City23 2/52

today’s post is a day late because i was out with friends all day yesterday! i almost didn’t get to write my entry… i squeezed it in though—but like i said, saturday is my busy day!

i’ve been experimenting with city names a little, by which i mean mostly just corrupting letters in orders that sound vaguely like “twenty three” in other languages. all of the variations of “vingt trois” i’ve come up with so far sound like ass, though.

anyway! i can’t remember if i’ve mentioned, but i’m doing npc23 on the side; most of the names dropped this week have associated short bios, too. i’m going to publish those all at once, though, instead of keeping up week by week!


Valencia Arcane Academy. has the reputation of being one of the oldest magic schools, having been founded before the city was itself, but is long past being known as the best. more prestigious schools will dismis Valencia on the basis of accepting anyone in—a reputation that the newly-appointed headmaster, Cai Peng, has chosen to embrace. there are mixed feelings within the faculty about Cai’s mission statement of making magic accessible to all, and some more prestigious institutions are throwing fits, but few are in any position to argue with Cai.


The Alice Estate. the Alice family is old nobility and even older money. their title sare all figurehead statuses at this point, and they have no true power, but they do have property—and, again, cash. that’s really what gets them anywhere, and merchant are quick to bid for their favor in hope sof seeing that money for themselves. the estate itself is impressively sized, but poorly guarded, for the most part—getting inside the manor is far from as easy ad walking in, but one can stroll through the gardens with little trouble if they put some work into looking like they belong. there’s a fish pond and everything! the Alice family occasionally hosts events for other rich people (few of the nobles invited attend in earnest), and oh, how th city’s more average residents love to see if they can sneak in.


Simply Smithing. the owner, Sirius Zarxes, would have happily just put up a sign reading “Blacksmith,” but his husband insisted on the name. the most no-frills blacksmith in the city: if you want so much as a decorative engraving, go somewhere else. the weapon quality is incredible, but everything made is so plain—which suits Sirius just fine. the forge is outside at the back of the building, and Sirius is often hard at work while his husband, Asgeir, runs the store—though his knowledge on the fine details is minimal. the store is a small space, sparsely decorated, with nigh every inch of space crammed with goods for sale.


Reap & Sew, a tailor. specializes in mending and adjusting specialty clothing—rare fabrics, elaborate formalwear—but will take care of anything, and sometimes even has custom pieces for sale. those pieces are highly coveted, in part due to their one-of-a-kind nature—rarely do any of the three sisters who run the store take commissions, but instead will randomly make something and put it up for sale. since the clientele includes a number of wealthy nobles, this business model remains viable.


The Chariot, a casino not far fro the dock. many a sailor has lost their fortunes here, but the fair few that made theirs keep the rest coming. relatively bare bones, for a casino, but extravagant when compared to the rest of the port district. originally founded by the nobility, seedier hands have since taken over, and mysteries abound about the true nature of the owner, whom none of the floor staff have ever even met.


Bells & Thistles, a flower shop located towards the edge of the city, once things start thinning out, just at the edge of a residential district. the store is small, and not particularly well-known, but is a beloved spot for those who are aware of it. the owner, who goes by Primrose, keeps an expansive garden behind the store, an dis happy to let people visit, so long as they’re supervised—she gets antsy f people go back there on their own.


upscale tavern frequented most often by the nobility and other upperclass folks like merchants. the staff and patrons alike can sniff out anyone who doesn’t belong and they do not treat them kindly unless a new face proves themselves as up to snuff very quickly. menu includes various dishes only made possible through expensive imports.

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City23: 1/52

i’m participating in Dungeon23 this year! kind of. there’s some talk about Dungeon23 by the creator of the challenge here, but the short version is that it’s a challenge to build a megadungeon, one room at a time, written each day over the course of 2023. a lot of alternatives have sprung up, including but not limited to City23, which i’m doing instead.

there are a lot of ways people are structuring their own goes at City23—i’ve been shown this structure a few times—but in my case, i’m planning to write one physical landmark in a fantasy-genre city each day! my city doesn’t have a name or any particular gimmick yet; i figure i’ll get there when i get there, you know. i just wanna see where this takes me, as it were.

for as long as i keep up with the challenge, i’ll be doing weekly posts of the results! the hope is to get posts up on saturday, but my saturdays are busy days, so you’ll have to forgive me if they go up late.

without further ado!


Old Times Alchemy; a potion shop focusing on old-style brews—comes dangerously close to the magical equivalent of cocaine in cola sometimes. widely dismissed as gimmicky, useless, or quacks, so what’s even keeping them in business?


pawn shop run by a witch. no formal name; the sign just says “pawn shop.” doesn’t deal in physical objects; trades for an hour of your time, a dream, a memory, a summer’s day, a story, your shadow. uninterested in souls or firstborns; there’s an oversupply of them. located in the back streets of the market district. has weird hours.


Port Causafell. a harbor for supply ships; trades, deliveries, cargo—basically anything that isn’t a pleasure boat lands here. always full of workers and sailor shanties. named after an old pirate king who retied in the city, using his wealth to expand the arts. work continues into the night, making it surprisingly safe even in the dark.


The Golden Grail Inn, name after the pirate king Causafell’s ship. located just far away enough from the docks, but not in the city, to be shady—avoids the work actively going on. a pleasant place to grab a drink early in thee evening, if ou can deal with the rowdy sailors, but gets more debauched and dangerous in the darkness as the night goes on. lots of seafood, strong drinks. functions more as a bar than an inn, but has rooms for sailors coming in.


Lantern Square. an open town square with a fountain in its center, and strings of lanterns strung up between decorative posts around the edges. the lanterns are magical, and need to be lit instead of lighting automatically. who lights them, though—and, truthfully, how they’re lit at all—is not common knowledge, and those who live near the square accept that it would be rude to snoop and spy. it’s said that the lanterns ward off ghosts and evil spirits. during events and festivals, the lanterns glow brighter than ever, take on colors, and flash and pulse. in the day-to-day, though, they just let people walk through the darkness safely. the square is a fairly popular social center.


Emila’s Gardens. a public garden close to the city square. well-maintained primarily by the priestesses of Emila, a minor goddess of the hearth, fertility, and spring; she’s associated with sharing abundance, and allowing people to partake in the beauty of nature is seen by some followers as a form of worship. the garden rival some noble estates; they arent huge, but aer well-planted and arranged, with each flower, bush, vine, and plant meticulously cared for. there are hedges along paths and flowery arches above them.


Elodie Vernal’s Finishing School. named for the founder, a member of the famous noble Vernal family, the school was once where noble children of all genders were sent to complete their educations and prepare themselves for their lives and duties. not so anymore. what used to teach manners and social climbing now focuses on something more arcane, so the rumors have it. it’s hard to be entirely certain: where entry was once a matter of wealth, these days, the school sends out invitations directly on a hereto unknown basis. students are sworn to secrecy, but seem to enjoy the lives they live upon graduation. it’s just that they generally will live them far away.

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