Dragon Warriors

An Outline of Crescentium (995 A.S.)
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Author:  Starkad [ Fri Jul 12, 2019 1:17 pm ]
Post subject:  An Outline of Crescentium (995 A.S.)


The first city taken by the Coradian armies in the Crusade, it is a mighty port protected by fortified walls like the flanks of a great armoured dragon. Prince Estabulo of Algandy, commander of the first wave of attacks, surveyed Crescentium from one of the three hills overlooking its harbour and declared it "a splendid city, like a host of pearls and gold laid on a cloth of green velvet."

. . . . . . . . . . . .

As I have characters who have just arrived in the city, I have produced this basic map to help me run things. It's based on the needs of my campaign world, so may not suit everyone – but someone may find it useful?

I have stuck as much as possible to the city as described by Dave Morris in Dragon Warriors Book 6 and Bloodsword Book 3, but I have had to make the odd change here and there to suit my campaign / version of Legend.

Note that there are far more roads and alleys than are depicted in this map. The lower city especially is riddled with alleys that twist, turn and end abruptly. This is a basic map; more detail can (and will) be added as the need arises...

Before you ask, I have used a real city as the inspiration for this version of Crescentium; two cities in fact (as some elements are taken from another ancient city). I have no idea which city (if any) Dave Morris drew his inspiration from, so I've picked my own. Feel free to guess which one(s) if you wish... But there are no prizes!

Note that the scale is there to give an idea of distances within the city. It shouldn't be used to measure individual buildings. This is something of a 'rough map', so fine detail is lacking at this scale.

I am planning on adding notes in a more details supplement for my own reference (including a brief history, notes on politics, water supply, militias, &c.) but, for now, here are the notes that go with the map...

. . . . . . . . . .

A. Mount Silpion. A large, steep hill on which the fortified Palatine District is located. As a result, the hill is often referred to as the Palatine Hill. The summit rises steadily to the East, its apex being a ridge running from the Governor's Palace to the Temple of the Roc.

B. Mount Storinis. A high, almost conical hill with precipitous sides. Its summit is crowned with a fortress known simply as The Citadel.

C. Mount of Olives. The lowest of the three hills overlooking Crescentium. Its name comes from the olive groves that cover its sides. Ancient Emphidian ruins can be found on its upper reaches.

D. Mount Belkar. Site of the northern fortified camp of the Coradians when they besieged the city. The ditches and ramparts of the camp can still be seen.

E. Mausoleums. Numerous stone structures where Selentines, Sassanians and early Ta'ashim notables buried their dead. They vary from low, square structures to towers several storeys high.

F. The Orchards. The orchards which stretch across the verdant land to the north of the city contain orange, apricot, pear, peach, plum and walnut trees. They are criss-crossed by old, well-trodden tracks flanked by high stone walls.

G. Cemeteries. Once paupers' graves, now mausoleums for the reasonably well-to-do can be found here.


Built on the summit of Mount Silpion, the Palatine District is well fortified and entered through two gates. The lower part of the walls are built of cyclopean masonry, with later Selentine and Ta'ashim work adding height, battlements, bastions and towers. The summit of Mount Silpion rises sufficiently that a person standing at the highest point on Palatine Square can look down on the ramparts to the West and East.

1. Temple of the Roc. A Ta'ashim shrine reconsecrated as a temple of the True Faith, this fortress is now the headquarters of the Knight Capellars in Crescentium. The commander of the Knight Capellars in Crescentium is Tobias de Vantéry.

2. Basilica of Gatanades the Saviour. An impressive late-Selentine double-aisled basilica. A tall minaret has been added to its northern side and has recently been converted into a bell tower.

3. Governor's Palace. A sprawling palace built in Ta'ashim style. It has several courtyards and gardens within its walls. The current governor, Lord Avernne, prefers this palace to his formal rooms in the Citadel.

4. Patriarch's Palace. The residence of Patriarch Isidorus of Crescentium. A complex of stone buildings, including a private chapel and several shady courtyards. An old bathhouse stands between the palace and the outer walls. An ingenious pumping system supplies the baths with water.

