The veridianite founders of Greenfort had a rather novel idea when creating their city; they decided to build a city that intrudes upon the natural surroundings as little as possible. The end result was Greenfort, a small city that accommodates nature as much as possible. Located in the middle of a forest, the pathways follow the natural ones with no stones hewn from a mountain; the houses are built in between, around, and in the canopy of the trees. Any lumber used came from dead or diseased trees. For almost two decades, Greenfort was an example of how a city should be built. With the cool waters of the river that cleaved through the town and the nearby lake to refresh yourself each day, and mild summers and winters, Greenfort was a virtual paradise.
But like all things, change to the almost pristine area was inevitable. The first completely stone structure was the Shrine of the Gentle Rains, built by an eanolan, soon to be ex-wife of one of the city’s founders and most prominent citizens, priestess. The Shrine of the Gentle Rains was a tall and open blue marble structure that was seated on the top of the tallest hill. The shrines let in the sun and the wind to a marvelous effect; if you stand by one of the many windows that had neither glass nor shutter, you feel like you are flying on one of the many breezy days. Next came a small group of dwarven prospectors whom found a rich vein of iron and some rare metals. Soon traders set up shop and word spread to travelers, some of which stayed. Finally, there is a small area of bare land nearby, which was accidentally burned down when a dragon that was passing through and looking to hunt proved to be allergic to the pollen of one of the native plants. Even though it is not quite what it once was, Greenfort is still a very special place to live and be.
The lax and common sense laws combined with the beautiful surroundings and a rejuvenating climate, makes Greenfort one of the fastest growing “gems” to be found and attractive to many people. There are a decent variety of races that call Greenfort home. Elves and humans are fairly common. A few dwarves live in the town so the can mine the nearby hills and forge quality items from them. A handful of sharwen call Greenfort home. The trees are home to a sizable number of fey pixies who by numbers alone may be close to the largest group in Greenfort. Finally down by, or on top of, the river and lake is where a dozen or two families of lizardmen call home. A good variety of religions are also represented: eanolians who heard of the Shrine, caduceans looking for forest remedies, veridianites who are on the wane but not gone yet, arolians hoping to keep the peace, and meekans looking to protect the animals.
Lying amid barren, ash-blasted hills and dry-riverbeds, the black walls of Haven are practically the definition of inhospitable.
Initially established by priests of Arolian as a sanctuary for victims of religious persecution, since the Great War's end Haven has attracted increasing numbers of antisocial vagrants until today its stands as possibly the worst den of scum in TerVarus.
The founding principle of the town was "No hatred spawned outside Haven will find victims within Haven" and though noble in intent today it amounts to a free pass for the inhabitants of the town to act as they please beyond its boundaries without fear that they will be punished for their actions once they return home.
These inhabitants, both the citizens and its temporary visitors, are a rough-edged and unfriendly bunch composed primarily of thieves, bandits, mercenaries and the burly smiths who furnish their weaponry. Travellers hoping to replenish their supplies enroute to more pleasant destinations are advised to enter only if confident of their ability to protect themselves as the town's worst elements are attracted to strangers like rats swarming over fresh meat.
Despite this, or because of it, there are strict rules that govern behaviour inside Haven. Minor disturbances like brawling are punished with fines but more serious offences such as duelling may illicit banishment or even execution. The strongest and toughest of its residents act as Peace-Keepers and can be distinguished by the white on red banners, featuring hawks talons, worn as sashes or bandannas.
While its gates remain open to all with the courage to enter, Haven's high concentration of Orcs, Goblins and Ogres dissuades many races from attempting. In addition to these groups the towns core residents consist of the ever-present Humans, though other visitors include members of the Lizardman and Viper races and it's not unknown to see Raknar warriors or merchants offering their services in the town-square.
Its streets are cluttered with run-down inns within which gamblers, whores and cut-throats ply their trade. The most notorious of these bars, such as The DoG's Inn or The Idle Hands, are known far and wide as places where any manner of illicit business, from smuggling to slavery, can be contracted. However, aided by sizeable tax concessions, the town's main industry remains the arms and armour produced within the many foundries whose belching black smoke obscures the sky for miles around.
