Major Cities of Lathuria
Further north than any city on the continent of Lathuria, at the very tip of a peninsula extending up into the polar regions of Wadhibhan, lies the city of Arctilan. In its earliest days, it sprang up as a trading center in the midst of a nomad society of artic-dwelling Humans. However, climate changes in the last thousand years have allowed the surrounding communities to move to a farming society. Consequently, Arctilan enjoyed the more regular flow of goods into its market place and has become a major trading post of the northern region of the continent.
In the summer months of the year, Arctilan receives ships into its harbor daily. After the ice of the northern seas close in on it, however, oceanic trade comes to a screeching halt. Arctilan officials have in recent years made use of this lull in their harbors to shepherd a growing industry in ship-building.
The population of Arctilan is mostly Human, although a small number of Elves also call it home and a few Demons have also been known to frequent the area. Angels tend to stay away, preferring warmer climates. The city is ruled by an elected council of nine lords, each technically equal in rank, although in practice the more charismatic lords tend to have the last word on many matters. The city is a fairly egalitarian society with a city charter that states that all intelligent races are welcome and considered equal.
Without a doubt, the most influential city upon the face of Lathuria right now is Atoll City. It is a hub of activity for the arts, sciences, magics, and trade of the entire continent and lies on every major trade and shipping route. In the thousand years since the fall of the Demons at the end of the War of the Young, Atoll City has prospered beyond the wildest dreams of its founders.
It was not always this way for the city, however. In the days of the war between the Angels and the Demons, Atoll City was barely a footprint upon the continent. With the Demon stronghold of Barkarra just to its north, it was oft trampled over in the name of the war. It was attacked and looted so often, in fact, that several royal families rose to power and were wiped out in the space of just a few decades. By the end of the war, so many of Atoll City's inhabitants were fleeing the area that it seemed that it was a city about to become a ruin.
All that changed with the fall of Barkarra. Once the Demon King was defeated and he and his army banished to the Astral Plain, military action in the area ceased and the Angels who survived the confrontation were directed by Angel King Lylemuth himself to oversee a rebuilding program in Atoll City. Its inhabitants returned slowly over the course of the next five years and the city began to prosper once more. King Lylemuth worked closely with the one person whom the city's inhabitants recognized as their leader, a Human known in Atoll's history books by the name of Pagran the Bold. Pagran is recorded as the first king of Atoll City in the Golden Age and records show that his line of succession has been unbroken ever since through a line of over three dozen kings and queens.
Once Atoll City was back on its feet following the dawn of the Golden Age, King Lylemuth and the Angels withdrew to oversee other projects elsewhere upon Lathuria and Atoll City was left to its own devices. Within only a few generations, it became the destination for many adventurers and historians looking to find treasure in the ruins of Barkarra. Soon, Atoll City became the target for treasure hunting nations just getting on their feet. As such, by the time of Atoll City's eighth king, Joran, it suffered from constant incursions, especially from the Demons Ocean to its west. The city found itself blind on its western coastline as the bay it was situated against was closed off by a mountainous island that massive fleets could hide behind. In GA 280, King Joran commissioned the fortress of Tarosopis to be built upon the bay side island. He would not live to see its completion, however, as it took nearly a generation and a half to carve the fortress out of the stone of the island.
With its western shorelines thus secured, Atoll City looked to its northern and eastern boarders. The Atollean mountains provided a great deal of cover to the north, but slowly became a rabbit warren of hideouts for the less seemly inhabitants of the area. To combat this new threat, the Atoll City Outrunners were commissioned in GA 542. Since then, the Outrunners have patrolled the area surrounding Atoll City and protected the smaller settlements and farms that are the source of much of Atoll City's food and resources.
Today, Atoll City is a city of thousands and stands as the largest city on Lathuria. If one has the time to search all the markets of the city or poke around in all its temples and shrines, one can find nearly anything one desires for a price. The city itself is populated and frequented by every sentient race upon Lathuria and the current King, Harrigarth, has welcomed all with open arms.