5. Silpine Gate. Running in from two flanking towers, the city walls create a narrow way leading to a very old gate tower. A bas-relief, set above the tower's archway, of two winged lions facing each other gives the gate its more popular name of Lion Gate.

6. Hall of Records. All visitors intending to reside in Crescentium must register here. The solid stone building backs on to the district walls and houses a great hall on the first floor that runs the entire length of the building.

7. Basilica of Theotokos Imiselissa. An old, small basilica dedicated to the Holy Mother as patron of Crescentium. The end apse houses a large and particularly fine mosaic of the Theotokos.

8. Eagle Gate. The gate consists of two archways flanked by two round towers. One arch is large and admits horses and wagons, the other is small and is for those on foot. A set of stairs cut into the rock of the hillside allows people to walk straight up to the gate rather than take the ramp that winds its way up the hill. The steps are steep, worn and uneven; so the old, the infirm, and those not wishing such strenuous exercise, tend to take the longer, but gentler route.


Situated directly below the Palatine Quarter, this half of the city (north of the River Parmenis) is noticeably more prosperous than the southern half. A great colonnaded street runs from the North Gate to the Great Square. While some of the columns have fallen and the roof of the portico is missing in places, locals have erected awnings to provide shade for the market stalls that line the roadside. The roadside between the columns is paved with mosaics (many badly damaged) displaying various geometric patterns and natural motifs.

9. North Gate. A single large arch flanked by two tall round towers.

10. Dog Gate. Two square stone towers flank a small arch wide enough for a single wagon to pass through.

11. Water Gate. A strong gate tower gives access to the Northern Docks.

12. Northern Docks. Protected by an extension of the city wall, the Northern Docks were built by the Selentines. The pierced stone mooring rings set into the quays are still in use by ships today. This dock is principally used by local fishermen and small cargo ships.

13. Hippodrome. Originally a large Selentine circus used for chariot racing, it is now in a state of disrepair. The Hippodrome is still periodically used for horse racing, public displays and parades. There is sufficient seating for almost the entire current population of the city. The area to the front of the Hippodrome is used as a horse market, which often extends into the Hippodrome itself when the building is not otherwise in use.

14. Khan al-Mabul. A large caravanserai with a fortress-like exterior. It is built on two storeys around a great quadrangle, in the middle of which is a small octagonal tower which serves as a shrine for the Ta'ashim. Accommodation is on the first floor, while the ground floor is mostly given over to shops. There is a small chapel to the True Faith in the North East corner.

15. The Sorcerous Coconut. An elegant inn, built of stone and set on the edge of a verdant park. The owner is a lean Ta'ashim called Tariq. Prices are above average.

16. Western Bath House. Facing the Hippodrome, this is an old bath house in need of some repair. It has a number of hot and cold pools, steam rooms, massage facilities and barbers. Men and women are kept separated, with the women's entrance to the rear of the building.

17. The Heart of the Sunrise. An average quality inn run by an Erewornian, it has a single luxurious private room (the Azure Chamber) which has a prestigious reputation; but a stay in this room is not cheap.

18. Eastern Bath house. A large stone building with separate sections for men and women, the bath house contains hot and cold bathing pools, massage rooms and barbers. It is one of the major social centres of the city.

19. Jewellers' Market. Situated at the foot of Mount Silpion, the plaza rises on three tiers. Several large cedar trees grow in the square and provide shade. The road leading East from the market rises up to the Eagle Gate and the Palatine Quarter.

20. The White Mosque. The proper name for this mosque is the El-Gazzra Mosque, but the brilliant white marble-clad walls (believed taken from Emphidian ruins in the south of the city) have given it its more familiar name. Standing on the lower slopes of Mount Silpion, it overlooks the Jewellers' Market. It has a green dome, a minaret, and a green-domed sabil (a kiosk for dispensing chilled water) next to its steps.

21. Great Harbour. Constantly busy with moored ships creating a veritable forest of masts. It is not unusual to see ships moored three deep by the quays. People and goods from all corners of Legend can be found here. The merchants of Ferromaine pay for a militia to ensure the security of the docks.

22. Fort St. Marcouf. A strong stone fort guarding the entrance to the Great Harbour. The fort's stone flat roof allows the mounting of siege engines to keep hostile ships at bay.

