Korovia - The Free License Fantasy World
|Zerburg - City of Gnomes and Factories
The lady of Zerburg is human, not gnomish. The city is dominated by gnomes but also has a fair number of humans. The lady is Ryriana the Righteous (12th level LG diviner) and is a retired adventurer who is well known for her knowledge of alchemy and thus respected by many gnomes.
Zerburg is a very unusual city to visit. It has three levels of buidings. The first level is a network of tunnels underground, the second is an odd-mixture of buildings on the surface, and the third is wooden-buildings floating in the air above the city, suspended using balloons filled with hydrogen. Unfortunately, sometimes these flying buildings crash and explode, as hydrogen is explosive. The buildings are anchored to buildings below them and usually have rope ladders (sometimes bucket elevators) for transporting people or items.
The tinker gnomes in Zerburg have a strong interest in building things, although often they don’t work as intended. There is always another gnome who has invented a “new-and-improved flame-thrower”, a new drill or tool for going through rock or some other strange gadget, weapon or tool. Almost every adult gnome (and human) in Zerburg has a flame-thrower (or acid shooter), but many of them also have fire-resistance pants/etc to go with such weaponry.
Such is life in Zerburg. This is a city of alchemy factories that mass-produce acid (useful for dissolving stone) and other alchemical goodies. The factories are fortunately required by law to be built underground in case of a disaster. The bazaar in Zerburg is indeed bizarre.
The School of Illusions is one of the cities many floating buildings, except in its case it is made partially of shadow magic (making it lighter in weight and the illusion hides the ugly hydrogen balloon from sight). Most of the building is made from wood, but made parts of it appear to be made of stone and other materials, the result of many illusionary wall spells and permanent shadow magic. The school is known for its many secret doorways. Elves and half-elves are not allowed in certain parts of the building because of their ability to detect secret doors. Many gnomish illusionists study at this school and are familiar with its professors, layout, etc.
Zerburg’s best exports are actually fish and wood. Years ago a pair of now famous gnomes invented new ways of chopping down trees (it was originally supposed to be an automated statue carving machine) and ways of catching fish (it was supposed to be an ogre-catching machine). Other gnomes took those designs and have since improved and modified them. Needless to say, a gnomish fishing boat is actually quite scary looking.
In the center of Zerburg is Zerburg keep, which is a very large castle with numerous entrances, no courtyards and center section. This is perhaps the most dangerous place for a rogue (or any other person) to step foot in. Its traps are legendary and only a fool would enter and attempt to get past all of its unusual and deadly traps. Some of its traps are reputedly quite embarrassing, which means they are not all deadly and people have been forced to turn back (and thus lived to tell the tale).