Orithia- Skull & Shackles
A TRAVELLER’S GUIDE
By Torgrim Goldbeard
Scholar and priest of Heironeous
Kondar City is a mighty shining jewel in the crown of the Capitavirate. Set on the sunny shores of the Fal delta, its hilltop position commands breathtaking vistas over the azure sea. Since its founding circa 1400 it has stood strong as the dominant amalgamation in the area. Fertile river soil, commanding views in all directions and tall hills have all contributed to the city’s success, however it is only in recent decades that the city has truly come into its own.
Timeline of Kondar and its influence on key events in world history
The nation of Kondar was founded officially in 1920 when the great human warrior Salvador San Clair declared sovereignty of the various towns and villages that made up the Fal peninsula on the continent of Tir and made himself King. San Clair organised a militia made up of men from each of the towns under his banner and this became the first standing army in the region. Soon other towns and city-states pledged allegiance to the growing power, whilst others declared war.
The great Tir war lasted 250 years before Kondar and the other nations of Tir; Oreth, Arafar, Valero and Minea agreed on the terms of a peace agreement.
In 2311 a group of merchants based in Kondar City banded together and formed a guild which lobbied the King for fair prices and less tax on imports. This guild later named itself the Capitavirate.
By 2317 the Capitavirate had signed almost every merchant and business in Kondar City to its cause and had even become officially allied with the church of Heironeous.
In 2328 King Leonardo San Clair, direct descendant of Salvador declares the country’s treasury to be almost empty. Due to gross overspending on royal holdings and the overstretching of military forces overseas, the economy was about to collapse on itself. The Capitavirate stepped in and used its own money to alleviate the crisis. Public opinion of the crown fell to an all-time low while the guild of merchants were hailed as heroes and after weeks of riots and protests the first ever public vote was held in Kondar City. The people voted that a democracy rather than a monarchy best served the interests of the nation and King Leonardo stepped down, handing power to the people. After a lengthy campaign, the Capitavirate were voted into power. Kondar City and Kondar as a nation entered into a golden age of prosperity, production and conquest. The Capitavirate began increasing trade with other nations across Tir and around the world. Soon the whole of Tir became reliant on trade from Kondar to fuel their own economies. Colonies were set up around the world by Kondar which began sending more wealth back to the city. The Legions of Kondar marched ahead of these colonies and conquered any foe which stood before it. The church of Heironeous supported the spread of justice and civilization and so sent missionaries along with these colonists to set up temples and convert local populaces to the truth of his word.
In 2370 Kondar allied with the Dwarven nation of Khostinak, who shared their technology with Kondar. Soon blackpowder, steam and clockwork were present in Kondaran society. Since then, the nation has been ahead of the global curve with respects to technology and has the best equipped military because of it. The Kondaran 1st Legion’s rifles battalion was the first of its kind outside of Khostinak.
In 2401 the government of Oreth declared itself bankrupt and once more the Capitavirate stepped in to take control of the nation. Oreth became the second nation to be ruled by the merchant’s guild.
Minea allied itself with Kondar and Oreth in 2402 to save its own economy failing. Months later the Capitavirate were made official rulers of the nation.
In 2403 Arafar and Valero both expressed concern over the growing Capitavirate empire, claiming that they were merchants and not suited to ruling. They accused the Capitavirate of using underhand techniques to strangle the other countries’ economies and thus force them into submission. The Capitavirate responds by marching two Legions to the borders and blockading all trade caravans and ships from entering/leaving the countries.
Valero finally surrendered in 2404 after its people starved and plague spread through the cities. Capitavirate troops and Heironeous’ priests moved in to tackle the epidemic and sieze control of Valda, the capital. Arafar refused to surrender however, and declared war on the Capitavirate conglomerate. Half a Legion was moved into the forests of Arafar, but they were all killed by guerrillas using ambush tactics. The war against Arafar continues to this day with the nation being so well defended by hidden snipers and archer regiments stationed in the trees that the Capitavirate cannot move any troops into the cities. A blockade is maintained to this day and the nation has become quarantined and has resorted to less advanced technology to survive as contact with the outside world is lost.
Capitavirate troops invade Alhan and Valonia on the continent of Rosaia in 2438 through Khostinak with the support of Dwarven troops. Urnst, being stern enemies of Valonia pledges support to the Capitavirate and pushes an invasion from the opposite flank. The war rages for 30 years with other nations on Rosaia joining in. Eventually the Capitavirate are forced to retreat to Khostinak due to the prowess of the Valonian battle-mages and allied Ealdine knights.
In angry response to the Valonian resistance, the council of the Capitavirate declare magic outlawed in all its states in 2450. Only ordained members of the clergy of Heironeous may channel divine magic while only sanctioned nobles authorised by the Capitavirate may study arcane magic.
In 2470 the colony of Salamonis on the Continent of Darkfell rebelled. Troops are moved in to quell rebellion and crush upstart religions. The nearby nation of Dun-E-Dor provides assistance but resists attempts by the Capitavirate to submit and remains neutral to the conflict.