23. Bazaar: Cloth Market. During the day, this square is full of stalls which almost obscure the many streets and alleys that lead in and out of it. All kind of cloth can be found here – even silks from distant Khitai. The Weavers' Guild and taxes from the market pay for a militia to patrol this area.

24. Basilica of Gatanades Pantocrator. A great church with a vast gilded dome which houses a spectacular mosaic of the Pantocrator surrounded by saints. The Ta'ashim added two minarets, both of which have been converted to bell towers. The eastern minaret stands above a small gate which leads within the church enclosure.

25. Basilica of Saint Stefanos. A church dedicated to one of the earliest martyrs of the True Faith.

26. Basilica of Our Lady of the Waters. An old church, thought to be the oldest in Crescentium. It is a simple, rectangular building with three aisles.

27. Great Square and Tetrapylon. This great plaza stands at the principal crossroads in the centre of Crescentium, where three colonnaded streets and the eastern Iron Road meet. By law, no market stall can be set up here – which keeps the area clear for passing traffic and public events. In the centre is an impressive tetrapylon,* consisting of a square platform with a tight group of four columns at each corner. The structure bears the marks of ages and damage from earthquakes, but is still impressive. A statue stands within each group of columns; two are male, two female.
* Technically a tetrakionion as the central space is not roofed.


Flowing down from the mountains, through the steep, narrow valley between the Mounts Silpion and Storinis, the River Parmenis runs into the Great Harbour. The city sewers drain into the river, which can be quite fragrant – especially in summer when the water level drops considerably. The river marks a clear divide between the northern and southern half of the city.

28. Iron Gate. Flanked by two massive ancient square towers and overlooked by the Temple of the Roc and the Citadel, this gate guards the access to the Iron Road – which leads to the mines in the Aurentis Mountains.

29. The Citadel. A grim, monolithic fortress which dominates the city from its lofty perch on Mount Storinis. Nominally the seat of the city's government, the current governor is known to prefer the comforts of his palace in the Palatine District.


Large parts of the southern half of Crescentium suffered considerable damage from earthquakes and the city's sacking by the Sassanians. Ruined for a long time, this part of the city was rebuilt by the Ta'ashim and their architecture dominates. The great colonnaded street continues, running from the Triumphal Arch down to the Golden Gate.

30. Four-way Triumphal Arch. A monumental quadrifrons stone arch, some 15m high and 12m square, with 6m-wide arches in all four sides. Richly decorated with bas-relief columns, it has many niches which now stand empty. The structure has a number of visible cracks from past earthquakes.

31. Bazaar and Souq. A warren of covered alleyways and open squares, all lined with chambers from which traders hawk their wares. All manner of goods can be purchased here, from the mundane to the exotic.

32. Dream of a Thousand Camels. A two-storey inn built around a courtyard with a central pool. Stabling is on the ground floor, with accommodation above. The inn is popular with merchants from Opalar and Ferromaine.

33. The Great Mosque of Lights. Called the 'Masjid al-Anwar' by the resident Ta'ashim, this is a large mosque with a great courtyard and a silvery-white dome which can be seen glittering over the surrounding buildings. The complex also houses a school, a small library, and a Ta'ashim court (although its rulings are largely ignored by the Coradians).

34. Beast Markets. Separated by a network of pens, all manner of livestock are bought and sold here including sheep, goats, pigs, cattle and camels. The area is noisy and dusty.

35. Khan al-Umadan. A large caravanserai: a great crown doorway, decorated with geometrical motifs, leads to a courtyard with a covered area beyond. The courtyard is surrounded by rooms for services and another doorway opposite the entrance leads to a covered area used for accommodation. A small mosque is built above the main entrance doorway.

36. Colonnaded bazaar. Formerly the agora of the Emphidian city, this is now the Spice Vendors' Market.

37. Tower of the Throne of Purple. A large purple-lacquered door guards the entrance to this hostelry run by Alexius of Ferromaine. The building is several storeys tall and the suite of rooms at the top of the inn offer splendid views of the city. For the less affluent patrons, there is a dormitory to the rear of the inn.

38. House of Emeritus the Healer. Originally a physician from Quadrille, he is known to offer advice and medical cures. Close by stands a fountain of black marble in a small, leafy square.

