Settlements in the North (Kingdom of Ivernesse)
The King rules from Renfalas, the Capital of Ivernesse, through the use of many dozens of “Hands.” These Hands in turn delegate authority out to local mayors, councils, and lords. Most towns in the North generally run their own affairs, occasionally asking for assistance from the crown when large scale problems occur. So long as taxes and levies continue to be paid, the capital is content to let anything other than outright rebellion stand (for the most part.)
Renfalas, Capital of Ivernesse
Metropolis (pop. 25k+ )
Ruler: King Maelen al’Caer III (pretty much a selfish despot; not inherently evil, just self-absorbed.)
Although the Northern Kingdom of Ivernesse is large, the king really only rules in name everywhere but immediately outside the capital. The king’s guard is used as thugs and bullies to make things go his way. The army (and navy), once on par with Theren’s to the south, has been stripped bare to pay for the debauchery of the nobles. This is the third generation of decline for Ivernesse.
Dalensvale, Selee, Charn – Support settlements for Renfalas
Large cities (pop. 10k-25k)
Ruler: mayors who report to a Hand
Home to many nobles (with their manors littering the countryside)
Large town (pop. 2k-5k)
Ruler: mayor who reports to a Hand
Once a main trading route from the capital to Shard, in recent generations the trade has dried up considerably with Shard’s succession from the empire. Locals still mingle with relatives/friends in Shard (and there is limited, non-sanctioned trade), although there is technically a state of ongoing war between Renfalas and Shard. There is a token garrison of troops stationed here at Fort Falen, but neither side has the men to attack the other, nor to hold any ground.
Large city (pop. 10k-25k, towards the upper end)
Ruler: Council of merchants, who report directly to the Lord Merchant (Renfalas) but are autonomous in all other aspects
Qualities: Academic, Notorious, Prosperous, Strategic Location (see rules here)
Corr +4, Crime +5, Econ +6, Law -5, Lore +5, Soc +2
The largest trading hub outside of Renfalas, the Crossing is a major source of income for the North. Set up 300 years ago as an experiment by the emperor of the time, it has blossomed into THE spot for adventurers looking to offload exotic goods. It is the most racially diverse city in the North; money speaks louder than anything else in the Crossing.
Small city (pop. 10k, mostly halflings)
Ruler: mayor (styled “The Grand-Man”) elected from among the populace, who reports to a Hand
The continent’s only “small” sized city, it is primarily home to halflings, but any small race would feel comfortable there. They do a lot of trade with the Crossing, and enjoy a nice quality of life. As a consequence of everything being small sized, they have specialty “biggun’ rooms” in the inns for larger travelers.
Village (former pop. 250)
Ruler: mayor elected from local council
Sleepy village nestled in a valley just off the main trade route through the Mountains of Mara to the south. Recently attacked by hobgoblins, looted by travellers and giants, and burned in a second goblinoid encounter. The remnants of the townsfolk fled north to the Crossing, and to the keep in the hills south of the village. A small group has begun to move back to the village to rebuild.
Small town (former pop. 1000)
Ruler: Lord Fedwin (by appointment of the empire)
Resthorn was overrun by werewolves and Fedwin requested a special contingent of the king’s men to help him deal with the problem. The town was razed, and every villager killed. The road cuts right through the town, with Lord Fedwin’s manor located north of town a few miles.
Large towns (pop. around 5000 ea.)
Rulers: Councilmen selected from notable individuals (usually older merchants)
Stop over from the Crossing to the western edges of the empire. The king’s law shows it’s frailty here, as the towns are left to run themselves for the most part. Relations with the Crossing (and it’s rulers) are friendly, and a lot of trade goes back and forth on merchant caravans.
Small town (pop. 1000)
Ruler: town elders, headed by mayor chosen from among them
They take a dim view of most travelers and urge them onward. Their proximity to Three Kings, and to Rune Keep and it’s tourists, makes them pretty irritable. They aren’t hostile so much as unfriendly.
Village (pop. 200)
Ruler: (Formerly) Lady Eve, (Currently) Angela the blacksmith’s daughter and Samus the innkeeper’s son
Grim little village situated on the edge of The Mirk, a large swamp that provides a natural barrier between the “civilized” lands and the barbarian tribes to the west. “Miss Eve” was beloved by the locals; she took over running the village after an attack of lizardfolk came out of the swamp. It is said she is an accomplished sorceress. She was exposed as a vampire and killed by the party, including her 6 spawn, all prominent members of the village.
Leth Otov/ Leth Deriel
Small towns (pop. 1k-2k each)
Rulers: Local elders, led by eldest
Settlements along the border of the Shadewood, they harvest much of the timber for this part of the empire. At odds with the wood elves still living in the forest, the lumber gangs usually have to go out armed if they must venture very far into the woods. The road between them is plagued by cult members luring travelers into the woods to join them.
Small city (pop. 8k)
Ruler: Lord Telemon
Self-proclaimed “free-city,” Arafellan citizens enjoy a high-quality of life. All citizens join the militia for a small period of time; as a result, Arafel can field an actual standing force of men, one of only two cities outside of the capital able to do so (the Crossing being the other, although not nearly so well-trained). This is a sticking point to the king, who considers Arafel another Shard, although no state of war exists yet. Lord Telemon enjoys an almost cult-like celebrity status among the populace.
Small town (pop. 1500)
Ruler: governor (appointed by Lord Telemon)
Swearing fealty to Lord Telemon and Arafel, Fal Moran enjoys it’s protection and the benefits of being a “free town.” It is situated on a large hill (Moran’s Hill) that overlooks the surrounding countryside for several miles in every direction.
Village (pop. 150)
Ruler: town council headed by Old Gil
Small fishing village. They do necessity trade with Tanelorn to the southeast.
Small town (pop. 2k)
Ruler: retired adventuring group
Fairly isolated but prosperous community. One commodity they do have in greater than average abundance is magical items. The three old-timers fund other adventuring groups and treasure hunters from time to time to get their hands on more magical items/equipment.
Large city (pop. 15k)
Ruler: mayor who reports to a Hand
Traditional spot where the first emperor/king, Rehl al’Kin, was said to have landed as a refugee from some distant land. Legend has it he had to fight his way through giants to establish the first colony on the mainland. This is also the home of most of the Royal Navy of Ivernesse; a shadow of its former self, they ineffectually patrol the Thousand Island Bay for pirates (which are rampant). The port itself is well defended. Tanelorn sends many goods downriver to the Landing.
Village (pop. 100)
Ruler: Kai, Ranger
Made bitterly cold by the unnatural climate in the Cold Rock Cliffs, Langenfirth hangs on by a shred. The populace, mostly fishermen, pepper-dredges, and rangers, scratch out a living in the ever-present shadow of the giant-haunted cliffs directly north and west. They are a grim and bitter group of people, not given to trusting anyone not of the village. They do a trade in ice peppers, which are found growing in bunches beneath the frigid depths surrounding the Cliffs, and are considered a delicacy.