A couple of quick pictures that explain the basic concept:
Sutch is a small Colo-Redguard city in the northern Gold Coast, on the border of the Gilded Foothills. The city is built on top of and inside a narrow stone spire in the Soetar river, connected to the cliff faces on either side by large stone bridges. To the southwest lies the large Lan Taifoi Hai/Lake Oloman. The city's inhabitants provide for themselves by fishing on the lake, salt extraction, wine-making, and trade.
Sutch has a rich history of conquests and defeats. The city started as a small Colovian outpost in the early First Empire, but was conquered in the Redguard invasion of 1E 808. It became a prominent Redguard border fort and a pilgrimage spot for the wind-goddess Tava and the Ansei sword-saints, being the southernmost point of conquest and the point where the Ra Gada broke. The city remained in Redguard hands until the Reman conquests of 1E 2703, when it was given to a vassal of the Emperor. The city was lost again during the Akaviri Potentates, reclaimed by Tiber Septim, and subsequently made into a contested area by the Second Treaty of Stros M'Kai, which failed to provide a suitable arrangement for its governance. After the passage of the Camoran Usurper in 3E 267, Commodore Umbranox claimed the town as part of his new county, granted to him by the Emperor. As a result, the town is currently under the rule of Countess Umbranox, but the population is of mixed descent, with a stronger influence from the Redguard side (especially among the poorer districts). Most governors and influential citizens are Imperials, as a result of nepotism and favoritism. This, along with resentment over trade laws benefiting the port of Anvil, have resulted in a desire to rejoin the province of Hammerfell, promoted by the criminal organization known as the Kali Mes, who have free reign in the undercity.
Sutch can be divided into three main layers: the waterfront and warehouse galleries, the merchant galleries, and the topside. They are connected to one another by a switchback causeway, which sees little use these days, and the Ascensor, a large elevator-like structure which is mainly used to transport goods between levels.
- The Waterfront is clustered along the city's base. This area consists of several shacks, a poor inn, some warehouses, and the docks. Ships here are either fishing boats or river trawlers which come from the remote port of Seppaki, which give Sutch access to sea trade. The population is mainly Redguard and Colo-Redguard. Besides the entrance of the Ascensor lies the start of the old switchback path, which was the main way of moving goods before the elevator was built. Since it is no longer in use, the poor population has built shacks and cave houses along its way, turning it into a secondary poor district - more or less the same as the Waterfront shacks in terms of population. The Kali Mes has free reign in these areas. There are also several tunnels leading from the waterfront and the causeway into the rock: these are old warehouses, which are no longer in use due to flooding. these tunnels lead to the secret base of the Kali Mes, hidden in an abandoned Ansei shrine.
- The merchant gallery is a large cavern halfway into the rock. it can be reached through the ascensor, the causeway, or through the southern bridge, which connects with the road to Anvil. This is where most shops and middle-class houses can be found, as well as a central caravanserai/inn. Sutch is very important as a center of trade, as it lies on one of the few decent roads to Hammerfell and provides access to the sea.
- The topside refers to the district that occupies the very top of the rock. This area can be reached through the ascensor and along the northern bridge, which leads to the Brena River crossing and Hammerfell. Most houses here belong to the upper class and wealthy factions: rich traders, a Fighters Guild chapter, a chapel of Zenithar, and the fortress of the Baron of Sutch.
Besides the city itself, there are a number of interesting places in the area of Sutch:
- Vineyards: to be found on the western side of Lake Oloman, these vineyards produce the famous Sutchi wines.
- Salt beds: Lake Oloman's access to the sea and mineral composition make it rich in salt. The shores of the lake are ringed with salt beds.
- Bleak Mine: this very profitable salt mine lies to the southeast of the lake . It is a major employer for people from Sutch. Like most industries in this region, it is in the hands of an Imperial nobleman, who lives on an estate not far from it. As a result, the mine has been targeted by the Kali Mes.
- Kynareth temple & monastery: one of the headquarters of the Order of Kynareth. This temple complex lies a bit outside of the town itself. The Order of Kynareth is mainly composed of wandering priests, and cares little for existence within the cities. They have settled in Sutch because of the prevailing sea and desert winds. It is rumored that the monastery is built on the ruins of an older temple to Tava, which was destroyed in the Reman Era.
- Ayleid cities: the western shoreline features no less than two ancient Ayleid cities: the old sprawl of Beldaburo and the more recent citadel of Garlas Malatar. While Beldaburo has been thoroughly plundered, the inner chambers of Garlas Malatar remain uncracked. Rumors speak of a dread sorcerer-king, Massamalir Thousand-Hands, who still stalks these halls.
- The Fortress of the Shore-Kings: this vast ruin lies on an island off the western shore. Once home to the kings of Colovia, this palace now lies in ruin, practically unplundered due to the difficulties of scaling the island's cliffs.
- Malacath shrine: a leftover from the days of Nedic and Orcish tribes, before even the rise of the Ayleid Hegemony. This shrine, hidden among the ravines of the Gilded Foothills, has been lost since time immemorial. With the recent emancipation of the Orcs, large Orsinium war parties have been sent out to recover and secure the shrine - so far, without success.