I occasionally ask my patrons what they want to see in the way of maps on the Dodecahedron. I don’t promise that their requests will ever make it to an actual map, but I put the ideas I get onto a piece of paper and reference it whenever I’m about to start drawing and don’t have a solid plan as to what I want besides “a map”. Recently one of the suggestions was a town or city with an ornate castle or palace overlooking the whole thing from a rocky spire.
Thus I bring you Dolem’s Spire:
The original city of Dolem’s Spire is between the two rivers leading into the bay. Walled and centred around a palace (now given over to barracks for the town guard and the mercenary force the town uses as an economic driver), the old town slowly expanded beyond the river banks to the north and east. Dolem’s Fortress atop the spire is a much more recent addition to the town. Once a simple watch tower, the spire is now home to a plethora of towers and fortifications piercing into the sky like armoured fingers in defiance of the gods themselves. Lord Dolem watches down upon the city from the spire, reclusive and hostile to those who would attempt to visit or trade. Contact is usually through three advisers who have his ear and trust and who deal with outside agents and trade concerns (as well as the contracts for Dolem’s mercenary forces). These three advisers are
- Lord Vellint – the classic image of the untrustworthy vizier who can be played to the hilt like Jafar from Disney’s Aladdin. Except that he’s completely loyal to Lord Dolem and only pretends to be independent of his Lord’s wishes when it will improve his bargaining position (“Between you and I, Lord Dolem expressly forbids this kind of thing, but I’m sure we can make a deal if we keep it quiet and out of sight…”)
- Master Drunnought – the most surprising of the three advisers, master Drunnought is a middle-aged goblin who handles most of the mercenary contracts for the city. Occasionally he works with Lord Vellint when Lord Dolem and Drunnought agree to the need to keep a particular contract secret or seemingly “against the wishes of the Lord and Master”.
- Prince Dallex – the well-dressed young noble is the one most often absent from the court of Lord Dolem as he deals with outside trade deals and diplomacy. He also fully plans to betray his Lord, except that Lord Dolem is full aware of this and re-asserts his magical dominance over the prince whenever he returns to the city.
North of the spire itself is the “new town” that has grown up in the years since the spire was built. It in turn is centred around the Monastery of Iron Sands and the North Docks, the largest pier in the city and the associated warehouses.