Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Walrus City

Walrus City (population 12000) is the largest city in the Walrus Freehold, and the de-facto capital for the region - even giving its name to the area. Walrus City is closest to the walrus populations and mammoths that provide the main income for the region. As such it is the wealthiest city even if it is quite isolated. The city relies almost entirely on its port and sea routes for trade and communication - overland travel is difficult in summer and usually fatal in winter.

Walrus City is a plutarchy, with the wealthy merchants bossing around the spineless town council. The town council has a small group of 130 town guards, but the merchants all have their mercenary guards who total at least 500 troops of mixed loyalties. They will probably defend the town if there was a major attack, but their merchant employers have the final say as to whether, and who, the mercenaries will defend or attack. Walrus City is the base for Uldur’s Scouts, a company of human light cavalry with studded leather and fur armour, lances and maces who go out on patrols on the Icemud Tundra, visiting trading posts and trappers.

Walrus City was formally established in 1432 BY although a trading post had been there for about a hundred years previously. There was a brief period from 1483 to 1501 BY when the Toutus Empire tried to run Walrus City directly as a province, but the first Imperial governor found it difficult to run the city without the constant support from the rest of the Empire. He resigned and returned to the heart of the Empire. The second governor was even worse - he appeared to be noble, but turned out to be a degenerate worshipper of Pelepton who was embezzling much of the hard-earned gold to fund cult activities. It was the merchants who discovered his devious behaviour and ousted him - this was the start of the current political situation as they installed their own "governor" who was effectively in their pockets.

During the wars between the Empires, Walrus City was raided several times, and many areas burned down or damaged. However, the location is so popular with traders that most of the damage has been repaired by those interested in keeping Walrus City open as a centre of trade.

Walrus City is not a very religious community but there are shrines to Sturnornel, Haaken, Vought and Rhondus. There is also a cell of the Red Hand active within the city who have influence over several bands of thugs and also blackmail the crooked harbourmaster. Merchants have been complaining of valuable  goods going missing from warehouses and ships and thieves are suspected. The Red Hand is organising the theft and fencing of these goods while trying to keep a safe distance should anyone be caught. The harbourmaster is involved, but he wants to get out with his life intact and he may ask adventurers for help.

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