Perfectly Legitimate Adventuring Party
Introduction to Northport
The first thing new arrivals notice about Northport is how crowded it is. The second thing is the smell; the third is the prices.
When the wizard Kejra founded Northport, the island was an almost-bare mountain with a crater in the middle and a series of underground caves where the dragon had laired. The new settlers built all over the surface of the island; when they ran out of room they went into the caves; then they started to dig new caves; then they built upwards. People built houses on stilts of magically-strengthened timber and dwarf-crafted stone, overshadowing one another. They spanned the crater with tremendous long beams and built on top of those. Occasionally when the magic wasn’t up to scratch, entire neighbourhoods came crashing down into the darkness.
In general, the wealthier you are, the higher you live; some of the richest residents live in gnome-built airships that hang above the island on long tethers. A few even use extra-dimensional portals to fit a mansion-sized residence in a small space, although the Council is very strict about that kind of magic – nobody wants to wake up and find a battalion of mainland soldiers have taken a short-cut into the city.
There is a magically-enhanced sewage system, and about 90% of it makes it out to sea. The other 10% is part of the reason nobody wants to live further down than they have to.
Northport and the mainland experienced a big influx of migrants after the dragon’s demise, so they have a wide mix of races. Both elves and dwarves have an “old”/“new” division: the families who were already present on the mainland before the Great Dragonslaying, and those who came from overseas looking for opportunities when Northport and the Principalities opened for business. In addition to humans, halflings, gnomes, occasional orcs, goblins, and half-breeds, various other minor races have been drawn to Northport. These include the planetouched and the tengu, a race of bird-people.
The city is run by the Council, whose members are drawn from the city’s elite – the exact rules of admission aren’t entirely clear, but observation suggests that wealth has a lot to do with it. Councillors include various delegates from the Magical Colleges, a few of the better-established churches, and assorted magnates.
The Council’s priorities are security, taxation, and public amenities (sewage, food, water, sunlight, etc etc). While most of its members aren’t known for their philanthropy, they’re generally smart enough to realise that angry mobs with nothing to lose are bad for business. Almost a hundred years ago, one of the more obnoxious Council members met a spectacularly bad end when a group of Undercity conspirators sawed through the stilts on which his mansion was built, bringing it crashing down into the depths.