The Caravan District is a separate part of the city. The sultan is keen to keep his people pure, as the desert gods are harsh masters to follow. For this reason, both citizens seeking to go into the Caravan District and travelers seeking to enter the Main City are registered at the gates to the section and provided an appropriate pass medallion: copper for daily visits, silver for week-long visits, and gold if you are a permanent resident of the Caravan District with access to the main city as well. It is rumored that the Vizier and the Sultan have awarded some platinum medallions, yet full-access to even the Sage's College is unheard of for an outsider. Most copper passes are awarded so that citizens may visit the museum, the great well square, and/or one of the many foreign restaurants in the district serving foods from far-off lands. Inside the caravan section are all of the businesses that support trade and visitors to the city, as well as the Great Caravan Gate which is the only gate allowing passage into and out of the desert itself. Below are some things that your PC's might find in the Caravan District besides bad overcrowding and even worse smells. I hope they will at least spur your imagination. Enjoy!
A caravan being prepared for the desert. Wagons are being loaded and covered. Animals are being hitched and saddled. Merchants look excited and fearful; their guards look grizzled and hard.
A museum depicting the history and greatness of the city and the sultan.
A blacksmith bellowing his forge to a glowing red to repair a great wagon's axle.
Stables for all manner of caravan animals: horses, donkeys, mules, camels, and ponies.
Wagonmaker crafting a marvelous coach obviously meant for some noble or guildmaster.
Rooms for rent for those foreigners who must stay for an extended time.
The Mercenaries Guild is available here for those wanting protection when crossing the vast desert.
The PC's witness foreign priests of an unknown religion performing illegal rituals and/or spells
Warehouse full of trade goods (1-bolts of cloth, 2-barrels of wine, 3-stacks of bricks, 4-pottery)
A guard patrol escorts the tax agent of the vizier who is busy assessing caravans and warehouses.
Some say the orphanage / workhouse for lost children is little more than a mini Thieves Guild.
The gambling dens in the Caravan District discreetly serve alcohol and those in the main city definitely do NOT. Fermented fruits and grains are considered unclean by the harsh desert gods.
Numerous holding pens with sheep, goats, chickens, and lizards; the combined smell is staggering.
The Great Caravan Gate of the city leading out into the desert wastes and the connected barracks.
The Seamstresses Guild is full of young ladies practicing the oldest profession known to man. It seems that many of the caravan guards and teamsters care a great deal about their clothes. ; )
A line of folks waiting to have their ID medallions checked so that they can re-enter the main city.
If the Tax Office of the Vizier sits in the Caravan District and the Vizier never has a caravan going into the main city, how does the vast sum of silver, gold, and gems collected in taxes get into the Sultan's Palace?
Long term apartments for residents of the city who work in the Caravan District.
A restaurant serving strange delicacies from foreign lands to even stranger looking people.
The Great Well Square - In the center of the caravan district is a well and fountain 200 feet a side that animals and people share in drinking from.