Despite being a city of trade the architecture reminds people that this is a city the royal family have claimed as their home. The walls are tall and imposing and practically the easiest way to get over them is by flight. The city itself is split into three tiers. The lowest tier where most people will spend the majority of their time whilst in the town on business or shopping is split into the Four Quarters. Each Quarter has a different specialism that draw people and has a slightly different atmosphere. The Northern Quarter is home to most food vendors, restaurants, and is the hub of wine merchant activity. The Eastern Quarter is that which is closest to the ocean and is a hub of docks, ship repairs and taverns. The Southern Quarter is the entertainment district. Dancers, mages and street performers will often mingle here and put on impromptu street plays or tricks for the amusement of guests. The Western Quarter is the main attraction however and home to the cities greatest traders and artisans.
The middle tier is a quaint residential area. The biggest feature here is the Griffin Riders Headquarters for the city which sits to the East on the very edges of the cliff face. A lot of the homes here are often empty for most of the year so this part of the city is very peaceful and quiet.
The upper tier is entirely made up of the daunting castle, the seat of the Beaufort Royal family. There are a few houses that cling to the edges of the castle here that belong to the servants and their immediate families and key personnel that help with the running of the kingdom.
Most people will notice that the majority of the houses and buildings are very sturdily built, even in the slums, with flat roofs. There also appear to be random ledges jotting over streets or off the side of large buildings, arches that seem to have no point to them, and even nests. These are all to accommodate the Griffins that roam the skies and also call this city their home.
Outside of the walled city there are large estates and farming lands until it reaches the edges of Widows Wood.
Points of Interest
Beaufort castle is home to the Kingdom of Dalriada's royal family. It is a heavily guarded part of the city which can be seen no matter where one is in Oban, given its elevated nature above the rest of the city. Flags with the royal crest stream down the strong brick sides giving the dark stone a pop of colour. The castle itself is a fortress that is feared with withstand sieges and battles
. There is only one main entrance in and out and a secret one that only the royal family know about leading down to a private beach. The inside of the castle is a showcase of the Kingdoms riches with thick tapestries, artefacts from ambassadors and visitors, and a large throne room where people can meet the King or the Crown Prince. The castle also has large archways higher up the walls which act as the entrance ways for Griffins who also prowl the castles halls.
Solari Square is an explosion of colour and people. The square is a beautiful mosaic that attracts tourists from all over and depicts a scene of the Griffin Velaeri giving her feather to the King Alaric
The Confessor. There is always some for of entertainment happening in the squares from plays, to dancing, to magic performances.
The large Sea Wall is an imposing site for any traveller who will have to pay their tolls here to pass the narrow gap between the Allirian Straight and the Gulf of Liad. It consists of a series of tall towers which are always manned by Griffin riders, and a small outhouse attached to the side where the Duty Collectors stand to take money from passing ships.
This is the Griffin Riders Headquarters in the capital city that sits in the middle tier of the Eastern half of the city. To most it might look almost like a church with the tall towers topped with beautiful glass domes of spires. It is definitely the most beautiful building in Oban. From the walls hang the streamers of the Griffin Riders which are a rich blue and gold in colour. All entrance ways to the tower are a good five meters off the ground and are large archways to accommodate the varying sizes of Griffins the city is home to. Only Riders are permitted within the halls. It is also here that Griffins will often lay their eggs and come to nest.
The City of Arany or The Vaults:
As a neutral power in wars, there began to be an increasing demand from neighbours for Oban to care for their most precious treasures - gold, jewels, paintings. As such an elaborate underground system was set up to house these artefacts. The entrance is only known to a handful of people. Those who work in it tend to live underground beside the treasures and rarely venture outside of it. In a way it is almost like a second city because of this and is governed by the Kings Purse - a high position of honour. If people want to place something into the Vaults or have it retrieved they most visit the Corn Exchange
in the Northern Quarter.
The Widow Woods are technically situated outside of the walled city of Oban but is a large expanse of woodland area travellers need to go through in order to reach the city. The woods are often plagued with vagabonds and highwaymen and despite efforts to send guards in to flush them out the sheer size makes it hard to effectively make the whole area safe. Stick to the roads and hire muscle if you wish to be safe from trouble.
The Festival of Feathers
: An annual spring festival thrown in Oban where citizens and guests dress up in bizarre costumes and masks, incorporating feathers as much as they can into their outfits. The day is a celebration of the unique bond between the citizens of Delriada and the Griffins who continue to choose to protect them.
"If you are weary after your travels and require refreshment, I advice you to seek out the restaurants of the Northern Quarter. The hosts have outdone themselves this year and have pulled their restaurants out into the streets so that you might enjoy the unusually warm weather. Dishes both old and new can be found on their menus, including a selection of our famous Sea Food dishes, all caught fresh today. I've been reliably informed the streets are positively flowing with our famous wines, but I would recommend the Montcroix blends; the family were one of our first wine growers and his are unmatched by all else.
If you are after entertainment then head to the Western and Southern quarters. Here our people have put together a blend of arts, culture
and truly spectacular spectator sports. Watch the Griffin Knights joust, enter our various weaponry competitions, or try your hands at one of the gaming stalls. Or if you prefer your entertainment more refined, why not catch one of the plays being performed in the streets or the dancing in the Southern Solari Square, or watch the parade as it marches through. You can also find our artisanal market here; traders from all over Dalriada have journeyed here to offer you all the best of our famous glassware, ceramics and more. You are sure to find a true treasure to take home with you here.
Whatever you do, we encourage you to go and pay your respects to our union in the Eastern Quarter to the bond we celebrate today. Here you will be able to see the latest Hatchlings, give your gifts of thanks to the Crown Prince himself and his Griffin Pyreois. It is also here that fellow Dalriada's can sign up to train in the school of the Griffin Riders with the hopes they may one day be accepted by a Griffin and earn their Wings.
Wherever and however you choose to celebrate this day, make sure you keep an eye out for a Griffin feather! To catch one from the air is said to bring you good fortune for the rest of the year. It is also customary to incorporate feathers into your outfits, from masks down to entire costumes made of them! You'll be able to find your own such trinkets in the market."