Mists of the Past
Long ago, this district was a city all its own, a province known as Bronslaw that was inhabited by reputable fishing and ship-building humans. The province was a modest one, but it had enough economic success to allow for some notable development, including a large stone wall to help defend its central city from invaders. The people of Bronslaw were not without troubles, but by and large they lived comfortably and happily, even in the wake of the Cataclysm and the long years of the Mortal Age.
Then came the Elven Conquest. The modest province fell almost laughably quickly to the elves’ superior navy and magitechnology, and the people of Bronslaw suffered through years as slaves to the newcomers. Only after the Third Descent and the emancipation of the slaves could the Bronslaw natives call themselves free people again, but by then their beloved home had been subsumed into the bustling elven metropolis of Nova Dominium. Beyond this sad fact, their city had been transformed into the capital’s docking district, where the second-class, non-elf citizens could merely struggle to make ends meet doing menial labor at the behest of distant elf employers.
Today, Bronslaw stands only as the economically unstable wharf/tenement known as the Bronslaw Flats, with more citizens recognizing it as simply “the Flats” rather than its ancestral name. All of Nova Dominium regards the Flats as a grungy, lower-class district, where cheap labor can be found by those cunning enough to avoid the cutthroats and pickpockets. Much of the original city has been incorporated into the district’s impressive underground sewer system, which both accesses and transports clean water from underground tributaries for the rest of the city and exports used water and other waste into the ocean. Some of the more notable buildings have survived, such as the shipwrights and the town hall, but many of these buildings have been reconstructed or repurposed, sporting grafted elven architecture and functions that support the new government or other elven enterprises.
Bazaar – This wide, curving road in the central Flats is the main market in the district. Small businesses and shops set up their wares here to sell to passers-by, mostly consisting of locals and sailors making port to deliver their shipments.
Court Park – Originally the grounds of the Bronslaw nobility, this park was left largely undeveloped by the elves, who at the time appreciated grounds for their natural beauty. They did little to maintain the grounds, however, and soon the park became overgrown with weeds and insects, becoming more a wild plain than a city park. Several overgrown and weathered statues predating the Conquest stand throughout the area, but the only ones there to appreciate them are a small group of local druids.
Crafters’ Square – At the northernmost end of the bazaar is a relatively clean few blocks of buildings. This is where specialized craftsmen, such as blacksmiths, silversmiths, and alchemists, as well as their local guildhouses are located.
District Center – This building was once the Bronslaw town hall, but when the elves conquered the city they converted it into a municipal building for the district. The exterior was remodeled to suit elf aesthetic tastes, but as a result the building is kept in relatively good repair; the interior is decorated with several portraits of elf leaders and bureaucratic documents, while the outside has some corners scrawled with anti-elf graffiti. Local Senators and other public servants work here during the day.
District Wall – This large stone wall once protected Bronslaw from invaders; today, it stands as merely a barrier to confine the district’s filth from seeping into the rest of Nova Dominium. Much of the 30-foot-high wall has fallen into disrepair, but the northwestern “Bronslaw Gate” was refashioned into elf design as an impressive passage through which resources from the Flats can enter the rest of the city. Beside the gate are the headquarters for the Bronslaw division of the City Watch.
Hangman’s Walk – This short road runs between the Bronslaw Prison and the Cemetery directly into a long stretch of destitute tenement housing along the western border of the district. This, combined with its two nearby entrances into the infamous sewers, earned the road its unseemly nickname and reputation.
Temple of the Dawn – This temple to the True Light was razed during the Conquest, but was rebuilt by the newly-converted elves at the dawn of the new age. It features an entirely elven architectural design, with sweeping walls constructed to look like rising waves and an eastern wall made entirely of stained glass, which makes for impressive morning religious services. Still, the building has fallen somewhat into disrepair, with some cracked windows and floor tiles. The basement features clergy living facilities and a sick ward.
Wharf – The southern edge of the Flats is bordered by a wide cobblestone road that runs along the shore of the bay. Several docks and shipwrights stand here, always ready to repair, load, or unload ships and their cargo. The bay’s rocky shores are overseen by Southwatch Lighthouse, one of the only original Bronslaw structures to remain operational in its original capacity. The western end of the wharf also boasts a pawn shop and a theatre.