After defeating Admiral Verono ‘s fleet at the battle of black rock sound in 2506, the fleet of Yelnihas declares itself an ally of the Capitavirate but does not submit to rule. The Halfling nation allows the Capitavirate to set up a small outpost on one of their islands.
In 2525, son of the famous d’Tremmellin house leads the ‘red rebellion’ against the Capitavirate in Kondar City. The rebellion was in response to the d’Tremmellin house along with many others giving over their holdings to Capitavirate control after managing to keep them private since the birth of the organization. New research by the astrological society of Kondar City in late 2525 discovers changes in the elemental planes. They determine that arcane magic is becoming more and more dangerous to cast and advise against its practice. All arcane academies are shut down throughout Capitavirate territories and the use of magic is restricted solely to Heironeous’ clergy.
The ‘Red Rebellion’ was crushed in 2526 and Taiyend was exiled from Tir and stripped of all noble status as punishment. He is outlawed from ever holding land or responsibility in any Capitavirate-held land.
In 2528 General Thorik Mithraleye, a retired officer from Dun-E-Dor declares allegiance to the Capitavirate and marches on Salamonis with an army made of Dwarven nobles’ guards and allies from the Dun-E-Dor army. He promises to regain the city in the Capitavirate’s name. Meanwhile an expedition is launched by the Capitavirate to the eastern coast of darkfell in order to found a new city and establish a base from which to attack Salamonis should Mithraleye fail. Tor Acarne is founded and native tribes are forced out of the region.
Salamonis breaks into civil war in 2530 and renowned anarchists The Gentlemen of Fortune led by none other than exiled Taiyend d’Tremmellin aids the rebels in defeating Mithraleye’s army. Salamonis declares itself capital of the new nation of Salamon, free from Capitavirate rule. Martial law is instated there while the last of the conflict is cleared up and the economy is stabilised. Five Legions from Kondar City are sent across the sea to Alaris to assist Queen Aralia during the Hobgoblin invasion.
In 2532 the nation of Valonia is destroyed. Despite numerous warnings from Capitavirate scholars, the mages of the nation attempt to wield too much magical power for their own gain and cause an immense explosion which shatters their capital city and kills all their wizards. Urnst declares itself under Capitavirate rule and moves troops into Valonia to conquer the remaining cities. Khostinak pushes troops up into neighbouring Alhan while Ealdim, Alhan and Kepik, allies of Valonia move to its aid. The magical disaster prompts Heironeous’ Inquisitors to begin ‘witch hunts’, rooting out spellcasters hidden in the city and burning them to prevent their city from falling to uncontrollable magic.
In 2532, Taiyend d’Tremmellin is voted first Governor of Salamon in the nation’s first general election. The Capitavirate declares war on the nation and publishes details of d’Tremmellin’s crimes during the ‘Red Rebellion’. Troops from Tor Acarne march to the border of Salamon.
The Hobgoblins are defeated at the battle of Nurieth but the Kondaran Legions are kept on as a ‘peacekeeping force’ which Alaris does not respond well to. Discussions break down and the Legions are attacked by local vigilantes. War breaks out and more troops are sent across to conquer the already war-ravaged Alaris.
Description and key locations
Kondar City is made up of two parts; Upper City is the eastern side of the city while the Lower City is the western and north-western portion. A range of hills separates the two with various tunnels through the hills providing adequate access. Upper City is the hub of Kondar, containing marvellous sights and humbling historical locations. Here is a brief list of some of the more famous places:
is the centre of the Heironeous faith and seat of the High Priest which is a sacred position currently held by Giancarlo Mattici, a priest who has served for nearly 50 years in the clergy. The Basilica is shaped like the holy sword of Heironeous and is surrounded by a square mile of paved squares filled with statues of saints and fallen heroes who died in Heironeous’ name. From this building all churches and followers of the faith all around the world receive the will of their deity.
Near to the Sword Basilica is the , the meeting place of the Capitavirate council, here laws are passed and politics are discussed by nobles and tradesmen of the guild. This is the public face of the government and most hearings are able to be viewed by the public thanks to a balcony which runs around the great hall.
is a squat, heavily defended fortress which sits just out to sea in Kondar Bay. This redoubt is the final line of defence should Kondar be attacked and its other strategies fail. Within this fortress is also the Capitavirate’s vault which contains all the gold and riches from conquered lands and the ‘deephold’ the most secure prison in the known world.
The gardens of attract thousands of visitors each month to their winding trails through beautifully crafted flowerbeds and trees, splashing fountains and breath-taking views of the bay of Kondar.
Travellers who wish to try some of the city’s fine cuisine should first make their way to the . The Prominade is a paved walkway which runs the length of the cliffs of Kondar Bay and is lined with famous restaurants, wine bars and cafes. One can enjoy the views of the docks and beach below as well as the blue horizon of the sunny ocean while sampling delicacies from all over Tir.