In keeping with its populace of bandits and mercenaries Dalgar is foremost among the Gods worshipped though Turek, as patron of its successful smiths, runs a close second. Looking closely you may even find a shrine dedicated to its first patron Arolian.
Despite its infamy as a place of violence and lawlessness several members of the town's initial founders remain and seek to pursue their dream of a city of refuge for those in need. For the moment their wise stewardship has managed to allow Haven to remain more a roughneck trading-centre than the base of militant aggression some of its inhabitants would have it become.
Karsiz is a Kingdom Built deep into the highest mountain in an ancient mountain range. The are several entrances to the underground Kingdom, but all but one are hidden from view unless you have mastery of the magic used by the Dwarves during the Age of Emergence. The main entrance is one that inspires awe as you walk up to it. Statues of Dwarven heros that stand 40 feet tall line the approach. There is an alcove cut into the rock that is 50 feet tall and 20 feet wide that leads the visitor to the massive double doors that allow you to enter Karsiz.
As you enter the entry chamber the forethought of the engineers that designed Karsiz is evident. The chamber remains narrow with galleries up above that could be lined with Dwarven archers. As you near the end of this 200 foot long chamber a grand stairway appears that leads up 100 steps the another set of massive double doors. The visitor opens one of the doors and steps out onto a landing that looks over a chamber which has a city built out of the rock of the mountain. A stairway carved out of rock leads you into a bustling community filled with inns, taverns, forges, and commodity stores. To explore this chamber would take the visitor more than an hour, but if he were observent he would notice one thing. There is no housing for the Dwarves here! At the back of this chamber there is a doorway carved into the rock which leads to the true community of Karsiz.
Family homes are carved out of the rock with murals of the feats of ancestors carved into the fronts of the homes to let others know of the glory and honor of the family name. Set back into the walls of the chambers are forges where the finest Dwarven weapons, tools and tradegoods are crafted. These are the items that those most knowlegable about quality seek out, and also those that are mose rare outside of Karsiz. Nearin the back of this hugh chamber is a large manor with the usual carved murals. Looking closely one notices that the acts depicted are the most gloriest and the most plentiful of all the family homes. This is the home of the family Rhogol, Kings of Karsiz. While the manor is well maintained and guarded, it remains empty of Dwarves as the last in the line, our King, disappeared in battle.
Founded at the dawn of the Age of Ascension, the city of Lucia is known as the Pearl of TerVarus. Perhaps the name arose from its location. Nestled high in a remote southern mountain range, the alabaster walls of Lucia gleam like a pearl thrust into the sky by a giant hand. Or perhaps the name comes from the treasures contained within its walls. The streets are not paved with gold, nor are the windows crafted from polished crystal. But Lucia is a rich city indeed, for it is dedicated to the gathering of knowledge.
In the aftermath of the Age of Shadows, the scattered races of TerVarus found to their dismay that much of the knowledge collected over thousands of years had been lost. Libraries, laboratories, and academies of learning were destroyed in the mad rush for power and vengeance. Many of the world’s renowned scholars lost their lives during the calamitous wars of that age.
So it was that a small group met in a valley at the top of the Dragon’s Eye mountain range in southern TerVarus. A delegation had been sent from each of the races for the purpose of building a city dedicated to restoring the knowledge that had been lost. Grizag, an aged female orc shaman stood side by side with the elven naturalist Varehl. There was Briddi, the sharwen geographer and Thrak the one-horned minotaur philosopher. Even the relic dragons sent a representative, the crimson-scaled fire magus known as Kryl. Ancient enmities were set aside and blood feuds forgotten as the scholars came together to lay the foundation for Lucia.
Foremost in the charter for the city was the law that all races would be welcome. Lucia was to be a city of peace and a refuge for scholars. To preserve that peace, the founding members established a group of elite guardsmen known as the Watchers. These skilled warriors and archers patrol the city at all hours to protect scholars and the invaluable knowledge they acquire.
Each of the buildings in the city boasts sturdy white stone walls in the event that the city should come under attack, whether from pillagers or from an accidental fire. The city is surrounded by a natural stone outcrop and can only be approached on foot from a narrow trail that winds up the mountain to the north.
