Mar 10, 2012

Wards of the Orthocracy: The Granary District

The Granary is the most highly fortified building in the entire city, with several limestone curtain walls nested inside one another, and looming watchtowers full of armed guards that scan over neat rows of warehouses, vaults, and the offices of merchant factors. Even the buildings near to it have marksmen armed with crossbows and specially-hired gnostic guards. No building in the Granary District is allowed to be built higher than the innermost, and highest, walls of the Granary.

All of this is because the Granary is the financial centre of the Orthocracy. The grain merchants who work there set the value of the Orthocracy's paper currency, mint it, and back it with their own grain. They speculate on the value of almost every type of good entering Kaddish, and they negotiate and enforce the contracts that keep the economy of the Orthocracy humming. It also serves as the bank of record for all the richest citizens of the city, an institution known for its honesty in a city of thieves.

The Granary is surrounded by a ring of businesses catering to the merchants who work there, as well as clusters of well-protected neighbourhoods barricaded off and patrolled by mercenaries. Several broad avenues run through the District. Wagons use them on the short and hurried trip up from the Guardhouse Ward into the safety of the Granary's internal warehouses.

The rest of the district is a typical Kaddish urban maze, filled with the poor and desperate crammed into tenements, inns and hovels built so closely together that the side streets vanish and reappear like a river on the plains. The two groups, merchants and poor, hate one another, as the merchants refuse to share their wealth. Those broad avenues serve equally well a gathering places for the disaffected to lash out and riot while the alleys sprouting off of them let the rioters escape when the colleges come out to disperse them. The Granary District is split between two colleges, the Poormen, and the College of Glorious Struggle, who represent the two groups.

New Use For Streetwise

Organise Riot

Streetwise is the skill used to organise and channel a riot, protest or other gathering.

A critical success means that the organiser has managed to keep the gathering extremely focused on the reason they have come together, and they will not cause widespread damage except in the accomplishment of their specific goal. The crowd is large enough to be very likely to accomplish its goal. e.g. a lynch mob that only drags a criminal or outcast from their home without setting it ablaze.

A normal success means that the organiser has managed to keep the gathering focused on the reason they have come together, but there's incidental damage to unrelated persons as members of the crowd express their anger through violence. The crowd is large enough to probably accomplish its goal. e.g. a group of beggars that wants to protest a rise in the price of food overturns all the stalls in the market and beats the merchants, even though many do not sell food.

A failure means the mob is either under-sized, or disperses ineffectually at the first sign of real resistance. These crowds are the most peaceful.

A critical failure means the mob turns into a true riot, a violent mass of people without any goal beyond damage and looting. Opportunists flow in to take advantage of it, while everyone else tries to run or get to ground. People can and will be trampled to death while buildings burn, outcasts are lynched, and armed gangs roam the streets.

+50% The organiser hires the protesters; A college drawing on its members to fulfill their duties

+25% There is a legitimate, widespread grievance against the target of the protest; The target is located in one spot and is not able to relocate; Booze flows freely

-25% The cause is unusual or not of concern to ordinary people; the targets are spread out in multiple locations or are able to flee ahead of the mob; The organisers make an active effort to exclude drunks

-50% The target hires agent provocateurs to sabotage the demonstration; Participating in the mob is expressly forbidden by an orthocrat the demonstrators answer to


  1. In terms of the granary and issuing currency, I understand that the Egyptians had a system where the farmer would deposit grain, and receive a clay tablet with a date on it, they could redeem grain with that tablet at any time, however over time its value dropped, to reflect (a) taxes and (b) losses due to rot, vermin, etc.

    This tablet became currency. However, as a depreciating currency people were anxious to spend it quickly, and it tended to not be useful for international trade.

    1. Yes, that's the model for what goes on in Kaddish (except they issue scrip, and most of their population doesn't grow grain, though scrip is only issued on grain). I've been trying to cut the size of these posts a little to make them more manageable for people to read, so the Kaddish economic system and their currency will be its own post.