The northernmost city in the west, Two Dragons is a sprawling complex built across the many branches of the White Dragon River where it meets the cold northern sea. The heart of the city is an ancient keep built of dark stone quarried from the mountains. Its thick walls, heavy architecture, and tall doorways are hallmarks of Svartalfar construction. Why the Svartalfar abandoned the area is unclear, but their sturdy buildings were perfect for the humans and Halflings who replaced them. Beyond the keep, human and Halfling embellishments are found on most of the buildings, and the proportions also shift to those of humans and Halflings.
The cobblestone streets are wide and wander through the city in gentle curves and arcs. The upper stories of the buildings extend over the street by as much as five feet, creating covered walkways. Alleys are often completely covered. Roofs are steeply pitched to handle the deep winter snows, and have curved flourishes at the corners. Windows, doors, and gates are all generally built with pointed arches. Interior spaces have large, open, central common rooms. Bedrooms, closets, and other non-social rooms are small and built off the common room. Homes are often built in clusters around a central shared courtyard which may or may not have a covered patio with a fire pit.
The common folk of Two Dragons are mostly fishers, hunters, and miners. Craftsmen are numerous, but there are few who are solely artists. Most artwork is part and parcel of other items. While the people love art and artistry, they are too practical to have an appreciation for anything that has the sole purpose of being beautiful (or insightful, thoughtful, etc.).
Two Dragons is a hereditary patriarchal monarchy. In addition to the king’s White Dragon House, there are five noble families, each ruling over a part of Two Dragons and the surrounding territory. The most influential of these is the queen’s Jade Dragon House, which rules the docks and quays and, therefore, the fishing industry. Much of Two Dragons’ wealth comes from whale ivory, oil, and blubber and the marriage of these two houses has cemented their power for generations to come.
It is rumored that Jade Dragon House are yokai-kin with blood ties to the sea dragons, and that Queen Hamako is a powerful sorceress and shapeshifter. King Sangaku Toro has never confirmed, nor denied, these rumors, but he seems quite pleased with his lady.
(Hamako means child of the shore. Sangaku Toro means mountain tiger.)
This work by Jean Headley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.