Atoll City is not without its problems, though, and to combat them there exists a very regulated military system. King Harrigarth and his family has in recent years become targets of other ambitious noble houses in Atoll City seeking to take the throne for themselves. Since Harrigarth took the throne in GA 996 the number of assassinations against the royal family has increased ten-fold and the Royal Guard has increased in numbers to compensate. They are currently led by a battle mage named Heinrich Felloch, an old childhood friend of the King. The city also remains a very tempting target for raiders and invaders as well and so it boasts Lathuria's largest standing army in the form of the Gate Guard. So named for their role in antiquity of guarding the old city walls that were demolished in GA 458 to make way for growth, they man both the ramparts of Tarosopis and several battle towers on the outskirts of the city. Currently, they are led by Serenne Rada, an archer of great renown and a former member of the adventuring group known as the Magic Howlers. Most often, raiding parties find it too difficult to reach the city proper and so content themselves with sacking many of Atoll City's nearby protectorates. To combat this, the Outrunners have increased in numbers in recent generations and are now led by Sir Gerrith the Gleaming, reputed to be the most handsome knight ever to come out of the Atoll City military. And finally, as any large city, Atoll City also has to deal with the criminal element within its boarders. The peace of the city is maintained by the City Patrollers, currently under the just command of the renowned shaman Bhithinka Greensleeves.
Deep in the heart of the Fable Forest in the south west portion of the continent lies the city of Ellisam. Since the very earliest days of recorded history, it has stood as the homeland of the Elves. The court of Elvenqueen Withra is seated there and it is from there that the Elves protect the vast Fable Forest that stretches from the Zirican river in the east to the Zephilian penninsula in the west.
In its earliest days, Ellisam opened its boarders to all races of power who would travel there peaceably. However, after the apparent death of Elvenking Xillcarn in the early days of the War of the Young, Queen Withra declared that the Elves would have no part in hostilities and closed Ellisam's boarders to all but the Elves. The boarders have only recently been opened once again, in GA 1001, permitting other race of power to enter on a case by case basis. What lies within it remains something of a secret to all non-Elves to this day, but those who have been allowed within have spoken of a magical realm of nature with dwellings in trees and on the ground alike and walls of wood and earth. They also speak of a great shrine of Shamanism in the very center of the city where Queen Withra and the four Shaman Knights hold their magical court.
Though other races have been allowed inside Ellisam recently, no one but the Elves are allowed to live there on a permanent basis. The single exception to this rule is the colony of Grenduls under the Queen's protection who live on the outskirts of Ellisam and maintain the earthen walls that defend it.
In the north-central section of the continent of Lathuria, sitting on the plains that herald the beginning of the Desert of White Dust, is the city of Maice. Also known as the City of White Magic, it is the seat of power for the White Clerics. The city has no walls and is protected instead by a powerful white magic sheild which can be dropped in sections at the discretion of the white mages who maintain it. One in particular mage is designated as the Gatekeeper and keeps the section of the sheild on the southern edge of the city where the road enters it. He opens it at morning and closes it at night.
Maice was founded as one of the Angels' pet projects during the War of the Young. It began its existance as a field medical outpost for the Angels' army. As such, it has a rich tradition in the healing arts, both magical and conventional. If it is possible to cure what ails you, the way to cure it can be found in Maice.
Maice is currently under the rule of the White Clerics who seek to carry on the city's healing and protective traditions. It is well known as a place to find salvation in many forms. Not only can it heal hurts, but the White Clerics offer sanctuary to all who are persued and who are willing to pledge their loyalty to the protection of Maice in good faith. And indeed, woe to those who break the pledge for not only will they suffer the wrath of the populous but the Clerics will personally hand the offender over to those that persue them.
Of late, however, the peace of Maice has been somewhat disrupted. Just to the west of Maice, the Black Knights have begun building a fortress under the direction of Hastarl Gelsson the Hornhelm, the Black Captain of the Black Knights, and rumor has it that he is preparing to besiege the city sometime in the near future. In order to discourage him, the current head of the White Clerics and the ruler of Maice, the White Bishop Hastika Gilsdottir, has asked the hostel for the Black Knights that used to reside in Maice to leave. This has done little to stem the tide of Black Knights entering the city, however. On a daily basis, many Black Knights make their way to the north east section of the city and go to Ruined Tower Square which holds the only known entrance to Nethermaice, the mysterious, sprawling system of caverns and dungeons that lies beneath Maice. The Black Knights go to and fro from Ruined Tower Square in ever-increasing numbers and more and more of them are simply remaining in the city.
