Southshore is the largest populated area in the Phandalin region. Perched at the mouth of the Whiterun River on pillared islands almost 10 stories tall, the city is unique in that much of it exists in burrows, caves and tunnels through the rock of the islands themselves. The city has a strict social hierarchy, with the rich quite literally on top; they are the only ones that can afford to breathe the fresh sea air and smell the fragrance of the flowers that grow in the many open air parks on the grassy surfaces of the islands.
The more impoverished a citizen, the further from the sunshine they live. At the lowest levels dwell people who only see the sun when they make time to do so, spending the rest of their time sifting through the refuse and fetid leavings of those above for any trinket to sell.
The city is ruled by a council of the five most powerful factions in the city, with the most powerful faction representative serving as its head. Currently, Owen Oster of the Oster Family holds this position in his father’s absence. Membership in the council is determined by standing in ‘The Game’, a contest with few rules arbitrated by the Mages of The Tower. With a bold enough move, against a strong enough opponent, even the smallest organization can seat a representative on the council. The intricacies of this game have to be learned as the game is played: the only documented offense is the wholesale murder of an opposing faction. Breaking this rule earns a visit from the Eye, Mouth or Heart of the Tower… a visit from which no one returns.
Travel between the islands varies, from mundane bridges, to makeshift ziplines, to magical force disks (for the exceedingly rich), but whatever the means, you’re sure to pay for it. Particularly powerful factions, like the Osters or the Ironbrand Family own whole islands and exercise strict control over comings and goings.
Outside of the islands, a collection of shanties gathers along the coastline. These shanties form small communities policed by the gangs that form within them. The larges of these communities is Dregtown, a sprawling dense network of alleys and tunnels through the steep walls of the rocky bank of the Whiterun. Murder, theft and smuggling, all are common in Dregtown.
Southshore survives, and thrives, through its lucrative trade port and uniquely powerful denizens. With Cullen’s grip on the north released, it’s only a matter of time before The Game’s players begin involving themselves in more regional schemes.
The various merchants of the Row have exquisite goods from all over the world. It’s said, anything can be found in the street side shops up top… or in the dark, sunless stalls that riddle the stony beneath them. All equipment, arms or armor in the PH is available for sale here. Common and uncommon magic items of all types are also available at a steep markup. Adventurers spending a day asking around about a particular rare magic item may glean information about which merchant might have it, or at least know how one may be obtained.
Not normally cordial to visitors, the mages do sometimes allow people onto the island. Supplicants and potential patrons must attempt a bridge crossing with their request in mind. If the guard step aside, negotiations have begun. Knowing what might pique the curiosity of such powerful beings is another matter entirely.
Temples and Shrines
Temples and shrines dedicated to each of the gods can be found about Southshore. Priests at major temples, like those dedicated to Torm, Kossuth and Chauntea, have access to a wide variety of rites and rituals including the ability to raise the fallen. Most find, however, that the price of such an act is much too steep.
Where deals are made and hopes are crushed, the Bank will offer loans for various undertakings. Although it is run by a collection of the cleverest, most skillful money men of the factions, the loot contained within is generally safe from manipulation as most know that messing with one’s gold is met with swift and often deadly retribution.
Food and Lodging
There are many lodgings around the city, ranging from lavishly appointed to a touch above squalid. All offer food and drink of quality consummate with their appearance.