Source: Kobold Quarterly Issue 1

Small city; Population 9,800
GP Limit 1,200 gp
Races 90% human, 7% kobold, 3% dwarf
Notable Figures
Killian Gluck Lord Mayor (male human aristocrat 5/expert 4)
Radovar Streck, City Consul (male human expert 3)
Kekolina, City Consul (female kobold rogue 6/cleric 2)
Sir Fryderyk Sieboski, Commander, Order of the Undying Sun (human Pal6)
Ursli Schramm, Guildmaster of the Steamworker’s Guild (dwarf F6/Ex4)
Horvart Edelstein, captain of the guard (male human F8)
Lucca Angeli, high priestess of the Golden Goddess (female human Clr11)
Konrad von Eberfeld, necromancer of the Collegium (Wiz6/Ftr1/eldritch knight 4)
Orlando, guildmaster of the Arcane Collegium (wizard 12/expert2)
Theodorus, mouse king
Volstaff, Lord Greymark, master merchant

Crest is an eagle with a sun on the left side and a moon on the right, a red horizontal thick bar below that splitting the crest in two, and 7 towers on a field of yellow on the bottom half.

Zobeck is a city without peer, a
place of adventure that is free of
feudal rulers and rich in magic.
From its steam gates to the squabbles
of the Arcane Collegium, its citizen
see themselves as separate from lesser
metropolises, and superior to them.
Not since Castle Stross and the griffon
towers were seized in the Great Revolt
has any citizen of Zobeck knelt to swear
fealty to an overlord. They are proud
But proud of what, exactly—what
makes Zobeck different from any other
city? The citizens are always happy to
tell you.
Steam and Clockworks
The two main things that make Zobeckers
feel superior to their neighbors are
the steam power of the aeolipile and the
clockwork gearing they developed to
harness that power.
Steam power is only used for large
mechanical systems, like the raising and
lowering of the Puffing Bridge, one of
the first such devices. It is also used as a
defensive measure at the Steam Gates of
the city and of the collegium, for windlasses
at the docks, and at some of the
smithies and ironworks, where steam
powers triphammers. Steam aeolipiles
are powerful, but with the exception of
a single dwarven steamwagon, they are
much too large to be moved around the
The more mobile and interesting
difference in the city is the presence
of clockworks, machines based on
everwound springs, memory registers,
hydraulic and gravity-driven limbs; the
more advanced even have emotive gears.
Typical examples include clockwork
scullions (whose silence as servants is
guaranteed), autoscribes, spider thieves,
clockwork steeds, brass men, sorting
beasts, golden songbirds, and even
nimblewatchmen, a form of guardian
The many styles of clockwork devices
makes them popular status items, but
they are expensive. They are frequently
stolen and ransomed back to their
owners. Anyone with skill in making
and repairing such items has a lifetime’s
employment in the Free City.
Zobeck’s Kobolds
The Free City is home to at least 2,200
kobolds, though only a few hundred
are ever present in the city at one time.
They are the city’s miners, diggers in
the Vilgau silver mines to the north of
the city, and the Tromburg iron mines
to the north and east. When they come
to the city, they have money to spend
and a willingness to drink their wages
away from sunset to midnight or later.
Drunken kobold miners pick fights,
and they especially hate gnomes, none
of whom live in the city walls for fear of
assault. Why does the city tolerate such
evil, disruptive creatures?
Half the answer is that few creatures
are as willing to work dark, wet, tiny
mines for as little pay as kobolds are.
The iron, silver, and lead they pull from
the earth is valuable for Zobeck’s smithies
and foundries. But that is only half
an answer.
Small but strong, the kobolds of
Zobeck walk the city streets in large
groups every night, visiting the various
taverns to spend their coin. Most
of them are miners from the silver and iron mines around the city, but almost
as many live and work in the kobold
ghetto, on the southeast side of the city.
Their ghetto is home to hundreds of the
best metallurgists, assayers, alchemists,
and clocksmiths of Zobeck. The kobolds’
talent for sorcery means that they
have an apprentice in the Collegium.
Their small, nimble fingers make them
valuable in all the fine work required to
