Wednesday, 24 August 2011

The City of Stalim and Hurin Castle

Stalim is the easternmost city of the Walrus Freehold, sitting on the banks of the Salmoning River. Stalim (population 10,500) gained a lot of residents during the wars as raiders from the coast did not reach this far inland and so it was seen as a safe haven. Since the wars they have mostly integrated, but there is quite a large underclass of first generation refugees.
Among the 550-strong militia are Grundil’s Quarrellers, 150 dwarf crossbowmen originally from the Grulven Mountains who now act as mercenary guards.
Stalim has numerous small farms dotted nearby, particularly along the river. These are the region’s only significant population of halflings (about 1500 within a 30 mile radius of Stalim).
Stalim is the only city in the Walrus Freehold to have a hereditary ruler, the Duke of Stalim. Before the wars, his family were only barons, but since the collapse of the Empires his father promoted himself and nobody has dared to argue.
Politically Stalim is independent, but the duke maintains good relations with the other three cities of the Freehold. Relations with Trislem are particularly important as Trislem sits astride the mouth of the vitally important Salmoning river that connects most of the cities and towns in the southeast of the region.
Stalim has a problem with chaos cultists. Despite several attempted purges, there are still crimes associated with chaos worship - bodies of human sacrifices are occasionally found, while chaos graffiti is often scrawled on the walls of public buildings. The authorities believe that the cultists have support, maybe secret bases, outside Stalim in either the Twilight Forest or Grulven Mountains so they can escape any purges.
Hurin Castle has been the eastmost frontier for the Walrus Freehold for centuries. It holds 110 officers, soliders and 45 civilian castle staff within the actual castle walls, but the village that has grown up between the castle and the river holds another 220 villagers.  Although primarily a fortress for the Duke of Stalim, Hurin Castle also serves as a frontier outpost for many foresters, hunters and herdsmen. It also serves as a trading post for dealing with human barbarians, elves (particularly the Orchunter Clan) and civilized merchants and traders travelling upstream from Stalim or Trislem on barges or riverboats on the Salmoning River. 
There is some ongoing clerical trouble in Hurin Castle - clerics of Sturnornel have long maintained a shrine at the castle ever since it was founded. However, in the last four years, clerics of both Haaken and Adonor have set up their own shrines. Tensions are simmering as competition for followers, donations and influence have increased.

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