Saturday, May 21, 2016

Repost - City of Greyhawk City Gates and the Gods

City of Greyhawk City Gates and the Gods

City of Greyhawk City Gates and the Gods

NOTE: There are no Gygaxian canonical references to the idea of deities linked to the various gates of the city, though the names and locations of these gates and the description of the city walls come from the novel City of Hawks (and Saga of the Old City in regard to the Black Gate/Beggars Gate). What provoked such an idea was the reference to alignment and religion within the city from Gygax's article "Varied Player Character and Non-Player Character Alignment in the Dungeons and Dragons Campaign" (The Dragon #9) and the practicality of having both clerics and magic-users as part of the guard compliment of the city gates. To maintain some sort of balance between clerics of differing faiths and alignments I could imagine only a rotating shift of clerics of varying faiths back and forth between the gates or dedicating a particular gate to a particular deity. I chose the latter as it seemed the most likely.

The City of Greyhawk has sixteen gates. Eleven of these gateways are roadways in and out of the city while four are interior gates leading from the Old City to the New and one connects the Foreign Quarter to the rest of the Old City.

The eleven gates that pierce the exterior wall are broad to accommodate wagon and cavalry traffic both coming and going. The outer wall around the city is actually composed of two walls separated by one hundred feet of open ground and so each road into the city is protected by two gatehouses.

The outer gatehouse is a square 40x40 tower, 40 feet high. The inner gatehouse is a 60 foot diameter tower 60 feet high. Each tower has its compliment of guardsmen. The outer gatehouse is the residence of the deputy-commander of the guard and also spartan quarters for both a pair of mages and a pair of acolytes.

The inner gate tower is the residence of the guard commander, a magic-user and several of his apprentices, and a cleric with a varying number of underlings.

The City of Greyhawk is not a bastion of Good, nor is it a cesspool of Evil, and neither does it strive for neutrality. Instead the city manages an uneasy balance of all three and the myriad shades of differing alignments in between. Temples, churches and shrines abound, each representing most of the known deities and demi-gods of the Flanaess, but no single faith dominates within the city, except perhaps a whimsical and almost filial attachment to Zagyg by the general population. Still, in order to protect the city more than just stone and steel is required. Magic most certainly, and the Wizards' Guild pays a tithe for such protection with a small contingent of mages at each gate, but the assistance of the Gods is required as well.

When the great outer wall was constructed the foundation stones were laid with ceremony and the blessings, sacrifices and offerings to and from many deities. Each of the eleven gateways was dedicated to a different god after much wrangling, bribery and infighting and thereafter the clergy of those deities selected would be responsible for providing a small retinue of priests or clerics to reside at the gateways and offer their services for the protection and benefit of the city. The small portion of the tolls collected and handed over to these clerics was just the City's way of saying thanks and keeping the gods on their side.

Here is a list of each gate and the deity whose priest or cleric resides within.

1) Southgate - Fharlanghn
2) Longgate - Bralm
3) Hillgate - Ulaa
4) Midgate - Hextor
5) Oldgate - Olidammara
6) Lordsgate - Pholtus
7) Fairgate - Beory
8) Highgate - Zilchus
9) Guarding Gate - Heironius
10) Lowgate - Zodal
11) River Gate - Geshtai

Although part of the Old City with much smaller gateways and only a single guardhouse, each possesses a shrine to the following deities though not a cleric assigned to them.

12) Markgate - Ralishaz
13) Waghalter Gate - Kurell
14) Safelock Portal - Rao
15) Craftgate - Bleredd
16) Black Gate (Beggars' Gate) - Istus

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