. The door remains unlocked most of the time. A door lock won’t provide any more protection than the Citadel can provide.
Aside from Assembly of Light ceremonies, the lighthouse is rarely lit. The city has an exceptional harbor and is a busy port. Lighthouses are designed to deter ships, usually to warn them of dangerous reefs or other navigational hazards.