build clockwork scullions, clockwork
toys, or deadly clockwork traps and
weaponry, such as the Zobeck self-winding
The Clockwork Crossbow
The self-winding or clockwork crossbow
is a remarkable device that uses a compressed
everwound spring to power a
small chain drive that is released when
the weapon is fired, and that stops moving
when the weapon is again ready to
fire. The result is a very distinctive noise
when a clockwork crossbow fires, the
usual thunk and zip followed by a few
seconds of grinding rattle. Its speedy reloading
and single-handed reload allows
creatures to make iterative attacks with
it; thus, a 6th level fighter firing a clockwork
crossbow attacks once using +6 his
base attack and once at +1. Its damage is
the usual 1d10 piercing, it uses standard
heavy bolts, and it costs 2,000 gp.
The Arcane Collegium
While Zobeck is mad about mechanical
devices, many people distrust clicking
and ticking things in favor of the reliable
results that a powerful wizard or alchemist
brings to the city. After all, the
wizard Black Marcenzo was one of the
heroes of the revolt that gave the city
its freedom and various liberties from
the surrounding provinces. The Arcane
Collegium continues that tradition of
defending and educating the citizens.
The master mages of the Collegium
include Guildmaster Orlando the
Clockwork Mage, Master Necromancer
Konrad von Eberfeld, Master Illusionist
Ariella Scarpetti, and Master Diviner
Rudwin Whitstone. The positions of
Master Summoner and Master of Stars
and Shadows are both currently vacant
and seeking instructors (any PC with
access to shadow or star spells and 5
arcane class levels qualifies). The prior
instructor of Summonings was Sariel of
Morgau; he retired almost a year ago and
left the city.
The Collegium itself is collection of
seven stone buildings and three courtyards
is almost a small college; four
major arcanists and many lesser ones
call it home, with quarters on the premises.
Its buildings are all two stories tall,
with a mix of grey and yellow stucco
and red tile rooftops.
The exceptions are a grey stone building
(the Summoner’s Hall) and a black
stone tower, stained with soot and partially
obscured by many small, puffing
chimneys. Both it and the grey building
with its bell tower are twice the height
of the buildings surrounding them. All
of the buildings have tarnished silver
runes are inscribed along the eaves,
gates, and windows of all the buildings,
and owls, ravens, hawks, a small dragonette
and even a flying monkey perch
along the gutters and battlements of its
spires and towers.
The creatures are the various familiars
of the members. Any attack or spellcasting
against a familiar immediately
brings down the wrath of all nearby
arcanists and the prompt arrival of the
city guards.
While two Zobeck schools of magic
are unusual, most are fairly common.
The Collegium recognizes clockwork,
divination, elementalism, enchantment,
illusions, necromancy, stars & shadows,
and summoning as the eight proper
schools of arcane study. The study of alchemy
is considered a lesser craft, rather
than a full school. Pacts are a recognized
school but considered corrupt. Spirit
magic, including shamanism, is considered
a lesser form of the true schools.
The arcanists’ count among their
number 24 apprentices, two journeymen
(Alexy Leonovic, a 3rd level wizard
and Frida Brogianna, a 4th level bard),
and a large group of servants and staff.
These servants and staff include tutors,
librarians, scribes, alchemists, a cook,
maids, a porter, grooms, and a falconer
and griffon-keeper. Seven clockwork
scullions make the lowest rung of the
Collegium, and were made and named
by its current master, Orlando: Secundus,
Quartus, Quintus, Sextus, Septimus,
Octavus, Decimus. In total, 60
people work at the Collegium every day.
Characters might visit the Collegium
for many reasons, including:
• To get an item identified.
• To learn spells and metamagic feats.
• To investigate a spider thief, an item
of rogue clockwork magic suspected to
have its lair on the grounds.
• To pursue an apprentice accused of
enchanting a young flowerseller in the
• To gather information from the
Collegium’s famous library.

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