Galmora – The Three Cities
The Galmoran capital is officially known as Galmora, though it is also known as the Three Cities.
The Undercity, built from the ruined foundations lies beneath the city streets. It is a labyrinth of vaulted passageways and small hovels, housing the city’s underclass, including most of the dwarves and half-dwarves. The streets of the undercity are vaulted passageways, wide enough for only a small crowd or a single cart. Most of the buildings are large enough for only a single family, though some have been connected by doorways and passages and others have been expanded downwards into the bedrock by particularly crafty dwarven engineers.
Above the Undercity lies the New Town. Constructed after the Great War to allow for wider streets and larger buildings, New Town was intended to replace, rather than simply bury, the old city. A masterwork of engineering in it’s day, New Town stretches across the entirety of the Galmora river delta, and is surrounded by high city walls. It houses the city’s working class, as well as the major marketplaces, workshops, temples, and other city centers.
The third city, High Home, lies at the center of Galmora. Its manicured gardens and high spires cover what was once a small hillside, and it is itself surrounded by a high wall. It houses the city’s elite, including the Council Tower and other government offices.
Opposite Galmora, on the banks of the Twin Rivers, lie a half dozen smaller towns, each with its own city walls and semi-independent government and police forces. Each pays tribute to Galmora for the protection of its armies and fees to KirinCo for connections to their arcane grid. While lacking many of the amenities of Galmora itself, living in the bordertowns is less expensive than living in New Town, and affords better quality of life than the dark dampness of the Undercity.
The Grand Council
After the Great War, the survivors formed the Grand Council, a body of the most powerful lords in Galmora to establish order and preserve peace. The Lower Council is a body of 9, led by a smaller group of three known as the High Council. Councilors serve for life, with new councilmembers being elected by the council itself from amongst the citizens of Galmora. When a vacancy in the High Council arises, the most senior member of the Lower Council takes his place, and a new Lower Councilor is elected.
Law and Order
Law in Galmora is kept by the Galmoran Guard, though they are more commonly referred to as Silver Guard or Silverbacks for the polished silver helms and ring-mail cloaks that they wear over their black armor. The Guard in each district is overseen by local captains stationed in the district’s precinct building.
Guardsman typically patrol in groups of two, though in rougher neighborhood they are often seen patrolling in force. They wear the finest in armor and equipment, provided to the city by KirinCo, and are given a wide berth by locals. As a result, many neighborhoods are relatively crime free, though there are places, particularly in the Undercity, where the guard has all but abandoned.
For the accused, justice is swift. For non-capital offenses witnessed by a guardsmen or scrying post, a guard patrol can take the defendant’s statement and render verdict on the spot. The accused may file an appeal, but most are denied. Serious offenses are presented to a jury, with a guard representative presenting evidence and the defense offering testimony. Once a judge has reached a verdict, his word is final and there are no further appeals. In theory. In practice, wealthy members of society are occasionally pardoned by a judge or council member in exchange for sufficient coin or favors.
Punishment ranges from fines and imprisonment for minor offenses, to hard labor and flogging for serious or repeat offenses. Death is not used as punishment except for the most serious of crimes, such as treason or multiple murders.
One peculiarity left over from the ancient legal foundations of Galmora is the existence of trial by combat. Rarely invoked, due to the scarcity of the death penalty, on the rare occasions when it occurs the entire city watches. Among guardsman it is considered a rare honor to be able to carry out justice in this fashion. Among the accused it is typically used as a platform to promote ones’ agenda before coming to a quick end at the hands of the guard. On the rare instance that the accused triumphs in the arena, they are granted a full pardon. However, it is often wise for the recently pardoned to seek a new life outside of Galmora. Despite being “officially” pardoned, the guard or even the civilian populace may seek additional restitution.
Some of the wealthier families in Galmora hire private guards, which has created a demand for private security companies. Most are run by former guardsmen or military officers, though a few of the more cut-rate companies are simple mercenary companies that have been repurposed for more respectable work.
The most recognized private security force in Galmora is the Redshields. Run by a former guard captain, the Shields hire fresh recruits from among the best and brightest in Galmora, often competing with the guard itself. Since the Shields provide security for the elite of Galmora security personnel are paid well.
While much of the Undercity is left to fend for itself, there is a small measure of law enforcement in the form of the Underwardens. A dwarven mercenary group that returned to Galmora after the Great War, the Underwardens remained in their old barracks which was buried in the Undercity by the construction of New Town. Over time their prestige was tarnished, but their honor was not. When they began to have trouble finding work in peacetime, they instead turned to security work and were hired by a group of merchants in the Undercity bazaar. They have served in this capacity ever since, serving as the Undercity’s unofficial law enforcement for nearly a century.
Gangs exist in great number, particularly in the Undercity. Some are simply local dusting rings, while others are organized crime syndicates whose reach extends even into New Town. For denizens of the Undercity, gangs offer the illusion of power and status which would be unattainable in more legitimate circles.
The larger gangs often operate protection rackets, where businesses are extorted into paying for protection from crime. While a few of these operations, like the dwarven cabal Kara-il-Tor, offer legitimate protection in the form of guard patrols that keep lesser thugs, thieves, and criminals from operating in their territory.
The most powerful organization in Galmora, KirinCo manufactures the arcane cores that power magitech devices and maintains the arcane grid that powers all of Galmora. The president of KirinCo, Bartus Calla, is one of the most powerful men in Galmora, and a ranking member of the Lower Council. Those who work for the research division of KirinCo are well compensated, many living in High Garden itself. However, the menial labor hired by the corporation are paid little and worked hard. Some among the labor force have begun to organize protests against their treatment, and some have even talked about work stoppages until their demands are met. While it has yet to result in open conflict, the protests grow more frequent and increasingly violent by the day.
KirinCo maintains a private security force known as Corporate Security, or CorpSec. Dressed in black armor trimmed with red, CorpSec are recruited from the elite of the Galmoran Guard and lured away by better pay and less dangerous guard duties. Well trained, loyal, and without mercy, CorpSec is a force to be feared.