39. Reservoir. Fed by an underground aqueduct (or qanat) bringing water from the Aurentis Mountains, this walled and partially roofed reservoir provides water storage for the city's many fountains.

40. Old Theatre. Originally built by the Emphidian settlers, the Selentines added an elaborate back-scene (or scaenae frons) which has suffered significant damage from earthquakes and looting. About 300 people were massacred in the theatre when the Sassanians captured Crescentium in the 4th Century AS and the place is said to be haunted. Few venture here after nightfall.

41. Ruins. Blocks of stone and marble can be found poking up from the ground on the Mount of Olives. The summit is crowned by the remains of what is believed to have been an Emphidian temple complex.

42. Tower of Silence. A circular wall about 8m high, pierced by a single small door accessed by steep stone steps, hides a grisly scene; this is where the Ba'adin who live in Crescentium dispose of their dead – by exposing them to carrion birds. A small shrine further down the hill allows the mourners to pay their respects to the body of the deceased before attendants take the corpse to the Tower of Silence for excarnation.

43. Basilica of St. Leo the Martyr. A rectangular church with a portico and pilasters to the sides and rear, this was probably an old Selentine temple. An apse has been added to the rear of the building. Popular with merchants from Ferromaine.

44. Golden Gate (or South Gate). Twin arches between solid D-shaped towers allow access to the city across the steep ravine where the River Najjar flows. Scars on the stonework show where decorations were plundered from the gate.

45. The Black Tower. Built of dark basalt, in contrast to the lighter stone of the city walls, this is a broad and tall round tower.

46. Tower of Tancred. Site of the southern fortified camp of the Coradian besiegers. Only traces remain of the camp, but the stone tower has been strengthened with a low curtain wall and guards the southern approach to the city.

47. The Long Bridge. An ancient Selentine aqueduct which still functions, bringing water in to the southern part of Crescentium.

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Author:  Starkad [ Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: An Outline of Crescentium (995 A.S.)

For those familiar with the DW Wiki entry on Molasaria (which makes reference to Crescentium), please note that this does not match the 'history' of my own version of Legend which, in turn, has had an effect on how I have envisaged Crescentium. :?

While I have followed fairly carefully the material published in DW Books 1 – 6 (and some of the material published in the Bloodsword books), I had no access to the Wiki until comparatively recently and, as such, this material generally does not form part of my version of Legend.

For those who aren't aware of it, the Wiki entries are worth a read.

This is Molasaria:


And here’s the Wiki entry on Analika:


Author:  Dreadnought [ Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: An Outline of Crescentium (995 A.S.)

Great work. Really impressive and useful for some things I have in mind in a future game.

Author:  Starkad [ Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: An Outline of Crescentium (995 A.S.)

Great work. Really impressive and useful for some things I have in mind in a future game.

Thank you. It's only a basic map and there's quite a few details I have left out.
For example: the name of Fort St. Marcouf is a derivation of St. Marculf - a bishop from the early Church in Chaubrette, canonised for his miraculous healing.

I am busy developing Crescentium and the general area of Outremer because the characters in my game have arrived there. As it's all tailored to my version of Legend (not to mention the needs of the campaign), I'm not sure if there's any merit in posting it on here, though...*
* As and when (or if!) it reaches a printable format, that is.

Author:  Starkad [ Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: An Outline of Crescentium (995 A.S.)

Here's a quick illustrative example of how, away from the main thoroughfares which criss-cross the city, Crescentium is a veritable warren of small streets and alleyways which twist, turn and come to unexpected dead ends.

The area depicted is a densely-built residential cluster of houses on the north side of the Jewellers' Market. This is a fairly prosperous part of town and the houses are quite large. All houses have a courtyard which helps to cool the house by allowing fresh air to breeze through the rooms. Most courtyards have a garden, often with trees, sometimes with a fountain. The larger, wealthier houses have more than one courtyard usually with a covered loggia, or takhtabush, linking the two. Some houses have balconies (called kishks), enclosed by wooden lattice screens, which protrude out over the street below.

Straight Street runs parallel to the Great Colonnade from the northern edge of the city, across the plaza of the Jewellers' Market, down to the enclosure of the Basilica of Gatanades Pantocrator.

