The city of Algidheart was one of the first provincial capitals created by Queen Jadwiga following the Winter War. Algidheart’s builders were proud of the massive walls they erected, a full 60 feet high with towers So feet tall and walkways so broad that two detachments of city guards could march past one another. But they did not anticipate the population growth the city would experience. Since no one wanted to live outside the town’s mighty walls, there was but one solution-build up. Over the centuries, the architects of the Bleakmarch’s capital have designed buildings that sit one on top of another, structures that seem improbable and always on the verge of collapsing. And yet not a single building has fallen over in the city’s long history.
These teetering edifices , known collectively as the Soaring Districts, are connected by a bewildering collection of stairways, ramp s, bridges , and platforms. More than half of these lofty structures stand vacant, however. Algidheart’s upper class has never really recovered from the dreadful chillbane epidemic that devastated the city’s population almost 500 years ago. Nevertheless, strangers to Algidheart can easily become lost in this three- dimensional labyrinth.
Prestige in Algidheart is signified by how high one dwells in the city. Jadwiga and wealthy foreigners live in the eight Soaring Districts at the city’s center. One arm of the city guard is tasked with nothing else but evicting illegal peasant squatters from empty buildings in the coveted spaces , for by law no non-Jadwiga can live in a building greater than two stories in height without special dispensation from the duchess of Bleakmarch.
Each Soaring District houses a different class of privileged residents . At the city’s very center are the Hanging Markets, a complicated collection of platforms suspended from the surrounding buildings. This has been the traditional fief of the Jadwiga Morgannan for 3 centuries, and Lady Riina Morgannan fiercely protects that privilege. Foodstuffs and wares from across Golarion may be purchased at the suspended bazaars , as well as services of every description.
Many of the city’s middle- class Jadwiga reside in the district called the Barony, close to the duchess’s Tiered Keep, but the oldest Jadwiga families and Lady Riina herself-live in Winghammer. Helcotte Wedge and Cloudkeep Aerie are home to those Jadwiga of more recent pedigree, descendants of queens from only the last 500 years or so. Rich foreign traders tend to congregate in Bloodmerchant Towers . Most of the city’s monstrous population, primarily winter wolves and cold fey, live in Witchspire. Fyodov’s Wedge, named for a Jadwiga alchemist of great renown who died in an explosion of his own making, is mostly deserted, but tho s e seeking obscure formulae or alchemical concoctions can often find what they’re looking for in one of several laboratories and workshops in the district.