Warden: The Iron Circle (Adventuring Party)
Portal: The Natural World
In the Freehold District, all men are free. This district was taken by force- ten years ago, it was the Caliphate District, ruled by a tyrannical Yuan-Ti Mummy Lord. The Iron Circle, a powerful adventuring party came in, scoured the place, and then decided to settle down, doing what they could to turn the place into a point of light in a dark city.
It wasn’t easy, but they gained the support (or at least noninterference) from the rest of the Wardens. The group’s bard, Loriengard officially serves as Warden, with the others bearing the title of Knight Warden. The group has retired, choosing to look over and nurture this community, rather than adventuring in the field. They’re probably the most accessible of all the leaders of the city, choosing to take an active hand in their domains, and often mentoring and guiding younger, less experienced adventurers.
As a whole, the district is much less homogeneous than many of the others. Many adventuring bands make this their headquarters when adventuring out of Nexus, so there are many businesses that cater to that sort of crowd. There’s an unofficial adventuring guild, though many wonder if it won’t push for proper guild status.
The Iron Circle’s spellcasters have worked a powerful ritual over their district; no blood can be shed. Fights still happen (adventurers can be a rowdy bunch after all), but it’s impossible to kill someone with violence- the best you can do is knock them out. This magic makes the district popular as a neutral ground when important figures from different districts need a meeting place, though it doesn’t stop the Circle from enforcing their order- any people who flout their rules quickly find themselves exiled.
The district’s Portal leads to a great ruined city in the natural world, once a massive Yuan-Ti city, now home to lurking horrors both alive and undead. The Iron Circle sponsors many expeditions into the city, making it a popular adventuring location for the District’s residents.
Warden: Rajah Zul Panjandra (Rakshasa Noble)
Portal: The Natural World
The Incense District is the counterpart to the Market District. Where the Market District is the place to purchase most goods, the Incense District is the location to buy illicit goods and services, a trade the Sultan encourages. In the ‘Spice Market’ one can find much more than just spice, such as slaves, poisons, and contraband. The district is also rumored to be the headquarters for several thieves and assassin’s guilds, and a thriving market for the city’s Slaver’s guild.
The Rajah is a very wealthy and powerful Rakshasa, with his fingers in many businesses. For defense, he maintains two private armies, the Jannisaries and the Corsairs. The Jannisaries are loyal humans and shifters and act as an army- although high ranking officers serve as magistrates in the city. The Corsairs are a fleet of airships and their crew. While both armies nominally exist for the defense of Nexus, they often operate off-plane as mercenaries.
The Portal of the Incense District connects to a Rakshasa kingdom in the natural world, Rakshastan. Rajah Zul Panjandra is just one of many Rakshasa Rajahs serving the Maharajah of this kingdom, and many of the products of the district- including slaves- are shipped from there. Rakshastan is a corrupt kingdom, and the district’s Rajah is deeply entwined in the politics of that place.
Warden: Duke Archibald Romanga (Vampire Lord)
Portal: The Shadowfell
The vampire Duke Romanga allows anyone to reside in his District, as long as they pay the Tax- not in coin, but in Blood, either their own, or that of one of their vassals. As a result, the district is home to a wide variety of monstrous humanoid races, who might not have a haven anywhere else in the city. The Duke has airs of high society, so there are many cultural attractions, such as museums, theaters, and auditoriums, giving certain parts of the district an appeal for upper-class residents of the entire city, making it a place where the well-to-do can meet and enjoy high class entertainments, attended by well groomed undead servitors. The so-called “High Midnight” district has a cultural appeal, and is separated from the nastier “Low Midnight” district by a golden wall.
Several noble families have estates here, the better to stay at the height of culture in Nexus. Almost without exception, the leaders of these families are vampires, paying high tithes in coin and loyalty to the Duke for the gift of immortality. But they are not the only undead in the District- enslaved vampire spawn are used as servants and guards, and many other intelligent undead have either carved a space in society for themselves, or live in the Low Midnight District.
For many of the residents, the presence of the Portal is practically an afterthought, but merchant caravans do use it to go into the Shadowfell, and many of the noble families have dark feudal domains there.