The Millora: A Vocational Setting
A District of the City of Piorenza
In the northwestern quarter of the city of Piorenza is the Millora, a
maze-like gathering of narrow streets, narrower alleys, and long flights of
stairs going both up and down. Called the Old Quarter by foreign visitors,
and the Labyrinth by country folk, itis known as the Millo' by most
residents. Some even refer to it as home.
The streets of the Millora wander all over Milor Hill, often rock-cut steps
more than street. The houses of the extremely wealthy crouch side by side
with the hovels of the poor, and intimate walled gardens hang from many
terraces. Blacksmiths and bankers rub shoulders in its narrow alleys, and
an overheard conversation is as likely to be about horse-breeding as
philosophy, about finance and trade as about growing olives. The port is
visible from many of the houses, and some dwellings are little more than
finished caves cut into the side of the rock. Dark Street, the straightest
way in the whole district, cuts a path twenty feet high and thirty wide
right through the center of the hill, lit by torches and lined with shops,
with homes above. Despite the lack of light, it is among the most
exclusive residential addresses in the city.
Atop Milor Hill sits the Abbey of St. Johannan, supposedly marking the
place where the wonderworking saint had his last vision of the Throne of
God. The shrine was defiled during Tocaran rule, but has been restored in
the intervening years, and now it is accounted one of the finest churches
to the One God in Piorenza. In addition, the abbey operates a fine school
for young boys and girls, especially those who may be inclined to vocation
in the monolatrous Church of the One God. In addition, three congregations
of the Followers of Wisdom maintain Gathering Halls in the Millora; one of
them is on Dark Street.
Many of the oldest guilds of the city also have their halls here. The
Weaver's Hall, located to the north, is an ancient building of limestone,
adorned with gargoyles and portrait sculptures of previous Masters. Three
stories tall, it houses the Master of the Weavers and his household, the
records of the Guild going back a hundred fifty years, and the Hall for
social functions. The Persa, the formal name of the Merchants' Guild, also
has its Old Hall here, near the quarter's eastern boundary. Very similar
to the Weavers' Hall, it is attached to the Old Market, a quadrilateral
court of shops, taverns, and offices.
Specialization Level: High
Many urban professions cluster within the Millora. The district teems with
life and livelihoods to the point of bursting. Mercantile, commercial, and
service oriented businesses crowd its streets, while thousands more live in
close proximity. Almost any conceivable occupation can be found in some
form within its walls, and many who work here possess a high level of skill
in their chosen craft.
Location: the City of Piorenza
The Millora is bounded to the north, west and northwest by the city walls.
To the southwest is the Street of the Barrans and the Street of the
Knights; to the south is the Navalese Marketplace, and the Street of the
Tinkers. Along the eastern flank of the Millora is the Street of
Splendors, and the Park of Temevio almost directly south-east. At the
Millora's main eastern entrance, the Street of the Persa, is the Old
Market, the Persa's Old Hall, and two blocks away, the Old Charter House,
where the law courts used to assemble during the days of the kingdom.
The Millora contains a variety of shops, providing all manner of goods and
services, ranging from exotic spices to legal representation in the courts
at the Old Charter House, just outside the district. In some of the
underground areas, less legitimate services are available, although not
along Dark Street, which is well patrolled. A number of people turn up
dead in the quarter each year. The district is not only for the wealthy,
despite his high-class reputation; beggars and bankers are both resident
in the Millora.
The Millora is well-known to many in superficial ways: foreigners are
often to be found along the main thoroughfares, especially Dark Street,
which has its own attractions to visitors. The Old Persa Hall and the Old
Market are similarly well known, and many pilgrims make the ascent to St.
Johannan's Abbey atop the hill. Despite this, many do not know the
district at all well. As the Piorenzans say, "Only one of the Millo' knows
the Millo'". Many foreigners never stray from the most common routes; the
bulk of the labyrinthine district is unknown to them. Many may even be
unaware of the broader character of the Millora.
Potential: 4 Internal, 3 External
The Millo' seems to conspire to keep its children. It has its own
dialectical habits of speech which are instantly recognizable to any
Piorenzan, and even some foreigners. Nearly anything one might need can be
found in the district, and some claim to have lived their whole lives in
the Millo' without setting footanywhere else in the city, much less outside
the city walls. The fierce loyalty of the district appears at Fair Time,
when the Millora may sponsor as many as three teams in the citywide
competitions for fencing, horse-racing, and archery. So far, it has not
yet competed in the sailing competitions, but it may be only a matter of
time. As a result of this close-knit community, however, many
opportunities in Piorenza may be closed to Millo' residents.
The Millora obviously represents a wide range of opportunities in any
number of different vocational paths. It might be especially well-suited
for early background development, especially since it includes so many
classes of people and so many potential opportunities. Such a persona
would have to be a native Piorenzan, of course, but that is not so much
trouble. as it might seem. In addition, the District may be subdivided
into a number of unusual settings, including the Persa and the Old Market,
the Abbey, one of the Gathering Halls of the Wisdomites, the Weavers'
Guild, or the underground environment of Dark Street.
Possible Vocational Paths:
Fringe: many possibilities; Marginal, also many possibilities; Labor:
domestic help, guards, apprentices, visitors, cooks; Professional: Doctors,
lawyers, teachers, professional geniuses, mages, artists and artisans;
Privileged: senior artists, merchants, priests, others; Ruling: a number of
possibilities like Assembly members, Counsellors.
© Copyright 1995, Andrew B. Watt (firstname.lastname@example.org).
HTML source modified slightly 30 April 1995 by Sixten Otto (email@example.com)