The increased number of Black Knights in Maice has posed a problem for the White Clerics; they are having an increasingly difficult time maintaining order in the streets. Without a true standing army, Maice is slowly decaying into a city of lawlessness. It has yet to reach epidemic proportions, however, and Hastika is determined not to allow it to do so. To that end, she has put out a call for mercenaries loyal to the ways of the law to come to Maice to take jobs as protectors of the city streets. She fervantly hopes that she will not have to ask them to become an army to defend Maice from invaders out of Hastarl's keep, but the rest of the White Clerics hold little delusion that this will be the case.
All who live there worry that Maice will soon be healing the hurts of her own children rather than those of the weary traveller.
Founded only about 90 years ago, Peryton has risen to its current level of influence very quickly. Also called The Pirate City by those who disapprove of their methods, it was begun as a privateer port founded by the mutual agreement of twelve privateer captains and their ships. Today, Peryton is managed by the inheriting captains of those twelve ships who form a council to oversee the day-to-day operations of the city. However, since those twelve captains also have their own business concerns, there is constant manouevering within the council to place their own privateering companies in better business positions than their rivals. Consequently, much of what goes on in the city itself remains largely unregulated.
Peryton's port has a rather lax policy on who can and cannot dock there. It is well known for imposing their port fees with no questions asked and for not volunteering information on what ships have docked there. It is, therefore, the perfect place for those who are fleeing some authority to take shelter or to find passage beyond the reach of their persuers.
Many of the shipping concerns that base themselves in Peryton have been known to sell weapons and supplies to both Umbecrast and Grelia to the north on the handle of the Kayfor penninsula who have suffered a cycle of war and uneasy peace for the past several generations. It is a risky but lucrative business which has boosted Peryton's economy with no end in sight. Though Umbecrast and Grelia are now in a period of cease-fire, Perytonian ships continue to supply both with weapons of war.
Zephilia lies on the westernmost tip of Lathuria, at the end of a penninsula that juts out from the Fable Forest to its east. Known for its arts of all sorts, both magical and conventional, it is a favorite for the atrisan, the scholar, and the bard alike. Founded over two-thousand years ago during a period of friendship with the nearby Elves of Ellisam, the city is probably the oldest on Lathuria.
Over the centuries, Zephilia has experimented with a number of different types of government. The first recorded was a traditional monarchy with a kingship passed down from father to son (or the occasional daughter, just for kicks). But when the royal family died out unexpectedly in GA 346, the populous of Zephilia had to look elsewhere for leadership. For about a 150 years or so, a series of warlords and dictators made valiant attempts at establishing new lines of kingship, but the populous would except none of them for any real length of time. Finally, fed up with the decline of their society over the slow march of decades, various community leaders of Zephilia organized themselves to defend the city against the ambitious warlords and kick them out of the city. It took several decades, but once it was accomplished, the populous of Zephilia was free to define their own government.
Today, Zephilia is presided over by a congress of twenty elected by the common citizens of Zephilia. Any person considered to be an adult by their race's standards who has lived within the walls of Zephilia for at least two years is allowed to vote or hold a congressional office. The twenty elected congressmen then elect a Prince who serves for a period of six years. The palace of the ancient kings of Zephilia still stands and has been converted into the seat of Zephilian government. The congress meets there and the Prince and his immediate family are allowed to live in the north-west tower. The current Prince, Scolatian, has served for three years so far and enjoys a populous more supportive than any prince has seen in several decades.
Zephilia is also becoming known as the seat of power for the newest and one of the most rapidly growing orders on Lathuria, the Order of the Lamp. Master Lampwright Lyssa Greymalkin and her right hand man, Master Lamplighter Grumanis Wyndifer, have made their home in Zephilia and have founded the House of the Ever-Lit Lamp in the city's south-eastern section. The House has over the past five years become a repository for newly discovered lore of Lathuria and is rapidly building a very respectable library. The House is easily recognizable both day and night as a magically burning lamp marks the entry way to its courtyard. The lamp burns day and night, never going out in rain or shine, and was the gift of the Elf Helioris, the Shaman Knight of Fire. Because the Order's numbers are still small, Lyssa and Grumanis frequently hire out adventuring groups to poke through ruins or investigate some of Lathuria's magical mysteries. A few of those adventuring groups have even been known to be recruited into the Order's ranks.
Page created on 5/23/06 by