The Still Night
|Large map||City Overview|
The Spire dominates the sky above Ptolus. It rises approximately three thousand feet above Midtown. Of course, it is only visible perhaps half the time due to the dark, looming clouds or the grey overcast skies that are so common, particularly in the winter.
The streets throughout most of the city are cobblestone, although the major roads in Oldtown are made up of large paving stones that are quite cracked and old. The main streets of the Nobles’ Quarter are likewise covered in large, smooth paving stones. Muddy puddles are common with all the rain the city gets; it is difficult to keep one’s trousers clean in Ptolus, let alone one’s boots. Some of the puddles become deceptively deep.
About once each block, a metal grate provides access to the sewers from the street. Water runs into the sewers from the gutters on either side or down the center of the street. The sewer grates are all hinged but locked. The locks exist mainly to keep some of the things that live down in the sewers in the sewers. It’s not uncommon for people in need to use the sewer grates as a public toilet, particularly those located in more secluded spots.
You are around 5 or 6 years old. You are dirty. Very dirty. You live in an alley and rarely venture as far as the end. You have no idea how you got there or where ‘there’ is. The world is a very frightening and dangerous place. People die all the time, others disappear, rumoured to be taken away by a giant with a sack.
You are the ‘littles’, – the ‘bigs’ seem to find scraps of food from someplace and share it out. There is never enough to go around and people often don’t wake up. It gets cold, really cold and then people don’t wake up. The bigs go out of the alley but there are only a handful of them and sometimes they don’t all come back. No one ever talks about the ones who don’t come back.
Occasionally you look up and that is bad. The sky is wrong.