1. Market stalls; where traders sell their wares and, in the rear, work on their craft. As this is the Jewellers' Market most of the traders here make and sell items made from precious metals and stones; including rings, bracelets, necklaces, diadems, earrings, as well as larger items such as elaborate plates, bowls, chalices, goblets, rhytons and more.

2. Retaining wall. The plaza rises in three tiers as the land slopes up to Mount Silpion. The wall is approximately 6m high (including a 1m parapet) and there is a broad set of steps in the centre allowing access from one tier to the next. The plaza is shaded by a number of large cedar trees.

3. Marble fountain and ornamental pool. The fountain is on the Eastern side of the pool, its water pouring from the mouth of a male youth carved in bas relief.

4. A green-domed sabil (or kiosk) for dispensing chilled water. Water is brought up from an underground cistern where it is kept cool.

5. Entrance to the White (or El-Gazzra) Mosque. A squat, square, domed tower guards the entrance to the courtyard beyond.

6. Mosque courtyard. The courtyard (or sahn) is surrounded on three sides by a roofed colonnade (or 'hypostyle'); some of the columns appear to be of ancient Emphidian design. On the fourth, Eastern side (opposite the main entrance) is the main building of the mosque, crowned by a green dome approximately 25m in diameter. Two minarets flank the main building at the point where the hypostyle meets the building.

Most of the houses are flat-roofed. The land rises to the East, and the lower slopes of Mount Silpion can be seen on the edge of the plan.

Note that, on my plans, arrows point down on stairs.

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Author:  Starkad [ Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: An Outline of Crescentium (995 A.S.)


What lies beyond the walls of Crescentium? Well, here’s a map covering approximately 56 x 40 miles (some 2,240 square miles) of land, mostly to the south of Crescentium.

Why not cover land to the north? Well, because to the north of Crescentium the road to Sawil snakes its way between the Gulf of Marazid to the West, and a range of precipitous, rocky hills to the East behind which lies the inhospitable dusty expanse of the Al-Shamah Desert. It is approximately 90 miles from Crescentium to Sawil.

The rocky trail that runs (through the Iron Gate) East from Crescentium along the Parmenis Valley is very well guarded* because it leads to the silver mines that make Crescentium so wealthy and allow it to mint its own coins.
* Which doesn’t stop it being frequented by bandits, as there are rich pickings to be found here among the heavily-laden mule trains that wind their way down to Crescentium.

The town of Balat, huddling beneath the gaze of Prince Angaelath’s fortress of Belacard, is a poor place.** Most travellers prefer to stop at the Khan Wikkur a couple of miles to the south. A stay here is expensive, but there is always a warm welcome and the food is excellent.
** Brutally sacked in the early days of the Crusade, the town has not yet recovered. Within the town walls are empty spaces where houses used to be.

Mount Baruk dominates the landscape south of Balat, its summit crowned with ancient ruins. Only the bravest, or the foolhardy, would try to climb the virtually sheer sides of this mountain, however.*** The locals claim they have seen gryphons nesting on the summit of Mount Baruk which, if true, would make the ascent of this mountain perilous indeed.
*** The mountain's sides are virtually sheer and it's a long drop to the ground below.

West of the village of Kram, on the shores of Lake Kadesh, can be found the eerie ruins of Cato; the remains of the city that once made Selentium tremble. More than one fortune seeker has gone to explore the ruins but not all have made it back alive and, of those that have, many speak of the unquiet dead that guard their final resting place…

South of Lake Kadesh, and guarded by a strong stone castle which nestles in the corner of its ramparts, lies the town of Vaga. This is a Ta'ashim town through and through; when the Crusaders came here they found not a single church or basilica... Now the town's mosques have been rededicated to the True Faith and the inhabitants persuaded to pray at the altar of the one true God.

To the east rise the Aurentis Mountains. Snow-capped in winter and bare-crowned in summer, these mountains conceal hidden valleys and other secrets. Rumours persist that dwarfs (the 'Mountain People' to the locals) have strongholds in the mountains but, if this is the case, they have proved elusive indeed...

(Note that, as with all my game maps, there is plenty of room for additional detail. No doubt I will be adding some for my own use as the game progresses.)

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