Abciximab's Shackled City
Population: 4,500 adults (large town).
Mixed (79% human, 9% halfling, 5% gnome, 3% dwarf, 2% elf, 1% half-elf, 1% half-orc).
Economy: (3,000 gp limit) Coffee, exotic woods, cut gemstones, obsidian, dyes, spices.
Authority Figures: Lord Mayor Severen Navalant, male human; Terseon Skellerang, male human (captain of the Town Guard).
Town Emblem: A watchful eye wreathed in blue flames.
Description: Believed to have been founded by Surabar Spellmason, Cauldron is the most populous area in the Cauldron Region. Nearby villages include Redgorge, Kingfisher Hollow, and Hollowsky. The Cauldron region is in a subtropical jungle. The town’s buildings, tightly packed and built from volcanic rock and wood, line the inner bowl of a nameless, dormant volcano. The elevation keeps Cauldron’s temperatures below that of the surrounding jungle, giving Cauldron a roughly temperate climate. Cobblestone roads form concentric circles around a small lake of cold water, which fills the volcano’s basin. Although the town’s sewage seeps into the lake, local clerics routinely purify the water for the citizens in exchange for charitable donations to their temples.
A 50-foot-tall fortified wall of black malachite encircles the city, tracing the outer rim of the volcano, becoming major thoroughfares that lead to other towns and distant realms. The districts nearer the rim of the city tend to be occupied by upper class families and elite merchants. The closer one gets to the centre of town (and the closer to the pungent odors of the central lake), the shoddier the construction and the more dangerous the dark alleys. Houses directly on the lake are often built with stilts to protect against flooding during the rainy season in winter.
Smaller avenues connect the four main roadways (from outer to inner, the avenues are named Obsidian, Magma, Lava, and Ash), which form concentric terraces down to the lake in the centre of the town.
Cauldron is ruled by a Lord Mayor, elected to his position every two years. The post is currently held by Severen Navalant, whose term expires in roughly 20 months. Other important individuals in the city include Terseon Skellerang, captain of the guard, the members of the noble families, and Cauldron’s few wealthy merchant interests.
Cauldron’s major exports come from two sources: mines and plantations. Both industries are based in the hills surrounding the city, and are managed by the various noble families who live in the area. Obsidian and diamonds are the primary products mined in the region. Plantations usually produce sugarcane and coffee. Most of those who dwell in the city itself are merchants, scholars, or workers in the mines and plantations in the lowlands. Water is never scarce in town, but most of the city’s food must be imported from Sasserine since the local fishing and farming enterprises are meager at best.
Citizens have historically paid a modest yearly flat tax of 1 gp, while merchants and nobles pay a 5% income tax each year. In addition, a 1sp gate tax is charged for non-citizens who enter the city by any of its four gates.
All inhabitants of Cauldron that own a building, or are part of a family that owns a building, are considered citizens regardless of economic status. Most Cauldronites have a simple malachite ring made or given to them when they reach the age of majority. The ring always bears the town emblem. Nobles often purchase very elaborate rings, or have extravagant brooches made to show their citizenship.
Currency in Cauldron: Cauldron uses the currency minted in the capital city of Sasserine—Nobles (pp), Eagles (gp), Talons (sp) and Commons (cp). Trade bars in 100, 500 and 1000 gp denominations are also used.