Standing proudly at the city’s center is the great library. This circular tower ascends hundreds of feet into the sky, and has become one of the world’s most complete repositories of knowledge. Entire floors are dedicated to history, religion, alchemy, magic, geography, philosophy, medicine, and other disciplines. At the pinnacle of the tower is the grand auditorium, where lectures and convocations are frequently held. The library is occupied at all hours, and is remarkably quiet save for the constant susurration of vellum pages turning and robes rustling along the marble floors.
Lucia has become a shining example of the promise that heralds the Age of Ascension.
The city of Thurgard is a small village up in the north. The location is rather high in the mountains. Snow and ice is the most common problem, since it’s located so high. Many bedtime stories tell the tales of men and woman falling of a cliff into the certain death. However the villager’s stories and strongest fears lives around an old myth: at the top of the mountains a wolf which is larger then a man is said to be found. Sheep and even babies have suddenly disappeared in the night. Some say it’s just wolfs and some say it’s the huge wolf which they named Orgar. However these problems are almost always at winter time. In the summer the city flourishes with activity.
The city has lots of raw materials such as trees, copper, bronze, meat, dairy products (cows and chickens are common wealth), and even fish, as a large river runs at the button of the mountain. The river is where the trade routs are established, and every year different merchant sails in to the city to buy raw materials or sell some wares. Also mercenaries from the city sometimes sails out to sell there wares somewhere else. Even so, most people support them selves. Most citizens are friendly, but the penalties for disobeying law are rather harsh. Even for small burglaries you can get banished from the city. The penalty for murder is unknown since there hasn’t been one in several years, but it’s written that the last one they had got stoned to death.
Not many visitors come here, but the once that do usually does it for practising their climbing skill. The mountain is tough and is not for beginners. Of the culture advents Thurgard has its own instrument. This instrument is used for special events, and not many peoples that are not from Thurgard have ever heard it. Word has it that the instrument is to be a string instrument and the citizens have developed several dances from it. Thurgard is mostly a quite town, for people to settle down. Some old warriors have settled downed there in the old days to get a family and tell the tale.
The houses are mostly made of three rods, plain and simple. Each house has a fireplace for those cold winters, and the cloths are warm and mostly made of wool. Some of the few warriors however have made their clothes out of bear or wolf furs. The most common weapon is axes, as it can be used to cut wood. Thurgard has been around hundreds of years, but it has never really grown. The city is just too quite and far away to grow.
Note: The idea for this settlement was originally put forth by a poster on the boards named Ariane. I thought the idea was a very good one and didn't want the settlement to disappear even though Ariane apparently no longer posts on the boards, so I am submitting it in his/her name. If it is picked as a winner, he/she should get the full credit for being founder, and I will be happy to act as town steward.
Welcome to Caductown!
Rule #1: No acts of aggression allowed.
That is the only rule listed on the welcome sign for Caductown, the center for the healing arts on TerVarus. The full text of the rule reads, "No acts that foment discord between sentient beings (including fighting, arguing, and slander) will be tolerated within the town limits. Anyone found to be deliberately violating this rule will be ejected from the town and banned entry until such time they have proven they have reformed." Disturbances of the peace are rare since Caductown is primarily home to priests of Caduceas and other healers. Anyone actually banned from the town will be able to receive medical treatment at the field hospital set up outside the town limits, but would not have access to any of the town's other resources.
Caductown was founded during the Age of Shadows by followers of Caduceas who wanted to do something positive to counteract the countless tragedies plaguing the beings of TerVarus. They tried to build the town as close to the midway point between the population centers of the races as they could, but since the world has changed that midway point has moved, and not as much traffic moves past Caductown as it did in the past. Still, beings from the world over come to learn the healing arts or benefit from the many other services offered.
Dominating the side of the town opposite the main road is the cathedral, where the shrine of Caduceas is located. On one side of the main street, and taking up most of that side of the town, is the hospital. In the corner between the hospital and the cathedral is the cemetery; a quiet place of flowers and trees and monuments to lost loved ones and friends remembered. Across the main street from the hospital is the inn "Caduceas's Rest." The inn has a stable, and next to the stable is the veterinary clinic where people can bring their injured pets (the boons of Caduceas are not limited to sentients). Beyond the inn are the smithies and carpenters. The carpenters make the beds for the hospital, plus any other furniture the residents of the town may need to purchase. The smithies don't produce any weapons, of course, but they are home to some of the best makers of defensive items on the planet. Some of them also contain trainers who train in the defensive arts. Many of the crafters live above their shops. Past those are the homes for the priests of Caduceas who run the cathedral and the hospital, and the other permanent residents of Caductown.
