TheNexusProject/PlazaOfRisingStars

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The Plaza of Rising Stars

by MelWong

"Aye, the Plaza of Rising Stars? Full of gentry, it is, and they always want their pretty clothes done up just so for evening formals. Decent enough folk, I'd say."
- the Washerwoman Lilac Rain over her latest load of laundry.
"The neighbors are a bit eccentric, but this neighborhood is so lively, I don't think you could pay me or Da enough to move our pub out of the Plaza."
- Mejhal Ausengrim to Sangurio Destheme, overheard while tending bar.

The Plaza of Rising Stars is one of the upper-class neighborhoods in the district of Cinnabar. Various luminaries either live in or own shopfronts there. Central to the neighborhood is a red-stone square surrounded on all sides by houses and establishments both large and small. It opens into Cobblepaint Avenue on the east, and a decent selection of shops and eating houses rests on the rather more raucous north end. Much of the growth of this neighborhood has been attributed to Aleko Ausengrim opening the Sign of the Black Cock in the north end, but not much would have come of this twisty-wayed, maze-packed neighborhood had the late merchant prince Jaiwal Fairface not bought out every one of the tenements.

Most of the squatters and paupers were evicted in the span of a fiveday, turned out to live in Dungtown or Firewander. Armed guards were set at each and every entry point of the neighborhood to prevent them from interfering (a tradition that persists to this day, paid for by the neighborhood tax). Jaiwal and his builders then refurbished and rebuilt much of the neighborhood, turning this blind-ended, confusing mess of streets into an orderly set of lots. The resulting townhouses were then rented out to the rather more affluent artisan class, who in moving in breathed new life into the former slum.

Many of the houses hail to Jaiwal's refurbishment. They are narrow-roofed with porches elevated on high foundations (to protect from frequent flooding), decorated with colorful tiles fired at Rednail's Kiln in Nighthammer. Iron scrollwork decorates the balconies and verandas, and some inhabitants have taken to hanging strings of cheap beads or training climbing plants onto the iron rails so as to beautify their houses more. Some of the more recent construction, such as Sangurio Destheme's tall, handsome house, was built later, and thus does not match the neighborhood "look". Opinions of this are rather mixed - some feel that the orderly look has been disrupted, while others feel that the affluent moving in is a constant boon to their business.

Oddly enough, the Plaza's benefactor, Jaiwal Fairface, vanished something about 25 years ago, shortly after he opened the place to renters. His daughter, Mokona, runs the rental agency now and is a merchant prince in her own right.

Rumours

  • Jaiwal's refurbishment project was actually cover to find lost treasure in the foundations of the buildings, hidden there by a band of thieves. The evictment was just a convenient excuse to make sure the treasure's former owners couldn't contest his robbery.
  • The townhouses are haunted by the ghosts of those who were slain in the eviction, hence the use of inscribed tiles to ward the portals of the houses.

Secret

  • Jaiwal was a member of the Celebrants' Circle seeking to preserve an ancient altar in the cisterns underneath the square. What deity or power the altar propitiated is unknown, but the merchant prince's vanishment after the opening of the district cannot be a coincidence.
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