The City of Jade Scales
The City of Jade Scales, or the Jade City as it is now known, is a free city; paying tribute to none of the four thrones. Thought to have been the capitol of the Gruum Empire the city is a massive expanse of stone tiers with an impressive catacombs and many still standing pillars and pagodas. The name of the city is derived from the green, scale shaped tiles that still cover the pagoda’s roofs; thought to be indestructible only one has ever fallen out of place. This lost city remained well hidden during the human expansion due to the amount of destruction wrought to the area during the fall of the Gruum empire as well as the high population of still godtouched, but now maddened, orc and goblin that remained in the area. It is also written in myth that the very creatures that lent the scales for the tiles dwelled in the city as well.
Once the human expansion settled and the existence of the city was discovered many thrones spent considerable resources trying to capture the city. These efferots were in vain as the goblinoids and beasts had a firm grasp on the city and the thrones were eventually overwhelmed by the oncoming Dwarven Conquest. The city then became a target for young princes and adventurers alike, all wishing to find fame or fortune in being the one to claim the city or discover some ancient artifact from its depths. Most of these expeditions never returned and thus the City of Jade Scales was once again forgotten.
That is why it came as such a surprise when the Jade Invitations arrived for the thrones. A man calling himself The Sultan claimed that he alone had entered the city and liberated it from the savages in residence. Each throne sent an emmisary to investigate the claims and upon arrival, each found the city devoid of monsters and the city’s heart to be restored to a fraction of what must have been its original splendor. The Sultan, who kept his face masked and body wrapped in exotic cloths, was constantly followed by the one fallen scale which hovered behind him always like the back of a throne. He made his intentions quiet clear, the Jade City was to be a free city. The thrones acquiesced not wanting to test the Sultan’s power nor wishing to embark on a conflict that would invariably be costly and time consuming.
The Jade City has become a haven for outcasts and merchants, expatriots and explorers, spies and mercenaries. The symbol of the city is a set of scales (for weights and measures) in a play off the city’s original namesake. Many mistakenly take this as a symbol of the city’s balance or unbiassness though, anyone spending just a bit of time there understands that the scales represent the mercenary nature of the city and its inhabitants. Imagine whatever it is you desire on one side of the scale, and all one must do is pile enough of the correct payment on the other to attain it….