The town is made up mostly of Caduceans, but there are also Meekans who work at the vet, Arolians who work at the smithies, and followers of Turek work on the carpentry and building residences. And there is always a steady influx and outflow of patients and those who wish to learn the healing arts.
Now leaving Caductown. Caduceas' blessings upon you.
Name: New Aryndel
Races: Human, Most Others*
Religion: Most Permitted*
Government: Monarchy with Council
Banner: Originally a blue eagle on a silver shield, it has been retooled into a phoenix to represent the kingdom's rebirth.
The small human kingdom of Aryndel was once a peaceful and prosperous land that rejoiced in beauty and the arts. When other lands waged war upon one another, High Lord Alyxsandar, ruler of Aryndel, kept his lands safe with the aid of his honorable and loyal Shield Knights. That all changed with the eruption of the Raknar.
With the spider-beasts at their very walls, High Lord Alyxsandar issued orders to evacuate the city's civilians while he personally rallied his Shield Knights to buy time for their escape. Amongst the evacuees were the High Lord's daughter and heir, Lady Elyssia, Lord Marshall Ketch Wreathwind, various craftsmen, and a small unit of Shield Knights to protect them.
As they watched their beloved home burn in the distance, Lady Elyssia swore to her followers that they would one day return to rebuild their homeland. For two years the refugees of Aryndel wandered the nearby lands, collecting resources, training new Shield Knights, and battling the Raknar.
That day has finally come, and the hardened remnants of those beleaguered survivors seek to reclaim their homeland.
New Aryndel will be a city based on knowledge and the trades. It will maintain a significant military force to protect the citizens of the kingdom from invasion by other countries and hostile forces. The culture embraces it's history and wishes to honor the memory of it's past, but after so much fighting and wandering, the attitude has become much more supportive of military strength. The citizenry of New Aryndel can be broken into four categories; Shield Knights, Tradesmen, Scholars, and Citizens.
Shield Knights: The Military Force of Aryndel. They are lead by the Shield Commander and the Shield Lieutenants who each have a seat on the Council. The ranks within the Shields are: Footman, Knight, Grand Knight, Shield Lieutenants, Shield Commander. While most of the Shield Knights are powerful warriors, specialists (spys, medics, scouts) can also be found within the ranks. However, basic combat skills are required for any Shield Knight.
Tradesmen: The Tradesmen are the backbone of New Aryndel. They gather resources, create tools and weapons, build our homes, and provide for our comfort and needs. Tradesmen also includes the merchants who buy and sell goods, and other business owners. Status within the ranks of the Tradesmen is determined by contributions, seniority, and skill in ones chosen craft. The Tradesmen are lead by the Trademasters, selected by their fellow Tradesmen to represent their needs to the Council.
Scholars: The Scholars are those who research mundane knowledge, lore, and history, as well as arcane and divine powers. Their ranks are determined by the power they harness and control, as well as their knowledge and contributions to the kingdom. As with the Tradesmen, Scholars select their own representatives to sit on the Council.
Citizens: Basic members of the kingdom who have not yet chosen a role within the city, or choose not to choose, are classified as Citizens. Citizens are permitted to purchase property for a personal home, but not a business. They do not have a representative on the Council, but they are permitted to vote on any public matter presented to the entire kingdom.
While New Aryndel is undeniably a monarchy, the monarch depends heavily on the advice and feedback of the Council. The Council is a legislative body that advises the monarch to the needs of the citizenry based on their sphere of expertise. Representatives are selected by the Tradesmen, Shield Knights, and Scholars based on merit, knowledge, and seniority. The Council meets once every two weeks in a location open to the viewing of the populous. The exact number of Council seats will be determined by the needs of the Kingdom at launch.
*Concerning Races and Religion
Since these features will not be available at release, but may venture into the game at a future date, it would be ideal to address possible options now. Any race that can be peacefully accommodated in the kingdom will be permitted. Religion will be determined by the citizenry when the feature is announced. Ideally we will accommodate any religions that do not directly conflict with the protective, productive, and knowledge seeking nature of our kingdom.