Of historical note to scholarly visitors are the hundreds of temples dotted throughout the city. All active temples are dedicated to Heironeous but many older temples can be found which are dedicated to older gods which date back to before the rise of Kondar. These sites are now kept purely for their archaeological value and no worship is held within them.
The lower city is colloquially referred to as ‘the sprawl’ and isn’t recommended for new visitors. The lower city is where all the factories and steel mills are located which fuel the industries of Kondar and as such are not clean or well-presented. Unless one has business within the winding streets there, they should be avoided as law enforcement isn’t to the same standard as found in the upper city. Here is a list of the main districts of the sprawl although the boundaries between them are not distinct and it is often hard to determine where one ends and another begins.
- this is the southernmost part of the sprawl and is built along the coast. The Quays is home to the sprawl’s warehouses and basic dock facilities. Goods are loaded to and from the city here and ships are built and maintained. One is advised to exercise caution should one of the many taverns be visited in The Quays. Sailors and pirates all frequent these establishments; violence and drunkenness are common.
- the name of this district comes from the lack of street lamps. It is a central sprawl location and one of the most densely populated. It is unknown why the street lamps were removed and myths about it abound among the people here but either way nights are dark and many clandestine meetings are held here in the narrow alleys. At the centre of Shades Hill is ‘The Commons’, a large square surrounded by high-rise apartment blocks. The square is home to the people’s market every three days which allows anybody to set up a stall and sell the wares. There is often a massive rush on such mornings as people scramble for space to show off their assorted junk, however a number of reputable merchants can be found here also. Another famous location within Shade’s Hill is the tavern Red’s Den. Red’s Den is a large old coaching inn which serves a surprising variety of drinks and food. It is known for the fierce loyalty of its patrons and the surrounding community.
- on the northern end of the sprawl lies Smoketown, a large cluster of factories and chimneys surrounded by the mass of worker’s habitats.
- across the river from Shade’s Hill and Smoketown lies Stinktown, a disgusting and crumbling part of town where the city’s waste is brought o rot or burn in large landfill sites. Surrounding these sites are the homes of the unfortunate souls who work here. Disease is rife and ‘stinkers’ as the inhabitants are referred to are seldom welcome in other parts of the sprawl.
- Treetown is home to most of the sprawl’s elves and gnomes. It is a heavily industrialised area but the factories there focus on food, wood and cloth production. Carpenters, coopers, builders, butchers, haberdashers and tailors all buy stock from the factories here. Shields, bows, arrows and uniforms are also produced for the military. There are lots of trees in tree town, grown by the elves and gnomes who live here. Many elf communities live in tree-houses built on the side of larger trees and a lot of gnomes have houses which back onto the trees allowing cellars to be burrowed among the roots. The district maintains a rural feel despite the backdrop of smokestacks and factory chimneys.
Life in Kondar City
Kondar city boasts one of the most vibrant art scenes in the world. Famous artists such as Riballi, Fortuno and deRocha all hailed from the city and their work can be seen on temples, universities and libraries everywhere. The museum of Carnala also holds hundreds of masterpieces from Kondar, Tir and worldwide by dozens of artists.
Humans are the most populous of races within Kondar City with Dwarves and Halflings being second. All races are present here however and no distinctions are made between civilised creeds and race does not bar one’s progression through social or career ladders. Kondar takes great pride in its equality and multiculturalism in a world where prejudice and ignorance still reign.
A brief list of important people within the city;
High Priest Giancarlo Mattici- the mortal representative of the church of Heironeous, this man holds great power within the ranks of the clergy and also the Capitavirate.
Chief-Venerator Marco Entronno- this man is the president of the Capitavirate and presides over their meetings within the Audara. He works closely with the church to pass laws and control the economy.
Venerator Francesco Manovello- treasurer of the Capitavirate and second in command to Chief Venerator Entronno.
Lord Variel Xiloscient- Elven affairs minister of the Capitavirate.
Lady Inga Copperbrow- Dwarven affairs minister of the Capitavirate.
Lord Kaleb Surefoot- Halfling affairs minister of the Capitavirate.
Lord Krangim Redforge- Khostinak’s Dwarven representative in Kondar City.
Captain Evan Wavestrider- Yelnihas’ Halfling representative in Kondar City.
Kondar City economy
The currency in Kondar City is the standard by which the Capitavirate brings stability and strength to its colonies and lands it conquers. Its system of coinage is now a world standard and very few countries world-wide use different systems.
10 copper pieces (cp) = 1 silver piece (sp)
10sp = 1 gold piece (gp)
10gp = 1 platinum piece (pp)
Monetary notes are also common now amongst the upper city and are available in the following denominations;
Among merchants trade goods are also able to be traded at their cash value or used to haggle a deal.
In the lower city people often resort to a fifth type of coinage, tin pieces (TP). This currency is not minted officially but is instead crafted from all kinds of pieces of scrap metal and cut into rough sharp discs. TP are not accepted anywhere in upper city but can be traded easily in the sprawl. Similarly few places in the sprawl have the capacity to process monetary notes.
10tp are roughly equal to 1cp